Senior 3 – 5

We aim to equip pupils with a sound set of skills for life in and beyond Heriot's.

In these important exam years, most Heriot’s pupils study eight subjects in Senior 3 and 4, and five subjects in Senior 5. We offer a Scottish education, with pupils usually sitting National 5 exams in Senior 4 and Higher exams the next year. A small number of pupils will sit National 4 exams in some subjects.

Pupils choose their subjects for Senior 3 while still in Senior 2. Subjects are selected from a column framework, which maintains breadth while allowing pupils to focus on their own particular interests. All pupils will usually take English, Mathematics and a Modern Language. Some new subjects not previously studied in Senior 1 and 2 are added to the options. Our Careers Team is on hand to provide one-to-one guidance on subject choices.

The process is repeated in Senior 4, when pupils choose which Higher courses to study. To see the range of subjects typically available in the exam years, please download our Admissions Infobook.

Teaching groups from Senior 3 to 5 remain limited to 20 pupils in the practical subjects. Numbers vary in other subjects – 21 pupils is the average. Pupils continue to have a Class Teacher for morning registration, and a Guidance Teacher who monitors progress and can provide support.

We aim to equip pupils with the life skills they need both now and after Heriot’s. Citizenship classes tackle relevant topics and promote positive attitudes, self-esteem and confidence. Extra-curricular activities offer routes to new skills, a forum to de-stress, and opportunities to lead and excel outside the classroom. Self-reliance and care for others are reinforced daily as admirable qualities in us all.

Senior 3 pupils have a residential trip as part of Activities Week, a highlight of summer term in the Senior School. The year splits into smaller groups to explore at home and abroad. In Senior 4 and 5, Activities Week involves taking part in the Work Experience and Voluntary Service programmes. Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions may also take place at this time.