National 5 English

Obvious mistakes for National 5 English Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation

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The National 5 English Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation exam is different from the what used to be known as Close Reading exam. The major difference is that the marks awarded fror each question will be between 2 and 4. This … Continue reading

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How do you get the grade you want at Higher English? What grade do you want for Higher English?

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There is no magic wand. The grade you want will not appear just by wanting it. But it definitely will improve your chances of getting the grade you want if you know what grade you want. This is a big … Continue reading

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Preparing to write a Higher English (or National 5) Persuasive Essay for folio

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The Higher English persuasive essay and the National 5 English persuasive essay do not differ much in structure and hardly differ at all in the things you have to do as preparation. As you would expect, the Higher English persuasive … Continue reading

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Eden Hazard doesn’t play unless he trains, neither will you in Higher English – a list of 10 KPIs for Higher English

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Eden Hazard, the Chelsea FC football player, does not play in the match unless he trains. Jose Mourinho made that quite clear this week. To miss a training session means you are dropped from the team, at least as far … Continue reading

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Increasing ‘Cultural Capacity’ for Higher English (and National 5 English)

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When we talk about ‘cultural capacity’ we mean the knowledge, ideas, experiences and reflection that an individual has. If, as a thinking person, you have thought about life, then you will probably have some insights into different aspects of life. … Continue reading

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National 5 English Scottish Texts – Selected Poems of Norman MacCaig and my new change of attitude

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I’ve had a difficult relationship with Norman MacCaig. To me as a high school student, reading MacCaig was to open the doors to a world of dreariness that I did not understand. His poetry lacked the tightness, metrical regularity and … Continue reading

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CfE – ‘dumbing down’ and where the CfE debate should go now

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A recent Scotsman article has provoked me to reflect on some of the author’s points. The author makes the point that we are subjected to an annual and predictable ritual as the exam envelopes drop onto doormats at this time of … Continue reading

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National 5 English Text – Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson is one of the texts selected by the SQA as a Scottish text for the new National 5 English exam. I thought it might be a good idea to read it so I could pass … Continue reading

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Interview with James Robertson, author of The Testament of Gideon Mack

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James Robertson is one of the foremost novelists writing in Scotland. His novel The Testament of Gideon Mack was selected by the SQA to be one of the Scottish Text novels for National 5 English. The novel starts in the … Continue reading

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