Pupils choose eight subjects at the end of S2, with English, Maths and Modern Languages as 3 compulsory choices (French/Spanish both continue until the end of S3). The other five choices are taken from Science, Social Subjects, Expressive Arts and Technologies. Choices are made in March and the new timetable begins a month before the summer holiday.
Towards the end of S3, seven subject choices are made to go on towards qualifications in S4, the senior phase.. The first qualifications students work towards are National (usually referred to as ‘Nat’) 4 and National 5 in S4. The National 4 does not involve formal exams at the end of the course, as these courses use continuous assessment. The National 5 is the more advanced of the qualifications, the equivalent of a credit pass in a Standard Grade or a good pass in an old ‘O’ Grade. The system offers flexibility, for example at times S5 and S6 pupils make take Nat 5s along with S4 pupils. As this pack concentrates on S1 we don’t want to give too much information on the later years in school here, but hope this sets the scene for these future decisions.