National Qualification

Braes High School -Qualifications in the senior phase

Qualifications - the big question!

A question some parents/carers have when their young person is moving through high school is about the types of qualifications pupils will study towards. The information below aims to set out the types and levels of qualifications young people study towards when in S4, S5 and S6. However, there is no substitute for dialogue, so please do not hesitate to get in touch with the school if you have any further queries.

How many National Qualification will young people study in S4?

In S4, most young people in Braes will study seven subjects, leading towards National Qualifications.

How is the level of study decided in these courses for each pupil?

Teachers will consider how each young person has progressed through the broad, general education up to the end of S3. A decision will be made between the school, the pupil and parents/carers about the appropriate level of study in each subject. Most subjects in S4 can be studied at either National 3, National 4 or National 5 levels.

Would a young person study the same level across all their subjects?

Not necessarily. It might be the case that a young person will study at National 5 level in some courses, and at other levels in other courses.

The National Qualifications - are they similar to Standard Grades?

National Qualifications replaced Standard Grades and are entirely new courses. However to give an idea, we can say that:

• National 3 is broadly equivalent to Standard Grade Foundation level
• Nation 4 is broadly equivalent to Standard Grade General Level
• National 5 is broadly equivalent to Standard Grade Credit Level

How can I found out more about specific courses?

The National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS) has really good `Nutshell' documents which give information about how the different courses are assessed, and what is learned by young people (linked below)
National in a Nutshell Series

You will also be able to find out more from discussions with teachers, Faculty Heads, Pastoral Heads and our school website (see links below).
Course Choice Braes High School

Is the choice of course different when a young person moves into S5?

Yes. In S5 young people have the option to continue studying a subject at the next level up from that achieved in S4. For example, if a young person in S4 has been successful at National 4 in a subject, when in S5 they can begin study at National 5 level in that subject. Study at Higher level also begins in S5, usually for young people who achieved a National 5 qualifications in the subject when in S4.

The Curriculum Pathways section of our school website, linked below, sets out pathways through the different subjects.

Curriculum Pathways

Are the courses offered in S6 similar to those in S5?

Yes. However, in addition, young people who have achieved a good Higher pass in S5 in that subject may have the opportunity to study at Advanced Higher level in that subject. Advanced Highers are broadly equivalent to the previous Scottish qualification of Sixth Year Studies, and begin to introduce a level of study similar to that of first year university study.

Are there other types of qualifications offered in Braes High School?

Yes. In addition to the National Qualifications mentioned above, some departments also offer National Progression Awards, SQA Awards, or National Certificate Courses. These course give more variety for pupils in terms of what is learned and also how courses are assessed.

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework website give a good outline of the range of qualifications and how their levels compare with National Qualifications (linked below).

Interactive framework

National Qualification