SQA Next Steps Update

  • J McColgan

    Thanks to Kirsteen for posting the link: http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/NQ_Next_Steps-Guide_to_what_this_means_for_teachers_and_lecturers.pdf

    1) The SQA appear to have got the name of our subject wrong. They are calling us “Computing” not “Computing Science”. Tells you everything, really.

    2) It all stinks. While I agree with the comments from teachers that it will be a bit easier for pupils to actually pass unit assessments without remediation, I wasn’t aware that this was a huge national problem as pupils could always remediate if they got something minor wrong. The massive problem is the AMOUNT OF MARKING (unpaid & enforced by…an organisation that is not our employer!). That hasn’t changed from what this document says. The document is implying that pupils now won’t need to get every “box” correct to pass the unit. We will still need to mark the things along with all the coursework. I am grateful that it looks like I won’t have to chase pupils to remediate minor errors, though.

    Apologies for the disillusioned and grumpy tone of this post but like other posters here, I’ve recently completed over 30 hours of unpaid marking & internal verification which colleagues in other subjects do not have to do.

    Kirsteen Nakau

    The following guidelines may not be new but they are almost impossible to implement

    “Ensuring that candidates are presented for Courses at the appropriate level, based on reliable and robust judgements of the curriculum level achieved. This, for example, means that pupils should be secure at Curriculum Level 4 prior to starting a National 5 Course; similarly, pupils should be secure at Curriculum Level 3 prior to embarking on a National 4 Course.” from Computing Science Review Document

    Where we have mixed ability classes then your N3, N4 students will cover the same theory as your N5 it is not possible to deliver three separate courses.  With many students we aim high (N5) then drop down if standards not met and quite often there will be an N3 safety net at the bottom.  I encourage and push all my students towards N5 …some need more pushing than others and many don’t quite make it.  I would love the time to deliver N4 and assess then move on to N5 but it is not practical in time allocated.

    J McColgan

    Just to clarify my use of “remediation” in my original post. I’m paraphrasing (summarising!) from this: http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/ComputingScienceCommonQuestions.pdf

    “In Unit assessment, if a candidate answers one question incorrectly, do they have to do another assessment task?
    If the candidate has only made a slight error or perhaps not given enough detail in their
    answer, then it is acceptable to give the assessment back to the candidate and ask them to
    add more to their answer…”

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