English & Literacy S3/S4 Course


The English National 4 and 5 Courses aim to develop the ability of all young people to use and understand language effectively, independently and with confidence. Both courses include the following mandatory Units:

Analysis and Evaluation Unit

Pupils will develop their Reading and Listening skills through the study of a wide variety of texts including poetry, prose and drama as well as a range of informative and media texts.

Creation and Production Unit

Pupils will develop their Writing and Talking skills in a variety of contexts and for a variety of purposes (to express experience and imagination, to entertain, to inform, to explain, to persuade, to argue).

National 4 also includes:

  • Added Value Unit: Pupils will develop and demonstrate their independent ability to research and present, orally or in writing, a topic they have selected.
  • Literacy Unit: Pupils will develop and demonstrate their ability to understand and produce straightforward texts.

National 5 also includes:

  • Portfolio of 2 pieces of writing in different genres.
  • Exam which consists of Close Reading, Critical Essay and textual Analysis.


  • National 4: The Units described above are assessed internally on a pass or fail basis. All Units must be passed for the course to be awarded.
  • National 5: The Analysis and Evaluation Unit and the Creation and Production Unit are assessed internally on a pass or fail basis. The portfolio and Exam are assessed externally and provides the basis for the level of course award.


Pupils can expect an hour of English homework per week. This will allow personalised opportunities to independently consolidate Reading and Writing skills.

Skills useful to the course

The core Literacy skills of reading, writing, talking and listening provide the basis of both courses. Within these areas, pupils will develop a range of skills including their ability to understand, evaluate and analyse texts effectively and to identify, select and organise information effectively.

Value of course

National 4 aims to make young people secure in the fundamentals of communication in order that they can progress with confidence to the next stage of their lives, whether to National 5, other courses or employment.

National 5 provides an excellent foundation for pupils to progress in their academic careers to Higher English and other relevant courses.

Meet the English & Literacy Staff