Curriculum rationale

Stirling High School is a six-year non-denominational comprehensive school serving Stirling. Our learning community comprises of our associated primaries; Allan’s Primary, Borestone Primary, Braehead Primary, Cambusbarron Primary, Gargunnock Primary, St Ninian’s Primary and our associated nurseries; Hillview Nursery, Wellgreen Nursery and Baker Street Nursery. At Stirling High School, we work closely with our nursery and primary colleagues to maintain effective and productive links that benefit our learning community and ensure effective transitions.

Our Key values are:

Respect, Responsibility and Achievement

Stirling High School is a community where we are committed to doing our best. We REACH out to support everyone through developing:

  • Resilience – We strive to instil confidence and determination in all members of our school

  • Ethos - We strive to develop respect understanding and acceptance of everyone

  • Achievement - We strive to enable all of our learners to achieve their best

  • Community - We strive to prepare our pupils to contribute as local and global citizens

  • Health - We strive to inspire healthy, happy, creative and aspirational young people

Through developing resilience, ethos, achievement, community and health, the school aims create the support and environment for our young people to be the best that they can be.

With the support of Stirling Council, our goal is to improve the life chances of all of our young people, working in partnership with parents, carers, employers and the wider community. We also have a supportive Parent Council that provides a vehicle for strong and effective partnership with our parents and carers.

The school is fully committed to meeting the needs of all young people and to providing a wide range of opportunities for all members of our school community. Supporting learning and learners are core responsibilities of all members of staff.

There are eight faculties in the school:

  • Business and Technology (Business Education, Design & Technology and Computing)

  • Communication (English and Religious and Philosophical Studies)

  • Creative Industries (Art and Design, Food and Technology and Music)

  • Modern Foreign Languages and Confucius Hub

  • Numeracy (Maths and Numeracy)

  • Physical Education (PE and extra-curricular)

  • Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)

  • Social Subjects (Geography, History and Modern Studies)

The school operates a 32 periods-a-week model with registration with Form Tutors at the beginning of each day.

The Curriculum

Broad General Education:

S1-S3 Our curriculum is designed to embrace the principles of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). There are opportunities for young people to make choices of subjects and courses at key stages. Our BGE curriculum has been designed around the CfE experiences and outcomes up to and including the fourth level, in each of the 8 curricular areas of CfE:

  • Languages

  • Mathematics

  • Social Studies

  • Sciences

  • Expressive Arts

  • Technologies

  • Religious and Moral Education

  • Health and Wellbeing

Across a number of areas, courses further develop work carried out as part of the primary – secondary transition process. (Most recently, work within Numeracy has been our focus.) The school has a broad and balanced curriculum. Pupils in S1-3 follow a Broad General Education (BGE).

Our curriculum is built upon the following foundations:

Challenge and enjoyment Breadth Progression Depth Personalisation and Choice Coherence Relevance

and the 6 learner entitlements:

  • a curriculum that is coherent from 3-18

  • a broad general education (early years to S3)

  • a senior phase where one can obtain qualifications

  • opportunities to develop skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work, focusing on literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing

  • personal support to enable young people to gain as much as possible from the opportunities that CfE can provide

  • support in moving into positive and sustained destinations beyond school

At Stirling High School, we ensure that learning is within the 4 contexts of:

  • Ethos and life of the school

  • Curriculum areas and subjects

  • Interdisciplinary learning

  • Opportunities for personal development

This provides our young people with a wealth of opportunities and learning experiences and develops them as responsible citizens, confident individuals, effective contributors and successful learners.

There is also a clear focus on developing skills of literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing, creativity, digital and employability skills in a progressive way throughout the curriculum.

In S1 and S2 our young people follow 13 subjects; Maths, English, French (and Mandarin in S1), Business and Computing, Design and Technology, Science, Health and Food Technology, Art, Music, Social Subjects, Personal and Social Education (PSE) and core Physical Education (PE), Religious and Moral Education (RME).

Towards the end of S2, pupils are able to deepen their learning and personalise their curriculum for S3 by taking forward 8 subjects.

