This guide is for you and your parents/carers and will help you when you are making some of the important decisions about your future at Kelso High School – and beyond.

This guide is not just about making subject choices but is also about helping you to consider the implications 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 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 the most important factor in determining if you will have a successful year in school

Being intelligent is only a small part of being successful.  Do you work hard?  How high is your self-esteem?  Are you motivated?  Are you willing to work with others?

Using This Guide

The contents have been thought out carefully to support you. You should refer to the guide from time to time for advice.

Please consult with your Pastoral or class teachers if you require clarification on any point. Use the information in the guide to help you make the best choices for you.

Often what we think of ourselves and what others think of us are not always the same and it is a lot harder to know yourself well than you may think!

Your parents, Pastoral staff and your subject teachers can help to give you a fair picture of yourself; even if their picture is not always the one you have of yourself it is important to be willing to listen to the advice you are given.

Finding Out More about Courses

Before selecting a course you must carry out research to ensure that you fully understand what you are going to study, how hard it will be and how you will be assessed.

You also need to know why you are taking the course.  Is it because it is an essential entry requirement for further study or employment because you enjoy the area of study and/or because you feel you have talents in this field?  It might even be all three!

There are two important ways to gain information about the courses:

Subject Teachers

Subject teachers are experts about the courses available in their departments and they will speak to you about what is on offer. When entering the Senior Phase it is normally the case that you would take courses which lead to more advanced study later on, for instance, take National 4/5 Chemistry if you want to study Higher Chemistry in the fifth year. However, it is also sometimes possible to study a subject you haven’t taken for a while.

Course Outlines

For each National Qualification 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.


There is great demand for places on courses and as such, some subjects are over-subscribed. This situation is made even more difficult when students begin courses in June, and then change their minds when they receive their results in August. 

Re-coursing such students can be difficult and procedures are in place for this – details will be made available nearer the time. Places that are allocated in June are not guaranteed and will be dependent on re-coursing.


Look carefully at your course choice sheet.

Speak to your Pastoral teacher or class teacher.

Remember, you are not alone in this. There are lots of people who are there to help you.

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