Guidance notes for parents on subject choice information

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In years S3 and S4 the school seeks to offer a balanced curriculum containing subjects in two distinct categories:
(i) Subjects which are not examined - eg Social Education, Religious Education
(ii) Subjects which have the syllabus and assessment procedure prescribed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority. Successful study of these subjects would lead to presentation for an award to appear on the Scottish National Certificate.

1 Parents should read both the ‘Description of Courses on Offer’ and ‘Subject Choice Guidance Notes for Pupils’ contained in this Booklet. Information on individual courses is supplied later in this booklet.
2 Parents have the opportunity to gain further information at two parents' meetings before the choice is made:

~ a meeting with senior staff looking at general issues/concerns

~ a chance to meet individual class teachers.

Details of these meetings appear in good time.

3 Parents who continue to have unresolved doubts or difficulties concerning subject choice may seek further information or advice by contacting, initially, their child’s Guidance Teacher who has a special responsibility for, particular knowledge of, and specific detailed information about that child.
Such contact is best made by telephoning the school to make an appointment to see the Guidance Teacher at a time suitable to all concerned.



While the School will make every effort to continue to offer the widest range of courses possible, we cannot guarantee that any particular course will run or that a place will be available for every pupil.


The principal difference between the curriculum in third and fourth years and that of first and second years is the increasing element of choice. All pupils in S1 and S2 follow a Common Course where a wide range of subjects are studied. This wide range continues in the middle school years where balance and breadth are key ingredients, but there is much scope for pupils to make choices.

JGS tries to provide as wide a range of courses as possible. However, like all schools, we are under considerable financial pressure which, in turn, reduces the number of staff available. Pupils will therefore not have a completely free choice. It is important that pupils consider second and third choices.

Compulsory Core Subjects
All pupils must take English and Mathematics as well as Core Physical Education, Religious Education and Social Education.

The decision on which courses to choose will depend on the progress made over the last two years and future hopes or intentions. Subject teachers and Guidance staff have studied the progress and results of all the pupils in their care and they are in an excellent position to give advice.


Pupils should note the following pieces of good advice

Choose your subjects for GOOD REASONS:
(a) You are good at the subject and you like it.
(b) The subject is necessary or useful for the kind of work or career you have in mind.
(c) The subjects chosen will keep as wide as possible the range of jobs or careers open to you.

Do not choose subjects for BAD REASONS:
(a) Your friend is taking the subject, so you will take it.
(b) You like the teacher, not the subject. Remember you may not have the same teacher next year.
(c) You think a subject will be easy and that you will not have homework. Remember that all subjects demand effort and work if you are to be successful.

If you have any difficulty or any doubts about making a decision about your course you should consult the following people:

(a) Your Subject Teachers, particularly the Teachers in charge of departments
(b) The Guidance/Careers Staff
(c) Your parents and other relatives and adults.

Your choice of course, to some extent, will depend on the career you would like to take when you leave school, because there are certain subjects which you must take if you wish to follow a particular career. Consult the following before you make your decisions:

(a) Your Guidance Teacher - for information on courses and subject requirements
(b) The Careers Adviser - for information on careers and subject requirements.
Pupils intending eventually to go to University must normally:

(i) at least have good passes in:

a) English

b) a language subject other than English

c) Mathematics or a Science subject

in order to satisfy General Entrance requirements for most Universities.

(ii) have at least three good Higher grade passes and two other acceptable Standard grade or Intermediate passes.
(iii) satisfy specific Faculty or Course requirements. (Information on these and advice may be obtained from the Guidance staff. Reference must always be made to the current University, Faculty or Course regulations).
You should know that there is extremely tough competition for admission to some Universities and some Faculties within any University and selection may, therefore, depend on the attainment of a higher level of performance than is demanded for compliance with the basic requirements -


Details of the choices that can be made in Courses and Subjects which are on offer are given in the SPECIMEN CHOICE SHEET (to be found at the end of the Booklet)

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