Just trying to work out what other councils do: When do your dc choose subjects for Nat 4/5 - ds chose his Nat4/5 subjects in S3 for S4 When doe the school advise whether your dc will sit Nat 4 or 5? (with us it's the January of S4 - which to me seems quite late) Jut interested.
My DCs choose their national subjects in S3 for S4. Choices are finalised around March but they do allow some subject changes until end of S3. We are given an indication at parents nights in January and June of S3 what level expected to sit however final decision was made in January of S4 which I agree is late. Some people were really disappointed to find out that their DC was to sit national 4 not national 5 for some subjects. This year they have promised to give earlier feedback for borderline students. I think most changes occurred in joint national 4/5 classes however I guess this is where most borderline kids are.
I am in Edinburgh and our school chose their (8) subjects at the end of S2 and have studied the 8 through S3 with the option for some to drop a subject in S4 by agreement. Other schools in the city are only doing 6 or 7. In terms of Nat 4/5 split, this was set out really by the end of S3 but final decision will not be until the prelims in January
Hi Haggis, teacher here - the reason the school will be waiting until Jan to make the final decision is because they will then have evidence from the prelims if pupils are likely to pass. In my school decisions about level changes went on until quite late in the term - don't changed just before the SQA cut off which I think was around March/April.
In many subjects, work undertaken for N5 will overtake the outcomes for N4 and some subjects cover N4 work in S3 so that pupils have N4 if they fail N5.
The crucial difference from standard grades is that there is no automatic fallback position - if a child failed credit SG, they would be awarded general (assuming they passed G). With nationals, unless work has been done to meet the N4 outcomes, if a child fails N5 they have nothing.
My DCs school isn't so high achieving. There are kids studying at national 3, 4 and 5 in S4 possibly even lower in the ASN unit although it is very rare to have all levels within one class (but not unknown). They were cautious last year insisting that everyone sitting national 5 completed the national 4 assessments so anyone failing national 5 would at least have a national 4 pass. Not sure if they are doing the same this year. Only half the year approximately 100 kids sat N5 maths and English.