The Transition

At the start of S3, pupils continue a broad English course which leads towards presentation in S4 at National 4 or National 5 level. On the basis of progress with their language skills on completion of the course at the end of S2, pupils are set in S3 classes. The main difference between the classes is the level of difficulty of the texts studied as each level follows the same course. Pupils’ progress will be monitored throughout and changes can be made at any stage, although the most appropriate time would be October, December and April at the end of the terms in the session.

Our aim at the start of S3 is to continue to build upon and add to the language and linguistic skills achieved through the S1 & 2 programme. Pupils should begin to acquire a growing mastery of the skills of Reading, Writing and Talking. Much of the course is text and unit based although pupils will be give practice in examination techniques. For pupils to do well in their final assessments, it is essential that they cultivate the habit of reading as much and as widely as possible in their free time at home. This is considered a main part of the homework commitment of the course and guidelines issued to pupils at the beginning of the course reflect this.

At the start of new timetable change (normally early June), all S3 pupils undergo an ‘Introductory’ Unit of work which helps to introduce the activities undertaken at Standard Grade. Although the Unit is recommended, teachers also have the flexibility to carry out additional tasks.

S3 – Activities

A wide variety of classroom approaches and activities are employed. Some of these are:

  • READING of complete texts of varying levels of difficulty and for a variety of purposes. Such texts would include poems, plays, novels, short stories, extracts from newspapers etc.
  • WRITING for a variety of purposes – personal, imaginative, informative and discursive.
  • TALKING (and Listening) individually and in groups of various sizes for a variety of different purposes.
  • WORKING with pictures, leaflets, newspapers, forms and questionnaires.
  • LISTENING to audio tapes, the teacher, each other.
  • VIEWING of television and video programmes. The Department possesses a number of videotapes to support textual study.
  • REFERENCE SKILLS – using the Library Resource Centre
  • THEATRE VISITS – when these can be arranged
  • VISITING SPEAKERS/AUTHORS who may be invited into school to speak on a particular topic.