What's are the differences between the National Curriculum and the Curriculum for Excellence? We explain how students are assessed within both systems.
Scotland has its own qualification framework that is separate from the one set for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but each one is recognised around the UK. England and Wales follow the National Curriculum (with the exception of the Foundation Phase in Wales), Northern Ireland follows the Northern Ireland Curriculum and Scotland follows the Curriculum for Excellence (also known as the CfE) for nursery, primary and secondary schools.
Children in Scotland complete seven years of primary school, starting in P1 (the equivalent of Year 1 classes in England), going up to P7 (the equivalent of Year 7 in England). After this, they do six years of secondary school from S1 to S6 (equivalent to Y8 to Y13 in England). Secondary schools in Scotland are also known as high schools or academies.What is the Curriculum for Excellence?
The Curriculum for Excellence is a major educational reform with the aim of providing a wider, more flexible range of courses and subjects. As the Scottish government only sets guidelines about the school curriculum, schools needn’t stick to rigid learning paths and can make their own decisions on what to teach pupils.
There are three core subjects that schools must ensure are taught: health and wellbeing, literacy and numeracy. Other than that, they’re free to:
• introduce projects that use skills and knowledge from more than one subject, leading to joined-up learning
• teach about people and places from their local area
• ask pupils about areas they’re interested in studyingWhat qualifications are there in Scotland?
Between 2013 and 2016, three new qualifications are being introduced: Nationals, Highers and Advanced Highers. This is what they’re replacing:
Most children will be around 15 when they take Nationals. They can opt to stay in secondary school for two more years to take exams for Higher qualifications – which they’ll need to apply for university – and Advanced Highers – equivalent to the first year of university and used for applying to enter the second year of university.When are the new qualifications being introduced?
The new qualifications are being phased in between 2013 and 2015:
• National 1, National 2, National 3, National 4 and National 5: August 2013.
• Higher: August 2014.
• Advanced Higher: August 2015.
As a guide, children who were in P7 year in the 2009/2010 school year will be the first year to take the new qualifications.
Currently Scotland does not formally assess primary and secondary students in Key Stages (and there are no SATs). Assessments include a standardised exam given for each subject a child will study, set out by the 5-14 curriculum (within the Curriculum for Excellence), and InCAS tests. But it’s up to the teacher to decide when the student will sit the exam, and assessments aren’t decided solely on exam results. The exams are used for teachers to confirm their own judgment of how a student is performing.
However Scotland's First Minister announced in August 2015 that new national, standardised assessments are to be introduced for pupils in P1, P4 and P7 . as well as for youngsters in the third year of secondary school. The new assessments will start in 2017 after being piloted in 2016 and will focus on literacy and numeracy.
There are five defined levels within the Scottish educational system. Each is reached based on the teacher’s assessment of a student’s abilities and readiness to progress, but general year guidelines are as follows:
A Palestinian woman uses a piece of reebar she found amid the rubble, for support as she walks past destroyed homes in a street in Beit Hanun, northern Gaza2/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
Palestinian men wait for their names to be called to receive a ration of food aid at a UN compound in Gaza City3/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
Posters calling people to boycott Israeli products4/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
Residents of a neighborhood in Gaza City gather to put out a fire at a soap factory moments after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike5/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
A Palestinian, who was injured in clashes in the Gaza strip, is carried on a stretcher to an ambulance after the arrival of a group of injured Palestinians at Ankara's Esenboga airport6/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
A Palestinian, who was injured in clashes in the Gaza strip, is carried on a stretcher to an ambulance after the arrival of a group of injured Palestinians at Ankara's Esenboga airport7/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire that witnesses say was caused by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City. Israel has accepted a new Gaza ceasefire proposed by Egyptian mediators and will send negotiators to Cairo if the truce holds, Israeli officials said8/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
Smoke from fires caused by Israeli strikes rises over Gaza City9/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
People watch as a fire burns in a building that witnesses say was hit by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City10/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
Palestinian fire fighters extinguish a blaze at a soap factory moments after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike11/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
Palestinian firefighters try to put out the fire at a cleaning materials factory after it was hit by Israeli airstrike in Al-Meena neghbourhood in the west of Gaza City12/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
Palestinians react as they put out a fire in an apartment which witnesses said was hit by an Israeli air strike in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip13/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
A relative kisses the body of Palestinian Nader Driss, whom medics said died of a gunshot wound by Israeli troops during clashes at a protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, during his funeral in the West Bank City of Hebron14/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
Relatives of Palestinian woman Amani Baraka, whom medics said was killed in an Israeli air strike, mourn during her funeral in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip15/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
A Palestinian boy, whom medics said was wounded by Israeli shelling, is visited by members of a local aid society wearing costumes at a hospital in Gaza City16/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
Jamal Doghmosh, a 48-year-old Palestinian mechanic who was injured in an Israeli air strike, recuperates at Shifa hospital in Gaza City. When Doghmosh woke up in hospital after the attack, he could not hear properly and found that three fingers from his right hand were also gone. He is one of thousands of Palestinians who have been left physically disabled by the conflict with Israel in the Gaza Strip17/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
An injured Palestinian man from the Al-Elaa family sits inside his house after it was hit by an Israeli military strike in the Jabalia refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip18/18 Israel-Gaza conflict
A view of the living room of the Okasha family house destroyed by an Israeli strike, in Jebaliya refugee camp, Gaza Strip. Two female members of the family were critically wounded in the strike
Aliyah Shafiq, from Motherwell, posted the image of the homework sheet on Facebook yesterday and wrote: “How is my little sister being made to answer questions like this for her homework?
