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


'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

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:

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?

kaumana Fri 13-Apr-12 22:45:14

crossed posts

kaumana Fri 13-Apr-12 22:59:37

I am not afraid of change but this seems to be a backward step. I deal with teens who are trying to get into the workplace, I can't see how this can help. Feel free to enlighten me.

bookbird Fri 13-Apr-12 23:03:01

To add, no course requires 3 sciences. In fact, to study medicine at Glasgow, entry requirements are AAAAB in S5. Chemistry and Biology and Maths OR Physics are required, but they do expressly mention that Chemistry or Biology can be sat as a "crash" Higher in S6.

bookbird Fri 13-Apr-12 23:12:43

Future school leavers will leave school equipped with skills to help them get into the workplace and they will know they have these skills. That I guarantee.

I was speaking to some S6 pupils recently who were talking about their projects at Advanced Higher and how difficult they are. They said "it's alright for the s2s, they are getting used to all this project work, we've never done it before".

kaumana Fri 13-Apr-12 23:26:03

< takes head in hands and weeps>

gomez Fri 13-Apr-12 23:43:57

Bookbird you sound like a politician. The 'three sciences' example was just that, an example not a core issue. The CfE is a retro step, it will limit choices for children, it's implementation is based on the whims of individual rectors and / or LAs. Children will have different opportunities and life paths depending on those whims.

The idea that offering a 2nd yr pupil the option of domestic science or technical studies is a good option is farcical.

What is wrong with a broad base of English, Maths, Modern Languages, Social Sciences, Sciences with creative opportunites in Art, Music, Design, taught and assessed at a level appropriate to the student ?

And why this nonsense of a wholly internally assessed 'qualification' really why? Stress and time for all concerned.

gomez Fri 13-Apr-12 23:51:43

Indeed highers will remain however if you are forced into 6 choices for Level 4 with no breadth and no idea what you want to do as an adult your chances of getting the 5 highers you will need in 5th yr to enter a high performing University on a high status course are markedly reduced. Further if you are in a school with a less than stellar academic performance the chances of those choices being open to you is unlikely. A two tier state education system based on demographics beckons.

And please don't assume my opposition is based on anything other than research and considered thought - it is not a comparison to my experience at school nor a resistance to change. I find that implication patronising to be honest.

gomez Fri 13-Apr-12 23:59:35

Sorry for harping on Bookbird but here is a straightforward question :

Under the CfE will it be possible for every state pupil in Scotland to achieve if able by the end of 5th yr 8 standard grades equivalents and 5 highers?

bookbird Sat 14-Apr-12 08:59:35

Not a politician gomez. I'm on here as a mumsnet user knowledgable in this field trying to answer parents questions and that's what I have been trying to do. 3 sciences isn't a core issue - but it's been a core issue on this thread.

Every child should cover up to 11 subject areas to the end of S3 before they then make qualification choices. Will every child be able to do 8 qualifications in S4, then 5 in S5? No and that's not the intention of CfE, but you know that.

Internal assessment is not new - colleges internally assess, universities internally assess, internal assessment already happens in schools.

can I ask, are you a parent with a child in S2?

Waswondering Sat 14-Apr-12 09:23:22

How will our pupils compare internationally if they have 6 qualifications at S4? Given that at GCSE there may be about 10, and I see a lot of international students who have 10+ subjects (usually "academic" by the way) before narrowing down for IB/Abitur etc? Will our pupils have the breadth of knowledge to compete with this?

gomez Sat 14-Apr-12 10:00:24

No Bookbird I don't have a child in S2.

So under the CfE children will not be able to achieve a broad range of qualification at Level 4 & 5 and into Higher by the end of 5th, as they currently can. To build from this base into 2 or 3 Advanced Highers. As waswondering mentions this is not an educational outcome comparable with other systems.

11 subjects upto s3 so will this always provide the option for those core elements I mentioned above? Although I am begun unfair as I know this is not the case.

An example S2 curriculum below - from a friends daughter's school in Edinburgh:

In S2 we offer the opportunity for students to personalise part of their curriculum and also offer choice in some areas.

