Tag Archives: benchmarks

Benchmarks – the value of collaboration⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

A blog by Lorna Harvey, Acting Senior Education Officer
for Numeracy and Mathematics

Last year ( August 2016), we published draft Benchmarks for literacy and English and for numeracy and mathematics with the aim of providing clarity on the national standards expected at each level of the Broad General Education. We wanted to make clear what learners need to know and what they need to be able to do to progress through the levels, and to provide guidance that would support consistency in teachers’ and other practitioners’ professional judgements.

By publishing the Benchmarks in draft, we wanted to ensure we had time to consult with the very people who would be using the Benchmarks. We were committed to developing guidance that would hit the mark and achieve our aim of providing clarity.

From the outset we were keen to hear from as many practitioners as possible and we wanted to make sure anyone wishing to provide feedback felt confident that they could be as open and honest as they wished. To achieve that we set up an anonymous online consultation, but we also planned a number of face-to-face sessions allowing for more depth to our discussions and the opportunity for people to ask questions.

A number of National Network events provided opportunities for practitioners from across Scotland to contribute to this consultation process. This included the National Literacy Network, the National Numeracy Network and the Principal Teacher/Faculty Head Forum for Mathematics. Colleagues from SQA were involved in many of these discussions.

Some people decided to get together with colleagues and offer suggestions, while others wanted to provide their individual response. Whichever way people chose to provide feedback, it was extremely valuable. It was great to receive insight based on practitioners’ engagement with the Benchmarks in their education setting.

Together with my colleagues across Education Scotland , I worked on collating the results and analysing the feedback before making relevant changes to the Benchmarks. A number of stakeholders had offered to be involved in further consultation so we shared the updated Benchmarks and gathered more feedback as part of the process.

And then we had them. The final Benchmarks, shaped by practitioners and providing the clarity that we had been aiming for. A real collaborative effort.

We have now published the Benchmarks on our National Improvement Hub and would encourage practitioners to familiarise themselves with the documents before they begin using them in their setting. It’s also worth having a look at the ‘change’ documents we developed which clearly show where changes have been made from the drafts. There is also a frequently asked questions document.

We have uploaded a broadcast on the National Numeracy and Mathematics Hub which provides background information, advice and guidance on using the Benchmarks. The majority of this broadcast is relevant for all practitioners and there is a specific numeracy and mathematics input also. This broadcast could be used at an In-Service day in August to raise awareness of the Benchmarks and support professional discussion and planning.

We will be providing seminars at the Scottish Learning Festival in September as well as a Yamjam – where practitioners are invited to engage in an online discussion about the Benchmarks.

We would like to say  a huge thank you to all the practitioners who supported the consultation process, working with us and engaging with the drafts to provide valuable feedback to help shape the final documents

A Further Discussion With John Swinney MSP⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Small - Further DFMJoin John Swinney in another Glow TV event to discuss ways to reduce teacher workload on Tuesday 13th September at 6.15pm. You will have the opportunity to ask questions live to Mr Swinney or submit a question prior to the event.

To follow up his recent Glow Meet, John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, is offering an additional opportunity to education practitioners to discuss Curriculum for Excellence, the recently published Statement and Benchmarks, and other actions to help reduce teacher workload. He will be joined by Graeme Logan, Strategic Director, who was actively involved in developing the Statement and Benchmarks, and who is currently leading the Scottish Attainment Challenge for Education Scotland.

Once again, the questions will come from Scotland’s teachers and education practitioners. If you can’t take part on Tuesday, please send a question in advance to Jennifer.mckay@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk. We will do our best to answer as many questions as we can during the Glow Meet and we will publish answers to any questions that we don’t manage to address.

Sign up now to take part live in Glow TV – A Further Discussion with John Swinney MSP

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.