S3 Option Choices

Please note that this page will be updated in due course for the S3 cohort in 2020-21.

S3 option choices are the first stage of your child personalising the subjects they study in preparation for their choice of examination subjects in S4.  They continue with seven subjects from each of the key areas of study within the curriculum and further to this they have a free choice on a further four subjects.  This means that they maintain a breadth of curriculum choice in S3 prior to narrowing this to six or seven subjects in S4.

The decision making process can be difficult for young people, so alongside the option form we have produced a guide booklet to explain the content of each optional course. It is hoped that this will help discussions between yourself and your young person when deciding which options to select. Further to this, the school would like to point you towards some online resources which may help:

My World of Work https://www.myworldofwork.co.uk/

This is an online tool that pupils use in school which helps them think about their subject choices.  All pupils have a login for the website.

National Parent Forum for Scotland http://www.npfs.org.uk/

This website is, as it says in the title, for parents.  It has lots of useful materials but in the section tab entitled “For Parents” you will find a section called “Nationals in a Nutshell”.  This will allow you and your child to look at how subject courses are structured for the Senior Phase and this can be useful when thinking forward to choices that your child will be making in one year’s time.

What is important when making choices for S3 is the following:

  1. If there is a particular pathway your child wants to follow later in life at this time make sure that the right subjects are followed.  My World of Work will help with this.
  2. Use your child’s S2 report to look at where their strengths lie and play to this.
  3. Make sure your child continues to take subjects that they enjoy.  This is really important as enjoyment of learning is half the battle.

The school would also like to make clear that if a child makes a mistake and does not study a particular subject in S3, and then decides that they do want to take it in S4 this is not impossible.  It does mean that there would be catch up work to do but it can work if a pupil has the right mind-set.  If, in the meantime, you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in contact with your child’s PT Pupil Support and Attainment (PSAT) who will be more than happy to help.

Option forms should be returned by your child to their PT Pupil Support and Attainment by Thursday, 30th January 2020.  Thanks once again for the time and effort that you will put in with your child to ensure that they make the right choices.  Mackie Academy very much appreciates working with our parents to ensure that we get it right for our young people.


S3 Option Presentation 2019