Launch of new qualifications

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A seventeen year old Stonehaven schoolgirl has helped raise the curtain on two new qualifications.

Molly Butler who attends Mackie Academy, shared the stage last week with Dr Janet Brown, Chief Executive of the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and Michael Russell MSP Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, at the launch of SQA’s new Scottish Baccalaureate qualifications in Expressive Arts and Social Sciences.

Sixth year student Molly, who is hoping to study Classical Ballet at Ballet West Scotland later this year, talked passionately about her experiences working on her baccalaureate project, which focussed on the accessibility of the arts to the public in Scotland and Italy, to an audience of teachers and other education professionals.

During her presentation, Molly explained how she chose her topic and conducted her research in Aberdeen and in Venice. She said: “I’ve always been interested in the arts, particularly dance and I wanted to see what the differences were between Italy and Scotland in how people accessed them, particularly theatre, dance and music. I visited Italy last year on holiday and was able to interview people there about their experiences – which certainly put my language skills to the test! I compared my findings with research I conducted in Scotland.”

Molly was joined by two other sixth year presenters, Calum Winter from Bell Baxter High School in Fife and Kyle Thornton from Bellahouston Academy in Glasgow.

Speaking about the sixth year presenters at the launch, Dr Janet Brown said: “Kyle, Molly and Calum have all been exceptional this year and they’ve clearly demonstrated the passion they have for their own projects. They’re the ideal candidates to explain to teachers the benefits and opportunities studying the Scottish Baccalaureate gives to young people.”

Scottish Baccalaureates consist of a coherent group of Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications and, uniquely, an interdisciplinary project of candidates’ own choosing which is marked at Advanced Higher level.

The new baccalaureate qualifications will be available to pupils and students in schools and colleges from August this year.