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New Qualifications

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SQA subject-specific web pages

Our subject-specific web pages contain key information for teachers and lecturers, and have recently been updated. It is now easier than ever to access important information, advice and guidance, and assessment support materials for your subject and level.

You can also keep up-to-date with the latest developments on your subject through the new 'Updates and Announcements' feature on each of the qualification level pages, which are accessible from the subject page.

Visit www.sqa.org.uk/browsecfesubjects to access our subject menu, or simply select the relevant subject from the drop-down box on the CfE home page at www.sqa.org.uk/cfe

Unit assessment support for new Higher Courses

The first package of Unit Assessment Support for Units in the new Higher Courses is now available. The documents are held securely and teachers/lecturers can arrange access through their SQA Co-ordinator.

Find out more.

Updated Unit assessment support for National 3 to National 5 Modern Languages

We have updated all package 1 Unit assessment support packs for National 3 to National 5 Modern Languages. The packs have now been translated into Cantonese, French, German, Gaelic (Learners), Italian, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Spanish and Urdu, and individual Unit assessment support packs are available for each subject.

For Unit assessment support packs in packages 1, 2 and 3 that cover listening activities, audio recordings have been made available to accompany the Listening Transcripts. Some Listening Transcripts have been updated at the time of the recording and we would encourage teachers/lecturers to use these latest versions. In line with our standard practice, the Unit assessment support packs will now contain version information and, where applicable, a note of changes. This will ensure you can recognise the most up-to-date documents.

The updated Unit assessment support packs are now available and teachers/lecturers can arrange access to them through their SQA Co-ordinator. Further information can also be found in the Updates and Announcements section of the relevant subject pages.

Unit Assessment Support for Mathematics subjects

In response to feedback from teachers and lecturers, we have made some additions, updates and minor amendments to the Unit assessment support packs for Mathematics, Lifeskills Mathematics and Numeracy. These updates are to provide clarification and guidance for teachers/lecturers; particularly across the 'Judging evidence' tables, however the Outcomes and Assessment Standards remain unchanged. The Unit assessment support packs are to assist teachers/lecturers in using their own professional judgement when planning and recording their assessments and while we would encourage use of these latest packs, the previous versions will be accepted for verification purposes.

Further information can be found in the Updates and Announcements section of our subject pages. The updated Unit assessment support packs are now available and teachers/lecturers can arrange access to them through their SQA Co-ordinator.

Importance of maintaining confidentiality

SQA's secure site contains many assessment resources for the new qualifications, which are accessible only via SQA Co-ordinators. These are summative assessments, available for classroom practitioners to use in schools and colleges across the country, and so must be kept confidential at all times. Please ensure that anyone who has access to these materials is fully aware of this need for confidentiality and their individual responsibility for maintaining it.

If you become aware of an actual or potential breach of confidentiality regarding these assessment materials, it is important that you contact our Customer Support Team as soon as possible to inform us of the situation. You can contact our Customer Support Team on 0303 333 0330 or by emailing mycentre@sqa.org.uk

National 1 Units

National 1 Units are being introduced on a phased basis. Units in Phase 1 are available for centres to deliver now, and will eventually replace existing Access 1 Units. Some Access 1 Units will be directly replaced by new National 1 Units, while others will have their contents covered within new National 1 Units that share similar contexts/skills sets.

We have published tables that illustrate how existing Access 1 Units will be replaced by the new National 1 Units included in Phase 1. These are available from the 'Phase 1' tab on the National 1 web page.

Further information on the replacement of remaining Access 1 Units will be made available following the publication of Units which are part of phases 2 and 3.

SQA will also be running a National 1 event for teachers/lecturers on 27 March 2014 at Stirling Management Centre. For further information and to book your place, visit our National 1 web page.

Case Studies on new Awards

We have published case studies, based on the experiences of delivering centres, for the following Awards:

For more information on Awards, please visit www.sqa.org.uk/awards

New National Qualifications leaflets

Support in National Literacy Units

SQA has produced a quick and easy guide to supportive practices for National Literacy Units, which can be accessed at www.sqa.org.uk/literacysupport. This guide may be helpful to centres, learners, parents, carers and others interested in support for the National Literacy Units.

