Published in the Education Guardian, August 6 2013
Their exam system may differ from the one in England, but Scottish students face the same anxious wait for their results. Jackie Kemp takes a closer look at Highers and university entrance north of the border The new Scottish national curriculum will emphasis research and thinking skills
Today, across Scotland, young people will be whooping or groaning as the results of their endof - school exams, the Highers and Advanced Highers, are revealed. “The people who do really well will post them on Facebook,” says student Ellie Small, “and some of those who do really badly might post them for comedy value, but I don’t think I will be posting mine. I’m really nervous. The closer it gets, the more I feel I won’t have got what I need.”
Obama’s broken promises may prove a turning point in support for US, says Jackie Kemp
EITHER the office of the president of the United States is a powerless cipher, or Barack Obama is a charlatan and a coward. I have often spoken up for America, arguing that its leadership offers the world a better future than the alternatives, so it saddens me to write these words. But no other conclusion can be reached, given the current situation at Guantanamo.
Propaganda war: who will win Scottish teenage hearts and minds?
Jackie Kemp -The Guardian, Monday 20 May 2013 19.30 BST
Pupils at Glasgow’s Douglas Academy debate Scotland’s independence ahead of next year’s vote. Photograph: Martin Hunter
Rosie Duthie and Euan MacIntosh, both 15, have made up their minds on how they plan to vote in next year's referendum on Scottish independence. For Euan the answer is a clear "yes" because he believes it will be his best guarantee of a free university education. Rosie is a "no". She says: "We should be arguing that what we think is better for the future of young people in Scotland is better for England too and for the European Union."
It's difficult, unfamiliar, and far from a traditional educational choice. So why are more Scottish pupils bucking the UK trend and venturing out of their comfort zone to study Mandarin? Jackie Kemp speaks to some of the people involved in the pursuit of oriental excellence. From The Scotsman April 29 2013
A group of girls in brightly coloured silk costumes are conversing animatedly in Mandarin – performing a short play for visitors to their school, Leith Academy, Edinburgh. The city comprehensive’s staff are clearly proud of this high-achieving group of six girls, all the children of immigrants from Africa, Asia and diverse parts of Europe, who earlier this year beat stiff competition to make it to the finals of the British Council’s Chinese-speaking competition, for the second time in a row.