S1 marks the start of the last three years of what’s called ‘Broad General Education’ or BGE, the first phase of Curriculum for Excellence which began at nursery and continues through primary to the end of S3. After that it’s the senior phase (S4-S6).
S1 is really about continued work towards developing pupils’ knowledge, skills, attributes and capabilities of Curriculum for Excellence’s four capacities talked of through primary school; successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens, effective contributors. There’s lots of guidance on this from Education Scotland.
The most obvious difference as your child starts S1 is that the eight Curriculum Areas are delivered across a timetable and from different subject teachers and departments. That’s the biggest culture change for your child (and for you) to adapt to in S1. It can take some getting used to but most children start to enjoy having a timetable to follow and a range of subjects, teachers and learning environments.
The subjects in S1 in 2018/2019 were English, Maths, History, Geography, Modern Studies, Science, Design & Technology (D&T), Food and Consumer Technology (FCT), IT, Art, Drama, Music, Business Studies, Personal & Social Education (PSE), Physical Education (PE), Religious & Moral Studies (RME), French and Spanish.
The school places a great deal more responsibility on pupils communicating practical information to parents than at primary. This begins right at the start of S1, from organising lifts to rugby and hockey matches, to homework tasks, and a lot of school-home communication.