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CURRICULUM FOR EXCELLENCE DRAFT EXPERIENCES AND OUTCOMES

Collection, analysis and reporting of data Final Report

7th January 2009


The Research Team The University of Glasgow research team responsible for producing this report consists of: Co-directors: Prof Vivienne Baumfield Prof Kay Livingston Prof Ian Menter Coordinator: Dr Moira Hulme Data manager: Dr Alison Devlin SCRE Centre: Dr Dely Elliot Mr Stuart Hall Mr Jon Lewin Mr Kevin Lowden Contact: i.menter@educ.gla.ac.uk 0141 330 3480 or m.hulme@educ.gla.ac.uk 0141 330 3411

Acknowledgements The research team gratefully acknowledges the support of many colleagues at LTS in providing much of the data for analysis. The greatest thanks go to the many individuals, groups and organisations that have provided the data on which this report is based, whether through reporting on trials, completing questionnaires, taking part in focus groups or undertaking interviews.

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Contents Executive summary ........................................................................................................ 5 1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Introduction .................................................................................................................. 9 1.1.

Background............................................................................................................ 9

1.2.

Engagement strategy........................................................................................... 10

1.3.

Structure of the report .......................................................................................... 11

Summary of methodology ......................................................................................... 13 2.1.

Introduction .......................................................................................................... 13

2.2.

Online Questionnaire ........................................................................................... 13

2.3.

Trialling Feedback................................................................................................ 13

2.4.

Focus Groups ...................................................................................................... 14

2.5.

Pupil engagement strand ..................................................................................... 15

2.6.

Interviews............................................................................................................. 16

2.7.

Other sources of feedback ................................................................................... 16

2.8.

Data analysis ....................................................................................................... 16

2.9.

Summary ............................................................................................................. 17

Teachers’ perspectives.............................................................................................. 19 3.1.

Introduction .......................................................................................................... 19

3.2.

Professional judgement........................................................................................ 19

3.3.

Leadership and CPD............................................................................................ 21

3.4.

Assessment and pedagogy.................................................................................. 24

3.5.

Making connections across the curriculum........................................................... 28

3.6.

Summary ............................................................................................................. 32

Local authority perspectives ..................................................................................... 33 4.1.

Introduction .......................................................................................................... 33

4.2.

Assessment ......................................................................................................... 33

4.3.

Exemplification and explanation........................................................................... 34

4.4.

Primary school readiness..................................................................................... 39

4.5.

Secondary school readiness ................................................................................ 40

4.6.

Flexibility in building the curriculum ...................................................................... 41

4.7.

Local authority support for schools....................................................................... 42

4.8.

Summary ............................................................................................................. 46

Colleges and Higher Education Institutions............................................................. 48 5.1.

Introduction .......................................................................................................... 48

5.2.

Colleges............................................................................................................... 48

5.3.

Higher Education Institutions................................................................................ 51

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5.4. 6.

Summary ............................................................................................................. 54

Professional associations, learned societies and voluntary organisations .......... 56 6.1.

Introduction .......................................................................................................... 56

6.2.

Professional associations and learned societies .................................................. 56

6.3.

Voluntary groups.................................................................................................. 62

6.4.

Summary ............................................................................................................. 65

7.

Parents’ and employers’ perspectives ..................................................................... 66 7.1.

Introduction .......................................................................................................... 66

7.2.

Parents ................................................................................................................ 66

7.3.

Employers............................................................................................................ 70

7.4.

Summary ............................................................................................................. 74

8.

Pupils’ Perspectives .................................................................................................. 76 8.1.

Introduction .......................................................................................................... 76

8.2.

Focus group discussions...................................................................................... 76

8.3.

Additional engagement methods.......................................................................... 76

8.4.

Pupil focus groups - views and perceptions of learning ........................................ 77

8.5.

Summary ............................................................................................................. 86

9.

Review of the data...................................................................................................... 88 9.1.

Introduction .......................................................................................................... 88

9.2.

Teachers’ feedback in relation to draft sets of Experiences and Outcomes.......... 88

9.3.

Comparison of perspectives................................................................................. 91

9.3.1.

Local authorities............................................................................................... 91

9.3.2.

Further education ............................................................................................. 93

9.3.3.

Voluntary sector ............................................................................................... 95

9.3.4.

Universities ...................................................................................................... 97

9.3.5.

Teacher education ........................................................................................... 99

9.4. 10.

Summary ........................................................................................................... 100 Review of the process ......................................................................................... 103

10.1.

Introduction ........................................................................................................ 103

10.2.

The Engagement Process.................................................................................. 103

10.3.

Review of Progress............................................................................................ 103

10.4.

Views on engagement process drawn from stakeholder focus groups ............... 104

10.5.

Local authority views of engagement process drawn from telephone interviews 107

10.6.

Teacher views on the engagement process drawn from the questionnaires....... 111

10.7.

LTS Team Leaders views on engagement drawn from focus group data ........... 114

10.8.

Views on engagement provided in additional supporting documentation............ 116

10.9.

Summary ........................................................................................................... 118

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11.

The Way Forward: implementation of Curriculum for Excellence.................... 120

11.1.

Introduction ........................................................................................................ 120

11.2.

The alignment of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment................................... 120

11.3.

CPD for teachers and others.............................................................................. 120

11.4.

Local support ..................................................................................................... 121

11.5.

National support................................................................................................. 121

11.6.

Leadership ......................................................................................................... 122

11.7.

Ongoing review and development...................................................................... 122

11.8.

Conclusion ......................................................................................................... 122

References................................................................................................................. 124 Appendix One: Online and Trialling Questionnaires by Curriculum Area .................... 125 Appendix Two: Sources of data.................................................................................. 132 Appendix Three: Log of non-standard documents submitted for consideration........... 136 Annex Separate Volume of further appendices: Research instruments

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Executive summary 1. This report contains the findings of a study commissioned from the University of Glasgow by Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) to collect, collate, analyse and report data on the Curriculum for Excellence Draft Experiences and Outcomes (January-November 2008). An Interim Report presented in August 2008 covered the first ten sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes that were published between November 2007 and February 2008 and a Supplementary Report presented in December 2008 covered the final four sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes that were published between April and May 2008. Throughout the engagement period LTS, in partnership with the Scottish Government and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education (HMIe), has encouraged feedback on Curriculum for Excellence. In addition to questionnaires, interviews and focus group discussions, documents, letters and reports submitted to LTS in response to the publication of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes were made available to the university team and were considered within this review. 2. The engagement strategy encouraged participation from a wide range of stakeholders. 1,762 questionnaires were received in response to the Draft Experiences and Outcomes following their phased release. This total includes responses submitted on behalf of individuals and groups and therefore underestimates the total number of people contributing. 256 trialling questionnaires were returned from schools participating in the official trialling process. These were supplemented by 127 trialling visit proforma completed by LTS personnel. A total of 241 participants took part in twenty focus group discussions on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes for each area of the curriculum. 118 representatives from other key stakeholder groups participated in a further 17 focus groups, including parents, pupils, employers, voluntary groups, further and higher education. In addition, the University Research Team received 133 documents submitted by groups and individuals in response to the publication of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. 3. A comparison of findings from an analysis of the three main data sources – questionnaires, trialling feedback and focus groups - was undertaken in relation to all 14 sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes. The reliability of findings and the strength of the emergent cross-cutting themes were tested through triangulation. Throughout this process the research team was attentive in the search for divergent cases and sensitive to the issue of ‘weighting’. Whilst it is not appropriate to engage in statistical calculation of weighting in this study, consistent efforts have been made to indicate the strength and provenance of responses throughout the report. All feedback from a wide range of stakeholders has been included in the analysis and equal consideration has been afforded to the perspectives of individuals, groups or organisations. 4. In feedback across all fourteen areas of the curriculum, participants welcomed the ‘openness’ or ‘flexibility’ of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. Teachers, school leaders and local authority officers identified moves towards greater flexibility as potentially ‘re-professionalising’, within the context of further guidance. The ‘strength’ of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes was concurrently perceived as a ‘weakness’. Teachers welcomed opportunities to exercise professional judgement but within a supportive framework of clear expectations. Concern was repeatedly expressed by many teachers that the Draft Experiences and Outcomes, in general, were ‘vague’, ‘woolly’ or ‘unclear’ on their first attempts at interpretation. However, the levels of concern expressed by teachers who had been involved in the formal trialling process

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were substantially lower, perhaps indicating the benefits of enhanced support in periods of sustained engagement. 5. The teaching profession expressed greatest concern in relation to progression. Across the focus group transcripts and questionnaire datasets, teachers requested further information to support assessment decisions. A lack of confidence was expressed in the Draft Experiences and Outcomes as ‘the basis of planning how children and young people will progress in their learning’. This was particularly marked in relation to mathematics, science, numeracy, technologies and RME. Teachers sought further detail to support professional judgments about pupil progress within and between the wider levels in the draft documents. Concern was expressed regarding consistency in teachers’ interpretation of standards in the same department/faculty/stage or school and across schools, regionally and nationally. School professionals anticipated a need to develop robust systems to monitor progression effectively. This was often expressed in relation to providing reliable information at key transition points. A concern with progression was frequently associated with, and compounded by, uncertainty about future assessment arrangements following the consultation on the next generation of national qualifications in Scotland. 6. In terms of professional development needs, additional training was frequently requested to support non-specialist or less experienced teachers in primary schools, especially in relation to science, expressive arts and physical education. Additional support and opportunities for collaboration were requested to prepare teachers to address core areas of the curriculum that are the responsibility of all teachers: literacy, numeracy and aspects of health and well-being (and Religious Education in Catholic Schools). School professionals and local authority officers identified a need for dedicated time to develop greater awareness and to support systematic whole school planning. In addition, it was suggested that school leaders needed continuing support in building curriculum structures to realise the principles of Curriculum for Excellence. 7. Some questions remained in relation to specific areas of the curriculum. These included: the positioning of literacy within the literacy and English framework only; suggested significant omissions in the health and wellbeing Draft Experiences and Outcomes (identified by health improvement agencies); concern about the privileging of Christianity in RME; and the place afforded to the study of other world religions within Religious Education for Catholic Schools. Teachers and other informed stakeholders expressed serious misgivings about the capacity of the draft science Experiences and Outcomes to support conceptual development. 8. Feedback from other providers of education services indicates areas of shared interest and some shared areas of concern. Accounts from local authority officers brought into sharp focus some of the key tensions and challenges involved in preparing for full implementation. Significant amongst these challenges is the issue of providing additional support without constraining creativity and professional responsibility for local interpretation. Feedback from officers across the 32 local authorities suggests a need for further explanation as well as detailed exemplification (that is, explanation that would support local deliberation by teachers). From a position of oversight of a range of different settings, local authority officers identified a need to weave together different policy threads to present a coherent narrative for the profession. This included efforts to align expectations of attainment with expectations of methodologies conducive to the development of critical thinking and problem solving capabilities.

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9. The perspectives of representatives from further education colleges, universities and the voluntary sector affirmed a need for integrated approaches within the extended engagement process. Common threads for colleges and universities included a focus on improved transition across sectors, the recognition of wider achievement, a shared emphasis on literacy, numeracy and communication skills and the promotion of enhanced choice for learners. Representatives from further education colleges were supportive of the need to provide opportunities to support the development of learners who are not only successful but also confident. Educators within the postcompulsory sector identified clear links with the More Choices, More Chances policy agenda and welcomed the attention afforded to literacy and numeracy across the school curriculum. It was acknowledged that further and higher education faced comparable challenges in coordinating support for the development of core/transferable or employability skills across existing course provision. It was noted that opportunities for personalisation within post-compulsory education revolved around course selection, rather than different rates of progression through assessed courses. 10. Contributions from further and higher education brought to the fore the issue of personal agency when approaching curriculum reform. College representatives noted that strong subject demarcations could be drawn by both tutors and learners and that learners made strategic choices in assigning priorities, irrespective of principles expressed in curriculum papers. University tutors reflected on the persistence of discipline ‘silos’ in higher education as a potential inhibitor of interdisciplinary learning. These accounts emphasised the importance of consistent approaches across the curriculum and across sectors of education (3-18 plus) and the importance of communicating intentions to learners. Participants in the Deans of Education focus group emphasised the role of teachers as mediators of policy intentions, enacting the Curriculum for Excellence in the context of day-to-day classroom practice. 11. The voluntary sector emphasised their considerable experience in working across professional boundaries and in providing alternative opportunities outside formal classroom settings for learners whose needs are not currently met within conventional education settings. Several voluntary sector organisations were responding to national priorities for early intervention and prevention in working with children and young people at an earlier stage (from late primary onwards). The voluntary sector offered specialist expertise in resource development and through consultancy and CPD provision and sought further opportunities for constructive engagement. 12. This review of data has identified a number of core issues and cross-cutting themes. Uppermost among these is a concern with progression and the need to achieve an appropriate balance between explanation and exemplification; one that does not strip out the ‘re-professionalising’ potential contained in the emphasis placed on professional judgement in the proposed curriculum framework. A concern with improved transition, the promotion of connections across the curriculum and the development of methodologies to promote active learning, collaborative work and critical thinking were welcomed by practitioners across the sectors of education. The feedback from stakeholders acknowledges the benefits of closer cooperation between sectors in addressing national policy priorities. 13. Responses to the various engagement activities following the release and trialling of the draft sets of Experiences and Outcomes increased in volume as the process progressed and actual involvement in the trialling of the reforms tended to lead to much more positive engagement. LTS has responded to practitioners and stakeholders’ comments and the engagement process has developed and expanded

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since its inception. However, some stakeholders felt that they had not been sufficiently involved in the process, particularly the colleges and the faculties of education. The engagement process did provide individuals and groups with the opportunity to feed back views about the Draft Experiences and Outcomes but it was suggested that engagement needs to involve more than this. A number of views were expressed indicating that thinking, discussion, trialling and reflection also needs to include pedagogy and that teachers should be engaging in testing the ‘how’ and not just providing feedback about the ‘what’. It was also suggested that professional development should have been a key part of the engagement process. Teachers should have had opportunities to think about and try out new ways of working and exchange ideas and practice with colleagues from the outset of the engagement process. Use could be made of GLOW to provide opportunity for teachers to work in communities of practice and reflect together on how they realise the four capacities and the contribution that the Experiences and Outcomes can make. More opportunities could be made available for partnership working across stakeholder groups to discuss, share and extend the contribution of different groups to Curriculum for Excellence. The feedback from the local authorities indicated that the engagement process had differed across the authorities. The methods used to trial the Experiences and Outcomes, support the teachers in the process and provide feedback was different. It was not suggested that differences in approaches in the local authorities were problematic but it highlighted the need to find a balance between freedom to develop and interpret curriculum guidance according to local needs and a national framework to maintain an excellent system of education across Scotland. 14. In collecting, analysing and reporting the data that have been generated over the past year in relation to the Draft Experiences and Outcomes, it is apparent that there is a wide range of views concerning the development of a Curriculum for Excellence. The process of engagement itself has demonstrated how those charged with developing the statements have been able to learn from each other and to respond to the feedback that has been generated. Throughout the process there does appear to have been a growing sense of confidence that the increased flexibility and openness of the approach taken is seen as an opportunity for increasing professional engagement by all concerned. There is also recognition that pupils themselves can play a part in curriculum development. 15. In identifying the five broad themes to guide future activity, the authors of this report have sought to prioritise what amount to key principles for ongoing successful implementation and development of a Curriculum for Excellence. It is important that an alignment between curriculum, pedagogy and assessment is prioritized. Teachers will be at the centre of the process and so must be provided with the professional development support that will give them confidence in taking increased responsibility. This support will need to be provided at local and national levels and by providers of teacher education. Leadership in curriculum development becomes a responsibility for all and it is very important that discussions and debate continue as part of the process of continuing development of the curriculum.

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1. Introduction This report contains the findings of a study conducted by the University of Glasgow to collect, collate, analyse and report data on the Curriculum for Excellence Draft Experiences and Outcomes (January-November 2008). An Interim Report presented in August 2008 covered the first ten sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes that were published between November 2007 and February 2008. A Supplementary Report presented in December 2008 covered the final four sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes that were published between April and May 2008. This report now provides an analysis and review of all the data that were gathered throughout the full period. This introduction provides some background information that contextualises the work reported later. The structure of this report and its supplement is then outlined, before the methodology for the study as a whole is described. 1.1.

Background

Following the National Debate on Education (2002), the Scottish Executive Education Department (now the Scottish Government) convened a Curriculum Review Group (2003) to consider the aims and purposes of education for the 3-18 age range. The review process was informed by the following priorities identified in the National Debate: • • • • • • • •

Reduce overcrowding in the curriculum. Make learning more enjoyable. Make better connections between the stages in the curriculum from 3 to 18. Achieve a better balance between 'academic' and 'vocational' subjects. Broaden the range of learning experiences for young people. Equip young people with the skills they need now and in future employment. Make sure that approaches to assessment and certification support learning. Offer more choice to meet the needs of individual young people (LTS, 20081).

The work of the Review Group culminated in the publication in November 2004 of a proposed Curriculum for Excellence offering a single curriculum throughout the early years, primary and secondary school (across the 3-18 age range). The revised curriculum sought to: • • •

achieve clearly defined rounded outcomes for young people; smoother transition between different stages of education, especially the entry to formal primary schooling; offer new choice, space and time within the curriculum to teachers and schools to design learning to suit the needs of young people (SEED, 2004:142).

Through the progressive implementation of a Curriculum for Excellence all young people would be supported to become: successful learners, effective contributors, responsible citizens and confident individuals. A Curriculum Review Programme Board subsequently embarked on a three-year development programme (2004-07) to map the overall architecture of the revised curriculum, a process that included small-scale practitioner engagement (2005-06). A Curriculum for Excellence Progress and Proposals was published in March 2006. Draft Experiences and Outcomes for each curriculum area were released in stages from November 2007 until May 1

Curriculum for Excellence: Background. National Debate on Education. [Online] http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence/whatiscfe/background.asp 2 SEED (2004) Ambitious Excellent Schools, Edinburgh, Scottish Executive.

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20083, accompanied by an engagement strategy to afford opportunities for feedback from the main stakeholder groups – teachers, parents, employers and representatives from local authorities, colleges and universities (November 2007-December 2008). 1.2.

Engagement strategy

This report draws on data gathered between November 2007 and November 2008 as part of the engagement strategy in preparation for full implementation of Curriculum for Excellence. There are two main strands to this enquiry. The first relates to data gathered to establish whether the Draft Experiences and Outcomes are clear and can be used by practitioners to build on current good practice, contributing to the intentions of Curriculum for Excellence. Following the release of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes, feedback was obtained via online questionnaires, school trialling proforma, feedback from CPD events and focus groups convened to discuss each of the 14 sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes (see table 1 for the feedback calendar). The purpose of the trialling was to provide feedback on significant subsets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes to inform revision and refinement; and the identification of good practice for future exemplification and development. The formal trialling process was intended to involve a series of pilots conducted in a range of classroom settings across all sectors over a six-month period – one month for preparation and planning, four months working with a selection of Draft Experiences and Outcomes which could be accommodated within existing curriculum plans (implementation), and one month for reviewing and reporting. This strand also contained telephone interviews with local authority personnel, who provided additional information and feedback on the trialling process. Further contextual data was provided by a focus group involving Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) personnel: team leaders from each of the areas of the curriculum. Table 1: Draft Experiences and Outcomes

Feedback process November 2007 – June 2008 Science, Numeracy and Modern Languages December 2007 – June 2008 Mathematics, Classical Languages and Gaelic Learners January – June 2008 Expressive Arts and Social Studies February – June 2008 English and Literacy and Gaidhlig and Literacy April – November 2008 Technologies May – November 2008 Health and Well-Being Religious and Moral Education Religious Education in Roman Catholic Schools July 2008 LTS team leaders focus group August – October 2008 Local authority telephone interviews

3

The Draft Experiences and Outcomes for each curriculum area are available for download at: http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence/outcomes/

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A second strand of data gathering extended beyond school leaders and teachers to encompass a wide range of other key stakeholders (see table 2 below). A stated intention of the engagement strategy was to involve all those who have an interest in the education of Scotland’s children and young people. Additional feedback was sought through the development of a pupil engagement strand and a series of regional events and focus groups to elicit the perspectives of other interested parties including parents, employers, voluntary groups, further education and universities. Table 2: additional engagement: non-curriculum area

Feedback process September – October 2008 Regional events: pupils, parents and employers September – November 2008 Pupil engagement strand October – November 2008 Focus groups: voluntary groups, colleges of further education and universities.

Throughout the engagement period LTS, in partnership with the Scottish Government HMIe, has encouraged feedback on Curriculum for Excellence. Documents, letters reports submitted to LTS in response to the publication of the Draft Experiences Outcomes were made available to the university team and were considered within review. 1.3.

and and and this

Structure of the report

The Interim Report focused on the first ten sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes (University of Glasgow, 2008): Science; Numeracy; Modern Languages; Mathematics; Classical Languages; Gaelic Learners; Expressive Arts; Social Studies; Literacy and English; and Literacy and Gaidhlig. Throughout that document, reporting of key messages was organised according to four guiding themes specified by LTS at a Steering Group meeting held on 1st June 2008. These are: • • • •

CPD requirement Exemplification Further elaboration Re-write/edit.

In a supplement to the present report the remaining four sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes are treated in the same way: Technologies, Health and Well-Being, Religious and Moral Education and Religious Education in Roman Catholic Schools. In this final report, in the section that follows we set out the methodology that was deployed for the project as a whole. There are then three sections dealing respectively with the perspectives of teachers (including headteachers, deputes and principal teachers), local authorities, colleges and higher education institutions. The following section distils key messages to emerge from responses received from professional associations, learned societies and voluntary organisations. The remaining sections report the perspectives of parents, employers and pupils, largely gathered at four regional events organised by LTS. The data upon which these six sections are based were collected in a variety of ways but

11


include focus groups, questionnaires and interviews. Each of these sections is seeking to distil a massive range of data and full details of the range of material reviewed and analysed is provided in appendices. Having reviewed the whole range of perspectives on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes, Section 9 provides a distillation in order to identify cross-cutting themes. Section 10 reviews the process of data collection, analysis and reporting and reviews the engagement process. The final section draws on the analysis and review of all the data presented in the preceding sections to suggest a number of ‘ways forward’, in relation to such matters as CPD provision for teachers and other education staff, leadership, local and national support structures and the need for ongoing review and development as the Curriculum for Excellence is implemented.

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2. Summary of methodology 2.1.

Introduction

A range of data was collected by a variety of mechanisms including online questionnaires, trialling feedback, focus groups and telephone interviews. These data were analysed using different methods including Excel and NVivo. LTS also made available a range of supplementary material received from, for example, professional bodies and subject associations. Points raised in these submissions have been incorporated in this report where appropriate (full details of documents submitted can be found in appendix two, sources of data). Using a number of research instruments and processes for each set of Draft Experiences and Outcomes afforded attention to a diversity of views and yielded a wide range of data on both the quantitative and the qualitative aspects of the research. The wide range of data sources and the availability of different types of data made the triangulation of findings possible. The availability of varied data in numerous forms is a strength of the methodology adopted for this research. 2.2.

Online Questionnaire

An online questionnaire was designed by LTS to gather feedback following the release of each set of Draft Experiences and Outcomes. The questionnaire included a combination of open and closed questions and could be submitted in paper or online format. The questionnaires were made available on the Curriculum for Excellence website and datasets of responses transferred to the University of Glasgow on a monthly basis. Questionnaire responses to the publication of the first ten sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes closed on 4th July 2008. 1,107 submissions were received in paper and electronic form across the ten areas of the curriculum (see appendix one). The closing date for the remaining four sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes was 30th November 2008. 655 submissions were received for these areas, making a grand total of 1,762. Some caution should be exercised when interpreting the quantitative elements of the questionnaire data. All data collected was included in the analysis but in some curriculum areas the response achieved was limited4, which meant that cross-tabulation, or other sophisticated data analysis further dividing the number according to key variables, was not possible as it would not produce any meaningful findings. Higher numbers of responses were achieved for some subjects, for example Science (n=316); however since the population is an unknown factor the research team could not establish whether the response rate for this subject is proportionate to its population when compared with other subject areas5. 2.3.

Trialling Feedback

LTS coordinated a process of trialling of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes in collaboration with local authorities and independent schools. The trialling process was launched in January 2008 with an event in Inverurie focusing on the draft science Experiences and Outcomes and further events for each curriculum area were subsequently conducted. Local authorities identified schools and pre-school establishments to take part in the trialling process. Each establishment involved in the trialling process was invited to share feedback (either group or individual) by completing a ‘trialling questionnaire’ that was available in both electronic and print form. All the trialling proforma were designed and 4

Taking into account the insight received from some of the focus group participants, it appeared that a large number of teachers were not aware of the existence of the online questionnaires. 5 In theory, it is possible that the response rate for a subject which only generated a small number of questionnaires is high because the entire population is also very small.

