English – Higher

This course develops the core literacy and English skills of reading, writing, talking and listening by studying and creating a wide variety of texts.
Learners will complete two unit assessments:

1. Language

Writing: Learners will produce one piece of either creative or discursive writing. This piece can be used as part of the Writing Folio for the final Course Assessment.

Close Reading: Learners will answer questions on an unseen, non-fiction text to demonstrate their understanding, analysis and evaluation skills.

2. Literary Study

Textual Analysis: Learners will answer questions on an unseen extract from a play, novel or poem to demonstrate their textual analysis skills.

Candidates must pass all unit assessments in order to be presented for the exam.


Course Assessment

Coursework – Writing Folio 20%

The writing folio will comprise one discursive and one creative piece. A first draft will be marked by the class teacher with comments and returned to students who may then make changes. A final draft will be submitted to the SQA.

Exam –

Paper 1: Close Reading 40%

Learners will read two unseen, non-fiction passages and answer questions to demonstrate their skills in understanding, analysis and evaluation.

Paper 2: Critical Essay 40%

Pupils will pick two essay questions from different genres and write two critical essays on previously studied works of literature, language or media.


To achieve success at Higher English, it is strongly recommended that learners have previously obtained the following qualification:

  • Grade A or B at National 5

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