Senior Phase Experience

One of the main aims of the Senior Phase is to provide you with an environment in which you can achieve academically. Equally important, however, is the opportunity for you to develop as an individual. In general terms, the Senior Phase should be seen as a preparation for more independent life beyond school. You will find that you are gradually expected to show more independence and take more responsibility for managing your studies both in and out of the classroom. You will need to demonstrate good organisational skills, as well as self-discipline, if you are to make the most of the opportunities that are offered.

The most important factor to ensure success for any student in our Senior Phase is personal commitment. Our range of courses provides the opportunity to choose a programme which is suited to you: to build on the knowledge and skills which you have developed in the first three years of secondary school and to apply them in an increasingly specialised programme which will allow you to move on to Further Education, Higher Education, training or employment.

All students intending to return for S6 will be expected to play an active part in the wider life of the school, through a variety of activities which will enhance your personal development; leadership roles, house activities, peer support, work placement, enterprise, charities, website. Some, but not all, of these may be offered as a context for Leadership and Personal Development Awards.

School Leaving Dates

The dates on which you may leave school are fixed by law:

  • If you are 16 years old before 30th September you may leave on 31st May
  • If you are 16 years old after 30th September you must remain in full time education until at least the end of the Christmas term.

‘Christmas Leavers’ can get a great deal out of their last term at school. There are worthwhile courses at school which will help you gain employment or link into colleges. You may be able to do other things at school or in the community which will add to your experience and range of skills and qualities.

Timetable requirements

All students in S4 and S5 will be expected to have a full timetable. S4 students will complete 7 courses, including English and Mathematics as compulsory S4 courses. It is recommended that students choose courses that build on what they have studied in S3.

S5 students are expected to have a full timetable and will not be allocated study periods. We recommend that students build upon their S4 experience where possible.

In S6, students will be expected to study at least 4 courses totalling a minimum of 23 points, as outlined in the table below.

Qualification Level Points
Advanced Higher 7
Higher 6
National 4/5 4
NPA/Level 4/5/6/7 4

Points are allocated, according to the class contact time. Although those aiming for Advanced Higher may have less class contact as, typically, 3 periods of direct teaching is offered to Advanced Higher students but a high level of independent study is required for success in these courses.

In addition to subject choices we would expect that S6 students will offer up to 4 periods of their time to support younger students in subject departments. Work Experience placements may also be arranged by S6 students in addition to their academic choices, but these must be approved by Mr Neil Chisholm, Head of Year.

Once students are beyond the school leaving age (16) and if staff are concerned that you are not making sufficient effort or your attendance falls below an acceptable level to attain your grades, then you may be asked to leave school.