Throughout S3 learning and teaching follows the broad general education and there can be opportunities, when appropriate, for learning and teaching to be aligned to National courses. Young people further personalise their curriculum at the end of S3 towards 7 National Qualification courses. Young people receive personalised support from their Form Tutor and Principal Teacher of Pupil Support, to review their learning and plan for progression and prepare for next steps. Parents play a key role in the decision-making process around personalisation of young people’s pathways and staff work with families to support this process. This programme has supported the preparation of the S3 Profile to summarise learners’ achievements within the Broad General Education. We firmly believe that our Broad General Education curriculum equips learners with the requisite skills, abilities and aptitudes to make a successful transition to the Senior Phase.

Senior Phase: S4-S6

Our senior phase is aspirational and supportive in creating opportunities for our young people to achieve their best. There is a wide range of courses in subjects that enable progression pathways for all abilities.

Pupils in S4 study 7 subjects leading to National Qualifications and PSE, PE and RME. The school offers a wide range of subjects from SCQF levels 1 - 5 (National 1-5, Skills for Work courses, National Progression Awards and Foundation Apprenticeships). Most young people will complete their first qualifications at the end of S4.

Young people take five subjects as they enter S5 from SCQF levels 1 - 6; these can include Higher courses, National 1- 5 courses, National Progression Awards (NPAs), Foundation Apprenticeships and RME.

In S6, young people usually study 4 subjects alongside Core PE and choose wider achievement opportunities to develop further their skills.

All pupils in S1-S6 follow a planned programme of Personal, Social and Health Education, delivered by Form Teachers.

Flexible Curricular Pathways

Stirling High School recognises the importance of creating flexible curricular pathways in order to provide our young people the opportunity to develop fully their skills. The school seeks to motivate young people to create and take opportunities to develop their skills and we welcome innovation. For some individuals this can include appropriate presentation for courses linked to ability, rather than age and stage. For some young people, our 32 periods-a-week model is adapted through partnerships with college, employers and other partners. The school has an open and flexible approach to supporting all young people including those with Additional Support Needs (ASN) and Social and Emotional Behavioural Needs (SEBN).

Stirling High School is committed to developing appropriate individualised pathways for our young people to enable them to meet their potential. This involves pro-actively creating partnerships with our colleagues in our partner schools, in higher and further education and with our partners in the world of work and employment. Developing our young people’s skills for learning, life and work is key to our aim of our young people being the best that they can be.

There are opportunities for our young people in S6 to follow courses in the Senior Phase in other local schools, such as St Modan’s High School, Wallace High School and Bannockburn High School if there are particular courses that are offered elsewhere and are key to our young people’s future plans and we reciprocate this arrangement with our Stirling partner schools.

We support young people in the transition to college and by developing their skills with our partnership with Forth Valley College. Many young people engage in a range of vocational courses through a day release programme in S4. In S5 and S6 young people can follow Foundation Apprenticeships in a range of career focussed courses. We currently have a number of young people attending the college on a Monday and Wednesday afternoon completing a variety of Foundation Apprenticeships. In S4 and S5 there are opportunities for young people to take Skills for Work courses at National 4 and 5 levels in a wide range of vocational subjects. Some of the most popular choices selected allow young people to develop their skills in construction, hospitality and early years education.

Forth Valley College’s partnership with Stirling High School extends to our LINK programme. Targeting young people in S4 and S5 with additional support needs (ASN), this partnership provides a supportive environment where our ASN young people are supported through their transition from Stirling High School to a full time college place at Forth Valley College.

In S6, there are opportunities to extend the curriculum through the Open University’s courses, Young Applicants in Schools Scheme (YASS). Young people have studied Engineering, Galaxies, Stars and Planets, Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis, Molecules, Medicines and Drugs and Introduction to Law, to name a few. These courses have enhanced our young people’s applications to university degree- level courses.

In S6, there is also a range of opportunities for our young people to develop further their skills alongside study of school-based subjects.