“This is completely unacceptable and has to be complained about to North Lanarkshire Council.”
She added: “Guys can I just make it clear that although the homework was given to New Stevenston Primary P7 pupils, the actual sheet is from the council and NOT the school or any teacher directly.”
An additional ‘explanatory’ sheet given to the children says: “Palestinians who live in Israel believe that it is THEIR land which is being occupied by the Israelis.
“Wars between Israel and Palestinians over this always ended in their defeat and so they have turned to terrorist methods for over 30 years.”
Re the kids' homework branding Palestinians terrorists, here's the actual sheet given to primary 7s in N Lanarkshire. pic.twitter.com/PETwFaXB2P
The image posted on social media caused many to ring or message the council to complain about the sheets, which the local authority claims were part of an “obsolete” teaching pack.
The coursework “does not pass any judgement on the subject,” it added.
North Lanarkshire say the homework pack is 10 years old and obsolete I would say it was just as unacceptable 10 years ago @nlcpeople
; Linda - Sean's Trust (@saoirsefanclub) March 4, 2015
North Lanarkshire council hang your head in shame,y.friends 11yr old homework pic.twitter.com/EP4Lp7Lk3s
What on earth is happening over at North Lanarkshire Council and their education department? I expect all will be revealed on tonight's news
; Jamie Wallace (@jamie_wallace) March 4, 2015
No words for this homework given to children at New Stevenston Primary School in North Lanarkshire, Scotland. pic.twitter.com/MVWbm1IbG4
Palestine and Israel have been locked in a dispute over territory for more than 66 years and the most recent war ended in August after 50 days.
At least 2,100 Palestinian people living in the densely-populated Gaza Strip including around 500 children, and 72 Israelis of which most were soldiers, had died during the war last year.
Palestinians flee from Israeli air strikes in Gaza City last year
Dr Essam Hijjawi, chair of the Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland, said: “It is unbelievable that they are giving 11-year-old pupils information asserting that our struggle for freedom is pure terrorism.”
“We ask that all materials used in schools relating to the teaching of the history of Palestine is discussed between Education Scotland and the Palestinian community,” he added, according to Common Space .Read more
A spokesman for North Lanarkshire Council's Learning and Leisure Services said: “The homework material used was taken from a teaching pack which is now obsolete. We are contacting all schools to ensure this particular material is no longer used.
“The description of Palestinian people is entirely inappropriate and apologise unreservedly for the offence caused.”
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The primary sevens will soon be making the big move from JGPS to Secondary School. Changing school should be exciting but they might also feel a bit nervous. It will involve a lot of changes and new experiences in August.
At school we shall try to think of ways which may help to make this transition easier for pupils both at home and at school, and help prepare them for all the changes ahead.
Getting into Routines
You can help your child get into the swing of things at their new school by setting up a few simple routines that will ease their worries about adjusting to Secondary School.
You can make sure your child stays safe by establishing a few simple rules about travelling to and from school and what they do when they are home alone.
