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England GCSE is equivilan to what Scotish qualification?

(58 Posts)
Masooma78 Tue 02-Aug-16 17:47:46

Hi! I have recently moved to Scotland in Newton Mearns from England. Schools are closed here. Still waiting to get my children get enrolled in a school. Head teachers are off on holidays. I am confused what equivalence would there be for my children here as my son was suppose to give GCSE in England next year but they r offering him S4 here which means he will sit N5 exams after 2 years. Can anyone explain how scotish education system is diffrent from England? Why is he not going to be enrolled for S5 so that he can give N5 exams? Is N5 exam is equivilant to GCSE? Sorry too many questions but I am totally confused. Please help me understand. Many Thanks!

dementedpixie Tue 02-Aug-16 17:55:35

Yes I think nat5's are equivalent to GCSEs. Highers are the qualification after that although I think they can then do more nat5s in S5. He should sit nat5s in S4 though

Tinklypoo Tue 02-Aug-16 17:55:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

In Scotland the children start senior school at 12 not 11, so S4 is equivalent to Yr 11 in England.

Nat 4s are broadly equivalent to GCSE, as far as I know - but this is a new qualification, and none of my dses did it, so I am not entirely sure how Nat 4s and Nat 5s fit into the curriculum, or when you do Nat 5s.

BTW - I live near Paisley, so driving distance from Newton Mearns, and if you would like to get together for coffee, please PM me and let me know.

We moved up to Scotland from Essex when the dses were 11, 13 and 15, and I'd be happy to help you settle in if I can.

dementedpixie Tue 02-Aug-16 18:06:53

What age is he and when is his birthday? Nat5s are 1 year courses btw

dementedpixie Tue 02-Aug-16 18:08:22

I was 11 when I started high school and so was Dd so not strictly true that you start at 12. Nat4s are a lower qualification than nat5s so nat5s are more equivalent to GCSEs.

dementedpixie Tue 02-Aug-16 18:10:19

Standard grades don't exist any more (I am old and did O grades!). Nat4/nat5s have replaced standard grades. Not totally up to date as to what they are all about yet as Dd is 12 and going into S2

TrivialPursuit Tue 02-Aug-16 18:11:33

I thought some people sit Nat4s at the end of S4, but the more able half sit Nat5s at the end of S4?

So, lower ability sits Nat4s in S4 and Nat5s in S5 but higher ability students sit Nat5s in S4 and do their highers in S5.

Is this not correct?

dementedpixie Tue 02-Aug-16 18:18:21

Yes I think some will do nat4s and some will do nat5s in S4. Nat4s have no exams though and are assessed through coursework. They can then do more nat5s plus Highers in S5. Can then stay on for S6 for more highers

dementedpixie Tue 02-Aug-16 18:18:50

Or even advanced highers

fuckweasel Tue 02-Aug-16 18:20:34

National 5s are broadly equivalent to GCSEs, though are one year courses and are first sat at the end of S4. National 3 and 4 are also available; these have no exam and are a lower level qualification than National 5s.

It depends how the school structure their senior years as to what happens in S5/S6. It is most likely the student will sit Highers (broadly equivalent to English AS levels) in all subjects or may sit more National 5 exams or a combination of the two. In S6, students may sit more Highers or Advanced Highers (broadly equivalent to second year of English A2 levels, though recognised as being slightly harder in at least some subjects).

The number of subjects varies; in S4 between five and eight subjects are taken (again depends on school) and normally five subjects in S5.

Students will usually apply to university in S6 using their Higher grades, though can apply in S5 with predicted Higher grades.

It's worth bearing in mind that the school timetable will likely have rolled over to the new academic year in May or June so exam courses will have already been started by the new school year in August.

I am au fait with both the English and Scottish education system so feel free to ask any more questions.

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Tue 02-Aug-16 18:23:50

The date of birth has an affect here because don't Scotland cut off in January.

