Renfrew High pupils put SQA exam guidance to the test

A group of S3 pupils from Renfrew High School have spent two days at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), where they were given the chance to suggest improvements to how SQA shares important information relating to its qualifications.

The pupils were asked to research the best ways for SQA to engage with young people, as well as what information they find useful when preparing for their Senior Phase of school. They explored different options for how this information could be shared with over 140,000 school candidates each year.

The pupils were asked for their opinions on the content of documents, as well as how the information was presented. They were also asked for their feedback on the SQA website.

At the end of the two days, the pupils presented their findings and recommendations to SQA staff.

Renfrew High School Head Teacher Billy Burke said of the placement: “This has been a really valuable experience for the pupils. It has given them the opportunity to collaborate effectively in a team, manage their own time and resources, and conduct and present research that supports their findings.

“The fact that the pupils were able to provide information that could shape SQA’s approach to communicating with young people in the future, makes the whole experience all the more worthwhile. The pupils made a valid contribution and I look forward to seeing how their views and findings will be taken forward.”

Charlotte, one of the pupils who participated in the placement, said: “It was a really good couple of days. Everyone we met was really friendly, and it was good to be asked our opinions.”

Fellow pupil Stefanie said she was surprised to find out that she would be working at SQA, adding: “All I thought they did was mark exams. I was nervous when we had to present our suggestions, but everyone thought we had some good ideas, and the SQA staff were really interested in our own experiences, and what we had to say.”

Kerry McMillan, Senior Communications Manager at SQA, said: “We were delighted to be asked to take part in Renfrew High School’s business partnering initiative for the second year running. Working with the young people not only provides an opportunity for them to experience what life is like in the workplace. It also enables us to better understand what information this age group expect from SQA as well as how and when we present it to them.”