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New Qualifications

SQA MONTHLY UPDATE FOR PRACTITIONERS

New Opportunities

JUNE 2015

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Thank you

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We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your commitment and your continued support in implementing the new National Qualifications. Dual running is now coming to an end, which marks a significant milestone in the qualifications development programme, and the final results for the existing Intermediate, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications will be issued on 4 August 2015.

Next session, the new National 1 to National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications will run together for the first time. We will continue to provide support to schools and colleges to help put the new Advanced Highers in place.

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Further Understanding Standards packs published

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We are continuing to publish Understanding Standards packs for National 1 to Higher. These packs contain examples of candidate evidence which has been gathered from Unit assessments during session 2014/2015. The evidence is accompanied by a commentary that explains why the evidence has or has not met the required standards for the Unit.

Earlier this month, we started to publish the latest release of Understanding Standards packs and we will continue to publish further packs until the end of June. A small number of packs will be published in July.

The Understanding Standards programme is intended to help teachers and lecturers develop their understanding of the national standards required for assessment in the new National Qualifications. The programme will continue in session 2015/2016 and more information can be found at www.sqa.org.uk/understandingstandards

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National Qualifications (NQ) verification: round 2 key messages

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We are aiming to publish all subject-specific key messages from round 2 verification activity on our subject pages by the end of June 2015.

We have already begun publishing key messages, and the following subjects are now available:

  • Accounting
  • Administration and IT
  • Biology
  • Care
  • Drama
  • English & Communication
  • ESOL
  • French
  • Geography
  • History
  • Italian
  • Lifeskills Mathematics
  • Mandarin
  • Mathematics
  • Media
  • Modern Studies
  • Music
  • Music Technology
  • Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies
  • Science
  • Spanish

We will publish key messages for more subjects throughout June. Please check the subject pages regularly for more updates.

We hope that teachers and lecturers will find this information helpful when assessing their candidates and when preparing for future rounds of verification.

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National Qualifications (NQ) exam diet 2016

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Following the conclusion of the 2015 exam diet, we can now confirm that the 2016 National Qualifications exam diet will begin on 4 May 2016 and finish on 3 June 2016.

Results for the 2016 exams will be issued on Tuesday 9 August 2016.

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Updated documents for new Advanced Higher Courses

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In April and May, we updated our Course Specifications, Unit Specifications, Course Assessment Specifications and Course/Unit Support Notes for the new Advanced Higher Courses. We also updated packages 1 and 2 of Unit assessment support, following the publication of package 3 at the end of April.

The updated documents are available now and we advise teachers and lecturers to use the latest versions of these documents when delivering the new Advanced Higher Courses to candidates.

Find out more.

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Updated documents and Unit assessment support for National 3 to Higher

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In April and May, we updated the Course Specifications, Unit Specifications, Course Assessment Specifications and Course and Unit Support Notes for some subjects from National 3 to Higher.

More information on the changes to these documents is provided in the May 2015 subject updates, which are available from the subject pages of our website. These can be found in the 'Update letters' section of the relevant subject pages.

Teachers and lecturers are advised to make sure they use the most up-to-date versions of these materials with their candidates in session 2015/2016.

We are also updating Unit assessment support packs for some National 3 to Higher Courses, following the revisions made to Unit Specifications. The updated packs will be published by the end of August 2015

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Nominee Case Studies

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We recently filmed three SQA nominees from schools in different local authorities, who spoke about their experiences of being a nominee. We also spoke to representatives from these local authorities to learn more about their approaches to the nominee selection process.

The videos are available to view on our website at www.sqa.org.uk/nomineevideos

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Feedback for Undersanding Standards National 5 Course events 2014/2015

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Last session, we held Understanding Standards events for National 5 Courses from November 2014 to February 2015. There were 91 events, attended by 3,892 delegates. The events focused on supporting teachers and lecturers to develop their understanding of the national standards required for Course assessment, including question papers and coursework tasks.

Feedback has been highly positive, with over 90% of attendees saying that the content of the events, and the materials provided, were effective or highly effective. Attendees said:

"I found this course to be extremely useful."

"I would be very interested in attending a similar course for the Higher (Course) if it is available next year."

"Very useful exercise in understanding standards."

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Updated Course/Unit Support Notes and Unit assessment support packs for new Advanced Higher Courses

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We are hosting a series of Understanding Standards events for Higher Course assessment. These events will run from October 2015 to January 2016 and are for subject specialists in schools and colleges who wish to develop their understanding of the standards required in the Course assessment at Higher. They will provide delegates with the opportunity to review and discuss candidate evidence, discuss the allocation of marks for this evidence and to discuss their understanding of standards with colleagues and senior Examining Team members.

Places are limited to one delegate per centre, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Attendance at these events can be used to contribute to Continuing Professional Development (CPD). CPD certificates will be issued to attendees after each event. Details of the event dates are available from the following link:

Understanding Standards Programme of Events 2015/2016

Arrangements for the following subjects are being finalised and will be open for booking soon. Please check www.sqa.org.uk/cfeevents and our Events Booking System for updates.

  • Computing Science
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Gàidhlig
  • German
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Mandarin
  • Media
  • Spanish
  • Urdu

Book your place today

 

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Understanding Standards National 1 to National 5 events 2015/2016

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We are hosting a series of Understanding Standards events for a selection of Courses, Awards and Units from National 1 to National 5.

The events will run from August 2015 and will focus on the standards and assessment of the relevant Course, Award or Unit. The following events are scheduled:

  • National 1 and National 2
  • Design and Manufacture (National 4 and National 5)
  • Literacy (National 3 to National 5)
  • People and Society (National 3 and National 4)
  • Hospitality: Practical Cookery (National 5)

Places are limited to one delegate per centre, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Attendance at these events can be used to contribute to Continuing Professional Development (CPD). CPD certificates will be issued to attendees after each event.

Find out more

Book your place today

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Feedback from Advanced Higher Subject Implementation events

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We held 76 Advanced Higher Subject Implementation Events from January 2015 to April 2015. The events, which were led by our Qualifications Development staff, provided updates on Course delivery and assessment, and were attended by over 3,000 delegates. All of the events were interactive and provided delegates with the opportunity to engage in workshop sessions and discussions.

Feedback has been highly positive, with 95% of attendees saying they will put what they learned at the event into practice.

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Subscribe to this newsletter

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If you have not received this newsletter directly and you would like to sign up to the mailing list, please visit http://mailer.sqa.org.uk to subscribe.

© 2015 Scottish Qualifications Authority

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