ENGLISH and LANGUAGES FACULTY
S1-S3 The Broad General Education
The area of Languages, under the Curriculum for Excellence, covers Literacy and English along with Modern Languages. Literacy is also a whole school responsibility.
In this faculty our pupils follow the broad, general education from S1 through to the end of S3. At all times we keep in mind that we are preparing every child to be skilled independent learners ready to meet the curriculum requirements from S4 onwards.
As the school moves forward with The Curriculum for Excellence, we want to see our pupils achieve the highest standard of personal excellence in the work they undertake within this Faculty. We want all our pupils to be successful, independent learners and thus confident individuals. We believe that this will in turn impact on their ability to become effective contributors and responsible citizens within the school community, the local community and in the wider areas of society they will eventually be a part of.
Developing our pupils to be creative, to think critically, to be able to face challenges with resilience, to be able to evaluate how they are progressing, to be able to reflect on this and to understand how the development of these skills will contribute to their future success is extremely important, and the staff in the Faculty will take account of these through the way they guide and shape a pupil’s learning experiences.
We will help pupils to develop and extend their literacy and English skills by providing opportunities to:
- Communicate, collaborate and build relationships
- Reflect on and explain their literacy and thinking skills, using feedback to help them improve and sensitively provide useful feedback for others
- Engage with and create a wide range of texts in different media, taking advantage of opportunities provided by ICT
- Develop their understanding of what is special, vibrant and valuable about their own and other cultures and their languages
- Explore the richness and diversity of language, how it can affect them, and the wide range of ways in which they and others can be creative
- Extend and enrich their vocabulary through listening, talking, watching and reading
- Engage with a wide range of texts in English and develop an appreciation of the richness and breadth of Scotland’s literary and linguistic heritage
- Explore and discuss word patterns, choice and text structures
Personal reading choice is given a very high profile at all levels. We want to encourage pupils to become active, thoughtful and skilled readers who enjoy reading widely and regularly. All S1 pupils will receive a Bronze Reading Journal choice booklet which offers a choice of various interesting tasks to complete on the texts they have read. On completion of the Bronze Journal they can progress to Silver and then to Gold. A certificate is awarded at the end of each completed booklet. The Reading Journal programme continues to the end of S3, and for any who complete it earlier we offer further reading activities and awards.
Pupils will keep a profile record of all the outcomes they complete along with the evidence. This will show how they are developing as they work within one level to consolidate their understanding until they eventually become secure enough to move on to the next. Eventually, we hope that our pupils will have e-portfolios of their work and will record progress in their profile on GLOW.
It is a basic requirement that pupils will always have work which they can do at home. Weekly homework in English takes the form of Personal Reading choices and follow-up activities for the Reading Journal. It is expected that pupils do this every week, reading a little most nights. In addition, pupils will often have work to prepare, redraft, research or finish for class lessons.
Support from home can be given to children in a number of ways:
- encouraging them to build up the habit of reading regularly;
- encouraging them to watch, listen to or read the news once a day;
- talking to them about what is happening in the world around them and encouraging them to express thoughtful opinions on these issues;
- making available a good dictionary and encouraging them to learn the correct spelling of words they have difficulty with;
- getting them to read aloud any written work they are producing, to listen for errors in sense and structure;
- encouraging them to find errors in a line themselves before pointing out
- checking through finished work with them and, if you wish, signing it
We also have worked to design courses to take account of Developing the Young Workforce, from S1 to S3.
In S1 and S2 we have combined skills development with Global Citizenship and this has also offered opportunities for Interdisciplinary Learning. S1 pupils have focussed on ‘Passion for Fashion’ at present but we hope to widen the topics in future years. S2 pupils attended a series of workshops that covered such things as Water Aid, World Trade, Conservation, Sweatshop Labour in both Chocolate and the Cotton Trade. Again we will develop and offer further options in future years.
In S3 we developed a course that asks our pupils to think about the pathways they have taken in their school career and life experience to the present, and to think about where they want to be in the next ten years and how they are going to get there. We have taken them through job application processes, preparing for interview, developing interview skills and then putting them into the interview situation. This is a course that is continually developing and will provide a very real foundation for all our pupils as they move into life beyond school.