Category Archives: Assessment

Blogging as free CPD for teachers

East Lothian has been at the forefront of using blogging in Education. Lots of teachers and pupils are now using the EduBuzz WordPress system to support learning in the classroom. It is important to remember however that blogging can also be a powerful learning tool for teachers.

I came across a great example of this at the weekend. Stephanie Disbury is a Maths Teacher at Thurso High School who is using her blog to record her own learning journey. Not only does this benefit Stephanie, it can also provide a fascinating insight into the thoughts of a colleague 280 miles away. This is fantastic, affordable CPD for both of us! Take her recent post on assessment for example. This was clearly a critical incident for Stephanie – but it is also very useful for her readers to develop their own ideas on the future of assessment under Curriculum for Excellence. It’s well worth a read.

There are lots of other fantastic blogs out there. A good place to start is ScotEduBlogs – anyone who is anyone with a Blog in Scotland adds it to this free website. You can then get an RSS feed from this site which will let you know when a new post has been added to any blog listed!

Information on the new National Qualifications

There is more information regarding the structure of the new National Qualifications online than you might think. The Scottish Government website has an FAQ which outlines some of the¬†interesting approaches planned. Some of the highlights…

  • National Literacy and National Numeracy will use a skills profile approach rather than units. The content of the qualifications will be based on the experiences and outcomes in literacy and numeracy in Curriculum for Excellence. The qualifications will be awarded on the basis of a portfolio of learner’s work collected across a number of curriculum areas and a range of contexts of learning, life and work.
  • The literacy and numeracy qualifications will be levelled and recognised at SCQF levels 3, 4 and 5.
  • National Literacy and National Numeracy will be available from S3 onwards.
  • National 4 courses will be assessed by teachers through coursework assessment. This will draw upon skills and knowledge developed across the course to provide challenging and motivating tasks for young people and adult learners. There will be no external assessment or grading at this level, but coursework will be assessed by teachers using SQA assessments and quality assurance processes to ensure maintenance of national standards.
  • National 5 courses will be assessed by teachers through coursework assessment and by an external SQA assessment (an examination, where appropriate). The external SQA assessment will require the learner to apply and/or integrate skills, knowledge and understanding in less familiar contexts and demonstrate deeper understanding and higher level skills. The external assessment will be graded.
  • There will be a new type of unit with an increased emphasis on skills development.
  • There will be flexibility in the number of units in courses across curriculum areas and subjects.

Everyone Learning Together at Dunbar Grammar

Dunbar Grammar School has been featured on the Journey to Excellence site sharing their use of self-evaluation techniques and Assessment is for Learning.

“Dunbar Grammar School has developed self-evaluation techniques and practices to open up, develop and improve the quality of young people’s learning. The Headteacher, staff, parents and students discuss different methods of self-evaluation and how these have enabled everyone to learn together. This film also reviews some of the approaches taken to promote pupil voice and staff review the benefits of Assessment is for Learning across the school.” The Journey to Excellence¬†

You can watch the video below, or click here to view it on the Journey to Excellence site.

AifL and CfE

It’s pretty clear to most teachers that Assessment is for Learning will be a key component of Curriculum for Excellence – but many are wondering how exactly. If you are in this position then have a look at the presentation below from Learning and Teaching Scotland which covers this very issue. Just click on the image to open the presentation as a PDF: