The Broad General Education Phase covers S1 to S3.
S1 – S3 course programmes reflect the outcomes and experiences found in the Curriculum for Excellence frameworks and include a range of interdisciplinary learning experiences.
Classes are arranged to provide a range of ability within each teaching group and to ensure that children from each cluster primary school are distributed evenly throughout each group.
All classes in S1 are mixed ability ; some broad banding takes place in Mathematics in S2. S1 and S2 study an integrated Science course. In S3 there is broad banding in English, Mathematics and French.
In S1 pupils follow a broad programme of 12 subjects plus PE, PSE and RE.
In S2 this programme is enhanced through the introduction of Enterprise. Appropriate rotation arrangements reduce the number of teacher contacts pupils have in any given week.
All programmes of study are based on the seven principles of curriculum design and provide appropriate breadth, depth and challenge.
In S1 and S2 all pupils follow a Science course based upon the Science Organisers of A Curriculum for Excellence.
In both S1 and S2 all pupils participate in 3 periods per week of PE which is significantly higher than the Scottish Government entitlement of 2 hours.
In S1 and S2 additional time is allocated for the teaching of English and Mathematics. In S2 pupils attend English and Mathematics every day.
In both S1 and S2 pupils have a 1 period elective course which runs on a rotational basis in thirteen week blocks. The purpose of the electives is to introduce fun, enjoyment and additional challenge into the curriculum and to ensure that all pupils in S1 and S2 have an opportunity to engage in a structured way with a range of additional opportunities, some of which were previously on offer as part of our additional opportunities programme. It also allows pupils to try out some subjects which they may be able to study in greater depth in the Senior Phase. The electives are:
Debating and Public Speaking
BBC Reporting and Media
All teachers have a key responsibility to support the development of literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing and skills for learning, life and work from S1 through to S6. Standardised testing of English and Mathematics is carried out in S2. It is hoped that data obtained from this exercise will inform learning and teaching.
Working to implement the government’s Curriculum for Excellence programme has allowed us to strengthen our existing links with our cluster primaries, so that pupils are able to make a smooth transition to secondary education. Central to this are joint planning on curricular initiatives and our weekly visits by Mathematics, English, Modern Languages and ICT staff as well as other curricular areas throughout the session: all this contributes to shared information about each pupil and their achievements.
Learning in the Senior Phase will continue to be active, engaging and enterprising, building directly on the BGE to ensure all learners are prepared well for lifelong learning, further study and employment. The 7 Principles of Curriculum Design continue to apply to all courses taught in the Senior Phase.
The characteristics of learning in the Senior Phase include:
taking responsibility for learning
collaborative learning; and
applying learning and skills development
It is during this phase that our young people prepare themselves to sit their National Qualifications. This is also the period when they look forward to the future and to the transition from secondary school to the world of Further/Higher Education, training or the world of work.
In S4 our young people study 7 courses for 4 periods per week. They select these from the 9 subjects they followed in S3. The allocation of 4 periods to each course recognises that some National courses now contain elements which were previously studied at Higher level. This allocation of time also allows for a more thorough preparation for progression to the next stage of their learning in S5 or S6 by providing additional time for greater breadth, depth and challenge. Pupils also continue to take PE (2 periods), RE (1 period) and PSE (1 period).
In S5 our young people study 5 courses for 6 periods per week. Many young people will study 5 Higher level courses or a mixture of Higher level and National 5 courses. Some young people will study a mixture of National 4 and National 5 courses. Those young people studying courses at National 5 level may progress to Higher level over 2 years. Pupils are also able to select from a wide range of courses offered through the EDC Senior Phase Partnership Programme. Some young people follow a targeted Skills for Learning, Life and Work course. In addition to their 5 courses of study, all young people in S5 have a dedicated period of PSE and a Health and Wellbeing period where, on rotation, they experience PE, RMPS and Survival Cookery.
In S6 we offer our young people a flexible curriculum which reflects the kinds of demands that will be made on them in a Further/Higher Education environment or in the world of work, where they will require to function more independently.
In S6 young people will have a minimum of 21 timetabled class periods (including 1 period of PSE) plus one timetabled period for assembly. Young people studying subjects up to Higher level choose a minimum of four subjects. This may be reduced where young people are studying 3 Advanced Higher courses or 2 Advanced Higher courses plus 1 Higher course.
Within our flexible S6 curriculum we offer a wide range of activities and additional opportunities to support personal development. These include:
EDC Senior Phase Partnership Progamme
Open University Young Applicants in Scotland Scheme
Young Enterprise Scotland
SQA Leadership Award SCQF level 5
Scottish Saltire Award
As links with colleges become more established a number of options which lead to industry standard qualifications and which require even greater creative flexibility in terms of supporting young people’s development are becoming available e.g NC Mechanical Engineering leading to HNC and onto HND. This option requires attendance at college for 1 full day and 2 half days.
It is anticipated that our planned Curriculum Structure from the end of the BGE Phase and into the Senior Phase may generate additional flexibility and more appropriate curricular pathways for our young people. As young people progress from S3 with 9 subjects, into S4 with 7 subjects and on into S5 with 5 subjects they will, across S3 and S4, have set aside 4 courses which they studied to at least SCQF level 4 and this may offer them additional opportunities for progression as they move into S6.
The options available in S5 and S6 reflect the most popular combinations of subjects. It may be necessary for pupils to spread their choice of subjects over two years in order to combine all the subjects they wish to study. Pupils are alerted at the time of choosing their third year options of any subjects which cannot be studied beyond National 5. The availability of courses in S5 and S6 depends upon staffing levels and accommodation which can change from year to year.
Not all courses are on offer at Higher. The levels at which subjects are available are noted on the course choice forms.
Some pupils participate in the EDC Senior Phase Partnership Programme which allows them to study for a vocational qualification alongside their other subjects. Pupils attend a college for two afternoons a week to follow these courses.
In S6 it may be possible for a pupil to study a subject intensively for presentation at Higher Level, even though the subject has not been taken at National 5. This is permitted only in the case of a pupil of proven ability and application. Subjects studied intensively in recent years include Biology and the Social Subjects.