We are a fully comprehensive school with a roll of around 1150 located in Paisley's Foxbar district, close to the Gleniffer Braes in the west coast of Scotland. The school serves children from the geographical areas of Foxbar, Ferguslie, Glenburn and Lochfield. There are around 45% of pupils living in households from SIMD 1-3 areas with a mix of social and private housing in the catchment.
Traditionally, Gleniffer has been a high attaining school with positive results in SQA examinations. While that tradition remains and is something to be proud of, we have also recognised that not every pupil will achieve a Higher qualification and only around a quarter of our pupils will achieve five Highers in fifth year.
We signed up to the SCQF Ambassador program to guide us through our goal of improving attainment across all levels and widening our offer and levels of accreditation. We see the SCQF framework of qualifications as a tool to raise attainment for all, but also to use as targeted interventions to raise attainment for specific cohorts of students.
Between November 2021 and June 2022, we continued to develop curricular pathways and work with partner agencies to improve our offer to pupils. As a school we made huge strides in the number of alternate qualifications we were offering, including NPAs, Skills for Work courses and Youth Awards. Departments continued to develop new courses to offer alongside, and as an alternative to, traditional National Qualifications.
To raise awareness among staff and pupils, our SCQF Ambassadors led a number of assemblies to deliver their message about the benefits of the SCQF. Unfortunately, due to COVID, these had to be delivered online, but our Ambassadors did really well in difficult circumstances. To raise awareness to parents, our Ambassadors and some pupils taking part in wider achievement courses made a short video that was shared on our school website as well as social media pages.
We have also started a twitter account specifically for wider achievement and SCQF activities (@Gleniffer_WA). Through this channel we have advertised the new intake of SCQF Ambassadors, retweeted key messages from the SCQF Partnership and promoted SCQF courses like Level 6 Emergency First Aid at Work and Level 5 Barista Skills happening in Gleniffer High School.
At the start of the 21/22 session, the curriculum review group met to come up with a proposal on a new curricular model which would aim to raise attainment and offer opportunities to add awards. The changes to the curriculum model won’t come into force until the 23/24 session, however many of the aims of the new model have been brought in earlier. Departments have worked to offer, where appropriate, National Progression Awards alongside the traditional NQ offer, allowing for pupils to gain multiple qualifications from certain curricular areas. This approach has also allowed some pupils to reach SCQF level 5 in S4, which would not have been possible with the NQs alone.
Departments have also looked at the range of qualifications that are being delivered at Senior Phase and have started to offer a much wider range of subjects. Pupils have been offered choices such as SCQF Level 6 Customer Service, SCQF Level 5 Scottish Studies, SCQF Level 6 Creative Industries, SCQF Level 6 Cyber Security for the first time as well as SCQF Level 5 Barista Award being embedded into existing courses.
As a school, we have also looked to certificate classes in core time with S5 PSE pupils taking part in the Personal Finance award and S4 core RMPS pupils working on the Award in Religion, Beliefs and Values.
We have also looked at offering SCQF Qualifications within our BGE. All pupils at Gleniffer High School will have the opportunity to complete the Dynamic Youth Award, Level 4 Internet Safety and the Level 4 Mental Health and Wellbeing Award by the end of S3. The Music department also offer the Youth Achievement Award (Bronze) as part of the S3 curriculum, focusing on DJ Skills.
In addition, we have used our tracking systems to target pupils for specific awards. We have small, targeted groups working on the Comedy and Confidence Award, the Participative Democracy Award, Young Stem Leader Award, the Employability Award, Personal Development Award, Steps to Work Award and Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering at West College.
Absolutely! We will keep on widening our curricular offer and aim to certificate pupils whenever possible. Our next steps will be to fully embed the SCQF within all development plans and continue to raise awareness of the SCQF. Without the constraints of COVID regulations, we will run events throughout the year promoting the benefits of the SCQF to parents and pupils.
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