Tag Archives: National Qualifications

Using evidence to improve outcomes in secondary⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

By Carol McDonald, HM Inspector and Lead Officer for secondary inspection

Time to reflect on inspection evidence is always an interesting and key part of our work. Reviewing our findings for the recent report ‘Quality and improvement in Scottish education 2012 – 2016’ (QuISE) highlighted some important strengths in the secondary sector over a period with significant changes to the curriculum.

Inspectors appreciate the opportunity inspection offers to engage in dialogue with staff, parents, partners of the school and the young people themselves.   We learn a great deal from our discussions which informs many aspects of our work.

You can read the secondary chapter from QuISE on our website.  In secondary schools, inspectors found the curriculum in most schools evolving as new qualifications replaced old ones. Much of the work in schools focused on implementing new qualifications and increasing the range of accreditation available to young people in the senior phase.

Staff in schools recognised that to continue to improve attainment, improvements to learning pathways from S1 to S3 are required. Young people are well supported by the good relationships they enjoy with their teachers. However, too much variability was observed in the quality of learning and teaching.  Schools need to continue to work to ensure staff share a good understanding of the best features of effective practice.

Our evidence shows that schools need to use the wide range of evidence available to ensure that school improvement planning is manageable and achievable. The evidence from Insight, and from teacher’s professional judgements on the progress of young people, needs better used to inform improvement planning.

Schools are working effectively with partners to develop the young workforce using a range of innovative approaches. Senior staff in schools are using the Career Education Standard 3-18 (CES), the Work Placement Standard (WPS) and Guidance on School/Employer Partnerships as a platform to promote and develop DYW in their schools.  The use of the standards and the guidance to align and co-ordinate activity is still at an early stage.  Teaching staff, young people and employers are not yet aware of the entitlements and the expectations within the standards and guidance.

Our inspections in the current academic year show improvements in arrangements for assessing and tracking the progress of young people across all aspects of their learning. Using this evidence to implement appropriate interventions for individuals is key to improving outcomes for young people.  Collating the evidence at a department, faculty and whole school level allows staff to analyse and act upon necessary improvements.   Central to this work is the reliability of the assessment evidence.  We are seeing teachers beginning to make good use of the benchmarks to support them in this essential work.

In the best examples, schools are identifying, and taking account of, a range of features which may influence outcomes for young people. This includes factors such as being “looked after” (LAC), living in areas of social deprivation (SIMD 1 and 2) and having identified additional support requirements.  These factors need taken into account when planning learning for young people.

As staff continue to work hard in the interests of their pupils, they recognise that they are part of a wider team of adults that provide the necessary support to help young people succeed. It is good to see, and hear about, the successes of schools in improving outcomes for the young people in their community.

As we look ahead to next year’s inspections, I look forward to seeing these areas develop further, helping improve attainment for our young people.

Invitation to SQA webinar: National 5 Gàidhlig – changes to course assessment⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

 

Date: Thursday, 30 March 2017
Time: 16:30pm to 17:30pm
Presenters: –       Alasdair Bauld (Qualifications Development Specialist)

–       Calum MacKay (Principal Assessor, National 5 Gàidhlig)

–       Marilyn Waters (Qualifications Manager)

–       Jay de Pellette (Qualifications Officer)

SQA are pleased to invite you to a webinar which will provide a detailed overview of the changes that  are being made to the National 5 Gàidhlig course from the start of academic session 2017/18 (including the new externally assessed writing assignment).

To register for this webinar, please visit the online events booking system: https://athena.sqameet.net/events/ebs.nsf.

Hosted by the Qualifications team responsible for SQA’s National Qualifications in Gàidhlig, this webinar will provide a clear overview of what is changing within the National 5 Gàidhlig course and why. Delegates will also have the opportunity to ask  subject and assessment experts questions.

Whilst delegates are free to ask questions at any time during the live webinar, SQA are keen to try and answer as many questions as possible in the time available and would therefore encourage you to submit any questions you may have in advance. If you would like to submit a question in advance of the webinar, please e-mail Jay de Pellette (Qualifications Officer): jay.depellette@sqa.org.uk.

Following the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills announcement that a strengthened final exam and externally assessed coursework will replace units and unit assessments for all National Qualifications at levels National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher, SQA are making some changes to the National 5 Gàidhlig course to ensure that standards are maintained and that the integrity of the qualification is protected.

More information about the changes SQA are making to National Qualifications, as a result of the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary’s decision to remove units and unit assessments, can be found here: http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/78398.html.

