General Interest Courses S5-S6

We offer pupils an interesting range of challenging activities in our Tuesday afternoon General Interest programme. In the past we have been able to fit in with the work of local colleges and other providers and we are always looking for new opportunities to develop our curriculum.

The programme of activities changes annually. If there are any other structured experiences that you think could be timetabled into a Tuesday afternoon please contact Dr Kelly.

Recently we have had a number of pupils use their General Interest time for work experience placements linked to their intended post-school pathway. If you think this option may be for you then speak to Dr Kelly.

  • This course is designed to give the pupils experience of a range of Printmaking techniques. Using the state of the art facilities in the department, pupils will initially focus on drawing from photographic resources, though skills in this area are not essential.  These drawings will then be used as the basis for producing prints using Acid, Steel Plate Etching and Japanese Woodcut techniques.  Pupils planning to return to Art and Design in S6 to do the N5 or Higher course would benefit greatly from taking this special interest class, as many of the necessary skills will be covered.  Pupils wishing to do the course for fun and relaxation are equally welcome. 

    Elements covered include:   

    • observational drawing
    • experience with a wide range of media handling
    • production of ‘finished prints’ using Etching and Woodcut techniques.


    There is no formal assessment although the pupils will work to deadlines and there will be an enterprise slant to the course.  All going well, the intention is to have a small exhibition and possible sale of the best work produced over the year.  This would be organised by the pupils involved.

What are all those lights in the sky? Why is the Sun never to the north of

Glasgow?   What is the 13th sign of the Zodiac? Why is Pluto no longer a planet? What are the only times you can see a full Moon and the Sun simultaneously?

For these and many other secrets of the astonishing universe around us you need the Astronomy course.

Course entry requirements: Enthusiasm and an enquiring mind.

This course will allow you to achieve an NPA award (level 4, 5 or 6) in Computer Games Development. The course will be split into 3 topics:

Computer Games: Design

Here you will look at the different aspects of how games are made, including level and character design, gaming platforms, gameplay and plot. By the end of the topic, you will have created an initial concept for your own game that you will create.

Computer Games: Media Assets

This will involve looking at the different types of assets that are used in games, including text, graphics (2D and 3D), animations and audio. You will then begin creating the assets you require for your game concept created in the design topic.

Computer Games: Development

This unit will focus on learning how to actually code games and bring your concept to life! This will involve learning how to use the popular game engine Unity and the C# programming language. Other languages or software will also be possible.

Who is this course for?

Anyone with a passion for Computer games or programming in general. However, for levels 5 or 6, some experience in National 5 Computing Science would be recommended.

This course is devised to give all students an insight into the running of a small company.  Each individual will be given a specific role within the company based on their strengths. The company must decide on a product range, to produce or buy, and determine how they will market those products.  Finance will be raised through the selling of shares. Profits will be made (hopefully!), shareholders will receive a dividend with all other profit going to a chosen good cause.  Management, team, problem solving and interpersonal skills will be developed.

Who is this award for?

This course is for you if you want to keep your French alive but you do not want to or you cannot dedicate five periods of your S6 year to work towards a full National qualification in Higher French.

 What is this award worth?

The Award in Modern Languages for Life and Work at SCQF level 6 consists of three mandatory units and it is worth 15 SCQF credit points.

At SCQF level 6, learners must complete the following three mandatory units:

Unit title

SQA credit

SCQF credit points

SCQF level

Modern Languages for Life




Modern Languages for Work Purposes




Leadership: an introduction





What do you have to do to get this award?

For the French for Life unit, candidates must provide evidence of their reading and listening skills by:

  • demonstrating understanding of at least two detailed and complex written texts related to society and culture in the modern language
  • demonstrating understanding of at least two detailed and complex spoken texts related to society and culture in the modern language
  • applying knowledge and understanding of the modern language

For the French for Work Purposes unit, candidates must provide evidence of their writing and talking skills by:

  • producing an extended piece of writing in a vocational context in the modern language
  • making a job-related presentation with follow-up discussion in the modern language

For the Leadership: an introduction unit, please see the Scottish Leadership course page (not special interest). 

If you want more information regarding this award, please see Mrs Helary-Quinn.

This option offers you the opportunity to take control and reverse the information flow. Most of us participate in this process already to some extent. Anyone with a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr account is likely to be generating their own posts and curating their own content.

Graphic Shed is an opportunity to advance your graphic skills and explore a variety of manual and digital techniques around a set of class generated projects.

You will learn to generate a variety of static or motion graphic media leading to a variety of outcomes depending on your interests and aspirations

  • Logo/avatar design Adobe Illustrator
  • Meme design Adobe Illustrator
  • Title sequence design for use in video sequences Adobe Premiere
  • Photo manipulation, editing and compositing Adobe Photoshop
  • Brochure and short publication design Adobe InDesign
  • 3D modelling and simple animation Cinema 4D/Inventor
  • Presentation skills MS PowerPoint

You will work through a standard manual preliminary graphic planning phase that will lead to a set of digital outcomes in industry standard file types. Beyond this we aim to cater for the interests of the group and be experimental and open ended in approach.

