Supporting Attainment

Subject Choices

The subject choice programme begins in February of S2. Following an assessment diet, a full report, parent information evening and parents’ evening, pupils are invited to an individual meeting with their parents and year head to discuss the best possible subjects to take forward to National Qualification. Subjects are chosen from columns which support pupils in selecting a broad and balanced curriculum developing skills and knowledge whilst keeping their options open at this early stage. Armed with performance data over S1 and S2 pupils will be able to make the most informed decisions to support their future choices.
(Example of Option Choice form)
At this stage pupils will choose up to six subjects in addition to Maths and English which are compulsory. There is the option of choosing fewer than six subjects. For example some parents feel four or five allows additional time for study and so study periods are added to the timetable for some pupils.

National Exams

Subjects chosen in S2 are at National 4 or National 5 level or can be a combination of both.
These subjects are studied for two years culminating with the National exam at the end of S4.
In S5 pupils may then choose up to five Highers in subjects in which they have excelled at National 5 and will support their next steps to University, College or the work place. There are no specific columns at this stage and pupils may choose the subjects which best support their ambitions. Whilst we cannot guarantee a first choice, we will always endeavour to support subject choices if at all possible.
Some pupils in S5 choose a combination of Highers and National 5s to optimise their chance of a positive destination.
In S6 pupils who have gained an A or B at Higher level May select Advanced Highers or a mixture of both Advanced Higher and Higher.

Study & Support

Fernhill School is a supportive and ambitious environment giving our pupils everything they require to reach their fullest potential. We appreciate that everyone will have a destination in mind after school, but equally we realise that everyone will reach that destination via a variety of routes and time frames. Our class sizes are such that our pupils who require extra support to reach their goals will have a bespoke programme of work and study pertinent to how they learn. Those pupils who experience barriers to learning will have the support of their teachers through strategic direction, supported study and a dedicated head of Assisted Support Needs will ensure they receive all the additional requirements they need to reach their potential.
For those pupils who require greater challenge in the curriculum and who work at a faster pace, the pupil to teacher ratio will ensure they are stretched and supported in maximising their potential.
Supported study and Easter study classes are common place and our dedicated teachers are always on hand for advice and support. This small, nurturing, bespoke style of support provides the optimal learning environment for pupils of all abilities to reach their potential.

Prelim & Exam Diet

Pupils in Transitus to S3 will undergo a diet of assessments. These will help inform choices and build performance data to allow us to track and monitor pupil progress. This data provides us with information to offer strategic and directed support to those pupils who require it.
Prelim examinations for S4 take place in December and for S5 and S6 in January.
The prelim diet usually stretches over two school weeks during which time pupils have a period of study leave. This means they are able to study at home. However, a study space is available at school if required.
Prelim results are returned to pupils in the context of a learning conversation with strategies to support improvement. Where necessary, parents are invited to these conversations to ensure school and home are aligned in supporting the pupil.

Preparing for University

Most of our pupils will look to University as the next step in their journey. However, an increasing number of young people across the country are looking at different routes including college, foundation and graduate apprenticeships.
Each year, Fernhill School holds a careers Fayre to which we invite our partners in business, industry, healthcare, armed forces as well as representatives from colleges and universities.
Throughout the year, our pupils have access to the website My World of Work and at various points in the senior school have the opportunity to undertake periods of work experience.
All S6 pupils have a dedicated period built into their timetable with Mr Donnelly who supports them with the rigours of the UCAS process. This includes support with personal statement and providing a full, detailed and comprehensive reference, as well as advice on choices of university and the often complex admissions process.

Dedicated 6th Form

Our Sixth Form is a dedicated point of entry to Fernhill School for the individual attention, support and challenge required for the next step on the learning journey. 

Come and see us to find out more about how you can benefit from a bespoke Sixth Form experience at Fernhill School. 

This prospectus will give you and insight, but a visit will truly allow you to understand exactly what makes Fernhill School such a special place.  

An overview 

Looking back on their time at school, many of our former pupils say that the Sixth Form proved to be their most satisfying year. We are always seeking new ways in which to enhance the experience of our Sixth Form students.  In addition to the more traditional school courses, the Sixth Form have the opportunity to study a broader range of subjects including Politics and Sociology. 

As part of the Sixth Year programme, and in preparedness for the next stage of study or work, our Sixth Formers have weekly talks from a variety of guest speakers on subjects ranging from Finance and Health to Charities and Philanthropy. This is a great opportunity to broaden both their knowledge and understanding of the wider world and is also an opportunity for them to challenge or question their own opinions. 

Academic Excellence 

A sixth form education at Fernhill School will maximise the potential and opportunity of every young person we teach. With class sizes in single digits and unrivalled academic support network from experienced and dedicated staff, we have enjoyed 100% pass rate at Advanced Higher for the past three years. Coupled with the other aspects of our sixth form experience, our young people leave us with the confidence and ambition required to face the challenges of University or work life successfully while at the same time able to show respect, empathy and responsibility in all that they do.  

Sixth Form Centre 

Every Sixth Form Pupil forms part of our Senior Pupil Leadership Team and all have a significant role to play in the development of the school and support of their fellow pupils. This additional responsibility comes with certain privileges including a dedicated Sixth Form Common Room with space to relax, socialise, eat and have meetings. 

Across the hall from the Common Room our Sixth Form also enjoy open access to a dedicated study area and library to allow private study during free periods and also serves as an ideal breakout area for occasionally tutorials and other non subject learning experiences 

Leadership Opportunities 

All Sixth Form pupils will support the leadership of the school in a variety of roles ranging from School Captain, House Captains, Subject Captains and Charity Captains. These roles will support the smooth running of the school and enhance Fernhill School’s place in the wider community.  

The School Captain will is also the Chair of the pupil Council and is assisted by the Vice Captain in ensuring all pupils within our school community have a voice.

Fernhill School House System 

One of the most valued and engaging aspects of pupil life at Fernhill School is our House system; a reward driven, competitive, inclusive and fun calendar of events which punctuates and compliments learning throughout the year. House Captains play a vital role in the planning, management and communication of House events throughout the year and  will support the Heads of House in the orderly running of the House System competitions and events, a role which develops the communication, leadership and organisational skills necessary to succeed in the next, and more independent, chapter of their learning. and with the organisation of competitions and events. 

There will be opportunities for pupils to lead assemblies, to deliver public addresses at Prize Giving and large events. The Pupil Leadership Team will meet with the Head Teacher for weekly meetings where they will engage in important decision making relating to pupil learning and wellbeing. 

UCAS, Internships and Work Experience 

Our Sixth Form pupils will be supported through the UCAS entry process by the Head of Sixth Form. Weekly UCAS meetings will ensure all the relevant administration is completed, personal statements are on track and advice on university entry requirements is up to date. This bespoke support system ensures positive destinations for all students including Medicine, Dentistry, Law, Engineering and Expressive arts. 

For students applying for Medicine, Dentistry and Law, they will also be fully supported in preparing for UCAT and LNAT testing. Students applying for Oxbridge will also receive specialist support to ensure they are fully prepared. 

We expect that Sixth Form students will undertake a significant period of work experience or an internship if the timetable permits. The school will assist with this. However, many if required or will support pupils have who wish to utilise their own contacts. which can be used.