Curriculum Rationale

Curriculum Rationale
Curriculum Rationale

Braes High School

Braes High School is a six year, non-denominational comprehensive school serving our Braes Community within Falkirk. The Braes community consists of six associated primaries: Avonbridge; California; Drumbowie; Maddiston; Shieldhill and Wallacestone. Our cluster vision promotes Potential and Excellence for all young people and cements our community ethos where pupils, parents and staff work together to maximise potential and strive for excellence.


In Braes High School we aim to deliver a rich, engaging and challenging curriculum which provides our young people with a variety of learning experiences. Our curriculum is designed to give every young person the chance to follow a pathway which best suits their needs, building a portfolio of academic and vocational achievements alongside the opportunity to develop a range of skills which will prepare them for the ever changing world of work.

Our curriculum is regularly reviewed and consulted upon to take account of the ever-changing economic landscape. In December 2022, our stakeholders were consulted on our curriculum rationale and were asked to identify the key and most important skills, knowledge and experiences our curriculum should offer our young people at Braes High School.

Our school motto - "Build Respect and Earn Success - Be Part of It!" - strongly underpins our ethos and values and promotes our curriculum rationale. Through developing both academic and personal skills, we firmly believe our young people will thrive throughout and beyond their school years at Braes High School

Curriculum Rationale

Vision & Aims

Our vision promotes potential and excellence for all young people and cements our community ethos where young people, parents and staff work together to maximise potential and strive for excellence.
Our aim is to deliver a rich, engaging and challenging curriculum, providing our young people with a variety of learning experiences. Our curriculum gives every young person the chance to follow a pathway which matches their aspirations, building academic achievement alongside skills development.

Curriculum Design

Our curriculum is built upon the seven principles of Curriculum for Excellence, developing the four capacities and ensuring the needs of all our learners are met and have the opportunity to achieve the best set of qualifications and skills by the time they move on beyond school.
Our curriculum aims to encompass:
• Our school ethos
• Personalisation, depth and rigour
• Skills development
• Opportunities for and recognition of personal achievement
• Developing an understanding of the world of work.

Curriculum Rationale

Broad General Education (S1-S3)

Our BGE has been designed in consultation with our school community with the aim of ensuring our pupils experience a broad curriculum which entails depth, specialisation and develops the four capacities. Pupils in S1 to S3 study subjects from the following curricular areas:

 Languages
 Mathematics
 Science
 Social Subjects
 Technology
 Expressive Arts
 Health & Wellbeing

S1 & S2 Curriculum

Within S1 and S2, young people at Braes High School undertake rich, broad and fulfilling learning experiences which serve to develop the four capacities of CfE. Our pupils study subjects across all six curricular areas and receive their full entitlement to core PE, RMPS and PSE. As part of our S1 curriculum, pupils also receive two periods of Core Skills which supports our young people with building our Braes skills: Literacy; Numeracy; Employability; Health & Wellbeing; Problem Solving and Digital Literacy.

S3 Curriculum

As pupils move into S3, they are given the opportunity to further specialise in their chosen subjects in preparation for their transition into the Senior Phase. Courses in S3 have been refined in all curricular areas to include elements which will support and prepare them for National Qualifications. Pupils continue to receive their full entitlement to core periods of PE, RMPS and PSE.

BGE Review

As part of our ongoing School Improvement process and in response to COVID-19 and the recent OECD report 2021, several developments and adjustments have been made to our BGE curriculum:

  • Enhanced focus on Health and Wellbeing across the curriculum and within our Core Skills course, Best Foot Forward
  • Improving our young people's digital skills through the introduction of a Digital Passport Award within the Technologies Faculty
  • Increased focus on supporting young people with understanding courses and pathways to support positive destinations and maximising potential as they work through their Senior Phase
  • Launch of our Onwards Upwards Programme which serves to further understand and know our learners as well as targets young people to remove barriers to learning, provide an equitable platform and maximise individual potential
  • A focus on embedding Creativity and Sustainability across the curriculum

Moving forward, the following recommendations from the Scottish Government will feature as part of our improvement plan for our Broad General Education:
• Reassess CFEs aspirational vision against emerging trends and update our vision based on this
• Review the balance between both breadth and depth of learning and how our curriculum can better help learners consolidate knowledge, skills and attitudes by the end of their BGE journey
• Create an ongoing curriculum review cycle of our BGE

Senior Phase (S4-S6)

Our Senior Phase Curriculum has been designed to allow pupils to build upon their experiences and knowledge gained from the BGE whilst continuing to develop the four capacities and achieve academic and personal success. Pupils are able to make choices about their pathways which match their career aspirations through a wide range of academic and vocational qualifications.
Our Senior Phase curriculum aims to provide specialisation, depth and rigour and prepares them to gain the best set of qualifications by the end of their school career, allowing them to successfully transition into a positive and sustained destination.
Braes High School recognises the importance of creating flexible curricular pathways in order to provide our young people the opportunity to fully develop their skills and provide scope for staff to introduce well considered innovations to meet the needs of all learners. For some individuals this can include appropriate presentation for courses linked to ability, rather than age and stage. For some young people, our 32 periods-a-week model is adapted through partnerships with college, employers and other partners. Braes High School has an open and flexible approach to supporting all young people, including those with Additional Support Needs (ASN) and Social and Emotional Behavioural Needs (SEBN).


As well as studying PSE, PE and RMPS, pupils in S4 study up to 7 subjects which lead to National and SCQF Qualifications. Pupils are offered free choice when electing their courses to ensure flexibility and personalisation for all. We offer a wide variety of subjects from National 1-5 and our aim is that all pupils attain a minimum of five National Qualifications by the end of S4. To further maximise achievement, pupils can gain further qualifications where appropriate. Pupils who are considering leaving school at the end of S4 to pursue a college course can choose the SCOTS course (School - College Opportunities to Succeed) at Forth Valley College. We also have a range of bespoke transition courses which develop skills for work for young people moving beyond school.


As pupils enter S5, our young people further specialise in five of their National Qualifications which can include a range of SQA and SCQF accredited courses at levels 4, 5 and 6. We offer opportunities for students to embark upon a range of college courses such as Foundation Apprenticeships and Higher National Certificates. In addition, pupils in S5/6 select a Personal Development option which allows them to further develop skills relevant to their chosen pathway and provides an additional SCQF qualification.
As pupils progress into S6, they can enhance their existing qualifications by studying up to a further five National Qualifications, either through further specialisation or breadth in National courses such as National 5/ Higher/Advanced Higher or other courses such as National Progression Awards or National Certificates at levels 5/6. We also offer a range of transition courses specifically for S6 pupils which allow them to develop both life and employability skills, for example, our Beyond Braes course which sees pupils learn meta and life skills which prepares them for learning to drive, gaining tenancy and attaining a First Aid qualification. We also offer the Scottish Fuel Change programme which allows young people to develop and demonstrate their skills and knowledge to tackle a real world and global challenge, the issue of climate change.
Braes High School operates under the Falkirk Council Consortia and Virtual Learning arrangements which facilitates the opportunity to study particular courses. This is essential in ensuring our young people are supported in moving towards their chosen destination.

Curriculum Rationale
Curriculum Rationale
Curriculum Rationale