Broad General Education

The Broad General Education is considered to cover time spent in education from early years until the age of 15.  At Dumfries High School this means that pupils will cover courses focusing on Experiences and Outcomes in S1, S2 and S3.  These courses will build on areas covered in primary schools and will be progressive and challenging.

S1 / S2

Throughout the first two years of secondary school pupils continue to build upon their studies within the Broad General Education phase of Curriculum for Excellence.  This enables pupils to find their feet in school and to experience a wide range of subjects before being faced with important questions which could influence their future. Subjects studied in S1 and S2 at Dumfries High include English, Literacy, Mathematics, Numeracy, Social Subjects, French, Spanish, Physical Education, Religious and Moral Education, Health & Wellbeing, Building Learning Power, Science, STEAM, Home Economics, ICT, Business, Art & Design, Technical, Drama and Music.


A lot of discussion has taken place in recent years about which subjects should be followed by pupils in S3.  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 at Dumfries High, pupils follow a Core curriculum and are also be able to choose from a range of Options on offer to them.  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 (3 periods)

Physical Education (2 periods)

Religious and Moral Education (1 period)

Health and Wellbeing (1 period)


In addition to these core subjects pupils have the opportunity to choose subjects. To ensure that they maintain a Broad General Education in S3 and cover all areas of the curriculum within Curriculum for Excellence pupils 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 pupils are able to choose two subjects from any of the curricular areas (each studied for 3 periods per week).

In S3 all pupils will develop and extend their experiences and skills in their chosen subjects.  By the end of S3 most pupils will have covered level 4 Experiences and Outcomes across all eight curricular areas.

These experiences and skills will prepare pupils for entry to the Senior Phase in S4 and for presentation at National 3, 4 or 5 levels in National Qualifications.

Pupil progress is tracked throughout S3 and each pupil has individual mentoring interviews to analyse how they are developing.  Communication continues with parents throughout S3 and at the end of S3, decisions will be taken about courses to be covered in the first year of the Senior Phase in S4.

Senior Phase

The focus for S4 will be providing the best pathways for each individual pupil within the first year of the Senior Phase.

In terms of National Qualifications each pupil in S4 studies Maths and English and chooses four other subjects from those studied in S3.

In S5, pupils study five subjects and for most this will involve Higher and National 4 or 5 qualifications.

Pupils choose at least four subjects to study in S6. Most pupils will choose from a mix of Advanced Higher, Higher and National 4 and 5 qualifications.

Additional opportunities are also available to pupils in S4-6 in the form of college courses, work experience placements and YASS modules (for S6).