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    Ok, so I just moved to Scotland from Wales (which uses the same system as England btw) and I'm having a bit of trouble understanding how the curriculum works. I thought it would be helpfull to start a thread on this which people can use, so if you can explain anything leave a post and hopefully we'll soon have a pretty rounded explanation of the Scottish system.

    Here are some of things I was confused about:
    :confused: What is National Certificate and Highers (is it like GCSE and A level)? Is there a difference between advanced highers and highers, and if so what is it? How is everything marked; like is it in levels or A-F, or are there different marking schemes for each subject? :confused:

    Also if you've got another question, post that too, and kudos to any awesome peeps who can answer.

    cheers
    -bebby
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    (Original post by bebbybubbles99)
    Ok, so I just moved to Scotland from Wales (which uses the same system as England btw) and I'm having a bit of trouble understanding how the curriculum works. I thought it would be helpfull to start a thread on this which people can use, so if you can explain anything leave a post and hopefully we'll soon have a pretty rounded explanation of the Scottish system.

    Here are some of things I was confused about:
    :confused: What is National Certificate and Highers (is it like GCSE and A level)? Is there a difference between advanced highers and highers, and if so what is it? How is everything marked; like is it in levels or A-F, or are there different marking schemes for each subject? :confused:

    Also if you've got another question, post that too, and kudos to any awesome peeps who can answer.

    cheers
    -bebby
    Welcome, enjoy the rain!

    Right, best way to explain is probably from the very start...

    Okay, so we start primary school between the ages of 4 and 5, depending when our birthday falls. You're at nursery before that. So primary school goes:

    Primary 1 age at start of year: 4-5, age at end of year: 5-6, English/Welsh equivalent: Reception

    Primary 2 age at start of year: 5-6, age at end of year: 6-7, English/Welsh equivalent: Year 1

    Primary 3 age at start of year: 6-7, age at end of year: 7-8, English/Welsh equivalent: Year 2

    Primary 4 age at start of year: 7-8, age at end of year: 8-9, English/Welsh equivalent: Year 3

    Primary 5 age at start of year: 8-9, age at end of year: 9-10, English/Welsh equivalent: Year 4

    Primary 6 age at start of year: 9-10, age at end of year: 10-11, English/Welsh equivalent: Year 5

    Primary 7 age at start of year: 10-11, age at end of year: 11-12, English/Welsh equivalent: Year 6


    Then you leave primary school after P7 and go to Secondary school or high school (whatever you like to call it). That goes:

    S1 age at start of year: 11-12, age at end of year: 12-13, English/Welsh equivalent: Year 7

    S2 age at start of year: 12-13, age at end of year: 13-14, English/Welsh equivalent: Year 8

    S3 age at start of year: 13-14, age at end of year: 14-15, English/Welsh equivalent: Year 9

    S4 age at start of year: 14-15, age at end of year: 15-16, English/Welsh equivalent: Year 10

    S5 age at start of year: 15-16, age at end of year: 16-17, English/Welsh equivalent: Year 11

    S6 age at start of year: 16-17, age at end of year: 17-18, English/Welsh equivalent: Year 12

    Standard Grades are pretty much roughly the same as GCSEs. They're two year courses that pupils choose to study for S3 and you study throughout S3 and S4. You prelims (so mock exams for appeal purposes) about Christmas time of S4, then your proper Standard Grade exam in May of S4. These are graded from 1-7. The grades are divided into three levels - Foundation, general Credit (FOundation being the lowest, Credit the highest). Credit awards are a grade 1 or 2, General awards are a grade 3 or 4, and Foundation a 5 or 6. a 7 = no award. You study 8 standard grades over the course of 2 years.

    In S5, pupils who achieve a 1 or 2 at standard grade can go on to sit the subject at Higher. Puils how achieve a 3 or 4 can go on to do the subject at Intermediate 2, and Pupils with a 5 or 6 can go on to sit the subject at Intermediate 1. Higher, Int 2 and Int 1 are all graded at either A, B, C, D or no award. A to C is a pass, a D is a narrow fail. They sit mock exams for appeal puposes in February and their actual exam in May. Pupils usually sit around 5 subjects, sometimes more or less depending on circumstances.

    In S6, the final year, pupils who do well at higher can progress to do advanced higher, which is a further level again. Again this is graded A, B, C, D or no award. Int 2 passes can move on to higher, Int 1 can move on to Int 2, and in the instance of a fail a pupil can drop the subject or repeat it the year after. Pupil usually sit between 3 and 5 subjects depending how their grades were (better grades less subjects). Pupils can also opt to pick up subjects at higher that they've never studied before known as "crashing."

    Unlike the English system, where your overall A level award is made up of your AS result in Year 11 and A2 result in Year 12, Highers and Advanced Highers are two distinct courses, although advanced highers are roughly on the same difficulty level as A levels, although more importance seens to be pressed on Highers than Advanced highers. Pupils can leave school at the 16, so around S4, and some leave in S5 or after S6, depending on if they get a job, college placement, uni offer, etc.

    Most universities in Scotland look for your higher grades, but some prefer advanced higher, depends on your course. Basically the more and higher your grades the better, but most people are offered places or rejected from what their higher results were in S5 and their predicted grades in the subjects their studying in S6. Colleges can ask for anything between standard grades and highers, but won't ask for as many grades as universities.

    I'm sorry if that was a little confusing, but that's pretty much it!
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    Well most things were explained in the comment above but these are the qualifications and their infos

    Standard grades - are the equivalent to GCSEs and are scored by 1,2,3,4,5 etc
    Int 1s & 2s - are slightly harder than GCSEs but easier than A-Levels and they are scored by A, B, C etc
    Highers- are the equivalent to A-Levels and are scored A,B,C,D etc
    Advanced Higher- are the level above A-Levels and are taken up in the last year of highschool (S6) and they are scored A,B,C etc

    Hope this helps !!!
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    Alright, welcome to Scotland. Och aye the noo.

