Category Archives: Assessment

Moderation Poster (Gaelic version)

We are pleased to provide Gaelic Medium provisions with a Gaelic version of the Moderation Cycle poster.   Please contact distribution@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk.

We hope that the poster will help raise awareness of the Moderation Cycle, and that it will support professional discussion and reflection.

More information can be found at these two links.

National Improvement Hub

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/The%20Moderation%20Cycle

Moderation Hub on Glow

https://glowscotland.sharepoint.com/sites/PLC/moderationhub/SitePages/Home.aspx

 

 

 

Gaelic Medium Teachers Wanted

The Scottish Government has commissioned Gaelic Medium Education Scottish National Standardised Assessments (GME SNSA) as part of the National Improvement Framework. The GME SNSA will assess children and young people from Gaelic Medium Education in reading, writing and numeracy during P1, P4, P7 and S3.

Giglets Education is developing the GME SNSA for launch in schools in August 2018. We are now bringing together a team of educators with experience of CfE in Gaelic Medium Education to develop content for the GME National Standardised Assessments.

Please visit https://www.obraichean.co.uk/job/giglets-education-5-gme-assessment-content-developer-2/ for details and to apply.

Everything in moderation

A blog by Jamie Farquhar
Deputy Head Teacher of Dumfries Academy

Jamie Farquhar
Deputy Head Teacher of Dumfries Academy

I am a QAMSO.

Increasingly – in the second year of there being QAMSOs – colleagues know what that is. Good; it saves me unpacking the acronym to its full glory of Quality Assurance and Moderation Support Officer and it suggests we* are having an impact.

My role is to support colleagues in their understanding and application of Moderation in its widest sense through the lens of a particular Numeracy or Literacy level. In my case, this is Third Level Writing.

I am not an English Teacher. However, I am a passionate advocate for the Teaching Profession and of the Responsibilities of All as key priorities for our learners. I believe the Broad General Education (BGE) provides the platform for teachers to co-create a curriculum that meets the needs of individual learners, in individual schools.

To achieve this we need the confidence to spurn the false panacea of centrally distributed WAGOLLs (What a Good One Looks Like) and resist ‘mimetic isomorphism’. In other words; it’s not about teachers doing the same thing, in the same way, either through decree or by the copycatting of perceived eminence. Rather, we should aim for the contextualised consistency of quality; as a QAMSO I advocate achieving this through planning, professional dialogue, reflection, sharing, experimentation and evaluation i.e. through Moderation.

Moderation is about skilled professionals working together to plan, evaluate, feedback and feed forward learning to all learning partners. Moderation is groups of teachers subjecting the entire learning process to rigorous professional scrutiny and so trusting and being trusted in their judgements. Through collaboration we empower a move beyond consistency of practice to an increased confidence in individual judgements, planning and interventions.

The Moderation Cycle provides a framework through which to embark on this process. In my own school, we accessed the cycle through the Evaluation stage by leading engagement with the Literacy Benchmarks and developing professional confidence in making judgements of CfE-levels. This starting point was chosen due to a familiarity, within a secondary context, of judging work against set standards in the Senior Phase. The challenge is to move thinking and practice from summative evaluation of output to include moderated planning of input; to ensure we are teaching and supporting what we later assess.

We have begun. Our Literacy Strategy produced Evidence which, as well as debate over CfE-levels, led to dialogue about the evidence’s relevance and validity. This demanded we reflect on our Assessment tools; which asked questions about the effectiveness of our Learning and Teaching and learners’ understanding of what they were learning and how well they had learned it (Learning Intentions and Success Criteria).

Colleagues then began to revisit their planning (Es and Os) to reflect learning and the Learner more holistically. This provided a range of on-going and holistic Evidence which demonstrated strengths, successes and nextsteps which informed Feedback, Reporting and planning of the next learning experience and so on. The principles of the Moderation Cycle as applied to Literacy have started to impact on practice in other curriculum areas and beyond the BGE.

