SQA Courses in the senior school are called National Qualifications and are offered at the following levels:
- National 3 (N3),
- SCQF level 3, previously Foundation level,
- National 4 (N4),
- SCQF level 4, previously General level or Intermediate 1,
- National 5 (N5),
- SCQF level 5, previously Credit level or Intermediate 2,
- Higher (H),
- SCQF level 6,
- Advanced Higher (AH),
- SCQF level 7.
We also offer a range of other qualifications in S4-S6. The main ones are:
- National Progression Award (NPA),
- These can be SCQF Level 4 (N4 equivalent), SCQF Level 5 (N5 equivalent) or SCQF Level 6 (Higher equivalent). They are assessed internally and there is no exam.
- Foundation Apprenticeship (FA),
- These are two year courses. Most are taught at West Lothian College though the FA Scientific Technologies is taught in school by our staff. Year one is classroom based and most Foundation Apprenticeships apart from Engineering and Civil Engineering lead to an NPA at level 6 at the end of year one. At the end of year two you will have achieved the equivalent of a Higher pass. All assessment is internal not exam based.
Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)
The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, or SCQF, is a way to understand and compare the level of study of different subjects in terms of their difficulty, time required, amount of material, and so on.
- Read more about the SCQF →
- Compare awards on the scale →
- See how previous awards like O-Levels compare to current awards →
Which level to study?
Moving into S4: Your class teachers in S3 will discuss with you the recommended level of study in S4.
Already studied for a Qualification:
- If you have studied National 3 this year then National 4 is your next level.
- If you have studied National 4 this year then National 5 is your next level.
- If you have studied National 5 this year then Higher is your next level.
- If you have studied Higher this year then Advanced Higher is your next level.
CAUTION: Your final overall grade in a subject cannot be the sole determinant of success at the next level. Some subjects will give you advice on which elements of your grades you should look to in order to indicate future success. It is essential that you pay attention to this advice in looking at future levels.
In addition teachers will consider your enthusiasm, maturity, potential and the work demands from your other choices before recommending which level you should take.
Assessment and Grading: National 3 and National 4
Unit assessments - all must be passed to achieve an overall Course Award. At National 4, there is also an Added Value Unit to pass.
There is no final exam - simply pass or fail.
Assessment and Grading: National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher
- Internal assessments to judge pupil progress.
- Course Assessment (usually marked by SQA and form a range of methods such as Assignment, case study, practical activity, performance, portfolio, project, question paper/test).
- Graded A - D or No Award.
In exceptional circumstances where a pupil is NOT on track to pass final Course Assessments - credit can be given for unit passes ONLY or you may be able to switch to an alternative award such as a National Progression Award in that subject area.