2. The proposed model
Q1: Do the three areas described offer learners the potential to gather and reflect a broader range of achievements important for their future progress? Is there anything you would add or delete?
The responses included in the main analysis were positive about the proposed model, although this was qualified by some respondents who suggested that further work was required to demonstrate that the proposals could be implemented successfully.
Analysis of this tranche of responses reflected the findings above, with respondents positive about the intention, but with comments on the challenges of implementation.
"This sounds like a great idea in principle for pupils to gain a wider range of skills and achievements, however I wonder how this will be executed/who will be responsible for this/how records or profiles will be maintained accurately by pupils. You would need allocated staff members to oversee this."
"In theory this offer does seem to provide the potential to gather a broader range of achievements. There was concern amongst the group that this would be change for the sake of change unless there was a genuine and authentic change in all aspects of Scottish education. They questioned if there will be genuine funding available for the development of personal pathways, especially in areas where staffing is an issue? How can we ensure that there will be parity of resources and delivery between schools, especially in areas of high deprivation?"
2.1 Pupil views
Two responses from schools (in this tranche) indicated that they sought views from pupils on the proposals, with children and young people generally in favour of the emphasis on a broader range of achievements being evidenced as part of the Senior Phase.
"[Students] agree with this as it would allow you to work out your strengths and areas of development so you can see what you want to do in the future. It's a good idea for those who may struggle with exams but excel in personal pathways or projects. We think it would allow students to be recognised for their achievements both in and outside of school."
"Pupils in general felt that the three areas were positive and would provide a good variety of learning experience. Some pupils however, felt that gathering evidence on a broader range of achievements would potentially benefit some pupils more than others. This was based on the fact that some pupils may not have a specific wider interest. Pupils were keen to develop skills within different contexts but wanted to ensure that there was no further stress applied to the system with respect to gathering evidence on other areas outwith school subjects."
2.2 Relative weighting of elements
As in the main analysis, several respondents commented on the relative weighting across the three elements of the model. This included views on whether the elements should have equal weighting, and whether there should be a shift from from "academic" learning to a wider concept of skills and learning.
"There requires to be emphasis on all of the three areas, so that the focus, as is, on 'academic' learning and exam results may be shifted to a more holistic approach that recognises and values individual skills and talents, the range of available achievements as being of equal value, application and adaptability and interests, and the benefits of these individual capabilities in transitioning from school into adult life i.e. employment/further education.'
"Not removed necessarily as I do like the idea but I don't believe all 3 areas should be given equal weighting. The interdisciplinary project sounds extremely daunting, and I would hope that the ideas/different level of courses/lessons would be distributed nationally for everyone to use as each school coming up with different projects sounds unmanageable."
2.3 Teacher workload and resource
Respondents also talked about the need for robust evidence gathering and the associated workload for teachers and schools. Common themes included models of verification and ensuring standardisation across the system.
"The method of gathering evidence would be crucial to the success of the proposals as a whole. For young people to be able to leave a course after one year whilst others continue for two would mean that achievements would need to be gathered through coursework, and they must be robust at a given level."
"Yes they offer learners the potential to gather and reflect. However has it been considered the workload involved in maintaining records, the verification of resources and teacher workload administering these areas?"
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