Stirling SQA day

  • Darren Brown

    Below is what I have sent on to my authority colleagues about the day…  anyone else get any more out of it.


    Being honest there was no new information yesterday if you have read through all the documents so far.  Started with talk of what done so far and what seems like a lot of work for schools on assessment verification.  In workshops got to discuss points with computing colleagues across Scotland – reassurance that we are all in the same boat but almost all have different approaches.  Got limited time with David Bethune and Sarah Dodd from Design Team to ask a few questions – rest of questions went on post-it notes to be typed up later.  Did get the feeling they got more info from us than we got from them.  More documents N4/5/H end of Jan to keep fleshing out courses.


    Afternoon was Educating Scotland (formerly LTS) – really just wanted to know what we wanted.  We pushed issues on staffing, contact time, class sizes, theory materials, pratical material on range of software examples, up  to date CPD…


    Stuff from today on glow…,%20December%202011/Lists/Pages/1%20Dec.aspx


    There is a big push to get as many people as possible onto Compednet where many more materials are hoping to be shared.  Also all Computing teachers are being asked to sign up for the Computing at School group to push our agenda as a larger group.  Can join through the web site or through Compednet if you haven’t already.

    Darren Brown

    Sorry it is Education Scotland… I can’t keep up with the names.

    Brian Avarl

    Was there any indication about new resources being provided or even dare i say it cpd for those of us who need to update our own skills and experience in order to be prepared to deliver the new courses effectively and confidently.


    Education Scotland have committed to providing support materials for the top 15 subjects by presentation numbers AND also for courses which have been amalgamated (as Computing has been).


    I don’t know about CPD.  But I have already raised some points about the current need for up-skilling and retraining in the profession. I reckon a great number of teachers could do we an opportunity to undertake CPD and gain new skills in software development using mobile platforms, web-based technologies etc.  I think CASS has been looking at this as well.

    Kate Farrell

    As mentioned, you can join CAS Scotland here:  This includes joining the CompEdNet group here:


    Below is a message I have been sending explaining why it is so important…..



    I was at an update event with the SQA and Education Scotland on Thursday that has me greatly concerned for the future of Computing in Scottish Schools.

    I have blogged about this and the full text is on the CompEdNet website (

    The key issues that were brought up by Computing teachers during the day were:
    – The lack of breadth in the new C&IS course. We will be going from a Standard Grade course with an incredible number of topics in it to a course with just two.
    – There is still huge concern from the teachers present about just having one course.
    – A huge need for not only CPD but retraining (or in some cases training). Many schools only offer either CS or IS at the moment so teachers will need training in how to deliver the other half (eg someone may have been teaching databases for 10 years but hasn’t taught any programming in that time or vice versa). We will also have Computing teachers who have had minimal or no programming in their degree, depending on when they qualified.
    – About 50% of the course is programming. Imagine you are teaching Nat 4/5 over two years instead of Standard Grade Computing. You will need to spend a whole year on software development with the pupils. What happens to the kids who can’t get their heads round programming?

    Please can you sign up to Computing at School Scotland and encourage all your colleagues to do the same. Join instructions are here: and it is free to join.  Make this the first thing you do at your next departmental meeting! :-)

    Also on the Compednet website is a post from a teacher encouraging everyone to email Mike Russell:

    We need to stand up together and engage in dialogue with SQA, Education Scotland, FE, HE and the Government. This is the only way to get the new courses that we feel will work in our schools and will prepare our young people for studying at university and working in industry.

    Many thanks,


    Kate Farrell
    Chair of Computing at School Scotland

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