Dealing with Homework
Having a lot of homework to do every evening is one of the big changes your child will get used to at Secondary School. What they’ll have to do depends on each subject but it could be anything from researching books, the Internet or even making something for the next lesson
Some children adjust really quickly to their new environment; others take a little longer to get used to the new challenges and demands of Secondary School
Your Secondary School Handbook will provide you with further details of timetables, subjects studied, school times and key staff contacts such as guidance, school office, medical room etc. The school website is another useful source of information for both you and your child.
A key partnership is the one that we have with the parents and carers of our pupils. We take every opportunity to encourage parents and carers to be involved in their children’s education in as many different ways as possible. Support with homework is one very important way of doing this.
Homework is given regularly in each class. We would ask that parents support this aspect of their child’s education by being actively involved and sharing this interest with their child. Tasks may include reading, phonics, spelling, simple research, maths and a variety of other activities depending on the child’s age, ability and interest. The amount of homework increases gradually as the children move through the school.
Parents should note that their encouragement and help at home does much to improve children’s work and motivation. If there are any difficulties with homework we encourage parents to contact the school and we will be happy to meet with parents to discuss.For further advice and support with homework the following websites may be of use:
At Gordon Primary we are currently revising our school homework policy in order to make homework more purposeful, fun and pupil led.
Scottish Afternoon (2015)
On Friday 23th January 2015, the whole school enjoyed an afternoon of Scottish entertainment.
All stages presented excellent recitations of poems in the Scots language with Primaries 6 and 7 offering extracts from the works of our National Bard – Robert Burns.
We enjoyed listening to extracts from Address to the Haggis, Tam O’Shanter, Address to the Toothache and To a Mouse. Kieran Stockwood and Emily Vaughan, Primary 7 pupils, presented well prepared and entertaining speeches to ‘address the lassies’ and ‘reply from the lassies’.
We had a variety of Scottish tunes played on violin, flute, trumpet, saxophone, piano and guitar. Highland dancers entertained with excellent performances. Rory Monaghan, a fourth year pupil from Hermitage Academy, introduced the afternoon by playing a well-known pipe tune and again later played to pipe in the traditional haggis. Mrs Ann Carson accompanied the choir and the whole school in their singing of Loch Lomond and Auld Lang Syne.
The afternoon finished with the presentation of the Atkinson Infant and the Senior Quaichs. These are awarded for excellence in recitation at Primary 3 and Primary 7. The Primary 3 winner this year is Kate McKenzie and the Primary 7 winner is Anna Besenyei.Categories Archives In this Section
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Every school child in Scotland aged between 5 and 8 will be given a free lunch each day in an attempt to improve the nation's poor diet and health.
The initiative was announced by the Scottish education minister Fiona Hyslop yesterday after a series of pilot projects in primary schools found that the take-up of school meals increased by up to 32% when they were free.
Ministers estimate the programme, which will be underpinned by new legislation, will cost Scotland's 32 local councils about £30m to implement, but they faced criticism from opposition parties for failing to give councils extra money to fund the initiative.
Labour MSPs claimed it was an "election bribe without the cash" because Hyslop unveiled the initiative in Fife, where the SNP and Labour are locked in a battle to win the Glenrothes byelection, expected to take place on November 6.
Labour MSPs in Fife have formally protested to the head of the Scottish civil service, claiming that ministers broke parliamentary protocol by failing to give them advance notice of Ms Hyslop's visit to their area.
The new programme, which is due to begin in August 2010 for all children in primary 1, 2 and 3, was welcomed by Cosla, the Scottish local government association. It rejected Labour's claims it was unfunded and said all Scotland's councils had agreed to fund the project in a local government funding settlement earlier this year.
A Cosla spokesman said: "Local authorities will be in the front line to ensure successful delivery of these important Concordat commitments which will have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of our children."
However, that claim was challenged by senior councillors from Inverclyde, Angus, Highland, East Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire, who said it was "extremely difficult" to pay for.
Stephen McCabe, leader of Inverclyde council, said: "Local authorities across the country are facing severe financial pressures due to rising costs and the impact of the current global credit crunch.
"Unless the Scottish government provides additional funding it is simply a fact of life that other council services will have to be cut to pay for this policy.''
Jim Logue, education convenor for North Lanarkshire council, said it would cost his authority £1m to fund, leading to cuts in other services. "We may have to consider axing its breakfast clubs to pay for the SNP's policy. This will deny some of the poorest children in North Lanarkshire access to the most important meal of the day.
"I am calling on the Scottish government to meet the full cost of this policy if they want to see it delivered. It's simply not good enough to put the burden on local government."
