2020-AHH partners eSgoil

Online widening access collaboration the start of a "positive COVID legacy"

Thu, 26 Nov 2020 09:25:00 GMT
Rachel Thomson, from Govan High School, was just one of many success stories to emerge from this year’s cohort.
Rachel Thomson, from Govan High School, was just one of many success stories to emerge from this year’s cohort.

A trail-blazing university project that helped a Govan teenager realise her dream of going to Cambridge has been so successful it is being expanded outside Glasgow.

Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) Advanced Higher Hub was formed as a bridging programme to give pupils from Glasgow schools the opportunity to study Advanced Highers on GCU’s campus, providing greater access to subjects required for high-demand undergraduate courses –  such as Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine –  not offered by the schools themselves.

In the summer, Rachel Thomson, from Govan High School, was just one of many success stories to emerge from this year’s cohort. Her three A grades secured a place at Cambridge University to study Economics.

And now the Hub has agreed a partnership with e-Sgoil, which will see it offer national Advanced Higher study support outside of Glasgow for the first time. The support will be offered in five subjects: Biology, Chemistry, English, Maths and Modern Studies.

E-Sgoil is an integral part of the education service in the Western Isles. From its base in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, it deploys registered teachers and current technology to deliver real-time, interactive lessons to pupils throughout Scotland.

Following discussions with Education Scotland, the Association of Directors for Education and the Scottish Government, e-Sgoil expanded in August to provide after-school study support sessions in a range of National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher subjects as part of the National eLearning Offer. The sessions provide free, live, interactive webinar lessons to complement the education being provided by schools and local authorities across Scotland.

GCU’s Advanced Higher Hub is celebrating the eighth year of its partnership with Glasgow City Council (GCC) and The Scottish Funding Council (SFC), and is already employing its own blended learning model, with online classes reportedly being well received by teachers and pupils alike. According to Head of Outreach at GCU, Eleanor Wilson MBE, this put the Hub in a strong position to expand its offering.

She said: “This year the Hub is delivering national qualifications via blended learning, further expanding on the added value and university experience we offer to prepare pupils for their next steps.

“We noticed there was a gap in e-Sgoil’s provision as their timetable did not include many Advanced Higher study support options. We approached them to enquire if we could add to their provision. We are therefore absolutely delighted to expand our Advanced Higher learning provision to a wider audience and are very excited to work with pupils nationally, helping to support this excellent addition to the national e-learning offer.”

Angus Maclennan, Head Teacher of e-Sgoil, said: “We are delighted to expand the range of courses that we are able to offer in partnership with GCU. This type of collaboration makes provision for pupils across Scotland more comprehensive, accessible and equitable. 

“Currently, we are serving in excess of 6,000 course requests from pupils representing all of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

“There is an unprecedented level of collaboration taking place at the moment across the local authorities and organisations in response to the COVID crisis. The collaboration with GCU is the latest example of such and we hope that it continues as a positive COVID legacy.”