National Qualifications

While the new qualifications continue to develop learners' knowledge and understanding, they also have more of a focus on developing skills.

The new qualifications recognise that different learners perform at their best in different ways. Exams and tests continue to play an important role in some courses. However the new qualifications are also designed to reward learners for their skills in performance-based activities.

The new qualifications have a greater focus on developing skills. Your child will develop practical skills like data collection, literacy, numeracy and team working; Core Skills like communication, ICT and problem solving; and Skills for Learning, Life and Work such as employability, independent thinking, and enterprise and citizenship.

The new qualifications are designed to make sure that learners not only develop these skills, but transfer them to real-life settings out with the classroom, including the workplace. This is encouraged through changes to learning, teaching and assessment; with more assessment through things like practical activities, performances and research projects etc.

National 4 follows a similar model to the Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND), which do not have exams and are internally assessed. There are also a number of National 5 and Higher Courses which do not have exams. National 4 Courses are mainly assessed through coursework that allows your child to demonstrate what they can do. This will help to prepare your child for National 5 or for moving on to college, training or employment.

The SQA has produced a useful leaflet for parents and carers. The National Parent Forum of Scotland has also published a useful guide.

Kilsyth Academy

G65 9NF

Tel: 01236 632157
Email: The school office