The English department models some of the best practice in curriculum design with co-operative techniques, AifL, active learning, higher order thinking skills and citizenship embedded throughout our practice.
In the Curriculum Impact Review in March 2014 Education Scotland validated this by observing “quality feedback to young people and rigorous skills development.”
At its heart, the department has a focus on literature and is rich in its use of language. The team work hard to promote relevance in texts which connect to citizenship and well-being. The teaching of Scots text and language has a central place at all curriculum levels. The Scottish dimension is well represented, with authors such as Burns, MacCaig, Morgan, Donovan, Lochhead, Spence, Duffy, Grassic Gibbon and Jenkins. Pupils enjoy Scottish literature in context with a diverse range of other texts such as Shakespeare’s plays, American Literature and media texts.
Students experience a wide variety of genres in writing tasks including personal, creative and discursive writing. The school has a thriving Creative Writing Group to support our young writers.
"I joined the creative writing club because I really like writing and I wanted to get involved in writing competitions, which is something that was suggested by my Primary 7 teacher.”"Sarah Greer
From Storytelling workshops in S1 to the S4-6 ‘Poetry By Heart’ competition, the English department promotes a love of spoken word. In class, pupils take part in active listening activities and learn about the rhetorical techniques used to create great speeches.
"Solo talks in English really help. In first and second year we did book talks, which was a good way of linking up our reading and talking"Connor Ewing
From visits to Edinburgh to see the location for the novel ‘Fleshmarket’ to competing nationally in the Kids’ Lit competition, the English department fosters our students love of literature. The S1/2 Reading Awards scheme ensures students are presented with certificates to recognise their achievements in personal reading.
"I’ve been especially pleased with winning the regional Kid’s Lit Quiz because it shows that I’ve really progressed in my reading."Colin Hood