A big focus for teachers and pupils at present is getting work complete for internal SQA deadlines.  It is difficult to underestimate the importance of this work as the coursework can represent a big part of the overall course award.  In addition, many pupils are trying to finish off unit assessments and re-assessments without which they will not gain an overall course award.

The various deadlines undoubtedly place big demands on pupils and their families.  But they also place massive demands on their teachers who are often trying to support in excess of 100 pupils through to SQA qualifications.

All year I have placed emphasis on the concept of pupils producing “best work, first time, on time, every time”.  Sadly, many pupils have put things off, have done too little and have settled for second best and just in time (or even a little overdue).

If they had truly produced their “best work, first time, on time every time” things could have easier in a number of ways:

  • Unit assessments would have been passed meaning re-assessments would not be needed (significantly reducing the workload on pupils and teachers)
  • Work could have been marked on the day it was handed in by the whole class and returned the next lesson (rather than everyone waiting for stragglers to hand it in)
  • Learning could have been progressive and demanding (rather than having to go back over things people have only half learned)
  • People could have secured a good prelim grade and be looking for top grades in their final exams (rather than having a marginal grade in the bank and pressure riding on the final exam)

For many pupils there is still a little time (around a week) to meet the internal deadlines.  This is followed by a bit more time (around 4-6 weeks) to prepare for the final exams.  The main message for our pupils remains “best work, first time, on time every time”.  Now is not the time for half measures because there is no time to do anything about it.  It is a time for maximum effort and full concentration.

Almost all departments have additional revision sessions on offer, individual teachers are wiling to help anyone who asks and there is a vast amount of support on line (through Google classrooms, Bite size and Scholar from the school and numerous other sources).

I am very confident that the pupils who have been producing  “best work, first time, on time every time” and taking advantage of the support of their teachers all session will get the SQA grades their efforts deserve.  I am also fairly sure that anyone who steps up the pace, even this late in the session, can still do pretty well.  Those who keep putting things off, taking short cuts and settling for second best will be disappointed.  There really is no substitute for hard work and practice really does make perfect.

This message is mostly directed to our senior pupils but it also applies to those in S1-S3 (and even those in our Primaries).  Good habits cannot start early enough so the message to all our pupils is to keep producing your “best work, first time, on time every time”