The pilots involved 35,000 children in West Dunbartonshire, the Borders, Fife, Glasgow and East Ayrshire. The average take-up of the school meals for children not already registered for free meals increased from 41% to 69%. The price per meal was as high as £4.65 a head in the Borders.
With Scotland facing rising obesity and deep-seated problems with diet-related diseases, the programme is intended to ensure children are given nutritious and varied diets, with a greater proportion of freshly cooked foods, fruit and vegetables.
The Scottish Tories' shadow minister for children, Liz Smith, said it was still unclear whether the most at-risk children would benefit and said councils were under intense financial pressure – raising further doubts about how successful the programme would be.Topics
Homework is anything that children do outside the normal school day and that contributes their learning in response to guidance from the school. Homework encompasses a whole variety of activities instigated by both teachers and parents and carers to support children's learning. For example, a parent/carer who spends time reading a story to their child before bedtime is helping with homework.Rationale for homework:
Homework is a very important part of a child's education and can add much to a child's development. We recognise that the time and resources available limit the educational experience that any school by itself can provide; children benefit greatly therefore from the mutual support of parents/carers and teachers in encouraging them to learn both at home and at school. Indeed we see homework as an important way of establishing a successful dialogue between teachers and parents/carers. One of the aims of AIS is for children to develop as independent learners. We believe that homework is one of the main ways in which children can acquire the skill of independent learning.
Homework plays a positive role in raising a child's level of attainment. We also acknowledge the important role of play and free time in a child's growth and development. While homework is important, it should not prevent children from taking part in the wide range of out-of-school clubs and organisations that play an important part in the lives of many children. We are well aware that children spend more time at home than at school, and we believe they develop their skills, interests and talents to the full only when parent/carers encourage them to make maximum use of the experiences and opportunities that are available outside of AIS.Aims and objectives:
The aims and objectives of homework are:
to promote pupils self esteem
to enable pupils to make maximum progress in their academic and social development;
to help pupils develop the skills required for independent and lifelong learning;
to promote a partnership between home and school in supporting each child's learning;
to encourage children to apply learning to different situations
to encourage pupil interest in school work
to develop parental understanding of school work
to provide educational experiences not possible in school;
to consolidate and reinforce learning done in school and to allow children to practice skills taught in lessons;
to help children develop good work habits for the future.Types of homework:
We set a variety of homework activities including reading, writing, spelling and maths tasks. These are outlined on the Homework Grid, which is sent home fortnightly.
In addition to the set homework tasks we sometimes ask children to talk about or research a unit of inquiry at home prior to studying it in school. For example, in the unit on toys, (EC1) we ask children to bring examples into school to show the other children. Sometimes we ask children to find and collect things that we then use in their PYP lessons. Occasionally we ask children to take home work that they have started in school when we believe that they would benefit from spending further time on it. When we ask children to study a unit of inquiry or to research a particular subject, we encourage them to use the school library and the Internet and CD-ROMs if available at home.
As children move up through the school we expect them to do more tasks independently. In addition to work that supports other subjects, we set literacy and numeracy homework routinely and we expect the children to consolidate and reinforce learning in school through practice at home. We also set homework as a means of helping the children to revise modules of work to ensure that prior learning has been understood.Amount of homework:
We increase the amount of homework that we give the children as they move through
school. Each cell on the Homework Grid represents 5 – 10 minutes per night. However
this does not include reading. As the child moves up the school more cells are added to
grid; language, reading and mathematics will be routinely part of the work given.Pupils with special educational:
We set homework for all children as a normal part of school life. We ensure that all tasks set are appropriate to the ability of the child. If a child has special needs, we endeavour to adapt any task set so that all children can contribute in a positive way.The role of parents:
Parents/carers have a vital role to play in their child's education, and homework is an important part of this process. We ask parents/carers to encourage their child to complete the homework tasks that are set. We invite them to help their children as they feel necessary and provide them with the sort of environment that allows children to do their best. Parents/carers can support their child by providing a good working space at home, by enabling their child to visit the library regularly, and by discussing the work that their child is doing. To support parents who find this difficult we provide a weekly homework club.
If parents/carers have any problems or questions about homework, they should, in the first instance, contact the child's class teacher. If their questions are of a more general nature, they should contact the Principal.Monitoring and review:
It is the responsibility the senior management to agree and then monitor the school homework policy. Feedback from parents is a vital part of this process and is welcomed at all times;