Assessment for Curriculum for Excellence

The Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced the publication of the strategic vision and key principles for assessment in Curriculum for Excellence  at the Scottish Learning Festival on 23 September 2009.

According to the document:

The main differences from the existing assessment arrangements are that:

  • Assessment practices will follow and support the new curriculum.  This will promote higher quality learning and teaching and give more autonomy and professional responsibility to teachers.
  • Standards and expectations will be defined in a way that reflects the principles of Curriculum for Excellence.  This will support greater breadth and depth of learning and a greater focus on skills development including higher order skills.
  • A national system of quality assurance and moderation for 3 – 18 will be developed to support teachers in achieving greater consistency and confidence in their professional judgements.
  • A National Assessment Resource will help teachers to achieve greater consistency and understanding in their professional judgements.  There will also be a major focus on CPD to help teachers develop the skills required.

The document also contains information about the National Literacy qualifications being developed at

SCQF levels 3, 4, or 5. They will be available from S3 onwards and build on development of literacy and numeracy skills from earlier stages. Most young people will be presented for these qualifications before they leave school. The qualifications will be awarded on the basis of a portfolio of a learner’s work collected across a number of curriculum areas and  a range of contexts of learning, life and work and will involve external marking by SQA. The qualifications will be flexible to meet the needs of all learners including adult learners in colleges and other settings.

Something to look out for and hopefully influence.

According to the Assessment for Curriculum for Excellence website where there is a link to the Strategic Vision

Later this year, the Scottish Government will publish a Framework for Assessment as part of the Building the Curriculum series which will provide guidance and support to ensure that arrangements for assessment, at all levels of the educational community, support the values, purposes and principles of Curriculum for Excellence and build on the Assessment is for Learning programme.  The Scottish Survey of Achievement will also be redesigned to provide more information about young people’s literacy and numeracy skills.

The website also has a link to an Assessment strategy questions and answers PDF which contains 55 questions and answers. Including information that that they are “expecting schools and local authorities to develop their thinking about how they will work with the new standards and expectations over the course of this year” and that the “expectation is that from August 2010 assessment will be elated to the standards and expectations within the assesment framework”.

The Strategic vision document says that

The Framework for Assessment from 3 to 18 aims to create: 

  • a more effective assessment system which supports greater breadth and depth of learning and a greater focus on skills development
  • through collaborative working, a better-connected assessment system with better links between pre-school, primary and secondary schools, colleges and other settings to promote smooth transitions in learning 
  • better understanding of effective assessment practice and sharing of standards and expectations as well as more consistent assessment
  • more autonomy and professional responsibility for teachers.

2 thoughts on “Assessment for Curriculum for Excellence

  1. This is the sort of high flown rhetoric we have got used to from the Curriculum for Excellence team, but where is the evidence to back it up? “Assessment practices will follow and support the new curriculum. This will promote higher quality learning and teaching and give more autonomy and professional responsibility to teachers.” Maybe; maybe not. There are no examples of how this will happen and it would be premature to welcome this sort of announcement without seeing the practicalities.

  2. My intention was to report the announcement and extract certain items for information from the publication so that school librarians or other interested parties could be informed and hopefully contribute any ideas, thoughts etc to the assessment process and / or their teacher colleagues with regard to the information / critical literacy skills within the CfE Literacy across learning Experiences and Outcomes.

    Maybe in this way examples will be developed by practitioners collaboratively.

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