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distributed by LTS, who also organised the submission and transfer of data. Several of the questions used in the trialling specific questionnaires were the same as those used for the online curriculum area questionnaires that were available to all practitioners on the LTS website. The trialling feedback proforma, however, also addressed additional points, both general and curriculum area specific. Trialling feedback was shared with the research team through secure transfer of electronic datasets (online trialling questionnaire) and through coordinated exchange of print documents. 256 trialling questionnaires were submitted for analysis. Establishments involved in the trialling process elected to offer a range of different responses. The evidence shows that the online questionnaire was not the preferred method of responding. Response rates for the trialling questionnaires, organised by curriculum area, can be found in appendix one. Topline frequencies from the trialling questionnaire in each curriculum area can be found in appendix one. 2.4.

Focus Groups

One or more focus groups of ninety minutes duration were convened for each of the fourteen sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes in the Curriculum for Excellence (including four regional groups for both numeracy and literacy). The organisation of the focus groups, including participant selection, was managed by the university research team. In total, 241 participants took part in 20 curriculum area based focus groups. Participants were selected from the Curriculum for Excellence online ‘register of interest’ established by LTS for practitioners. This database was supplemented by contacts drawn from the teacher education network of the University of Glasgow to ensure adequate representation of teachers from early years, primary, secondary and special education settings, as well as subject association representatives and local authority officers. Crosssectoral groups were convened to accommodate discussion in the context of transition across the 3-18 age range. Initial invitations were issued via email, followed by telephone/email prompts to increase participation. On average the ratio of invitees to participants was 3:1. Details of the composition of the focus groups can be found in appendix two. A member of the university research team acted as the moderator for each of the focus groups. A topic guide6 employed by the moderators was constructed in consultation with partners in LTS. The questioning route opened with identification of participants’ current understanding and engagement with the Draft Experiences and Outcomes; and developed to promote discussion of the extent to which the revised guidance was likely to support reflection on current practice, strengthen cross-curricular links and enhance pupil motivation and engagement. Participants were also asked to identify any professional development issues arising from the proposed reform of the school curriculum and the implications of these in their current work context. During the later part of the project a further 14 focus groups were arranged in order to elicit the views of a range of other key stakeholders. These were as follows: • • •

Parents Employers Further education

6

Copies of all the research instruments, including focus group topic guides and questionnaires, are available in a separate annex to this report.

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• • • •

Directors of Teaching and Learning, Higher Education Institutions Deans of Teacher Education Voluntary groups Learning and Teaching Scotland personnel, members of the writing teams

A number of these groups – especially those for parents, employers and pupils were held in association with four regional events organised by LTS (convened in Dundee, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh between September and October 2008) to raise awareness and disseminate information about the proposals. A modified version of the topic guide was prepared for each session and the discussions were recorded, transcribed and analysed in much the same manner as the curriculum area based groups described above. 2.5.

Pupil engagement strand

The involvement of pupils was considered an important aspect of the engagement process, particularly in phase two (September - November 2008). LTS asserted the importance of involving children and young people in discussion of changes that affect them directly. To this end, LTS commissioned researchers from the SCRE Centre, University of Glasgow to conduct a review of data gathered from pupils through a number of channels in addition to those originally planned. The engagement strategy expanded from planned regional focus groups, to include feedback and materials generated in additional pupil workshops (e.g. facilitators’ discussion notes and materials produced by pupils) and questionnaire responses from young people. This was supplemented by trialling feedback relating to pupils’ experiences provided by LTS personnel completing trialling visit proforma. A total of 33 pupils participated in focus groups convened at four regional venues (September – October 2008). 30 responses were received to an online questionnaire for P6 to S6 pupils posted by LTS on the Young Scot7 website. 90 trialling visit proforma for the last four sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes recorded ‘pupil comments’ and general feedback from early years, primary and secondary pupils. The feedback obtained through group sessions (workshops) had a more varied audience: early years, primary, secondary, alternative provision, Additional Support Needs and college learners. The SCRE Centre undertook analysis and reporting of quantitative data and qualitative information generated through these methods. Whilst some advice from the researchers concerning the research instruments was sought, LTS took responsibility for producing the research instruments (e.g. questionnaire, group session schedules, proforma etc.), administering and collating data for analysis. It should be noted that the nature of the consultation questions for adult stakeholders enabled a more direct focus on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. For children and young people, the questions for discussion explored pupils’ broader understanding of Curriculum for Excellence and how their experience of school might address their needs. These data, while significant, form part of the wider context for curriculum change. The pupil engagement strand was not intended to provide feedback on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes to inform future revision and refinement, which is the main focus of the reports prepared on the basis of other data. 7

A national youth information and citizenship charity.

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Full details can be found in the SCRE Centre Report on Pupil Engagement, submitted in January 2009. A summary is provided in section 8 of this report. 2.6.

Interviews

The engagement strategy sought feedback from local authority personnel. 32 local authority officers (and a representative of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools, SCiS) participated in telephone interviews between August and November 2008. One key informant in each local authority was invited to take part in a semi-structured telephone interview. Interviewees were identified and approached by LTS. The interviews ranged from fifteen minutes to forty minutes duration. The interview guide was constructed in close collaboration with colleagues at LTS. The questions made reference to issues emerging from analysis of trialling feedback and addressed the four guiding themes specified by the Steering Group: CPD, exemplification, elaboration and re-write/edit. 2.7.

Other sources of feedback

In addition to the three main sources of data from school managers and teachers – questionnaires, trialling feedback and focus groups – the research team received a high volume of additional written feedback from a variety of sources. This included feedback from launch and CPD events (LTS Area Adviser cluster events and specialist events) organised by LTS to support engagement with the Draft Experiences and Outcomes; and submissions from events arising from inter-authority collaboration. Many organisations and individuals responded to positive encouragement to submit comments and feedback on Curriculum for Excellence. A wide range of interested bodies submitted feedback for consideration following the phased release of each set of Draft Experiences and Outcomes. These included formal submissions from within the profession for example through subject associations and other professional bodies, and submissions on behalf of individuals or small groups of practitioners who elected to respond in forms other than the standard questionnaire. Feedback was also received from health improvement agencies, faith groups, voluntary sector organisations, lobby groups (e.g. sustainable development), a learned society and a trade association (industry). Feedback was submitted in electronic and print forms, including email communication and a variety of non standard proforma. In total, 133 documents were submitted during the feedback period. 2.8.

Data analysis

Focus group discussions and interviews were audio recorded for full transcription with the informed consent of participants. Qualitative data analysis software, NVivo, was used to support analysis. The coding scheme applied to transcripts of the curriculum area focus groups was based on the four themes specified by LTS, which provided a simple structure: CPD requirement, exemplification, elaboration and re-write/edit. Under each of these lead headings, subheadings emerging from the analysis were added. The extracts selected for inclusion in this report are used to illustrate central issues. Care has been taken not to over-emphasise particularly strongly held minority views. Extracts were selected from a review of all segments of data coded at each of the four themes. The views of curriculum area specialists within the Faculty of Education, University of Glasgow were also sought on interpretation of (anonymised) focus group data as a further test of the reliability of the analysis. The involvement of educators with extensive professional experience in each of the curriculum areas, in addition to the research officers, further strengthens the warrant of the findings.

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Numerical data obtained from the online curriculum area questionnaires and trialling questionnaires were summarised using an Excel PivotTable. Manual data entry of all paper submissions was completed at the University. The respondents’ option to answer question items with pre-set Likert scale8 type responses (quantitative) as well as open-endedly (qualitative) led to some challenges for analysis. A large number of respondents provided their general perception when answering the first part of the question (Likert scale) and then elaborated on their responses by filling in the comments box. The nature of the questions presented to respondents may explain what, at times, appears to be a discrepancy between the generated quantitative and the qualitative questionnaire data. General expressions of agreement were often qualified by extended further comment on specific aspects. Consequently high levels of agreement are often underpinned by a series of reservations and calls for points of clarification. As the online questionnaires did not restrict participants from answering more than once, the datasets were carefully checked in order to eliminate any duplication of responses (manual and automatic checks). Evidence of a variety of different versions of the core trialling questionnaire precluded the combination of datasets for online and paper submissions. The frequency tables that appear in appendix one relate to the questions that are common across all the trialling questionnaire formats. Appendix one also contains a comparison of general responses offered through the online questionnaire that was open to all practitioners on the LTS website with responses from teachers who were involved in the formal trialling process. Finally, in relation to the submission of non standard documents, all written responses were reviewed and consideration given to their source, provenance, focus and tenor (the main characteristics of the nature of the comments on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes). A log of formal submissions (group and individual) appears in appendix three. Across the various strands of data – questionnaires, trialling feedback, focus groups and non standard documents - detailed comment in relation to specific outcomes was extracted and summarised in the Interim and Supplementary Reports (University of Glasgow, 2008). The findings for the first ten areas were drawn together in the Interim Report and the remaining four are summarised in the supplement to this final report. The major purpose of these summaries was to inform the groups tasked with revising and editing the Draft Experiences and Outcomes for their full publication in 2009. 2.9.

Summary

The engagement strategy encouraged participation from a wide range of stakeholders (see table 3 overleaf for a summary of responses). As noted above, 1,762 responses were received to the questionnaires on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes following their phased release. This total includes responses submitted on behalf of individuals and groups and therefore underestimates the numbers of contributors. 256 trialling questionnaires were returned from schools participating in the official trialling process. These were supplemented by 127 trialling visit proforma completed by LTS personnel. A total of 241 participants took part in twenty focus group discussions on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes for each area of the curriculum. 118 representatives from other key stakeholder groups participated in a further 17 focus groups, including parents, pupils, employers, voluntary groups, further and higher education. In addition, the University Research Team received 133 documents submitted by groups and individuals in response to the publication of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. 8

The scale includes 1 for strongly agree; 2 for agree; 3 for disagree, 4 for strongly disagree and 5 don’t know.

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Table 3: Sources of data

Questionnaire responses (individual and group): Experiences and Outcomes Trialling questionnaires from schools Trialling visit proforma from LTS Practitioner focus group participants: Experiences and Outcomes Focus group participants: other main stakeholders • Pupils • Parents • Employers • Voluntary groups • Further education colleges • Higher Education Institutions, including teacher education Local authority telephone interviews (and SCiS) Non standard documents (submitted on behalf of individuals and organisations)

1,762 256 127 241 33 27 22 12 12 12 33 133

A comparison of findings from analysis of the three main data sources – questionnaires, trialling feedback and focus groups - was undertaken in relation to all 14 sets of Experiences and Outcomes. The reliability of findings and the strength of the emergent cross-cutting themes were tested through triangulation. Throughout this process the research team was attentive in the search for divergent cases and sensitive to the issue of ‘weighting’. Whilst it is not appropriate to engage in statistical calculation of weighting in this study, consistent efforts have been made to indicate the strength and provenance of responses throughout the report. All feedback from a wide range of stakeholders has been included in the analysis and equal consideration has been afforded to the perspectives of individuals, groups or organisations.

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3. Teachers’ perspectives 3.1.

Introduction

This section offers a summary of teachers’ perspectives on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes of the Curriculum for Excellence. The findings presented here are based on data generated through curriculum area focus groups, trialling feedback and responses to online curriculum area questionnaires. This section does not address separate curriculum areas but reports key themes to emerge from synthesis of data across the three strands of data gathering that incorporate all fourteen sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes. A detailed summary of the key findings for each curriculum area, including comments and recommendations relating to specific outcomes, is contained in the Interim Report (submitted August 2008)9 and the Supplementary Report (submitted December 2008)10. The section is structured in four parts. The first part reports positive responses to enhanced opportunities for professional judgement, which are considered alongside concurrent calls for greater structure and further guidance. The second part addresses leadership and CPD requirements, including different forms of CPD and support for non-specialist teachers. The third part considers issues around assessment and pedagogy, particularly the implications of the ‘attainment agenda’ on secondary pedagogy. The fourth part examines the prospects for the promotion of interdisciplinary learning within Curriculum for Excellence. 3.2.

Professional judgement

Many teachers within the focus groups welcomed what they perceived to be a move away from a prescriptive approach that constrained teacher creativity. The philosophy and principles informing Curriculum for Excellence, as expressed in the cover paper that accompanied each set of Draft Experiences and Outcomes, were endorsed by teachers who participated in focus group discussions; although a minority did not always see a close alignment between the cover paper and the content of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. The greater scope for teacher autonomy and the exercise of informed professional judgement was frequently seen as re-professionalising, especially by teachers working in primary schools. It was acknowledged that the new flexibility brought its own challenges. As one headteacher commented, ‘As a profession I think this is our chance and we have to grasp it’ (Primary headteacher (Literacy and English) responding to the Draft Experiences and Outcomes). Curriculum for Excellence lets teachers put the art back into teaching. It lets them be creative and lets their personalities shine. (Primary headteacher, Numeracy) There is an awful lot more freedom for teachers. That’s the whole idea behind Curriculum for Excellence; you’re going to bring back professionalism so you have a model where you don’t have to exactly follow what the Council say in the planning. (Primary headteacher, Numeracy)

9

Collection, analysis and reporting of data on Curriculum for Excellence draft Experiences and Outcomes: Interim Report. Report submitted to Learning and Teaching Scotland. Available from: http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/Images/interim_report_Aug_2008_tcm4-501212.pdf 10 Which addresses Technologies, Religious and Moral Education, Religious Education in Catholic Schools and Health and Well Being.

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Focus group participants frequently noted ‘freedom’ and ‘flexibility’ within the Draft Experiences and Outcomes and associated this with enhanced levels of professional autonomy. It was suggested by senior managers within schools that the revised curriculum afforded scope for professional discretion and allowed school leaders to become more responsive to particular local circumstances. I thought there was a great deal of flexibility in them, to allow me and my school to really pursue things that we felt were relevant to our area and the kids in our school. Even looking at the Development Outcomes, to me there’s not a great deal of nitty gritty, which I think is actually a positive thing. I’m quite confident that we can develop courses that suit our needs at our different stages. (Principal teacher secondary, Social Studies).

It was acknowledged that greater scope for the exercise of professional judgement might present cultural challenges in the early stages of implementation as teachers adjusted to a less prescriptive curriculum model. For primary schools, Curriculum for Excellence was associated by very experienced teachers with a partial return to more integrated or holistic ways of working. It was suggested that the 5-14 curriculum was a ‘very rigid framework’ that encouraged primary schools to adopt the more subject-based orientation of secondary schools with allocations of time to particular ‘subjects’. It [Curriculum for Excellence] does allow staff to use their professionalism once again which I think had been removed largely from the door of the primary teachers by dint of very prescriptive schemes of work which practically told the teacher when to breathe in and when to breathe out… didn’t allow for individual needs of children and I would be very glad to see the back of that. (Primary depute headteacher, Numeracy).

Several participants identified a tension between a welcome (re-)introduction of professional autonomy and the removal of secure and familiar frameworks to govern action within both primary and secondary schools. A recurring theme in the focus groups was the dilemma posed by affording a greater degree of freedom where the parameters of professional responsibility had shifted towards the management of learning resources and environments for learning (curriculum delivery), rather than curriculum design (curriculum building). A lot of staff have lived through 5-14 and a lot of schools went down programmes of work. It’s quite scary for teachers now to think that they have got this freedom to plan. I want to give them that freedom, but I think we need some kind of skeleton there behind the skills progression. (Primary headteacher, Numeracy focus group) We’re so used to a set of guidelines for everything. We know them inside out and now that safety blanket is being taken away and we’ve been given this. I can see why. I understand it’s about vision. It’s about how you’re going to challenge youngsters for the future and prepare them. I can understand all that, but we do need some more specific framework. This is very general and it’s very vague. It’s very good but it isn’t as specific as we’ve been used to and I think it does pose problems for us. (Principal teacher secondary, English and Literacy)

Whilst teachers within the focus groups generally welcomed higher levels of discretion, there was some reluctance to become overly reliant on local judgement. A perceived lack of direction left many teachers unsure of how to proceed. Within the responses there is an implicit acknowledgement of the riskiness of autonomy and a sense of exposure to potential error by removal of the ‘safety blanket’ of prescription. Concern was expressed about ‘getting it wrong’ and the dangers of moving too far from the ‘comfort’ of ‘the measure’ within a wider framework of accountability.

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The key strength is also its key weakness. It’s flexibility - or vagueness, however you want to say it - that’s its key strength but at the same time we need a bit of reassurance of what we’re looking for. (Principal teacher secondary, Modern Languages) I love the creativity and the freedom that it brings but I worry that I am not seeing anything that gives me a level to which something is going to be measured. Everything we do is measured all the time. Everything has to be measurable, so I’m wondering what the balance is between active learning, creativity and freedom and ‘the measure’. I worry that initially people will go off and do their own thing and we’ll end up with a hundred versions and then you’re surprised when somebody comes in and measures it and says that’s not really what we meant. (Primary headteacher, Numeracy).

Focus group contributions suggest that not all school communities are equally enthusiastic about possibilities for leading and building a locally responsive curriculum. Initial reactions to the draft documents contained residual expectations of high levels of central direction and early stage anxiety at the absence of step-by-step guidance and exemplification, often referred to pejoratively as a ‘tick box’ mentality. A secondary depute noted, ‘We’re all waiting for it to be done for us. We’re looking for somebody to go through the process and then for us to have something to follow’ (numeracy group). In the extract below a primary school headteacher describes experiences of initial discomfort and then adjustment as teachers ‘unpack’ the Experiences and Outcomes presented in the draft documentation. When they first came out we looked at them and thought, “Woolly, woolly. What exactly does this mean? How are we meant to find the evidence?” It’s just getting your head round it and saying, “Right, we’re not going to have a set of tick boxes now.” It can go wider than that. We can create a curriculum that suits our children and our staff and use their strengths accordingly. Once we get away from the “I need a tick box, I need a bit of paper to prove I’ve done it”, then I think we’ll embrace it. (Primary headteacher, Literacy and English)

Across the range of curriculum areas, varied levels of confidence were expressed in relation to the capacity of the profession to take forward Curriculum for Excellence. Teachers with different levels of experience, and across the range of positions of seniority, were divided on the extent to which the Draft Experience and Outcomes presented sufficient structure to scaffold the required planning, monitoring and assessment. 3.3.

Leadership and CPD

Across the three strands of data gathering – focus groups, trialling feedback and questionnaires – teachers consistently identified a need for CPD and further exemplification through the production of resources and illustrative planners. Serious concern was expressed about variability in interpretation between individual teachers, departments/ faculties, schools and authorities. There was a strong call for high quality, nationally coordinated CPD delivered locally to promote engagement with the profession and the involvement of the profession in the formulation of local responses. To make any curriculum work the biggest investment must be ensuring that we have a highly trained and highly skilled teaching body. Without excellent teachers there will just be ‘A Curriculum’. Train, retrain, refresh skills, expect and receive high standards from our teachers. (Group response to the Mathematics questionnaire)

Several commentators reflected on the position of local authorities in relation to curriculum change. Participants noted the historic devolution of responsibility for the curriculum to local authorities, who are charged with formulating appropriate local responses to nationally identified priorities for education. Equally, participants noted the double devolution of

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responsibilities to school professionals to ‘unpack’ and collaborate on the revised curriculum at school, cluster and authority level. The process of desired change was typified as one of collaboration and partnership working at local level, rather than the ‘roll out’ of more traditional top-down modes of change. We don’t have a national education system in that it is not the responsibility of our national government to deliver education. It is the responsibility of the local authorities to provide education and it has been that way historically. I like the idea that the national Government is setting forward the things that really matter and are important. There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed but they need addressing by authorities and by teachers in schools working together. (Secondary Principal Teacher, Numeracy). The most depressing thing is when people say, ‘When will our local authority produce a new pack of resources?’ If a local authority produces a pack of resources it has entirely ignored the central point which was that each professional was going to reflect on what their individual school needed. CPD is not just required for school teachers, it is also required at a higher up level because in some areas of the country at local authority level they are already thinking ‘How do we do our collective response? What do we tell every school in our area they are going to do? How do we get a box set, a one size fits all approach?’ (Secondary Principal Teacher, Science).

The importance attached to collaboration with external partners at a local level was not always equally evident in descriptions of school level developments. There are clear implications for leadership in the enactment of Curriculum for Excellence. The focus group discussions contained references to a range of different approaches to professional learning and curriculum development in schools. Accounts offered by a small minority of secondary heads of department, suggest that changes to programmes of study and classroom practice may follow a conventional ‘cascade’ model, rather than develop from a process of school-led collaborative planning. A minority of comments retained the view that curriculum development was the responsibility of senior staff and could be ‘delivered through inservices’ to the wider teaching staff. To me it’s like driving a car, you know. I drive a car but I don’t build an engine. I’m asking teachers in my department to teach lessons. I’m not asking them to write courses at the minute. If that comes, I can write the courses. I can tell them what to teach next. (Secondary Principal Teacher, Maths). Surely it is up to management and a co-ordinator to train accordingly and then do a presentation to the rest of the staff to make sure they are aware and that they know that within this context that’s what you are doing and then marry that off with the resources within the school. (Secondary classteacher, Health and Well Being).

Other teachers described more collaborative forms of development that sprang from opportunities for dialogue with colleagues though a variety of channels and at different levels. These included inter-authority seminars, the activities of associated schools’ groups and the formation of in-school collegiate working groups. There was great enthusiasm for enhanced opportunities to participate in such activities in preparation for full implementation. Teachers involved in the formal trialling process appreciated the opportunity to reflect on current practice and experiment and/or plan for change. It’s not just the new teachers coming out; everybody is out of the comfort zone. No matter where you are in the chain, it’s new, and we really need to have massive support to go back and pick up the best aspects from teachers who have the experience in thematics and the new teachers coming out; and getting together and putting programmes in place that can help us get through this because it is not going to be a five minute thing. You need to really have a plan and support for this.

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(Primary depute headteacher, Literacy and English) I can see how much I have grown as a science teacher from getting the chance to get out of my four walls and see what is happening elsewhere. We all know what happens when you go on a course, you try it once, you come back and then little impetus for doing anything. It’s not that you don’t necessarily want to do, but you are then back and there’s no support there. We need to start supporting each other, cross-sector, cross-authority in order to make this work. (Secondary classteacher, Science).

Some teachers suggested that electronic resources available on the LTS website or the Journey to Excellence website were a useful starting point for reflection, to be developed further through critical dialogue with peers. Some of the stuff on the Journey to Excellence website is absolutely brilliant and it is having the time for teachers to actually go and discuss it, so it’s meaningful. Anybody can watch it on their own, but unless you have that collaborative view within your school, then it’s not going to impact on practice throughout the whole school. (Primary headteacher, Literacy and English)

Uppermost among teachers’ concerns was the need for time and space to support appropriate school-level development opportunities. This was frequently associated with ‘buy in’ or ‘ownership’ of expected revisions to practice. The credibility of proposed changes was associated with the degree of self-determination achieved by experienced teachers engaged in collaborative planning. Joint work was identified as a crucial element in working towards consistency in interpretation across the profession. Opportunities for school-wide planning were identified as a key aspect by respondents across the three sources of data – focus groups, trialling feedback and questionnaires. I think that opportunities for subject specialist teachers in Secondary schools to plan both interdepartmentally and with their linked primaries will be essential to ensure continuity of learning and non-repetition for pupils … Management teams in schools will require advice on how to set up effective systems of monitoring and tracking pupil progress and assisting class teachers in planning the learning experiences for pupils. Dedicated budgeting and time management will be required to provide realistic and effective planning opportunities both in individual schools and across Learning Communities. (Primary principal teacher, numeracy trialling feedback) The vagueness of the outcomes, and a lack of exemplars, will not ensure consistency across schools. Individual departments and schools will determine the intent of each outcome (what and how to deliver) and therein lies the problem of consistency between the levels and across schools. Careful planning will need to be facilitated with adequate time allowances and funding for resource development. The outcomes alone will not provide opportunities to promote good teaching; quality professional development and the aforementioned time and budget will also be essential. (Numeracy questionnaire response)

Progression was the area that attracted most negative feedback and calls for further guidance and greater clarity. A high level of negative feedback was received in response to the statement, ‘Overall, the Draft Experiences and Outcomes provide a good basis for planning how children and young people will progress in their learning’. Highest levels of disagreement were expressed in relation to Mathematics, Science, Technologies and RME. Whilst the response rates are small in comparison with the teaching population in these areas, it is nevertheless noteworthy that more negative than positive responses were received (complete details of responses to the online questionnaires are contained in the Interim and Supplementary Reports). In response to this question in the Mathematics questionnaire, based on 130 responses, 65% (n=84) either disagreed (39, 30%) or strongly disagreed (45, 35%). For Science, based on 314 responses, 57% (n=178) either disagreed (94, 30%) or strongly disagreed (84, 27%). For Technologies, based on 289 responses, 52% 23


(n=152) either disagreed (93, 32%) or strongly disagreed (59, 20%). For Religious and Moral Education, based on 54 responses, 54% (n=29) either disagreed (10, 19%) or strongly disagreed (19, 35%). In general, higher levels of agreement were expressed by teachers involved in the formal trialling process. This reflects the importance of sustained engagement in the classroom in order to unpack and experiment with the Draft Experiences. The level of engagement with the draft sets of Experiences and Outcomes in the context of classroom practice for respondents to the online questionnaire on the LTS website is not known and is likely to vary. There is some evidence (see local authority section 5) that teachers involved in formal trialling are more likely to be volunteers or ‘enthusiasts’, as well as receiving support from LTS regional advisers and/or local authority personnel. It should also be noted that whilst trialling respondents expressed higher levels of agreement with all the statements presented in the trialling questionnaire (quantitative responses), there was a high degree of consistency between comments offered in both the online curriculum area questionnaires and the trialling questionnaires (qualitative responses). The number of trialling respondents was much lower than the number of respondents to the general questionnaire for each of the fourteen sets of Experiences and Outcomes. The very high negative response rate recorded in the online questionnaires for Mathematics, Science, Technologies and RME was not reflected in the trialling feedback. Of the 47 respondents to the trialling questionnaire for Science, 21% (n=10) either disagreed or strongly disagreed that the Experiences and Outcomes provided ‘a good basis for planning how children and young people will progress in their learning’. Only 7 teachers returned trialling questionnaires for Mathematics of which 2 strongly disagreed; only 8 teachers submitted trialling questionnaires for Technologies of which one disagreed; and for RME none of the 7 participating teachers offered a negative response to this question. It is also worth noting that responses to the questionnaire do not provide information on respondents understanding of the concept of progression. As Christie and Boyd (2005:3) note, ‘The concept of progression is not well understood…focusing on progression tends to drive thinking about the curriculum into a linear mode, which fails to reflect the true complexity and multi-dimensional nature of learning’. It is nevertheless clear from feedback from the profession that there are serious concerns about the capacity of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes to support teachers in planning for full implementation. 3.4.

