New system is a joke (Connor Dickson)

National 4/5s: many people have no clue what these are about. If you don’t either I will enlighten you.

This is the new education system for Scotland and is part of the Curriculum for Excellence. However, overall nationally this new system is a joke.

No-one knows very much about it. The poor staff have very little resources; they essentially receive something similar to a book which they must simply teach the pupils.

Of course I realise the young people just now are “testing” the new system but they could learn about the actual system first. These people, pupils and staff alike, are being pushed in at the deep end.

Also some of the things that pupils are now being taught are ridiculous. I am in the last year to sit Standard Grades and I like to think we receive a very high standard of education. However, with the new National 4/5s these pupils are not getting the same standard (which, by the way, is through no fault of the staff).

For example, in music they have taken out several important musical concepts (this is a fairly important part of the course) and have replaced them with ridiculous counterparts. They have taken out things like “Arpeggios” and replaced it with “Guitar”.

It’s also not just music that is affected: in art they have taken out the drawing aspect of the course. I find that unacceptable.

I recently spoke with a pupil who is “testing” the National 4/5s and they were trying to explain some if it to me. However, I was unable to grasp some of it so I took it upon myself to do some research.

I found next to nothing on the Scottish Education website. Most of the information on the new system assumed that whoever was reading already had a large amount of knowledge on the subject which, of course, most people do not.

What I did find out is that National 5 is meant to be the Standard Grade Credit’s counterpart and National 4 is General. However, I was soon horrified to find that pupils who take a National 4 do not need to sit exams.

I was in awe. These young people are not going to receive the qualifications they need for university or careers.

Also, after the pupils sit their exams (or not as the case may be) they are going to have to make a massive jump to highers which, as far as I am aware, are staying almost the same.

These pupils are going to have to work tremendously hard to make up for the lost work if they plan to pass. At the end of the day all I can say is that I am glad I was born a year before them.

Connor Dickson

(aged 16)




Add Your Comment
  • David Spence

    • May 17th, 2013 19:26

    Hi Connor, If this Government gets its way, despite Scotland having a ‘ slightly different, but higher standard, a separate education system from England, do not be surprised if the state based education system ends up in the private sector.

    I must confess, I am not sure where Cameron is in regards to his massive project of Building 150 ‘ New Academies ‘ in England, but all the signs certainly look towards the private sector having greater control of our education system. Their priority being greed and profit’s and not providing an adequate education.

    This is also connected to the ‘ League Tables ‘ of school performances and giving the opportunity for the ‘ private schools ‘ or ‘ Universities ‘ to focus their attention onto different parts of the country, depending on how well schools perform under these ‘ League Tables ‘.

    I suspect the Scottish education system will eventually submit to a similar system, once it has established itself in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    However, things may drastically change if Independence is voted for in Scotland next year, and our own Government is formed by the year 2017?

  • Gordon Harmer

    • May 18th, 2013 8:30

    David this is nothing to do with Westminster, the changes Connor is referring to are being implemented by the Scottish government, yes the very SNP you say will make drastic changes in the event of independence. They have excelled themselves with this, to save money hundreds of teachers will be thrown on the scrap heap.

    Universities will be forced to implement entry exams do decide the fate of would be students. Young job seekers who apply for work across the border will be rejected as their grades will mean nothing. But the pièce de résistance is they can claim fantastic pass marks and grades even when a large percentage of pupils probably can’t spell their own name.

    So saving money is more important to the SNP than today’s children’s education and these children will face a narrow and restrictive curriculum, the total opposite of what CfE was supposed to accomplish.

    Obviously the SNP clearly have little or no grasp of how averages work, they seem to think that it is satisfactory to apply a lowest common denominator approach to the whole system. It’s just propaganda driven politics but this time it is messing with our future generation’s education.

    The SNP mantra is that this system gives a broader education when it actually narrows the choice of education. It is a crazy system with no real achievement or assessment.

    It has been labelled a curriculum of excrement, no school really understands it so all are implementing it differently, yet they have to implement it for the education year 2013 / 2014. Oh what a coincidence the fist results will be out just before the referendum on independence.

  • David Spence

    • May 18th, 2013 11:16

    Thank you Gordon for the insight. I obviously need to research more and study SNP’s manifesto and agenda’s in regards to present as well as if and when independence is given.

    I must confess Gordon, I did have an incline to the SNP’s education policy and was a little surprised that it was quite comprehensive and attractive. However, my main concern in reading their proposals ‘ how on earth is this new education system going to be financed? ‘ I cannot see this working unless drastic reforms in other area’s are required in terms of bringing in revenue as well as an increase in taxes? Their proposed education curriculum also pays emphasis on parents having a greater say in school policy. This and other aspects of the education system being proposed does seem to, despite their policy saying ‘ there will be no privatization ‘, indicate the private sector will be involved and have a greater role.

    However though, I sincerely hope it does not go down the road where we end up with a 2 tier education system as the Tories are proposing with their programme of building, at tax payer’s expense, 150 new academies. In affect, the privatization of our education.

    Interesting times ahead……..I hasten to say lol

  • Sandy McMillan

    • May 18th, 2013 18:37

    Come on Gordon get a life, who is going to do the teaching, if a da teaches are rotten in a heap, Scotland and especially Shetland has the best education any where in the UK, probably the world. They come from a erts tae git Educated in Scotland, do cana condemn the SNP for there education system, in fact they don’t have any fault at all.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • May 19th, 2013 10:02

    Goodness golly gosh Sandy what was I thinking of, you are so right, and there you are, living proof of what you have just said.


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