Sponsored Walk 2017

Thank you to everyone, pupils and staff, who took part in today’s Sponsored Walk. Due consideration was given to the forecast conditions before the decision was taken to go ahead with the walk. This isn’t the first time we have done the walk in the rain, and on this occasion there were a couple of periods of heavy rain, but the majority of the walk took place in relatively dry conditions.

Staff were monitoring the situation throughout the day at various checkpoints along the beach. One of the checkpoints reported that water running down from the dunes was making it difficult to cross the streams and keep feet dry. The decision was taken to shorten the walk at Balmedie and stop those arriving from continuing with the return journey. A number of pupils had already set off on their return journey accompanied by staff. Balmedie pupils were permitted to go home and a bus was arranged to transport others back to Bridge of Don.

Well done to everyone who completed the challenge of the walk, whether one way or both!

SQA Exams – On Results Day

This year’s SQA exam results are scheduled to arrive by post on Tuesday 8 August 2017. Some pupils may have signed up to MySQA in order to receive their results electronically. In order to receive a text and/or email with your 2017 exam results pupils are required to have signed up to MySQA by 5.00PM on the 18 July 2017 and activated their account by 5.00PM on 19 July 2017.

The following information, compiled from SQA documentation, may prove useful for some pupils once the results have been published.

Your Exam Certificate

If you’re unsure about what your certificate tells you, the SQA have a page and a video to help you: https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/65952.html

Missing Exam Certificate

A missing exam certificate could be due to the volume of mail being handled by the postal service or to an incorrect address being held by the SQA. The school makes changes to addresses throughout the year as and when reported by parents and pupils. A final electronic transfer of all pupil names and addresses in our system was sent to the SQA by the deadline of 30 June to ensure certificates are issued to the correct address.

If your exam certificate has not arrived by the following day, Wednesday 9 August, please contact the school between 9:00AM and 3:00PM and someone there will try to help.  Note that you should not expect to be given exam results over the phone. This is in order to maintain pupil confidentiality and ensure data does not get released to an unauthorised individual. You should at least be able to provide your candidate number before any communication can be relayed.

If you have signed up to the aforementioned SQA’s results service, you should still receive your results even if your certificate has not arrived.

Missing Results

If there are results missing from your certificate, this is likely to be because you have scored less than the requirement for a grade D and will therefore have been given a ‘no award’ for the course. No awards are not displayed on your certificate. If you passed any of the units belonging to this course, these will still be listed in the National Units sections of your certificate (on the Summary of attainment and Detailed record of attainment pages).

It may also be that there are some unit results missing, which has prevented you from getting the full course award. To get a full course award you need to successfully complete all the units for the course as well as pass the external exam. Go to the certificate you have received and look under the National Units heading. If the subject shows, for example, X721 76 Drama: External Assessment, then there are either unit results missing or you have failed a unit. Alternatively, it might be that a unit was not passed in time for the certificate being issued. If you fall into the latter category, the SQA will issue you an updated certificate in September.

If there are any items missing which you know you have already passed, check to see if they were certified in a certificate issued previously.

Appeals

There is no longer an appeals process for pupils who have failed or not performed as well as they did in their estimate exams. This process was removed by the SQA when the new National Qualifications were introduced in session 2013/2014. The SQA’s Exceptional Circumstances Consideration procedures can be followed during the actual exam diet if a pupil has been unwell in the exam itself or if there were other ‘exceptional circumstances’, perhaps due to family bereavement. Such appeals can only be made within 10 days of the exam being taken and are made at the discretion of the Head of Centre.

Once the results have been released, if there is evidence that a pupil has been consistently performing at a considerably higher level than that of their final exam result throughout the entire year, and not just in their estimate exam, the Head of Centre may feel that the exam paper should be considered for a clerical check and/or marking review, for which there is a charge of up to £40. A difference of one grade between the estimate and final exam is not normally sufficient for review and there must be a range of robust evidence for the entire course throughout the year to prove that the pupil has been performing at a much higher level than the final award.  As such, there are very few requests for clerical or marking reviews. Furthermore, not all exams are eligible for a clerical check; this can depend on whether or not they were electronically marked.

This year, requests for priority marking reviews have to be actioned before the end of the school holidays. A letter has already been issued to senior pupils and information posted on the school’s website here. Pupils must call the school office on Tuesday 8 August or Wednesday 9 August 2017 between 9:00AM and 3:00PM if they wish the school to consider and submit a priority marking review to SQA. Any non-priority marking reviews, i.e. those where a place at university is not dependant on a change of result, can be considered once pupils return to school on Tuesday 22 August 2017 and they have spoken to subject or principal teachers.

Pupils and parents need to be aware that previous reviews have resulted in pupils’ marks going down as well going up. For example, a pupil awarded a grade B with a score of 62%, could find a check identies marks given in error, thereby resulting in the pupil’s score being brought down below the threshold for a B and the result being downgraded to a grade C.

University and College Places

If you have not achieved the results you hoped for to pursue a particular course at university or college, do not become despondent. There can be various ways to purse your chosen course and several sources of guidance.

In terms of Further Education, UCAS (the Universities & College Admissions Service) have information for pupils who not achieved the results required for the chosen course. The leaflet explains that the university may still accept them for the course or offer them an alternative. Further details are available by clicking here. Information should also be available through their website: https://www.ucas.com/

Similarly, for careers advice, call the Skills Development Scotland Exam Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000. Qualified Careers Advisors will be on hand to offer careers advice, and discuss clearing vacancies and alternative options. Details will be released by SDS nearer results day. Information will be posted on their website: https://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/