Welcome to the April edition of the CfE Implementation e-bulletin.
As we head towards the Easter holidays it is worth reflecting that a great deal of hard work and commitment has been demonstrated by everyone to get us to this point.
In every part of the education system practitioners are working hard to ensure that the benefits of CfE are realised in full for their learners. As we enter the last few weeks in the lead up to the examinations, staff in secondary schools are putting in a huge amount of work to ensure their pupils achieve the results and awards they deserve. This e-bulletin highlights a range of support available from a variety of partners to support staff and pupils at this important stage.
On behalf of the CfE Implementation Group, I would certainly like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation of the professionalism and commitment that has entailed across all sectors. Bill Maxwell
Chair of the CfE Implementation Board
Education Scotland News now available
We are pleased to inform you that the Spring 2015 issue of Education Scotland News is now available, providing the latest information on some of our key activities across the sectors, from the early years to adult learning. This issue has a particular focus on Making Good Assessment Decisions and contains some useful articles on assessing progress and achievement, the Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy and practical steps to support great learning.
A follow-up report by the Tackling Bureaucracy Working Group has been published on the Scottish Government website. Chaired by Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, the group has brought together a wide range of partners in Scottish education, to tackle concerns over bureaucracy arising from Curriculum for Excellence. The working group’s first report was published in November 2013. The follow-up report reviews the progress that has been made, and sets out specific areas where further work is needed – including forward planning, assessment, self-evaluation and improvement, and monitoring and reporting.
In addition, an independent research project and some examples of good practice have also been published on our website. Commissioned on behalf of the Tackling Bureaucracy Working Group, it reviews the links between policies and practices, both national and local, and how they are aligned in helping to tackle excessive bureaucracy. The research report was part of a range of evidence that the Group considered in the course of producing its follow-up report.
Printed copies of the report and a useful poster summarising the key messages have been distributed to all schools. You can download the poster from the Education Scotland website.
Coursework information for new Advanced Higher Courses
SQA has published coursework information for all new Advanced Higher Courses that will include coursework (assignments, projects etc) as part of the Course assessment. Coursework information has been published in two parts; General assessment information and Coursework assessment tasks. These documents have been developed to support teachers and lecturers, and to help prepare candidates for the Advanced Higher Course assessment. General assessment information is available from each of the relevant subject pages on the SQA subject pages.
Coursework assessment tasks are confidential documents, which are held on SQA’s secure website. Teachers can arrange access to them through their SQA Co-ordinator.
Your Exams 2015
At the beginning of March, SQA’s publication Your Exams 2015 was sent to centres for distribution to candidates.
The publication is also available to view and download from SQA’s Your Exams web page, alongside Gaelic, Polish, Punjabi, Traditional Chinese, and Urdu translations.
Video: Existing Higher vs new Higher
SQA has released a short video to demonstrate the different look of the new and existing Higher question papers, and to advise candidates on what to look out for on exam day.
The 2015 exam diet will include exams for both new and existing Higher Courses, so SQA has put a number of safeguards in place to minimise the risk of any confusion for candidates and centres. These include using different coloured packaging for the question papers and different layouts for the front covers of the question papers. The ‘Existing Higher vs new Higher’ video is available to watch on SQA’s YouTube channel, SQAonline.
Developing the Young Workforce is a seven-year programme that aims to better prepare children and young people form 3-18 for the world of work. The programme builds on the foundations already in place as part of Curriculum for Excellence.
The website has background information about the programme as well as information about key areas including;
careers information and advice
senior phase pathways
skills for learning, life and work
There are also resources and links from across Education Scotland that will support skills development. The website will be regularly updated with new content, bookmark the page to keep up-to-date.
Learning for Sustainability
Education Scotland has published the second title in the new Opening Up Great Learning series. This title focuses on learning for sustainability (LfS) and explores how meeting national LfS recommendations can enable schools, early learning and childcare settings to achieve great outcomes.
Learning for Sustainability is a priority for the Scottish Government and Scotland’s education professionals and is a core part of the revised GTCS Professional standards for all practitioners and school leaders.
Initiatives introduced to meet the Scottish Government’s commitment to provide two hours or two periods of physical education in schools have had a positive impact on the number of children and young people taking part each week.
An evaluation of the initiatives developed by Sportscotland and Education Scotland has found that the number of primary and secondary schools meeting the two hour or two period target for PE has increased from 89% in 2013, to 96% in 2014.
The Technologies Impact Report is now available on the Education Scotland website. This report evaluates the quality of young people’s learning and achievements in the technologies. It contributes to the overall picture of what it is like to be a learner in Scotland in the second decade of the 21st century.
The report identifies strengths in learning across the technologies and it suggests what can be done to improve outcomes for children, young people, and communities. This includes setting an agenda to better advance learning in the technologies with a range of key partners.