Education - Scotland - Curriculum for Excellence

(73 Posts)
Roseformeplease Wed 21-Mar-12 10:33:41

Anyone have any views on this? Pupils currently in S2 are going to be guinea pigs for the new qualifications which they will sit in 2014 and yet schools still only have these qualifications in draft form. Anyone else concerned?

harki Sat 07-Apr-12 10:20:31

I think that if teachers had had enough support and training and if there was continuity across Scotland , than it would be fine. But there has been a lack of training and not much continuity, so I'm not happy for my son to be a guinea pig. There has been a lack of leadership from top government to council officials and as a result different schools are doing different things. I feel that schools are trying to make changes behind closed doors, there's not enough transparency at all . Why should one school do level 4 in s3 and 6 N4/5 in S4 and another do 8 N4/5 over S3/S4 ? This is creating an unfair system and needs to be sorted. We parents have a voice through our local MSP's and they need to start hearing from more parents. My experience has been that head teachers/ council officials are not happy to be questioned on this matter and don't give a clear answer anyway . I would like to know what format other schools are doing across Scotland .

bookbird Sat 07-Apr-12 10:57:53

Qualifications will be finalised at the end of the month, a full two years before pupils "sit" them. Being first causes great anxiety, but your child has been prepared for this throughout their education. At the end of the day, these new quals have more active assessments that will better prepare young people for college/university/employment.

My advice would be to ignore newspapers! Speak directly to your school. Scottish government are allowing schools to pick models that suit their individual circumstances and this means there will be diversity. Schools are best placed to justify reasoning behind their models.

harki Sat 07-Apr-12 12:36:46

I have already spoken to the school, and it seems teachers don't know that there is diversity within the same shires. Ofcourse I do have the chance to move my child to another school, where I feel he will be better catered for. That is to say he will be given a broad general education instead of just 6 subjects in 1 year . My info. doesn't come from the press, but from teachers, TESS website , Engage for education etc. I think head teachers should be doing whats right for the children and not what their council leaders want them to do !

crosscountry Thu 12-Apr-12 13:23:41

bookbird,

'Qualifications will be finalised at the end of the month, a full two years before pupils "sit" them'.

...but some school will start teaching these courses in June.

'these new quals have more active assessments'

???? not according to the specifications I have read.

'My advice would be to ignore newspapers! Speak directly to your school'.

...schools are not going to tell you what the teachers really feel about the new qualifications.

harki Fri 13-Apr-12 15:06:34

Well said Crosscountry. When will these people wake up and realise that we parents know exactly what's going on !

bookbird Fri 13-Apr-12 17:17:50

Not a fan of the new qualifications then
Crosscountry?

Which specs have you been reading? There will indeed be greater use of other assessment methodologies - almost everything has something in addition to a question paper (assignment, case study etc). Mathematics is one of the only areas that remains question paper only.

Schools are free to decide to teach from June, but that kind of goes against the intention of a broad general education to the end of s3 (not driven by assessment for qualifications).

kaumana Fri 13-Apr-12 18:02:35

Bookbird - the more you try to explain the more concerned I get!

bookbird Fri 13-Apr-12 18:20:23

Sorry Kaumana. Still stand by speak to the individual school, as no-one else can explain the reasoning behind why a particular model has been chosen, you can access more information on various websites though:

www.engageforeducation.org

www.parentzonescotland.gov.uk

www.sqa.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence

They all have parent specific information on them and will do a better job than I can grin

gomez Fri 13-Apr-12 18:25:36

CfE scares the bejesus out of me, dumming down secondary education, forcing children down routes far too early, the pointless Level 3s. Certificates and exams for everyone at any cost.

So for example if your school chooses a model that doesn't offer three sciences or indeed the necessary number of level 4s and 5s in 4th and 5th year then a large number of University courses will be ruled out for children attending that school - no matter how able they are.

gomez Fri 13-Apr-12 18:27:06

The model should be common across the country not at the whim of an individual rector. Or based on the performance of previous pupils.

Waswondering Fri 13-Apr-12 18:30:10

I'm concerned that the numbers of subjects available seems to be reducing quite drastically - ie I think our local authority is saying 6 subjects at S4 .... hmm

bookbird Fri 13-Apr-12 18:56:06

Sorry gomez, but very few pupils currently take 3 sciences in fourth year and I'm not aware of any University course requiring that. Universities don't even routinely look back before Higher results. They're more interested in the extra curricular stuff in the personal statement (eg volunteered at vets for x years).

Dumbing down? A national 5 will be benchmarked at SCQF level 5 as Credit Standard Grade is. You could argue that applying research and investigative skills to an assignment is more demanding than regurgitating facts in a question paper.

Waswondering Fri 13-Apr-12 19:02:58

But bookbird - pupils wanting to head into a strong medical/biomedical/vetinary type career will often WANT to take 3 sciences - should we be limiting choice??

bookbird Fri 13-Apr-12 19:06:51

They can pick up a third science in S5, as they do at the minute. Straight to Higher. I believe the common route is Chemistry and Physics in S4, then pick up Higher Biology in S5. S2 children will still be able to do this.

SnowWoman Fri 13-Apr-12 19:11:15

Sorry bookbird, dd1 in S4 is that 3 science girl, and she is not alone - there are lots in her year group.

dd2 is doing 2 sciences, she is currently S2, and her choices will not yet be limited because her school is one of those not doing the CfE qualifications in the first tranche of pupils. dd3 starts secondary in August, so will be one of the first few years through this.

SnowWoman Fri 13-Apr-12 19:14:11

oops x posted

picking up a Higher in S5 is not anyone's preferred option, the kids will have to go through the course at a tremendous speed, which will disadvantage those who could have done it at a slower pace but can't cope with the speed of trying to do a Higher course in 8 months from scratch.

Waswondering Fri 13-Apr-12 19:14:35

bookbird - I was wondering, are you a teacher or have you been involved in the creation of cfe?

bookbird Fri 13-Apr-12 19:20:04

Neither Waswondering (I see where you got your name). I would rather not out myself by saying what I do "do" though.

Waswondering Fri 13-Apr-12 19:21:16

Almost made a joke re my name smile

Roseformeplease Fri 13-Apr-12 20:15:56

So, a lot of confusion and concern. Just as I thought.

kaumana Fri 13-Apr-12 21:12:47

bookbird - thanks for the links. However everything I read seems to lead to more confusion on my part. My DS is currently in S1 and the general consenus amongst other parents is that these new qualifications will mean diddly squat in the real world and school "results" will rest on the Higher qualifications. I don't understand why it would be ideal to cram a Higher, I would think that that would go against the whole CfE ethos?

bookbird Fri 13-Apr-12 22:36:36

That general consensus partly comes from the fact that we all know a bit about education though Kaumana. A bit of "it's not like it was in my day" (we've all been through the system after all) and anxiety that this is a huge departure from that system (or any system) we're familiar with. Couple that with the fact that it's your children going through it and anxiety levels go through the roof (and I do sympathise).

National 4s will be comparable with general standard grade, 5s with credit and of course the Higher will be the Higher. The new qualifications will have the same standing as current qualifications. So a Higher will be what's required to enter University, but national 4s and 5s will be entry requirements for college/employment.

bookbird Fri 13-Apr-12 22:43:07

It's perhaps not ideal to cram a Higher, but for those that want to take 3 sciences, I believe it's the most common route at the minute and that will continue to be an option.

kaumana Fri 13-Apr-12 22:44:22

Thanks for responding, so in regards to cramming highers what are your thought?

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