The school provides a wide curriculum of examinable and non-examinable subjects. The school’s flexible approach to learning allows pupils to develop at their own pace and can adapt to a pupil’s specific needs. In addition, the high staff-to-pupil ratio and small-group teaching also caters for the individual’s needs.
The timetable is carefully constructed to provide a curriculum that suits each individual as closely as possible and caters for learning needs. The teaching groups are carefully considered to create a calm learning environment in which the pupils can reap maximum benefit. Groups are formed through negotiation with all staff and, although a group usually comprises pupils working at similar levels, the ability to co-operate as a group is also important.
Staff work with pupils to try to build confidence, fill in gaps in learning, and to help them to re-engage with learning. In S1 to S3 pupils normally follow a broad, general curriculum, based around the principles of Curriculum for Excellence, covering most aspects of the eight curricular areas:
• Expressive Arts
• Health and Wellbeing
• Religious and moral studies
• Social studies and technologies
Towards the end of S3 and from S4 onwards, pupils can begin to work towards National Qualifications, although pupils are only presented for National Qualifications and examinations if it is appropriate and at a suitable level.
The school will enter pupils for Nationals 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and Highers. Freestanding units are also offered in most subjects and at a variety of levels. These can be in addition to, or as an alternative to, external examinations.
• Computing and Information Technology
• English and Literacy
• Environmental Science, Biology and Chemistry
• Health and Food Technology and Hospitality
• Mathematics, Applications of Mathematics and Personal Finance
• A Modern Language
• Modern Studies
• Comparative Religions
• Current Affairs
• The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
• Life Skills
• Personal and Social Education
Tuesday and Friday afternoons are usually reserved for activities such as badminton, walks or the gym. In addition, pupils have many opportunities throughout the year to take learning outside the classroom through visits to museums, galleries, theatres, cinemas, zoos and other places of educational interest.
The school is always looking to establish links with organisations that can help us enrich our curriculum, and in the last few years, we have worked with The Lyceum, Drake Music, The National Trust and Edinburgh College.