Assessment and pedagogy

Focus group participants generally welcomed the emphasis on ‘methodologies’ in the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. Often, attention to the processes of teaching and learning was contrasted favourably with a perception of escalating pressures for demonstrable gains in attainment in both primary and secondary schools. We’re constantly getting pushed by the Scottish Government to attain, attain, attain; push, push, push. Here are these new levels coming in, the new stages. After a few years are we going to be pushing that as well? Are they going to let us embed it or when HMI come in are they going to be saying, how many pupils have you got through first stage, before Primary One? They never let us be. It’s just constant push. (Primary Headteacher, Numeracy) The attainment side of it, you just can’t escape it. It’s like a big wall. You’re always thinking how’s this going to match up? (Secondary Principal Teacher, English and Literacy)

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Focus groups participants frequently described a ‘methodological shift’ required to support Curriculum for Excellence. Several contributors noted the significance of the Assessment is for Learning (AifL) programme in preparing the ground for the revised curriculum. It’s not just about laying out the syllabus for the teacher. It’s more about the stepping stones for the young person…but I think the methodological shift is there if schools are committed to AifL. (Secondary headteacher, Numeracy) I don’t think you could have Curriculum for Excellence without AifL. You can’t have a new curriculum and then try to force that into an old form of assessment. I think that this curriculum will need to have a new way to assess - reform of assessment. (Secondary classteacher, Religious Education in Roman Catholic Schools)

Some teachers acknowledged that Curriculum for Excellence would challenge teachers to promote higher levels of active engagement through collaborative and cooperative learning, which would require enhanced skills, a commitment to enquiry and a more facilitative style. Colleagues whose teaching style favoured didactic techniques informed by a transmission model of learning would face particular challenges in extending their repertoire. Whilst promoting more active and experiential learning, teachers welcomed the flexibility to select teaching and learning approaches tailored to specific needs. The hardest thing for any teacher in Curriculum for Excellence is giving up that power and letting the children discover and learn for themselves in as many different activities as you can provide for them. They will learn more and remember it for longer if they have discovered it themselves. So the day of standing in front of a board and talking at children all the time is gone. (Primary headteacher, Religious Education in Roman Catholic Schools) Its strength is the fact that it doesn’t prescribe certain methodology. In actual fact, it gives a goal that leaves it open for an imaginative and varied approach which could be differentiated to different groups with different background experiences. (Classteacher secondary, RE (denominational).

A small minority of focus group participants voiced some concern about the readiness of the profession to undertake the pedagogical shift required by Curriculum for Excellence. These contributors suggested that sustained support was needed to build ‘confidence’ and were cautious about the impact of recent developments. These extracts indicate uneven rates of progress and may indicate some divergence between publicly professed commitments (‘espoused theories’) and formal records of practice and how practice is actually informed (Argyris and Schon, 1978). I hear a lot of talk about formative assessment but when you go into classrooms it’s not really happening. I do a lot of work with observations and it’s really not. They’re not really sharing learning intentions. They’re not really using wait time properly. There’s not a lot of discussion going on. It’s very much on the surface and it’s not deeply embedded yet in practice… It’s a long process. I think we kid ourselves if we say we’ve got it cracked. We’re not there yet. We’ve got long way to go. (Secondary Principal Teacher, Maths) A lot of what’s going on, especially in our specialist subjects, where they are so unconfident, they’ll write it down, it’ll look as though the boxes have been ticked. Have the kids actually had that experience? No. I think this document is just going to replace 5-14 with another set of mythology as to what’s happening. (Faculty Head secondary, Expressive Arts)

Several teachers in promoted posts, across the curriculum areas, commented that accountability to external bodies might act as a potential inhibitor of change. Frequent

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references were made to the role of HMIE and the powerful influence of inspection on school level policy and practice. Despite the revised approach to inspection, with its increased emphasis on school self-evaluation, many participants appeared to continue to question whether there had been a shift away from a ‘narrow’ ‘attainment agenda’. The kind of enthusiastic part of me says this is a huge opportunity to make some major changes to the way that things work in schools, but the suspicious part of me always wants to know how we’re going to measure it? That’s the question that always comes into my head that I can’t get away from. I can’t help thinking about how it’s going to be measured and we’re going to test that and how we’re going to work on attainment and that’s always something at the back of my head. (Secondary Principal Teacher, Literacy and English) It’s very refreshing going back to having some freedom, being able to have meaningful contexts for learning; but until we are really convinced that HMI don’t want evidence and tick boxes, we’re still going to feel quite restricted. (Primary headteacher, Literacy and English) HMI still have the attainment agenda and they will still be looking to see where children as individuals have made progress and I just don’t see how that all fits together. We have professional autonomy, we can be creative and innovative in the best sense of all of these words and then you are still going to be measured in a quite narrow way. I still find it quite paradoxical. (Principal Teacher, Literacy and English)

There was some indication that teachers were able to identify effective practice promoted in the Draft Experiences and Outcomes and yet were reluctant to make changes that did not directly contribute to examination attainment. Teachers cited uncertainties around future arrangements for National Qualifications as contributing to their hesitance. This new system looks very nice and the ideas behind it are very good but if I’ve got to get them through an exam, can I afford the time to do this approach which would be a much better approach? We’re so exam based and driven now with targets that colleagues are very wary about going into this in detail when they don’t know what the end point will be. (Principal teacher secondary, Maths group) We shouldn’t teach for the exams but unfortunately that’s the way the futures of the kids are determined. I’d love to have a looser curriculum where I could teach things in a more interesting way but until I know what form of assessment is involved, I don’t really know how to approach this. (Secondary classteacher, Maths group)

For some teachers there was an assumption that a wider range of methodologies would require an investment in time that was not available within the constraints of the assessment calendar. Whilst willing to engage with more creative methodologies, it was assumed that this would be more time intensive. The demands of ‘getting through the syllabus’ was seen as limiting opportunities for more active learning. We’re restricted to the syllabus that we have got to get them through, whatever level they’re at, for that exam in May. That’s a huge constraint, and it’s balancing it. The success of your exam results, or going for Curriculum for Excellence and missing bits out. Because that’s how it would go, if we went one way we’d have to miss some bits out, which would make a huge effect on our results. So it’s finding the balance between the two. (Secondary depute, Numeracy) I have staff who would be delighted to spend time exploring whichever thing the kids are keenest on, to spend time on investigative approaches, and we don’t do it because this weight of kids needs to be at that level by this time. The best way we’ve found to do it isn’t necessarily

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the best way in the long term, by exploring concepts, it’s by driving them through a particular set of work. Unless that is sorted for us, I can’t see how people are going to make the best use of the Outcomes as they’re given. I don’t think there’s any lack of willingness for them to do it, it’s just that they can’t see a way to reconcile the two. (Principal teacher secondary, Numeracy focus group)

Teachers in secondary schools commented that producing consistently high levels of pupil performance in external examinations was an important source of esteem. The professional identity of the secondary teacher, as subject specialist, is linked to pupil performance in subject–based examinations. High levels of attainment are associated with respect from parents, pupils and colleagues including senior managers. Given the currency attached to attainment, ‘successful’ teachers needed to be convinced of the value of moving away from ‘what works’ in terms of producing results. In this department there’s great resistance to the idea of this when they’re getting the results from the kids and that’s what they’re paid to do. What this is about, it’s about our changing role as a teacher and that [point] isn’t made overtly. (Principal teacher secondary, English and Literacy) It seems like a massive risk that you can get the results through the ‘touchy feely’ way of teaching rather than ‘you will listen and you will learn’. I think it’s definitely going to represent a massive shift for some in terms of their own practice. (Principal teacher secondary, English and Literacy)

Several contributors to focus group discussions raised the issue of communicating with parents. Some participants suggested that many parents were principally concerned with rates of progress and attainment, rather than processes or contexts of learning which they regarded as appropriately devolved to education professionals. It was suggested that parents might experience overload and difficulties deciphering the language used to express the wider purposes and principles of Curriculum for Excellence. Teachers requested further guidance on policies for reporting to parents. The culture in Scotland is that of league tables and parents want to know their child’s achieved a certain thing by a certain time. I’m slightly wary of engaging with children’s experiences if I’m still going to have to report to parents. Parents are going to answer, ‘Yes, but can they do Pythagoras?’ (Secondary Principal Teacher, Numeracy) If you went through this with parents, “Your child is an effective contributor, a responsible citizen, a confident individual.” They’d just say, “Ah but is he any good? Did he pass? Is he doing okay? Right, that’s fine. Don’t blind me with this”. (Secondary Principal Teacher, Classical Languages)

A minority of participants noted that the transformational change proposed in Curriculum for Excellence would entail adjustment by all partners, including parents. Some contributors acknowledged that parent-school relationships could be consolidated through improvements in communication, particularly information that is exchanged about learning and the new learning context. We have to re-educate parents, so that they don’t think they’re going to get umpteen jotters crammed full of stuff at the end of the term; that it’s much more experiential learning and they won’t necessarily have a bit of paper or a jotter as proof that they’ve learned. (Secondary principal teacher, Literacy and English)

In summary, several teachers noted a tension between the aspirations of Curriculum for Excellence for new learning and perceptions of an outcomes-driven system of assessment. Participants from primary and secondary schools talked of ‘double vision’ and ‘different

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worlds’ in describing the multiple and competing demands made of them. A primary headteacher commented that the Draft Experiences and Outcomes and the national assessments ‘totally contradicted each other’ (numeracy group). A secondary faculty head described how teachers were caught between ‘different philosophies’ and expected to deliver the agenda of both. You’ve got these two different worlds. People want results and they want the assessments done, and then you’ve got this world here saying we should be spontaneous, make an opportunity for spontaneity and activities and experiences and the two things very often don’t marry at all. (Principal teacher secondary, Expressive Arts) Are we looking for relevance for achieving qualifications or are we looking for relevance to develop these four capacities? To me they don’t lie well together and somebody needs to make up their mind what they want out the other end of the school system…The teachers are going to be the piggies in the middle again, who are being asked to deliver two entirely different philosophies at the same time. (Faculty Head, Expressive Arts) There seems to be almost like a double vision - one is that we are empowered and we are able to develop new things and we are professional enough to do that; and then somebody else with a slightly different agenda will come and assess and evaluate us. There will have to be a change in the relationship between how we are assessed and evaluated by our colleagues in other professional areas. (Secondary principal teacher, Literacy and English)

3.5.

Making connections across the curriculum

One of the stated aspirations of Curriculum for Excellence is the promotion of interdisciplinary learning: “taking learning out of ‘silos’ to establish better connectivity in learning” (George Smuga, September 200811). Greatest challenge can be anticipated where the boundaries constructed between discrete or specialised ‘subjects’ are strongest. Accounts offered by teachers in the focus groups frequently made reference to how different sectors/phases were differently placed to make connections across the curriculum. Practitioners in early years settings and special schools reported that the ways of working suggested in the proposed 3-18 curriculum were consistent with current good practice. One of the strengths within the special sector is that teaching any particular subject in isolation has never made any sense. So we have maths and numeracy embedded in all of the subject areas just now. For instance, when we’re teaching maths we have frameworks which show where PSE, where RE, where social studies fit in, and we haven’t been able to necessarily wait for all of the outcomes to come out, because that’s very much the way that we work. (Special school depute, Numeracy) Our children learn from doing the same thing in lots of different contexts, giving them different experiences of the same thing. It’s not any kind of vertical progression, it’s just a lateral progression and that is how we work. (Special school depute, Numeracy)

Whilst common in the early years, in the extracts below primary headteachers note how integrated approaches have become less common in the later stages of primary education. They suggest that a perceived turn towards ‘subjects’ has eroded the capacity of some 11

Area Event keynote presentation ‘Building the Curriculum Three’ presented by George Smuga, Professional Adviser, Curriculum Division, Scottish Government. Available online from:

http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence/events/eventreports/areaevents/georgesmuga.asp

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teachers to respond positively to opportunities to develop integrated approaches to planning. Whilst very experienced primary school teachers are able to draw on previous experience of thematic approaches to learning, more recent entrants to the profession may require additional support. When we talked about this as a staff, the infant teacher found it easier to relate to than upper school because she’s in the habit of doing cross-curricular plans and looking across the whole of the curriculum at topics, touching on all of the areas. Since this last year, whenever she’s doing topics she’s building herself plans or curricular webs so that with every topic she does, she knows she’s touching lots of bases. Further up the school they’re finding it more difficult. (Primary headteacher, Numeracy) I’m in a school that’s very committed to making the most of cross-curricular opportunities. Although we’re very committed to that, we do tend to find the 5-14 approach to things has led even primary to go down more subject-based timetables. So we’re breaking away from that and are very interested to see how it goes. (Primary headteacher, Numeracy) For many years 5-14 has been very helpful scaffolding for teachers’ work. So many have been so used to having everything streamlined and boxed in separate departments and many of our staff are not used to cross-curricular approaches and need to be given some support at how to do that effectively. (Primary headteacher, Religious and Moral Education)

The promotion of interdisciplinary learning within the Draft Experiences and Outcomes - and especially within the core areas of numeracy, literacy and health and well-being - were generally welcomed. Secondary school teachers were quick to identify potential benefits in cross-subject collaboration, including the identification of areas of overlap that might highlight differences in modes of instruction. Shared areas with differences in approach were cited most often by teachers of science and numeracy/mathematics. In the science department there were three different methods of teaching equations which were not the same as within the maths department. From that, we ended up getting together and agreeing a common methodology. (Principal teacher secondary, Numeracy) One of the really good things about it would be breaking down barriers between the different subjects. Basically we get it all the time, they are having difficulty re-arranging an equation and you say well, you’ve done it in Maths – ah but that’s Maths, I know how to do it in Maths but I don’t know how to do it in physics. (Principal teacher secondary, Science)

It is not surprising that reservations were most likely to be expressed by teachers in the secondary sector, for whom subject specialist status is an important source of identity and whose daily work is organised according to subject differentiation. Reservations were related to the practical/operational dimensions of promoting cross-subject work – expressed in terms of workload and coordination issues; or identity issues between school subject communities – expressed in terms of defence of subject status vis-à-vis possible ‘dilution’. Responses offered in the focus group indicate that there is not a shared understanding of what constitutes ‘cross-curricular’ or ‘interdisciplinary’ work in secondary schools. Some teachers associated cross-curricularity with a planned ‘project’ or ‘one off event’. Others demonstrated an understanding of cross-curricularity as a sustained commitment to the provision of experiences that connected learning across the curriculum. One thing that’s worrying folk is exactly what counts as cross-curricular? Some folk think that it has to be a project where either maths teachers are going into another subject, or those

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teachers are coming into us and it has to be very formal and very organised. To find time to organise projects like that is very, very difficult. (Principal teacher secondary, Numeracy) They seem to me to be one off events and the whole aim of Curriculum for Excellence is to have cross-curricular experiential learning going on more or less all the time. (Secondary Depute, Numeracy)

Several of the curriculum area focus groups suggested that promotion of cross-curricular links, as they understood it, would require additional staffing to support inter-disciplinary learning in classes. Examples were offered of teachers from different disciplines engaged in collaborative planning and co-teaching. Resource and timetabling implications within secondary school structures were emphasised as potentially significant inhibitors. I’ve tried to implement some aspects by working with other departments. Rather than teach money, the children investigated aspects of money for themselves. They worked with English and when they were reporting back to class, English would monitor their talk as part of their English whereas I was looking at the Maths content. Inevitably something like that takes a lot more time than me teaching them a money lesson, plus I’ve got to have cover for the English department to come and work with us and vice-versa. I just don’t see how it’s going to work the way they want it to work, unless we have more flexibility not only within the curriculum but the time-tabling of the curriculum. (Principal teacher secondary, Maths) To get cross-curricular work really going, you don’t want a music teacher in a class, you want a music and an art teacher, or you want a music and dance teacher or you want your drama and dance going together. There has to be flexibility within the schools and we’re pared to the bone. (Faculty head secondary, Social Studies)

A secondary Maths teacher (Numeracy) commented that whereas the primary school is ‘understanding driven’, secondary schools are ‘product driven’: ‘the bottom line is we have to get children through exams’. Subject demarcations are defended and cross-curricular approaches can be viewed as an encroachment, especially if the introduction of crosscurricular ‘topics’ or ‘projects’ appears contrived. Tensions may become apparent if subject teaching appears ‘skewed’ to meet the requirements of mandated cross-curricularity. In such circumstances, the reservations of teachers may result in lip service being paid to the notion of cross-curricularity without significant changes to current practice. I am in the Health Faculty along with Physical Education and Home Economics and I find that my teaching has had to be skewed at certain points so that I am teaching common elements with the other two departments and I have not found it to be positive. We teach our lessons as we are instructed, but I don’t know if it is actually teaching anything that fits with the kids attaining the result in the course that they are following. (Principal teacher secondary, Health and Well Being)

Some concern was expressed about the willingness and capacity of secondary ‘subject hosts’ to embrace the core curricular foci of numeracy, literacy and aspects of health and well being. A lack of specialist professional training and the need for additional support for non-specialists was frequently noted. The engagement of non-specialists may be superficial without additional time consuming support and development. Stepping outside subject boundaries raised anxieties in particular topic areas. Nervousness around handling sensitive or controversial issues was particularly noted in relation to the implementation of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes for Health and Well Being, especially with regard to relationships, sexual health and substance misuse.

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People who are teaching PSE in secondary schools are not specialists in any way, shape or form and they quite often express concern about having to talk about drugs or sexual activities with which they are uncomfortable or have a lack of knowledge. (Secondary head of department, Health and Well-Being) There’s a lot of work required to build up the skills and confidence of teachers in other subjects about teaching numeracy. (Principal Teacher secondary, Maths)

Within the focus groups, participants suggested that there is a danger that core curriculum areas may fail to become ‘embedded’ and remain the responsibility of ‘home’ subjects, such as maths, English or physical education. From this perspective, cross curricular themes were considered to be an extension of traditional subjects. Participants in the English and Literacy groups questioned why literacy was not formulated as a separate set of Draft Experiences and Outcomes, as was the case with Numeracy and Health and Well Being. In managing competing demands on teachers’ time, other contributors noted that subject teaching was consistently regarded as a core concern; with cross-curricular work regarded as peripheral. It has to be embedded in the documents for all the other subjects. If it’s to be taken as seriously as I think Learning and Teaching Scotland want it to be taken by teachers of different disciplines it has to be in there from the word go. We’ve missed the boat already on that one, so we have to get in there as quickly as we can or else it will always be viewed as the job for an English teacher. (Principal teacher secondary, English and Literacy) Most of our planning and preparation is within our main subject…Health and Well Being seems to be ignored not so much by the school but it seems to be ignored to an extent by the teachers. It’s low down on priorities with things to do and almost as an afterthought sometimes. (Principal teacher secondary, Health and Well Being)

It was noted that the presence of visiting specialist tutors in primary schools presented opportunities for co-teaching and the development of cross-curricular activities. However, primary schools face the challenge of contending with the full range of Draft Experiences and Outcomes and this in turn presents challenges related to the use of non-contact time when specialist tutors/coaches are in school. The volume and pace of change could marginalise the potentially significant role that might be played by specialists working in collaboration with permanent core staff. I’m one of the people who teach Art and Design in primaries just now, who are also covering McCrone at the same time. We’re hoping that this is in some way going to allow us more cross-curricular links; more time that is valuable and not time that is counted in minutes by the class teacher getting out for the non class contact time. We’re just hoping that this might be an avenue where some improvement can be made. Because of financial constraints and the very nature of McCrone, that’s a big block to any improvement. (Creative Link Officer, Expressive Arts)

The promotion of connections across the curriculum through interdisciplinary learning presents challenges for senior managers charged with ensuring coherence; a problem described by Reid and Scott (2008:184) as one of achieving ‘a bird’s eye view of the curriculum landscape’. School managers and teachers recognised the challenge of translating cross-curricular objectives into everyday systems for monitoring continuity and progression for learners. As a manager within school I monitor forward plans. We monitor breadth and balance. If they are all crossing over one another, how do you know how much Maths has been done? How do you know how much language has been done? It is the monitoring aspect that concerns me. (Primary depute, Science)

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I do have concerns at how little information is there about the interpretation that could be taken for each statement and of course I am thinking at a whole school level, managing the flow of continuity and the experiences the children will have. (Primary headteacher, Health and Well Being)

3.6.

Summary

This review of the initial responses of teachers to the Draft Experiences and Outcomes highlights the many contingencies involved in teachers’ responses to curriculum reform. In general, teachers welcomed the move towards a less prescriptive curriculum and valued opportunities for adaptation based on informed professional judgement. However, serious concern was repeatedly expressed about the need for greater clarity to support consistent interpretation of outcomes across the profession. Teachers recognised that ‘its key strength is also its weakness’ (principal teacher). Whilst embracing the values, purposes and principles underpinning Curriculum for Excellence, many teachers are still looking for further guidance in how to translate these principles into practical action. Trialling feedback was generally more positive than open responses submitted via the online questionnaire. However across the sources of data, teachers reported concerns regarding monitoring progression, mapping cross-curricular provision, a need for more detailed guidance on assessment and success criteria, the provision of quality support for nonspecialist teachers (of interdisciplinary themes and specialist areas of the primary curriculum). Finding adequate time and resources to support collaborative planning and the local development of high quality materials was frequently identified as a key challenge. Equally, participants noted the logistical constraints of working within the parameters of school and assessment timetables. Teachers consistently sought further elaboration and exemplification to avoid omission/repetition across stages and to ensure reliable information on transition. Some teachers described the 5-14 curriculum as a ‘comfort blanket’ and ‘safety net’, whilst the Draft Experiences and Outcomes were repeatedly described as ‘woolly’, ‘vague’ or ‘unclear’. A recurring theme in the data is a perception of mixed messages and a juxtaposition of effective classroom practice (process) with the pursuit of attainment targets (outcomes). Many of the teachers who participated in the engagement process described a tension between preferred methodologies and a need to meet pupil, parent, senior management and local authority expectations of consistently high levels of attainment. In some cases moves towards more active and experiential learning was seen as risky, posing a threat to pupil attainment. Others asserted the primary importance of attainment as a principal measure of competence and success. Similarly a tension was identified between valuing subject specialist status and the advocacy of interdisciplinary learning. There was a sense that interdisciplinary approaches might pose a challenge to the standing of core subject knowledge and skills. Finally, there was some evidence of a reluctance to commit to engagement whilst the Experiences and Outcomes were still in ‘draft’ form, at the same time as widespread recognition of the value of collaboration at an early stage.

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4. Local authority perspectives 4.1.

Introduction

The section draws on the accounts of 32 local authority officers and a representative of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCiS) who participated in telephone interviews. These interviews focused on the formal trialling of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes, including consideration of key challenges and implications for the future. Whilst all interviewees were identified as lead personnel for Curriculum for Excellence in their authority/organisation, the extent to which they were directly involved in detailed arrangements for formal trialling differed. Some interviewees were Education Managers, others were Development Officers seconded from schools or Quality Improvement Officers. All participants reported that the trialling process connected with their other responsibilities, more closely for some than for others. The reported portfolio of responsibilities differed across the sample, with some interviewees able to devote greater levels of attention to trialling activities than others. Most interviewees described multiple levels of engagement with Curriculum for Excellence, of which the trialling process was one aspect. This section is organised in seven main parts. The next part reports concern about the practice of ‘backward mapping’ from external summative assessment and the challenge of moving towards teaching for understanding within cultures of performance. The following identifies tensions between calls from some sections of the profession for detailed exemplification and encouragement of the imaginative use of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. Parts four and five consider the position of primary and secondary schools respectively in taking forward Curriculum for Excellence according to the local authority personnel interviewed for this study. Part six notes the demands placed on school leaders by curriculum flexibility in terms of building curriculum structures and also some implications of Curriculum for Excellence for current arrangements for early presentation. The final part reflects on the role of local authorities in supporting schools and reports some inhibitors and drivers of change. 4.2.

