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outline of the BGE course…

Years S1-S2

There has been an extensive review of approaches to learning and teaching at Biggar High and each Faculty has course guidelines/ outlines which describe how it is working to ensure that courses offer appropriate challenges for all of our young.  Effective collaboration with primary colleagues is at the heart of this, combined with extensive co-operation with Pupil Support staff.  Our commitment to ensuring that each pupil achieves his or her full potential begins from well before the first day of term and the arrival of our S1 pupils to Biggar High.

Pupils in S1 undertake a common course of study which currently includes: English, Mathematics, French/ German, Social Subjects (Geography, History and Modern Studies), Science, STEM, Art and Design, Music, Food and Textile Technology, Technology and Design, Personal and Social Education (PSE), Physical Education (PE), Religious and Moral Education (RME), Business Education and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). ICT is also taught as part of the other subjects.  Pupils are currently taught in mixed attainment classes in first year- except in Maths and English, where there is broad band grouping initially based on prior attainment levels at primary school.  In other subjects account is taken of previous learning in primary school through both individual work and group work and information gathered from reading pupils’ P7 profiles.

In S2, pupils continue to study all of the subjects started in S1. 

Curriculum for Excellence guidelines recommend that pupils should continue with a broad general education as described above until the end of S3 but one that also allows for increased specialisation and choice. 

Our S3 model takes account of this recommendation (Up to date Options forms will be posted on the school website in February/ March of each session).

Pupils continue with their Broad General Education and undertake six subjects from modal columns and two elective choices. In addition to these eight courses, all pupils also follow core courses in Religious and Moral Education (RME), Personal and Social Education (PSE) and Physical Education (PE).

Third Year

Pupils at Biggar High School continue to follow a ‘Broad General Education’ in S3. S3 pupils will continue to develop knowledge and life skills in a wide range of different subjects.

It is important however to look ahead and start preparing pupils for National Qualifications at the end of S4 and so pupils have the opportunity to choose specific subjects during S3. There is a play-off between breadth of education and the depth in which a subject can be studied. To meet the criteria of a Broad General Education, subject choices will be made within modes. To increase depth of study, pupils reduce the number of subjects that they study in S3. There will be a further reduction at the start of S4 and the start of S5.

The option sheets (please refer to school website) undergo extensive discussion with all our pupils and teachers to ensure that they meet the key principles of Curriculum for Excellence. In early January we carry out trial runs with relevant pupil year groups and parents to ensure we are meeting the wants and needs of as many students as possible. At each stage in the process there have been changes to the option sheets to take account of the feedback from students and teachers.

English, Maths, Core PE, Personal and Social Education (PSE) and Religious and Moral Education (RME) are compulsory.  Thereafter pupils will choose subjects within the modes shown below:

  • Sciences – Biology, Chemistry, Physics
  • Social Studies – Business Education, Geography, History
  • Expressive Arts – Art, Music, PE
  • Technology – Administration, Design and Manufacture, Home Economics, Music Technology, Computing

In addition, there are two elective columns where students can opt to choose a second Science, Social subject, Expressive Art or Technology. French appears in both elective columns to give as many students as possible the option to continue with a Modern Language.