Understanding The S4-S6 Years in Secondary Schools (Taletta’s Resource)

A Resource for Parents and Carers






This resource is intended to support parents, carers and families better understand the evolving senior phase (S4-S6) in Dundee’s secondary schools. The resource will also be of use to professionals when meeting with parents/carers in a 1:1, small group or large audience situation. The resource is an attempt to bring together various pieces of the S4-S6 years in secondary schools. These years are often referred to as the senior phase and are increasingly changing and diversifying in our modern educational world. This resource is intended to help you, to better help your children prior to, during and after their senior phase.

Importantly, the initial idea for this resource came from a meeting between secondary school Parent Council representatives and Taletta Jamieson (Parental Engagement Officer). This resource is dedicated to the memory of Taletta who, sadly, is no longer with us.

Using this resource

The different areas of this resource can be accessed by clicking on the relevant segment of the image on the main menu.

It is likely that users of the resource will wish to dip in and out of different pieces at different times. To support parents’ and carers’ full understanding of the S4 to S6 years in secondary school (the senior phase), information has been included on other aspects, including:

  • Our vision, plans and ambitions for Dundee’s children and young people
  • How we perform in key aspects of educational provision including attainment and pupils’ destinations on leaving school
  • The broad general education (Primary 1 to Secondary 3) that precedes the senior phase, and
  • Supporting learners with additional support needs.

Links have also been provided to school web sites and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

Fourth year and beyond (Senior phase)
​All learners are entitled to experience a senior phase where they can continue to develop the four capacities (Successful learners, Confident individuals, Responsible citizens and Effective contributors) and work towards achieving qualifications.

Across Dundee, we aim to provide a senior phase of education which:

  1. allows specialisation, depth and rigour
  2. encourages pupils to achieve the highest level of which they are capable
  3. continues to develop skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work
  4. continues to provide a range of activities which develop the four capacities
  5. supports pupils to achieve a positive and sustained destination.

How our schools deliver and achieve the above has changed significantly over the last few years. As a result, the current education system can often appear confusing to parents and carers as you assist your children.

Above all else, this resource is intended to help you, to better help your children prior to, during and after their senior phase.

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