Assessment supports Learning?

Isn't assessment supposed to support learning from 3-18 in Curriculum for Excellence?

How do we square that with a system that has all S4-S6 pupils abandoning any pretence of learning from Easter until the beginning of June in order to prepare for and sit the SQA exams?

I don't see anything in the documentation about the senior phase that suggests that anyone is planning to deviate from this age-old model of qualification by exam.

Nor do I have any alternatives to offer!

That is all.


  1. You've got a good point. This is something which was raised in the OECD Report (page 135 seems particularly relevant), but I agree isn't clearly explicit in the CfE documents.

    Perhaps one quote of use from the Senior Phase Management Board Discussion Paper is:
    "The number and range of qualifications undertaken will be a matter for schools, education authorities, colleges, parents and young people to decide. Schools and colleges will be encouraged to develop flexible approaches which will enable young people to build upon their learning in S1-S3. Young people may be following 1 and/or 2 year programmes of learning leading to qualifications."

    The key driver here is the Building Your Curriculum process. Through this schools are being encouraged to consider their approach to the senior phase. If you look at some of the examples on the site, you'll hopefully see that some schools are breaking from the traditional approach to qualifications. Some are looking to timetable S4-6 together to allow a more flexible approach to qualifications across the senior phase and some schools are considering only certificating subjects at the point of exit.

    It's a shame that this sort of work is not more public amongst the teaching profession in general…

  2. Thanks Fearghal. The possibility of young people working towards a qualification over S4 and S5 is indeed a positive thing. I hope that schools will manage to implement this despite shrinking budgets.


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