Bee keeping, radio broadcasting and games design - all in a day's work at Oban High

From bee keeping and radio broadcasting, to games design and travel and tourism, Oban High School is leading the way when it comes to curriculum choices by offering pupils a variety of almost 100 different subjects, including more than 30 highers.

As well as traditional core subjects such as English, Maths and History, the school works in close partnership with businesses in the area to identify gaps in the local employment market, and offers pupils a range of ‘skills for work’ subjects to prepare them for their future career. These include Automotive Skills, Personal Finance, Cosmetology, Rural Skills (animal care), Aquaculture and Engineering. The school even boasts its own engineering workshop and hair and beauty salon so pupils can learn the tricks of the trade while gaining qualifications.

In addition, local employers have identified a gap in the hospitality sector and the school will launch its new Level 5 Barista Skills course in August, alongside Foundation Apprenticeships in Hospitality and Food and Drink production in 2023.

Pupils also have the opportunity to do Foundation Apprenticeships in Business Management, Engineering and Construction, as well as the chance to study with the Open University on their Young Applicants in Schools Scheme. This scheme is designed to bridge the gap between school and university, college or employment and encourages independent learning.

Pupils can also study a range of Wider Achievement Awards from SCQF level 3-7. These include Leadership, Scottish Studies and Mental Health Wellbeing, alongside many others. These awards recognise the life and work skills that come from a wide range of activities such as sport, mentoring, voluntary work or fundraising activities.

The Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said: “Oban High School is being innovative once again when it comes to providing young people with opportunities, and Argyll and Bute as a whole is above the national average when it comes to the number of pupils going onto positive destinations.

Oban High School works with a range of partners to promote enterprise and help young people to raise their ambitions, including providing them with vital life skills.

We understand that every child and young person is different and it is extremely important that we do everything we can to ensure they are equipped with the appropriate experience, skills and qualifications to follow their dreams. Oban High is a great example of a school which has excelled in meeting the needs of its young people and I look forward to seeing it go from strength to strength.”

Executive Head Teacher at Oban High, Peter Bain, said: “Our vision for everyone attending Oban High School is to ensure that they attain the best possible qualifications. We also seek to ensure that we nurture and develop everyone’s social, emotional and vocational skills and talents.

“To achieve this, we rely on our talented and dedicated staff, but equally we call on the support of a wealth of local community partners and national agencies and education providers to ensure we continue to provide a broad education that seeks to support every child’s aspirations for life after school. My thanks to them all.”

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