skip to first article

Connecting With SQA - SQA's Monthly E-zine.

19 September 2008
Issue 30


Art Exhibition 2008

We are pleased to be exhibiting the cream of the works produced for the 2008 National Courses in Art and Design at three major exhibitions. On show will be the creativity and imagination of Scotland’s best young artists. Please bring your students along and let them be inspired and encouraged by the phenomenal works on display.

Each exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, design, ceramics, fashion, and jewellery. To support the exhibitions, fully illustrated teacher and student catalogues will be available free of charge. Each gallery hosting an exhibition will provide complementary activities to ensure your students enjoy a stimulating artistic experience!

For teachers we are offering a range of Professional Development Workshops led by contemporary artists in painting, textiles, jewellery, and millinery.

The ExhibitionsThe Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
15 October — 6 November 2008

This significant and one-off exhibition will feature artworks created for the 2008 Higher Art and Design examinations.
Around 200 exhibits will be on show from schools and colleges across Scotland.

The People’s Palace, Glasgow
1 December 2008 — 16 January 2009
                                                      The People's Palace

Our first ever major exhibition in Glasgow, supported by Culture and Sport Glasgow, is being held in the iconic People’s Palace on historic Glasgow Green. The exhibition will feature a selection of Higher works from the Scottish Parliament exhibition together with the best works from Standard Grade, Intermediate 1, and Intermediate 2. Over 100 pieces will be displayed.
The National Galleries
The National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh
22 January — 19 March 2009

Our first ever major exhibition of Advanced Higher artwork will open at Scotland’s premier gallery in January and feature the work of Scotland’s elite young artists in a visual feast of creativity. Groups visiting this exhibition can also take a tour of the National Collection free of charge.

Burns 250 Celebration

Rabbie Burns

We are planning a spectacular event in Glasgow on 26 January 2009 to celebrate the life and works of Scotland’s national bard Robert Burns. It will be a Burns Supper with a twist as we also celebrate the 250th anniversary of Burns' birthday.
At the event we will be announcing details of a magnificent new teaching resource on Burns that we are developing with Learning and Teaching Scotland and the Scottish Poetry Library that will be launched in August 2009.
Burns was a passionate, inspiring, forward thinking pioneer of his generation. We think it fitting that the current generation engages with us in a celebration of Burns' life, work and achievements.
We are looking for confident and inspiring musicians, dancers, singers, poets, actors and performers from schools and colleges across Scotland to take part in this memorable event. If you have individuals, class groups, bands or choirs who you feel are up to the challenge we would like to hear from you. Please contact Katie Hamilton or by calling 0845 213 5204 and she will be happy to discuss details and options with you.

Scottish Learning Festival 2008

The Scottish Learning Festival 2008 is bursting at the seams with more than 170 inspirational seminars, a host of fringe activities and up to 200 exhibitors in a packed two-dayThe Scottish Learning Festival 2008
programme of events. 
There is no other event on the Scottish educational calendar that covers all the key educational issues and initiatives, contributes to continuing professional development, shares innovative practice for the classroom and showcases new teaching resources, all fit for the 21st century. The Scottish Learning Festival takes place on 24 and 25 September at the SECC and Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow and is free to all educationalists.

The main theme of this year’s event is Curriculum for Excellence with a focus on outcomes and experiential learning and innovation in the curriculum. Underpinning the main theme is Glow, the national education intranet currently being rolled out across Scotland. Keynote speakers for 2008 are:
• Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning
• Professor Richard Teese, Centre for Post-Compulsory Education and Lifelong Learning, University of Melbourne
• Ellen Moir, Executive Director of the New Teacher Centre, University of California
• Charles Leadbeater, Leading Authority on innovation and creativity

The Official Conference Guide has information about all the sessions as well as details of the other activities taking place and is available to download here. For further information about the Scottish Learning Festival, please call 0870 421 1938 or email.

EuroSkills Rotterdam 2008

The EuroSkills Competition will take place from 18-20 September 2008 in Rotterdam and is being organised by Skills Netherlands. 

Maureen Watt MSP

Maureen Watt, Minister for Schools and Skills, will visit the competition along with the other UK Skills Ministers - David Lammy MP, John Griffiths AM (Wales) and Sir Reg Empey (Northern Ireland) - to see at first hand this inaugural competition and also to discuss future direction towards WorldSkills London 2011.
EuroSkills is a pilot European event which will showcase exciting skills competitions and lively debates on Europe’s future in vocational education. The UK will put forward a small team of young people to compete with talented students, apprentices and young experienced workers from across Europe who will all demonstrate their skills at an international level. 

The EuroSkills organisers hope that it will become part of the regular international skills competition calendar, happening every two years in a different European host nation.   EuroSkills will be quite a different event to WorldSkills in the following ways:
• EuroSkills is a much smaller scale event with around 400 competitors taking part
• The competitions are primarily team focused
• The competitions are specifically relevant to the European economy.

The UK is competing in six competitions:  Automotive Technology Light Vehicle, Cleaning Services, Farrier, Fashion, Hairdressing, Office ICT Team. 
The results will be known on Saturday 20 September and the UK hope that there will be a positive outcome to build on the 11th place the UK obtained at WorldSkills Japan 2007. 
Further information on the competition and how to engage in skills competitions can be found at or

Consultation on the referencing of the SCQF to the EQF

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership (SCQFP) is opening a consultation on the referencing of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) to the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF) and welcomes your participation.

