SQA Alternative Certification Model 2020 Information for parents / carers and pupils

Our approach to gathering estimates for submission to SQA

As noted in last week’s communication, I indicated that the SQA have four steps towards 2020 SQA awards presentation. The first of which is estimates.
We hae studied the SQA guidance and I can now inform you of our approach to gathering these estimates, focussing on best outcomes for young people whilst staying firmly within the revised parameters as set out by the SQA.

How will teaching staff arrive at their estimates?

Estimates will be based on:

· Demonstrated attainment in all aspects of the course

· Inferred attainment (from the date of school closures) in all aspects of the course

Teachers professional judgements will be based on:

· Detailed knowledge and tracked progress of a candidates work

· Work of others in the class

· Teacher experience

· Comparisons with previous cohorts

What type of evidence will be used?

Any form of evidence that demonstrates a young person's skills, knowledge and understanding that relates to the course assessment. This could include (but is not exhaustive):

  • Course
  • Assignments
  • Prelim exams (Formal Assessments)
  • Topic tests

Estimates in detail

Unlike previous years, staff have been asked to estimate each young person in the following ways:

  • Band - e.g. Grade A Band 1 or Band 2 and so on
  • Refined Band - each Band has now been split further. E.g., a grade A has now been split into 5 Bands
  • Rank order - a sequential placement of all candidates in any course from the most secure (and/or highest attaining) to the least secure (and/or lowest attaining) within each refined band

• Scrutiny of Results

Before estimates are sent to SQA, the following steps will be taken:

  1. At least two teachers, one being the Principal Teacher of that subject, agree initial estimates based on the criteria noted above
  2. The link Senior Leadership Team member, in consultation with the Principal Teacher, discusses the proposed estimates. At this point consideration of a pupil's performance in one subject vs others will be focused on
  3. Our draft estimates are sent to Dundee City Council's Chief Education Officer for consideration
  4. Where necessary, further conversations will take place at departments on return of feedback from the Chief Education Officer
  5. The Head Teacher will send the estimates to SQA

Timeline for submission of Estimates

Monday 11th May - Departments make initial estimate submission to the link Senior Leadership Team member

Monday 11th - Friday 15th May - SLT scrutinise department estimates

Monday 18th May - Head Teacher submits draft estimates to Dundee City Council's Chief Education Officer for external scrutiny

Monday 25th May - Friday 29th May - Feedback to Head Teacher from Chief Education Officer. Where required, feedback to relevant PTs before final estimates are recorded

Friday 29th May - Head Teacher submits our final estimates to SQA

Exam Results will be sent by the SQA to young people on 4th August

We strongly suggest that all of our seniors sign up for the MySQA service

This information sheet has been produced to inform you of the process we will follow, based on SQA advice. It is intended to reassure you that we are treating this work very seriously.

Best outcomes for our young people is our core business and I am committed to ensuring that our processes do just that whilst maintaining the integrity of the SQA system.

If you have any further queries, please contact the relevant House Team, via our Virtual Guidance Base on our website (click on the link below).

With every best wish from all staff here at Harris Academy.
Barry Millar, Head Teacher


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