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Eastwood Hight School S4 studies Enquiry

(43 Posts)
Masooma78 Tue 02-Aug-16 22:00:09

I have recently moved from England to Scotland in Newton Mearns. My kids are expected to go in Eastwood High School. Can anyone help me understand which courses do they do in S4 in Eastwood High School as I have found out that different schools work towards diffrent courses in different year groups. What will be the course of studies in different months for different ability levels in S4? Any ideas? Many thanks in advance! Plus as my son will be starting S4 here so would they take his tests for each subject to put him in a course or would the school ask his old school for his results? Anyone?

prettybird Tue 02-Aug-16 22:31:22

Have you seen the school handbook? https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/er/Eastwood/files/2015/08/EastwoodHighSchoolHandbook2016-17.pdf

Looks like in S4, they will be doing up to 8 Nat 5s/Nat 4s (depending on ability; Nat 5 is equivalent to GCSE), plus core PE, RME (Religious and Moral Education) and PSE (Personal and Social Education) - very similar to ds' school (which is within Glasgow).

They seem to set for some subjects but not all.

Don't know for sure which subjects he would be doing without seeing their "columns" for choices but I would imagine they will consist of Maths and English (compulsory) and then a choice of 1or 2 MFLs, up to 3 Sciences (at ds' school, they could choose all 3, but some schools only allow 2), Geography, History, Modern Studies, Computing Science, Design and Technology, Food related topics (not sure what they're called blush), PE (as a subject rather than just core), RME (ditto), Art, Music.

In S5 they usually do 5 Highers.

WankersHacksandThieves Wed 03-Aug-16 13:51:34

Masooma do you mean that you aren't sure when they start the nat 5 curriculum? Although this is meant to be a stand alone 1 year course, I suspect given that they are offering 8 Nat 5s that they school probably started pupils on the courses in S3. Are you coming from another Scottish school? what system have they been following?

I suspect that you will only really get answers once term commences but it may be worth calling the school a few days prior to the day the pupils are due back to check whether there are any office staff in who may be able to help.

prettybird Wed 03-Aug-16 15:46:15

Wankersetc - the OP mentioned she'd recently moved from England, so I'm assuming she's new to the Scottish education system.

I agree that it's worth ringing the school: there will be some teachers in early next week with the results coming out, plus all teachers will be back from next Thursday for their Inset Days (prior to the pupils starting on 15th - eek! shock)

They should have experience at how to cope with new kids arriving in from other system (although maybe ds' school, with so many students from around the world, is more used to it). A report from the old school will help, at least to assess where to put your ds in those subjects that are set. They may put him in classes and then adjust if necessary after the October Week.

Technically the Nat 5 curriculum is over 1 year but as Wankersetc says, many of the schools that do a high number do it over 2 years. Shouldn't be too much of an issue for you/your ds as they're going to have to assess what his "base" is anyway.

I'd suggest concentrating on the 5 subjects that you think he might want to take on to Highers, to make sure he does well in them. The rest are optional extras.

FWIW - many many blush years ago, I arrived back in Scotland 6 months before the O Grades that dates me from another education system (NZ) and had to "catch up" in all my subjects (and learn Latin from scratch shock).

The difference was that I was returning to my old school after a 2 year gap (and a tantrum from db and me when my parents bought a house in the neighboroughing suburb and it looked like we might have to go to yet another new school), so they knew what I was capable of just as well as Dad managed to forget to pack my brilliant school report wink

I did end up studying Hamlet for 3 years in a row as my class was half way through Macbeth and I'd studied Hamlet in NZ and then I studied Hamlet again in S5 for my Higher. It just meant I was slightly restricted in my choice of questions at O Grade, as I had to answer a generic Shakespeare question as opposed to a specific Macbeth one.

You might find that the emphasis in Maths (on particular), Physics and Chemistry is more on applying the knowledge to show understanding rather than rote learning of formulae as this is a key part of Curriculum for Excellence.

WankersHacksandThieves Wed 03-Aug-16 16:00:43

Ah so she did - I should learn to read better smile

My niece arrived back in Scotland from England half way through 3rd year to a school that did a two year Nat 5 system. She was encouraged to choose only 5 subjects for Nat 5 rather than the 7 or 8. They arrived at the school to register and she was given half an hour to choose and started at the school the next day. She found it a bit stressful at the time but managed fine and is off to Uni after the summer.

