National Qualifications Assessment Arrangements 2020-21

Dear Parents and Students

Please find below an outline of our assessment arrangements for session 2020-21.

National 4

As in previous years, National 4 qualifications will be assessed internally. However, there has been some reduction in course and assessment content, in recognition of current circumstances. Teachers will set assessments at appropriate points in the year, ensuring that students are ready and that they have prior notice of assessment dates.

National 5

This year, there will be no external assessment at National 5. This means that evidence will be collected internally by the class teacher and candidates will demonstrate their level through completion of internally assessed pieces of work. Although the nature of internal assessment will vary from subject to subject, our principles for National 5 assessment should be applied consistently.

Principles for Assessment

  • Students should not be disadvantaged by the current situation nor by the more limited experience they have received this year and last
  • Students should be given every chance to succeed in planned assessment
  • The school must take steps to avoid too great a burden being placed on students by distributing assessment as far as reasonably possible
  • We should give students sufficient warning of larger, important pieces of assessment which will count towards their final grade.

In arriving at a final estimate, the school will:

  • Consider the learner’s journey in its entirety, including a focus on performance at key assessment points
  • Draw on a range of evidence, rather than relying solely on a one-off assessment, while understanding that larger pieces of formal assessment will carry more weight
  • Apply the criteria, outlined by the SQA, in arriving at a judgement
  • Validate judgements through a process of quality assurance at departmental, whole-school and authority level.

Next week, we will share the dates of 3 formal assessment blocks which will be used to gather larger pieces of assessment evidence. Some subjects will use all three assessment blocks while others may require less than this, depending on individual requirements.

Higher and Advanced Higher

Although some practical exams have been cancelled (for example in Music, Dance and Drama) Higher and Advanced Higher exams are currently scheduled to go ahead this year. The SQA Exam diet will begin on Monday 10th May and run to Friday 4th June 2021. A final decision on whether this exam diet will go ahead will be made, by the SQA and Scottish Government in February. The timetable for the 2021 SQA exams is now available on the SQA website at the following address.

https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/41619.html

Higher and Advanced Higher Formal Assessment (previously referred to as Prelims)

We are planning a two-week formal assessment diet from 11th to 22nd January. Details of this will also be shared next week.

Thanks and best wishes.

Stephen Rafferty

Head Teacher

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