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The English Department is situated on the first floor of the building. A pleasant working environment has been established where the work of pupils is prominently and attractively displayed. There is ready access to televisions, camcorders, DVD players, and PCs.  In the first three years of the English course, pupils’ skills in reading, writing, listening and talking are developed as part of the broad general education all pupils follow in the first three years of their secondary education. This is achieved by working through units examining themes and texts. In addition to this, pupils will study units on the mass media. Therefore, the pupil’s experience of English will develop communication skills and allow access to a variety of learning stimuli: novels; short stories; drama; poetry; television programmes; films; newspaper and magazine articles.

Variety is also aimed for in the teaching methods employed in the department.  In the first, second and third years, classes are taught in mixed ability groups and pupils are involved in individual tasks, group tasks, and class and group discussions.  There will also be some team teaching at this stage.   In fourth, fifth and sixth years classes will be working towards the new qualifications – National 4, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.  In fourth year, pupils will aim for the qualification which best suits their abilities – National 4 or National 5.  In fifth year pupils can aim for the next qualification to the one they have already achieved – National 5 or Higher.  In S6 pupils may study for the Higher or the Advanced Higher.  The studies for these qualifications will involve pupils in similar types of experience to the ones they will have encountered in earlier years. 

Pupils will be taught in units and will have to achieve unit passes, which will be assessed internally, if they are to gain the overall qualification.  National 4 is assessed internally by the English department and will be subject to a rigorous system of moderation, as will the internally assessed units at all levels.  National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher are graded by the pupil’s performance in external examinations.
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