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Assessment in CfE

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by Freddie92, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. Freddie92

    Freddie92 Occasional commenter

    Just wondering how often everyone is assessing S1-S3 during the BGE of CfE.

    We assess after every unit, which is so bitty as to drive me nuts. I'd rather combine the assessments together to actually make something substantial and to reduce the workload on staff.

    I know we have to gather evidence as we go, but if I were to assess and mark every piece of work by the lower school I would be working 18 hour days.

    Any thoughts?
  2. subman68

    subman68 Occasional commenter

    Why do you not want to work 18hr days? Remember this is a vocation not a job.
    BGE is a shambles for my subject.
  3. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    Even if I assessed every bit of work in S1-3 I'd still be none the wiser as to what level they're working at because no-one has actually been able to say what the levels mean.
  4. MilkyBar Kid

    MilkyBar Kid Occasional commenter

    Don't waste your time! Depends on your subject but I know that for some you don't need to do any summative assessments, save yourself some work! We all know everyone starts S1 at Level 3 Developing and finishes S3 at Level 3 Secure (apart from ASN kids). When asked how you assessed them, say formative assessment (occasional tick in their jotters!), no-one will bother or check-up. BGE assessment is a joke, the sooner we introduce national standardised testing the better, only then will we know how kids are really performing in S1 - S3.
  5. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Here's how it works in my dept.
    • In S1 we need to issue one homework per topic and the mark gets papped into the Tracking Spreadsheet.
    • The Unit Test gets done at the end (as usual!), taking a period (1 period in total so far).
    • The test is marked and that mark also gets papped into the Tracking Spreadsheet.
    • I always do a revision of the test with each class, for feedback (2 periods).
    • Then, and this is where it all begins to go apeshit, I spend two periods getting the pupils to complete their Learning Logs. Two periods? Yes, the Logs are both lengthy and incredibly difficult to follow, with lots of duplication and assessment words and phrases that even I, never mind an 11-year-old, struggle with. I'm told the Logs were made by a "brilliant new teacher" a few years ago but that's another story (4 periods).
    • I then have a - you know what's coming - Learning Conversation with each pupil to "determine" their current Traffic Light status and "agree" their Targets. Another period used up ((5 periods)
    • The Logs then go into Pupil Portfolios. I then am expected to go through each Log and input their Traffic Light Status and Targets into the Tracking Spreadsheet. This takes about an hour, so we'll call that another (albeit noncontact) period (6 periods).
      • This sounds really trivial but for each pupil I need to open the plastic wallet of their Portfolio, find the Log, open it at the right pages, decipher the pupil's scribbles, type their data into the Tracking Spreadsheet, put all the paperwork away and repeat until I've done the whole class. A couple of minutes per pupil sounds about right.
    • We teach six topics in S1. Let's say all this non-teaching work takes 5 periods of class time per unit. This means that 6 x 5 = 30 contact periods per annum is taken up each year for S1 just for monitoring and tracking. And another 6 noncontact periods per year to input data into the Tracking Spreadsheets. That is 10 weeks' teaching time out of, what is it, a 38-week school year? In my book, that is just not teaching!
    We also have a Skills booklet we need to work through over S1 to S3: I've never used the Skills booklets because there's no time to complete the courses as well. Each course keeps on getting material added to them, eg new SALs were added around about Easter time.
  6. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    In S2:
    • S2 lasts until Christmas in my school, we see pupils four times a week.
    • The S2 Tracking Spreadsheet dictated that we needed to test S2 so this year tests were added (we didn't test pupils before).
    • So we now have a test for each of the five S2 units of work, adding one period to the workload that wasn't there last year (total so far 1 period).
    • Marking that takes a noncontact period but the test postmortem adds on another period (2 periods).
    • Let's just say we have the one period to complete the Learning Logs (3 periods) and another for the Learning Conversation (4 periods).
    • I take pupil Learning Logs from Pupil Portfolios and type in pupil Traffic Light Status and Targets into the S2 Tracking Spreadsheet - another nonontact period.
    • So, overall this means 5 x 4 = 20 contact periods. That's 5 weeks teaching time over the 18 weeks from August to December.
    Again, I ask, is that effective use of our time?
  7. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    And in S3:
    • We split into discrete subjects in our faculty each January.
    • We teach one topic in S2 and the remaining two topics in S3.
    • I'm not going to go into all the nitty-gritty detail as i did for S1 and S2, suffice to say the the number of lessons lost is similar.
    • One again, the Tracking Spreadsheet dictated a mid-unit test which added another round of Learning Log/Tracking Spreadsheet work.
    • Now, I want to state this explicitly and simply: we needed to put in another test for each unit because the Tracking Spreadsheet said so! "Tail wags dog!".
    • And, remember, we still need to teach the same courses in less teaching time! In fact, we're adding to most of our courses!
    You did ask!
  8. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I assess major pieces of work as I did with 5-14 only against different criteria. Pupils complete profile booklets with targets met and set and I have a chat with them as they do this - some are pretty independent but some need more time - but it's about 30 minutes in total. I record marks in my mark book and enter an overall summative grade each term into whole school tracking.
  9. Marco82

    Marco82 Established commenter

    Subman, I was wondering if your comment about the 18 hour day was intended as a joke?
  10. inthered

    inthered Occasional commenter

    We ignored 5-14 successfully until it went away. It never really worked for us in ML; all pupils started S1 at level C, for example, even if they were still level A in English. Then they couldn't progress far because they had to manipulate tenses for level D, most of the outcomes being lifted straight from the English. Hoping like hell the same happens for CfE. Sometimes the ostrich gets it right.
  11. Potatoes005

    Potatoes005 Occasional commenter

    Haha - CFE - my 2008 early departure was a well judged one !

    I'll tell you there would have been a murder had I had to put up with all this.

    CFE is a complete and utter nonsense and by the time I'm 70 it'll be popped in the "joke education policies from the 2000s" filing cabinet , which must be positively bursting at the seems as it is.
  12. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    For once, 005, I wholeheartedly agree with you.
    I really do think and hope that will happen but am trying to think of the "event" that will trigger it.
    Like Geoffrey Howe's speech.
  13. Potatoes005

    Potatoes005 Occasional commenter

    Took a while (about ten years) but eventually we got to agree!

    I distinctly remember the first meeting (meetings again!) where CFE raised its head either late 02 / early 03 and within a year from that I realised that it wasn't actually part of a Cilla Black's Surprise Surprise show.

    Then I promised myself - I'll be gone before this really gets nasty.

    I'm a wise potato man.

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