By Lynne Allison, PT Raising Attainment and Achievement, Clydebank High School
The SCQF has provided Clydebank High School (CHS) with many opportunities not only for our young people but also for staff and parents. Getting involved in SCQF competitions has allowed pupils to take on leadership roles within the school as well as raising awareness of the Framework; the young people have worked hard to promote the importance of qualifications at all levels and to dismiss the stigma attached to SCQF level 4 qualifications and Modern Apprenticeships. These leadership opportunities have given our young people a platform and a voice to talk in real terms about their qualifications and aspirations.
Paige Dunlop, Head Girl and pupil ambassador (2017-18), said, “Being an SCQF Ambassador has opened my eyes to many the different pathways available in Scottish education. I have learned the value of all qualifications and destinations, which previously I would not have considered. This knowledge has helped me support my peers. Furthermore I have had some unforgettable experiences such as attending the SCQF conference to collect our award for recognition of our hard work and meeting Deputy First Minister John Swinney.”
CHS has been able to successfully implement wider achievement programmes as pupils and staff can see the value in these courses as they can use the Framework to compare qualification levels. Furthermore the SCQF Partnership has provided us with invaluable resources. The leaflets and posters facilitate parents’ evenings and options events as they allow young people to map their journey beyond school. Additionally we have embedded the Framework into our ‘BGE Curriculum Rationale’ document which shows the progression pathway from BGE to the Senior Phase.
Within the senior phase we have been able to adapt choices and widen the curriculum to suit the needs of all pupils. At CHS we have implemented a number of National Progression Awards (NPAs) across the school that can be gained within subjects without pupils undertaking more work. Furthermore, teaching staff are comfortable to deliver these units as they are able to deliver material already in the department, therefore very little development is required. For example, Business pupils are able to gain the Higher award as well as two NPAs with no extra work involved, as a result maximising the credit and tariff points young people will gain on their final award.
For staff within CHS, feedback from SCQF training and events has been highly praised. As a result pupils are leaving with more qualifications. Staff reported feeling more confident and adequately equipped to talk about future destinations with the young people.
During this year’s session the SCQF Ambassadors worked alongside Young Scot and the Scottish Government on the Co-design Learner Journey Review Project. Eva Lane (SCQF Pupil Ambassador) said, “The SCQF Ambassadors were approached to work on a ‘co-design learner journey review’. I was apprehensive as I had never heard of it before. However after meeting with Rachel at Young Scot I realised that this was a good opportunity to get involved as it was about getting my opinion and experience of my learner journey heard. The experience helped me to develop my skills for the world of work and I was able to represent the school as an SCQF Ambassador, while it helped me to decide on my pathway of college before university as that best suits my needs at this stage in my learner journey. Also our school has been involved in designing the new SCQF leaflet for secondary pupils and it is great to see something that we have been involved in come to life.”