National 5 English
This Course is valid from August 2013.
The National 5 English Course enables learners to develop their literacy skills and to understand, analyse and evaluate a range of texts, including Scottish texts, in the contexts of literature, language and media. The Course also enables learners to create and produce texts and to apply their knowledge and understanding of language.
Updates and announcements
Additional guidance and support
Additional guidance has been produced by SQA to exemplify the marking of candidate work in the Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation question paper and the portfolio of writing for National 5 English.
The text and questions which feature in the Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation section of the guidance document were prepared by the National 5 and Intermediate Examiners. The work of seven candidates has been marked and explanations of how marks have been awarded have been provided.
The Reflective writing, Discursive writing and Creative writing sections of the document feature essays from Intermediate 2 candidates from diet 2013 and have been marked, with commentaries, using the new National 5 marking instructions.
A short video clip has been prepared by the National 5 Principal Assessor to accompany this guidance document.
The additional guidance document and accompanying clip can be found on SQA’s secure website.
A bridging Unit assessment support pack for Literacy (National 5) Unit/English is now available, which shows how literacy skills can be evidenced within the National 5 English Course, and used to gain certification of the freestanding Unit in Literacy.
We have created a short animation to provide an overview of the support that can be provided in the National Literacy Units. We have also provided a guide to supportive practices for the National Literacy Units. See Related Information panel.
Critical Reading Specimen Question paper
The English: Critical Reading Specimen Question paper National 5 has been updated to include text-based questions for all writers on the specified Scottish text list.
The section order has been reversed (ie Section 1 is now on Scottish Texts and Section 2 is a Critical Essay) to allow candidates to focus on their chosen Scottish text first. They must then use a different genre for their Critical Essay in Section 2. Instructions to candidates have also been updated.
Qualification content and delivery tools
The documents on this page are for teachers and lecturers.
Learners studying this qualification may also find the documents useful.
The 'Related information' panel on this page contains information that applies to all new National Qualifications in this subject.
This explains the overall structure of the Course, including its purpose and aims and information on the skills, knowledge and understanding that will be developed.
Course Assessment Specification
This explains the structure of the Course assessment; including the type and method of assessment. It also includes information on Course coverage.
These provide an outline of what each Unit will cover within the Course and detail the Outcomes and Assessment Standards.
- English Analysis and Evaluation (National 5) Unit Specification
- English Creation and Production (National 5) Unit Specification
Advice and guidance
Course and Unit Support Notes
These provide advice and guidance for teachers/lecturers on learning, teaching and assessment within the Course and its Units.
The following document contains the Course Support Notes and the Unit Support Notes for this Course. They can be printed together or separately.
Past Papers and Marking Instructions
Specimen Question Paper and Marking Instructions
These illustrate the standard, structure and requirements of the question papers learners will sit during the exam diet. They also include marking instructions.
- English: Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation Specimen Question Paper National 5
- English: Critical Reading Specimen Question Paper National 5
- Scottish text list
Part 1 of the English: Critical Reading specimen question paper includes sample questions for all texts on the set Scottish text list.
Previously, we published some sample questions using texts that are not currently on the set list. We have used these sample questions to create an additional resource that helps further illustrate the approach and structure of extract-based questions:
National Parent Forum Scotland have also produced their Revision in a Nutshell series to help learners to prepare for new National 5 examinations.
General assessment information provides instructions for the conduct of coursework, an overview of the assessment task, evidence to be gathered and general marking instructions.
Coursework assessment tasks provide the live assessment task, including marking instructions and instructions for candidates. Teachers/lecturers can access these confidential documents through their SQA Co-ordinator.
Unit Assessment Support
These documents contain details of Unit assessment task(s), show approaches to gathering evidence and how the evidence can be judged against the Outcomes and Assessment Standards. Teachers/lecturers can arrange access to these confidential documents through their SQA Co-ordinator.