Senior Curriculum

Learning and Teaching: Senior School

Heriot's aim is to provide a good, sound, academic education within a structured and disciplined framework. We also want our pupils to be happy at school and to enjoy their time here and to participate in some of the many sporting, social and cultural extra-curricular activities outwith the normal school day. We aim in both the formal and the informal curriculum to encourage each pupil to develop his or her own personality through intellectual, moral, aesthetic, social and physical activities.

In S1, pupils study sixteen subjects. English, Mathematics, a Modern Language, Physical Education, Games, Philosophy, Religion and Classics and Citizenship are taught throughout the session. Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Design and Technology, Drama, Music, History, Geography, Computing and Art and Design are studied on a rota basis. This lessens the number of subjects and teachers for pupils at any given time. We believe that greater exposure to subjects over a period will improve the pupils' learning experience and that there will be more time for reinforcement of material to enable effective learning to take place. In S2, Modern Studies, Latin and Business Education are introduced.

In S3 and S4, most of our pupils study a balanced curriculum of eight subjects, including English, Mathematics and a Modern Language. In addition, they have Physical Education, Games, Citizenship and private study. The subjects from which they can choose include all the subjects they have studied in S1 and S2, with the addition of Accounting, Business Management, Economics, Italian, Latin and Mandarin.

Subjects follow SQA National 5 courses in S3 and S4. In addition, a small number of pupils are presented at National 4 in some subjects. We encourage pupils to view S5 and S6 as a coherent programme of study, with a wider range of options supplementing academic study in S6. In S5, most pupils study five subjects. If appropriate, a special provision may be considered for a limited number of pupils who choose to study six subjects. Most subjects can be chosen as ‘fresh start' Highers if they have not been studied in S3 and S4. Psychology, Human Biology and Practical Skills Development are added to the range of subjects available.

In S6, our flexible curriculum enables students to study a wide range of subjects at a variety of levels. We strongly encourage all students to attempt at least one subject at Advanced Higher, with the majority of students doing two or three. In addition, a very wide range of subjects is available as certificated or non-certificated Interest courses, and there is an expectation that every student will participate in Voluntary Service. For further details on S6, please click here.