S1 Options

An introduction

Please also check, in the short term, this Glow link

To all S1 Students

option_treeThe aim of this guide is to assist you and your parents in making your choices for the coming year.

In first year you have followed a common course studying a wide range of subjects.  In your second year you will continue to study a wide range of subjects covering all of the Curriculum areas.

At the end of S1 you have the opportunity to decide which nine courses you would like to study in greater depth in S2 and S3. You must select one subject from each of the following Curriculum areas: Expressive Arts, Health and Well Being, Modern languages, Science, Social Subjects and Technology. You will then make three further choices from any subjects you wish.

These choices are called electives. The course descriptors describing the electives have been prepared by your Teachers. They give you information on what you will study, how you will learn, the way in which you will be assessed, how much homework you will need to do and they also provide guidance on which courses you may wish to study in S4 and beyond. You are encouraged to gather more detailed information through discussions with your subject teachers.

If you need any more help with completing your Choice Sheet, your Pastoral teacher will be happy to help you.

Curriculum for Excellence

Curriculum for Excellence is the new name for the education system in Scotland. It covers the whole ‘learning journey’ from age 3 to 18. The Government has structured this new education system into five levels and provided guidance to schools on what you should be taught.  The table below will help you understand the levels.

Levels…. & Stages
  • Early The pre-school years and P1, or later for some
  • First To the end of P4, but earlier or later for some.
  • Second To the end of P7, but earlier or later for some.
  • Third & fourth S1 to S3, but earlier or later for som
  • Senior phase S4 to S6, and college or other means of study
Third and fourth level

In S1-S3 most students will be at the Third or Fourth level. At this stage you will cover a broad range of subjects from every curriculum area in the school.

The list below details the subjects you will be taught and the amount of periods you will receive.

Courses everyone will study (Core)

  • English
  • Maths
  • Physical Education
  • Religious & Moral Education
  • Personal & Social Education

Your Choices (Electives)
You also have the opportunity to choose nine additional subjects (called electives). These electives should be subjects that you wish to study in more depth.   The ranges of electives on offer are explained in detail later on in this booklet.  You will receive two periods in each of these nine electives. These electives will last for all of S2 and S3.


  1. Expressive Arts
  2. Health and Well Being
  3. Modern Languages
  4. Science
  5. Social Subjects
  6. Technologies
  7. Free Choice 1
  8. Free Choice 2
  9. Free Choice 3

In S2-S3 you will be assessed by your classroom teachers in a wide variety of ways.  Guidance on the various assessment methods is provided in each of the course descriptors.

Please note that you will not be sitting National Awards until you reach the Senior Phase (S4 and beyond).  This is for young people aged 15-18.

It is quite likely that you may wish to take subjects and sit exams in the Senior Phase which build upon the elective courses that you have studied. It is therefore very important that you give serious consideration to what you wish to choose.

In order to help you make your decisions make sure you:

Ask your SUBJECT teachers to tell you more about their subjects.
Ask you PASTORAL teacher to talk over your ideas with you.
Ask your PARENTS to discuss your choices and your future with you

To Parents of S1 Students

We have developed a curriculum structure for all our second year students which offers both a broad general education as well as a degree of personalisation and choice in new courses.   Both core and elective courses will offer breadth, depth and challenge.

Both core and elective courses will be of two years duration and continue until the end of S3.  They are designed to offer greater depth in Curriculum Areas.  Your child’s progress in all of their subjects, core and elective, will be continually assessed by their teachers. The electives are not externally assessed and do not result in a National Qualification.  Government guidelines now stipulate that Scottish school children will not be presented for national awards until they are in the Senior Phase. The elective course will provide a solid foundation for courses in the Senior Phase. In most cases pupils will continue to study four of the nine elective courses that they have studied in S2 and S3.

In addition to the support programme outlined below, members of the PHS 200, an organisation of parents of pupils at Peebles High School, have created a parental guide which is available on the school website.

Support Programme
  • From January Pastoral teachers will be working with their PSE classes on the S1 options process, giving information and advice.  Your child will have a 1:1 interview with their pastoral teacher before the 5th of March to confirm their options.
  • 29th January S1 Options and Choices Evening.
    This evening will give you an overview of the curriculum on offer and provide an opportunity to answer questions on its structure.
  • 29th January Option choice booklet available on this website and options sheet issued.
  • 6th February S1 reports are issued.
  • 26th February S1 Pareants’ Evening.
  • 5th March final date of pastoral interviews and the deadline for S1 course choices.
Further information

Further information on curriculum developments and the shape of the new National Qualifications that your child will sit in the Senior Phase can be found on the SQA website.  www.sqa.org.uk

Do not hesitate to contact the appropriate Pastoral Teacher if you are worried about any aspect of your child’s choice.

Cademuir House

Mrs Gess
Mrs Robertson

Dunrig House

Mr McColm
Mr Armour

Meldon House

Mrs Edge