All students will study English, Mathematics, Science, French, Social Education, PE and Religious & Moral Philosophy. They will continue to study a subject in Social Studies, Expressive Arts and Technologies but they will be able to choose which particular subject to study, from three options columns.

There is also the opportunity to personalise their curriculum by choosing from a wide range of Enrichment courses. Examples include; CDT Craftwork, Computer Games Design, Modern Studies, Music

Please explain how that can translate from the choices made by a 12/13 yr old into the 5As at Higher in 5th yr to study Medicine? Bearing in mind they will not have completed 1 full year at secondary school when making these choices, ability may not yet be clear and frankly they may not have a clue what they would like to do at 18 - be it Uni or anything else.

crosscountry Sat 14-Apr-12 11:25:23


Practical exercises and investigations were dropped from some Higher and Standard grade courses years ago- so nothing new.

Glasgow Uni prefer candidates for Dentistry to have the 3 sciences at S Grade.

Roseformeplease Sat 14-Apr-12 12:53:44

As I started this, here is my son's situation. NB very tiny school so options have always been limited. He is in S1 and will have a core in S2 and S3 of English, Maths, PE, RE (but we removed him from that - another story), PE and General Science. He will then choose History / Geog / Modern Studies and Art / Music and Physics / Biology and French / German / Gaelic and Home Ec / Tech / Chemistry. He is delighted by being given a choice at the end of S1 as he hates some subjects and is clever so finds himself irritated by some of them, particularly taking 6 months to drill some holes in a block of wood and learning to wash up! (Not joking!). In S3 he will sit nat5s in some of these subjects and in S4 he will sit a mixture of Highers and Nat 5, probably 6 subjects. This school has been doing standards grades in S3 for years and neither pupils or parents want it to change. Teachers (and I am one) are concerned about the drop in standards. The option to put pupils in early has only been lost as a blanket policy and so they will continue, with many pupils, to try to get them 8 subjects at Nat4 or Nat5 and then 6 subjects at Nat5 or Higher, depending on ability. The school gets excellent results with Highers in S4 in many subjects and hopes not to lose this. As for this Broad General Education,they will make up for gaps through project work and so forth.

In my opinion, it is the lack of clarity on the exams which is a problem. I am happy with schools choosing what to do but aware that this is only because I am happy with what my children will get (other child in P6). I am very concerned about dumbing down. I have been away to meetings where classes of S1 pupils are designing cereal boxes and watching a lot of telly to fulfil media and advertising criteria. If, as we are told, Nat4 is a grade 4 at Standard Grade then what of those who fall between that and Nat5 which is Credit? I also feel too much "parenting" is being expected of schools - too much Health and Wellbeing which is the same as Primary School. Those with good parents know about vegetables and exercise and yet they are forced to go over this again and again for the benefit of those who don't. I would like more done for the most able and I had hoped the new curriculum would do this but, from what I have read, this looks unlikely.

crosscountry Sat 14-Apr-12 14:53:56

Unlike you I am not happy about individual schools choosing different structures, but perhaps that's because my son's school will only allow a max of 6 subjects at Nat. 4/5 in S4. (Or as we call them in our household - National 6s and 7s) Unfortunately all schools in the Region are doing the same thing, so it is not feasible to move.
However I totally agree with your comment about dumbing down. It all seems to be about engaging the less enthusaistic learners and making everything fun and games. My son much prefers a more traditional teaching style. He gets fed up with constantly having to work in groups and would rather get on with the work on his own. He finds it annoying when the subject work stops so they can do some cross curricular project.
I worry when my other son in P7 comes home from school miserable because he had to do some text book maths. He thinks it should be all about running around the school doing some murder mystery maths instead.
I thought that the Highers were originally supposed to be retained as the Gold Standard, but these also seem to be dumbed down.
The whole thing is a mess and I'm sure it's only about saving money.

Roseformeplease Sat 14-Apr-12 15:57:25

Cross country - love your name, is it for running or because we are a nation of angry parents? Is there any consolation in the notion that at least all pupils are being disadvantaged and Universities will have to take Scottish pupils or there will be hell to pay? Likewise with employers and colleges? That is how I console myself in that they will have to maintain the numbers of students from Scotland and will, therefore, have to make allowances for local circumstances. My son also hates all the groups which mean he is often teaching others for no discernible benefit to himself, except socially, and he can make friends without measuring the Maths classroom with them.

Waswondering Sat 14-Apr-12 18:04:17

In our LA, the school you go to depends on how many Nat 5s you can do in S4. Some are 8, some are 6 .... it's a postcode lottery!! (Wonders if a placing request can be on the grounds of "because you offer more subjects" ....)

harki Mon 16-Apr-12 18:26:44

I think Bookbird is either a headteacher or a council official within an education department, as their answers are all the same !

We parents have the right to take this to our local MSPs. Although Bookbird isn't a fan of the press I also wish they would get more involved, but unless they have a child in S2 they probably won't know the ins and outs of this disaster !

tumbleweedblowing Mon 16-Apr-12 18:47:10

I started a thread about this (different username) about a year ago, and at that point many people felt similarly to myself, and skimming above gomez.

What I don't understand is why so many parents are still worried about this, but the national parent forum eg seems to be supporting the government? Is it that eg most people will only have this on their radar if their eldest is in P7/S1/S2? Otherwise, they're focussing on their older DCs who have exams coming up, or much younger DCs for whom the new CfE is great?

My most serious concern, as mentioned above is that some regions will be limiting the children to 6 subjects from S3. Even if they go on to take crash Highers, they are by definition crash Highers - and so go completely against the notion of depth of knowledge which the CfE is supposed to be all about.

I've been banging on about this so long that I'm losing the will, sadly. The other parents on our parent council are either teachers (at other schools, but still in the same authority hmm or have only much older children. They think I am completely mad, or see me questioning it as some sort of attack on their integrity and ability as teachers.

Sorry if this is a bit rambly. I'm taking lots of pain killers at the mo, and am a bit more addled than usual!

wigglybeezer Mon 16-Apr-12 18:49:49

Its 10 subjects in S3 and then 8 subjects for S4 in DS1's school (he is S2). This seems to be less usual and there has been a rush of out of catchment placements as a result. I'm actually a bit worried about DS2 getting in next year as we are out of catchment too (although chose the school long before I was aware of what the new exams were going to be like).

I do find it comforting that DS1 is basically following a similar number of subjects as was the norm "in my day".

It is also possible to do three sciences at our school (not that DSis , he isn't brainy enough unfortunately!)

tumbleweedblowing Mon 16-Apr-12 18:54:18

I'd love 8 subjects in S3/S4. I have worried that that was based on it being roughly what I had, but it really isn't. I believe the state education should be equally available to everyone no matter where they live. To say that in one region they are only allowed 6, but 2 miles up the road in another region they can have 7 or 8 or 9 is just plain wrong.

They either believe they have made the right decisions about the best state education for Scottish children, or they don't.

This farce is just making me angry again.

wigglybeezer Mon 16-Apr-12 19:03:36

It was intimated at a school meeting that the variability of the exam structure was to enable HT's to customize the system to suit the needs of their school population and local area (our head said he had chosen to do eight as our school population was quite academic (ie. middleclass!). This seems dodgy to me, how many school have a homogenous population, especially those with spread out catchments, what about children at either end of the ability range who might end up in a school organized for the benefit of children at the opposite end of the scale?

wigglybeezer Mon 16-Apr-12 19:05:12

PS. DS1 is starting S3 in May in order to fit the required number of hours/subject in before the end of S4.

margerykemp Mon 16-Apr-12 19:05:41

what are the independent schools doing?

and bookbird where are you getting your information from on Glasgow Uni med students? i know dozens and they all have maths+3 sciences at A in s5, that might be more than the 'min requirement' in the brochure but for such a oversubscribed course they are going to take the best they can and the best is as above.

harki Mon 16-Apr-12 20:44:14

Yes vet /med schools will need 5A's in 1 sitting plus plenty of relevant extra-curricular activities/ work . They don't have to accept less because theres so many kids to choose from with those good results. My biggest problem with this new system is not the change but the inequality across Scotland with regard to the number of subjects being chosen in individual schools. How is this being allowed to happen . I have questioned the authorities through my local MSP and the answers are vague to say the least.

