Tag Archives: Assessment

Additions to the LTS Curriculum for Excellence website

We’ve received an update of all the recent additions to the LTS CfE Website from August to November 2009 in one document. We thought this was worth sharing here. It does not include Management Board minutes and papers that have been added to the site.


Assessment for Curriculum for Excellence (September 2009)

Assessment is a key strand of work in implementing Curriculum for Excellence.
At the Scottish Learning Festival on 23 September the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong learning, Fiona Hyslop, announced the publication of the strategic vision and key principles for assessment in Curriculum for Excellence.

Now available on the Curriculum for Excellence website the Assessment for Curriculum for Excellence document sets out the Scottish Government’s strategy on how to build on our existing strong foundations of effective approaches to assessment.

Building the curriculum & Building your curriculum

Building the Curriculum 4: Skills for learning, life and work (November 2009)

Building the Curriculum 4 aims to help all those who are involved in planning and delivering young people’s learning across all sectors and settings. It sets out key messages about how children and young people develop and apply skills as part of Curriculum for Excellence, so as to bring about the transformational changes needed to improve the life chances of young people in Scotland.

Building your curriculum (August 2009)

A new area entitled ‘Building your curriculum’ was added to the Curriculum for Excellence website in August 2009. This section offers materials designed to help schools and other establishments in designing curriculum structures that reflect the features set out in ‘Building the Curriculum 3’ and meet their local contexts and priorities.

Early insights (August 2009)

This section shows the progress some schools have been making in developing their own curriculum structures around transition, the senior phase and a broad general education, and the totality of the curriculum.

Pupil Voice (August 2009)

Three new videos were added to the Curriculum for Excellence website exploring what pupils and students want from their education, including their answers to four questions related to putting ‘Building the Curriculum 3’ into practice.

Building your curriculum – an inter-authority approach (October 2009)

This study outlines how six education authorities worked collaboratively with LTS and the Scottish Government to plan and deliver a joint event which would support schools in developing their thinking on curriculum structures and reflect the framework set out in ‘Building the Curriculum 3’ (BtC3).

Exemplification and case studies

Support for staff – exemplification of Curriculum for Excellence

Exemplification of good practice used in implementing the experiences and outcomes was published on the Curriculum for Excellence website from October onwards. The case studies provide staff with exemplars of how some schools in Scotland have started to implement Curriculum for Excellence.

Early level

Supporting the Early Level resource (October 2009)

Children’s Minister Adam Ingram launched the Curriculum for Excellence ‘Supporting the Early Level’ resource in October 2009. Information about the resource is on Early Years Online. The new DVD resource will help early years practitioners and teachers to develop successful practices in areas such as active learning, self evaluation, additional support needs and the learning environment – including making the best use of outdoor opportunities.

The Early Years Framework – Putting the Vision into Action (October 2009)

Outcomes from the HMIE/LTS Good Practice conference for early years that was held in the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow, on 9 June 2009.

Modern Languages

Working together to develop cultural awareness and multilingualism (October 2009)

Clarifying the learning: Sharing the standard (October 2009)

Using collaborative learning and peer mentoring to improve transition (October 2009)

Partnership working in modern languages using collaborative learning and ICT (October 2009)


Properties and uses of materials (October 2009)

Promoting science during primary to secondary transition (October 2009)

Social studies

Planning for the Scottish dimension (October 2009)

Improving engagement by developing literacy and numeracy in social studies (October 2009)

Scotland’s History Online (November 2009)


B!te: Big Ideas – Technical Education (October 2009)

Computing for Excellence – HMIE-LTS Good Practice conference for computing and information systems. This joint conference was held in the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline on 3 June 2009 (October 2009)

Healthy Eating project – Dollar Academy (October 2009)

Blast from the Past – Scottish history project (October 2009)


Growing up with Loch Leven – exploring literacy across learning (October 2009)

Social studies and literacy at third level (October 2009)


Co-operative learning activities: an active approach to teaching numeracy (October 2009)

Using numbers to count – pathways to numeracy (October 2009)

‘In the Doghouse’, a numeracy across learning project (October 2009)


Planning an interdisciplinary study on China (November 2009)

Planning for a broad general education (November 2009)

16+ Learning Choices in action (November 2009)

More Choices, More Chances – Alva Academy (August 2009)

Other resources

CfE News (September 2009)

CfE News – a newspaper for practitioners – was developed to showcase and signpost practitioners to just some of the support, advice and online resources available on the CfE website. 96,000 copies were issued in September across the entire educational community

Keynote presentations and three workshops (September 2009)

The keynote presentation and the three workshops from the nationwide ‘Turning the experiences and outcomes into action’ events which took place last session were put up on the CfE website to offer support for the next stage of implementation of Curriculum for Excellence. These materials can provide the groundwork for further discussion within educational establishments, for example during in-service days.

