Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

SQA in S3 and S4

Pupils study toward National 4 and National 5 in S3 and S4. National 4 qualifications are assessed internally by the subject department, moderated by the SQA, and pupils are awarded a Pass or Fail.

The National 5 qualification is assessed externally and pupils will receive a grade A–D for this. The majority of our pupils will progress directly onto National 5 in their S3/S4 subjects; those for whom the National 4 qualification is a more appropriate stepping stone on the way to National 5 will find that the nature of the assessment within this qualification will allow them to develop their confidence and skills in a supportive manner.

Certain departments may group pupils dependent upon their ability, so that the pace and content are appropriate to the individual’s level. Such setting allows inclusion of some Higher Grade topics or concepts in S4 for pupils with particular ability in a subject. Early in S4, pupils start to consider their future choices by participating in the ISCO Futurewise tests for interest, ability and aptitude, and they are given interviews following these tests.

SQA Examinations in S5 and S6

Pupils study five main subjects in S5, normally including English and Mathematics. It is possible to take up certain new subjects at an appropriate level. Currently, we offer a range of 28 different Highers to pupils in S5 and S6, in a wide variety of combinations. We also offer many subjects at levels below Higher and we do not regard these as less important, as they offer a coherent progression from achievement in S4.

After the exams, and with the help of tutors, the Careers Advisory Team and the Guidance staff, pupils begin to make provisional S6 subject choices. These can be from the unrivalled range of Advanced Highers on offer, or include Higher or National courses. There is also a variety of non-certificate modular and short courses available to S6, intended to encourage intellectual exploration and to broaden interests.