Waswondering Mon 16-Apr-12 20:58:35

Our LA had a parent forum meeting at the end of last term where a lot of these concerns raised - but there was particular concern about how the independents were going to proceed with these (given their academic freedom).

wigglybeezer Mon 16-Apr-12 21:38:27

The independent schools are actually carrying on in the same vein as usual AFAIK and adding in other qualifications where needed ie. GCSE Latin/Greek.

crosscountry Mon 16-Apr-12 22:11:39


That's a really good point about homogenous school populations. So much for meeting individual needs.


The National Parent Forum is just another mouthpiece for Mike Russell (& Bookbird?) They will not listen to parents.

tumbleweedblowing Tue 17-Apr-12 09:22:03

So parents and children currently in P7/S1/S2 are completely stitched up then?

Councils set the agenda and employ the teachers. Government can't admit their policy is flawed. National Parent Forum is not representative of parents, and even if it were, the subject is really on the radar of only a few.

I'm interested to see what has been said above about entry to Medicine etc. I raised this very subject with the Rector at DD1's school, and was told categorically by him that I was mistaken in believing that three sciences, or AAAAA or AAAAB in one sitting were being looked for.

Do the Universities publish, or release information on the qualifications at entry? I am absolutely not saying that I think DD1 would do medicine, or vet med, or any other high tariff course of study. However that the school she attends cannot even provide for that possibility, is completely, completely wrong, on the most basic of levels.

We are not in the central belt, so there are almost no private schools here. Even if there were, I'm not sure we could afford to opt out of the state system without selling the house. I feels fundamentally wrong that we should even have to consider that. It just isn't what Scotland is supposed to be about.

margerykemp Tue 17-Apr-12 09:39:05

I can see a massive increase in placing requests coming from this. Parents won't want their local school if it offers a more limited curriculum than a neighbouring one. I do think CfE will benefit low performers more than the current system but the very academic are getting shafted. Wouldn't surprise me if the professional courses at Scottish unis in 5 years are full of English students and private school pupils ONLY.

tumbleweedblowing Tue 17-Apr-12 10:17:15

Placing requests may well increase in the central belt, or close to local authority borders. However, in some areas children would be facing very long, maybe 40 or 50 mile round trips to get to an authority offering more N5s, or it would just be impossible.

For us, I hear the neighbouring authority were considering 5, but allowing schools to be flexible. As far as I can gather though, that is not confirmed.

Another concern is that schools in our authority have all just had their timetables brought in line. This is to allow "shared timetables". ie pupils facing travelling (in our case) 5 or 6 miles to a neighbouring secondary to receive lessons in subjects not available at our school. It has been mooted that this would not be eg a niche subject like Latin, but everyday subjects like Physics, or History.

We might consider moving DD1, but we've only lived here 2 years, and I worry badly that another move would devastate her, when she is only just establishing solid friendships.

I honestly don't know what we can do other than worry.

wigglybeezer Tue 17-Apr-12 13:07:24

Marjory, that certainly seems to be the case here (but then we are near an authority border ).

Mind you there was considerable variety in the way schools organized the existing exam timetables; I rejected our catchment high school because they had to choose subject choices at the end of first year, then sit standard grades in third year then two years to do highers. It wouldn't have suited my lot especially DS2 who has Aspergers, dyslexia and is young for his year but also aspires to do academic subjects, I expect him to spend most of frist year just getting used to the environment.

harki Tue 17-Apr-12 14:18:22

It's a shame that people would have to consider moving their child to another school and shouldn't be necessary. Every child in Scotland should be offered exactly the same chances in education regardless of what area they live in . A school in my area but not that close was going down the route of 6 nat 4/5 , but the parent council kicked up a fuss and threatened legal action if it wasn't changed to 8. ( wealthy area ) In our school we have 8 subjects in s3 but 8th subject is only for 2 hrs/wk and those doing 3 sciences will have to choose this to fit in the extra science. Which is a shame if that's what your child is keen to do . Then dropping 2 subjects in s4 .

tumbleweedblowing Tue 17-Apr-12 16:31:17

harki could you say what area you live in? Not exactly obviously, but what council area? Our rector says only East Renfrew "and the like" (!!!!) will go with 8, but I don't believe him.

