S1-S3 Broad General Education
The Broad General Education phase during S1 to 3 is designed to enable pupils to make progress with their Reading, Writing, Talking and Listening Skills. In addition, the North Lanarkshire initiative of Active Literacy is embedded in the BGE course. By the end of S3, pupils begin preparation work for their National 4 and 5 qualifications.
There is a clear emphasis in the department on reading in its various forms, with strong links to the School Library. Pupils have daily reading time and are encouraged to keep records of their reading habits. Clear emphasis is also placed on the Six Reading Strategies of the Active Literacy Programme, which are: Prior Knowledge, Metalinguistics, Visualisation, Inference, Main Ideas and Paraphrasing and Summarising. Pupils are also given a foundation in Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation (Close Reading) skills, such as ‘understanding’ questions, where they learn to put challenging vocabulary into their own words, ‘purpose and audience’ questions, where they consider why a text has been written and for whom it is intended and questions on analysis of various writers’ techniques.
In S1-3 pupils study Drama, Poetry, Prose and Media, with pace and challenge increasing as pupils become more independent writers. Creative, Personal and Discursive writing skills become firmly embedded through units from S1-3. Again, Active Literacy principles help to guide the teaching of writing, including the most relevant of the 7 main Writing Genres recognised by the programme. These include: Recount, Informative, Narrative, Persuasive and Discursive. Pupils are also encouraged to enter various writing competitions.
The English Department works alongside the wider school to promote a strong ethos of speaking skills across the school curriculum. The department provides numerous opportunities for pupils to further their talk skills and to increase confidence in speaking in front of groups, whether through co-operative learning activities in class, group discussion, solo talk presentation or debate. Again, the Active Literacy approaches lend themselves to the preparation, delivery and reflection on performance required in this area.
From S1, pupils are encouraged to recognise good listening skills going hand in hand with good talking skills, developing further their ability to listen to others and show effective body language. S1-3 Active Listening activities teach pupils how to analyse spoken text by identifying the purpose and audience of the text, how to note-take and summarise main details and how to analyse features of effective spoken presentation.
To access details of BGE on the Education Scotland website, click here