English Department

The English Department at Stromness Academy has four members of staff, whose interests and enthusiasms cover a wide range of texts, including novels, film, poetry, drama, comics, websites, newspapers and magazines … and pupils will study all of these during their time at the school.

The Scottish curriculum for English focuses on reading (for pleasure, and analytically), writing (creatively and transactionally), talking (solo and in group situations) and listening (to our peers, and to texts). All of these skills will be developed continuously throughout a pupil’s time at Stromness Academy. Not only do they enhance pupils’ understanding and appreciation of a variety of texts, but they provide key skills for further education and for the world of work.

The department offers a variety of opportunities out with the classroom and the curriculum – to get involved in debating, in writing events, in dramatic performances, and to interact with visiting writers of all kinds. We co-operate with a number of outside agencies, including the Scottish Book Trust, the Orkney Library, and the St Magnus Festival to enhance and develop learning by providing contexts for our work.

The key aspects of pupils’ work in English are:

• analysing and using written language in a variety of contexts

• analysing and using spoken language in a variety of contexts

• extending the scope of their reading in terms of content and complexity

• working to improve their understanding of material they read, developing an appreciation of connotation and inference.

• developing evaluative skills by looking at key aspects of texts and learn how to defend their evaluation of texts by using evidence.

• developing skills in writing about their own responses, thoughts and feelings as they relate to personal experience


Personal reading is key to success in English. Research repeatedly shows that reading makes you smarter – and not only in English. Reading builds better scientists, better sportspeople, better mathematicians. It develops your brain like nothing else! For this reason, the English department at Stromness Academy makes reading a priority. We’ll give pupils time to do it, and we’ll support them to choose books they really enjoy.


Senior English: S4 - 6

Homework (pdf)