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the broad general education at St. Joseph’s Academy


An information leaflet for pupils to share with parents and carers Making the Most of S3

May 2014 1






Love A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians 12:31- 13:8 If I am without love, it will do me no good whatever. Be ambitious for the higher gifts. And I am going to show you a way that is better than any of them. If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever. Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end. Talents A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans Each of us has different talents. God has seen to that. We must use them. For example, Y more O U Rclearly G I than F T others; S & some T A Lof EusNdeal TS some of us are able to understand God’s ways with business better; some of us are teachers; some of us are speakers. Let us use our different gifts with God’s help. And so with everything we do. If we give, let us be generous givers; if we are leaders, let us be energetic leaders; if we are helping others, let us be cheerful helpers. Heart

Daily Morning Prayer - to be said by all classes at 9.00 am Values

Lord, May everything we do this day begin with your blessing and continue with your help. Head love and continue with your grace. May everything we say this day begin with your


May everything we plan this day begin with your inspiration and continue with your peace. Knowledge



Making the Most of S3

How and why


What’s the point of S3?

We are all better than we know, if only we can be brought to realise this, we may never again settle for anything less.

Kurt Hahn, founder of Outward Bound

Do you know why you are at school?

Do you

think about your future? Do you reflect on your achievements and skills? Have you thought about where your time in school could lead? There are some big questions and ideas for you to get to grips with at this point in your schooling. S3 is a time when you can do that and start to think more about what you want out of your secondary education at St. Joseph’s. It would be easy to limit your thinking and consider only the subjects in which you would like to specialise or the exams that are just over a year away. I would encourage you not to do that. Think instead about the person you are and the person you would like to be.

S3 is an excellent opportunity for personal growth and achievement as well as for developing skills and knowledge. You will always be more than a set of exam or test results or, later in life, more than the job you do or the occupation you pursue. Picture the day you will leave St. Joseph’s. You will leave well-educated and qualified. Much more than that, you should leave able to adapt, be creative, lead, keep learning, cope with change, be independent and determined and build secure, long-lasting, loving relationships. In other words, live a rich, fulfilling and enjoyable life. Mr. Davis Acting Headteacher

Making the Most of S3


Values, Skills and Opportunities

I liked feeling more trusted and respected with more responsibility. You feel like you’re now really part of the school. .

You are unique and special; made in God’s image. In S3 we will continue to nurture and celebrate this. You will be cared for, supported, inspired and challenged. You will develop skills and talents, acquire knowledge, broaden your horizons and do things you never thought possible. As a Catholic school what matters to us more than anything is the development of the Godgiven talents of our young people. We want to see you grow into individuals who have values, who want to do good, serve others and make a difference in the world. You can’t do that unless you make the choice to seize opportunities and to understand the purpose of your time in school. You also need to have around you an environment that is loving, supportive and challenging. We aim to provide an experience in S3 that is just that.

Try to think about this and recognise that you can have a say in what you do and how you do it, rather than just accepting the education you are given. Will you wait for the teacher to ask questions or will you let your curiosity lead the way? Will you believe what you are told or will you take the time to examine it? Will you accept your first attempt as good enough, or strive to do better? Take this opportunity to find out more about yourself, develop confidence, pursue a passion, seek new challenges and say an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’ to opportunities. Make it your aim that when you look back on S3 you do so with pride and satisfaction. The staff of St. Joseph’s are here to support you every step of the way to get most out of S3 and make the most of yourself. Whatever you do, do it well: aim high and do very best you can.

Making the Most of S3


Building Your Curriculum

I liked being able to choose my own curriculum with the right level of challenge for me. I feel I have become more confident through team tasks and through making good friends.

a. Personalisation & Choice You will be making some choices about the subjects you study in S3. This is not the same as the options you will select when you go into S4 - you are not choosing examination subjects. S3 is still about studying a wide range of subjects, but also about beginning to ask the question: ‘What would I like to do more of?’ The personalisation and choice form gives you the experience of selecting subjects in which you have a talent or interest without giving up on those that you might find interesting, but more challenging. Despite what you might think, or have heard other people say, no one subject is more important than another. Just as everyone is different, so everyone has different interests and preferences in the subjects that they study. Do what you want to do, not what your friends are doing. This requires a bit of confidence and resilience, but it is worth it in