Assessment

Local authority interviewees commented on the established practice by experienced secondary teachers of ‘backward mapping’ from end-point examinations when designing programmes of study. Teachers’ responsiveness to the opportunities extended in the revised lower school curriculum was adversely influenced by a perceived lack of clarity around summative assessment. This was emphasised in comments that ‘nothing significant’ can happen outside an attainment frame of reference. In the senior phase teachers were cautious about embarking on change that might affect pupil attainment (even in the short term) or that might produce pupil gains that are not easily measurable as indicators of performance. Although it is against the principle that the exams should follow the curriculum I think nothing significant will happen until the consultation on exams is complete and there is a confidence in the profession as to what the qualifications will look like and then teachers will feel more comfortable working back from those exams. I know that is counter to a lot of the theory and ethos of Curriculum for Excellence but there is a strong feeling between teachers that the further up you move in secondary, teaching is bound to be dominated by exams and qualifications. (LA interviewee 1) The stress on attainment is hampering the development of Curriculum for Excellence particularly in the secondary but also in the primary. That is a major mindset that has to be

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addressed. What we are not developing is a deeper understanding, living to learn capability in youngsters and that is the real challenge that faces us. A challenge that Curriculum for Excellence can address, but one that we are failing to get across to the workforce. (LA interviewee 3) Giving back some professionalism to my colleagues is very rewarding but some of them are reluctant to take it because they have been living in a highly accountable, highly dependable culture for so long that risk taking is not something that comes naturally now to the teaching profession. The biggest stumbling block for many of them is saying, ‘Well, I will do that because that is enjoyable but what will HMI say about it?’ That is a big issue. (LA interviewee 9)

One local authority officer suggested that many teachers found security within testing. Tests provided a reliable measure of performance and progression, a ‘comfort blanket’ that provided reassurance of teacher capability and pupil progress. The introduction of broader outcomes and the encouragement of personalised pathways removed the ‘safety net’ of standard cohort tests. Some teachers approached the Draft Experiences and Outcomes as tools for assessment and were unsettled by the lack of prescription or detailed recipes that might be directly transferred to classroom practice. Secondary schools from S1 are very test driven and getting them to move away from the safety net of giving kids a test to wholesale formative assessment S1-3 is still a challenge. Giving kids a test is a sort of ‘comfort blanket’ for a lot of teachers because they then feel secure in where kids are in terms of progression. If you are not going to be using that so much, there is a lack of consistency and certainty as to how you do progress. (LA interviewee 4)

Local authority officers noted the considerable challenge for some teachers in moving from national assessments (in English and Maths) towards teachers’ professional judgement, locally moderated. One interviewee claimed there were ‘serious anxieties’ and a ‘growing sense of confusion’ within the secondary sector as they awaited the outcome of the assessment consultation, which was described as ‘incredibly late’ in the context of the original timeline for implementation of Curriculum for Excellence (LA interviewee 12). It should be noted that whilst concerns were most evident in relation to the secondary sector, they were not restricted to the secondary schools. Two interviewees noted that primary schools were also ‘more and more driven by results’ (LA interviewee 16). Across all the interview transcripts there was a recurring focus on the need for further information around assessment, recording and reporting in relation to the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. Clarification was sought by teachers on how to monitor learning within and between levels. Responses signalled a need to build on the advances made through the Assessment is for Learning (AifL) programme in developing professional practice in formative assessment. 4.3.

Exemplification and explanation

Local authority officers identified a tension between the desirability of greater flexibility - as professionally enhancing - and the security extended to teachers in more directive modes of prescription. A dilemma presented to the writing teams at a national level and local authority officers at a regional level was to resist the temptation to fall back on prescription to assuage initial lack of confidence and uncertainty at an early stage of engagement. We’re trying to keep Curriculum for Excellence at the top of the agenda; to try and support staff without doing it all for them. It’s not to be a prescriptive approach but they do need a steer. It’s confidence building and reassurance that teachers are needing just now. (LA interviewee 28)

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For several interviewees Curriculum for Excellence was presented as re-professionalising: ‘giving back professionalism’ to teachers de-skilled by a prescriptive curriculum and an over emphasis on external summative assessment. The proposed curriculum potentially opened up space for deliberation on questions of pedagogy (broadly defined12), rather than subject specific content knowledge. Curriculum for Excellence is giving teachers back the professionalism that they are due. What has been hugely rewarding about this process is actually listening to teachers talking about learning and teaching again. For too many years we have had teachers talking about programmes of study and books, rather than pedagogy. (LA interviewee 15)

However, few accounts were able to explicitly align curriculum purposes, pedagogy and assessment practices. One local authority interviewee asserted the importance of a strong focus on ‘the how’ of Curriculum for Excellence, narrowly interpreted as teaching methodology (or ‘instruction’): ‘We’ve been giving the message, “Look, we’ll get to assessment later.”’ Responses frequently juxtaposed pedagogy and assessment, reaffirming a false dualism. Whilst welcoming enhanced attention to pedagogy, this was sometimes positioned as a change in direction, rather than closer alignment. If the Assessment for Learning programme meant anything it is that assessment is integral to the learning and teaching process. In a sense what we have done this year is separate them out again and that has been a wee bit unhelpful. (LA interviewee 15)

Two interviewees were careful to stress that their authorities would not replace the existing curriculum with a similarly prescriptive model. In stepping back from prescription for teachers, one interviewee stressed the importance of a similar degree of autonomy for authorities to allow them to respond to local needs and circumstances. These accounts involved a reassertion of local authority autonomy from central direction and the need for ‘enabling interventions’ (Hargreaves, 2003) at school level to prevent ‘negative washback’ (Hutchinson and Hayward, 2005) on classroom practice from renewed focus on curriculum and assessment. Some teachers still require exemplification and we are not going to provide that exemplification. What we are going to provide hopefully in replacing our programmes of study are clear policies and guidance and recommended resources and training to ensure that practitioners develop the critical understanding of self-improvement and the principles and how they can incorporate that into their teaching rather than replacing the existing 5-14 with a programme of study and exemplification…. Allowing authorities to have space to develop what is relevant to them is equally important as developing national guidance to do that. (LA interviewee 11) From an authority point of view, we are very determined that outcomes are not going to drive the experience. Outcomes are signposts along the way. But I suspect in a lot of places already, people have started to take outcomes and put them down into some sort of course programme or programme of work and that will be what will actually drive the pupil experience. (LA interviewee 5)

Interviewees were aware of the tensions within an enhanced view of professional practice contained in the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. Whilst talking about the desirability of 12

Alexander (2001:513) distinguishes ‘pedagogy as discourse from teaching as act’ yet sees them as inseparable defining pedagogy as ‘both the act of teaching and its contingent theories and debates – about, for example, the character of culture and society, the purposes of education, the nature of childhood and learning and the structure of knowledge’.

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‘tightening up’ and ‘tying down’ the outcomes, local authority officers were describing how the draft guidance might be more easily interpreted rather than abandoning the need to engage in acts of interpretation as professionals exercising discretion. One interviewee commented, ‘You can provide flexibility in ways over and above just simply removing all the structure and giving people a vague idea’ (LA interviewee 12). Another noted, ‘The danger is that you will then come out with guidance on assessment and then it will be, oh well that is what we are meant to do because that is what it says’ (LA interviewee 15). Another commented that ‘exemplification’ could quickly become wholesale ‘reproduction’ (LA interviewee 17). Local authority officers were aware of the need to support teachers to use the Draft Experiences and Outcomes imaginatively. We are caught on a cleft stick with this because on the one hand in the National Debate teachers said they wanted more freedom and they wanted the curriculum to be de-cluttered. The Draft outcomes and experiences have done that, but it is almost as if they have gone too far. It’s going from a very tightly prescribed curriculum to an awful lot of freedom. Teachers are thinking, how do we do this? (LA interviewee 4) The one thing we don’t want to do is to just re-write another 5-14 curriculum that teachers will just pick up. As soon as you unpack an outcome, you then declare ‘this is the new curriculum’… I appreciate the difficulty that they have centrally in saying ‘we will give you full exemplification as well as further elaboration’ but the profession are certainly requesting it. They are looking for more exemplification. I think they certainly need it. (LA interviewee 2)

The dilemma was summarised by one interviewee in the assertion that, ‘there is a danger that if you have too much exemplification and elaboration you will restrict what people feel they can do. There are clearly issues about how much precision in the definition of the curriculum we need.’ (LA interviewee 29)

Another commented, ‘What we need to be careful about is that the exemplification just simply highlights possibilities rather than takes people down a narrow road’ (LA interviewee 30)

Local authority personnel with a role in providing support for schools were caught in a double bind of being seen to provide authoritative support and clear strategic direction, whilst working within a framework that encourages local deliberation and flexibility. Personalisation and choice. They keep telling us what it isn’t and we know what it isn’t. It’s not free, unfettered choice but if it’s not that, then what is it? The continuum is fairly long from where we are at just now. (LA interviewee 5) People need to know what is coming before and what is coming next particularly because of the broader outcomes; and also what smaller steps would lead you to the outcome. I know that that could be argued as going back to prescription but I suppose it’s the definition of what is prescription and what is guidance? It’s more to do with the how. (LA interviewee 6)

Several interviewees noted the cultural challenges presented by the development of a ‘dependency’ or ‘permission culture’ among sections of the teaching profession. This was presented as forms of ‘resigned compliance’ (Farrell and Morris, 2004) in statements such as ‘tell me what to do and I will do it’; or ‘learned helplessness’ (Seligman, 1992) suggested in requests such as ‘give me the package’. It was noted that calls for creativity, innovation and flexibility may enter some school sites that have, to some extent, become characterised by resource dependency and reliance on external agents. 36


People are saying, ‘Tell me what you want me to do and I will do it.’ We don’t want to go back to teaching by rote and lack of creativity, innovation and flexibility. It is a problem in that people do want and are used to having exemplification, especially in subject areas like Science where if they want a new course they get someone to write it for them. People are used to having off the shelf courses and they want benchmarking and standards that they should follow. So it’s quite a difficult situation. How do we not stifle creativity and flexibility but at the same time maintain standards? (LA interviewee 9) For secondary staff, particularly those who have gone through the Higher Still model where everything was provided, there’s a little bit of a dependency culture. They can’t get on with their course until somebody gives them the course. (LA interviewee 22) It’s giving teachers and schools the confidence to be creative and innovative and get rid of what is predominantly a compliance culture or a permission culture with some of our schools. It’s really getting the message that it’s okay to try new things, have a clear rationale and take them forward. Too many headteachers have been waiting for an answer to come, just give me the package. (LA interviewee 26)

Despite the reservations of some local authority personnel who depicted passive or resigned responses to change, others were keen to stress that calls for elaboration need not indicate resistance to engagement. From this perspective, requests for further elaboration suggested an openness to change with the provision of additional support for experimentation and adaptation. It was acknowledged that provision of additional detail could not guarantee desired changes in practice without equal attention to methodologies that promoted active engagement. There is a call for elaboration and it isn’t people wanting to be given another course. It isn’t just give me a course and a set of worksheets so I can just follow it and turn my brain off. It is a case of give me some support so I can actually enrich my own skills and my own approaches to learning and teaching so I can get to where a Curriculum for Excellence wants me to be. Support me, in other words. (LA interviewee 12) Exemplification isn’t necessarily going to change the way in which it is delivered and that is what is going to make the difference to children. (LA interviewee 14)

Some local authority officers were keen to assert a sense of teachers’ agency, most often in relation to bringing ‘credibility’ to materials produced. In these accounts, teachers were not positioned as receivers of exemplars, but producers of materials generated and piloted in the context of day-to-day classroom practice. In describing the challenges faced in promoting this approach, local authority officers described processes of negotiation in which they sought to develop an understanding of the benefits of looser, ‘bottom-up’ forms of engagement (in contrast to the tightly coupled piloting of external designs). It’s really important that there is an opportunity to involve practitioners in exemplification. I think the credibility of material would be greatly enhanced. It’s that old chestnut about people producing documents in offices that are removed from the chalk-face. I think good quality exemplification, involving staff who are actually piloting and trying the materials prior to distribution, would be really useful. (LA interviewee 19) Making people understand that we didn’t want to give them too much support from the local authority or from bodies like LTS just to see how these outcomes and experiences stood up to

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scrutiny. I suppose just getting people to find the time that is required to do the thinking and the talking. (LA interviewee 30)

One interview noted that more recent entrants to the profession had only known national assessments within their professional experience and consequently the move away from 514 outcomes presented a challenge to their current understanding of their professional role. The younger teachers, they have only known national tests. How are they going to assess and measure progression of the children in their charge when these things are taken away? (LA interviewee 3)

Principal among local authorities’ concerns was the need to provide greater support for teachers making decisions around progression through levels. Concern was expressed in terms of reducing the potential for variability in teacher assessment i.e. the reliability of assessment. One of the things that we have found is difficulty in tracking progression between levels and between sectors. How do we actually go about this? How do we effectively track progression? How do we have a shared standard across the authority and across the country? How do you know that a child has achieved level 2? What are the benchmarks that the child has achieved level 3 or importantly level 4? (LA interviewee 2) To give them back their professionalism means that we have a development need in relation to, how do you take an outcome and turn it into something you will then use with your class? If an outcome is meant to cover three years, then what does that actually mean? It’s not so much how you unpack an outcome, but how you actually deal with an outcome over such a long period of time and how would you know when you had got to the end of it? (LA interviewee 15)

One interviewee identified concerns about the openness of the outcomes and range of different experiences that might be available to a group of students working toward the same outcome in terms of subject knowledge. The same interviewee reported that teachers involved in the trials for science had suggested that the underpinning knowledge and understanding was ‘hidden’ or ‘buried’ and that the focus on methodology rather than content was seen as problematic. One teacher bought some wind turbine kits and developed some lessons on the physics behind wind turbines and then went on to develop the ideas of individual research and commercial viability as described by the outcome. Another teacher following our own programme did a similar set of lessons including investigations on solar panels. The teacher coordinating the trial within the school noticed that one group, the class that did the solar panels learned about conduction, convection, insulation, radiation and transfer of heat; whereas the one that did the wind turbine learned about kinetic energy and rotational energy. She felt that when they were planning progression from that stage to the next if those two sets of classes merged, there would be real problems for the teacher taking the children forward. They have met this outcome but have completely different sets of underlying physics. (LA interviewee 10)

Two LA officers identified a need for unpacking different stages in each curriculum area but also exemplification of inter-disciplinary studies emphasised in Building the Curriculum Three and the need for collegiate planning in secondary schools to ensure integration of literacy, numeracy and aspects of health and well-being across the curriculum. Three interviewees associated the need for exemplification with regard to specific aspects of subject knowledge; this was especially noted in regard to primary science. One local authority officer reported a trialling visit where a visiting specialist in science had questioned

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the depth of study undertaken by primary pupils and raised concerns about the level of intellectual challenge and implications for progression on transition to secondary school. This interviewee suggested that additional layers are required to show how concepts and thinking challenges develop through the levels. Another interviewee noted that primary teachers involved in the trialling tended to refer back to 5-14 materials to make sense of general outcomes and that this might inhibit any desired displacement of previous practices. Another interviewee identified a greater need for exemplification in early, first and second level science for non-subject specialists and suggested a different role for exemplification to lend coherence at the secondary stage. I saw great techniques in terms of AifL and really good classroom organisation and good engagement with children. Great dialogue and excellent open-ended questioning, in fact a variety of questioning techniques but they were teaching the wrong science. So we ended up with children who were confidently wrong. (LA interviewee 10)

The above extract summarises concerns around the advocacy of ‘supportive pedagogy’ (Hayward, 2007) to the detriment of secure ‘subject’ knowledge, in this case in relation to primary science. Whilst not an argument for simply ‘topping up’ subject specific professional knowledge, it indicates the challenge of extending subject knowledge (content) and pedagogical content knowledge (making content ‘instructional’) (Shulman, 1985) to meet the challenges of the revised curriculum. 4.4.

Primary school readiness

In the extract below an LA officer notes that there is a popular assumption that primary teachers are better placed to take forward the emphasis on making connections across the curriculum and that the principles of Curriculum for Excellence lend themselves to the more holistic orientations of the primary practitioner. Whilst not challenging the claim that primaries are better placed because of their historical commitments and previous practice, the interviewee cautions that association with previous ways of working (or constructs of Curriculum for Excellence as aligned with previous practice) may not be beneficial. This is because teachers may not engage with the Experiences and Outcomes to the same extent if settled on a view of the revised curriculum as ‘old wine in new bottles’. Secondly, assumed expertise in cross-mapping and the existence of ‘natural’ links across curriculum areas may encourage broader and more superficial linking than is desirable i.e. prevent depth of engagement and consideration of the rationale and strategies for linkage. There appears to be a view that the primary sector are well in advance of the secondaries which I think is probably true. They are much more able to cope with Curriculum for Excellence. There are even some people who think the primary schools have almost got it cracked. There is a danger that they will think that what they were doing twenty years ago fits the bill and will revert back to that. If you take inter-disciplinary enquiry across the outcomes, they are better able to cope with this than their secondary colleagues. My fear is that they will try to almost do too much and link up everything and there is a great danger in that. (LA interviewee 3) The pre-five sector think that they are well on the way and they pretty much have it cracked because that is what they have been doing for years anyway. In the main, primaries are more open and more willing to talk about it and to start to pick things off and to try a bit here and there. Some of the older primary teachers are saying that they are just going back to what they used to do pre 5-14. (LA interviewee 5)

Five interviewees felt that primary schools in their authority were currently better placed to implement Curriculum for Excellence. Interviewees reflected that the size of teaching staff

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and school roll in (smaller) primary schools offered greater opportunities for collaborative work than (larger) secondary settings. 4.5.

Secondary school readiness

Not surprisingly local authority officers commented on the strong subject identities held by some secondary teachers and the influence of this on initial reactions to the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. Secondary science people were feeding back, ‘Where is the science in this?’ The draft outcomes and experiences are focused on experiences and focused on teaching and learning, rather than content. For more traditional teachers, that’s a real problem. I remember vividly one scientist saying, and this was a young teacher, ‘I came into teaching because I am a chemist.’ If we want transformation in schools we have really got to get these folk moving. (LA interviewee 4)

Other local authority officers noted the challenge of embedding literacy, numeracy and aspects of health and well-being across the curriculum, especially in the secondary sector. One officer described the practice of secondary teachers as ‘delivering their own subjects in purity’, suggesting that interdisciplinary and cross-curricular work may involve a diluting of subject expertise and hence the authority of the secondary subject specialist (LA interviewee 17). It’s trying to push the pedagogy with secondary teachers that the learning and teaching issues are as important as the subject specific issues. (LA interviewee 9) We believe that it is only by changing people’s thinking about how they teach and how children learn, that you are actually going to get anywhere. (LA interviewee 14)

One local authority officer noted an association between subject identification and effectiveness at promoting and protecting subject positionality (turf wars) as a source of reward and status within secondary schools. As previously noted, esteem in schools is increasingly associated with ‘performative participation’ (Troman, Jeffrey and Raggl, 2007). The turn towards collaboration runs counter to the entrepreneurial, individualistic ethos that characterises cultures of performance. In secondary schools where there are established cultures of hierarchy or ‘balkanised’ subject cultures (Hargreaves, 1997), such a shift in orientation would prove particularly challenging. Primary staff appear to be more comfortable, appear to be moving forward across a range of curricular areas, looking at planning, piloting different models, integrating the different outcomes and experiences. We are getting far more negative responses from secondary staff. The way they have operated until now is being much more challenged, the subject-based model of why you get promotions, because you’re good at that particular subject in the curriculum. This Curriculum for Excellence model is posing significant challenges for some staff in that. The reward up until now for promotion is to run a department. You fight your corner for that subject. We’re now saying to staff, “Well actually, we’d really like you all to work together on an integrated theme”. That’s a challenge. (LA interviewee 22)

A small minority of interviewees noted that the move to faculty structures in some schools and authorities had some impact on subject ‘silos’. Two local authority officers cited the creation of faculty structures as a potential driver of inter-disciplinary approaches. Faculty structures lend themselves to the inter-disciplinary approach. It’s a lot easier because you’ve got a principal teacher who is covering curriculum provision across two to three departments. It’s easy to see where the commonalities are and also to thin down the

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unnecessary repetition that can sometimes happen. One of the other good things that is coming out where faculties are looking at different departments is the common language and common approach to teaching common skills. (LA interviewee 28)

It was also noted that the grouping of clusters of subject areas within broad curriculum areas (such as Technologies or Expressive Arts) poses challenges not only for teachers’ professional identities but also organisational challenges within existing secondary structures. The clustering of the subjects in itself is not particularly an issue, rather how staff can work together within the current structure of a secondary school. This part of things is going to be a longer road than we might have hoped. I think it will take quite a bit of time, evolution rather than revolution, to have meaningful programmes developed in secondary that draw on the different areas. (LA interviewee 22)

4.6.

Flexibility in building the curriculum

It was noted that curriculum flexibility raised professional challenges for senior staff charged with leading curriculum change in local contexts. It could not be assumed that are all school leaders were equally equipped for this task. One local authority interviewee asserted that many school leaders did not have considerable experience of curriculum building. Building the Curriculum Three talks about reform to the curriculum and it mentions curriculum planners and the phrase, ‘curriculum planning,’ but nowhere does it state how you go about this. The curriculum in secondary schools has been the same for 20 years. What experiences do school leaders have of taking the document Building the Curriculum 3 and turning it into reality? What are the processes you have to go through? Most school leaders haven’t had to do that in their whole school career. (LA interviewee 4)

Seven interviewees made reference to the demands of Building the Curriculum Three for secondary headteachers. The largest hurdle or barrier to get out of the way in terms of putting together the kind of curriculum structure that has been identified in Building the Curriculum 3 in secondary schools is the subject department structure. (LA interviewee 8)

Two interviewees made explicit reference to the issue of early presentation or ‘fast tracking’. A key concern here was whether full cohort early presentation at S3 for Standard Grade and Intermediate courses will remain in place in the revised curriculum structures. Most of our schools have actually gone down the road of at least fast-tracking and having early presentation with Standard Grade English and Standard Grade Maths. The first impressions seem to be that S3 pupils have performed well and this has provided them with challenge and motivation in S1 and S2. If that is not in place within the new structure for S1-3, the question is how motivating the whole curriculum can be and whether it will keep pupils focused. (LA interviewee 8) Some of our schools have gone for early presentation and have been very successful in the first year of presenting across the board at Standard Grade in S3. The worry then is for them, ‘We have just done this and that is working and you are saying to us now that S1-S3, that level will not be certificated in any way’. They are going to be saying, ‘is that going to put us back into no pace and challenge again in S1 and S2 like we used to have?’ So it is trying to give value, impetus and pace in S1-3. (LA interviewee 9)

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The above extracts illustrate how a concern with pace and challenge, prompted by concerns relating to the well reported performance ‘dip’ in the early years of secondary education, has focused attention on early presentation as a source of motivation. Local policies on early cohort presentation sit uncomfortably with an espoused national commitment to greater personalisation and choice. It may be necessary to demonstrate that the accelerated pace of early entry does not simply amount to a ‘hurry along curriculum’ (Dadds, 2001) and remains consistent with the broader principles of thoughtful reflection and professional judgement implied in the Curriculum for Excellence. Having oversight of a range of different school settings, local authority personnel noted specific needs influenced by school type or location. Moves towards an integrated, coherent curriculum were particularly welcomed by authorities with 3-18 all-through schools. In other contexts it was noted that teachers of primary school composite classes faced particular challenges in offering a range of experiences and monitoring progression. Similarly in authorities containing junior high schools a need for understanding and monitoring of progression between junior high and senior school was acknowledged. The particular needs of children and young people with additional support needs were raised by three interviewees. These officers felt that the Draft Experiences and Outcomes were ‘too general, need to be broken down further’ (LA interviewee 16) and wanted to emphasise feedback from schools that had mentioned a perceived neglect of special education in formulating the revised curriculum. Special school headteachers feel that there hasn’t been any kind of focus in their areas to the same extent as the others. There is maybe a feeling that they have been left out and they can’t quite relate when they look at all the levels, how that will fit into all the work that they are involved in. (LA interviewee 8)

4.7.

