End of year exams have been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak and students are being assessed on work going on in classrooms. But how are students supposed to go onto college or university without sitting an SQA Exam?
On the government website, it states that students will be assessed on the work they have produced over the year with different evidence being considered including mock assessments. The grade will then be put through a process of standardization to then conclude the final grade.
For results and the result day, it will be the same process as before, however the grades awarded will be formal grades and colleges and universities will be accepting from all institutions. Colleges and universities have remained close with the lockdowns due to COVID 19. When Scotland was not in phase 4 of lockdown, students were allowed the occasional visit to college and universities in small groups.
I spoke to Louise Smith, a part time student studying hairdressing at a private college Contempt Hairdressing Academy, on college visits during the pandemic.
Miss Smith explained: “We were split into smaller groups, and we were all in on different days, everyone would be split up, so we weren’t too crammed, and we all had enough space to do our training”.
“Our temperatures were taken at the door, so I felt safe in that sense, however before in September we were all allowed to come back together, I didn’t feel safe then”. Louise tells me with the restrictions put in place it was a more comfortable working environment.
“In terms of learning nothing really changed the training was still the same”.
I asked Louise is she was unhappy about the current lockdown restrictions disallowing students to go and learn in a classroom environment.
“yYs I have an eighteen-month plan and it’s making me fall behind a lot, ” she admits.
In terms of students’ future, many feel they are being held back and it feels a steeper climb to fulfil career ambitions.
Students are also being made to do there courses online via Zoom meetings, this is being treated like a class and students’ attendance is being monitored with zoom calls. Some students have been using online platforms to complete their workload from the beginning of March when the pandemic first started with many courses having remained online since.
For students to pass and move on to the next level of study, like schools there will be no exams and students will be assessed with their work over the year and then be given a final grade.
Teachers and lecturers are also struggling with the government guidelines and restrictions as some of these professionals have never taught online as a teaching method.
The Scottish government also prioritize student’s wellbeing. For example, in schools, health and well-being are organized into several areas for children.
- mental, emotional social and physical well-being.
- food and health.
- relationships, sexual health and parenthood.
- substance misuse
- planning for change
- physical education
The Scottish government focus on the health and wellbeing of pupils to help them make the most of their education. They also want to ensure that children are safe in school and feel happy, included and well respected in the learning environment. The Government has included anti bullying guidance for schools in Scotland. Several resources have been introduced including “Respect for all” which addresses matters such as homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. This provides information on addressing information and transphobic bullying in Scottish schools.
CRER (coalition for racial equality and rights) also introduced a similar program on how to tackle racist bullying for school staff in school across Scotland.
Mental Health is an important factor that the government focuses on in schools. Strategies that help prevent children going into a mental health spiral. Every child in schools in Scotland have access towards emotional and mental health support when in school.
Schools also provide different services of counselling for young adults and children at school, children can reach out to a pastoral guidance in local authority schools.
Children with learning and support needs, the Scottish government provides additional support and aim for children and young people to reach “there full learning potential”.
The government offers a system on overcoming obstacles to learning for every child. . Schools have worked with Dyslexia Scotland to help provide resources for children and young people with dyslexia helping them learn including free online training modules, an addressing dyslexia toolkit and CLPL for dyslexia and inclusive practice.
The Scottish government also aim to improve school building and can undertake reorganization of schools at any time. “Schools of the future “program is helping 117 schools to be constructed or refurbished. they also provide £1.13 billion with local authorities contributing £665 million.