Stirling High signed up for the SCQF Partnership School Ambassador Programme in early 2019 following an Insight meeting with Lewis and the Senior Leadership Team. Julie from the SCQF Partnership visited and presented to our middle and senior leadership teams and shared the benefits and opportunities of the SCQF.
Stirling High is a growing school - our S1 intake increases year on year and an increasing number of seniors stay to complete all 6 years. For this reason, we knew we needed to improve our senior phase offer to make it relevant to all young people. Joining the SCQF School Ambassador programme was the catalyst for looking outwards to other schools. This, alongside the SCQF database, has transformed the senior phase offering in recent years.
In 2019, armed with our new knowledge, we started to talk up the benefits of the SCQF framework with young people, parents and staff. Principal teachers led discussions with their teams and our first Pupil Ambassadors spoke to parents and peers about the Framework. Over time, the culture in the school changed - we used the language of the SCQF in our interactions and made simple changes to the course choice information to provide parity between the existing National, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications, and the new National Progression Awards (NPAs) and Foundation Apprenticeships (FAs) that were being introduced.
In 2020, the school appointed 5 new Pupil Ambassadors to lead the charge. The team produced resources for the school website (https://www.stirlinghigh.co.uk/pupils/scqf-framework) and made effective use of the school’s social media platforms to spread the message.
Lily, one of the S6 Pupil Ambassadors, says,
“Being an SCQF Ambassador has been a great opportunity to learn about different educational pathways and promote them to pupils, parents, carers and employers. I wish to pursue a career in palliative care nursing and I believe my time as an Ambassador has helped me develop my teamwork and communication skills which I will be able to carry throughout my future.”
The school was recently awarded Silver Ambassador status.
Alan Hamilton, Depute Head Teacher, says,
“The tiered framework provided our Pupil Ambassadors with a clear focus for getting the most out of the SCQF. It allowed them to plan and take ownership of their plans. As a result, the SCQF is embedded across the school and they have clear ideas for their next steps.”
As well as developing a plan for raising awareness of the SCQF with peers, staff, parents and carers, the Ambassadors are working towards their SCQF level 6 leadership award.
The biggest impact of the SCQF programme in Stirling High can be seen in the changes to our curriculum offer. 52 learners currently benefit from a range of FAs at SCQF levels 5 and 6, in addition to the 12 different NPAs on offer. Young people also benefit from the school’s strong partnership with Forth Valley College.
Liam, an S5 Ambassador, says,
“I have loved learning about the SCQF framework and sharing my knowledge with others. As we are drawing near the end of the year many of the S5 pupils are beginning to think more about their future careers. Our plans to develop and share learner pathways will help all pupils make the most of the opportunities the school offers.”
The team were recently presented with the Silver Ambassador status for their work in developing and promoting the Framework and already have an action plan for Gold! They are developing learner pathway exemplars and will use what they have learned this year to feed into next year’s pupil led improvement plan.
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