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Preston Lodge is a community of learning. We value achievement, happiness and respect.

Preston Lodge High School GC/LW 13 January 2017 Dear Parent/Carer Supporting our Senior Phase Students through Prelim Examinations I am writing to update families about the ways in which we can motivate and support our young people in the Senior Phase over a very important period of their lives. Some S4 students who are sitting only National 4 level, or two year Highers will not have prelim examinations at this stage, but I would ask those families to read this letter all the same, in order to familiarise themselves with our school’s approaches. Firstly, it is important that we share our school’s presentation policy. Students who pass a prelim examination will be presented for the SQA exam. Students who fail a prelim examination will need to carefully consider their next steps along with subject and guidance teachers. Although different subjects will take slightly different approaches, and each individual student’s situation is different, our approach can be summarised as follows: 

40 to 49% in a prelim. Passing the SQA examination is possible with increased application

30% to 39% in a prelim. Success in the SQA exam will be a major challenge, although it is still possible with a significant increase in application. Students who record a prelim grade in this range must make a significant investment in that subject if they are still to be presented for the SQA examination. In many cases subjects will advise against presentation.

0 to 29%. At this level it is very unlikely that a student will be able to succeed in the SQA examination and although there will be subject variation students with a prelim score in this range are not normally presented for the SQA examination

As you may know, we recently concluded a very successful Tree of Knowledge intervention with all S5 students, and their team will work with our S4, S5 and S6 students after prelim examinations. The S5 Tree of Knowledge sessions aimed to ensure that our S5 students were well-prepared for these important practice examinations, whereas the focus of the next sessions is final SQA examinations. Our next target setting and tracking window takes place after prelim examinations and will provide all families with clear information about their child’s achievement. Following this process we will spend considerable time within and outwith subject classes ensuring all young people know precisely what they need to do next to either consolidate their achievements or address areas requiring development. In some cases we will change presentation levels to ensure that students are sitting the examinations that will maximise opportunities for achievement.

Headteacher: Gavin Clark Depute Headteachers: Yvonne Binks (Grange), Julia Robertson (Seton), Calum Stewart (Gosford) Park View, Prestonpans, EH32 9QJ Tel: 01875 811170 Fax: 01875 810060 Email: Website:

We will be working further on student study skills in PSE classes and in our S5 Meeting time between prelim examinations and SQA examinations. Students will have opportunities to consider the approaches that work best for them and there will be, of course, many opportunities in subject classes to practice those skills in real contexts. After prelim examinations we will spend focused time with all students around revision planning. This work will be critical for S5 students because, in most cases, they experience the heaviest workload within our Senior Phase. However, we will also work closely with S4 and S6 students to ensure that they organise themselves properly. Our mentoring programme is now well underway and many students are reporting positively on the focused conversations they are having. This programme is focused on S5 students, but parents/carers of S4 or S6 students who feel their child would benefit from a mentor should get in touch with Julia Robertson (DHT) for more information. A good number have already taken up this offer. We are often asked what parents/carers can do to best support their children achieve examination success. We suggest families focus on two key areas: 

Ensure that young people have a quiet and pleasant where they can study. Where students do not have their own space, families should plan in advance quiet study time in a designated part of the house. Where this is difficult to arrange, please contact your child’s guidance teacher.

Research evidence strongly suggests that the use of mobile phones and electronic devices can negatively affect sleep quality and levels of concentration. Families can provide strong support for young people facing examinations by ensuring that they achieve appropriate levels of sleep. As a general rule, no use of any screens should take place, including TV, mobile phones or other electronic devices, at least one hour before sleep. Recommended nightly sleep for teenagers, according to the Sleep Foundation is approximately 8–9 hours. Effective sleep can have a positive effect on self-confidence, motivation and achievement. Where this cannot be resolved please contact one of our new Sleep Champions – Dylan Bell or Ruth Patterson – for structured support.

Finally, please do contact your child’s guidance teacher if you have any further questions or concerns. A certain amount of stress is necessary for people to achieve success in all walks of life. Our collective challenge is to ensure that stress levels for young people are appropriate and effectively managed. Our guidance team will be looking at this issue with all Senior Phase students and will also be able to give constructive advice to parents/carers who are looking for advice around how they might support this work. I wish all our Senior Phase students the very best of luck with prelim examinations, and we look forward to working together to ensure that SQA examinations allow all young people to achieve the very best they are capable of. Yours sincerely

Gavin Clark Headteacher

Headteacher: Gavin Clark Depute Headteachers: Yvonne Binks (Grange), Julia Robertson (Seton), Calum Stewart (Gosford) Park View, Prestonpans, EH32 9QJ Tel: 01875 811170 Fax: 01875 810060 Email: Website:

Supporting our senior phase students letter jan 17  
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