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SQA

Parents’ information for SQA Qualifications 2014 and beyond

 

What’s different about qualifications from 2014?

How are the qualifications graded?

How will I know how my daughter/son is progressing in their National Qualification Subjects?

Will we be able to appeal an examination result?

Exceptional Circumstance Consideration

Post Results Service

 

What’s different about qualifications from 2014?

2014 was the first year of the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) qualifications called Nationals. All pupils in fourth year (S4) are being presented for Nationals (There are three levels available National 3, National 4 and National 5.).

Pupils in fifth (S5) and sixth (S6) year will be studying a mixture of qualifications this session mainly National 5, Highers and Advanced Highers. Some subjects in TRA have moved to CfE Higher this session with all subjects presenting at CfE Higher and CfE Advanced Higher next session (Session 2015-16).

The Nationals can be roughly equated to the former Standard Grade, Intermediate, Higher and Advanced Higher examinations according to the table below.

Nationals are assessed throughout the year in a variety of ways by using coursework, end of unit assessments, folio work and assignments.  All assessment judgements made by teachers are subject to verification and these assessment judgements are rigorously verified by SQA throughout the year.  More information about this process can be obtained from the school.

More information on the New Qualifications and how they are assessed can be accessed from the links below.

SQA Information for Parents and Carers on the New National Qualifications

Assessment methods

As assessment happens throughout the year it is vital that the young people attend school regularly and when they are absent catch up on the work they have missed as it may be linked to an assessment. Departments will communicate dates of assessments to the young people and they are expected to record this information in their homework/study planners.

If a young person is not successful in passing an assessment they will have the opportunity to sit a re-assessment. SQA’s guidance on re-assessment is normally there should be one or, in exceptional circumstances, two re-assessment opportunities. A list of what would constitute exceptional circumstances can be found on the school website. This list is used in all Highland secondary schools.

The only pupils who are required to sit an external examination in S4 are those working towards National 5 qualifications. Some National 5 subjects do not have a final exam.

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How are the qualifications graded?

Nationals 1 to 4 are graded as a pass or fail. National 5, Higher and Advanced Highers are graded A, B, C or D and 'No Award': grades A to C indicate a pass and grade D indicates an achievement at SCQF Level 5, 6 or 7 depending on the level sat by the young person.

Pupils who receive a “no award” for National 5 will be able to achieve a National 4 in that subject area if they have successfully completed the National 5 unit assessments and an Added Value Unit (AVU). These National 4 passes will be added to the pupil’s qualification certificate in November.

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How will I know how my daughter/son is progressing in their National Qualification Subjects?

Progress Reports will be sent home twice this session indicating how your daughter/son is progressing in each subject they are studying.

Please note that pupils will be entered for courses at the level thought appropriate in the professional judgement of the teachers involved. This will take into account the previous attainment of your son/daughter and analysis of pathways of pupils in previous years. During the course of the school session we may make recommendations regarding pupil levels within a course. For example, we may recommend a change of level, or focussing on achieving unit passes. In some cases, where success seems unlikely in the light of experience, we may even recommend withdrawal from a course.

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Will we be able to appeal an examination result?

No, this year saw the end of appeals for any examinations. Appeals are now replaced by the Results Service

The results service has two main purposes namely, “exceptional circumstance consideration” and “post results service”.

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Exceptional Circumstance Consideration

An exceptional circumstance return can be made for pupils too ill to attend their external examination (a doctor’s note to support this submission is vital) or those who have an exceptional reason for being unable to sit the examination (eg. representing the country in a sporting event, an official letter detailing the event should be provided to support this submission).

Where a school makes an exceptional circumstance submission they will collate evidence from that pupil for the whole course pre and post prelim examination. The SQA will consider the quality of the pupil work and will compare it to the estimates from the school in that subject at that level. A decision will be made and the pupil result will appear on the pupil’s SQA certificate in August.

If your child is too ill to attend an exam we would ask that you:

Contact the school on the morning of the exam or prior to the exam if the illness is evident then, the school will then collate your child’s work for the submission.
Any doctor’s letter should be submitted to the school at the latest 5 days after the date of the exam.

In any other exceptional circumstance please inform the school with the supporting documentation as soon as you can, this will allow the school to make the submission swiftly.

All material for exceptional circumstance submissions must be with the SQA 10 days after the date of the examination.

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Post Results Service

The post results service has been introduced as a way for schools to ask for pupil scripts to be remarked.

The SQA have rigorous quality assurance procedures in place to ensure that all scripts are consistently marked to the highest standard and that the final mark is correct.

Schools can, if they believe there to be an anomaly in marking, ask the SQA to review the marking of a group of or an individual pupil’s script(s). This will entail the script having its marking checked and the overall marks re-totalled.

There is no supporting evidence of the pupil’s attainment submitted to support this marking review.

Requesting a marking review does not involve submitting supporting evidence that the pupil could have done better it only reviews the script from the day.

It is important to acknowledge as a result of a marking review, if grades are changed they can be changed down as well as up.

The Tain Royal Academy Post-results Service: click here to access the policy and procedures.

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