Higher English



The National 6 English course aims to provide learners with the opportunity to develop the skills of listening and talking, reading, and writing in order to understand and use language.
The course aims to enable learners to develop the ability to:

  • listen and talk, read, and write, as appropriate to purpose, audience and context
  • understand, analyse and evaluate texts including Scottish texts, as appropriate to purpose and audience in the contexts of literature, language and media
  • create and produce texts, as appropriate to purpose, audience and context
  • apply knowledge and understanding of language

Entry Requirements 
Pupils in S5/S6 would normally be expected to have attained at least a C in National 5 English in S4 or S5.

Course assessment

To achieve a course award, pupils will require to pass the one internally assessed Unit and the externally assessed Course Assessment.

Unit Assessment:

Spoken Performance

In this assessment pupils have to do at least one of the following spoken language activities:

  • Take part in a group discussion, or discussion-based activity, to which they contribute relevant ideas, opinions, or information, using detailed and complex language. Candidates must take account of the contributions of others and stay focused on the topic or task.
  • Prepare and present a presentation. The presentation must be detailed and complex in content, and must be structured in a clear and relevant way. Candidates must answer questions from the audience at some point in the presentation.

The four criteria to be met are:

  • employs relevant, detailed and complex ideas and/or information using a structure appropriate to purpose and audience
  • communicates meaning effectively through the selection and use of detailed and complex spoken language
  • uses aspects of non-verbal communication
  • demonstrates listening skills by responding to detailed and complex spoken language

External Course Assessment

Writing Portfolio – 30 marks.
The folio will comprise one piece of creative writing and one piece of discursive writing.

Examination – 70 marks
Paper 1Reading for Understanding, Analysis, and Evaluation – 30 marks.
Pupils will answer questions on two previously unseen non-fiction texts. 

Paper 2Critical Reading – 40 marks.
Part A: Critical Essay – 20 marks.
Pupils will answer one question and will provide an extended written response based on a previously studied text.
Part B – Scottish Texts – 20 marks.
Pupils will answer one question on an extract from a previously studied specified Scottish text.

On completion of the course, pupils may progress to the Advanced Higher English Course.