Renfrewshire Council

Message to S4, S5 and S6 pupils on this year's national qualifications - 23 February 2021

Information on this year's national qualifications and when students will be asked to complete assessments from Steven Quinn, director of children's services. Published on Tuesday 23 February 2021.

Dear student

I recognise many of you may be feeling anxious about the impact of COVID-19 on your qualifications this year and I want to try and offer some reassurance.

Firstly, I want to thank you for your commitment and for remaining connected to your school and your studies.

Although it has been a very challenging year, it is more important than ever that you continue to show resilience and commitment over the coming months. This will give you the best possible chance to succeed in your national qualifications.

A small number of you will now be able to return to school on a part-time basis to receive additional support in certain subject areas. I sincerely hope that we will be able to welcome more of you back to school in the weeks ahead, where it is safe to do so, and you will be able to enjoy face-to-face teaching and learning in school.

I am aware that many of you will be anxious regarding assessments when you return. I want to reassure you that while home learning continues and when you first return to school, the emphasis will be solely focused on your learning and not assessment. Assessments will only take place when your teachers believe their classes are in the best position to perform at an appropriate level.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) recently sent an updated message to all young people regarding the alternative certification model for this year's national qualifications. In addition to this, further details were given to schools and teachers to help them develop the necessary assessments that you will take. I would like to assure you that these assessments will be tailored to the learning that has taken place in your class throughout the year while also meeting the national standard. This will give you the best chance of achieving the grades that your effort deserves.

None of the planned assessments which will determine your final grade will take place immediately after you return to school. There will be a period of further learning and consolidation of the work you have been doing before any assessments take place.

I am confident that your teachers and schools will continue to do everything possible to support you in what I know is a very unsettling time. We are all fully committed to ensuring that all young people in Renfrewshire are given the best possible opportunity.

I wish you every success in the months ahead and sincerely hope you can stay focused and continue to make every effort required to succeed in your national qualifications. Please remember you do not need to face this challenge alone. All staff in your school are there to provide support and guidance whenever this is required, and I would ask that you please make contact if you need support or someone to talk to.

Very best wishes

Steven Quinn

Director of Children's Services