Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

We hope you have had a wonderful festive period!  In the Taylor Languages Faculty we have been very busy beginning new units of work.

In English:

Our S1’s have now started our Burns unit and will have a look into Scots language, Robert Burns and his poetry and traditional Scottish culture.

Our S2 classes are starting our media unit on Jurassic Park where they will be studying media techniques for the first time.

In S3,  we are finishing report writing or a persuasive piece and due to start our independent research unit.

Our S4 are currently studying their Scottish Text unit – studying Sailmaker or Jackie Kay poetry.

Our S5 and S6’s have just completed their prelim exam – well done!


–  THS Languages


Modern Languages News – October


Here in Modern Languages we are studying some very exciting topics to help our pupils settle in.

S1s are excited to continue their language-learning journey here at Taylor. In Spanish, we have learned some basic greetings and how to introduce ourselves. We are currently learning the days of the week, the months of the year, and how to say when our birthdays are. In French, we have also started to learn some basic greetings and introductions.

In S2 Spanish, we are currently going through the topic of school. We have been learning to give opinions on school subjects and teachers, talk about what we eat and drink during break, and describe the school day using the time. In French, S2 are currently talking about free-time activities and learning about specific games in France such as ‘la pétanque.’

In Languages for Life and Work Spanish, S3 have been revising various topics such as introducing yourself, talking about your family, where you live, and talking about school subjects. It’s amazing to see how much they remember from S1 and S2!

In National 5 Spanish, we are currently going through the topic of ‘learning’. The pupils have displayed great debating skills by having interesting discussions related to school uniform, school rules, and stress caused by school. Also, they have been preparing for the directed writing and have produced great pieces of written work!

Have a fantastic October break when it comes!

English News – October

Happy October!

In English, our pupils are most of the way through term one and are settling well into the academic year. We are all busy working our way through some very exciting units.

This month our fantastic S1 classes are finishing off The New Boy and beginning our Individual Presentations. This will teach our S1 pupils how to plan for, research, and write a presentation. They will also learn how to deliver a presentation and will present these to their classmates.  

In S2, we are finishing off our wonderful poems based on a poetry study. We will then be moving onto our Newspaper Project where we will study newspapers and their features before getting the chance to create our own.  

Our S3 classes have been studying various novels across the department from To Kill a Mockingbird to Private Peaceful. Our S3 classes will write a critical essay based on the novel which will prepare them for their National courses in S4.  

Our S4 National 4 classes have been making good progress studying persuasive techniques before starting persuasive essays for their Creation and Production unit of the course.  

In National 5, we have completed our RUAE study and completed our Individual Presentations. We are now moving onto Critical Essay studies with classes studying an array of texts from Shakespeare’s MacBeth to poetry from Carol Ann Duffy and Wilfred Owen.  

Our Higher classes have also completed the RUAE and Individual Presentation components of the course. We have started to study Scottish Texts such as Ena Lamont Stewart’s Men Should Weep and Norman MacCaig’s poetry.  

We hope you all have a lovely October break!


Lord Lieutenancy Public Speaking Competition

We are delighted to report that we have been invited to enter this prestigious competition for the first time. Once of only two schools in North Lanarkshire taking part the competition is open to S3 pupils and will take place in Hamilton Town House on Thursday 26th October 2023.

The event is organised by Lady Susan Haughey who is the Lord Lieutenant for Lanarkshire, and as such is the King’s representative for Lanarkshire. The competition encourages young people to become more involved in community life, to make them aware that those who attain British citizenship have been in our community for many years and their presence can only serve to enrich our communities.

Working with Mrs Burton and Miss Conlon the team have learned about immigration and British citizenship through our very own Mr Choi, who has been an invaluable support.

We have also been supported by Mary Heron, our mentor from the Lieutenancy.

With just over two weeks to the competition we look are now refining our speeches in preparation for the big day !

Faculty News – October 2022

Welcome back, we hope everyone had a great October week.  We are delighted to be back in what promises to be a busy time between now and Christmas.

Today we welcomed a student teacher to Modern Languages, Caitlin Stuart joins us from the University of Strathclyde and we look forward to working with her and wish her a long and happy career.

Next week is S5/6 Parents’ Night.  Parents should book appointments via Parents’ Booking online.  It will be lovely to meet with parents in person, the first time since 2020 !   S4 Parents’ Night takes place on Thursday 10th.  More information will follow with the S4 tracking reports which are due out soon.

S1 English will soon be working towards their first individual presentation.  These skills are valuable for our young people as they prepare for the world of work and life beyond school.  This can be a nerve racking experience despite the fact all of our young people are very experienced in presenting in Primary School.  We ask that you work with us to support your young person to develop these skills, please reassure them that  we will support them through their presentation, we all want them to succeed.  Please feel free to contact me via Mr Phairs, PTPS if this is causing undue stress or anxiety.

S2 English classes are currently working on Newspapers learning about the skills and knowledge of the world of journalism.  We are having great fun using puns, alliteration and rhyme to create headlines !  We will explore opinion and bias as well as considering layout and the impact this has on the finished newspaper article.

S4 N4 classes are continuing to develop their skills and knowledge of Reading in order to undertake the N4 Reading assessment which is required to pass the N4 English and Literacy award.  Mrs Burton and Ms Colllins have been delighted with the progress made in writing.  Please support us by ensuring the young people in these classes are in school as much as possible in order to keep the learning moving.