Masooma78 Thu 04-Aug-16 19:32:37

Many thanks everyone for your kind advice. Yes I moved from England on 15 of July here in Newton Mearns in Glasgow. I couldn't contact school as you have to be sure in which property you are moving to before you contact school and by the time we managed to secure a property here the schools were closed. The lady at school reception now says that deputy head has been contacted and we have meeting with him on 8th of August in School. I was wondering what exactly I need to ask him as it's a golden chance to ask questions. I know English will be diffrent here as my son will have to study one of the Scottish author which will be new for him. I am not sure if headteacher will know about which Author S4 will study but I will ask anyway. Concentrating on 5 subjects that he will opt for highers is a good idea. Thanks a lot for that smile I will take their report cards with me anyway just to give them idea from where to start.
Any advice for the meeting day on 8th will be very much appreciated! 😊 Many thanks!

WankersHacksandThieves Thu 04-Aug-16 19:53:08

That's good, sounds like the school are organised and ready to help the transition. smile

I'd maybe spend time with your son having a think about which subjects he'd prioritise to take so that he has an idea about options if he isn't given long to choose. Normally subject options in many schools are done on a column basis. For national 5 all pupils had to take English and Maths and in our school had 5 columns remaining, this varies by school. Usually one column has the option of a Social Subject (History, Georgraphy, Modern Studies) another with sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology and maybe Environmental science) one with Arts/Languages another with Technical type subjects (Computing, Engineering, Graphic Design) and a mixed column, if you are lucky and depending on the size of the school then you may get a random variety of subjects added into each column.

For Highers it tends to be a bit easier in terms of timetabling so a bigger range of subjects is in each of the 5 columns. It is usually the results of the Highers that determine the University entrance. Popular courses may ask for the 5 required grades e.g. AABBB to be done in one sitting. It's therefore important to choose the 5 best subjects for 5th year Highers, other required or desired topics can be done in 6th year.

I'll put my thinking cap on re questions, but as each school does things slightly differently, I'd get them to explain how they do things and obviously ask where they see your son fitting into the time table.

BeJayKayven Thu 04-Aug-16 19:58:45

It's a great school - good luck !

Masooma78 Thu 04-Aug-16 20:39:16

Great thanks alot for all your help and support. I am.really greatful. I was wondering if all the since subjects will be in one column then can he choose 2 subjects from Science column or all three Physics Chemistry and Biology?

WankersHacksandThieves Thu 04-Aug-16 20:44:04

depends on the school re science, in my DSs school they had extra sciences added into the other columns so it was possible to take 3, however the school is fairly small and they have a disproportionate number of science teachers compared to other subjects so for example it wasn't possible to do 2 languages but they were forced into taking a social subject regardless of whether they wanted to as there was nothing else to choose from in that column. Usually it's on subject from each column but as I say, you may find that there are science subjects that appear in random columns as well as the specific science column.

I'm afraid it might just be a case of wait and see.

prettybird Thu 04-Aug-16 21:43:35

Ds' school allows you to do all 3 sciences but I know that at some schools you have to choose 2 out of the 3 (and if the third one is important, you do it as a crash Higher in S6 - usually Biology).

The reason that ds couldn't continue Art and ended up doing Computing Science instead was that his combination of Physics, Chemistry and PE included the columns with Art in them.

The Scottish author shouldn't be too much of an issue: you can do Carol Ann Duffy poems, which will cover the topic. They're pretty accessible. Although the school might do someone else. Ds studied Kidnapped in S2, which would also have done (but he didn't revise it). Depends on the English teacher I suppose.

Ask how much of the curriculum they've done in S3 - so you know which areas he'll have to catch up on.

I might have a set of English, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, French, Geography and Computing Science study books I could pass on - but I'll need to check with ds first.

WankersHacksandThieves Thu 04-Aug-16 21:57:16

I'm waiting until after tuesday before we decide which books can be passed on! Unfortunately with the exception of English and Maths, DS2 is't doing any of the same subjects that DS1 did.

prettybird Thu 04-Aug-16 22:21:17

For English, in S4, ds studied the Carol Ann Duffy poems, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (which he loved), To Kill a Mockingbird (which he also loved). I think Cuckoo's Nest was more of an S5 text though.

I think he did a Shakespeare play - bit I'm not sure which one and whether he did it in S4. (In my defence, he's very self-starting with the exception of French hmm, so I never had to get particularly involved.