The Moderation Hub provides an incredible resource to support this work. I will use it extensively in my QAMSO role to support Professional Learning in schools. The Hub provides off-the-shelf material for Professional Learning Workshops and e-learning. I recommend it to all Literacy / Numeracy Leads and Professional Learning Coordinators. I also commend the Moderation Cycle and Hub to all school leaders as a means to lead and evidence genuine Quality Assurance of Learning and Teaching.

The workshops take a little time as they work through each stage of the cycle, asking colleagues to reflect on examples and craft improvements collaboratively. A commitment to mutual engagement and knowledge creation through the Moderation Cycle should lead to a sustained shift of culture and improvement in outcomes for learners that simply being ‘given the answers’ cannot hope to achieve.

The Moderation Cycle provides the framework to be autonomous, contextually-aware, professional leaders of learning.
This QAMSO’s advice: Follow the Cycle – Co-Create – Trust your Judgements.

*There are lots of us: Each Local Authority has a QAMSO for each CfE Level from Early to Fourth in Numeracy, Writing and Reading.

Support Materials: Quality Assurance and Moderation

The Moderation Hub on Glow contains materials which will assist practitioners in GME to develop a shared understanding of standards and expectations in the BGE. They can also be used to support teacher professional judgements. 

A login is required.

 

Slatan-tomhais litearrachd agus Beurla / Benchmarks for literacy and English

Tha na Slatan-tomhais airson litearrachd agus Beurla a nis ri fhaighinn ann an Gàidhlig aig:

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/Pages/Curriculum-for-Excellence-Benchmarks-.aspx

 The Gaelic version of the Benchmarks for literacy and English are now available at: 

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/Pages/Curriculum-for-Excellence-Benchmarks-.aspx

An t-Alltan/ Conference for Practitioners of Gaelic Education, 27 and 28 September 2017

Practitioners are invited to register for this conference that is organised by Stòrlann. Education Scotland is delivering workshops at the conference to which you are warmly invited.  Please visit www.storlann.co.uk/an-t-alltan to register.

The workshops we are delivering at the conference are:

  1. Achieving Excellence and Equity

This session will look at how our report, Quality and Improvement in Scottish Education, 2012-2016 can support self-evaluation for self-improvement.  The session will comprise presentation and discussion to include:

  • effective leadership of 3-18 Gaelic in schools and nurseries;
  • using a well-structured and designed curriculum to raise attainment;
  • immersion, interaction and high-quality pedagogy through play;
  • using assessment to inform progress and attainment;
  • creating schools and nurseries which have a mutual understanding and inclusive ethos for Gaelic.
  1. E-Sgoil: A digital solution for Gaelic Medium Education curriculum

We are delighted to invite e-Sgoil to co-present this workshop with us. The development of an effective secondary GME curriculum requires creative planning of the contexts of Curriculum for Excellence. E-Sgoil offers a digital learning solution for curriculum planners’ consideration.  In this session, practitioners will gain an insight into what it is like to be a teacher, facilitator and a learner in e-Sgoil.  The session will support practitioners of the 3-18 curriculum to

  • become familiar with the digital technology that is used by e-Sgoil;
  • focus on effective pedagogy to support learning through technology;
  • plan the primary curriculum to support transitions to learning which is partially delivered through digital technologies.

Please also refer to our Advice on Gaelic Education, some of which is statutory, on how to structure and design a curriculum for GME.

  1. Benchmarks for Literacy and Gàidhlig

The purpose of this session is to promote an understanding of the national standards described in the Benchmarks for Literacy and Gàidhlig. There will be a particular focus on listening and talking.

Key themes for presentation and discussion will include:

  • using the Benchmarks to support professional judgements of achievement of a level;
  • developing progression in literacy and Gàidhlig using the Benchmarks;
  • gathering a range of evidence to demonstrate breadth, challenge and application;
  • developing an effective cycle of moderation in which practitioners have a shared understanding of standards and expectations.

Please register for these workshops at www.storlann.co.uk/an-t-alltan.

