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Welcome to the Strathaven Academy English department page. Whether you are pupil or parent, we hope you find the information and guidance useful.
As a department, and as individual teachers, we are committed to offering pupils a positive, supportive environment in which to develop their skills in English.

We deliver courses which aim to build pupils’ skills in reading, writing, listening and talking for different purposes, audiences and contexts, as well as instilling a love of literature and an understanding of the value of independent thinking and study. Skills are developed through close study of literature, language and media, through study of the culture and history of Scotland and other nations, and through discussion and reflection on issues of personal, social, national and global importance.
As pupils progress, they are provided with opportunities to analyse and evaluate literature, language and media texts, and to develop an understanding of, and an ability to, evaluate the complexities and impact of language.

The staff within the English department:

  • are knowledgeable and passionate about their subject
  • work as a team to plan and develop curricular courses, to share good practice and to ensure consistent understanding and application of standards
  • have high expectations of pupil work, effort, homework, progress, punctuality and attendance
  • are supportive of all pupils
  • regularly evaluate individual and department performance to maintain the high standard of service provided

Department Staff

Mrs H Bradshaw, Faculty Head of English, Drama and Literacy

Mrs M Blackwood, Teacher (0.6)

Mr J Dunn, PT Pupil Support Kype House

Mrs J Kane, DHT

Mrs C McDonald, Teacher

Mrs J Reilly, Teacher (0.6)

Mr B McCormack, Teacher (0.4)

Ms H Atterson, Teacher

Mr D Shirreffs, Teacher

Mrs R Weir, Teacher

Ms L Dickson, Teacher


‘Language and literacy are of personal, social and economic importance. Our ability to use language lies at the centre of the development and expression of our emotions, our thinking, our learning and our sense of personal identity. Language is itself a key aspect of our culture. Through language, children and young people can gain access to the literary heritage of humanity and develop their appreciation of the richness and breadth of Scotland’s literary heritage. Children and young people encounter, enjoy and learn from the diversity of language used in their homes, their communities, by the media and by their peers.

Literacy is fundamental to all areas of learning, as it unlocks access to the wider curriculum. Being literate increases opportunities for the individual in all aspects of life, lays the foundations for lifelong learning and work, and contributes strongly to the development of all four capacities of Curriculum for Excellence. ‘

Education Scotland


“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”

Roald DahlMatilda


“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratisation, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right…. Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realise his or her full potential.”

Kofi Annan


‘Reading skills will only be effectively developed within a wider culture of reading. Evidence suggests that reading regularly for enjoyment can have a positive impact on language and literacy, attainment and social and emotional development. ‘

Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy