16th August 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Plan for pupils to sit fewer exams

Parents will be consulted over possible changes to the schools system which could see secondary pupils sitting fewer exams.

Youngsters in the middle years could find themselves sitting six subjects instead of eight once the long-running standard grades are replaced by new national qualifications in August.

The possible alterations are being made as part of the changes to the national Curriculum for Excellence.

Fears have been raised peripheral courses like art or music may suffer.

One concerned parent, who did not wish to be named, said: “That’s going to have quite an impact on the breadth of a child’s education and an impact on the [school] departments that are not key departments.

“This is a money saving opportunity for the authority as they are then submitting fewer subjects for examination and they can cram more pupils in per teacher.

“We are robbing the children of their educational opportunities. I am grieved that parents have not been informed. It is so important it should be out there for discussion.”

However, quality improvement manager for the  SIC schools service Matthew Moss insisted consultation will be carried out before any changes are made.

Mr Moss said: “One of the options we are considering is a reduction from the current model where most young people may sit, or have the opportunity to sit eight standard grades, and reducing that to six national qualifications … but with wider opportunities to study further qualifications throughout the senior phase.

“We’ve had discussions with head teachers, we have been consulting with staff, and of course we will be coming out and having further consultations with parents in time.”

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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One comment

  1. J Stewart

    Well, good.

    Exams don’t work for everyone, and they’re not an effective learning method for everyone either. You cram and cram then forget it all the next day because you’re so glad it’s over, whereas if you do an essay you have to become more committed to that knowledge.

    I think that making grades nearly 100% exam is pointless. It should be evenly split across different methods, like 33% presentation, 33% essay, 34% exam. It would give you a better picture of that student’s ability. The only problem here, though, is that presentation assessment is tougher than exams to mark objectively.

    Reply

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