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The Waid Academy

National 5 English

National 5 English


Students moving into National 5 will begin to focus on more challenging and specialist aspects of English through their developing skill in listening, talking, reading and writing.


The course will comprise of two main areas of study:


  • Analysis and Evaluation
  • Creation and Production


These areas of study will involve a combination of continuous assessment and summative assessment carried out both internally by the English department and externally by means of an end of course examination and the submission of a folio of extended writing. Internal assessment will be verified through the SQA’s verification and moderation procedures. The course enables learners to focus on developing the skills required to understand and use language in complex and academic situations. Listening, talking, reading and writing skills are integrated throughout the course.


Learning outcomes and experiences range through talk and group discussion, analysis of literature and media and the completion of extended writing for a variety of purposes.




External assessment for National 5 is by means of an examination involving a close reading style assessment and a critical reading essay assessment, plus a textual analysis exercise. There will also be a submission by learners of a folio of two extended writing pieces. Learners will need to successfully complete all aspects of the course before moving on to the Higher English course.


The question paper in the final assessment will have 70 marks – 70% of the total award.


  • The section titled ‘Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation’ will have 30 marks
  • The section ‘Critical Reading’ will have 40 marks with 20 marks being awarded for each of the two tasks being addressed.


There will be a requirement for pupils to choose from a selection of SQA set Scottish texts for the completion of one of the critical reading assignments.


Pupils must ensure that different genres are addressed in response to each of the critical reading tasks.


The portfolio of writing will have 30 marks with 15 marks being awarded for each writing piece chosen for the portfolio – 30% of the total award.


The course is assessed on a scale of A – D.


SQA assessment procedures acknowledge performance below level D by means of NA (no award).


National 5 ENGLISH

National 5 English in S5/6 is aimed at students who wish to develop further their skills in Reading, Writing, Talking and Listening.  It is both a stimulating and challenging course which requires commitment to work from the outset.  Students who pass National 5 English in S5 may wish to progress onto Higher in S6.

Entry Requirements: National 4 English or National 5 English units


External Assessment

Writing portfolio – Two pieces of writing from different genres – 30% of final grade

External Examination

Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation

- 60 minutes - 30% of final grade

Critical Reading – 90 minutes – 40% of final grade

Internal Assessment

Students must pass the following unit assessments over the course of the year


  • Talking and Listening assessment


External Examination

The exam consists of 2 papers.  Its purpose is to assess learners’ application of their reading skills and to provide the challenge of questions and other tasks to be accomplished in a limited amount of time.

This exam will give learners an opportunity to:

apply their reading skills in the understanding, analysis and evaluation of texts

apply their critical reading skills and their knowledge of appropriate literary context, forms and genres

Paper 1 Reading for Understanding, Analysis, and Evaluation – 60 minutes - 30% of final grade

Paper 2 Critical Reading – 90 minutes – 40% of final grade

External Assessment — Writing Portfolio

The purpose of this portfolio is to provide evidence of the learner’s writing for two different purposes.

This portfolio will give learners an opportunity to:

develop their skills in writing in different genres

develop their skills in writing for a range of purposes and audiences

Fifteen marks will be awarded for each writing piece chosen for the portfolio making 30 marks - 30% of the total mark