Learning from the Curriculum for Excellence
I've just jumped onto the train, having spent the day at Holyrood's "Learning from the Curriculum for Excellence" conference. Here are a few of the bits of information that stuck in my head.
Bill Maxwell, Education Scotland
- We need people who are good at learning
- The 4 capacities are just as relevant in the senior phase
- The centre is not looking to impose one curriculum model for the senior phase (but authorities may be I guess!)
- BTC skills document is the least read (but I heard someone later describing it as gobbledygook! ).
- Pathways are good for high attainers, not so good for lowest attaining 20%
- We need to challenge unspoken assumptions.
- CFE is designed to be a flexible model for development that will work for decades
- Senior Phase needs to be planned across an an authority, working with FE colleges, local employers and other partners
- We need to do a better job of communicating CfE rationale to parents and pupils
Janet Brown, SQA
- SQA are conscious that new qualifications must match expectations of CfE - must not be simply tests that leaners are trained to pass
- Vocational and academic qualifications have equal status in terms of SCQF levels - this is unusual internationally, and a strength of our system
- New structure is very clear for employers
- New "Awards" can be delivered at S3 - RBV, Personal Development Award etc
- High external verification in years 1 to 3, in November, February and May, with over 2000 staff nominated to support this.
- QA "intelligence led", with a partnership approach
Tony McDaid, former HT Calderglen HS
- Curriculum should be defined around vision, but developing a vision takes time!
- strength based school, not a deficit model
- improvement focused on pedagogy: AfL; Active Learning; ICT to support learning; joined up skills development across school; resilient learners
- IDL with progression - S2 out of timetable for a month, doing projects
Dr Alasdair Allan MSP
- "We are seeing a variety of approaches to Senior Phase, and rightly so"
Iain Ellis - chair of National Parents Forum Scotland
- "Nationals in a Nutshell" and "Learning Journeys" on the website
- secondary schools are not utilising the resource that parents represent
- all pupils should learn a second language in primary
- 9 universities have published papers on revised admissions policies
- "Beyond the Senior Phase" paper on Universities Scotland website
- 25% of Glasgow Uni places filled through programmes to support access from deprived areas
- Edinburgh Uni is abandoning consideration of Nat 5 awards in admissions
- Edinburgh only needs 3 Highers to be sat concurrently
- Edinburgh is about to publish position on Lifeskills 5 maths
- Glasgow Uni has three tier system based on Highers - "Guaranteed Unconditional Offer, "Immediate Rejection" and "Gathered Field" in the middle