S4 N5 classes are working towards their Progress Assessment at the end of next month.  Classes are working on the Scottish text “Sailmaker” by Alan Spence.  Supported Study will be available every Wednesday after school at 3:45pm-4:45pm.  There will be a practice Scottish text assessment on Friday 11th November.

Higher Classes are moving on to look at Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation which is the first paper in the exam.  This is the part of the paper our young people generally indicate they find difficult however our results analysis shows they do well with this paper.  Regular reading of a quality newspaper and exposure to good quality documentaries can help with the analysis and dealing with the subject matter of this paper.  There are also great materials available on Scholar and Achieve which young people all have access to.  Supported Study will start this Thursday in the department.

S3 English Classes will be working between the Added Value Unit which teaches young people to evaluate different sources on a subject of their choice.  As well as allowing young people to develop their research and note-making skills this unit is invaluable in teaching how sources are created and how language and layout can be used to achieve different effects.  In addition to this S3 will be embarking on a class novel !  The young people are all very excited to be studying a novel.  Young people will use their novel to develop key skills such as paraphrasing and summarising, inference (working out the implied meaning in text), metalinguistics (the skills to dela with new/unfamiliar vocabulary), visualisation which supports young people to keep notes in a visual way, as well helping young people to find clues in a text to determine what is coming next and finally helping young people to explain what the theme of a text is by examining the events of the text.  Please support us in this by asking your young person what they are reading and asking questions which help them to think about the book.  This all helps to build up the critical thinking skills which are key to success in English.

As ever we thank you for working with us to support your young person as they strive to achieve their best.  We look forward to meeting all of our parents/carers over the course of this year.

Mrs Burton

Faculty Head – Language and Literacy.

Welcome Back !

We are delighted to have started the new term and look forward to working with students, parents and carers over the next year.  This year promises to be a very special one as the school community celebrates our 40th anniversary.

We welcome four new English teachers to the faculty: Mr Lavelle joins us from Armadale in West Lothian, Miss Murphy has joined us from Braidhurst HS, Miss MacKinnon joins us from Our Lady’s High School, Cumbernauld and Miss Pye has joined us as a Newly Qualified Teacher.  We also welcomed Miss McGuigan to the Team in May, Miss McGuigan will teach French and Spanish and joined us from Coatbridge H.S.  I am delighted to have a full staff team and hope some stability in the faculty will help us to bring about further improvement.

The 2022 exam diet showed excellent results in both English and Spanish.  If however your young person wishes to appeal their award they should speak to their class teacher from last session as a matter of urgency.

Books – over the last few years we have lost a substantial amount of books, particularly after the 2020 lockdown.  Can I ask that you look around and return any books you may have asap.  No questions will be asked, we will just be delighted to have them back.

Students should continue to use the jotters they used last session.  As well as helping us to track progress more easily this also means lest waste and reduces the impact on the planet.

S1 and S2 will experience 4 periods of English per week and one period of Literacy.  S1 should bring a book of their choice to read during this time.  Books can be borrowed from the school library as well as local libraries, they do not need to be purchased.  This will also reduce the impact on the planet.  S2 will be working on core reading skills during this time.  These skills will help students to prepare for the fourth level and beyond into the National Qualifications.

If you have any concerns or questions regarding Languages or Literacy then please contact myself via the appropriate PT Pupil Support for your young person.

I look forward to working with you and your young person.

Mary Jo Burton

Principal Teacher of Language and Literacy.



S4 National 5 Students

Following on from Progress Assessments and Learner Conversations we have identified a number of student whom we are keen to support to improve specific elements.  Consequently we have identified a number of students whom we have invited to come to folio clinics, either at lunchtime or after school.  These clinics will allow one-to-one support to help students to improve their folio of writing, which is worth 30% of the final award.  If your son/daughter is invited to attend please encourage them to take advantage of this invaluable support.

If you have any questions regarding our interventions then please contact Mrs Murphy, Pupil Support Teacher for S4.


Mrs Burton

S1 English – Read to Succeed Initiative

We will be embarking on our Read to Succeed programme shortly to encourage all S1 students to engage in reading for enjoyment.  Research tells that reading is good at supporting attainment and also to enhance our well-being.  All S1 classes are working on the reading Olympics where they can work through the Bronze, Silver and Gold reading awards.  As part of this we encourage all S1 students to bring a book on their Literacy day.  They should also pick four days in the week where they read for at least 15 minutes and the pages they have read are recorded in their planner to allow for discussion with their Literacy teacher.

As part of the Read to Succeed initiative North Lanarkshire Council fund a free book for each S1 student.  Below you will find a link to the books which are available for selection which will allow you to discuss choices with your young person before they have to choose.


I would also be very grateful if you could complete this short survey on reading for the Read to Succeed team.


If you have any questions regarding the Read to Succeed programme then please feel free to contact me via the school office.


Mrs Burton



S5/6 Prelims

Our Prelims took place  last Monday (31st)  and we are now busy moderating, marking and verifying papers before we can return them to students.  We are very grateful to students and to you for your patience as we work hard to ensure the results are as accurate as they can be.  Once results are returned we will embark on a round of target setting and learner conversations as we work together to support our young people in the Language learning.

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