S2 Options Information

Introduction for Pupils

Throughout the past two years you have continued to build upon your studies within the broad general education phase of Curriculum for Excellence. This enabled you to find your feet in school and to experience a wide range of subjects before being faced with important questions which could affect your future.

A lot of discussion has gone on in recent years about which subjects should be followed by pupils of your age and where to allow choice. It is generally agreed that certain subjects should be studied by everybody, that some areas of study should permit limited choice, and that there should be a few areas of wide choice.

In S3 you will follow a Core curriculum and also be able to choose from the Options on offer to you. This opportunity for personalisation and choice should be both exciting and challenging.


Society expects everyone to have certain basic skills of literacy and numeracy; to develop a healthy body; to understand the pitfalls and challenges of modern life; to know something about the great religions that have influenced our culture. For these reasons, every pupil in S3 will study the following core subjects:

English (5 periods)
Mathematics (5 periods)
French & Spanish (3 periods)
Physical Education (2 periods)
Religious and Moral Education (1 period)
Health and Wellbeing (1 period)


In addition to your core subjects you have the opportunity to choose subjects. To ensure that you maintain a broad general education in S3 and cover all areas of the curriculum within Curriculum for Excellence you must choose one subject from each of the following four curricular areas:

Social Studies (3 periods)
Science (3 periods)
Expressive Arts (3 periods)
Technologies (3 periods)

In addition you are able to choose two subjects from any of the curricular areas (each studied for 3 periods per week).

By the end of S3 you will have covered level 4 experiences and outcomes across all eight curricular areas. These experiences and skills will prepare you for entry to the Senior Phase in S4 and for presentation at National 4 or 5 level in National Qualifications in seven subject areas.

Many things will play a part in your decision to choose certain subjects. One of these will be your teachers’ comments on the progress you have made this year. How interesting the course sounds will of course be another factor and you will find lots of advice on the school website on the subjects and courses available to you – click on the link below to access the S2 Option Form and links to the information on each course. Read the information carefully and should you need any further clarification don’t hesitate to ask a member of staff from the relevant department.

The difficulty with choice is that you have to reject things. Think carefully before you decide not to continue with a subject. Remember you are maturing rapidly and what seems irrelevant to you now may seem very different in a year or two. There are many career opportunities open to young people but a number of them have specific entry requirements demanding particular subjects. Ensure that your course choices for S3 do not close too many doors to you, by keeping your choices broad. Should wish you are able to seek further advice from the school's Careers Advisor, Zoe Knox, who can be contacted by email at zoe.knox@sds.co.uk.

If you are in doubt concerning any particular subject choice you can discuss this with your Principal Teacher of Pupil Support or Depute Head at your options interview. The options process is an important aspect of the journey of each pupil in the school and staff are committed to it being a positive experience.

Please ensure that you take the options process seriously and think carefully about the courses you choose to follow next session. The choices that you make now will prove important in ensuring that you move into a positive destination when the time comes for you to leave school and enter further and higher education or ultimately, the world of work.