Earlier this month, John Swinney (Deputy First Minister) outlined plans for the modified operation of the SQA Examinations for 2020/21 in light of COVID and the Priestly Report into the 2020 exams.  

The main implications of these announcements for our S4-6 pupils in Turnbull High School are as follows.  


  • NATIONAL 5 courses will NOT have a “final” exam to sit in May 2021 to determine grades.    
  • NATIONAL 5 grades will instead now be determined by staff using internal evidence that will be collected throughout the year.   This evidence will be collected in line with SQA guidelines and will be checked by them for validity. 


  • HIGHER and ADVANCED HIGHER courses WILL have a “final” exam to sit in May 2021 to determine grades.    
  • As a contingency in case of any cancellation of final exams, staff will also gather internal evidence that can be used to provide final grades if required.  
  • The exam diet has been moved back to mid May and many courses have had content and assessments removed to maximise the time available to deliver the course and streamline the work to be covered. 


  • We are currently still planning to hold prelim exams (with study leave) in DECEMBER for pupils studying HIGHER and ADVANCED HIGHER exams to familiarise themselves with final exam procedures and techniques. 
  • There are no plans for NATIONAL 5 prelims this year as there are currently no final exams to practice for.  

This situation is an evolving one and so we will keep you updated with any new information as it becomes available and is required. 

Thank you for your patience and support during these unprecedented times.

Back to News