The Graphic Shed might also accept commissions from other groups running in the school, for example, ticket and poster design for school events or video post-production work for those interested in exploring motion graphics.

This class is being offered for pupils who have not studied Mandarin yet but are keen to learn Mandarin and learn about the culture of China. You can work towards SQA unit awards. This is a fun, interactive class.

Theatre production is for any pupil interested in the different production areas that go into creating theatre. You may be interested in performing (acting, singing, dancing), lighting, costume design, directing but whatever it is you will have the opportunity to develop your skills and talents within Theatre Production.

You will be expected to:

  • Work with others
  • Be creative
  • Create a piece of drama for performance. You may work from a script or write/ devise your own. This could include extracts from musical theatre, contemporary text or Shakespeare.

No previous experience required but you must be willing to engage with others in creative activities.

The S5/S6 Physical Education course takes the form of a National Qualification performance-only unit at Higher and N5 levels through which students can gain a SQA unit award.

Students will undertake three activities for one term each and will be internally assessed by PE staff on a pass/fail basis for each activity. There is no homework or written assessment.

The activities undertaken may vary from year to year depending on students’ interests and availability of facilities, but may include volleyball, football and badminton.  As this is a formal NQ unit, not a leisure activity, students are expected to undertake rigorous practice sessions during class and to apply themselves to gaining the best possible award.

Pupils who are taking N5 or Higher PE courses should not normally choose this option as it duplicates the practical work. However, PE staff may advise some N5/Higher students to undertake the performance unit as well in order to bring their practical performance to the necessary level. Any student considering these courses should discuss it with PE staff as soon as possible.

Completion of the course is good preparation for:

  • Further Education sport courses
  • Sports Coaching Work
  • PE teacher training
  • Employment in the leisure industry

If I stand in a shop and read a whole newspaper from cover to cover, am I stealing? Can robots think? If being brave is a good thing, does that mean bank robbers are at least partly good? Where do thoughts come from? Can babies commit crimes? Might a benevolent dictatorship be a better way to run a country than a democracy? Would a human clone be human?

If questions like these spark your curiosity, you might enjoy Community of Philosophical Inquiry: a structured exploration of philosophical ideas through group discussion.

Each inquiry begins with a stimulus: a story, poem, painting, cartoon, film clip, song or piece of music. Participants then engage in a collaborative dialogue to explore the philosophical ideas that emerge.

Who is the course for?

Anyone with an enquiring mind. No prior knowledge of philosophy required! You will be taking part in practical philosophy. This means you will not be reading or studying what other philosophers have said; you will be doing the philosophising!

The course is not assessed and does not lead to a formal qualification. However, Philosophical Inquiry has been shown to develop participants’ critical thinking, reasoning and active listening skills, memory, respect and tolerance for alternative viewpoints, confidence, self-esteem and sense of community.

Expand your mind and taste buds while learning about foods from around the world in this practical cookery class. The theme is cuisine of international renown and this course offers students the opportunity to prepare, cook and eat a variety of dishes.

This course will enable students to undertake an NPA unit in Sound Engineering and Production.

Activities include performing a short piece, recording the instruments/voices from a variety of sources, mixing/mastering the final result and keeping an accurate record of these activities.

Students will be using industry standard ProTools software.

Higher Statistics Award

This stand-alone unit is equivalent to one unit of Higher Mathematics. The unit is interactive and collaborative developing statistical ideas and strategies that can be applied to managing statistics in real-life contexts.

Learners will develop their statistical and research skills and learn new techniques such as hypothesis testing and linear regression. There will be opportunities to research your own areas of interest and demonstrate independent critical thinking skills. There will also be group work and collaboration with peers and a chance to make links in themes which cut across the curriculum.

In the age of big data and fake news statistics permeates many careers and academic disciplines. Learners will develop skills and understanding which will boost their learning power in many fields. Often learners develop their career interests while studying this course and have a chance to pursue areas of interest e.g. economics, politics, climate change, finance, demographics, criminology… There is a scope for personalisation and choice throughout the course.

Learners who have achieved National 5 in a Social Subject, Business or Mathematics will be well prepared for the course. Applications are invited from all learners who are keen to develop their skills and take a proactive approach to their learning.

Which general interest class is for me? 

When thinking about your general interest class think: 

  • Is this something completely different for me and so will be interesting?
  • Do I like the sound of the activities?
  • Will this option help me make up my ideas about my pathway beyond school?
  • Do I want to gain an additional SQA qualification or not?
  • Do I want to do my own work experience placement during this time? (See Dr Kelly for this option.)