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SQA English Portfolio Template (Higher and Nat 5)

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

What is the SQA English folio template?

All National 5 and Higher English candidates are required to submit a portfolio which contains TWO  pieces of writing.

In order to do this, you must use an official Folio template to produce hard copies of your portfolio, which will be sent to the SQA.

Why do we need to use the official SQA English template?

Since 2016  portfolios have been e-marked. This means that each candidate’s portfolio must be scanned and then read by the marker.

As you can imagine, having all types of fonts sizes, line spaces and margins could make reading the folios difficult. If the information is missing or any part of the Folio is impossible to read, this could result in a lower grade for the candidate. Therefore, a template with standard fonts and margins makes the process much smoother and improves your chances of getting a good result.

What format does the SQA English folio template use?

The template is available in a Word format. This means if you are using a Mac rather than a PC you should use Word for Mac.

How do I use the SQA English folio template?

You can download and/or print copies of the template as required. The SQA recommend that candidates type directly onto the template. But, you can also copy and paste your writing from another file. The template has a straightforward format and is set up with a common font and font size.

Do you have to type into the SQA English Folio Template?

If you prefer to write by hand, you could also print the template and write directly onto it. But this means you have write very neatly and carefully. Most candidates prefer the electronic method.

If I type into it, can I just send my English Folio electronically?

No. You or your teacher must print out a hard copy which must be submitted through the school or centre in the usual way. It would also be wise to keep a saved version of your final version.

Do I need to use a different template for each piece of writing?

No, Both portfolio pieces can be contained within one template. Just make a clear indication of where each piece of writing starts by using a description and title.

Eg. Discursive Writing: Are Drones Flying Above the Law?Personal Writing: Holiday Disaster.

Do I have to include the pieces in a certain order?

Yes. Please ensure that the pieces follow the order of the flyleaf, – broadly creative followed by broadly discursive.

It is recommended that the portfolio pieces are printed double-sided where possible. This just allows for quicker processing and helps save trees too.

Important points to remember


Each portfolio must be accompanied with the SQA flyleaf. These are the front covers, which the school or centre provides.

They will require you to include your name, school, candidate number, as well as the title and word count of each of your two pieces. Please ensure all of the information on your flyleaf is completed and accurate. Any errors or incomplete sections could delay your exam results, which is never a good thing!


Your school or centre will have strict dates upon which the Folios will be collected. These are given to the school by the SQA and are non-negotiable.

This means that it is really important that have your Folio completed by your official deadline. Check with your teacher to confirm you know your deadline.

How much of my mark is my English folio worth?

Your Folio is potentially worth a whopping 30% of your final grade.

So it is worth ensuring it is the best work you can produce. Getting it right, reduces the pressure of your final exam. If you are unsure about any aspect of it, speak to your teacher for advice.

If you need support in National 5 or Higher subjects you can book classes here.

Not ready to book? That's fine! Sign up for updates here instead until you're ready to book.

Best of Luck from the team at Saturday School!

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