The consultation period will run until Friday 28 November 2008. To access a copy of the initial report and consultation document, please see the SCQF website.

Please feel free to contact Mike Hewett, SCQF European and International Officer, if you have any queries relating to this consultation via e-mail or by calling 0141 225 2923.


SQA is working as an education partner with Land Rover and we are sponsoring their TrackNAVCHALLENGE.|

TrackNAVCHALLENGE is aimed primarily at 14 -18 year olds and tasks them with designing and building (with a bit of help) a radio controlled, four-wheel drive model vehicle that emulates the all-terrain capabilities of a Land Rover.
TrackNAV Challenge
As well as the chance to gain national recognition, there's plenty that all participants will learn. TrackNAVCHALLENGE provides young people with a practical project that stimulates interest in engineering with a real experience of the design process. In addition, it develops effective and efficient use of core skills in communication, numeracy, ICT and other areas. In previous years, supervising adults have noticed how the young people have become more focused and skilled as a result of the Challenge.

Registration is open now, with Regional Heats at the end of June 2009 and the National Final at the start of July 2009. For more info, click here.

Improving SQA’s Website

We have been working on a number of initiatives to improve our main website and have some exciting new developments that will be available over the coming months.

These include:

Earlier this year we launched a new search engine on the site providing a great way to quickly locate information. If you haven’t tried it, why not give it a go? To make the most of the search please see our search help guide.

We have also improved our Web Updates service on the site, which shows the most recent updates on the site.

The content can also be subscribed to as a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed by clicking here.

If you have any queries or feedback on the work we’re doing, please contact the Webteam.

NQ: History, Modern Studies and RMPS Dissertation Topic Title 2009

Dissertation Topic Title Approval Forms for 2009 for Advanced Higher History, Modern Studies and Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies (RMPS) are now available
on the relevant subject pages of the secure area of SQA's website.

Your attention is drawn to the following points:

1) Approved lists of titles for Advanced Higher History and Advanced Higher Modern Studies are on the relevant subject pages of SQA's main website . It is acceptable to make minor changes to their wording. Titles which are not included in the revised lists of approved titles may be submitted to SQA for approval, should the centre wish.

2) Titles in Advanced Higher Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies should be submitted for approval. Such proposals must be submitted for approval to the Scottish Qualifications Authority via the Dissertation mail-box by Saturday 1 November 2008.

All entries must be submitted to the dissertation mail-box on the appropriate form.

All entries must be submitted by the SQA Co-ordinator - no entries will be accepted by e-mail from candidates.

No entries will be accepted in paper format unless circumstances are exceptional.

If you have any queries relating to Dissertation Topic Titles, please contact Maureen McLeod or call 0131-271 6752.

NQ Report: Development Work On National Qualifications 2008/2009

The report on development work relating to National Qualifications - National Units, National Courses and National Qualification Group Awards – National Certificates and National Progression Awards is now available on SQA's website.

This refers to information contained within the National Qualifications Catalogue, which is also published on our website. The Catalogue will be updated regularly throughout the year and will contain the most up to date information about available National Qualifications.

The report contains the following sections:

Section 1 
National Courses - New and Revised
Information about new and revised National Courses developed for implementation in 2008/2009 (including Skills for Work Courses)

Section 2 
National Courses – Deletions
Information about National Courses which have been removed from the Catalogue of National Qualifications action to be taken with 
their Units

Section 3 
National Units
Information about Units which are being retained as freestanding Units and were previously part of National Courses which are no longer available

Section 4 
New and revised National Units
A list of new and revised Units which are not part of National Courses

Section 5 
National Qualification Group Awards
A list of National Certificates and National Progression Awards which have been made available since the last report (2007/2008) was published

Section 6 
Information about all National Units which will not be in the catalogue from session 2008/2009 onwards, some of which are subject to the conditions of a completion period

Appendix 1 of the report details approval implications for new and revised National Qualifications.

The Report and the Appendix are also be available to download from SQA's website.

Please note: incorrect codes were given for Mandarin (Simplified) Intermediate 1 and Mandarin (Simplified) Intermediate 2 in the original publication (page 6 of the Report). The incorrect codes given are X248 10 Mandarin (Simplified) Intermediate 1 and X248 11 Mandarin (Simplified) Intermediate 2. The correct codes are X256 10 Mandarin (Simplified) Intermediate 1 and X256 11 Mandarin (Simplified) Intermediate 2. A version of the report currently on SQA's website has the correct codes, but for any centres who already have a printed copy of the report, the amended page can be downloaded here.

SQA ESOL case studies

SQA now has a number of case studies of ESOL candidates from schools and colleges who have undertaken SQA ESOL Units and/or Courses.

We have recently added two case studies of learners in school and college who achieved a Higher ESOL Course. Higher ESOL helped Sonia Mustafa from St Roch's Secondary, Glasgow, to progress to study a BSc in Biomedical Sciences at Strathclyde University, and Alice Keung from Glasgow Metropolitan College is now working as an
Architect's Assistant.

All SQA ESOL case studies can be downloaded from the SQA ESOL pages but the following link will direct you straight to the relevant webpage .

As you will see, case studies are also available featuring learners in schools and colleges who have achieved ESOL Units and progressed on to further learning or work.

Copies of all ESOL case studies can also be ordered from the ESOL team who can be contacted via our customer contact centre. If you require further information or help with offering SQA ESOL Units and/or courses, please contact Eunice McAllister, Business Development Manager, English for Speakers of Other Languages.