Senior School Curriculum

Senior School Curriculum

We are committed to developing a curriculum appropriate to each of our pupils. At the heart of this is the quality of learning and teaching in the classroom. Our formal curriculum, the planned programme of courses shown on a pupil’s timetable, delivers a broad and balanced experience in the first two years of Senior School. This is followed by a choice of subjects typically studied at SQA National 5 level – for third and fourth year, chosen by pupils with significant support from staff.

In the senior years, we offer our pupils the opportunity either to follow the SQA curriculum or to study the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme*. The vast majority, though not all, of our pupils do choose to progress from School into Further and Higher Education. We believe that this structure of certificated subjects at the end of S4 leading to either SQA Highers and Advanced Highers or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme supports our pupils best in securing university offers.

The Curriculum at George Watson’s College is also designed to allow us to get to know our pupils well, an important aspect of this is the Form Tutor period for pupils in S1–S5; part of our focus on education for Health and Wellbeing. Form Tutors play a key role in first-line guidance for our pupils. By February in S5, all pupils will have chosen their own Personal Tutor from the teaching staff. The Tutor’s role in S5 and S6 is to guide their tutees through the important months of examination and to talk to them and their parents about future plans.

* Please note that during Session 2018/19 the IB Diploma Programme is ‘on pause’. If you are interested in commencing the Programme in Session 2019/20, please let us know.

 

S1/S2

The curriculum in S1 and S2 has been designed to allow pupils to experience key academic disciplines or curriculum experiences developing knowledge and transferable skills. These can be broken down into:
English
Mathematics
Languages
Spanish, French, German, Latin, and Mandarin Chinese
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
Computing Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Technological Science, and Maths
Social Studies
History, Modern Studies, Geography, and Economics & Business Studies
Expressive Arts
Music, Art, and Drama
Core or Health and Wellbeing
Physical Education, Health and Food Technology, PSD, Form Periods and Assemblies.

In each subject, specialist teachers deliver the courses.

Pupils will study two languages in S1, choosing from Chinese, Latin, Spanish, French, and German. In S2 they will have the opportunity to either continue with a second language, be recommended to focus on one language, or to study Classics in S2. All pupils will continue with at least one language choice into S3 and S4.

In S1, pupils' STEM skills will be developed through a discrete STEM course and pupils will experience all three sciences, on a carousel. In S2, they will continue a discrete study of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Social Studies subjects will also develop and track literacy in conjunction with English, making better use of data to ensure progression. In the Social Studies subjects pupils will take a more integrated approach to their learning with pupils studying a focused block of History and Modern Studies, and Geography and Economics.

All pupils will have the opportunity to make connections through Interdisciplinary Learning and there will be opportunities for pupils to increase their International awareness and understanding.

Pupils are broadly banded into classes by ability in Mathematics and English (from S1).

The mix of pupils in groupings, outwith the form structure, allows them to get to know a large number of their year group. In January of S2 we begin an extensive programme of subject choice advice. By providing details of courses offered, conducting individual interviews and organising parents’ information forums and parents’ evenings, we seek to ensure that at this important decision-making stage, all involved are informed and in agreement.

Subjects Studied in S1

(The number of periods per cycle is noted in brackets. * indicates subjects that rotate on a carousel.)

English Maths Science Languages Social Studies Expressive Arts Health and Wellbeing
English (7) Maths (7) STEM Skills (3)
Computing Science (2)
Biology*
Chemistry*
Physics* (5)
Technological Science (2)
Two languages from:
Spanish
French
German
Latin
Chinese
History*
Modern Studies* (4)
Geography*
Economics Business Studies* (4)
Music (2)
Art (2)
Drama (2)
PE/Games (4)
Religion & Philosophy (2)
Personal Social Development (1)
Health & Food Technology (2)
Form Time (1)
Assemblies (2)

Subjects Studied in S2

(The number of periods per cycle is noted in brackets. * indicates subjects that rotate on a carousel.)

English Maths Science Languages Social Studies Expressive Arts Health and Wellbeing
English (6) Maths (7) Computing Science (3)
Biology (3)
Chemistry (3)
Physics (3)
Technological Science (3)
Language 1 Choice (3)
Language 2 Choice (3)**
from:
Spanish
French
German
Latin
Chinese
** or if identified as more appropriate, additional language 1 or Classics
History*
Modern Studies* (4)
Geography*
Economics
Business Studies* (4)
Music (2)
Art (2)
Drama (2)
PE/Games (4)
Religion & Philosophy (2)
Personal Social Development (1)
Health & Food Technology (2)
Form Time (1)
Assemblies (2)