S3 Course Choice Handbook

Welcome to the Third Year Information Handbook

Dear Student

This handbook is for you and your parents.  It includes a range of topics which will help you in some of the important decisions you will require to make for your future in Peebles High School and beyond.

Your handbook is not just about making subject choices but helping you to consider the consequences 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 or, at least, good 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 and will be in competition with many talented students across Scotland.  We believe that you can be up there with the best of them.

I hope you have a successful year.

Yours sincerely

Campbell Wilson



What is the most important factor which will determine if you will have a successful year at school?  I hope you have come up with the correct answer; the most important factor is you!

Being intelligent is only a small part of being successful.  Have you got a good “graft factor”?  How high is your self-esteem?  Are you motivated?  Are you willing to work with others?

Often someone who does not do well at school will nonetheless have success later in life.  Even so, in almost all cases, they wish they had worked harder at school. If you do not keep up or are too easy on yourself, others will move ahead of you.

Using the handbook

The contents have been thought out carefully to support you.
You should refer to the handbook from time to time for advice.
Please consult with your Guidance teacher if you require clarification on any point.

Some students have helped with the contents.  Now it is over to you; use it.

Pearls of wisdom

What we think of ourselves and what others think of us are not always the same.  To know yourself well is a lot harder than you may think

Your parents, pastoral staff and your subject teachers can help give you a fair picture of yourself, even if their picture is not always the one you have of yourself.


Finding out more about courses: Before selecting a course you must carry out research to ensure that you understand fully 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 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.  You should speak with the teachers that know best within each department, about which courses would be best for you.  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 fifth year.  We would advise you to take courses that you had studied as an elective as you will have more knowledge and skills in these subjects. However, you can take a subject in S4 that you have not studied as an elective.

Course outlines

For each National Qualifications 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.
Costs involved in the course

Support Programme
  • From January Pastoral teachers will be working with their PSE classes on the S3 options process, giving information and advice.  Your child will have a 1:1 interview with their pastoral teacher before the 6th March to confirm their options.
  • From January all young people in S3 will have a 1:1 interview with the careers adviser.
  • 8th January S3 Options and Choices Evening (7.00-7.45 pm). This evening will give you an overview of the curriculum on offer.
  • 13th January Option choice booklet available on this website and options sheet issued.
  • 20th February S3 parents’ evening.
  • 28th February final day of pastoral interviews and options completion deadline.  Please remember to submit your choice sheet to your pastoral teacher and enter your choices online.

Please take the time to read our recoursing policy below:

RECOURSING POLICY updated 01.06.17

Everyone will study Maths and English but you also have to make four choices and rank them in your order of preference. Remember to also make a reserve choice and mark that with an R.

Work your way through the department folders taking time to read and discuss the information you find there.

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

Course Choice Sheet and Link to Online Choice Entry

S3 Course Choice Sheet – Jan 20

Please remember to enter your choices online below.  (You will need your unique log in details that your pastoral teacher provided you with):



Mathematics N345

English N345



Admin & IT N45

Art and Design N345

Biology N45

Borders College

Business Management N45

Business & ICT N23

Chemistry N45

Construction Crafts N4

Computing Science N45

Creative Arts N2

Design & Manufacture N45

Drama N45

Enterprise and Employability N45

Fashion & Textiles N45

Food Health & Wellbeing & PE N23

French N45

Geography N45

Graphic Communication N45

Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy (Borders College)

History N45

Hospitality N45

Italian N45

Modern Languages N23

Modern Studies N45

Music N45

Philosophy N5

Physical Education N45

Physics N45

Practical Craft Skills National 3

Practical Woodworking N45

Science N34

Science in the Environment N2

Social Subjects N34

Spanish N45





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