Curriculum Rationale


Article 29: Education must develop every child’s personality, talent and abilities to the full.

Our Curriculum is the totality of all the learning and teaching experiences that are planned for our students’ across their time at Penicuik High School.

Our interim vision statement for the phase 1 curricular developments is based on the flowing generalised vision with a focus on 21 st Century Skills which is as follows:

We will develop young people who are moral citizens with the skills and knowledge crucial to becoming, productive, effective and successful citizens in the 21st Century.

Our curriculum is underpinned by our cores PRIDE values

Participation Respect Inclusion Determination Excellence

Penicuik High School has an important place in its community and has a proud academic tradition but also realises that its student population is coming from a wider range of backgrounds and the labour market and economy are dynamic and changing. Therefore our curriculum whilst being underpinned by these values also needs to be reactive to the types of destinations students are tending to go to and ensuring they are well prepared to succeed.

We also need to be ambitious for our young people and encourage them to extend themselves beyond choices that might be limiting or are not in keeping with their identified talents and interests. We will have the highest expectations and standards for all students and will continue to review and refine our curriculum so that it offer the widest opportunities and is in line with current thinking and good practice. We will also seek to develop a parity of esteem in terms of the way we view vocational and academic pathways and will look to blend pathways in the best interests of developing highly skilled young people who will contribute to a highly skilled and motivated workforce.

Our curriculum will:

  • Offer opportunities for students to achieve success, including SQA Qualifications
  • be coherent, progressive and follows national 3-18 curriculum area guidelines and takes cognisance of other supporting national guidelines in curriculum
  • Provide a range of pathways and courses that offer breadth and depth and ensure motivation and engagement
  • Promote learning within a wide range of contexts
  • Offer learning that offers experiences within the four contexts of learning; life and ethos of the school, curriculum subjects, personal achievement and interdisciplinary learning (rich cross curricular learning based on themes)
  • Provide deep, sustained and valuable learning for all students
  • Provide opportunities to develop high levels of literacy and numeracy across the breadth of the curriculum offer
  • Promote opportunities across the curriculum for the development of student health and wellbeing and will be inclusive in its outlook
  • Recognise the importance of digital literacy and provide opportunity for the development of sills necessary in a technological society

Vital to our work in developing the curriculum will be ensuring we work well with our broad range of partners in the public and private sector including the voluntary sector.

Our rationale is written within a three year Curriculum consultation and development process. Phase one runs from October 2019 until May 2020

This consultation will involve all our stakeholders and review and development will be dynamic and people led. We will also need to take account of the current fiscal issues that is affecting education resourcing.

Our Curriculum aims are to develop young people who are:

  • Confident and prepared to take risks that are based on sensible analysis and who can learn from failure.
  • are able to regulate their emotions in daily situations
  • self-aware in terms of how they learn and how they improve their learning
  • who are able to take responsibility for their own actions and know their rights and responsibilities
  • hard working and are able to effectively manage their time and priorities.
  • included within our school community and the wider community and are effective contributors.
  • able to set high expectations for themselves and are ambitious for their future.
  • respectful, tolerant and display empathy and kindness.
  • happy and want to pursue a healthy and active lifestyle
  • developing a range of transferable skills which they can recognise as being used in different contexts; communication, collaboration, criticalthinking, and creativity
  • able to stand up for a clear set of moral values- particularly those we espouse as a community

Penicuik High School will aim to ensure that all young people experience an inclusive education and that they are enabled to enter a sustained and positive destination beyond school. This means all staff will ensure we strive for excellence as a school through raising attainment and achieving equity of outcome regardless of any barriers that the young person may face