Personalisation & Choice Achievement Leadership Interdisciplinary Learning Support Senior Phase

the end. By all means look ahead to college, university and work and use what you can find out to make your decisions, but remember that the curriculum you follow in S3 is about keeping your options open. It is fine not to know what you want to do. It is also fine to think you want to be a doctor now, but to change your mind later.

b. Achievement: ‘I can!’ At the heart of our curriculum are the 10 skills and 8 values, just as they have been in S1 and S2. These are fundamental to all that we do. They do not belong to one particular subject or department, but are part of all classes, activities and relationships in this school. At the end of S3 you will receive a Diploma of Achievement based on these skills and values and recognising the progress you have made and the experiences and achievements Making the Most of S3


that make you unique. You will write these up for the Diploma creating a profile of your education at St. Joseph’s that celebrates all that you can do and looks forward to you fulfilling your potential.

c. Leadership You are no longer amongst the youngest in the school and you should be looking for chances to show that you can lead whether it is in the classroom or in other activities. All these things make up your curriculum, so treat them all equally and try to make the most of opportunities to take responsibility and lead. One of the first opportunities will be for you to participate in the creation of our first ever S3 Leadership Team. This will reflect what we do in S6 with the Pupil Leadership Team made up of the Head Boy, Head Girl and House Captains.

It is also a very important creative learning experience that helps to prepare you for independent study in S4 and for life beyond school. There are no limits to what you can produce.

e. Support As you move into S3 you will enjoy the same high level of support that you have had in S1 and S2. You will still have a Pupil Support teacher, a Home Room teacher and a Year Head. All of these people will work together to make sure that your needs are met and that, if necessary, you are offered more specialist support with any aspect of school life. A small number of S3 pupils each year are offered support in their curriculum through courses at Ayrshire College. All pupils will have at least one day off timetable dedicated to addressing and exploring big issues such as mental health and wellbeing, careers or drugs and alcohol.

f. Senior Phase d. Interdisciplinary Learning (IDL) Throughout S1 and S2 you have experienced interdisciplinary learning in LifeSchool 360. In S3 this changes and you have the chance to create your own, unique interdisciplinary project. .......................................................................... “ I feel as though I’ve learnt quite a lot from IDL. I have developed my ability to work independently... IDL has been a fantastic experience and I feel that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy making something that they love their own work.”

.......................................................................... This is an opportunity to bring different subjects together and do what you want to do.

At the end of S3 you will select your options for S4. These will be six subjects that you want to study at National 4 or National 5 level. Some of these options will be offered for study over two years meaning that you will not sit an exam in S4, but will take the highest level of examination you can in S5. When you make the decisions about your exam options for S4 you will have an interview with your Pupil Support teacher and your parents may wish to be involved. It is also a good time to look at university prospectuses, college courses and the requirements that employers have for jobs. Making the Most of S3



Life is what you make it. take time.

All great achievements

Celebrate success - yours and other

people’s BE OPEN TO INSPIRATION love the things you learn.

love others unconditionally.

enjoy peace

and quiet, seek it out from time to time


OTHERS Accept yourself as you are. Everything you do is important. Presume the best in people MAKE A DIFFERENCE

If you want to feel good, do good. We

have diversity in common - embrace it. Everyone is welcome here

MAKE YOUR MARK Ability is nothing

without opportunity. Open your heart, mind and arms to new things. Seize opportunities.

You are

responsible for yourself BE CURIOUS Questions lead learning so ask good ones. No bird can soar on its wings alone. Remember that we can all change and grow INSPIRE AND TRANSFORM A good head and a good heart






Education is a conversation - so talk


change in attitude can save your life.

Enjoy what









Adventure is the very essence of life.



Smile -

everyone looks better when they do. WORKING TOGETHER MAKES GREAT LEARNING Making the Most of S3


was invested as House Vice-Captain and, inspired by the example of Christ, St. Andrew and St. Joseph, promised before pupils, teachers, clergy and parents to live out our shared Gospel values, lead and serve others, demonstrate in all things our high standards and expectations and work for the greater good of the school and its community on this day the TWENTY-SEVENTH of SEPTEMBER in the year 2012.

Ben Davis Acting Headteacher

Claire McInally Depute Headteacher








Saint Joseph’s Academy Grassyards Rd Kilmarnock KA3 7SL 01563 526144 @StJoAcad (Twitter)


Acting Headteacher: Ben Davis

Making the Most of S3


Making the Most of S3  
Making the Most of S3  

A pupil guide to S3 at St. Joseph's Academy