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National 4 Scotsman article

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by mousey1394, May 24, 2019.

  1. mousey1394

    mousey1394 New commenter

    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  2. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    How many years has CfE been going and the SQA needs a survey to tell them that people think N4 is worthless?

    One thing that is not mentioned in the article is the fact that teachers are asked (forced) to enter unit passes for all N4 candidates. Why? To make their school's exam statistics better. Something I have refused to do, btw.

    For what it's worth, I do tell my classes that employers and colleges don't rate N4, and why. I have got into trouble for this. The explanation that I make it clear that I am expressing my own opinion and not the school's doesn't matter. There's no reply when I say that I'm asked my personal opinion by pupils and the alternative is to lie.
    micgbanks likes this.
  3. GuessWho

    GuessWho Occasional commenter

    Until there is an external exam for Nat 4 then the qualification is worthless.
    Many kids will genuinely pass their NABS (or whatever they are now called) however, from my experience, there is a growing minority who are coached and cajoled in order to pass the NABs.
    This makes the award gained by the rest of the pupils virtually worth nothing.
    Every year I vow to not to participate in this charade but there is pressure from above to make sure the pupils "pass".
    When I do stand my ground the failing kid is taken away to another room and, surprise surprise, they pass.
    Then they appear in S5 and their Pupil Support teacher has said they should now attempt Nat 5!
    It's a farce.
  4. uberman

    uberman New commenter

    Unfortunately the ‘growing minority’ is well on its way to becoming the majority! Too many kids see people putting in absolutely no effort and achieving a pass, so decide that they’re just going to do the same thing. And don’t get me started on the non-attendees who magically manage to pass, despite not having set foot in a classroom since midway through S2!
    autoq, bigjimmy2 and GuessWho like this.
  5. Marisha

    Marisha Occasional commenter

    The UASPs are a joke, given that we're allowed to use the 'jigsaw' approach to grading.

    I was involved in Nat 4 Media briefly. I don't know what the situation is now - perhaps someone can enlighten me - but when the qualification first came online, SQA bods told me I could use the SAME assessment to reassess kids. 'Twas definitely allowed, because I was verified.
  6. micgbanks

    micgbanks Occasional commenter

    The national exams are such a mess it's not just Nat 4..... internal assessment is open to abuse. Teachers are pressurised by managers and allow their personal need to see their pupils pass overcome their professionalism and as a result Ben's or break the rules. It's not right!

    National 5 is also a mess. The assignment should be scrapped. The same rule bending/breaking occurs in some schools which means the teachers who follow the rules see their pupils rests undermined by unprofessional teachers basically cheating to get better marks for their pupil at other expense. The use of private tutors also pollutes the system with patents able to buy a better assignment mark and therefore potentially a better grade. The extra time added to the Nat 5 and Higher exams is meaningless and almost a punishment for the pupils. Why not take the assignment skills and incorporate them into the extra 30 minutes of the exams. Much fairer bit SQA listen to nobody. A refuge for teachers who never want to be put back in front of a class and the personal are getting ever younger, more ambitious bit less experienced.
    autoq, Marisha and bigjimmy2 like this.
  7. Marisha

    Marisha Occasional commenter

  8. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    "The National 4 and National 5 qualifications replaced Standard Grades during the 2013-14 school year, with the former becoming the equivalent of a General pass." that is the quote from the Scotsman , attributed to J Brown.
    I do not remember being told that it was the equivalent of a general pass, does she mean a pass at general 3, or a pass at general 4?
    A pass at general 3 was an entrance qualification for some careers. A 4? nah.
    A National 4 is an entrance qualification to...? A national 5? But then no National 4 is also an entrance qualification to National 5.
  9. Marisha

    Marisha Occasional commenter

    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  10. Marisha

    Marisha Occasional commenter

  11. autoq

    autoq New commenter

    Still amazes me that anybody needs to be told that Nat4 is not fit for purpose. There are a whole load of people at the SQA who should be named and held accountable for their ignorance/intransigence....
    Actions Required
    • Stop pointless Units
    • Change Nat4 into an external exam with Grades A-D
    • Encourage 'A' or 'B' pass before attempting Nat5....
    Benefits for pupils
    • Proper effort/ability/attendance is fairly rewarded
    • Better preparation and grounding for Next exam level up
    Benefits for teachers
    • Less times spent chasing "missing units"
    • No stupid "just get them through their units" dictates from above
    There are other benefits but I can't be bothered typing them in because they are so staggeringly obvious.....
    AyeRight, micgbanks and bonxie like this.
  12. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    Good finds Marisha.
    So my 1982 O level is the same as a N4.
    Dont think so.
    I remember going to a careers fair:
    To join the Army as an apprentice in 1999 ish the pupils needed
    SG 3's in maths, english and science. (At age 19 they would have been earning 19k, the same as me as a teacher at around 28 with a degree and 6 years experience).

    Now it is 3 Gcse's at C or Equivalent, that'll be Nat 5.

    The SQA documents as far as I can see basically says that the Standard Grade Elbow = N4 Ar5e.
    Marisha likes this.
  13. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    You could also say that students should sit N4 and N5 exams, to give them the best chance of coming out with the best possible grade. Maybe even everyone could sit N4, and then the best kids and the borderline ones sit N5 as well, while the strugglers do stuff for N3.

    Gosh, that set up does look familiar, doesn't it?
    Marisha and bigjimmy2 like this.
  14. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Maybe if there was a N4 exam . . .
    Marisha likes this.
  15. AyeRight

    AyeRight Occasional commenter

    N4 and N5 need to be properly graded. Then the new standards should be published. I cannot think of a catchy title for these new exams.....:confused:
    inthered and Marisha like this.

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