Guidance on National 5 and Higher English Portfolio Submission

For the Course assessment at National 5 and Higher, you are required to submit a portfolio containing two pieces of writing, which is externally assessed by the SQA.  This will be submitted to your teacher by Friday 11 March 2016.

The SQA now require you to use this template to produce hard copies of your portfolio for submission, as the portfolio will be e-marked from this year.

You can type directly onto the template, or you can copy and paste your writing from another file.

Both portfolio pieces should be contained within one template, with a clear indication of where each piece of writing starts. We recommend using the headings DISCURSIVE and CREATIVE.

The template has a straightforward format and is set up with a common font and font size; however these can be altered if required.

Please make sure that all content is contained inside the margin lines of the template, as this is important to ensure accurate scanning.

Your Scottish Candidate Number (SCN), and a page number, must be added to the foot of every page in the template, using the boxes provided. These are for the purposes of identification.

It is recommended that the portfolio pieces are printed double-sided, but please do not use staples to collate the pages, as this will disrupt the scanning process.

Please also ensure that your work is printed clearly (e.g. no print leakage) so that it is legible.

National Poetry Day 2015


This year’s theme is LIGHT, marking the UN International Year of Light 2015. The following poem by Margaret Tait considers what light is:

Did you say it’s made of waves?

Yes, that’s it.

I wonder what the waves are made of.

Oh, waves are made of waves.

Waves are what they are,



Rhythmical movement which is the inherent essence of all things.

Ultimately, there’s only movement,

Nothing else.

The movement that light is

Comes out of the sun

And it’s so gorgeous a thing

That nothing else is ever anything unless lit by it.

Why not share your favourite #LightLyrics on Twitter?

“Lights will guuuuuuide you home” from Coldplay is a definite favourite!

Edinburgh Book Festival Trip in August

Edinburgh Book Festival

The Summer holidays may approaching, but we are already organising an exciting trip for the new session!

We are delighted have secured 30 tickets to two fantastic author events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Wednesday 26 August. Places are being offered to National 5 pupils at a cost of £10.

The first event is ‘From Page to Stage with Keith Gray & Carl Miller’. Keith Gray’s Ostrich Boys is an extraordinary award-winning novel about friendship, loss and suicide. It’s recently been adapted for theatre by acclaimed playwright Carl Miller and the play has been performed to sell-out audiences in both the UK and South Korea. Keith and Carl will talk about the pleasures, pitfalls, responsibilities and rewards of adapting a book for the stage.

This will be followed by ‘Patrick Ness: The Rest of Us Just Live Here’. Not everyone gets to be the Chosen One who will save the day. Most of us are like Mikey, just living our lives the best way we can. Award-winning author Patrick Ness’ bold and irreverent new novel, The Rest of Us Just Live Here, powerfully reminds us that there are many different ways to be remarkable. This will be a chance to listen to one of the finest authors writing books for young people today.

To secure a place, please ask your teacher, Mr MacLean or Mrs Lumsden for a parental consent form and return this, along with the payment, ASAP.

Holocaust Memorial Presentation


On 26th May, Mr Reynolds, Mr MacLean and Mrs Barbour were guests of honour at the presentation of an art work commemorating the Jewish children who were victims of the Holocaust during the 2nd World War. The colourful canvas was the result of a collaboration by Mrs Gollan’s English class 1Y1 after being inspired by reading The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and hearing about her visit to Auschwitz in September 2014.

You can watch the full presentation here:


Below is an extract from the script of the presentation, delivered by volunteers from the class.

The Holocaust is a contemporary issue. It cannot, and should not, be thought of only as history. It is therefore important to remember the Holocaust now because it is an example of how prejudices can evolve into something far more threatening.

Six million Jewish people lost their lives in the Holocaust. And these people were real: they were mothers, fathers, sisters, grandparents, babies and children – just like us. What is important is that we do not reduce these people to mere numbers. It was the Nazis’ mission to dehumanise and eliminate the Jewish people, so in this art work – in a small way – we have tried to counteract that plan and commemorate the children who died in the Holocaust.

In this year of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we chose the theme of Remembering the Children. They were the inspiration for the brightly coloured children’s handprints. The names of some of the one million child victims are written in the precious metal colours of silver and gold to pay tribute to all those who were murdered in the Holocaust. The title of the work – Every One Has A Name – is meant to capture the individuality of the victims and is an allusion to the poem by the Jewish poet, Zelda, which is called Everyone Has A Name.

It is thanks to the Holocaust Education Trust, The Lessons from Auschwitz programme and Ross High School Funds that we are able to present this canvas to Mr Reynolds as Ross High School’s permanent memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.

Everyone present was very moved and grateful for the chance to reflect on issues relating to the Holocaust and Mr Reynolds thanked the class for all their hard work, respect and commitment to the project.

Easter Study Support

There will be Easter study support sessions for both National 5 and Higher English.

Tuesday 7 April – 9:00-12:45
Higher Close Reading with Mr MacLean

Wednesday 8 April – 9:00-10:45
National 5 Close Reading with Miss Bradley

Wednesday 8 April – 11:00-12:45
National 5 ‘Tally’s Blood’ with Miss Bradley

You must register to attend these sessions so please return your forms to the office by Monday 30 March.

Please collect materials from Mr MacLean/Miss Bradley in the last week of term.


Coming up next on Sky… Ross High

Thirty S2 students were this week given a sneak peak at the new Sky Academy Skills Studios in Livingston, West Lothian.


IMG_4530Sky Academy Skills Studios is an interactive learning experience that takes schools behind the scenes at Sky. Students build life skills by using Sky’s state-of-the-art technology to make a TV news report on subjects being studied through the curriculum.

The students had the opportunity to go behind the scenes at Sky, seeing the Contact Centre, learning about different job roles and discussing the skills they require to work there.

Click here to see more photos from the trip.

IMG_4494Students then worked in teams to produce segments of a news bulletin taking on roles such as director, presenter, editor, scriptwriter and camera operator.

Have a look at the students’ impressive bulletin all produced within a few hours: