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Pupils "lottery" on how many Nat 5s/4s they can take...

(17 Posts)
OneMagnumisneverenough Tue 17-May-16 23:41:56

No shit Sherlock! They hardly needed a think tank to work that out did they? We've been talking about that on here for years.

situatedknowledge Wed 18-May-16 11:35:39

i came on when I saw your title to say exactly that! They should have noted MN years ago!

OneMagnumisneverenough Wed 18-May-16 11:54:24

Yup - we had an entire cross section of Scotland on some threads discussing it - it was pre Scotnet days right enough. But there was valuable data on there about what areas/schools were doing what- who pays for these think tanks?!

Instead of the daily fail harvesting the site for stories, maybe some "think tanks" could use captain google now and then and save themselves some time/money.

situatedknowledge Wed 18-May-16 15:09:42

Found it! I started this in 2011.

A long time ago. Poor think tank. Must have been really difficult work.

OneMagnumisneverenough Wed 18-May-16 15:13:58

Well done!! I'll need to take a look through that and see if I am on it (in any of my guises)

I know I was on at least one but possible more threads about it.

Lidlfix Wed 18-May-16 18:39:29

I'm there! Loved that username pesky heartbug thingy. Was worried as a parent and professional. My (small) local authority has no uniformity across its schools so if pupils move they can find the number changes or they may have selected options and return to having all subjects or vice versa.

Some salient points in that discussion.

OneMagnumisneverenough Wed 18-May-16 23:26:03

Oh yes, I'm on there too - late to the thread but still managed to post under two different user names.

At one point I do say that I'm worried they are gambling with our children's future - if that's not a lottery then i don't know what is.

I think we are a "think tank" grin

Groovee Fri 20-May-16 17:16:51

At least with Standard Grades you knew that 7/8 would be given. Dd has only sat 5 due to modern studies being a higher over 2 years. She will get Nat5 credit or something the teacher said.

Lidlfix Fri 20-May-16 19:15:59

Never heard of a Nat 5 credit (English teacher) Nat 5 internal unit passes and a Nat 4 maybe? To be awarded Nat 5 then exam and all coursework elements would need to have been marked by SQA. I think the 2 year Higher is appalling but seem to recall from previous threads that you had doubts yourself? Evidence again of a system riddled with inconsistencies and with no thought to university entrance and employment prospects in the future as candidates cannot be fairly compared.

Groovee Fri 20-May-16 20:11:01

I've got to say she did get a B in the higher prelim for mod studies instead of the predicted D/E, she outdid all the higher candidates and has received the excellence award because of it.

She's sat all the Nat 5 units just not the exam. She wasn't put in for the higher this year as she wants her highers in one sitting next year.

prettybird Fri 20-May-16 21:00:25

I'm equally hmm Lidlfix - I'd have though that all that Groovee's dd could get, until she sits her Higher is a Nat 4, which is internally assessed. The only way she can get a Nat 5 is if she sits an SQA external exam.

prettybird Fri 20-May-16 21:07:26

Good for your dd Groovee though - getting the excellence award - and also for putting off sitting it until next year so she can do get a good number of Highers in a single diet. She's obviously got a flair for Modern Studies.

OneMagnumisneverenough Tue 31-May-16 08:03:53

This could set the cat amongst the pigeons.

prettybird Tue 31-May-16 08:57:33


But I am still confused: ds' school has just had a BGE inspection (ie checking that it is fulfilling its S1-S3 "Broad General Education" requirements under CfE) and passed with flying colours.

So is it the schools that are offering up to 8 Nat 5s (like ds') that are failing, or those that only offer 5? confused

prettybird Tue 31-May-16 09:00:32

....the reason I say up to 8 is because they only decide in S4 whether they'll do Nat 5 or Nat 4, having chosen from 8 columns that include all 8 areas of the BGE in S2.

howabout Tue 31-May-16 10:54:58

My reading is that the new guidance is a step in the right direction. I would have been very reluctant to send my DC to one of the schools offering only 5 nat 5s or indeed skipping nat 5s.

DDs' school is very mixed in terms of demographics and attainment. Even here about 75% of pupils stay on until 6th year. Keeping breadth in the 3rd year BGE means the academic students have plenty of choice for 5 core highers in 5th year and then a range of Advanced higher / higher / nat 5 options in 6th year. At the other end of the spectrum students who would struggle to pass nat 5 in 4th year are given the option to progress through nat 4 to nat 5 in 5th year and then higher or vocational qualifications in 6th year. They all have a wider range of options and more opportunities to get the most out of 4th-6th year than if they started dropping subjects earlier.

OneMagnumisneverenough Tue 31-May-16 12:56:54

At present our school is more or less sticking to the BGE but is offering 7 as they are staring the new year when the exam leave starts rather than when it finishes so effectively giving the new 4th years an extra month without compromising too much on the 3 year BGE. I do think 7 in a year is fairly stretching. Sure for the standard subjects such as English and Maths that all pupils will be taking at some level in 4th year could theoretically get a jump start on the curriculum while still in 3rd year, but that isn't available in other subjects such as science and social subjects which are delivering a mixed timetable across the relevant subjects in 3rd year.

Yet they will be sitting the same exams as someone who may have narrowed down to Physics and Geography at the end of 2nd year so has had a far more focussed education in one Science. They have been also studying History, Mods, Biology and Chemistry at the same time as the narrowed down pupils have only been studying a single subject (or more if that's what they've chosen.

I think it's unfair on both sides tbh. Pupils may have suffered because they haven't kept it broad for long enough, but the ones who have are competing with children who have studied the subjects for longer. This could affect their grades and their ability to get college places and jobs but probably not Uni places so much as that will be based on Highers. Though if they have narrowed down to 5 or 6 for Nat 5s then they may have difficulties if they want to have a change of direction.

It's all a mess.

There is also the point that in smaller schools there is broad and then there is broad. The school can only offer what they have teachers available to teach. With shortages in Home Ec teachers for example and no budget to bring people in then sometimes pupils have choices made for them.

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