Also just because England do their exams at year 11 and 13 doesn't mean every country does. Ireland for instance does their exams at 3rd year which is the same length school as year 10. And then 6th year which is the equilvent year 13. So S4 might be the right age for him don't. Judge it by the fact he's not doing exams

Fedupwithknowitalls Tue 02-Aug-16 18:28:26

STDG, I went to school in Scotland and started secondary school at age 11. When I finished 6th year I was 17 years and 5 months.

in Scotland, children must be aged 4 by the end of February in the year they start school (they can also be held back a year if they are felt to be too young to cope). So, children starting in August will be 5 years if their birthdays are from 1 March to school starting date and aged 4 from school starting date to end of February the following year. Consequently, almost half of the pupils starting secondary school will be 11.

I don't fully understand the school start age in Scotland, but senior school up here is 6 years, whereas it is 7 years in England (S1-6, vs Yr 7-11) so it's my understanding that S4 equates to Yr 11.

Ds3 was 11 when we moved up here, and was just about to finish Year 6 and go up to senior school, but he ended up doing an extra year in Primary school (P7), before starting S1 aged 12.

So I was wrong to say that children start senior school at 12 here (apologies, dementedpixie), but the effect of the rules on school years and school start age up here is that S4 is equivalent to Year 11 - so I was right-ish.

Cross posted with Fedup - apologies to you too.

karmapolice97 Tue 02-Aug-16 18:36:53

The best approximation to the English system is that Nat 5 would be Higher tier GCSE for the more able students whilst Nat 4 is lower tier/foundation paper.

What month is your son born? It's a little bit simplistic to say year 11 is S4 as the school years are 6 months out so year 11s are an average 6 months older. There are only 2 years in secondary S1-2 to equate to years 7-9 of KS3.

Highers sat in S5 are pretty much equivalent to AS level and Advanced Highers sat in S6 are like A2. No suggestion that these will become linear like new A levels.

dementedpixie Tue 02-Aug-16 18:37:59

I went to Uni at the age of 16 as I left after my Highers in S5 shock. I remember the teachers at school saying we would fail as we hadn't stayed for 6th year. Graduated at the age of 20 so biscuit to them grin

karmapolice97 Tue 02-Aug-16 18:40:29

The problem is Nat 4/5 is still very new so most parents are still more familiar with their predecessors equivalent to GCSE , known as Standard Grade and then also Intermediate 1&2. East Ren moved to the latter while some authorities hung onto S Grade, but will now be on the new Nat4/5 .

fuckweasel Tue 02-Aug-16 18:44:46

The best approximation to the English system is that Nat 5 would be Higher tier GCSE for the more able students whilst Nat 4 is lower tier/foundation paper.

I would agree with this, the difference being if a student fails the final examination component of National 5 (but passed the end of topic assessments) they can still achieve the National 4 qualification (depending on the structure of the continual assessment for the subject). This is certainly true in my subject.

Masooma78 Tue 02-Aug-16 20:12:49

Thanks you so much everyone. You all have been a brilliant help! After all the comments I understood that at the end of S4 there will be exams of N4 for everage students and of N5 for more able students depending upon assessments by teachers at school. It cleared my confusion. Thanks a bundle everyone! My sons date of birth is 23rd of August 2001. Just one more question.... In England kids born of September the 1st till 31st August go to the same year group. Is this the same criteria here in Scotland too. Are the oldest children of the class are September born ones? Many thanks in advance!

Jadoremyself Tue 02-Aug-16 20:18:40

No, the school year runs 1st march to end Feb so your son will be right in the middle of his year group rather than the youngest in England.

Masooma78 Tue 02-Aug-16 20:23:21

o ok thanks a lot! I am really greatful for your quick response. Many thanks!! smile Finally I understand the system here smile

tabulahrasa Tue 02-Aug-16 20:33:29

"I understood that at the end of S4 there will be exams of N4 for everage students and of N5 for more able students depending upon assessments by teachers at school."

I would have said that N5 is an A-C pass at GCSE and N4 a D or below.

Masooma78 Tue 02-Aug-16 20:41:03

O just one more question. The N4/ N5 exams are normally held in which month every year? In April or in May? or earlier?

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