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Nationals Modern Languages/Tale of Woe Looking for other Tales of Woe

Discussion in 'Scotland - curriculum' started by inthered, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. inthered

    inthered Occasional commenter

    Is it just me? I am so angry at having to dish up the utter rubbish that makes up Nationals unit assessments. I have a mixed group (N4 & 5, with an option on one possible N2/3 who should never have been put in the section) and am trying to ensure a safety net for the N5s by giving everyone the N4 AVU. The thing has obviously been made up by someone who hasn't set foot in a classroom in 25 years.

    Pupils have to read and answer questions on 2 texts (and get 50% correct - but nowhere does it say 50% of the total, or of each text... Can't get an answer) THEN they need to pick out language from the texts they could use for preparing a speaking (criteria for passing is they need to be engaged in the task!!) THEN they need to do their speaking with me and be comprehensible enough to pass (weasly phrases like 'professional judgement' used as criteria here) THEN they need to answer questions on their talk (again with the weasly prof jug criteria).

    All this has taken 2 full weeks so far, and still not done. The best finished after 3 periods and are now bored witless after a series of obsolete past papers. The poorest have still not finished the reading/writing tasks. There's only so long I can let them go on... But apparently there is no time limit as it is not a feature of Unit Assessments. Plus I have nothing for the very poorest kid, and while I'm sorry, I do not have time to make up a course for them inc assessments etc.

    I cannot see how I can get the N5s through all the stuff they need in the time, while keeping the N4s happy, plus catering for the N3. Is it always going to be like this? Now I find we're to be verified in November... What on?? How?? This is a bigger blo*dy shambles than I ever imagined, and I'm being made to feel it's my fault. Plus my PT went off with stress in May last year and we have no subject teacher.

    Sorry for rant... Hope you all feel better about it than I do. I'll be glad however if you want to share other tales of woe... And alternatively we can have a collective nervous breakdown and see how they sort that one out with no supply teachers around!
  2. I share your pain. My major problem is that I still canon understand in detail exactly how the unit assessments work. Our head of department tells us one thing which stands in contrast to what we have heard and read elsewhere. I have tried many times to plough through the material on the SQA website and end up with my head swimming, there is so much - there are literally hundreds of pages - and it is so vague and repetitive. You have to be on your toes to notice the tiny often one word differences between the various bullet points and end up unable to define in simple term exactly what it is you red supposed to be doing. I have read Thomas Mann' s Zauberberg in the original and understood it, yet find myself unable to grasp National 5. Why is everything so vague and formless, so long winded and unclear. Could they nor publish a one or two page guide to assessment so that I can explain it to pupils. I know I hav gone on a bit here but I am an experienced teacher But feel myself in complete despair and feel that I no longer no what or how to teach. I know I am not alone for all my colleagues feel the same, but we have been completely steamrollered and are left helpless in the face of this misbegotten abortion.
  3. I'm also an experienced teacher but a new PT. I feel totally unfit to lead my department with the new courses because I feel that I have no idea about ANYTHING!! I too have read everything on SQA and Education Scotland, only to end up even more confused. I've read French existentialist literature which makes much more sense. I know that I'm not alone in this as all PTs in our area have expressed the same feelings of frustration and confusion about the information issued. When the Higher Still courses were launched, we were issued with course materials and assessment materials and guidelines...why could this not have been replicated???!! I feel exactly the same as both of you above. Not a good time in Scottish education :-(
  4. cochrane1964

    cochrane1964 New commenter

    Our PT was talking me through the requirement to record all the talks and how this must be retained for moderation! When it was pointed out to SMT that this would take weeks along with the marking, the response was 'record it, go home and mark it there to save time!' Simples!
  5. inthered

    inthered Occasional commenter

    I can see the 35 hour barrier coming into its own here... I didn't record any talks, just had a 'detailed checklist' which was flagged up as good practice when sent for verification, in spite of it all being drivel. I despair.

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