Waswondering Tue 17-Apr-12 17:13:53

tumbleweed blowing: Uni of Aberdeen medical admission -

S5 studies:
To be considered: AAAAB to be achieved in five Highers taken together in S5 at the first sitting.
•Chemistry required to grade B minimum
•Two subjects required from Biology/Human Biology, Maths & Physics
•Two further Highers in most other subjects. Check with Medical Admissions Office if in doubt about suitability of a subject.

If one of the required subjects is not undertaken in S5 due to e.g. school policy or very exceptional personal difficulties, supporting documentation must be supplied and sent directly to the Medical Admissions Office when application is submitted

"Minimum Academic Requirements

The majority of successful candidates achieve the minimum academic requirements at the first sitting.

We do not normally consider applicants who have achieved less than our minimum academic requirements or who are re-sitting their examinations to upgrade results unless very serious personal difficulties at the time of the first sitting can be demonstrated. Appropriate supporting documentation therefore must be supplied from:
•Academic tutors to verify very exceptional extenuating circumstances that have been declared at the time of the first sitting leading to this underachievement, plus
•Other professional bodies that have had appropriate involvement with the applicant's difficulties (e.g. hospital/GP certification)

Note: The majority of successful applicants have achieved AAAAB or better at first sitting, normally in S5.

To be considered, any serious personal difficulties experienced at the time of undertaking an examination must be declared at the time and validated immediately. This will allow for support for an academic appeal for a lower than expected result. Retrospective claims for extenuating circumstances will not be considered after receipt of a low result."


tumbleweedblowing Tue 17-Apr-12 17:33:55

Thank you.

Waswondering Tue 17-Apr-12 17:46:14

tumble - if you go onto the UoA homepage and tyepe "medicine going rates" in the top search box it comes up with a powerpoint presentation with all the info - including that there are 2.5 applicants for every place, but suggestions of how to demonstrate interest in the subject. HTH

wigglybeezer Tue 17-Apr-12 18:04:29

Tumbleweed, at the risk of outing myself I will tell you that My DS's school is in Perth and Kinross and is not a city school, as I said before DS1 is doing 10 subjects in S3 and 8 subjects in S4.

tumbleweedblowing Tue 17-Apr-12 18:37:46

So wiggly, does that mean that in effect they are sticking with a 2+2+2 configuration, and not really moving to the 3+3?

I'm happy for my DCs to move to 3+3, but think (actually feel very strongly) that it should be uniform across the country. It really pains me that DCs here will only be able to drop one subject between N5 and Highers. So little flexibility, and so young to have to make such huge decisions. How many people know what they want to do with their lives at the age of 14?

Perhaps in some ways it might be more straightforward for the few who know they want to go into eg Medicine, where the path is clear, and absolute. Everyone else is left with much less wiggle room. On top of that they have the increasing numbers of foreign students the universities will have to take to maintain funding, and those from English schools, for whom study in Scotland is only fractionally more expensive than at home.

harki Tue 17-Apr-12 20:06:26

Tumbleweedblowing : Aberdeenshire ! Several schools doing 8 in s4 .

SnowWoman Tue 17-Apr-12 21:26:47

We are in EastRen, hence the not doing CfE for S2. DD2 currently in S2 is doing 8 intermediates. I suspect by the time dd3 gets to that stage they will be doing CfE.

Parts of CfE at primary level, I can see are going to be a real improvement, but I do worry about SN children, particularly the ASD children who find school difficult enough without being forced into perpetual group work.

At my kids school, the children choose subjects at the end of S1, which is very early in my view, but does seem to have worked for my older 3. They currently seem to work a 1+3+2 pattern so a shift to a 3+3 will be a fair shock to the system and they may not have enough specialist staff in place to teach a 3+3 curriculum yet. The argument for the early subject choice was EastRen's answer to the S2/3 slump in attainment and behaviour from children not being sufficiently challenged or interested in school and switching off.

