Pupils’ subjects are narrowed at end of S2 down to ten. These subjects include Maths, English and one additional language as mandatory. Choices are made in March and the new timetable begins a month before the summer holiday.
At the end of S3 six subject choices are made for the start of 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.