If you require further advice on the National Literacy Units for any individual candidate, please contact the Assessment Arrangements team at aarequests@sqa.org.uk

National 1 to National 5 verification round one update

The first uplift of verification (National 1 to National 5) materials will shortly be taking place*. Here is a summary of the events leading up to, and following, this activity:

  • 1 October 2013 - centres advised of verification selection(s) for round 1
  • 4 November 2013 - all materials collated by centres and packaged ready for the National uplift*
  • Mid November 2013 to end of December 2013 - round 1 event and visiting activities undertaken; outcome reports issued to centres
  • 2 December 2013 - centres advised of sample selection for round 2

* Contingency arrangements are being considered surrounding the potential postal strike action on 4 November 2013. In the meantime, centres should continue to prepare all materials ready for uplift on this date.

Further information regarding key dates and quality assurance is available within the 'Guide for SQA Co-ordinators', which is available on SQA Connect.

Closing date for initial entry information (schools only)

We would like to remind schools that the closing date for initial entry information on Courses, Units and, where appropriate, external assessments is Friday 8 November 2013.

Please ensure that by this date, you have made an entry for all candidates undertaking National Qualifications during the 2013/14 session. Changes and withdrawals can be made (if necessary) after this date, however, any new Course entries or changes of level made after Monday 31 March 2014 may incur an additional late entry charge and will not be reflected in the Course materials/Questions Papers issued in April.

Instructions around completion dates remain unchanged and can be found, together with the entries process, in the 'Guide for SQA Co-ordinators' on SQA Connect.

Results Services

From April 2014, SQA's new Results Services will replace the Appeals Service for all National Courses where an exam or coursework contributes to the candidate's final grade.

There are two parts to Results Services:

  • Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service
  • Post-Results Service

Detailed guidance for the Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service was issued on 4 October 2013 and is available in the 'Documents' section of SQA Connect.

A user guide will be available prior to Results Services commencing and will detail how to submit a request to SQA. Guidance about the Clerical Check and Marking Review which form the Post-Results Services will be issued in March 2014.

A general information leaflet 'Introducing Results Services' has been produced, aimed at candidates, parents/carers and teachers/lecturers. The leaflet has been produced to give an overview of the main points of the new services and can be found in the 'Documents' section of SQA Connect or on our Results Sevices web page.

Notification of change to statistics reports from August 2014 onwards

In academic year 2013-14, there will be a mix of the current National Courses (Access, Intermediates, Highers and Advanced Highers) and the new National Courses (National 2 to National 5) as well as Awards, National Progression Awards, and National Certificates taken by candidates in schools and colleges.

For Results Day (Tuesday 5 August 2014), SQA will present the data on candidate attainment by SCQF level, which will include the existing and new qualifications. In addition, we will also present data on attainment of literacy and numeracy by SCQF level.

Find out more at www.sqa.org.uk/statistics2014

New Higher Subject Implementation Events

To support the introduction of the new National Courses at Higher in session 2014-15, we will be running a programme of implementation events from November 2013 to March 2014.

These events will provide updates on Course delivery and assessment, with the opportunity for delegates to engage in workshop sessions and discussions.

They are targeted at principal teachers, faculty heads and course/subject leaders. Local authorities are welcome to reserve places for professional support staff.

For more information and to book a place, visit our Subject Implementation Events web page.

Webinars for SQA Co-ordinators

We are currently running a series of online web conferences (webinars) to provide operational support to SQA Co-ordinators.

To view our webinar programme and to book your place, visit www.sqa.org.uk/webinars

Website user testing invitation

We are currently undertaking some user testing of our website and would like to invite you to take part - www.loop11.com/usability-test/20084/introduction
Testing should only take around 10 minutes and we appreciate your valuable input.

In addition to user testing our website, we routinely engage with our partners as well as local authorities and parent forums when producing leaflets and guides. If you are interested in helping us deliver clear communications, please email web.team@sqa.org.uk

Engaging with our audiences

SQA attended this year's Scottish Learning Festival (SLF) in September, which took place at the SECC in Glasgow. Members of our CfE Liaison Team gave presentations on the support available for teachers and lecturers, and were also on hand at our exhibition stand to provide information and answer questions on the new qualifications.

Our CfE Liaison Team is continuing to engage with teachers, learners and parents, and have been visiting schools across the country. To find out more about the CfE Liaison Team, visit www.sqa.org.uk/cfeteam

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