As regards University entrance, what the individual departments say is much more important than the prospectus which ime only gives minimum entrance information. Students are going to need the 5 As in one sitting as they do now, unless of course the hidden agenda is to force the universities into line too,

I work in an independent school - head not keen on CfE, no idea what exams we will be teaching to in 5 years time

freerangeeggs Tue 17-Apr-12 21:38:20

For Dentistry at Glasgow Uni:

AAAAB in five different subjects by the end of S6, with at least AABB at end of first sitting in S5. Higher subjects must include Biology and Chemistry (both at grade A) with either Mathematics or Physics. Higher English is required.

For medicine it's the same but there is also a stipulation about having SG English at a 2.

In my experience, Scottish schools where 3 sciences are an option are the exception rather than the rule.

I really don't think it will be an issue because it's highers that are important to universities. I imagine the universities will be happy to take into account the limitations of school policies (even Oxbridge look at the pupils' results in context) in order to find the best students.

Please don't suggest the English system is better. I've taught in both and I can assure you it's not.

Curriculum for Excellence should be a great thing. However, it seems to have been implemented really, really badly.

wigglybeezer Tue 17-Apr-12 22:41:45

Well they are calling it 3+3 at DS1's school as they are keeping the curricullum broad in third year (ie. 10 subjects). before moving to eight for exams in fourth year.

Snow woman, I agree with the increase in group work being difficult for children with ASD, sometimes DS2's teachers let him work in a group of one!

At my school you could do three sciences by skipping PE, soc ed and RE to do "extra" chemistry, I did it very happily grin.

freerangeeggs Sun 22-Apr-12 02:08:20

wigglybeezer, I don't think that would be allowed these days. I'm pretty sure soc ed is compulsory, as is a certain amount of PE. Not sure about RE.

All this group work stuff is bizarre. It was always my understanding that CfE is a kind of educational philosophy, not a method. It's about active, constructivist learning, and I think that's where teachers are getting confused. Active learning doesn't mean kids are 'active' in a physical sense - it means they're actively engaged and learning, which could occur on their own, with a textbook, as well as in a group/running around the school hunting for clues or whatever nonsense. The teachers must be exhausted

Daisyeight Tue 09-Oct-12 17:37:17

I've read this thread with interest and wonder why it stopped in April??

Trying to get to grips with CfE and have a feeling that the impact is only just becoming apparent to those who will be directly affected.

My eldest child will be taking 8 N5's at the end of S4 but the situation will be very different for my youngest who is currently P7 and will very likely be "dumbed down" to 6.

There does not seem to be a consistent approach to Senior Phase (S4-S6) implementation across Scotland - does anyone have any idea what the national picture really is?

Roseformeplease Sun 11-Nov-12 20:27:18

I started this thread ages ago and wondered if anyone had any updates on what is going on in different areas. Mine still seems to be going with an "It's up to the school policy" but that might change. Nothing really decided and lots of disquiet from parents across the region. SQA still haven't fully released exam specifications / exemplars and the last batch of information is not due until April. Worryingly little about this n the press as well, considering its importance, although there has been a recent flurry of commentary linked with improving entry requirements for teachers.

HelpOneAnother Mon 12-Nov-12 13:33:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WorriedScot Sun 05-May-13 16:23:08

At a recent SQA update meeting for Chemistry we were told in no uncertain terms that pupils must follow a broad general curriculum until 4th year. This means that able pupils with the intention of doing highers in the sciences will suddenly be presented with a dumbed down (but still difficult) version of Intermediate 2, the new National 5 with little prior knowledge or understanding of the subject.
In one year they will have to learn the material that had previously taken two years for credit standard grade. They will go on to higher course in 5th year with a more limited understanding.
At a lower level the National 4 course will be marked internally!
To get an insight on how teachers feel about CfE follow the link below.

The Scottish opinion page is also worth reading.

S3Worries Thu 09-May-13 12:55:30

WorriedScot My child will be doing Chemistry in S4, starting soon. The school is limiting them to 6 subjects in total so I suppose they will have more time per subject than previously was the case. Should I take that as one reason to worry a bit less?

Does anyone know what the private schools who use the Scottish qualifications will do once Intermediate 2 goes?

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