Experiences and outcomes by level (November 2009)

The experiences and outcomes can now be downloaded by level as Word and PDF documents. These levels documents have been added to the ‘Getting started’ section of the website.


Trailer for Parent Toolkit (November 2009)

In January, a Curriculum for Excellence toolkit to support all practitioners as they engage with parents and carers will be launched. As implementation gets underway it will help all those who work with children and young people to deliver key information around Curriculum for Excellence and answer questions parents and carers may have about how it will affect their own child.

Assessment Update

I attended the LTS Assessment Seminar on 2nd December and received lots of information on assessment which I thought I’d best share here.

We started with an update from the Scottish Government. They’re assuming there will be no change in policy direction as a result of the recent cabinet reshuffle in terms of assessment. The Strategic Vision document was highlighted once again. The two major changes highlighted in this document are the NAR and Moderation. The framework for assessment (Building the Curriculum 5) is due for publication in January 2010. BtC5 is quite a substantial document (as long as BtC3) and elaborates on the points in the Strategic Vision. It was stressed that BtC5 builds on the principles of AifL. There will be a printed copy for every practitioner in Scotland. BtC5 will be accompanied by a 10 page executive summary, a poster with key messages and a Quality Assurance & Moderation Paper. This QA paper provides clear delineation and expectations and outlines roles and responsibilities for schools, local authorities, Scottish Government, LTS & SQA. It was stated that the Government recognises the massive impact of these changes on schools.

In terms on National Qualifications it was stated that it was unreasonable to assume SQA can produce National 4/5’s, new Literacy & Numeracy qualifications and update Access, Higher and Advanced Higher at the same time. Programme is as follows:

  • 2012/13 – National Numeracy & Literacy
  • 2013/14 – National 4/5 & Access 3 replaces SG Foundation
  • 2014/15 – Higher
  • 2015/16 – Advanced Higher

There is a commitment to making arrangements available one year before a NQ becomes available.

The Scottish Survey of Achievement is currently under review. Currently trialing Numeracy materials. Report will be published online in February 2010.

A new CfE Management Board Subgroup has been set up to look at S3 Profile, Recognising Achievement & Reporting. National Guidance is due on this by August 2010. There is not an urgency for guidance on the S3 Profile and this may be later.

The final message from the Scottish Government update was that the National Assessment Resource will not be live any earlier than 30th August 2010 and might not be properly populated until September 2010. LTS are investigating how to make some aspects of the NAR available earlier.

The rest of the day was spent on the National Assessment Resource. LTS stressed that progress and achievement in CfE involves breadth of learning, challenge within learning and applying learning in new and unfamiliar situations.

What is the NAR?

  • Support for CfE assessment, NQ and national monitoring arrangements.
  • Examples of assessment approaches and evidence relating to experiences and outcomes across the curriculum areas, stages and levels.
  • Examples and guidance for CPD in assessment.
  • Initial focus on literacy, numeracy and health & wellbeing across learning.
  • Opportunities for professionals to design and contribute to the NAR.

Local Authorities have been asked to identify three establishments to be involved in developing content for the NAR – one early years, one primary and one secondary. Practitioners in these establishments will work with LTS/SQA to develop a package for the NAR focusing on one/two Literacy, Numeracy or Health & Wellbeing Experiences & Outcomes. This will be carried out across Scotland and LTS/SQA will ensure that packages are produced for Literacy, Numeracy & Health & Wellbeing at all levels and in all Curricular Areas.

What should these ‘packages’ look like?
“A documented account of how you got from E&O’s to judgements about how much and how well pupils have learned what was intended.“

  • A note of E&O’s in bundle explored
  • An account of the learning experiences provided
  • Examples of what a few pupils did in response to the experience(s): video/audio/paper/photos/online/multimedia
  • Note of the criteria used to evaluate the evidence
  • Notes about the features of learning shown by the evidence and proposed feedback to pupils

We’re currently in discussions with three schools who are interested in being involved in this process.

On a final note, I just wanted to highlight the assessment & achievement section of the LTS site which contains lots of information on 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.