Pitlochry High School

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S4 - Senior Phase (courses)

In S4, the vast majority of our pupils will study either National 4 or National 5 English. Your child’s class teacher will recommend the correct level for your child.

National 4:

The National 4 course allows pupils to progress from the Broad General Education to gain a National Qualification. Pupils can progress from National 4 in S4, to attempt National 5 in S5. 

The National 4 course covers two units: 

  • Analysis and Evaluation – A unit which looks at the skills of and Reading and Listening and develops pupils’ abilities to analyse specific literary techniques. 
  • Creation and Production– A unit which looks at the skills of Writing and Talking and assesses pupils’ abilities to produce texts (written and spoken) in a variety of genres. In addition to the two units above, students will also complete a Literacy Unit. This is a mandatory unit in the course and will record pupils’ ability in basic literacy skills.  The National 5 allows pupils to progress from the Broad General Education received through CfE in S1-S3 and work towards attaining a Higher award in S5/6.Spoken Language Assessment - A formal Spoken Language Assessment that must be completed prior to the exam. It is internally assessed on a Pass/Fail basis.
  • External Assessment The final exam takes place at the end of the year and is set by the SQA. It includes two exam papers:
  • Internal Assessment Writing Folio – Accounts for 30% of the overall grade. Consists of two writing pieces from different genres. Externally assessed by the SQA.
  • National 5:
  • At National 4 level there is no final exam. This has been replaced by an internally assessed Added Value Unit, which involves students researching a chosen topic independently and completing a written (or oral) presentation of their work. 
  • The units are assessed in class by the teacher and verified externally by the SQA. 
  • Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation – A non-fiction reading passage with accompanying questions (1 hour)
  • Critical Reading – One timed Critical Essay on a text studied in class (from a selection of unseen questions) and one set of analysis questions on a Scottish Text studied previously in class (1.5 hours)