S4-5 Options

Welcome to the Fourth and Fifth Year Information Handbook

Dear Student

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



This handbook is for you and your parents.  It includes a range of topics which will help you in some of the important decisions you will require to make for your future in Peebles High School and beyond.

Your handbook is not just about making subject choices but helping you to consider the consequences of whatever decisions you make.  When you have to make decisions, do not just do what you would like to do, but also consider what is likely to have the best or, at least, good consequences for you.

You should set yourself challenging targets in the senior school and can only expect to achieve them by working hard.  You are and will be in competition with many talented students across Scotland.  We believe that you can be up there with the best of them.

I hope you have a successful year.

Yours sincerely

Paul Fagan
Rector (Interim)



What is the most important factor which will determine if you will have a successful year at school?  I hope you have come up with the correct answer; the most important factor is you!

Being intelligent is only a small part of being successful.  Have you got a good “graft factor”?  How high is your self-esteem?  Are you motivated?  Are you willing to work with others?

Often someone who does not do well at school will nonetheless have success later in life.  Even so, in almost all cases, they wish they had worked harder at school. If you do not keep up or are too easy on yourself, others will move ahead of you.

Using the handbook

The contents have been thought out carefully to support you.
You should refer to the handbook from time to time for advice.
Please consult with your Guidance teacher if you require clarification on any point.

Courses offered in S5/6 are dependant upon financial decisions of SBC and pupil uptake.

Some students have helped with the contents.  Now it is over to you; use it, but don’t lose it!!

Pearls of wisdom

What we think of ourselves and what others think of us are not always the same.  To know yourself well is a lot harder than you may think.

Your parents, Guidance staff and your subject teachers can help give you a fair picture of yourself, even if their picture is not always the one you have of yourself.

The rest of this material is contained in the download directly below this. We hope you will find it useful.

Course outlines

For each National Qualifications course available in school, your teachers have produced a course outline which contains information on the following:

What you need to do it.
What you will learn.
What you will do.
How you will be assessed.
How much homework you will get.
What advanced courses the subject leads to.
Costs involved in the course

Support Programme
  • 19th February S45 Options and Choices Evening (6.00-6.45 pm). This evening will give you an overview of the curriculum on offer.
  • 19th February S45 pastoral interviews begin.
  • 2nd March S45 reports are issued.
  • 19th March final day of pastoral interviews and options completion deadline.

Financial constraints have had an effect on the options and choices available to our students.  There is now greater demand for places on every course and as such, some subjects can be over-subscribed.  This situation is made even more difficult when students begin courses in June, then change their minds. Re-coursing students has proved difficult and it has therefore been necessary to offer guidelines to all students, parents and carers on re-coursing procedures.

In June, you will be allocated to classes based on teachers’ recommendations.  Such recommendations will take any additional needs you may have into account.

If you do not meet the recommended entry requirements but still wish to study a particular course you have the right to do so provided there is a space in such a course.  Students who do meet the recommended entry requirements will be given priority.
You will be expected to complete chosen courses.  No student will be permitted to ‘drop’ a subject unless the class teacher is convinced that it would be inappropriate for the pupil to continue with the subject. This would normally be as a result of a pupil repeatedly failing end of unit assessments. If a student does ‘drop’ a course they would be expected to attend class but study towards their other subjects.

If it is necessary to change your presentation level at anytime, this will be communicated to your parents in writing by the Principal Teacher Curriculum, with a copy of any letter passed to your Pastoral.

Any student who withdraws from a course after the SQA presentation lists are submitted in March may be asked to pay the presentation fee.


Please also see also other relevant N2-N5 downloads on this S3 Handbook page.