Slatan-tomhais Slàinte agus sunnd/Health and wellbeing Benchmarks

Tha na Slatan-tomhais airson Slàinte agus sunnd a nis ri fhaighinn ann an Gàidhlig aig:

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/Pages/Curriculum-for-Excellence-Benchmarks-.aspx

 

The Gaelic version of the Benchmarks for Health and wellbeing are now available at: 

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/Pages/Curriculum-for-Excellence-Benchmarks-.aspx

 

Slatan-tomhais Litearrachd is Gàidhlig / Literacy and Gàidhlig Benchmarks

Tha na Slatan-tomhais litearrachd is Gàidhlig a nis ri fhaighinn ann an Gàidhlig aig:

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/Pages/Curriculum-for-Excellence-Benchmarks-.aspx

The Gaelic version of the Benchmarks for literacy and Gàidhlig are now available at:

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/Pages/Curriculum-for-Excellence-Benchmarks-.aspx

 

Benchmarks – the value of collaboration

A blog by Lorna Harvey, Acting Senior Education Officer
for Numeracy and Mathematics

Last year ( August 2016), we published draft Benchmarks for literacy and English and for numeracy and mathematics with the aim of providing clarity on the national standards expected at each level of the Broad General Education. We wanted to make clear what learners need to know and what they need to be able to do to progress through the levels, and to provide guidance that would support consistency in teachers’ and other practitioners’ professional judgements.

By publishing the Benchmarks in draft, we wanted to ensure we had time to consult with the very people who would be using the Benchmarks. We were committed to developing guidance that would hit the mark and achieve our aim of providing clarity.

From the outset we were keen to hear from as many practitioners as possible and we wanted to make sure anyone wishing to provide feedback felt confident that they could be as open and honest as they wished. To achieve that we set up an anonymous online consultation, but we also planned a number of face-to-face sessions allowing for more depth to our discussions and the opportunity for people to ask questions.

A number of National Network events provided opportunities for practitioners from across Scotland to contribute to this consultation process. This included the National Literacy Network, the National Numeracy Network and the Principal Teacher/Faculty Head Forum for Mathematics. Colleagues from SQA were involved in many of these discussions.

Some people decided to get together with colleagues and offer suggestions, while others wanted to provide their individual response. Whichever way people chose to provide feedback, it was extremely valuable. It was great to receive insight based on practitioners’ engagement with the Benchmarks in their education setting.

Together with my colleagues across Education Scotland , I worked on collating the results and analysing the feedback before making relevant changes to the Benchmarks. A number of stakeholders had offered to be involved in further consultation so we shared the updated Benchmarks and gathered more feedback as part of the process.

And then we had them. The final Benchmarks, shaped by practitioners and providing the clarity that we had been aiming for. A real collaborative effort.

We have now published the Benchmarks on our National Improvement Hub and would encourage practitioners to familiarise themselves with the documents before they begin using them in their setting. It’s also worth having a look at the ‘change’ documents we developed which clearly show where changes have been made from the drafts. There is also a frequently asked questions document.

We have uploaded a broadcast on the National Numeracy and Mathematics Hub which provides background information, advice and guidance on using the Benchmarks. The majority of this broadcast is relevant for all practitioners and there is a specific numeracy and mathematics input also. This broadcast could be used at an In-Service day in August to raise awareness of the Benchmarks and support professional discussion and planning.

We will be providing seminars at the Scottish Learning Festival in September as well as a Yamjam – where practitioners are invited to engage in an online discussion about the Benchmarks.

We would like to say  a huge thank you to all the practitioners who supported the consultation process, working with us and engaging with the drafts to provide valuable feedback to help shape the final documents

Gaelic Medium Education – self-improvement, attainment and leadership

By Joan Esson, HM Inspector and Lead Officer for inspection of Gaelic Medium Education

The recently published report, ‘Quality and Improvement in Scottish Education 2012-2016’ (QuISE) highlighted a number of key areas of strengths and aspects for improvement from 3-18 Gaelic Medium Education (GME) inspections. You can read the chapter relating to GME on our website.

It was a great privilege to review our inspection findings for GME and evidence how the sector is developing. The approaches that are used in GME are a very effective example of language learning in Scotland.  Children learn the language to a high level of fluency which enables them to access learning through Gaelic, while achieving expected attainment levels in all areas of the curriculum.

Overall, inspectors found that most children and young people in GME were making good progress in developing their fluency. By the senior phase, attainment in Gàidhlig as a subject is strong.  Interest in the role of Gaelic (Learners) as an additional language, and the development of GME in some areas of Scotland, is growing.