Local authority support for schools

Several interviewees noted the significance of Assessment is for Learning (AifL) and Building the Curriculum Two (active learning) in preparing the ground for Curriculum for Excellence. In one authority ‘learning teams’, originally used as a vehicle for embedding Assessment for Learning methodology, were now being developed to promote changes in teaching in line with the expectations of Curriculum for Excellence (LA interviewee 22). Similarly, others noted the effectiveness of supported teacher enquiry in producing change. If you look at the model that came from the Assessment is for Learning programme, whereby you get small groups of teachers to look at areas that might have future benefits for learning and teaching. If you value them - put a bit of money in, put a bit of prestige in and support them to step beyond what they’ve done before - that is a process that people enjoy being a part of and it is a way of creating change in the classroom. (LA interviewee 29)

Uncertainty and waiting for clarification was a source of frustration for some local authority officers, who had responsibilities for coordination and strategic direction at an authority level. The draft status of the documents was seen as an impediment to engagement by teachers who were adopting a cautious ‘wait and see’ position before ‘diving in’. People are so reluctant to do anything until they know how we are going to judge children. It’s expecting people to put a lot of energy and time into developing something when they don’t know the full picture. (LA interviewee 16) While the title draft remains, there is a wariness to dive in too deep.

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(LA interviewee 17) There is a sense amongst schools that they are draft at the moment so perhaps we should wait and see if there are significant changes. That puts a bit of a strain on authorities because obviously we don’t want to wait. We want to move forward. So there is a wee bit of a tension there. (LA interviewee 19)

Prior to the announcement of the extension of the implementation period, one officer questioned the authenticity of the engagement process, particularly the likelihood of significant revisions following consultation with the profession. There is a wee bit of doubt in my mind about how much this consultation on the outcomes is actually genuine. The reason I say that is because at the EAA Coordinators meetings we are told again and again these are going through a rigorous quality assurance process. They have been cleansed and re-written and washed and spun dried and genuinely had everything done to them that could possibly be done and therefore here is something of very high quality. I don’t believe that things are going to change now hugely; that things are going to come from practitioners that haven’t already been thrown up. So why are we asking people to commit to doing that with the expectation that some things might change? I am a wee bit anxious about that. I think there is a lot to be lost in getting people to engage with something and then to actually find that they come out as they were. I hope I am wrong on that one. (LA interviewee 5)

Three other interviewees also commented that the Draft Experiences and Outcomes were likely to be subject to some refinement rather than substantive revision. I suspect they probably won’t change a huge amount and that is just acknowledging the fact that most of the outcomes are fine. There is probably not a huge amount that needs to be done with them. It is understanding how to use them that needs to be done. (LA interviewee 15)

Journey or ‘story’ metaphors were used to talk about the need for direction and coherence. A perception of fragmentation and disjointed or overlapping developments evoked calls for a stronger overall ‘narrative’ to bring coherence to the process and to lend confidence to teachers involved in navigating change. Sometimes people have talked of a narrative. In some ways the outcomes are like little chapters and that means there are an awful lot of chapters. The chapters themselves can be quite involved and complex but they should fit together in some sort of interwoven way that by the end of it all you have some sort of story that goes somewhere. Asking every individual to write their own chapter risks an absolute lack of an intelligible story. (LA interviewee 12) I am a big picture person and I think most people are. We need to see what it is that we are really trying to do or be told, ‘It’s not coming folks. Get on with it’. I am very reluctant to lead people down an alleyway that might suit us but that we might have to do a quick turnaround at the bottom and come back up again. (LA interviewee 5) The whole point about this is that it is supposed to be curriculum-driven and exam-supported. This is potentially a radical change and people can’t get their heads round it. It is not the fact that they don’t want radical change but they can’t get the picture of where we are going in their heads. They don’t know what the end of the journey is. (LA interviewee 12)

One interviewee identified the relational issues involved in negotiating change with teachers who continued to hold expectations of higher levels of local authority and central direction.

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This interviewee felt that she was in a precarious position, ‘skating on thin ice’, asking teachers to move forward without stronger national guidance. They want someone to hand them, ‘This is what you have to teach’. Probably the biggest issue for us in supporting schools is to give them the confidence to go ahead and get started rather that wait for these documents which are not going to exist. It’s a bit like skating on thin ice when you say, ‘No, these are not going to be coming and you should be starting now.’ I think the biggest issue is building trust and confidence. (LA interviewee 9)

LA officers found lack of detailed information frustrated planning efforts and suggested that greater clarity on how the implementation process was to be managed would be helpful. Some authorities had given clear instructions to schools on phased implementation from autumn 2009, for example two curriculum areas per year for primary schools commencing with literacy and numeracy (LA interviewee 25, LA interviewee 26). Officers also expressed uncertainty over when 5-14 assessment would be phased out and whether ‘benchmark testing at different points’ would be introduced (LA interviewee 21). Additional challenges including closely aligning Curriculum for Excellence with existing locally directed learning and teaching policies at different stages of development. The beginning of implementation is 2009/10 but the softer message is that implementation is not a big bang, that it is phased and gradual. I think there is a bit of a fuzziness there as to the expectations on local authorities. (LA interviewee 17) The line being taken was that we were not looking for full implementation by next year, and if that’s the case, what do we mean by partial implementation or phased implementation? There is still vagueness about just how much we are expecting our schools to move to in terms of Curriculum for Excellence from the beginning of 2009/2010. I’ve attended a number of meetings where they say, “Some aspects of Curriculum for Excellence will be implemented in each school” but that could be interpreted in different ways, from fairly major structural changes to the way timetables are organised, to a school that’s starting to experiment in crosscurricular approaches. (LA interviewee 21) One of my main tasks at the moment is to try to write the strategic approach that the authority is going to take and that has been hugely challenging because there is not a lot of solid information for us to work on and we have found that very frustrating. I know that people see this as an opportunity but there is still a feeling for us that someone is going to come along and say, ‘Yes, but…’ (LA interviewee 5) We can’t make any decisions until we get the results of the consultation. By assessment I don’t just mean the qualification structure I mean the change from national testing to what? We are not quite sure where nationally that is going to go and the formal reporting on the levels: (a) to inform our authority attainment statistics; and (b) to inform national attainment statistics. (LA interviewee 17)

Seven interviewees referred to budgetary constraints influencing available support for Curriculum for Excellence at authority level. I push Curriculum for Excellence in the three authorities that I work in, but all authorities have to be pushing for this. There’s a role for HMIE and central government to try to make sure that authorities are putting the resources in because I am hearing complaints from schools that they have to make do with their own resources rather than getting significant support from the Authority. (LA interviewee 2)

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The impact of the Concordat agreement and the Authority’s decision on cuts for education has had an impact. Timetabling for secondaries is very, very tight. The staff have very little flexibility within their week now, so asking them to volunteer to take on some extra things, the good will isn’t there as much as it has been in the past. Equally headteachers are finding it very difficult to release staff because things are so, so tight. (LA interviewee 22) While all the money’s been devolved by the Scottish Government to the Council through the Concordat every Department in the Council is fighting for a slice of the cake. If we had ring fenced funding for this it would have been monitored and audited very closely at national level and that would have kept schools and Authorities very focussed on the fact that this has to be done. We would have had more opportunities to release staff from school to undertake curriculum planning. (LA interviewee 28)

Three interviewees commented directly on the impact of the removal of ring-fenced monies for Curriculum for Excellence and the impact on sustainability of support for collaborative work within school clusters supported by release time. One interviewee (LA interviewee 8) suggested that existing resource constraints had influenced the trialling process by limiting possibilities for teachers meeting with peers and local authority officers outside school. Restricted CPD budgets acted as a stimulus for considering the possibilities and potential for peer support in school-led CPD. My own feeling is that we have to build up the expertise and the knowledge that we have within our own schools and establishments and encourage a lot more peer support: people within the schools using their own knowledge and expertise to create and develop and not look for outside help all the time. (LA interviewee 9)

School-based provision also had the advantage of overcoming the difficulties in attending LA sessions presented by geographical location for some teachers. The provision of schoolbased sessions did not however remove the difficulties of finding time within the school day for collaborative work. One interviewee noted the limitations of twilight provision for teachers with child care commitments beyond school hours. Local authority officers recognised the importance of consulting with the schools in discussion of appropriately tailored CPD provision and noted the limitations of the cascade model. Several interviewees advocated an engagement design that elicited active participation from the school community. There is often a view that you speak to a Head Teacher about Curriculum for Excellence once and they will then pass it on to their staff. (LA interviewee 3) We need to talk to teachers and find out what they need and not just decide what it is that we think they need. (LA interviewee 5) CPD is not going on a course. If we could just get the message through that just doing it, having a go, is CPD. Obviously alongside having a go, trying it out, is the time for reflection, and that’s what staff involved in the learning teams and those who have engaged with it more formally have said. Having the time to meet, discuss, reflect professionally, has been the most valuable thing. (LA interviewee 22)

The trialling process extended opportunities for delegated leadership, which were cited as valuable by local authority personnel. The trialling process provided opportunities for teachers to influence developments.

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The class teachers and people involved in the trialling are the people who are making decisions about how we’re going to take this forward in our Authority. They’re the people making decisions about what we think about the outcomes, what we like about them, what we don’t like about them, what we think needs to be changed. Often that can just be people sitting in an Education Development Service area saying that, whereas this has been getting right down to the classroom. The way we’re taking things forward now as an Authority has actually come from them and not from a top-down approach. (LA interviewee 25)

One interviewee described how funding for cross-curricular collaborative projects at an authority level had prepared the way for further developments and encouraged teachers to look at the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. Three local authorities had worked together to offer a series of cross-sector and inter-authority engagement seminars as a precursor to trialling. Another authority has established ‘curriculum reference groups’, composed of volunteer teachers from across the curriculum areas, to work with and provide feedback on the Draft experience and outcomes and to support colleagues among the wider school teacher population through school-based CPD. Despite some uncertainty, local authorities fitted for change drew effectively on previous experience to encourage distributed, active participation from networks of schools and to encourage the adoption of a deliberative or ‘inquiry stance’ to future developments (Cochran Smith and Lytle, 2001). 4.8.

Summary

Despite the uneven nature of the trialling feedback process and the difficulties encountered, local authority officers were keen to build on the experience and to share lessons with the wider community. One interviewee intended to establish learning sets with groups of teachers drawn from across sectors to ‘tease out’ the outcomes further. Another emphasised the significance of learning from peers (rather than external experts) as a key to producing changes in practice and proposed a coaching system to drive developments forward at school level. We will have to make sure that just because the trialling is finished, the experience has not been lost. We are very keen at the centre to gather and collate the responses and to be able to use them and work with them and build on that and maybe create opportunities for them to share good practice and hope that that will stimulate and inform not just other schools that are involved in the trialling but all schools will get the benefit from the trialling. So we will put things in place to try to make sure that we use their experiences. (LA interviewee 7) We have got to give as many of our staff as much time as possible to reflect on the Experiences and Outcomes. It’s a really important opportunity to ask fundamental questions about the relevance of what you’re doing. If you’ve been teaching for a number of years, how does what you’re doing as a teacher at the moment fit in with the aim and the principles of Curriculum for Excellence? (LA interviewee 21)

Another authority intended to promote the sharing of materials through a cluster engagement model, wherein different clusters produce materials in targeted curriculum review areas. Another interviewee highlighted the benefits of setting up ‘learning communities’ to improve primary-secondary liaison and continuity and progression on school transfer. The trialling process had also re-focused attention on the need to address curriculum structures within secondary schools to accommodate greater opportunities for joint work and peer supported professional learning. One local authority officer, for example, spoke of the need to harmonise timetables to promote opportunities for collaborative work across secondaries (LA interviewee 22).

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All local authorities were working to align national policies and guidance with local aims and expectations. Developments included: continued local consultation and engagement, for example through workshops with children and young people, teachers, parents and families; investment in leadership development; the use of ICT to support online professional learning communities, including the development of WIKIs; target setting and the creation of ‘strategy groups’ and ‘action groups’ to respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by Curriculum for Excellence; and a commitment to ‘showcasing’ emerging good practice.

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5. Colleges and Higher Education Institutions 5.1.

Introduction

This section reports the views elicited at focus group meetings held with representatives of further education colleges and higher education institutions (HEIs). The topic guide for the focus groups included coverage of: awareness, understanding of, and engagement with, Curriculum for Excellence; views on the four capacities; factors that motivate learning; interdisciplinary learning; assessment; stakeholders’ roles in the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence and other emerging issues. 5.2.

Colleges

Participants were invited to take part in the discussions by the Scottish Further Education Unit. Only four college staff members attended the Stirling event, whilst seven went to the Glasgow discussion. The conceptions of Curriculum for Excellence seemed to fall at either end of a continuum. Two participants showed an excellent awareness of the Curriculum for Excellence philosophy, ideals and content and what it is trying to achieve by ‘moving away [from an] assessment-driven curriculum’. Their level of Curriculum for Excellence engagement contributed to their overall understanding: I chair the Royal Society of … Committee for Scotland so we’ve been involved with Curriculum for Excellence as… when it started … five years ago, so I would say I’ve got a good level of understanding. I … understand the broad principles and have been part of a college group looking at the implications for FE and … understanding what schools are doing because we’ve got a lot of youngsters coming in who are school-college partners. (College staff, Stirling)

However, most participants from college groups expressed the view that they remained ‘in the dark’ for a long period. According to college staff, this lack of awareness of Curriculum for Excellence is a reflection of the general state of Curriculum for Excellence awareness in their respective colleges: …nobody else in my department …. [They] know nothing about [Curriculum for Excellence]. We don’t know anything about it. (College staff, Stirling) There’s not a buzz at the college about Curriculum for Excellence. It’s not discussed very much. (College staff, Glasgow)

This lack of awareness can easily have significant consequences leading to an incorrect view regarding the main purpose of the curriculum. A college representative admitted to a misconception of Curriculum for Excellence prior to the discussion: What I thought it was, it’s the fact that there’s not enough people passing the subjects so what we’ve done is … we’re going to make it easier so we get more people through. (College staff, Stirling)

It was evident, though, that college staff wanted to familiarise themselves with Curriculum for Excellence, knowing that college practices need to change to enable transformation ‘to flow from secondary education into further education’ (College staff, Stirling):

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I didn’t have an awful lot of knowledge of Curriculum for Excellence. I want to learn more … and I want to know what the impact is going to be on our future student cohorts, what it’s going to mean to us. (College staff, Glasgow)

Colleges explained that attributes similar to the four capacities of Curriculum for Excellence were already being promoted and developed as part of college ethos in general. Therefore, the school ethos developed through Curriculum for Excellence will fit in nicely with the college ethos. They perceived Curriculum for Excellence to have a ‘much stronger [emphasis] on skills and attitudes than knowledge’ (College staff, Stirling): …if these successful learners, confident individuals etc. if that is all being the ethos of the schools in preparation for the students … then I think we would welcome it because that’s pretty much our ethos … the ethos of any college…. (College staff, Glasgow) An area of concern was expressed with regard to school pupils moving to colleges. Colleges were concerned that there might be ‘a transition issue between school and college’ because they have ‘different attitudes than some of the schools, different procedures and students have to … come into college without … any preparation for it and be expected to cope’ (College staff, Glasgow).

Regarding the development of the four capacities, college staff suggested that they must be considered alongside the needs of the particular student and the courses being studied (College staff, Glasgow). They argued that there should be flexibility in shifting the balance for these four capacities, as they are not on an equal footing for most occasions: …the balance between knowledge, skills and attitudes depends very much on … the needs of the individual student. …this balance…is very much shifting sands…because depending on what the student is there to do…developing knowledge might be the priority, in a more vocational-based course, it might be skill base and with other students, it might be that attitude [is] the most important thing and yet for all of these on any course, they’re all necessary. …the other thing is that built into this is the idea that everybody is going to go ever upwards and in many cases, it’s not ever upwards, it’s expanding at a certain level that you’re at and being able to do that effectively and going over old ground again to maintain knowledge and understanding and attitudes. (College staff, Glasgow)

College representatives recognised that students ‘learn at different speeds’, and this, they suggested, must be taken into account when planning for classroom activities: …whether it’s pieces of paper or whether it’s a computer, it changes according to the learner as well as to the deliverer. (College staff, Stirling)

They also explained that regardless of how motivating the activities were, there was always a chance that some students will remain unengaged: Of course, [Curriculum for Excellence] activities will motivate and engage children and young people but they’ll never motivate and engage all children and young people…one of the things that we’ve always got to remember is that sometimes, activities become boring…. You’ve got to constantly change to keep them engaged. (College staff, Glasgow)

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Questions were also raised concerning those who had already achieved one or more of these four capacities. In an endeavour to cater for the low-achievers, college staff argued that high-achievers might suffer as a result. The only thing that concerns me at the moment…is those that are already confident, successful learners…is there enough knowledge base? Is there enough stretching for them? (College staff, Stirling)

The college representatives’ comments highlighted three issues that could be considered in interdisciplinary learning. Firstly, there is a need to establish connections from one subject area to another. The second is that connections need to be made from subject-specific lessons into real life practice. The third and last issue suggested was the need for partnership. For example, two teachers teaching linked subject areas. It was also made explicit that despite the benefits that can be generated by interdisciplinary teaching, the actual practice is largely based on the resources available: Quite often these cross-curricular activities are the first thing to go where there’s pressure to reduce the number of units…. (College staff, Glasgow) We have to make the learning relevant to the young people across the other learning areas but also to life as well…but for teachers we have to look…unless we know…what’s going on in other areas, we can’t link that across the curriculum…. (College staff, Glasgow)

It was suggested that if disruptive students would be given lessons and tasks which enable them to see the bridge between their education and world of work, then learning would be more relevant and this would facilitate behaviour management: … some of the ones who are disruptive are disruptive because they’re not engaged in learning because they’re doing boring, meaningless things and that there would be less disruption if they can do things that are fun, that they can see the point of a bit more. (College staff, Stirling)

College representatives also explained that it is the middle learners who often suffer when there is too much class disruption: …the top get on often…the middle gets lost and the bottom get attention and they’re the ones that having taught in schools and done guidance and now see a lot of teachers, the bottom disruptive pupils are allowed often to disrupt for everybody and the top ones will get on in spite…, but those middle lot who want and need attention but won’t push themselves forward for it are the ones that suffer because the disruptive ones are taking too much energy, they’re not allowed to exclude them, they’re not allowed to put them out…and…that is the great problem. (College staff, Stirling)

This suggests that in making learning relevant for students, teachers should also carefully address any existing behavioural problems or lack of class management. Assessment was felt to be a contentious topic: I don’t want to bring up the topic of assessment because I think this lovely, rosy picture of wonderfully engaged children and learning experiences…. That’s why we’re all teachers, that’s what we want…the pressures of achievement, retention and performance indicators…stop us doing things the way we would really like to. (College staff, Glasgow)

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In general, college staff members were in agreement with the pedagogic ideals of the Curriculum for Excellence, but in practice, they felt, teaching is an assessment-driven activity. This restricts teachers with regard to the different learning activities that would eventually help their learners to pass their exams and gain qualifications: …because so much of what we do, certainly at National Qualification level, is competence based. I think there’s an awful lot of teaching to the assessment and it’s been quite restricted really in some ways and that might go against trying to develop broader skills. (College staff, Stirling)

Another staff member confirmed what they felt to be the current overemphasis on assessment-led teaching that hinders development of pupils’ ‘broader skills’. For this reason, college staff welcomed the opportunity for teachers to enjoy teaching with no strings attached, so to speak. College staff members maintained that because of colleges’ rich experience with disaffected learners, they had something to offer schools with regard to implementation of Curriculum for Excellence, and a vital role to play in its overall success: I feel that colleges because of the experiences that we’ve had over the years, we could offer a lot to school teachers in continuing professional development of the styles of engaging and challenging learners that we’ve learned over the years …. (College staff, Stirling)

Since Curriculum for Excellence is devised not only to cater for the academically successful students but also for those who might be needing more choices, more chances, colleges’ continuous partnership with schools through school/college liaison is expected to raise pupil awareness of the other options available to them (College staff, Stirling). 5.3.

Higher Education Institutions

This section consists of the views of two groups of participants: HE representatives (9), and the four Deans of Education, who took part in two separate focus group discussions. HE representatives consisted of Customer Service staff, Learning and Teaching Committee Chairpersons, Deans and Vice-Deans, amongst others. Despite limited involvement, some HEI representatives expressed the view that they were fairly knowledgeable and were ‘keeping up to date’ with Curriculum for Excellence and the four capacities. One HEI representative acknowledged the significance of Curriculum for Excellence for Scottish education: …this whole project…is potentially a genuinely innovative project that could have a significant effect on school education. (HEI Representative)

Discussion revealed that one particular university became more interested in Curriculum for Excellence after undertaking a ‘reflection on its own curriculum and processes’, which made them realise ‘that there is a greater need for the university to form partnerships with schools both in terms of the transition of learners but also in the recognition of the curriculum in its wider sense from the school sector’ – an approach that is strongly supported by Curriculum for Excellence (HEI representative). It was argued very strongly by the Deans of Education that the very foundation for student teachers to learn all the four capacities is through planning lessons for teaching and learning, which is an essential part of what teachers are expected to do:

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…it is about planning for learning in a very much wider context than whatever curriculum document is in front of you. How we’re responding to Curriculum for Excellence is…to go with our gut instinct…we’ve pulled back and we’re…focussing on the design principles and we’re looking at our programmes to see if you’re teaching well…even if you’ve never even heard of Curriculum for Excellence, how could you not be planning for successful learners? How could you not be doing that? How could you not want children to be confident in their learning and become confident? That’s nothing to do with the curriculum, that’s just the way it is because you’re a teacher. (Dean of Education)

Similarly, participants emphasised the role of the teacher in encouraging participation and motivating learners. In this regard, this necessitates supporting teachers adequately in order for them to accomplish this task successfully: It must be about empowering the teacher to look for different ways of engaging the child. It can’t be ten tips for a teacher because what happens if you come to 11. I don’t have any more tips, I don’t know what to do so I would hope that we’re not going down this line of motivating activities for providing that. That is up to individual teachers…. (Dean of Education)

Another Dean of Education also maintained that in making connections across curricular areas, the whole endeavour is primarily teacher-centred: Yes [the draft experiences and outcomes provide opportunities to make connections across the curricular areas]… if people will…it’s the teachers that will provide the opportunities, not the curriculum, not the outcomes, not the experiences. It’s the teachers that have to provide them. (Dean of Education)

Generally, the HEI representatives expressed a very favourable view of the ‘interdisciplinary approach’ in the curriculum, after realising that strongly focusing on individual disciplines might, in fact, prevent effective learning: …we very much welcome the cross-curricular and interdisciplinary aspects of the proposals because we have been increasingly identifying one of the barriers to learning of young people coming from school is the university set-up, which is very strongly disciplinary and so we are setting about giving young people ways in which they can explore interdisciplinary enquiries. (HEI representative)

Despite the potentially ‘exciting’ new ways of working, the importance was emphasised of giving teachers sufficient time not only to fully understand the new mechanisms involved in working collaboratively with other subject specialists, but also to develop their confidence as they embark on this approach: The potential to work across the curriculum in schools is hugely exciting…but again needs a bit of time and confidence to develop because teachers are genuinely perplexed by it, not clear as to what’s intended, afraid to step out of the comfort zone in some cases while others embrace it quite happily. (HEI representative)

According to the Deans of Education, linking lessons across different subject areas is not without problems, primarily because of teachers’ widely held view that their main responsibility is to ‘teach their subject’, as opposed to ‘teaching children’. Teachers also tended to be protective of their subject and partnership with another subject specialist might be viewed as a means of diluting or weakening their subject:

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…everybody wants to hold on to their subject area because that’s what they’re there to do. They don’t see it as teaching children. They see it as teaching their subject and if history becomes diluted because they’re doing something with a much greater focus on modern studies, then the potential to work across curricular areas…becomes ‘ floppy’. (Dean of Education)

Curriculum for Excellence was viewed as having a real potential for ‘the development of people who can make a contribution to society’ as opposed to individual institutions merely meeting and maintaining a certain standard (HEI representative). A Dean of Education agreed that Curriculum for Excellence offers a lot of potentially motivating activities for both ordinary and disaffected learners. What would be challenging, however, is having a national standard, which is linked to assessment: …the importance of curriculum by motivating activities for all children…again, it comes back to ‘Is it possible to prescribe that nationally?’ (Dean of Education)

The need for recognition of the wider achievement of graduates was raised not only because it is addressed by Curriculum for Excellence, but also because it is a particular notion raised by the employer groups. Universities felt that it is an area they needed to respond to (HEI representative). Yet, it is fraught with difficulties because of the lack of a standard means of measuring these achievements. In connection with this, a lot of pupil experiences, which are very much part of young people’s development and learning, are not formally assessed: …experiences for youngsters at school seldom came through their Higher grades but more through the experience of arts collaborating to produce a show of drama, of working together, of teamwork, of discipline, of commitment…. None of that was assessed in any formal way and it still isn’t. (HEI representative)

It was also suggested that these additional ways of measuring pupils’ achievements could potentially help university admissions officers to make their decisions if more than one applicant presents with the same qualifications. A Dean of Education observed teacher education’s key role in the roll out of the Curriculum for Excellence, whilst expressing some concern relating to student teachers’ transition to schools, as the ideas promoted in teacher education institutions may not coincide with what they see in practice: the responsibility lies on us as teacher educators to give [students] those experiences…. My concern is when they go into schools and see something that is totally different from the experiences that we’re giving them, which is to say, be creative in your thinking, make the connections in any way that you feel like doing it, don’t be straight-jacketted by the draft experiences and outcomes…. ...will need to have experience and mentors and people who can provide living examples rather than just paper. Then, therefore, the teacher education places have got to be able to contribute.… At the moment…they’re not being asked. (Dean of Education)

It was contended that teacher educators’ main concern is ‘to make sure that the students understand the Curriculum for Excellence in its broadest sense, in its broadest nature’, and to ensure that links with other initiatives (e.g. Assessment is for Learning) were made clear to them.

