Background 


Inveralmond Community High School (ICHS) is a secondary school based in Livingston, West Lothian whose vision is: 'We are working together to inspire learners and shape successful futures ensuring excellence and equity for all.'

The school curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all learners offering a vast range of qualifications and awards ranging from the core subjects such as English, Maths, Modern languages and Science, to vocational qualifications such as Foundation Apprenticeships. In doing so, ICHS strives to help every young person to attain the very best attainment and achievement in order to thrive in the years to come.

ICHS is an SCQF Ambassador school: a programme run by the SCQF Partnership that offers schools the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of the SCQF and the wider ways in which it supports learners. These include recognising wider achievement, developing Senior Phase learning pathways in line with the Developing the Young Workforce strategy and giving equality between vocational and academic qualifications.



Beth’s Learning Journey

Beth Hailstones is 16 and currently in S6 at Inveralmond CHS.

As well as achieving six Highers (each with 24 credit points at SCQF level 6) in S5, she attained a further five qualifications at SCQF level 6:

 Leadership Award (9 credit points)

 Award in Religion, Belief, and Values (12 credit points)

 Personal Development Award (24 credit points)

 National Progression Award (NPA) in Music Performing (18 credit points)

 National Progression Award (NPA) in Business with Information Technology (24 credit points)


While most S5 pupils would traditionally sit five or six Highers, Beth wanted to strengthen her school education portfolio to improve her chances of getting onto her university course of choice. As well as the more conventional academic subjects, such as English and Maths, Beth also undertook wider achievement awards which aim to help learners become employable, contributing and independent members of society through the development of transferable life and soft skills.

For example, the Leadership Award, endorsed by the Chartered Management Institute, develops knowledge of leadership skills, styles, and qualities. It allows pupils to build self-confidence and self-esteem and encourages them to respect the cultures and beliefs of others working alongside them.


Beth says:

“The SCQF has helped me to better understand the learning pathways available at school. The opportunity in fifth year to achieve qualifications other than Highers, but at the same SCQF level, has built up my total number of SCQF credit points and boosted my skills and confidence.”


This year (2019-20), Beth is undertaking Advanced Highers (SCQF level 7) in Biology and French and a Skills for Work National 5 (at SCQF level 5) in Laboratory Science. She is in the process of applying to attend university next year and hopes to study Human Biology at the University of Glasgow. Her dream is to work in science, either for the pharmaceutical industry or in haematology in a hospital setting.


ICHS’ vision and curriculum rationale clearly sets a standard that all learning is useful and contributes to the development of successful young people equipped to drive their own successful futures. Keith Varty, Principal Teacher Curriculum – Science, and Beth’s year head in S5, said:


“Within Inveralmond Community High School we recognise that all learning experiences are valuable and that many opportunities exist to enhance the learner journey of our young people. As such, we are eager to offer diverse learner pathways that value the vast range of qualifications available within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. Within the Senior Phase we are continually expanding the range of SCQF credit-rated courses available to students through curricular areas and through our Wider Achievement programme which focuses on Health and Wellbeing and Skills for Life, Learning and Work. We are so proud that Beth has fully embraced her learning and the range of opportunities available and as such achieved great success in S5.”


Download a pdf version of this case study