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New "CfE" compatible exams. Your views?

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by Dominie, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    The outlines for the new exams are now available (www.sqa.org.uk) What do teachers here think of them? Please make sure you send your responses to the SQA also. SSTA members can send their views in to info at SSTA dot org dot uk heades SQA Exams.
    I'll kick off ...
    General issues
    How can the SQA (motto "pride of worth"!!!!!) justify a wholly internally assessed regime for all kids below National level 5? I know this decision has already been taken by the Cfe Managemenet Board. (SSTA argued against it tooth and nail and I suspect is one reason why we were booted off.) but it makes no sense at all.
    Every year, there are 40k appeals to the SQA from schools which believe that their pupils have not been assessed at the right level. Does this suggest that we have an effective system of matching national and local expectations / standards?
    I also think that the current General exam in History provides a good course and an appropriately challenging assessment for kids who are by no means the least able but who struggle mainly because of literacy shortcomings.
    Specific issues
    My subject used to have an internally assessed investigation element at S Grade. This was well intentioned and "issue driven". Unfortunately, few S4 kids could really grasp the concept of an "issue" and how to explore it in an analytical way. We ended up with "projects" some of which showed ample evidence of plagiarism. The idea was dumped an an evidence based set of questions was inserted into the exam and this was generally pretty successful
    What has the SQA done in the new exams? Only inserted the need for kids to complete a "project"!!!. It beggars belief. It really does.

     
  2. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    The outlines for the new exams are now available (www.sqa.org.uk) What do teachers here think of them? Please make sure you send your responses to the SQA also. SSTA members can send their views in to info at SSTA dot org dot uk heades SQA Exams.
    I'll kick off ...
    General issues
    How can the SQA (motto "pride of worth"!!!!!) justify a wholly internally assessed regime for all kids below National level 5? I know this decision has already been taken by the Cfe Managemenet Board. (SSTA argued against it tooth and nail and I suspect is one reason why we were booted off.) but it makes no sense at all.
    Every year, there are 40k appeals to the SQA from schools which believe that their pupils have not been assessed at the right level. Does this suggest that we have an effective system of matching national and local expectations / standards?
    I also think that the current General exam in History provides a good course and an appropriately challenging assessment for kids who are by no means the least able but who struggle mainly because of literacy shortcomings.
    Specific issues
    My subject used to have an internally assessed investigation element at S Grade. This was well intentioned and "issue driven". Unfortunately, few S4 kids could really grasp the concept of an "issue" and how to explore it in an analytical way. We ended up with "projects" some of which showed ample evidence of plagiarism. The idea was dumped an an evidence based set of questions was inserted into the exam and this was generally pretty successful
    What has the SQA done in the new exams? Only inserted the need for kids to complete a "project"!!!. It beggars belief. It really does.

     
  3. Is it the rationales that have been released that you are talking about, Dominie or have they released example papers?
    Link here as it took me ages to find them... Am I the only person who finds the SQA website really difficult to navigate?!
     
  4. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    No - it's almost as bad as LTScotland's. I was on the SQA Understanding Standards website (www.understandingstandards.org.uk) perusing sample scripts for the first time yesterday (after teaching for two and a half years) because a colleague mentioned it. There's just too much useless information on these websites and the useful stuff gets lost amongst it all.
     
  5. Well if it makes you feel any better, I'd never heard of it! Thanks for the link!
     
  6. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Hi Mossop,
    just Google "SQA-whateversubjectyouwant" - we find that is the easiest and shortest way in!

    Dom, your description of History CfE assess. sounds as clear as the Music assess. There is no mention of moderation/verification or any other assessmentation! On a previous thread when I mentioned no exam at level 5 and was shouted down, in my defense we were told ages ago that Standard Grade was being done away with and the first "traditional/proper" exam would be higher. What we learned yesterday backed this up.
     
  7. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    I am about to have a major tantrum - just went on to above SQA site and Music is nowhere to be seen! We must be misunderstood, have no standards, or maybe the standard is too high. Bring on Monday when I can get back to doing my job.
     
  8. Sorry, I just couldn't comprehend that the SQA would be so daft as to treat subjects so differently. Didn't mean to say you were wrong - it was just incredulity!
     
  9. Is anyone else annoyed that there will be no grading at level 4? Have already been onto the side and 'had my say' as it were however we are all worried that not many people are doing the same thing (or are unaware that they are now on the site). Thanks for highlighting this Dominie (sp?) Sorry cannot look back to spell it correctly. T xx
     
  10. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    That's odd! Do your exams not lend themselves to comparing scripts? From Higher music I remember doing a listening test and a performance. Maybe the former is straightforwardly right or wrong whilst the latter has to be heard and is therefore not compatible with the format of the website.
     
  11. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Yes...and only internal assessment. Presuming National 4 doesn't have to be completed before doing National 5 (which I may be wrong about) what does that say to Nat4 candidates about the value of their qualification? I will be having my say!
     
  12. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Yes, we still do and more so for AH!
    Maybe they have kept the best till last (cue for a song?[​IMG]!) and some info will appear later!

     

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