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It was maintained that planning for the Curriculum for Excellence takes places ‘in a very much wider context’, and thus requires partnerships between universities and local authorities: If we could work with local authorities, with groups of schools, etc.…people who might provide resource and some of the troops needed, if this is going to really get down to for the benefit of every child. We all have partnerships and we all have well-established partnerships with our local authorities. It’s just finding a route that allows us to participate in what is going on…utilising our time spent in school…some way of joining that up with implementing Curriculum for Excellence…the huge resource coming from universities if there was a sort of two-way process. I think that’s a really positive next step, if you like, because we’re there, we’re positive, we’re used to working with teachers, we can do it at a local level as opposed to looking for the sort of national guidance…. (Dean of Education)

A consensus appears to be building that the proposed curriculum is bringing about a ‘oneness’ of education in Scotland, whereby integrated services would be indispensable: …with Fiona Hyslop, there was a real sense from her that she saw a kind of oneness with Scottish education and there shouldn’t be all these kind of disjointed…and that was quite heartening. We need to integrate children’s services and that whole provision…. How does this fit with an integrated service…? …another attempt…to tackle that sort of persistent level of under-achievement and I think that’s where…we really have to focus on, that’s what’s new. This is yet another attempt to try to come again at this. That is where the need for integrated services comes in. (Dean of Education)

Working together will help ensure that pupils, who are at the receiving end, will get the most out of the curriculum. 5.4.

Summary

Most of the discussions with the college staff and the two groups of HEIs centred around the Curriculum for Excellence in general, rather than the Draft Experiences and Outcomes in particular. Overall, the responses were limited by the generally low level of awareness of the participants, especially in the college sector. Nevertheless, college staff welcomed the principles underlying the Curriculum for Excellence since these fit well with the ethos promoted in the FE sector. Additionally, Curriculum for Excellence has a strong message concerning parity of esteem in the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes. Finally, the new curriculum gives lecturers and teachers the opportunity to tailor their teaching not solely to meet assessment requirements but also to develop learners’ broader skills. Despite the limited involvement of several participants from the HEI groups in the engagement process, the two groups as a whole demonstrated a reasonable understanding of the proposed Curriculum for Excellence. Although the potential of the new curriculum to develop people who ‘make a contribution to society’ was acknowledged, issues related to national assessments and recognition of students’ wider achievement were raised. Deans of Education saw that their institutions have a major contribution to make in preparing future teachers who are suitably equipped and confident to meet the challenges of Curriculum for Excellence.

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Both college and HEI groups suggested that collaboration between key stakeholders is a positive way forward, especially in regard to the promotion of interdisciplinary learning. In addition, the value of partnerships between universities and local authorities was also stressed to ensure that adequate levels of resource are allocated to support the implementation of the new curriculum, especially with regard to the provision of ongoing CPD. As one Dean of Education suggested, Curriculum for Excellence endorses a ‘oneness’ of education in Scotland through integration of services, collaboration and partnerships amongst all the key stakeholders in education.

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6. Professional associations, learned societies and voluntary organisations 6.1.

Introduction

This section reports the views professional associations, learned societies and a number of voluntary organisations. The views of the professional associations and learned societies are drawn from the written submissions that they made whereas the views of the voluntary organisations were elicited during a focus group discussion. In both cases the views covered the following topics, as in the previous section: awareness, understanding of, and engagement with, Curriculum for Excellence; views of the four capacities; factors that motivate learning; interdisciplinary learning; assessment, stakeholders’ roles in the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence and other emerging issues. 6.2.

Professional associations and learned societies

The responses were received after consultation with moderate and large-sized groups of individuals. At the same time, there were also individual responses on behalf of organisations (e.g. Archaeology Scotland, Church of Scotland, Technology Teachers’ Association). Comments were often a combination of ‘hopes and concerns’. The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) commends Curriculum for Excellence’s ‘attention to fundamental skills and understanding, such as how to think, how to speak and write, how to make links between diverse areas of learning, how to link formal learning to experience, how to learn independently and how to solve problems’ – aspects, which they believe to have always been endeavoured/practised by the best teachers and schools. The Association for Science Education (Scotland) also believe in the centrality of the teacher’s role in the delivery of a high-quality curriculum: …a great deal will depend on the experience, skills and motivation of the practitioner on whether the possibilities embraced within the Sci[ence] Experiences and Outcomes are fully explored. The amount and quality of science a pupil will experience, particularly primary pupils, will depend largely on the confidence of their teacher to teach any outcome to a particular depth. (Association for Science Education)

The Royal Society of Edinburgh contended that ‘the fundamental concepts, laws, methods of operation, etc.’ in a few subjects (e.g. Mathematics, Science) were hardly mentioned – not so much of the how but the ‘when’ and ‘what’ in order to achieve the outcomes. STEM-ED, Scotland made a similar point in Science, stressing the ‘lack of definition of the basic “substance” underlying the outcomes’. Broad understanding, they explained, is crucial in subjects like Science as ‘competence requires deep foundations of experiment- or experience-based knowledge within a logical conceptual framework’. A similar issue was raised in Mathematics, where the drafts tended to focus on the ‘consequences of mathematical learning’, instead of learning mathematics per se (RSE). For both Science and Mathematics, a strong emphasis was placed on the role of the teacher who has expertise in a particular area of knowledge as well as the ‘teaching by telling’ or ‘lecturing’ technique. The RSE maintained that although these techniques, may seem ‘dry and not an effective source of learning’, they are needed because ‘students would not, on

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their own be able to answer the questions…the didacticism of the expert is required to advance…understanding’: Where will the bedrock of understanding come from whereby the next generation of scientists or even of scientifically aware lay-persons will be developed? Teachers are a key priority for a successful education system. Teaching effectively requires the prior deep knowledge of a discipline and of the cognate areas of knowledge that are typically introduced at each stage of learning. (Royal Society of Edinburgh)

The Royal Society of Edinburgh acknowledged that ‘the curriculum is important, [but] an excellent cohort of teachers is arguably more important’. In giving pupils the opportunities ‘to develop a specialist interest of a specifically disciplinary kind, ‘deep learning’ would be essential for ‘the minority who will eventually take that discipline forward in the next generation’: …continuing attention needs to be given to maintaining the disciplines and to maintaining the pedagogy of each discipline. …any pedagogical practices that don’t allow for that to happen …. will, in the end, erode the disciplinary basis on which all sound learning is based. (Royal Society of Edinburgh)

Since the teacher’s role is deemed crucial in improving learning, there was a convergence of views from different professional bodies that ‘substantial and on-going teacher CPD’ would be vital (STEM-ED, ASE, RSE, Scottish Screen, Scottish ICT Development Group, NHS Lothian Health Promotion Service) especially at the national level (Scottish Catholic Education Service). Teachers are a key priority for a successful education system. Teaching effectively requires the prior deep knowledge of a discipline and of the cognate areas of knowledge that are typically introduced at each stage of learning. (Royal Society of Edinburgh) The principle of promoting good teaching and good learning is independent of subject or curriculum bias. (Technology Teachers’ Association)

CPD is viewed as necessary for teachers to develop the skills and knowledge they need ‘to be comfortable with what they teach’. The Scottish ICT Development Group also expressed concern that ‘teachers who are not very technologically literate will not be ambitious or challenging enough in their interpretation of these guidelines’. Apart from the knowledge received, CPD sessions are opportunities for teachers to meet and exchange good practice with teachers from different schools and other departments (ASE). If a common understanding of each curricular area is to be developed by teachers themselves, then a great deal more time and resource must be given for the continuing professional development of teachers in their areas of disciplinary expertise and in fostering of interdisciplinary working. (Royal Society of Edinburgh) CPD sessions to allow teachers from different schools and for teachers from different curricular areas in the same school to meet and share good practice. Several indicated that inexperienced teachers and/or teachers lacking in confidence prefer more structured teaching and learning and will therefore need support to adequately deliver the ideals of the more active learning and teaching of Curriculum for Excellence. Student teachers require the content knowledge of science, the practical abilities as well as the teaching and presentational skills and the development of all of these results in a very steep learning curve for many. (Association for Science Education)

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… the challenges lies also in school and professional development …. The work and development required in school and in teacher development (inc ITE) is considerable. (Scottish Screen, Social Studies)

Similarly, Scottish Screen on Literacy and English believed that ‘teachers in Scotland will need the necessary skills to deliver 21st century literacy: pedagogical skills and a wider literacy of their own’. According to the Technology Teachers Association, ‘experiences and outcomes … [were] written in a style that would encourage a variety of teaching approaches’. This will have major implications for both CPD for existing teachers and teacher educators as well as for initial teacher education (Scottish Screen, Literacy and English; Technologies). The Church of Scotland acknowledged that it may also take time for teachers to adapt to the ‘implications of the changes’, but they were confident that the pros outweighed the cons. … teachers will need time to think of the implications of the changes and how they may be taken forward as well as the opportunity to learn to work more closely with others across subject and other boundaries. These processes will take time but it is vital that that time and the accompanying resource is [sic] found if the new Curriculum is to achieve its potential for all. (Church of Scotland) … the challenges lies also in school and professional development …. The work and development required in school and in teacher development (inc ITE) is considerable. (Scottish Screen, Social Studies) If teachers are to achieve the aims aspired to in the Cover paper, they will need CPD that enables them to locate their own experience of religion within diverse, contemporary Scotland. (Scottish Council of Jewish Communities)

Lastly, it was suggested that developing centrally the supporting explanation and guidance for the Draft experiences and outcomes would be much preferred because ‘the task is far too complicated and important to be attempted separately by each local authority or school’ (STEM-ED). The RSE also suggested that another way forward might be: a) to exemplify how outcomes could translate into real learning tasks, b) for a team of teachers and other educators to create documents that offer guidance to teachers on logical conceptual frameworks that could link outcomes to a stronger learning journey. The Association for Science Education also stressed that in addition to CPD opportunities, schools need funding – ‘not…for apparatus and equipment but for suitable accommodation and for time to allow effective collaboration, development and CPD’ to happen (ASE). Professional bodies could see the benefits of focusing on interdisciplinary learning, but they also cautioned that it entails a lot of challenges, especially for the secondary sector. The attention to interdisciplinarity is welcome. However, championing interdisciplinarity without strong attention to and investment in the subjects (the ‘disciplines’) themselves is futile. (Royal Society of Edinburgh) Interdisciplinary working is very important to Curriculum for Excellence. (Scottish ICT Development Group) The potential for links are [sic] there – if implicit – in the outcomes. The focus on creativity, particularly in the use of ICT, opens up exciting potential to bring together Technology and Expressive Arts, as well as the more overt links to Science and Mathematics. (Scottish Screen)

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The Church of Scotland recognised that ‘RME has much to contribute and learn from other areas of learning within the curriculum’, and so, it welcomed ‘a breaking down of the traditional barriers between subjects’. STEM-ED Scotland believed that both interdisciplinary application and breadth of perspectives are ‘important for both future specialists and nonspecialists [and for] better understanding of fundamentals in all subjects concerned’. According to ASE ‘due to the structures and organisation of primary schools, cross-curricular links were less of an issue than in secondary schools where more joint planning and communication would be required’. Further, the Scottish Sikh Women’s Association commented that administering cross-curricular work is ‘easier in the Primary school’ but ‘this has to be done with sensitivity’. RSE also commented that interdisciplinary learning ‘is crucial to encourage and create teaching opportunities that break down the barriers’ between traditional subjects and their teachers, leading to enhanced dialogue and cross-learning. The Scottish ICT Development Group also suggested that opportunities for interdisciplinary working must be ‘highlighted in the document and exemplification’. On a positive note, there are subjects, which are linked by default. For example, Social Studies arguably addresses cultural issues as Expressive Arts and English do. Therefore, Curriculum for Excellence will build a stronger relationship between these subjects ‘but the challenge…lies in the existing subject and departmental boundaries in secondary schools’ (Scottish Screen). Archaeology, for example, is an area that lends itself to interdisciplinary learning: Archaeology can provide such an innovative approach to cross-curricular and interdisciplinary work. The historic environment is part of our everyday lives – where we live, work and play. Archaeology can help us gain an understanding of that historic environment, and the remains within it, and also allows young people to develop a sense of place and a respect for other cultures, become responsible citizens, and gain awareness of global issues such as sustainability and cultural diversity. (Archaeology Scotland)

The Technology Teachers’ Association (TTA) saw the potential of the Draft experiences and outcomes for interdisciplinary learning but the difficulty entailed was also acknowledged: It would be convenient to say that they do provide ample opportunities for interdisciplinary links but past experience shows that this will be very difficult to achieve. The strengths of individual subjects have ensured high quality outcomes in the majority (admittedly, not all) of secondary schools for many years. (Technology Teachers’ Association)

The TTA expressed their willingness to ‘encourage links with other areas of the curriculum but … [were] wary of losing the quality that the traditional subject-based curriculum has given us over many years’. The RSE suggested there was a need for caution and balance. Although they agree that ‘psychological research suggests that coherent disciplinary frameworks support the learning process and can also be creatively articulated as pillars of cross-disciplinary understanding’, it is also the case that ‘[m]any powerful disciplinary syntheses have been forged from deep disciplinary awareness’. Examples given were mathematics and computing; and psychology and genetics. In many cases, it was argued that ‘there is no robust understanding or framing of interdisciplinary goals’ (RSE): The relationships between subject areas are often imprecisely specified in the documents, even though these connections are intended to be one of the strengths of the new approach to the curriculum.

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(Royal Society of Edinburgh) Whilst the opportunities for links to other areas of the curriculum are certain there, they remain rather too implicit. (Scottish Screen)

The weighting given to subjects was also raised as a potential issue. Expressive Arts and Language, for example, were often seen as ‘instrumental’ for learning other subjects, and therefore, there was a tendency not to give proper attention to their own characteristics (Scottish Screen). The greatest challenge, however, was perceived to be the guidance and support that teachers will need to put the theory of interdisciplinary learning into practice: The aim that ‘all science staff look for opportunities to develop and reinforce science knowledge and skills within their teaching activities and work with their colleagues in other subjects to plan inter-disciplinary studies and a coherent approach to the development of literacy and numeracy skills, and to themes such as citizenship or enterprise’ is encouraging, but will require an unprecedented cultural change in the teaching profession. This challenge will not be met without a major injection of support and resource. (Royal Society of Edinburgh)

The proposed curriculum is a move away from an assessment-driven one, but concern among professional bodies over pupils’ readiness for examination at the end of S4 was clear: It is commendable that teachers are allowed the freedom to develop and deliver mathematics to a depth and width suitable to the times and appropriate for the students in their charge. However, this must be content described with a well- defined minimum level of knowledge/skill to be attained. The required content must reflect the fact that the student should be ready for external assessment by the end of S4. (Scottish Mathematical Council) …the documents are unclear about the ways in which valid and fair measurement might be carried out. (Royal Society of Edinburgh)

It was suggested that the phraseology used for subjects like Expressive Arts make measurement, let alone understanding, a challenge: The oft-repeated phrase ‘magic, wonder and power’ of the arts…the phrase suggests something numinous and unfathomable, rather than something which can – and should – be analysed and critically understood. (Scottish Screen)

In this regard, the Scottish Mathematical Council asks the fundamental question: Whose responsibility is it to prepare for assessment, to make sure that between all the subjects the entire list of attainment targets is met? (Scottish Mathematical Council)

Like assessment, the topic of progression generated a lot of strong feedback from various professional bodies mainly arising from the tension caused by the ‘vagueness’ and/or ‘flexibility for teachers’ characterising Curriculum for Excellence, which, they argued, have implications for a clear progression: There is a danger that the curriculum could be seen by pupils as fragmented, with no clear view being transmitted that a coherent body of understanding and capability was being established. (STEM-ED Scotland)

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…failure to define markers of progression adequately across the 5 levels of proficiency [and] the related uncertainties caused by the absence of any indication of how progress and achievement of outcomes are to be identified and reported. (Association for Scottish Literary Studies) …some…welcome the flexibility that such open statements allowed although this was of great concern to most. Several responses indicated there was no clear progression of ideas or skills detailed in the Sci E&O. (Association for Science Education) …at times, there is insufficient detail to indicate how learning [will] progress within levels – eg. from P2 to P4. (Scottish Catholic Education Service) Outcomes which span several stages need to be broken down and rewritten, particularly where they span second to third level. How do receiving secondary schools know what incoming pupils’ experiences have been if there is not a clear expectation for the end of the primary school? It’s important that the progression through levels is clearly shown within every strand. (NHS Lothian Health Promotion Service)

The Scottish Mathematical Council explained that the issues relating to progression are not restricted to the students, teachers and schools. It could potentially cause confusion and lack of uniformity for the whole of Scotland: The P7/S1 interface faces major confusion if this vagueness persists. A school with ten associated primary schools runs the risk of having ten standards to pull together in S1 unless the consortium sets up a working party to agree on a common policy. This will have to take place the length and breadth of Scotland, involving an enormous duplication of effort, and will still not ensure a reasonably uniform approach across the country. (Scottish Mathematical Council)

The Royal Society of Edinburgh provided a detailed explanation of what they believed the proposed curriculum lacked: …the proposals are not yet workable as a revised curriculum. The first problem that the Society identifies is a lack of coherent architecture, either in the sense of a theory of how children progress from level to level, or in the sense of over-arching themes that might give coherence across diverse curricular areas. …The proposals offer no account of how children progress through levels or kinds of learning, and offer no sense of learning as cumulative. For example, the five levels of the curriculum are arbitrarily imposed, with no rationale being offered for them or any definition of them other than as sequential stages. (Royal Society of Edinburgh)

The following accounts demonstrate how professional bodies were aware of the contribution that they could make to the implementation of the new curriculum. Firstly, they acknowledged that they could support in planning the curriculum. STEM-ED believes that ‘inputs from science centres, industry and other external agencies needed to be explicitly planned and integrated into the curriculum development’. Scottish Screen ‘would welcome the opportunity to advise’ on the use of moving image and related media as critical elements of’ the Curriculum for Excellence. Likewise, Archaeology Scotland offered to refine, amend or develop further any of the learning outcomes for Social Studies, whilst the British Red Cross would welcome the opportunity to continue the discussion with Learning and Teaching Scotland regarding their submission. Likewise, the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities would also ‘very much welcome the opportunity to work with LTS in the development of a curriculum that truly engages with all the people of Scotland’. Others think that their support would be more relevant to pupils and young people as they begin to learn under the new curriculum. For example, The Sustainable Development

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Education Liaison Group (SDELG) ‘recommends that pupils visit each of the sustainable development priority areas twice in their school career’. Also, although there was a question as to why the contribution of librarians in supporting Curriculum for Excellence was not indicated, it was felt that libraries could directly support overall implementation: Children and young people are natural explorers but they often need assistance so that they read widely enough to develop their ideas, learn how to express their view articulately and develop a love of language. (Scottish Library and Information Council and Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals)

Others see their role as something that could have an impact on Scotland’s future. The BioIndustry Association Scotland explained how they engage informally with students ‘to promote interest in science and…make recommendations regarding skills issues for the industry’. This was believed to be crucial because failing to retain an interest in science as a career will have ‘a damaging effect on the number of future graduates and seriously undermine the knowledge economy and skills base’. Finally, in order for Curriculum for Excellence to avoid the assessment-driven model of the curriculum, as well as to work towards ‘the development of common understanding of the structure and details of a curriculum’ but not ‘centralisation of control of the curriculum’, the Royal Society of Edinburgh advocated a working partnership with the different stakeholders in education: To avoid an assessment-driven focus, developing the syllabus will require that teachers work in partnership with each other and with people from universities, specialist highereducation colleges, and organisations with particular expertise in certain curricular areas. A consensus could be reached by teachers of each specific subject, consulting with disciplinary experts from other sectors such as universities, research institutes and business. Government and its agencies…have a role in encouraging the development of these common aims. (Royal Society of Edinburgh)

6.3.

Voluntary groups

Only one session was held to gather the views of ten represented voluntary organisations including: Christian Aid; the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award; the Firefly Arts Company; The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; Callander Youth Project, Scottish Muslim Parents’ Association; YMCA Scotland; the Red Cross; Barnardo’s Scotland; Glasgow South West Regeneration Agency; and the World Wildlife Fund. There were twelve participants in total. The voluntary sector representatives demonstrated a sound understanding of Curriculum for Excellence as well as very active involvement with both primary and secondary schools (specifically with teachers, pupils and disengaged young people): We do a lot of work around sustainability, citizenship and international issues so we did have some input into the writing of the outcomes…. (Voluntary sector representative) We provide a flexible curriculum and experience for young people…. We cater to the most vulnerable young people in the school…we’re seen as a best practice example of working directly with a high school. (Voluntary sector representative) We do quite a lot of work in schools, some of it is with disengaged young people…We’re particularly interested in working in primary schools with teachers to develop their informal education skills so that they can learn how to deliver the four capacities, and we work

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especially with the [name of city] Council to develop new professional development opportunities for primary school teachers. (Voluntary sector representative)

The voluntary sector’s engagement is wide-ranging – from informal outreach engagement work and ‘voluntary teacher schemes’ to writing and trialling Draft experiences and outcomes, some of which received recognition. It was pointed out that although only the four capacities are very prominent in the Curriculum for Excellence, it is, in fact, more ‘holistic’ and ‘balanced’ than this might suggest, with many other skills and values (e.g. employability) embedded in it. There was also a suggestion that confidence is an essential element in developing all the other capacities further: …across the four capacities, you’re looking for confident individuals. Unless you’re a confident individual, you will not become a successful learner. (Voluntary sector representative) In a similar way, pupils’ performance, especially in literacy and numeracy, is considered critical in their development of the four capacities: … I have boys who are in fifth and sixth year who are on our programme because they can barely write their name…If we haven’t paid enough attention to literacy and the numeracy in primary school, and then as they’re going through high school, they’re never going to become responsible citizens, effective contributors and confident individuals…unless their numeracy and…literacy is sorted out first. (Voluntary sector representative)

The representatives of different voluntary sector organisations also focussed their discussion on ‘shared understanding’ and the measurement of these four capacities, arguing that until an unambiguous and common understanding of the capacities is achieved, there will always be concerns relating to measurement or assessment: …we need to understand and to have a shared understanding of what we mean by a confident individual…which is a very complex term, before people try to start measuring it in some way and really get down to a certain set of skills or a certain set of attributes…. … our starting point is the four capacities…I think it’s really good language that youth work can gather in underneath…but to be delivered, that obviously has to go somewhere a bit more focussed. …that is still flexible and adaptable and…is measured under the four capacities…rather than…specific outcomes. (Voluntary sector representative)

Although they acknowledged that the four capacities needed further refinement and focus, they felt it was important that the Curriculum for Excellence’s flexibility and adaptability be retained. They also emphasised that ‘education is not just what happens in the school or in the playground or the classroom’, and therefore, different stakeholders need to work together to provide a comprehensive learning experience to pupils. In terms of motivating school pupils, the representatives of the voluntary sector believed that Curriculum for Excellence’s major impact will be on the low-achievers, the disaffected and disengaged young people: …it is only going to make a difference to the kind of young people, the disaffected, disengaged young people…. (Voluntary sector representative)

The case was strongly argued that an individual pupil has a set of individual needs affecting the kind of learning tasks and activities that can be regarded as motivating. This learning, as was argued, was not restricted to what is taking place inside the classroom and poses a

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challenge for how schools can accommodate various learning experiences in order to encourage different types of pupils to learn: …a classroom with a teacher and a blackboard does not work for every child.…It’s about recognising that learning for every individual is individual and it has to be person-centred and it has to recognise that some kids just don’t learn well in a classroom and the only way you might be able to get them to learn is to take them outside and get them digging trees in a forest or take them down to the harbour and teach them how to fish.…if it’s going to motivate really disengaged young people, it has to be much more fundamental than just ‘how to we change things in a classroom?’. I agree, it’s not all about the classroom and how do we recognise that other learning environments are as important as the classroom setting? (Voluntary sector representative)

Voluntary sector representatives view ‘institutional changes’ as vital to providing a range of motivating experiences to pupils, for which they see greater ‘voluntary sector involvement’ as a way forward. In relation to the recognition of pupils’ wider achievement, voluntary sector representatives believed that this is ‘something that good teachers have been doing for a long time’. What they were very keen to know was how it would be rolled out – with the biggest question ‘How is it going to be measured?’ …looking at how Curriculum for Excellence can help recognise the wider achievement of young people…how schools are now going about doing that? ‘How are [schools] going to recognise the achievements of young people beyond the traditional school curriculum?’ (Voluntary sector representative)

They anticipated that a lot of support for teachers through CPD as well as new ways of assessment and the HMIe’s ‘inspection framework’ would be required. Other people in the group, however, questioned whether the notion of measuring pupils’ wider achievement was reasonable: We have an education system whose assessment methodology is based on exams and whose teaching methodology, although it’s changing and there are variations, mostly involves the unit of a classroom, a class and a teacher. I think there is this very fundamental question of ‘Can you measure these things and can you deliver and cultivate these things in a structure that’s fundamentally designed for exams and classrooms and one teacher per class?’ . (Voluntary sector representative)

The voluntary sector argued that their experience of working with a range of different professions gave them ‘massive skill’ that could indeed ‘help to move the Curriculum for Excellence’ forward. Despite being seen as ‘second class providers’ when compared to formal education, they have skills to offer and examples of good practice in working with young people: I see the implications for my role and my organisation along with the ideas network in Scotland, which I think is a really good example of collaboration between voluntary sectors… from a development education point of view but…in youth work sectors as well…. I see a real opportunity for pedagogy, with regards to the content being skills-driven and skills-focussed, and…being very values based and social justice being at the heart of what we are as an organisation; I see a real opportunity. (Voluntary sector representative) I strongly believe that the point of Curriculum for Excellence is about it being a bit more than teachers and schools. It’s about society. So it’s about all professionals who work with young people in learning environments. (Voluntary sector representative)

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6.4.

