Berwickshire High School

Examination Presentation Policy



One of the fundamental principles of Scottish education is certification for all. As a consequence, the assumption has to be that all pupils are capable of achieving at national level in all of the courses to which they have subscribed.

Under normal circumstances, therefore, pupils will sit National Examinations in all subjects studied throughout S3 and S4 and, where appropriate, S5 and S6.


Decisions regarding presentation levels should be made on the basis of:

  • Performance throughout S3 and S4
  • Performance in the Preliminary Exam
  • Teacher judgement

The particular combination of levels nominated should:

  • Provide an appropriate challenge
  • Hold out a reasonable prospect of success

Presentation at two levels should be the norm, although single level presentation may, very occasionally, be worthy of consideration.

A decision not to present in a particular subject will be made only in exceptional circumstances. Any decision not to present would involve:

  • The pupil
  • Parents
  • Class teacher
  • Principal Teacher
  • Personal Guidance Teacher
  • Stage Head

Consultation and communication must be both meaningful and effective in all of these processes.

The following exceptional circumstances may be taken into account:

  • A pupil has had a period of extended absence from school and it would not be in his/her overall interests to pursue all subjects to which he/she was previously committed
  • There is clear evidence that the pupil is not coping with the totality of Standard Grade workload and would benefit from concentrating on fewer subjects
  • There has been a catastrophic decline in performance in a particular subject leading to a significant (and possibly damaging) loss of confidence

Any discussion regarding (possible) non-presentation would normally be initiated after the Prelim Exam diet. However, there should be no direct reference to this situation in the post-exam report. Staff must not recommend unilaterally to pupil/parent that non-presentation is to be considered.

If a decision not to present is agreed, under normal circumstances the pupil will:

  • Remain in class
  • Continue with the work of the class

However, the teacher may:

  • Relax the requirement to do homework, fulfil written assignments, sit tests etc
  • Occasionally allow the pupils to do work for a different subject

Any arrangements would take account of:

  • The pupil’s expressed intentions for the following session ie, will he/she continue with the subject in question in some shape or form?
  • Whether additional time is needed to fulfil requirements elsewhere in the pupil’s curriculum (perhaps resulting from extended absence)

Final and due account will therefore be taken of:

  • Teacher judgement
  • Individual pupil circumstances



Pupils are admitted to NQ courses provided they fulfil entry requirements as specified in the two stage guides ie:

  • 14 to 16 options
  • Options beyond 16

Thereafter, pupils are entitled to be presented for national (external) exams, irrespective of progress during the session as measured by the various course units.


The Berwickshire High School, Duns, Berwickshire, TD11 3QG
tel: 01361 883 710