Higher Over Two Years

The two year course structure at Hillhead High School (no exam at the end of S4) offers pupils a chance to develop their skills; it alleviates what we used to call ‘the nine month dash’ to Higher in S5. S4 is therefore a year to develop skills. For a number of reasons, we assess pupils against the National 5 course outcomes in S4 and we end the year with a National 5 prelim exam experience which matches the challenge of the SQA exam. There is then the option of Advanced Higher in S6.


Course Content

Understanding & Analysis    Listening & Reading for Understanding, Analysis & Evaluation (assessed internally)

Creation & Production         Solo Talk & Writing                                             (assessed internally)

Folio                                        1 broadly creative; 1 broadly discursive (1300 words each)       (30%)

Prelim/Exam                     Paper 1: Reading for U, A and E                                                   (30%)

Paper 2: Critical Reading                                                                    (40%)

1 x Critical Essay; 1x Textual Analysis of a Scottish Set Text


National 5 Over Two Years 

The priority at the start of S4 is consolidating Fourth level skills before progressing to National 5 level work. August to October of S4 we expect pupils to complete the National 4 Added Value unit. This, alongside evidence of Reading, Writing, Talking & Listening are ‘banked’ so that if a pupil fails to achieve Nationa l5 at the end of S5, they can be awarded the National 4 qualification. Once National 4 is ‘banked’, pupils proceed to National 5 level work. There is then the option of Higher in S6.


National 5 Course Content

Understanding & Analysis    Listening & Reading for U, A & Evaluation    (assessed internally)

Creation & Production         Solo Talk & Writing                                         (assessed internally)

Folio                                        1 broadly creative; 1 broadly discursive (1000 words each)        (30% )

Prelim/Exam                       Paper 1: Reading for U, A and E                                                 (30% )

                                           Paper 2: Critical Reading                                                                   (40% )

(1 x Critical Essay; 1x Textual Analysis of a Scottish Set Text)



National 4 in S4 & flexible pathways in S5/6

There is no final exam for National 4 English and Literacy; only a series of internally assessed units sometimes delivered separately (a unit by unit approach) or together (a combined approach). Pupils can only achieve the National 4 English qualification after completion of the Added Value Unit, an independent project supervised and assessed by the class teacher towards the end of the National 4 course.

Course Content

Literacy Outcomes                Reading, Writing, Talking & Listening                 (internally assessed)

Understanding & Analysis    Listening & Reading for Understanding & Analysis    (internally assessed)

Creation & Production         Solo Talk & Writing                                                      (internally assessed)

Added Value Project             Displaying independent application of skills             (internally assessed)



Flexible Pathways for National 4 Pupils S4 → S5 → S6

S4 Leavers

It is important to us that any pupil planning to leave Hillhead High School at the end of S4 does so with a qualification in English and Literacy. We will do all we can to work with you through National 3 and, where appropriate, National 4 units before you leave for college or the world of work and in time for you to receive a certificate in August. The Added Value Unit must be achieved for you to receive the National 4 award. This is undertaken and assessed after Easter of S4 so it is essential you attend in April and May.

Promotion: One year National 5 in S5

Pupils who exceed expectation and complete the National 4 course in S4 – and show the potential (and the personal commitment) to achieve National 5 English in S5 – can be promoted  at the start of S5. There will be demanding summer homework to undertake for a pupil in this situation to catch up with S4 Scottish set work in time for August of S5.

National 5 Literacy Award + National 5 English Units (National 5 Exam in S6)

Pupils who achieve National 4 by Christmas of S5 may then begin the National 5 English Units with a view to sitting the National 5 exam in S6 OR opt to undertake National 4 Media Studies.


Advanced Higher English in S6

Advanced Higher English is the flagship qualification of the English Department. It has an impressive uptake and prepares pupils for university level study. We would encourage pupils who enjoy literature and writing creatively to consider this challenging and rewarding course in S6. It is a rich and rewarding course delivered by an experienced team of teachers.

Entry: a Higher pass.


In Advanced Higher pupils : Analyse and write critically about selected and unseen literary texts (the Exam: 40%);

Produce creative writing across a range of genres (the Folio: 30%)

Undertake independent literary research (the Dissertation Project: 30%).



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