Summary

A large number of participants from the professional associations, learned societies and voluntary organisations demonstrated a deep awareness and understanding of the Curriculum for Excellence, and many had had some involvement in its development. From the perspectives of the professional associations and learned societies, the centrality of the teachers’ role in the effective delivery of the curriculum was widely recognised. As one professional body asserted, ‘the curriculum is important [but] an excellent cohort of teachers is arguably more important’. This has implications for the continuing professional development teachers will require in order to implement the new curriculum effectively. It is suggested that CPD support might involve several aspects: a) interpretation and exemplification of the guidelines in the proposed curriculum; b) in-depth knowledge of other subject areas (for interdisciplinary learning and teaching); and c) a variety of teaching approaches and techniques for effective delivery of the lessons. Despite the challenges that interdisciplinary learning entails, professional associations and learned societies welcomed it and saw it as a channel for expression of creative teaching. However, an issue was raised relating to the more complex structure in secondary schools where teaching is more highly compartmentalised. Some participants also expressed reservations regarding progression and assessment due to the ‘vagueness’ and ‘flexibility’ characterising the proposed curriculum, which, it was asserted, would affect students, teachers, and schools, and could cause confusion. In this regard, a voluntary sector representative emphasised the importance of having a ‘shared understanding’ of the four capacities, which will have a positive impact on teaching and learning across Scotland. Similarly, a voluntary sector representative asserted that issues relating to assessment (e.g. summative assessment, HMIe’s inspection framework) need to be addressed and clarified. The Curriculum for Excellence was generally commended for its focus on skills, which they thought would be appropriate in meeting the needs of all learners. One point that came across very strongly from both groups was the important role that professional associations, learned societies and voluntary organisations felt they could play during implementation of Curriculum for Excellence.

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7. Parents’ and employers’ perspectives 7.1.

Introduction

This section reports on views expressed by parents and employers at focus groups organised during the four regional events referred to earlier. As with the previous sections the comments follow the same pattern of themes: awareness, understanding of, and engagement with, Curriculum for Excellence; views of the four capacities; factors that motivate learning; interdisciplinary learning; assessment, stakeholders’ roles in the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence and other emerging issues. 7.2.

Parents

A total of 27 parents from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee provided their views through focus group discussions held at the regional events organised by LTS. Most parents across all the parent groups expressed the view that they only had a very minimal knowledge of Curriculum for Excellence. Engagement events were taken as good opportunities to get a better grasp of the new curriculum. Some parents had access to information because of special roles they held (e.g. Chair of the Parent Council) and were more aware of the issues affecting the new curriculum. Generally, however, parents were not likely to be aware of the Curriculum for Excellence and all its implications for their children’s learning. In principle, most parents did not dispute the soundness of Curriculum for Excellence ideals, the more rounded perspective given to education and its impact on all types of learners. Parents contended that the Curriculum for Excellence’s four capacities constituted what ‘a good teacher should be teaching in a classroom’ (Parent, Dundee). However, their lack of knowledge about how the curriculum would be executed was a cause for concern: I think nobody can really disagree with the four capacities, I think they’re absolutely excellent, but it’s how that then goes into the subjects … what framework is there? (Parent, Edinburgh)

…the four outcomes are a very good spread of things. What … is necessary … is further discussion, continuing and everlasting discussion on the ways in which some of these things can be opened up and unpacked. (Parent, Aberdeen)

Many parents welcomed the broadening of the curriculum in order to accommodate a balanced integration of knowledge, skills and attitudes, which they believe will be appropriate for a greater number of children and young people. Nevertheless, they also questioned whether more might, in fact, mean less when it comes to students’ learning: …it is very important that although these are all things that we want to include in the curriculum … the basic academic knowledge, at whatever level, must not suffer … the school day is not going to get any longer, presumably, so quite how do you squash a lot more things into the same timetable? (Parent, Dundee)

According to some parents, the balance of the curriculum depends on the nature of the subjects. They suggested that each curricular area has a different focal point and, thus, requires a suitable approach:

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…it might be a question of finding different sorts of balance in different sorts of curriculum areas. It may well be that knowledge is more important in one, skill more important in another, attitudes more important in a third. (Parent, Aberdeen)

Most parents pointed out that a more balanced curriculum necessitates ‘a change of attitudes … for instance, the assumption with parents and teachers and a lot of other people that academic values are the more important or perhaps the only important thing’ (Parent, Aberdeen). Parents recognised the way in which Curriculum for Excellence implicitly promotes a parity of esteem between knowledge and skills. There was recognition that the increased emphasis on skills and students’ greater involvement in learning can be very motivating and assist student learning, especially of those who are ‘not academically capable’ (Parent, Dundee). This also depends on ‘how imaginative the schools are in providing activities or what they see as activities that are worthwhile’ (Parent, Aberdeen). More importantly, parents acknowledged the teachers’ crucial role in making this happen: …if there is a connection between the child and the teacher, it helps the learning. It takes a quality teacher. A charismatic teacher. All children are inquisitive and want to learn but if [teachers] don’t make the subject interesting, the kids won’t want to know. They will turn their back on it. (Parents, Glasgow)

Most parents across all the parent groups expressed their reservations about treating the curriculum reform as a panacea for successful learning: I just think that no matter what …., you are always going to have 1–-5% of children who are not going to achieve anything. …children who bunk school … nine times out of ten … children have problems at home. (Parent, Glasgow)

Other parents were in agreement that home environment has a considerable impact on pupil success. They intimated that stronger ‘parental partnership in devising activities’ and greater ‘parental involvement through the four capacities’ were to be encouraged. At the same time, it was acknowledged that there are always parents whose low expectations of their children and lack of adequate support lead pupils to be less motivated (Parent, Dundee). Parents could see the value of ‘bridging knowledge and skills between different subjects’ acknowledging that some subject areas were more naturally linked than others. …it encourages children to think away from the tramlines, ‘This is Geography, this is History, this is English’, which, if you’re going to talk about children moving out into the wider world, they really need to know that life isn’t divided into little boxes like that…. (Parent, Edinburgh)

It was also asserted that cross-curricular links were not entirely new. In the past, pupils learned lessons across various curriculum areas; however, the connections were not actually made explicit (Parents, Edinburgh and Dundee). Cross-curricular links are perceived to be easier to achieve in the primary sector – where one teacher delivers all the subjects – but it remains a challenge for the secondary sector. Parents in the Edinburgh focus groups pointed out that the three fundamental reasons for the difficulty were: a) insufficient knowledge of content; b) lack of inter-departmental links; and c) short lesson periods. One of the perceived obstacles to progression is a lack of knowledge of the content of the subject(s) being cross-referred to. Likewise, if an inter-departmental link is

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not successfully established, teachers’ efforts may lead to duplication rather than connection. Thirdly, since ‘a lot of projects…are concentrated in short periods of time’, this too works against establishing cross-curricular links. Parents also viewed the timetabling in the secondary sector as detrimental to the successful practice of making connections across curriculum areas, and felt that this needs serious attention. Parents also expressed the view that successfully making the transition from one sector to another appeared challenging, especially if each sector achieved differing levels of success in establishing cross-curricular links: …there needs to be a bit of coordinated learning amongst primary teachers and secondary teachers about the transition through … P5 to S2. (Parent, Aberdeen) …it’s stemming from the nursery years through the primary school to the transition at high school … the fundamental part is leaving primary to go to high school. (Parent, Edinburgh)

Having said that, they also recognised that if primary pupils were trained to learn in a crosscurricular way, the next generation of secondary pupils would be more skilled at it (Parent, Glasgow). In the past, some subjects were said ‘not [to] take real life into consideration’ (Parent, Dundee) as lessons were not linked to application. Parents held positive views about the way in which the development of employability skills in the Curriculum for Excellence was tied in with their children’s education, as they felt that it is represents an important step towards employment (Parent, Aberdeen): I think it makes your learning much more relevant to what you experience outside in life because life is not an English lesson or a Maths lesson, it’s all of them together. (Parent, Glasgow) What you find is that you need a bit of practicality in your life, when you go into the big bad world to … work for an employer. Bringing in there you have your self-confidence, you have a bit of pride in yourself, time-keeping – how do you bring that into the framework of an education, to bring that type of life experience, for people who are leaving at the age of 16? (Parent, Edinburgh)

Another parent expressed the view that Curriculum for Excellence is by-and-large more relevant to those who are not inclined to pursue academic learning, and presented two possible scenarios of how pupils might respond: …for the vast majority of young people between now and 200 years in the future and 200 years in the past, you could stick them in front of a dominie in the village school, you could st stick them in front of a computer in the 21 century and they will learn…. This Curriculum for Excellence has to address the non-vast majority – the ones who are not going to respond … the pessimist in me wants to say that it doesn’t matter what you do, they are not going to learn. The optimist in me wants to say … there must be a better way of doing things and hopefully, this is a better way of doing it. (Parent, Glasgow)

For parents across all the parent groups, the new curriculum is a positive move to establish a strong connection between education and the world of work, and as a result, pupils would realise for themselves how their overall school experiences are tailored for future living. Parents were keen to understand ‘how the transitioning period will affect the qualifications that [pupils] sit and also the way in which they are taught’ (Parent, Dundee). They disliked the old system whereby teachers were merely ‘ticking the boxes and pushing the kids

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through’ resulting in high attainment, but leaving ‘gaps in their knowledge’ (Parent, Edinburgh): …a lot of teachers now are under pressure with targets, targets, targets but they are too busy rushing through the curriculum to get through what they have to do that they are forgetting the child. (Parent, Glasgow)

Parents also viewed ‘the influence of the HMI inspections … [as] detrimental to learning’. They thought that the whole assessment system needed a review if teachers were expected to have freedom to tailor their lessons under the new Curriculum for Excellence (Parent, Aberdeen). Parents agreed that pupils’ other achievements were important and were very concerned that these should be recognised. Since to date they have neither been assessed nor lead to any type of qualifications, parents expressed the fear that failure to recognise non-academic achievement could eventually defeat the purpose of developing the four capacities: …a young lady in sixth year who had five Higher A passes in her subjects said ‘Well, I have done that but I have also done a lot of other things. How are you… going to recognise these other achievements that I have had in other parts of my social life?’ It was a good question…. (Parent, Aberdeen) I am always taught…that if it is not measured, then it won’t get done, so unless we come up with a way of actually measuring the confidence and the effectiveness and the responsibility of our children, they will… still be seen as the second class part and it will still be the ‘Successful Learners’ that get measured because it’s dead easy to mark an exam. (Parent, Dundee)

Some parents also raised their concern that, if assessment processes were all to change, it might affect their ability to support their children with their studies. Some felt that extra support for parents might be needed (Parent, Edinburgh). In general, parents thought that all stakeholders including employers, further education, higher education, and parents themselves have a role to play to make Curriculum for Excellence a success (Parents, Aberdeen, Edinburgh). Parents felt that some guidance, through a booklet or posted on the school website, would be useful for those who were keen to be involved in their children’s education, and that this would assist them in maximising the parental support they provided: …there should be a homework booklet and it says ‘This is what we expect of the parents’ and if there is a website or something like that, that would be good practice within a school … it would be much easier if somebody was devising a course nationally … and tell all parents, ‘Look, this is what….’ (Parent, Edinburgh) Parents need to be informed as to what the plan is for that particular term or period and what their objectives are and their educational aims are in that period of time…. (Parent, Glasgow)

Parents thought that they ought to be provided with specific information about their children’s education, to ensure that they could lend a hand, if needed. For some, it is the parents’ duty to ‘be involved in their child’s lives all around them and that includes their education…and life is just about education, all of life is education’. They are convinced that they have a 69


contribution to make to help Curriculum for Excellence make the best possible impact on their children’s lives. 7.3.

Employers

A very small group of employers’ representatives participated in the focus group discussions (i.e. 22), partly due to the day/time chosen. On all occasions, some delegates who came as ‘parents’ joined the employer group whenever appropriate. There were employers who demonstrated a very good understanding of Curriculum for Excellence’s four capacities due to their secondment experiences,13 attendance at a few presentations, and information provided by the education press. Several employer representatives who took part in the discussions also admitted that it was only recently that they developed their awareness of Curriculum for Excellence, emphasising that it was restricted to ‘general awareness’ only (Employer, Aberdeen), and that it presented a ‘steep learning curve’ for them (Employer, Dundee): I am aware of the title. I am aware a little of some of the progress towards skills for work qualifications, but I don’t really have much in-depth knowledge about what Curriculum for Excellence really stands for. (Employer, Dundee)

Yet, they believed that the curriculum revision is a timely initiative for Scottish education in order to meet the needs of industry in the next few years: Wearing an employer’s hat, I think it is the time for it. We are really looking for changes that are going to impact five, six, eight, nine years down the road. (Employer, Aberdeen)

Just like parents’ groups, employers in general supported the Curriculum for Excellence principles. They conveyed their willingness to ‘support engagement between employers and the school’ towards the realisation of a more relevant curriculum (Employer, Dundee). What they tended to question, however, is the practicality of the whole process – how it would be implemented and how realistic the delivery would be – as it would subsequently impact on the learning experience of children and young people: It all sounds like … ‘Motherhood and apple pie’…. It’s all good principles but I have absolutely no appreciation … about how it is going to be implemented in the classroom and what the effect is going to be on our children…. (Employer, Aberdeen) I think on paper it looks excellent. …it’s a big change in the way teachers deliver and I think the balance of it developing knowledge, skills and attitudes will depend very much on the teacher that’s doing it and how they do it…. (Employer, Glasgow)

Several employers agreed that Curriculum for Excellence is bringing out the development of attitudes and invaluable ‘soft skills’, which previously lacked adequate attention. These skills are necessary in producing ‘confident individuals’ and ‘responsible citizens’, which an Edinburgh employer regarded as key when interacting inside and outside one’s working life and with the general community:

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These provided employers with a range of different experiences and levels of engagement. Some of them worked directly with the youngsters on the four capacities to develop these skills (Employer, Edinburgh).

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…if we manage to achieve even 50% of these things in a youngster coming out and coming into retail, we would be more than happy with that. Particularly the confidence and self-esteem aspects of it, we would then take them on board to train from there. (Employer, Dundee)

The development of a more rounded individual was felt to make for someone who is more employable than one who passed their exams but lacks a lot of employability skills (e.g. communication) (Employer, Edinburgh). At the same time, Aberdeen employers expressed concern that promotion of ‘the all round skills’ may lead to a scenario whereby schools lack ‘the ability to develop experts in an area’: …are we trying to develop a similar bunch of people that are very similar and all very capable of doing a single job but at the same time, we can’t all be the Chief Scientist or the Chief Engineer? …we do have to have at the end of it a breadth of people and abilities. (Employer, Aberdeen)

An employer from Glasgow commented on what he observed to be a gap: ‘the one word that’s missing in probably all of [the four capacities] if we’re talking about equality or parity between vocational and academic subjects, the word “skills” has to go through all of the four areas’. Likewise, a Dundee employer suggested that ‘competitiveness and managing disappointment is a very interesting and worthwhile contribution’ when developing pupils’ confidence. Employers also cautiously pointed out the danger of losing good things that characterised the previous curriculum in favour of offering a broader curriculum, and felt that although the bases for developing the four capacities are equally sound, it is neither necessary nor possible for students to progress in all areas: I have concerns that we are going to be trying to do too much and it might affect some of the things that we are good at, but there are all sorts of things … that are good and you would think would be good from an employers’ point of view. (Employer, Aberdeen) I think it is also important to remember that everyone is different and it might not be possible for everyone to be all of these things. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and it is important to try to address the weaknesses but you have to remember that sometimes people just can’t or won’t be able to. (Employer, Aberdeen)

According to some employers, Curriculum for Excellence ‘will be particularly appropriate for the ones that are requiring more motivation or that are disengaged’ (Employer, Aberdeen), because when teachers ‘pinpoint individual skills, it should actually help disaffected young people because, rather than seeing their shortfalls, they’ll see what skills they actually do have and how they can progress with them’ (Employer, Glasgow). Employers also argued that for the key to making the Curriculum for Excellence framework effective lies in pupils having a very good grasp of the rationale behind what they are learning and how this can be applied in the real world: …it is important to get children to understand why they are learning and how to apply this in the big bad world. (Employer, Dundee)

The locus for realising the potential of the Curriculum for Excellence was attributed to the teachers’ role, with complementary support from parents. In fact, employers strongly suggested that there should be space for genuine partnership between teachers, parents, careers advisers and schools to make the curriculum not only motivating but also relevant (Employer, Dundee):

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…the effective teachers were the ones who made you enjoy your lessons and got you involved. …the framework itself won’t make it work. It’s going to be the quality of the teaching, the quality of the parental support, and if you get those two things right … they’ll become more engaged with the whole process. …I think apprenticeship is very important. But it’s also again … due to the quality of teaching, mentoring and coaching …. And parental involvement is a great one. (Employer, Edinburgh)

With regard to the issue of motivating learners, there were employers who cautioned that the new framework may, in fact, cause ‘more able pupils’ to become demotivated if their abilities are not sufficiently stretched: I have concerns that it will … demotivate the more able pupils who lose interest if they are not sufficiently challenged and there is not enough for them to do. (Employer, Aberdeen) It’s not just about those who are under-achieving, it’s those who are over-achieving, so if you’ve got a scenario where you want to deliver something that’s alive and kicking to make it more available and understood. …the penny might not drop for a long time with other youngsters … how do you then with the youngster that the penny has dropped keep them motivated if it’s in a classroom situation where they’re all travelling at the same speed? (Employer, Glasgow)

The concept of promoting cross-curricular links between subject areas was very positively received by employers, because this approach to learning is likened to life beyond school, where knowledge and skills are inherently interlinked and are applicable to different contexts: I think that it is important because as they go out into the world, you can’t look at things in isolation…. (Employer, Aberdeen) …life is cross-curricular. Nothing when you leave school is in curricular areas, so why should it be when you’re at school? (Employer, Glasgow)

Another group of employers argued that only natural and appropriate links, as opposed to contrived connections, should be pursued: Where appropriate. Where reasonable. Where it makes sense to do it. … where there’s a real relevance there … sometimes you wonder if its just being done to tick the box and make sure, yes, we’re very cross-curricular. It should only be where it’s the right thing to do. It has to be reasonable, it has to be appropriate, has to be of benefit doing it. It’s like anything, there should be a real benefit. If the benefit is only in the kids getting broad experience, then that might be a big enough benefit…. (Employer, Edinburgh)

It was also suggested that teaching across the curriculum is inadequate. Instead, making the links explicit was regarded as important, because some young people fail to see the links if the explanation is unclear (Employer, Edinburgh). Employers’ main criterion as to whether learning is relevant boils down to the question of attitudes and employability skills rather than the qualifications achieved. Likewise, making specific subject areas more applicable to daily life is perceived to be a very positive move: …the thing that employers tend to want to know about is can young people communicate? Will they fit into a team? Will they be able to learn? Will they be motivated? ...there’s more than just being able to understand the qualifications, [this] isn’t necessarily a priority for the employer who’s running a business and watching his bottom line. (Employer, Glasgow)

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…employers look for the attitudes. The willingness to learn, the right behaviours … it is very important that from a very early age, from primary age that children develop and have those instilled. That those types of behaviours and attitudes to do with time-keeping, team working, compromise, communication … they know how to negotiate with one another …. Employers usually, it’s not the qualifications they are looking for, it’s the right attitudes and the work ethic (Employer, Dundee)

Taking the future into consideration, employers were keen to point out the needs of industry. They also contended that the curriculum might address the influence of the media, as it obviously encourages certain careers more than others: I think these are all general abilities that we want to encourage in people but we must not forget … that we have a great shortage of … engineers and vocationally trained people…. We want rounded individuals but we need experts as well to develop our high tech industries which is where Scotland is going to have to progress. (Employer, Aberdeen) …perhaps as a society, we don’t particularly value [low-profile jobs] and of course, that is … reflected in our young people’s attitudes … there is an element of realism that has to be in this curriculum … and that has to be managed. (Employer, Dundee)

Employers raised various points in relation to assessment. Accordingly, the league tables impact strongly on the whole notion of assessment, whereby the performance of the students and of the schools are measured by the number of passes at certain grades, in certain years, in certain schools and in certain local authorities (Employer, Edinburgh). These employers also stated that more than the certificates gained, they were more interested to know the ‘impact’ and skills that pupils acquired as a result. Therefore, when it comes to statistics, they argued that there is more value to knowing ‘where have … pupils gone’ after they have left school, as this can be a better measure of performance, attainment and achievement: …assessment on positive outcomes [or] positive destinations. To me, it’s every bit as important as the number of standard grades achieved each year or the number of Highers and … Advanced Highers. I think this would actually drive the standards throughout the school system much more positively. (Employer, Glasgow)

Secondly, employers stressed how important it was for them to ‘understand the whole qualifications framework a bit better, and why they assess and what they assess and how they assess and what it all means’ (Employer, Edinburgh). The same sentiment was expressed by some employers from Glasgow: …sometimes the assessment is currently overly confusing for employers as well. I appreciate things like core skills were developed for industry with industry in mind, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that employers in industry understand them and when kids come out of school with a sheaf of papers instead of one certificate that’s baffling to most employers. They don’t have time to wade through all that stuff. They need something simple. (Employer, Glasgow)

The third point is linked to the employers’ concerns regarding the challenge of assessment at a national level and its implications for assessing future employees (Employer, Aberdeen): I was concerned that the assessment wasn’t going to be at a national level, that it was going to be devolved locally because I was wondering how you were going to keep the standard at a similar level? As an employer, how would you assess people who have come from different assessments?

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(Employer, Aberdeen)

Finally, employers from Dundee recognised the ‘lack of reporting procedure’ for pupils’ other skills and achievements, which were not previously part of the assessment framework. These achievements, they argued, could only compensate for a lack of other qualifications during the application process, if there is a way of assessing and reporting them: …if they are unsuccessful in [the] interview, the employer has nothing else to look back on…it won’t be on their report card… It’s… something… that I would be concerned about if I were starting to recruit again. (Employer, Dundee)

An employer observed that there was more employer involvement recently than in the past (Employer, Edinburgh), which was seen as a good thing, as pupils acquire other work skills and get a better understanding of the world of work: …employers are beginning to be more involved, because you now have in third year, you get placements or work experience, which is great. …. (Employer, Edinburgh)

Employers thought that there was scope for engaging employers in the enterprise-related type of activities for both primary and secondary schools, which could be extended to include partnerships with local authorities as well (Employer, Edinburgh): …as an employer, I would like to be represented. There’s the CBI, there’s the Federation of Small Businesses, there’s all the Chambers of Commerce, all these guys would be willing to put folk up to be part of the thinking piece…. (Employer, Edinburgh)

We need to get out there and speak to these kids because they are the next generation of businessmen and women and doctors and nurses and brickies and plumbers … we have to get in there early and show these kids, ‘Yes … you may never be a Professor of AstroPhysics but you can be [a] good brick layer. (Employer, Dundee)

Employers also believed that early engagement may especially help those who are not academically inclined, to show that there are other non-academic routes in the world of work that they could pursue. A very specific example on how partnership with employers could help assist pupils’ skills was through the use of mock interviews: …there have been some instances … where employers are involved in interview processes for kids getting on the course which has proved very successful because very often they are … recruiting … to take on an apprentice…. [Employers] often give resources of time and materials to schools … it’s an ideal place to get industry involvement at an early stage. (Employer, Glasgow)

7.4.

Summary

Most, though not all, of the parents and employers felt they knew very little about the new curriculum proposals. However, on hearing about the four capacities and the general principles of A Curriculum for Excellence, both groups were generally very positive.

