Early Secondary Programme

Programme overview

Students on the way to a lecture theatre

The Early Secondary Programme works with S1-S3 pupils engaging with the full cohorts in each year group.

The programme is delivered online here.

The aims of the programme are to:

  • Increase pupils’ awareness of Higher Education as one of a range of post-school options
  • Inform pupils of pathways to Higher Education
  • Raise aspirations to progress to Higher Education
  • Enable pupils to make informed subject choices in S2/S3 to keep all study and work options open
  • Allow pupils to understand how subjects connect into post-school work and study
  • Enable pupils to appreciate the skills assimilated through work and study in school
  • Demystify and address any misconceptions pupils may have regarding Higher Education
  • Address the subject gender imbalance in key academic areas by exposing pupils to all options and subjects and utilising gender-specific case studies

Each year group is worked with over a double period, completing a series of activities, which feed into the Health and Wellbeing; Expressive Arts and Literacy areas of the Curriculum for Excellence.

Each session is tailored to the specific year group and focuses on different aspects of HE and future options:

  • The S1 session introduces pupils to the possibility of college and university and the qualifications required to pursue different careers.
  • The S2 session highlights the links between school and post-school options, focusing on the different skills and careers to which specific school subjects can lead to. 
  • The S3 session concentrates on making informed subject choices and introduces pupils to the idea of entry requirements for different college and university courses.

The S2 and S3 sessions are suitable for pupils in either year group depending on when subject choices are made in the school. This ensures that pupils receive the appropriate guidance at the most relevant stage. The subject choice session is tailored to each school and based around the school’s subject choice grid. This ensures that the session is as relevant to each school and pupil as possible.


The online version of the programme is open to all schools. 

How to apply

The online version of the programme can be accessed by all schools through My World of Work.


Why take part

While focusing on higher education, the Early Secondary Programme considers a wide variety of post-school destinations to ensure that pupils are aware of all the different options and pathways available to them, allowing pupils to make informed decisions about their future.

By encouraging S1-S3 pupils to think about their future options early on in their secondary education, the programme ensures pupils make the right subject choices and do not disengage from education, so that by the time they are in S4 they have made the right subject choices and are well placed to progress onto their Senior Phase.

The programme is available on My World of Work platform.

Contact us


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Frequently asked questions

Will taking part in this programme guarantee a place on one of your senior phase programmes?

No. There are clear eligibility criteria for our senior phase programmes. Our Primary and BGE programmes are open to all P6-S3 pupils in Scotland.