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Curriculum for Excellence: Design of New National Courses Feedback from Engagement with Colleges Dr John Allan SQA.

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Presentation on theme: "Curriculum for Excellence: Design of New National Courses Feedback from Engagement with Colleges Dr John Allan SQA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Curriculum for Excellence: Design of New National Courses Feedback from Engagement with Colleges Dr John Allan SQA

2 Sample 6 colleges were visited during January and February, 2010 – north/south/east/west – small/large/urban/rural Semi-structured interviews were carried out with twelve groups: 6 groups of college senior managers 6 groups of curriculum managers/lecturers

3 Topics Progression Approaches to learning and teaching Generic Skills Inclusion Assessment Other issues

4 Progression The place of National Courses Progression to college – school college partnerships Progression within college and beyond - Progression to other than Higher - Progression to Higher

5 Progression There are good opportunities for extending school college partnerships through NQGAs and HN for pupils in S5 and 6 – but this needs schools to put options in appropriate column choices. Not that schools dont want to do it but column choices dont always make it possible. At my previous college we offered a full HNC to schools over two years, 6 Units per year but this broke down in year 2 because of options available at school. Some school pupils might be better starting with National Certificates while still at school and moving on to HN at college the following year. Hopefully Curriculum for Excellence will encourage more of this and colleges need to consolidate what they offer so that they can move forward when the pressure for college places (owing to the recession) eases off.

6 Approaches to learning and teaching Bi-level teaching By-passing levels Safety Net

7 Approaches to learning and teaching We currently offer Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2 together but cant do it at Higher because of difference in content – need to make sure that doesnt happen in future – it would be handy to be able to move learners up and down the levels. Its more possible in some subjects than others and it is done using flexible packs as opposed to bi-level teaching in the same class-room. But with evening classes this is a real challenge – especially since their attendance is often erratic and we dont have a lot of time and they are often at different stages in their learning as well as at different levels. Its like having lots of separate groups.

8 Generic Skills Problems of definition Relationship with Core Skills Embedding and Signposting Literacy and Numeracy Qualifications

9 Generic Skills So we either need to develop our staff or have core staff who can teach these skills so we can certificate it but I think its critical that we develop our staff. Cant leave it to learners to manage the process – well need to help them to collate the evidence and develop the skills. Well need to identify the areas that could generate the evidence and the staff delivering it will need training in what would be acceptable.

10 Inclusion Strong support for inclusive approach Building on good practice Relationship with SQA Assistive technologies Appreciation of the need for robust evidence for assessment

11 Inclusion We take the chance with people – see the potential – give them the benefit of the doubt

12 Assessment A paradox Some concerns Fitness for purpose Added value Flexibility

13 Assessment With adult returners especially its important to start with small practical tasks and short response answers and assess those, then build up to other types of assessment.

14 Other issues Needs of employers Other awarding bodies QA And, by the way ……

15 Other issues Nomenclature is still an issue- still 3 different terms – Higher Still led to a loss of public understanding of qualifications – only professionals understand the nomenclature. Employers want qualifications where they understand what they mean. There needs to be a huge publicity campaign to allow employers and parents to understand the new qualifications. Other awarding bodies appear to provide better materials to support the delivery and assessment of their qualifications, have better safety-nets in place by building in awards within awards and have a lighter QA touch The current college quality assurance approaches would seem appropriate to extend to the school system It would be very helpful if SQA provided support materials for all the new qualifications so each school and college doesnt have to create their own

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