A Reid Curriculum Leader/English
L Gee Modern Languages
I MacFadyen English
E Thorburn English
‘Today a reader, tomorrow a leader’
What does the study of English involve?
The study of English involves both the study of literature and language through a range of mediums including (though not restricted to) novels, short stories, news articles, films and plays. With a focus on writers craft and technique, as well as spelling and grammar, the study of English aims to develop students reading and writing skills. Gaining effective communication skills is at the heart of studying English and healthy debate about class texts and current affairs is actively encouraged. By the end of their time in the English Department students will have developed literacy skills in the areas of reading, writing, talking and listening. While studying English in school is different to the study of English as a second language, we have a number of strategies in place in the department to help and support students for whom English is an additional language.
What are does the study of a Modern Language involve?
In today’s global world, speaking an additional language is an invaluable asset for those who wish to work or holiday abroad. At WHEC, during S1 and S2, students have the chance to learn French through the skills of reading, writing, talking and listening. Students will develop an extensive vocabulary and practice conversing in French. Students may use ICT and web based resources such as Linguascope to enhance their understanding. Alongside developing language acquisition skills, our French Department aims to provide a wider cultural education about life outside of Scotland. It is our aim, that through the studying of a second language our students will become confident individuals who are able to handle real life situation.
Within the context of Languages, as a team we aim to provide students with opportunities to develop their reading, writing, listening and talking skills in both English and French. Lessons are planned using formative assessment and co-op learning strategies to ensure that lessons are active, fun and meet the needs of the learners within the class. We promote positive behaviour through reward systems, with prizes and encourage pupils to participate in extra-curricular activities, like Debate Mate and theatre trips.
At WHEC, we aim to instil an enjoyment and appreciation of literature and film. Additionally, we strive to ensure that all students leave us with excellent skills reading, writing, listening and talking skills. We are committed to ensuring that every student has the literacy skills they need to reach their potential in and out of the classroom. Within S1 and S2 through studying an additional language, we seek to develop learner’s confidence and employability skills.
During S1-S3 students will take part in our broad general education English programme. Our aim in S1-S3 to equip students with the required skills to both excel in senior phase and outside the classroom. The curriculum is designed in a sequential way, in which student’s build on and develop their skills year on year. Each year students will produce a folio of work which includes:
- One short story
- One critical essay
- One personal reflective piece
- One solo talk
- One persuasive piece
- Group discussion
- Close reading
In S1 to S3 students also take part in a personal reading programme in class and read for 10 minutes at the beginning of the lesson. Classes are encouraged to visit the school library regularly to swap books and find their next page turner. From 2018 onwards, S1-S3 students will also complete additional tasks in mentoring time to enhance class based learning, as part of the school’s commitment to raising attainment in literacy.
In S4-S6 the Languages faculty offers a range of qualifications designed to suit each students’ skills and abilities.
National 3 English
National 4 English
National 5 English
N2 English as a second language
N3 English as a second language
N4 English as a second language
N5 English as a second language
N3 Media Studies
N4 Media Studies
N5 Media Studies
National Courses Explained
Senior courses are designed in a sequential way. For example, a student who sits National 4 English at the end of S4 will be able to take their studies further with National 5 English the following year.
For a summary of the some of the courses we offer, have a look at the links below
National 4 English –
National 5 English –
Higher English –
Below you can find a number of resources to help you succeed in the languages faculty. While we would suggest acting the advice below, the best thing you can do to achieve in English is read, read, read.
Study tips for student (Coming soon)
How to write a great Nat 5 essay (Coming soon)
How to write a great Higher essay (Coming soon)
Top tips for learning a new language (Coming soon)
Online Study Resources
In addition to resources created by staff, the Languages Department would recommend the using the following sites as study aids.