In this blog, I would like to consider three areas that should be given initial consideration in using the QuISE report as part of the improvement journey for GME.

  1. Being a self-improving GME provision

Education Scotland aims to support practitioners as they build capacity for improvement. The QuISE report presents an important source for practitioners’ use in self-evaluation. The chapters for early learning and childcare, primary and secondary, should be used along with the one on GME. Education Scotland’s Advice on Gaelic Education gives a strategic guide to what constitutes high-quality national practice, some of which now forms statutory Guidance. Taken together with self-evaluation frameworks, practitioners have a rich resource to enable an in-depth focus on Gaelic. Senior leaders, along with other practitioners, should take time to use these resources for self-evaluation. In future inspections, we would like to evidence improved leadership of GME, with Gaelic being at the heart of strategic planning and part of continuous improvement.      

2. Closing the attainment gap

An important outcome of GME is that children attain equally well, or better, than their peers in English medium education. This gives parents confidence in GME for which we need to have a relentless focus on high-quality attainment and progress. In our forthcoming inspections, we would like to see practitioners, and indeed the children and young people themselves, being clearer on their progress and how to improve further. To clarify expectations, teachers assisted us in designing Benchmarks for literacy and Gàidhlig. These need to be used in the joint planning of learning, teaching and assessment;  for monitoring and tracking of progress and in the moderation of standards.

At all times, practitioners have an important role in interacting skilfully with children, while modelling good immersion techniques to help children acquire the language. Practitioners’ skill in doing this impacts on children’s fluency. Playroom experiences are threaded together and given direction with a curriculum framework that promotes continuity and progression.

Education Scotland’s Advice on Gaelic Education (particularly chapter 7), coupled with Building the Ambition, (particularly chapters 6 and 7), present practitioners with effective pedagogy for early learning in GME. Building the Curriculum 2 details children’s natural disposition “to wonder, to be curious, to pose questions, to experiment, to suggest, to invent and to explain”. In the immersion playroom, practitioners will engage in short periods of activities that they will lead as part of children’s intended learning. At other times, children will be choosing what they play which they may initiate as they follow their interests, or be an experience planned by practitioners.

If we are to close the attainment gap in GME, we need to recognise the early gains from a strong total immersion experience as part of early learning and childcare. For this, children need to hear and absorb very fluent Gaelic across a range of play contexts.   Practitioners’ quality and frequent interactions are key drivers in helping children to acquire fluency as they foster learning which is creative, investigative and exploratory.

3. Improving the leadership of the GME curriculum

The QuISE  report highlighted that our strong primary GME provisions are clear on the correlation between immersion, fluency and impact on attainment.   At the secondary stages, there is still more to do to ensure young people have enough opportunities to learn through Gaelic. We recognise in the QuISE  report that there are challenges from shortages of Gaelic-speaking practitioners.  However, we ask for more of a solution-focused approach.  Our Advice on Gaelic Education  (particularly chapters 9-13) gives strategic direction to the development of the GME secondary curriculum.

In our forthcoming inspections, we would like to see much more prominence given to those learning in GME as a group for whom pathways need to be developed. It would be useful to continue to develop a shared understanding of how Curriculum for Excellence, with its emphasis on the totality of learning, may be maximised for GME. Speakers of Gaelic are a key driver in planning the curriculum. Could more of our Gaelic-speaking practitioners in schools be delivering some aspect of the curriculum in Gaelic?  Could they, for example, be encouraged to deliver a subject, club, universal support or an opportunity for achievement through Gaelic?  The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” chimes with the need to increase the role of partners in the GME curriculum.  A good starting point would be for curriculum planners to know who their Gaelic-speaking partners are, and begin to ascertain how they can assist with planning and delivery of learning.

Finally, I would like to invite you to a seminar at the Scottish Learning Festival which focuses on how technology can increase learning through the medium of Gaelic. e-Sgoil presents a digital solution to delivering the curriculum. The headteacher of e-Sgoil will share an evaluation of some pilots that ran this year. Information on how to register for this seminar, and the festival programme, are available here.