Alternative Courses

National 2


National 2 English Webpage

The National 2 English and Communication course builds on the experiences and outcomes of the literacy and English curriculum area and enables learners to develop the ability to understand and use language.

Learners understand language through reading, or listening to and watching, a wide range of texts. The texts which learners read, or listen to and watch, will include media and multimodal texts. The course will develop learners’ ability to read, understand and respond to these texts in a variety of ways to show their understanding. 

Learners use language to communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings for different purposes and for different audiences by creating a variety of texts, including media and multimodal texts. 

Learners will also develop interpersonal and social skills through interacting with others and will build their confidence through communicating in group and individual situations. 


National 2 Maths Webpage

There are countless situations in which we encounter numbers in the world around us: at school, at home, during leisure time and at work. Every day we have opportunities to use our understanding of number and to apply number skills in order to make sense of our world, to plan ahead and to problem solve. 

Number skills and understanding are key to developing core skills for learning, life and work. 

Learners are given the knowledge and understanding in the areas of number and number processes, specifically in developing the ability to recognise and use:

  • whole numbers in the 0–1000 range (and possibly beyond)
  • place value
  • number patterns and sequences
  • simple decimals, e.g. 2.5 l, 0.5 kg
  • simple fractions, e.g. ½ , ¼.  

In order to engage in problem-solving activities, learners might need support in developing skills for the four mathematical operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. 

Learning actively in realistic contexts allows for the development of the four capacities of the Curriculum for Excellence, specifically: 

  • to experience success in developing an understanding of number and in using mathematical skills
  • to develop the confidence to have a go at problem solving, to transfer number skills out with the classroom and to make choices based on the interpretation of data in tables and charts
  • to act responsibly in everyday situations where number, money, time and measure need to be considered and in so doing to…
  • …make a positive contribution to society. 

Personal Development (Skills)   

National 2 Skills Webpage 

This framework has been developed for use in the National Qualifications development programme in support of Curriculum for Excellence. 

The main skill areas are:


  • Communication - the ability to communicate by reading, by writing, by listening and talking.
  • Numeracy - the ability to use numbers to solve problems by counting, doing calculations, measuring and understanding graphs and charts. This is also the ability to understand the results.
  • Health and Wellbeing - the ability to take care of yourself and others, and to be responsible for your learning and welfare. It includes managing your feelings, developing a positive and active attitude to life, and building relationships with others.
  • Employability, Enterprise and Citizenship - the ability to develop skills, understandings and personal attributes – including a positive attitude to work, to others and to the world’s resources.
  • Thinking Skills - the ability to develop the cognitive skills of remembering and identifying, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating, and creating.  


Youth Achievement Award (Bronze & Silver)

Youth Achievement Scotland Webpage

Youth Achievement Awards offer significant opportunities for young people to develop the four Curriculum for Excellence capacities: successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.  They recognise young people's contributions in a variety of settings including youth work, volunteering, active citizenship, and formal education. 

Aimed at young people aged 14+, the Awards recognise four levels of responsibility taken by young people participating in activities that interest them. Bronze is about young people taking part, at Silver young people assist - sharing responsibility with others, at Gold they take individual responsibility to organise, and at Platinum they undertake training and lead. 

The Award does not come with a programme; instead, the open framework allows learning providers to mould the Award around existing youth work and school programmes.

The Awards have been used in Scotland:

    • to accredit existing programmes within the youth group/school (for example, helping out at a youth club, being part of a pupil council, drama group or chess club);
    • to accredit a residential experience;
    • to accredit a whole-year project;
    • to support a transition programme;
    • to give senior pupils a creative choice as they look to bolster their CV;
    • to support a peer-led project; and
    • to work with the wider community.

The possibilities are endless! 

John Muir Award - Outdoor Education

John Muir Trust Award Webpage

The John Muir Award is an environmental award scheme focused on wild places. It encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.

The Award is open to all, and is the educational initiative of the John Muir Trust. Four Challenges are at the heart of each John Muir Award:

1. Discover

This is the wild place (or places) on which you choose to focus your Award activity. This can be a garden, school grounds, a park or beach, a journey or destination, or any other wild place that’s local, national or international.

2. Explore

Tune in to a wild place, travel extensively through it, understand and appreciate more about it. Experience your wild place, enjoy it, become familiar with it…walking, camping, canoeing, sitting, looking, environmental games, scavenger hunts, sensory activities, map making, historical research, wildlife survey, poetry, art, photography, diaries etc.

3. Conserve

This can be a practical conservation action that will leave it in better shape. It can involve supporting a relevant environmental issue, or minimising impact and integrating Outdoor Access principles

4. Share

The ability to ‘bring nature to life’ by sharing experiences of wild places can be extremely powerful and inspiring to an audience, but also beneficial to the participants. Throughout his life John Muir shared his experiences, feelings and vision for wild places with a wider audience.