    I think everything has been well and truly covered. It's worth pointing out that Scotland does the later stages of education slightly differently from England & Wales. Where they have a tendency to finish off at college, we stay within school. So to do your Advanced Highers you'll likely still be at the same institution (eg. Linlithgow Academy where I went). People leaving after S4 to go to College tend to do vocational courses (eg. woodwork or mechanic etc.)

    Best of luck, I hope it's good to you. Anything that we can help with please yell. (I meant 'we' the TSR community, not 'we' like the royal 'we')
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    It's worth mentioning that Highers (that you sit in S5) are the main university entrance qualification. Advanced Highers are optional, but if you study them, you can get direct entrance to 2nd year at a Scottish university.

    Also, Standard Grades have been replaced by Nat 4/Nat 5s. They replace the lower/upper levels of Standard Grade respectively. Nat 4 is pass/fail. Nat 5 is graded the same as Highers. A-F.

    (Original post by Schichtoe)
    (eg. Linlithgow Academy where I went).
    My condolences.
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    Another thing, you can't resit parts of the course like with a-levels, you sit 1 exam at the end of the year that covers everything, if you fail it you have to resit the whole year again. ZWe do prelims to cover us if we're ill or underperform on the day but they are very rarely accepted in subjects like mathematics & the 3 sciences. (They're also scrapping the current appeals system next year I think (someone correct me if wrong?) )

    Also, highers & advanced highers also require you to pass 3 unit tests before you can sit the exam (I don't know if int2/int1 has nabs actually) but they are generally very basic

    We can also get our exam results texted to us which is awesome
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    In S3 and S4 the majority of schools in Scotland do standard grade but some schools, such as mine do Int 1 and Int 2's in s3 and s4 (I don't know why) and Int 2 is generally viewed as the middle ground between standard grade and higher. Intermediates do have NABS. Although the Standard Grades and Intermediates seem to be getting replace by NQ or something. I'm not really sure whats happening now.
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    (Original post by deedee123)
    Another thing, you can't resit parts of the course like with a-levels, you sit 1 exam at the end of the year that covers everything, if you fail it you have to resit the whole year again. ZWe do prelims to cover us if we're ill or underperform on the day but they are very rarely accepted in subjects like mathematics & the 3 sciences. (They're also scrapping the current appeals system next year I think (someone correct me if wrong?) )

    Also, highers & advanced highers also require you to pass 3 unit tests before you can sit the exam (I don't know if int2/int1 has nabs actually) but they are generally very basic

    We can also get our exam results texted to us which is awesome
    I think last year I got the email before the text


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone 4s app.
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    (Original post by Jack--)
    I think last year I got the email before the text


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone 4s app.
    yeah so did i at like 1 am haha
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    Thanks guys, this has cleared up a lot of things I was unsure about! :cute:

    And don't worry, I will enjoy the rain! (lol) :rolleyes:

    (Original post by Hype en Ecosse)
    Also, Standard Grades have been replaced by Nat 4/Nat 5s. They replace the lower/upper levels of Standard Grade respectively. Nat 4 is pass/fail. Nat 5 is graded the same as Highers. A-F.



    My condolences.
    Ok, good to know My new school just recently changed as well which made everything more confusing as whenever I asked 'what's national certificate?' most people just said 'like Standard Grade but different' which obviously didn't help XD
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    (Original post by bebbybubbles99)
    Ok, good to know My new school just recently changed as well which made everything more confusing as whenever I asked 'what's national certificate?' most people just said 'like Standard Grade but different' which obviously didn't help XD
    Yeah I don't think nats and SGs are on the same level, but the only thing that's changed is how they're assessed, and a bit of the course content (to reflect the four capacities in the Curriculum for Excellence :rolleyes:).

    See this series for more information.
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    (Original post by bebbybubbles99)
    Thanks guys, this has cleared up a lot of things I was unsure about! :cute:

    And don't worry, I will enjoy the rain! (lol) :rolleyes:



    Ok, good to know My new school just recently changed as well which made everything more confusing as whenever I asked 'what's national certificate?' most people just said 'like Standard Grade but different' which obviously didn't help XD
    I wouldn't worry about this National Certificate thing. Tbh I don't think anybody gets it as it's too complicated! I think they're calling them National 4s and National 5s instead of standard grades. You do more subjects over S3 and S4, but you can drop some in S4. Nat 5s are higher than Nat 4s, with Nat 5s you sit an actual exam and with Nat 4s I think it's mainly internally assessed in class so I don't think there's an actual exam. I think that's how it works. I don't really know, I think there's a lot of issues with it, some being that students could techincally leave school without having actually sat any qualifications under exam conditions at all. This is good in that less able kids don't have that added pressure, but if they go to college or uni they may struggle to adjust to the idea of sitting an exam. The new system means kids have to pick subjects from lots of different areas. That's good in that it promotes more creative subjects, but the downside is that if you're really logical and scientific you might have to do something like art or music or PE instead of picking a subject that plays to your strengths. So really I think there's a lot of pros and cons to the system and it's more complicated, which is probably why people complain about it. It's all a bit vague to me lol, I'm glad I was in the standard grade era!
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    Also if you are going to uni with your higher grades you can possibly get an unconditional as you apply to uni (usually after you have your higher grades) after 5th year or top them up with highers and AHigher in 6th year with a conditional offer.
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    Ok, it's making more sense now so thanks again. Hopefully by the time the exams come round most people will have a better understanding anyway as we're the second year to use the new system.
 
 
 
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