The National 5 course is run from S4 to S6. It allows pupils to progress from the Broad General Education received through CfE in S1-S3 and work towards attaining a Higher award in S5/6.
Recent changes to the National 5 course structure, implemented for the 2017/18 diet, offer 2 different course pathways for pupils: a full Course Award, achieved at the end of the year by successfully completing the exam, or a Units Only approach where pupils will complete internal assessments in place of the final exam.
The pathway followed by each pupil will be agreed on an individual basis and based upon the progress and achievement demonstrated by the pupil over the course of the year.
The National 5 course covers two units:
- Analysis and Evaluation – A unit which looks at the skills of and Reading and Listening and develops pupils’ abilities to analyse specific literary techniques.
- Creation and Production– A unit which looks at the skills of Writing and Talking and assesses pupils’ abilities to produce texts (written and spoken) in a variety of genres.
The units are assessed in class by the teacher and verified externally by the SQA. These internal assessments will only be undertaken by those pupils following the Units Only pathway.
For those pupils following the Course Award route, a Writing Folio is also required– A selection of two writing pieces from different genres, which are sent away to the exam board for external marking and make up 30% of the overall final grade. There will also be a formal Spoken Language Assessment that must be completed prior to the exam.
The final exam takes place at the end of the year and is set by the SQA. It includes two exam papers:
- Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation – A Close Reading passage with detailed questions
- Critical Reading – One timed Critical Essay on a text studied in class (from a selection of unseen questions) and one set of analysis questions on a Scottish Text studied previously in class.
The exam counts for 70% of your final grade.
Your overall award is made up by combining your grades from both the final exam and the writing folio.