Where can I find information about the school and about the courses my child is studying?
You can find out about the School from the School Handbook which is on the website or, of course from the website itself. If your child is in S1/2 we hope to publish the courses they are following on the website too. Information about National Courses can be found on the SQA website.
What is the House System?
All pupils are allocated to a House. This year there are 4 Houses: Benmore, Cowal, Hafton and Milton. House classes are made up of a few pupils from each year group and are led by a House Teacher, who is the Key Adult to discuss their learning with them. Each house nominates a Charity to fund raise for every second year. Each House is managed by a PT Guidance who is referred to as Head of House.
Where can I find information about the new National 4/5 courses?
All of this information can be accessed from the SQA website. Our Options handbook informs you what courses are available in DGS.
How do the Nationals 4 and 5 compare to the old Standard Grade and Intermediate 1 and 2 exams? Is it true that National 5s are harder than the old Intermediate 2s?
SQA indicate that there is an equivalence between National 4 and General/ Intermediate 1 and between National 5 and Credit/Intermediate 2. Curriculum for Excellence is designed to raise standards and some National 5 courses contain more challenging work.
When will my child be choosing their options for National 4/5 courses and how many subjects will they take?
Over the last few years this has happened in S2. However, this has not allowed us to give our pupils their full entitlement to a Broad General Education. The Curriculum is under constant review and any changes will be subject to full consultation with stakeholders. At present pupils can do 8 subjects over S3 & 4. Any new model is likely to reduce that to 6 or 7. However, pupils will have more time to learn these subjects in greater depth and should, therefore, get better results.
What are the Added Value Units for the National exams?
All National 4 courses contain this unit as the final part of their course assessment. It is designed to bring together all their learning over their course. National 4 is internally assessed throughout and does not have an external examination. Standards are maintained through moderation by SQA which already happens at present with internally assessed courses.
Can a pupil get a National 4 Award if he/she fails National 5?
SQA have put in arrangements for this to happen. Pupils would have to complete their added value unit for National 4 and in some circumstances Literacy and Numeracy unit qualifications. Further details can be found on the SQA website.
If I have any concerns regarding my child’s learning who can I contact? Will I be able to contact my child’s teacher direct and if so, how do I go about this?
The school’s new Communication Charter, which is to be found on the website will explain this to you.
How can I help my child to do well at school? How can I help them to revise, organise study and prepare homework etc.
We welcome the support of Parents in supporting their child’s learning. There is very good advice on how to help your child revise/ study on the website. We would encourage everyone to attend Parent consultation meetings and Parents Nights.
Is it possible to obtain copies of booklets so I can buy the appropriate text books for my child to use at home.
Many courses do not use text books. We have, however, a list of those currently in S1 and S2 on the website.
How will I know if my child is doing well enough to be considered for entry into National 5 classes? What level will my child have to achieve in class tests, homework etc in order to be National 5 standard?
Assessment in the Broad General Education is continuous and will involve a variety of activities, not only summative tests and homework. You will receive a report at the end of each year which will indicate their progress. Level 3 of Curriculum for Excellence should be completed by almost all pupils by S3. The school is in the process of developing it’s assessment and reporting system to reflect progress through levels, which should better inform Parents.
How will I find out if my child is not doing as well at school as expected?
Initial concerns that teachers have will be communicated to you by text. Serious concerns are referred to a pupil’s Guidance Teacher who will contact parents.
I am worried that my child is being bullied at school. Who can I talk to about this?
The first point of contact should be your child’s PT Guidance/Head of House who you can identify from our Communications Charter.