Q. How are First and Second Year classes organised?
First year classes are organised on a mixed ability basis. This means that all classes
will contain the full range of ability and no class is better than any other.
A number of factors are taken into consideration when classes are being made up.
For example, care is taken to ensure that a pupil is placed in a class where he/she
knows someone. This is particularly important for pupils coming from small primary
schools. However, it is not possible to ensure that every pupil is placed with her/his
Care is also taken to ensure that there is a genuine mix of ability in each class.
Advice is obtained from primary teachers and learning support staff to ensure that
the best balance is achieved.
In second year some setting takes place in Mathematics and English with pupils being
broadly grouped according to past performance.
All first and second year pupils follow what is called the common course, which means
that they all study the same subjects.
Q.What will my child study?
The teaching cycle is organised round 30 periods per week, each 50/55 minutes long.
In first year all pupils study the following subjects.
Before the end of second year pupils and parents will make a choice of 8 (in most
cases) subjects to be studied in S3 and S4. Most subjects will lead to a Standard
Grade certificate, which is awarded at three levels—Foundation, General and Credit.
In some subjects/cases, pupils may be presented for new National Qualifications at
Access 3, Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2.
Students returning to school for fifth year will normally study five courses leading
to new National Qualifications at either Higher or Intermediate 2. These courses
are certificated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
Students who successfully complete a course in fifth year may be offered the opportunity
to study the subject at a more in-depth level, and work towards a Higher or Advanced
Higher in sixth year.