The B.G.E; a ‘Broad General Education’.

The BGE is the National Curriculum in Scotland for S1 – S3. The principles are set out below.

“All children and young people in Scotland have an entitlement to a curriculum which will support them in developing their values and beliefs and enable them to:

achieve the highest possible levels of literacy and numeracy and cognitive skills
develop skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work
develop knowledge and understanding of society, the world and Scotland’s place in it
experience challenge and success so that they can develop well-informed views and act responsibly”.

In English and Literacy, we focus on the skills illustrated by the Significant Aspects of Learning (SALS).



Although teaching and learning will often take place across more than one significant aspect of learning, a learner may achieve a level in listening and talking or reading or writing. Progress and achievement within these three significant aspects of learning in literacy and English will be evidenced as children and young people achieve across these key themes:

  • engage with a broad range of increasingly complex texts, including Scottish and Scots texts
  • develop and apply knowledge and understanding of language
  • find, use and organise information, including developing critical literacy skills
  • use reading and listening strategies to understand, analyse and evaluate texts
  • create texts of increasing complexity using more sophisticated language.

In June of 2017, the Scottish Government published its ‘Benchmarks for Literacy and English’. These broke down the skills into ‘Experiences and Outcomes’ and ‘Benchmarks’. The Benchmarks streamline and embed a wide range of assessment guidance (Significant Aspects of Learning and Progression Frameworks) into one key resource to support teachers’ professional judgements.


In English, we group these Experiences and Outcomes (skills) for our formal and summative assessment in Reading, Writing, Talking and Listening. They form the basis of Learner Conversations with young people before, during and after units of work and are part of Ongoing Moderation, the purpose of which is to show students exactly how to progress and ‘achieve’ a level.


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Reading at The Royal High School

We value reading at RHS and the way we structure our curriculum within English reflects this. In S1-S3 we expect young people to be reading quietly for the first ten minutes of every lesson. They should be reading for enjoyment – fiction or non-fiction – and we would ask parents to help ensure that there is a reading book in your child’s schoolbag every day. We have built-in library time at least every fortnight so books can be taken out or renewed.

In S3 (and possibly S2 and S1 when they become available) the use of iPads allows our students to access the Pressreader application. This provides completely free access to newspapers and magazines from around the world. It is a wonderful resource for non-fiction reading and provides interesting content for all sorts of subject areas.

If you are looking for help in what books to choose for your child, please have a look at the sites you can find by following the links below.

The School Reading List website

The Book Trust booklists

The Scottish Book Trust’s booklist for teens