We have supported young people in partnerships with Cowane’s Hospital, Young Enterprise, Dance Leaders Award, Sports Leader Award, Personal Development Award, ECDL, Cycle Maintenance Award and volunteering in our associated primary schools and nurseries. We work closely with Stirling Community Enterprise who offer bespoke flexible curriculum programmes for young people in soft and hard landscaping and employability skills. Almost all young people participate in work experience, many in bespoke placements aligned to their current career choices. In addition to providing work experience, we constantly strive to embed work based learning within the curriculum to increase relevance and enhance provision for our young people. Wider Achievement

There are many opportunities for young people to achieve other awards throughout their time at the school and for wider achievement to be recognised.

There is a commitment to promoting and celebrating opportunities for personal achievement within the formal curriculum, inter-disciplinary learning, extra-curricular activities and through our ethos. Links are made with partners in the community and beyond to design and deliver activities that genuinely develop the attributes associated with the four capacities of Curriculum for Excellence (successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors) in all of our young people.

There is a high number of out of school hour activities in a range of disciplines available to pupils from S1-6. The number of activities has continued to grow and is a major strength of the school. Sport is a major feature of life at Stirling High School and many young people attend after school clubs where they can use the skills they have learned in PE lessons. There are opportunities to develop ability in music through our orchestra, choirs and other musical events. There are many other activities including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and our Eco Club. The achievements of our young people are celebrated through our Colours Award programme. We work in partnership with Stirling Voluntary Enterprise to promote the Saltire Award, recognising the importance of volunteering.

Support for Young People

Our Young people are supported through their curricular pathways by all staff and particularly by their Principal Teacher of Pupil Support and where appropriate, Additional Support Needs (ASN) staff. Our learning activities allow for differentiation and also match the needs of our learners. Courses and units of work are developed to support and stretch young people through the Broad General Education (S1-S3) and into the Senior Phase (S4-S6).

Our targeted support procedures are also effective and robust. We have a staged intervention database which allows for efficient planning of support and dissemination of information. Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) procedures are firmly embedded in our procedures to ensure young people are the focus of our support plans. Safe, Happy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible and Included (SHANARRI) indicators are used to evaluate young people’s needs. We very much regard parents as partners. Staff meet with parents when appropriate and regularly meet to discuss action plans and next steps for young people requiring additional support. We ensure that young people are active participants in their support and ask for their feedback on interventions.

Learning Contexts

At Stirling High School we believe passionately in the importance of providing a wide variety of learning experiences out with the classroom. Enabling our young people to participate in curricular visits is a very important part of the overall learning experience. Young people have participated in a wide variety of excursions to directly support learning and teaching in a number of curricular areas and field trips are aimed at developing key skills.

Stirling High School has a number of established foreign excursions including the annual battlefields trip. We often have over 50 different trips being undertaken each session, allowing the opportunity for our young people to further develop their experiences of the world they live in.

Digital Skills

Stirling High School is committed to developing our young people’s digital skills. The school is working in partnership with digital companies based in Stirling to provide work-based learning contexts. We use Google Classroom extensively in our lessons. We have a programme to issue Google Chromebooks to all S1 pupils and we plan to continue this rollout year on year. All young people in S1-S3 have been given their own Chromebook as of November 2018. Coding is part of our BGE computing curriculum.

Health and Wellbeing

We are committed to promoting healthy life choices throughout the curriculum at Stirling High School. Health and Wellbeing outcomes are embedded in our BGE curricular subjects and into the Senior Phase. Our Personal and Social Education programme delivers outcomes related to health, positive choices and positive relationships. The school has staff trained mental health champions and school counsellors.

Learning for Sustainability

Stirling High School is committed to learning for sustainability. Through opportunities to develop skills and knowledge in sustainable development education, global citizenship, outdoor and international education, Stirling High School enables its learning community to understand the role that each of us plays both in Scotland and beyond. Learning for Sustainability is a means of both raising attainment and closing the poverty related attainment gap, whilst also providing young people with the skills for learning, life and work to compete successfully in a globalised world.

We are continuing to develop further this aspect of the curriculum.

Next Steps

Stirling High School is committed to improving further our curriculum to meet the needs of a highly skilled, flexible work force that the 21st century requires. The school is open to new opportunities that will benefit our young people. We are working to develop a greater understanding of the skills that young people require for their lives and work. The school will continue to further develop partnerships and create bespoke pathways for learners in order to provide seamless transitions from the Broad General Education into the Senior Phase and into positive destinations.