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Dùthchail na h-Alba Comann Oileanach

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School-leaver joining SRUC this September? This one’s for you!

A Year of Challenges & Opportunities

This Tuesday, I attended an event hosted by QAA Scotland, Abertay University and Kirkcaldy High SchoolKirkcaldy High School: A Year of Challenges & Opportunities*.

I mostly went along to improve my understanding of our incoming cohort’s experiences. These are students who have predominantly learned online over the last year, missed out on milestone events like prom and endured the SQA exam debacle throughout. I also wanted to use this to inform SRUCSA (the students’ association here at SRUC) and induction teams so that we can try to make some changes ahead of September.

Key Points

The event looked at the experience from both a teacher and pupil’s perspective. It was really clear how much teachers have put into this year, and how empathetic they were with their pupils. It was also really thought-provoking to hear from Rebecca, an S6 school-leaver preparing to go to university. The main concerns mentioned were:

  • the jump in study from National 5 exams (the last traditional exams sat by this cohort) to uni/college level
  • lack of familiarity with campus
  • meeting other students
  • apprehension about more online learning

However, something really interesting mentioned by Rebecca was that she felt that pupils had gained skills in learning independently Рa key skill for studying at university or college. 

What I really didn’t anticipate from the event was how serious colleges and universities feel about getting the transition from school to university right this year.

There were discussions around what can be done to make coming to college or¬†uni¬†better – holding social events, essay writing master classes, signposting to institution services. There was also a lot of chat around how universities, colleges and schools could be working more in partnership with each¬†other. Someone even suggested making the event happen on an annual basis, just to keep everyone in the loop!¬†(I quite liked this idea).¬†There was also mention of the Scottish school qualifications restructure –¬†news which was announced just before the event.

What can SRUCSA do to help?

I left the event feeling hugely inspired and ready to do everything we can to support our incoming school-leavers. So, it leaves one question – what can we do? Get¬†in touch with us via this link to share your ideas, we’d love to hear them!¬†

Amy McLuckie (She/Her)
Central Faculty Co-President SRUCSA

* The event recording should be available soon on this site if you’d like to¬†take a look.