He'd also had to do various things for a portfolio: this included a piece of creative writing and also a spoken piece (he did his speech in S2 and spoke passionately about Mandela and, along with 2 other pupils, got a 1, so didn't need to do it again).

You could maybe ask about this portfolio and how they'll go about helping your ds gets it all done. I don't think it actually counts directly towards the Nat 5 but is a threshold/NAB National Assessment Something you need to pass (and counts towards the Nat 4, I think) (don't know much about Nat 4s as ds was only doing Nat 5s except that Nat 4s are internally assessed)

Also ask when the school does its Prelims (Mocks) as they may also use them as a filter to decide whether he does Nat 4 or Nat 5. Some schools do them in January or February, but ds' school does them in December so that they can identify where there are any problems and then for a few subjects (definitely English and Maths) do extra Prelims, but in a low key way (not full exam hall conditions) in March.

WankersHacksandThieves Thu 04-Aug-16 22:27:23

Ds1 did Bold Girls for English and I'm not sure what else (he's an international man of mystery). Nat 5 prelims end Nov/beg December.

Masooma78 Thu 04-Aug-16 22:50:27

ok Great! Many thanks for all your kind help. I will check about the three sciences and will check about the scotish Author texts too. Will check about time of prelims (mock exams) and about portfolio help. I am really very greatful for all your sincere help! smile
Any spare books will be another great help and will be greatly appreciated 😊 I can collect whenever it will suit your time. No pressure though only if they will be lying around without any use. I have bought a how to pass English N5 book and a physics one but they r quite expensive. Is there a place where I can buy them second hand? Thanks again both prettybird and WankersHacksandThieves for your kindness smile

prettybird Thu 04-Aug-16 22:59:11

I'm in the Southside of Glasgow, so not far from you.

Happy to meet up for a coffee if you'd like. I'm overdue organising a Southside Meetup. I have an MN friend, who arrived from England with 3 boys (I think the older ones were close to exams when they arrived), so she might be interesting for you to go to. They're all at Uni now, so they didn't go through Curriculum for Excellence.

BeJayKayven Thu 04-Aug-16 23:14:03

You'll get the books from school, I don't think we had to buy anything extra.

WankersHacksandThieves Thu 04-Aug-16 23:23:05

We had to buy all study guides if we wanted them plus any texts longer than a poem which could be photocopied.

prettybird Thu 04-Aug-16 23:32:23

You'll get the English books from school - but extra study guides, like the Hodder Gibson or Leckie past paper/study guides you'll need to buy.

There is a lot you can access (free) on the SQA site though.

prettybird Thu 04-Aug-16 23:35:55

You had to buy the English literature books Wankersetc? shock

Wrong, wrong, wrong. sad

Not sure that's even legal. The basic texts should be covered. If they do something extra, then that might, might be something pupils have to buy. But not the basic texts shocksadangry

BeJayKayven Thu 04-Aug-16 23:51:32

I think its Bright Red Publishing that do the CfE support books - but as pp said past papers (such as they are) you can get from the SQA website.

WankersHacksandThieves Fri 05-Aug-16 07:22:52

Well I think that's just what happens when you have a school in a more affluent area, they get nothing for nothing. They don't ever get any original texts. They get photocopies of parts of the texts. Also had to buy DS2s chemistry book as they have to share in class and can't bring it home. The low free school meal level means they get less money overall.

Lidlfix Fri 05-Aug-16 07:42:14

School I teach in and the school my DDs attend recommend you purchase books. They are available to use in school if pupils/parents don't want to. Harsh fact is that we just didn't get them back when they left the building. Some pupils happy to get by with their notes and whatever (copious) resources I put on Edmodo. DDs' school is far from affluent, Folios etc printed at home as there's no money in the budget for it.

Nat 5 English Folio is 30 per cent of the assessed grade not just an internal unit, so is very important. Could your DS make a start on a discursive piece on topic which he is interested in? I can send you the planning sheet my Nat 5s use and he could kick off his research.

prettybird Fri 05-Aug-16 08:36:49

Didn't realise the folio was such a large proportion of the final result shock. Not an issue for ds though as I knew he produced good work for everything that went in to it not that he let me see any of it hmm he had a very scary English teacher who was very happy with his output wink

Maybe her scariness is why they get all the texts back in reasonable condition wink

Lidlfix Fri 05-Aug-16 10:58:24

Same proportion for Higher (in case he omits that valuable info) wink

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