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National 5 English

Discussion in 'Scotland - curriculum' started by morrisseyritual, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. morrisseyritual

    morrisseyritual Occasional commenter

    from a pupil’s eye view, what does a candidate need to pass Nat 5 English with exam at the end?

    Struggling SEN teacher here receiving various answers from own English colleagues!!
  2. Marisha

    Marisha Occasional commenter

    A good folio, consisting of two essays. In my experience, children do better if they produce a personal essay rather than an imaginative essay. For the discursive essay, the advice is to avoid overused topics: euthanasia, size zero models...

    Beware: many children choose to write about the death of a grandparent. These personal essays can do well, but I've heard examiners referring to them as 'Dead granny essays'.

    Paper One - the RUAE - needs a lot of practice. Ideally, children should read as much as possible. ISTR that Hodder and Gibson produced 'National 5 English: Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation' by Firth and Ralston. Actual papers are available on the SQA website.

    Paper Two consists of the specified text questions plus a lit critical essay. The essay must be a different genre from the spec text. Some markers have told me that kids seem to do better when the spec text is a drama. That then lets them answer on a prose or a poetry for the essay.

    Some kids try to get away with only swotting up one short story* or one poem for the essay. That's a risk. To be safe, they need at least one of each.

    *The prose text can be a novel, of course, but I'm assuming (incorrectly, perhaps) that you're working why someone who is possibly having difficulty and might cope better with a shorter text.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
    morrisseyritual likes this.
  3. Marisha

    Marisha Occasional commenter

    Just to add that I've given you the bare minimum. Many teachers will want to cover much more, particularly with pupils who are looking for a good pass.
  4. wait_a_minute

    wait_a_minute New commenter

    I have to disagree and say that the essay questions are so generic for N5 that you could definitely get away with studying one text. Have a look at a past paper for evidence of just how broad the questions are. I wish it were not so...but there it is.
    morrisseyritual likes this.
  5. morrisseyritual

    morrisseyritual Occasional commenter

    Thank you all! Owe you a virtual drink!
    Marisha likes this.

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