SQA strongly recommend that all practitioners and other interested stakeholders register to attend this webinar. It will provide valuable and informed commentary on the new course assessment model for National 5 Gàidhlig and also counts towards your continuing professional development (CPD). CPD certificates will be made available to delegates after the event.

SQA webinar – Advanced Higher Modern Languages Course Assessment, including Gaelic (Learners)⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Venue: Online Visit website

Event Date: 18/01/2017 17:00 – 18:00

This webinar will run from 17:00 – 18:00 and will be delivered by Maureen Andrew and Lorna McMurray, Subject Implementation Managers for Modern Languages. It will focus on the Advanced Higher course assessment (Portfolio, Performance: Talking and both Question Papers). It will cover the key aspects and requirements for assessment and will consider the input and advice from Advanced Higher Principal Assessors detailed in Course Reports. Advice will also be given regarding accessing materials for Understanding Standards and CLPL  purposes.

The webinar will reiterate some aspects already covered at the December 2015 Understanding Standards event, so will be useful to any practitioners who were unable to attend.

Please visit the SQA website to register.

‘Design-Engineer- Construct’: The Engineering Challenge for Schools now SCQF credit rated⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

DEC ChallengeDesign Engineer Construct!®  has now been formally recognised in Scotland thanks to the key support of the Chartered Institute of Building, and is already piloting in Drummond High School in Edinburgh, Garnock Academy in Kilbirnie, and St Joseph’s Academy in Kilmarnock where student take up and attitude has been impressive.

Comprising an introductory and intermediate programme of study, DEC! has been credit rated onto the SCQF by SQA’s Credit Rating Service at SCQF Levels 4 and 6, both carrying 16 credits. SCQF levels 4 and 6 correspond to level 2 and 4 on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

DEC! offers young people numerous opportunities to access a wide variety of career pathways, thanks especially to the innovative ‘Adopt a School’ industry partnership scheme that brings professionals into the classroom to support teachers in educating the future of construction and changing the lives of young people. A wrap around teacher training programme is the icing on the cake.

Find out more here.

Research digest for teachers of craft, design, engineering and graphics⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

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This research digest has been developed to provide you with a sample of recent international literature and research related to Technologies: Craft, Design, Engineering and Graphics.

www.educationscotland.gov.uk/resources/r/genericresource_tcm4875926.asp

 

 

DESMOS Support for Practitioners⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Desmos is a graphing calculator which millions of students around the world use for free.   Desmos also create activities on top of that calculator, helping students use a powerful tool to experience all the curiosity, beauty, and sense that math has to offer. Those activities were used so often by so many teachers around the world they created an Activity Builder, helping every teacher create digital math activities that equal and exceed the activities they create themselves.

Using this activity builder the National Mathematics Development Group has created online support for the SQA National Qualifications.

Please log on to GLOW and visit our blog which has handy hints and tips for practitioners alongside activities linked to the SQA Assessment Standards for National 5 , Higher and Advanced Higher Mathematics.

https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/desmosresources/

SCQF for Young People: Resources⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

The SCQF Partnership offer a range of publications and resources aimed at helping staff, learners, parents and carers understand more about the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) and how it benefits young people in comparing and understanding qualifications and the level of their learning. It is also an invaluable resource for planning their future learning journey.

Achievement Counts LeafletAchievement Counts front cover image

Achievement Counts is the SCQF Partnership’s leaflet for young people. It provides a brief introduction to the SCQF, information on how it can be used and its benefits for school pupils.

Credit Where Credit’s Due LeafletCredit Where Credit's Due front cover image

This leaflet has been designed specifically for parents and carers. It provides a background to the SCQF and outlines how it relates to, and can benefit, their child’s learning.

Both leaflets may be useful for parents’ evenings and careers events in your school.

Request Free Copies

The SCQF Partnership are happy to supply hard copies of these resources, free of charge. Please email Sarah MacGregor at s.macgregor@scqf.org.uk Electronic copies can be accessed from the SCQF website at http://scqf.org.uk/all-resources/.

Come and meet the experts and find out about air pollution!⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Free professional learning workshops available for practitioners at Hillpark Secondary School, Glasgow on 25th November 4 – 6pm.

Come along and learn about air pollution, how to use data about air quality in your classes and finding indicator species such as lichen in your local area!

Sign up using our simple survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AirQualityCPD

PWP_5679

Professional learning workshops from OPAL, SEPA and Ricardo Energy⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Free professional learning workshops available for practitioners at Hillpark Secondary School, Glasgow on 25th November 4 – 6pm.

Come along and learn about air pollution, how to use data about air quality in your classes and finding indicator species such as lichen in your local area!

Sign up using our simple survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AirQualityCPD

PWP_5613