Category: Communication

SQA Exam Diet and Skills Development Scotland Support Update

03451 555555 ext. 480217
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Our Ref: ML/EF
25 March 2020

Dear Parent / Carer

SQA Exam Diet and Skills Development Scotland Support

You will now be fully aware the 2020 exam diet has been cancelled. Inevitably this means there will be some uncertainty for our young people who were preparing for exams. I want to reassure you and your children that teachers, who know your children best as learners, will be doing everything they can to ensure they are awarded their best possible qualification(s).

Part of what teachers do already is to gather ongoing evidence throughout the year for completing courses for qualifications. This includes completing coursework, assignments and folios.

Our teachers will work hard to use all available evidence to support their professional judgement to give accurate predictions. I want to emphasise that there is no need for your child to be in school to complete work. We now know following the updated announcement by the SQA on 24 March that certification will be based on predicted attainment, coursework and assessment from throughout the year.

The SQA will provide further details on the estimation of grades as soon as possible and they will inform us of what they will need from teachers and the approach that will be taken to certification. At this stage I would ask you not to contact your child’s school as we are still awaiting further instructions from SQA.

The SQA have indicated that their post-results service will be free of charge this year. This service is when the school are concerned about the grade your child has been awarded and they can request a clerical review. Parents cannot request this directly to the SQA.

The current SQA system has a large amount of statistical information that will allow for checks and balances to be made to ensure a fair outcome for your child. This includes statistical checks on the normal pattern of attainment across a school, a subject area and across the local authority. We will continue to work with SQA to ensure the hard work of our young people has been properly recognised and accredited fairly.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS)

I also wanted to take this opportunity to inform you that SDS are still continuing to do the following: –

  • Provide career, information, advice and guidance for all young people. Our school careers advisers are endeavouring to maintain contact with pupils and they are looking at how we can further develop on-line services to support them. This will be done via telephone, Skype or online. To speak to a Careers Adviser call your local centre on 01592 645180 (Kirkcaldy Centre) and 01383 745610 (Dunfermline Centre). Details of all our centres can be found on My World of Work. Calls are being automatically re-routed to advisers (all of whom are home-working). Messaging can be provided for your comms channels if needed. Please be reassured that SDS Careers Advisers will continue to proactively contact pupils to offer them ongoing support.
  • Work with the SQA and other awarding bodies in relation to Foundation Apprenticeships. This work will support their guidance for individuals and learning providers to ensure that the effects of disruption are minimised and that wherever possible, apprentices and learners are not negatively impacted in the longer term.
  • Share social media posts from SDS social channels to inform teachers, pupils, parents and carers of our ongoing support.

As soon as we have any further information we will share this with you. Thank you in anticipation of your ongoing support.

Yours sincerely

Maria Lloyd

Head of Education (Secondary Schools and Specialist Support)


SQA Exam Diet Update 25032020

SCHOLAR – now available to S3


Covid-19 Additional Support

Temporary guest account for S3 learners

Learners in S3 studying level 4 material as part of the broad general education (BGE), often cover topics common to National 5 courses and may find access to SCHOLAR National 5 courses useful.

If S3 students have not yet been enrolled, to let them work on the course materials, for the next 28 days they will be able to access our National 5 courses using the account details below. Please note, when using this account their teacher will not be able to track their progress, review their performance or mark any extended answers.

Username:          ges3nat5

Password:           bird70pear

Best wishes,


SQA Coursework Update – 24th March, 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

Please see the latest very important update form the SQA re. AH/H coursework released just a few minutes ago.  No submissions of internal coursework are required for Higher and Advanced Higher courses.  Where young people have started coursework this will be factored into the teacher professional judgement of estimates.  Further information about estimates to follow from SQA.

We will update you as soon as we hear more.

Keep in touch.

Best wishes,

Carol Ann Penrose

Corona Virus Update (Updated 24/3 @ 2.07pm)

Dear Bell Baxter High School Community

We understand that this is a really difficult and anxious time for you and your families.  There are lots of different demands on you all right now in terms of working from home, making sure the children are still learning and caring for others.

Please do not try to do everything at once – we are in this for the long haul.  Our teachers have posted lots of work on Teams, and I am sure our primary colleagues are doing the same.  This may seem overwhelming.  Please be reassured that teachers do not expect you, as parents, to be able to deliver all of this work, or that it will all be completed immediately.

In these early days in particular, there will be issues around technology, sharing laptops, not being able to access what we need to.  That’s all ok.  The most important thing right now is to maintain some sort of routine, look after each other, and pay attention to our mental health.  The pressure on us all is huge right now.  These are very strange times for everyone.  Please be kind to yourselves and give yourself time to adjust.

Keep in touch, stay indoors and be safe.

Carol Ann

Carol Ann Penrose