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The parents expressed concern about how it might be possible for them to understand the curriculum more fully but expressed support for balance and integration within the curriculum. In relation to balance there was particular concern to achieve balance between academic study and vocational learning, such that all pupils might be motivated and would genuinely benefit from their time in school. They also recognised significant differences between the primary and secondary sectors and saw transition from one to the other as a particularly important consideration in curriculum planning. There were some concerns expressed about assessment and about the effect of inspections on schools. There was support for the recognition of wider achievement. Finally, those parents in the focus groups were generally keen to play a greater role in supporting their children and their learning and would welcome more detailed guidance on how to support the work of their children’s schools. Among the employers there were some who had more detailed knowledge about the curriculum proposals. As indicated above there was general enthusiasm for the ideas, although some scepticism was expressed about the practicality of the current outlines. They did welcome the increased emphasis on ‘soft skills’ which they saw as valuable in the world of work and the aim to support cross-curricular developments. Some concerns were voiced about the danger of losing some of the subject focused expertise of the existing curriculum and that this might be a demotivating factor for the academically more successful pupils. There were several views expressed about the role of assessment. Some employers felt they had a poor understanding of the qualifications system and others felt that in any case they were more interested in ‘employability’ than in qualifications achieved. There was a general willingness to play an increased role in supporting schools and the development of the curriculum, among those in the groups.

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8. Pupils’ Perspectives 8.1.

Introduction

This section presents an overview of the perspectives provided by pupils who participated in the engagement process, with the emphasis on the focus group data as this aspect was originally part of the commissioned work on the ‘Collection, analysis and reporting of data on Curriculum for Excellence Draft Experiences and Outcomes’. As noted in section 2, LTS also commissioned some additional work on pupil perspectives and the bulk of this is reported in a separate document. In this section a brief description of the focus groups and of the additional engagement methods is provided. The key findings from the focus groups are then presented under a number of thematic sub-headings. The section concludes with an overall summary of key findings generated by all the different strands of the engagement process. 8.2.

Focus group discussions

As part of LTS’s process of engagement with children and young people, four regional events aimed at raising pupils’, parents’ and employers’ awareness of the Curriculum for Excellence were organised. Through these events, the views were sought of 33 secondary pupil delegates who participated in focus group discussions facilitated by a member of the University of Glasgow team of researchers14. The focus groups ranged in size from 3 to 13 participants. LTS managed the overall organisation of the events, including selection and invitation of focus group participants. The pupil focus groups explored pupils’ broader understanding, opinions and experiences of Curriculum for Excellence’s four capacities, what their needs were as learners, and what they thought would characterise a curriculum that would address their needs both as pupils and as adults. Additionally, somewhat like parents and employers, whose views were reported in the previous section of this report, pupils showed a lack of awareness of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes and therefore could not make any comment on them. 8.3.

Additional engagement methods

Due to LTS’s concerns with regard to the representation of the views of children and young people, additional activities were also commissioned by LTS. This presented an additional opportunity to explore pupils’ perspectives and their perceptions of how new ways of learning could impact on their overall experience of education. Consequently, further methods of engagement including an online questionnaire survey and group workshops with different activities designed to engage participants were employed. Note was also made of references to pupil responses in the trialling proforma that were returned. To undertake the online questionnaire survey, LTS collaborated with Young Scot, a national youth information and citizenship charity, to gather young people’s views on the changes resulting from the proposed Curriculum for Excellence. In addition to the focus group discussions, group workshops were also conducted. This was supplemented by a review of the Trialling proforma for the last four published Draft Experiences and Outcomes (i.e. RERC, RME, Technologies, Health and Wellbeing). In the same way as the focus group questions, the instruments used for the additional engagement methods also emphasised awareness and purposes of the Curriculum for Excellence, activities that motivate learning and the relevance of learning. Therefore, the data obtained from the whole Pupil 14 Other delegate groups, i.e. employers and parents who attended the four regional events also participated in separate group discussions. These are reported in earlier sections of the report.

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Engagement strand presented data of a different nature and emphasis compared to the rest of the report. A summary of the methods of engagement and number of participants for the whole pupil engagement strand is presented in Table 4 below, whilst a full report of the pupil engagement strand is available as a supplementary report. Table 4: Response rate for the pupil engagement strand Methods of engagement/Types of data collection

15

Number of responses/participants

1. Online questionnaire

29

2. Group sessions 2.1 Focus group discussions 2.2 Group workshops 3. Trialling proforma (90 submissions)

33 143* 171*

Total

376

* Incomplete information on the number of participants

In part 8.4, below, only the emergent themes from the analysis of the data across the four groups are presented and discussed. Part 8.5 combines this with the data from the additional study (comprising findings from the online questionnaire survey, group workshops and trialling proforma), to give a synthesis of all the key findings from pupils. 8.4.

Pupil focus groups - views and perceptions of learning

Pupils in one focus group demonstrated an excellent understanding of how Curriculum for Excellence would change the school and the assessment structure, and the learning approaches and processes, in order to make it more relevant for employment and life in general. …it’s all about sustained and deeper development for the future and it’s not just learning things for exams, it’s learning things for your actual life. (Pupil, Aberdeen)

Many pupils from two other focus groups had either some or no knowledge of Curriculum for Excellence, whereas the majority of pupils from the fourth group were aware of Curriculum for Excellence. However, the pupils in this latter group reported that prior to the event they did not have an understanding of the links between some of the school-based activities they had experienced and Curriculum for Excellence. As one pupil put it: Having been here this morning, I realise now that we have actually been practising some of the methods of the Curriculum for Excellence, although at the time, we were not aware that [that] was its purpose. (Pupil, Glasgow)

This raises an important question about whether learning through Curriculum for Excellence is meant to make the approach known to young people explicitly, or if it is intended to remain implicit in teachers’ practice. Personal characteristics of Successful Learners 15

In order to present a complete picture of the participants in the entire pupil engagement strand, the table includes the number of participants in the focus group discussion (see 2.1), broken down in Table 4, above.

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According to pupils, a successful learner is characterised by a deep and genuine understanding of the subject, a constant desire to learn and improve oneself, a sense of direction, a target/goal and the ability ‘to sustain that knowledge over a number of years’. In addition, pupils also suggested that successful learning implies independence, leadership, initiative, motivation, hard work, eagerness to acquire knowledge and taking responsibility for one’s own learning. Most of all, pupils emphasised that successful learning includes both academic learning and beyond. …a successful learner has to be that not only just at school throughout your academic grades, it’s not all about academic [learning], it has to be all round schools, but you still have to be always willing to learn more as you progress. (Pupil, Aberdeen)

As pupils suggested, a combination of factors contribute towards successful learning. Pupils argued that having a genuine desire to learn leading to self-motivation and recognising one’s strengths and weaknesses as a catalyst for improvement are essential. Checking one’s understanding of what one has learned by communicating this understanding to other people was claimed to be an example of effective practice (Pupil, Glasgow). At the same time, several pupils also suggested that external factors played a significant part in their capacity to learn. Teachers and their way of teaching had a lot of influence on pupils and their response to learning. Pupil enthusiasm is directly affected by their teacher’s enthusiasm. Additionally, ‘supportive study’, and pupil-led activities, amongst others were regarded as helpful, as these enable pupils to take control of their own learning. As regards pupil-led tasks, they suggested that it was critical that they are ‘taught how to learn’ (Pupil, Edinburgh). …about the teacher, I think that’s the main one … if you’ve got a teacher who’s motivated and wants to do it, then … if you see that, then you also want to do it yourself, you’re encouraged. If they’re putting the effort in, then you want to put the effort in as well. (Pupil, Aberdeen) Supportive study really helps me after school. It is just that extra hour – that’s all you need to go over what you didn’t understand that day … going over something, it will make it fresh in your mind the next day so you are not lagging behind the class. …the teachers encouraging you to do more research yourself … makes you more motivated to … study yourself and try new ways to learn things. … it stays in your head because you found it out yourself rather than just being given it. (Pupils, Dundee)

Pupils pointed out that determination to pursue a long-term goal is like an anchor that keeps pupils focused on achieving something even when it becomes ‘unenjoyable’ (Pupil, Edinburgh). The importance of becoming a successful learner was strongly supported. One needs to know ‘how to learn to be able to build on what [one has] learned to be successful in … life in general’ (Pupil, Glasgow). Perceived benefits included: • • • • • •

academic success gives pupils more options in life; learning skills gained are useful throughout life; it is a means of providing a good example for peers, siblings and other people; successful learners are more likely to carry on being successful; successful learners tend to be more employable; it enables pupils to solve problems they encounter in the future.

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Personal characteristics of Confident Individuals From the pupils’ responses, confidence is correlated with knowledge. Pupils easily associate confidence with clear and effective communication or expression of one’s beliefs and ideas as well as justification for one’s actions (Pupils, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow). Others linked it with resilience or being able ‘to shrug off’ what other people say (Pupil, Dundee). One pupil suggested that confidence is a well-managed presentation of one’s self-image. It’s not lacking fear, it’s being able to acknowledge fear and then control it. (Pupil, Edinburgh)

Additionally, maturity, a positive lifestyle, healthy self-belief, encouragement, academic success and open-mindedness to criticism, were all said to contribute to better selfconfidence. …when you are in first year … you are not … happy in speaking out … but as you get older, it feels more like something you have to do if you want your opinion to be heard. …I think it comes with age as you get older. (Pupil, Edinburgh) You have to get over your self-doubts and worries and stuff and just go for it and that is part of becoming a confident person. (Pupil, Glasgow)

Apart from a good support network from parents and friends (Pupils, Glasgow and Edinburgh), confidence is also strengthened by both positive and negative experiences. For example, pupils believed that their achievements could serve as ‘benchmarks’ for assessing how well they were faring. Tasks often require pupils to take risks and despite the possibility of failing, their confidence is developed through the process, especially after achieving their goal. …if you’ve been able to reach that goal … that also makes you confident and it will encourage you to do more and believe that you will just keep on getting better … [being] able to reach these goals and targets … builds your confidence. (Pupil, Dundee)

On the contrary, even negative experiences help build up pupil determination. A pupil admitted that having ‘the lowest mark’ impacted on her confidence, but it was also a challenge that prompted her to give her best in order to overcome her disappointment. On another occasion, pupils were discouraged from sitting the exam due to ‘awful’ prelim results. Likewise, this was seen as a challenge and the pupils made an effort to study hard and eventually passed (Pupils, Dundee). Looking forward to the future, pupils focused on the long-term importance of a healthy selfconfidence, especially when it comes to its practical application in a work scenario. A sense of self-confidence tends to build one’s reputation and invites trust from other people. If you’re a confident person, then … your employer is going to feel … they can put their faith in you because if you’re confident then you’ve got the courage to … do things by yourself…. (Pupil, Aberdeen)

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Personal characteristics of Responsible Citizens I think a responsible citizen … it’s not so much academic, it’s more what you do outwith school. (Pupil, Aberdeen)

Pupils described responsible citizens as people who think beyond school and contribute to the community to which they belong. Responsibility as a trait was also considered to be a contributing factor in relation to the other three capacities. In essence, the descriptors used by pupils to characterise a responsible citizen consisted of: • • •

looking after oneself and other people; respecting and having a good attitude towards oneself, other people in the community, and the environment; actively participating and making decisions on issues that affect the whole community.

In developing this capacity, the importance of ‘listening to other view points’, recognising one’s role in society and following rules and abiding by them were emphasised (Pupils, Glasgow and Edinburgh). This is linked with the idea that being a responsible citizen means obtaining a good understanding of the issues in question whilst thinking about one’s own as well as other people’s interests. They need to look at all the angles … before … mak[ing] a decision. … You have to … look at it from everyone’s point of view and … make the decision…. …you … reflect the needs of a wide range of people … you need to act in a way that’s going to help everyone and not just your personal interests. (Pupils, Aberdeen)

Pupils from Dundee also acknowledged that ‘having good role models’ is an effective method of instilling this value into students. Some subjects and school practices (e.g. Citizenship, Peer Mediation) also specifically promote responsibility amongst pupils. Finally, one pupil emphasised the importance of developing flexibility and adaptability in relating to different people in different contexts. …you have to be … adaptable to different situations and different people whom you are going to be interacting with. (Pupil, Glasgow)

A display of responsible citizenship is deemed important for various reasons: • • • •

it is an expression of a genuine interest in what is going on in the community and in the country; it promotes a better school and a better community life; it models respect between people and encourages similar practice; it helps create a better society – a safer and stronger community – for succeeding generations.

Personal characteristics of Effective Contributors Being an effective contributor means actively taking part in beneficial endeavours whereby pupils make the best use of both their physical and mental resources to help (Pupils, Aberdeen). In pupils’ eyes, an effective contributor possesses the following characteristics: 80


• • • • •

having the right attitude and ‘standing by [one’s] convictions’; the ability to ‘voice … opinions’, and participate in and encourage discussion; a sense of leadership and commitment; the ability to defend one’s thoughts and actions; the ability to work within a team.

Developing oneself to become an effective contributor requires being adequately knowledgeable of underlying arguments about an issue, nurturing an independent mind and mastering a few traits (e.g. confidence, determination, and the ability to listen and consider other views, especially when they contradict one’s own). I think you have to be able to see problems from different people’s points of view or different angles. You are not just narrow-minded and seeing what you see as a problem. You need to be able to see what other people think. (Pupil, Glasgow)

An effective contributor is ‘very strongly linked with a confident individual’ because the latter is a pre-requisite of the former (Pupil, Aberdeen). Similarly, another pupil stated that ‘a positive attitude’ matters as it prompts individuals to reflect and recognise their strengths and subsequently, be involved. If you really, really cared for what you were doing, that’s very important. I think you need to have the attitude to say ‘Yes, I believe in this!’. (Pupils, Edinburgh)

Life experiences were also viewed as something that widened pupils’ horizons and their understanding of life issues. Pupils claimed that experiences not only helped promote participation but also built up ‘passion’ and ‘dedication’ for a cause. …people who have had certain experiences in their life … something has gone wrong, like [someone] dying of cancer in the family, they’ve gone into research that … or in the community they felt there hasn’t been enough activities. (Pupil, Edinburgh)

Since school life is often viewed as a preparation for the world of work, being an effective contributor enables pupils to have a foretaste of adult life. …when … you get a job, you are going to have to contribute … any job that you do, you are usually going to be working together to get an end result. (Pupil, Glasgow) I think within school and also in the wider world, if you’re going to work in a team, you need to be able to be an effective contributor because you can’t just sit in the corner and let other people do the work. (Pupils, Aberdeen)

Finally, a pupil from Glasgow also argued that participation is not always about asserting one’s own viewpoint: sometimes it is a means ‘to represent people who can’t contribute’ to ensure that their views are also represented and listened to. Learning and teaching The idea that learners have their own personal learning styles means that different activities will suit different types of learners. A few principles were suggested to encourage pupil

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motivation to learn: classroom tasks underpinned by relevance, ‘friendly competitiveness’, and ‘team work’. Pupils also identified a number of specific strategies and learning activities that helped in making learning more real and more meaningful, and thus effective in enticing pupils to be involved. These included: • • • •

moving away from text-based resources and utilising a variety of learning strategies and technology (e.g. interactive lessons); the use of active learning (more suitable for younger learners); learning the practical aspects of ‘the theory’ through field work; using more visual techniques.

Pupils also emphasised that creative ways of teaching and teacher attitudes have the capacity to transform a boring lesson into one that is interesting and motivating. This is particularly pertinent with the least-liked sections of the course as it requires the teacher’s skills to capture everyone’s interest and make them focus on the lesson (Pupil, Dundee). I think not necessarily by activity but if you’ve got a teacher standing in front of you that’s really passionate about the subject, …if a teacher has clearly lost any enthusiasm they ever had for the subject, then you’re not going to be motivated to want to learn because it just seems dull.... (Pupil, Edinburgh)

One of the students also argued that it makes a tremendous difference when pupils are themselves self-motivated. Since not all teachers can be motivating, a pupil maintained that it boils down to pupils’ accountability and determination to learn. … I personally do have a couple of boring teachers but at the end of the day it’s my choice if I want to listen to them or I don’t want to listen to them. (Pupil, Edinburgh)

Pupils supported the idea that schools needed to incorporate more learning strategies where pupils are involved in a dialogue and are actively engaged rather than merely being on the receiving end. …90% of what you learn is learnt from doing something, so I think that if you were actually actively learning, it would be a lot easier to take in and it would be easier to remember as well in the long run. (Pupil, Aberdeen)

In encouraging ‘active learning’, pupils suggested that learning the fundamentals is essential. For example, they need to learn specific effective learning strategies, starting with basic skills (e.g. note-taking) through to efficient revising for exams. Pupils felt that teachers’ use of different methods in explaining a topic was of great benefit in developing their understanding of the core theory, and then building upon it. … in my school … the teachers who organise learning best are the ones that make sure you do the core theory work first. Maybe the things that others find more boring. You still have to do that … it is really important to get the basic theory first. (Pupil, Glasgow)

From first-hand experience, pupils also believed that a ‘supported study class after hours in the school’ would help a number of school pupils: they find strength in knowing that they are not alone in finding some lessons more difficult than others, but most of all, they appreciate the opportunity to clarify doubts and ask questions. The resource and time implications for study support were also acknowledged.

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…I know it is not very practical in school but one-on-one tuition is a lot better because you get a lot more time … to ask questions whereas you only have … a 50-minute period when the teacher is talking to the whole class. When a teacher sets time aside for you to ask them questions. …I think it is so much better when you can just say, ‘How does this work?’ or ‘I don’t understand this bit… I like lessons when you … actually have time to ask.’ If there has been a problem that many of us have faced within the course, they will take it much slower and take it step-by-step and you don’t feel as intimidated at that point because there is a group of you all trying to re-learn…. (Pupils, Glasgow)

Finally, the learning atmosphere is a vital motivating factor, according to several pupils. Class atmosphere must not only be conducive for learning but must also promote healthy competition amongst pupils. It was also implied that an effective learning environment is one where diverse abilities and interests are considered. It is about creating the right atmosphere for learning as well because if you’re in a situation where … you’re not actually being encouraged to learn … just to keep your head down and not appear too much of a swot and that’s not going to encourage you to give your best. … that’s when a competitive atmosphere comes into it and that really works well because people who maybe normally wouldn’t … work very hard in school will think, ‘I don’t want to be seen as stupid’ … that’s what motivates them to work. (Pupils, Edinburgh)

In connection with this, a teacher’s ‘personal’ touch in teaching is highlighted, which according to pupils ‘comes down to the teacher’s understanding of every pupil’ and is tailored to suit pupils’ abilities (Pupil, Glasgow). Cross-curricular approaches …I think if they did link the subjects together, you would see the point of why you have to learn that subject and why you maybe need to know that subject because if they link together, surely for what I want to do in life, things do all link together so I may as well learn it anyway, which would be more positive for people to understand why they need to do something. (Pupil, Dundee)

As highlighted above, a number of pupils believe that cross-curricular connections are a way of making learning more relevant. This may assist pupils to ‘see more applications’ of what was learned and, thus, directly motivate them to value each lesson regardless of the subject. More importantly, learning across the curriculum is a reflection of the real world – the world of work. …this bit connected back to motivation … if you’re in a classroom and you think this is totally irrelevant to the rest of my life, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to engage with what you’re doing as opposed to thinking I’m going to learn this and then at some point in my next period of life, I will have to be able to do it. (Pupil, Edinburgh) I think it is really important because when you go out into the world of work, then whatever you are asked to do isn’t going to be divided into the five compartments of the five subjects you did at Higher level. So, it’s the idea of being able to use all your knowledge and put it together and come out with some outcomes, so I think everything does overlap quite a lot. (Pupil, Glasgow)

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It was also suggested that natural links between subject areas could be promoted almost spontaneously when teachers make an effort to comment explicitly on how lessons can be applied to another area or a different subject, to show pupils the connections or how subjects overlap. Five learners from Aberdeen raised their concerns about the challenges associated with implementing cross-curricular connections as they do not come automatically. As a result, achieving balance between subjects and seamless working between teachers might present real challenges. … they would have to get the balance exactly right and that could be quite difficult. They would also have to get the subjects that were put together right as well because if you put two subjects that you thought would work and they actually don’t work, that could cause problems for the teachers as well as the pupils. I think it’s a great idea but when it comes to putting it into practice, I don’t think it really would work. There will be certain departments it will work with and certain it won’t. … I think that certain people will not like certain subjects and if you start putting people into another one, then it’s going to be a detriment to the other one. (Pupils, Aberdeen)

These pupils thought that similar criteria/standards would be employed for connected subjects and that they might be ‘penalised’ as a result. A pupil would rather have their teachers as specialists even for one subject alone, rather than requiring them to re-learn other subject areas. Academic and vocational learning …it is important to show the relevance of everyday life situations. In my Higher Maths class, I had a really good teacher. Everything we were learning in Higher Maths, he related to something outside of it…related it to the construction of buildings and other stuff and it really helped me understand because I was really interested in Maths and wanted to do something with it so it gave me a help in where I could use it after school. (Pupil, Glasgow)

Pupils welcomed the idea of linking academic learning to its application in the ‘adult world’. This also helps to make the overall school experience a lot more positive and, consequently, motivating. The strong connection between demonstrating the relevance of learning and motivating learners is very evident. The following comments are typical. You’ve got to have…areas and interaction with people and things like this because it’s all very well to be a smart academic but then, when you get into the workforce, you would be able to make connections with people and to work with people. (Pupil, Aberdeen) …it goes back to…if you’re not seeing the relevance, you will not want to learn it. You will not be motivated to learn it at all because it’s…pointless, this is just here to help me pass my exams, so that’s basically like relevance of if you have your mind set on a certain career and you think, ‘This is not in any way helping me get that career that I want’, you’re not wanting to do it at all. (Pupil, Edinburgh) …it is basically the motivation to actually learn the thing.…when I was taking Higher Maths last year, some of my friends … would say, ‘What is the point of us actually learning this?’ That mental block stopped them learning. If it shows the actual relevance, then they might see some point in trying to learn it. (Pupil, Glasgow)

One pupil, on the other hand, was adamant that it is not only the subject learned per se that 84


is important but the skills acquired during the learning process. It was made explicit that usage and transfer of such skills to a different context would be valuable and useful in later life. It’s…inevitable that you’ll learn things at school that you won’t use in the future. It’s not the learning, in fact, it’s being able to learn how to learn and how you transfer the skills you learn in applying knowledge that you might not necessarily use later, but when we get to develop skills, it will be useful. It’s not necessarily the knowledge that will be useful; it’s the skill that you develop from being taught that knowledge. (Pupil, Edinburgh)

Pupils advocated a more balanced curriculum as a way forward in making the curriculum relevant to their life in the future. Suggestions were made for a promotion of parity of esteem between academic and vocational learning as well as between qualifications and life skills. …it’s important…for schools… [to] focus…less on academia. If they show you what education has done for people who start up their own business to show that … even some key grades can’t help you to get into the wider world of business. I think that can be very beneficial to people who have got that like mind and who think ‘Oh well, university is not for me…’ I think schools do focus too much on qualifications rather than life skills and they should maybe focus a bit more on life skills rather than just the whole qualification idea. (Pupils, Aberdeen)

In this regard, a pupil from Edinburgh asserted that ‘schools should have a much stronger partnership with local business and community organisations’. Another student also mentioned how learning could be made more relevant through a change in the assessment process. …it would be better if instead of the exam staying quite constant every year, if the exams started changing and the teaching started changing so it was things that are moving into more relevance. (Pupil, Glasgow)

Learning and assessment Pupils highlighted the tension between ‘real learning’ and ‘learning for assessment’ – how the emphasis and pressure brought about by the exams could be a real hindrance to genuine learning. To an extent, this tension is related to the unequal weighting given to academic and vocational learning, where qualifications appear to be all that matter. We are always taught how to pass the exam but are we taught about the subject? If we are taught about the subject, removing all the pressure of the exam then, maybe we are able to take more of it in because I think the stigma of exams is what puts a lot of people off as well and that is why people get bored of school because they can’t deal with the pressure. …I do understand how important … exams are, but I was just trying to get across that we have to stop being conditioned to think that exams are the be-all and end-all and there are no other routes to take if you fail an exam. It’s not the end of the world. The pressure of that, we are conditioned to think that. (Pupils, Glasgow) I think schools, especially with Highers, [teachers] are so pressured to get us to a final exam bit, they’re only concentrating on us trying to pass the exams instead of letting us understand the subject…. (Pupil, Edinburgh)

For a few others, examinations can also be ‘a real motivation’ to learn and revise what one

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has learned. The pressure of exams urges learners to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the lessons, which would not have been achieved through other means. Knowing I have an exam motivates me to study or else I would just be like, ‘Oh well, I can do it another day. It doesn’t matter.’ I know I am like that and I would just be lazy about it and just put it away till another time. If I know I have a test, then I will revise for it. (Pupil, Aberdeen)

8.5.

Summary

In this section, as well as summarising insights from the pupil focus groups, we also draw on insights from the additional pupil engagement work which is more fully reported in the additional report. •

Awareness of Curriculum for Excellence varied. Whereas online questionnaire respondents and students in one focus group showed a high awareness of Curriculum for Excellence, it was a more mixed picture or even ‘limited’ for the other groups who were consulted in this study. The level of engagement tended to vary across schools and local authorities.

In the development of the four capacities, pupils highlighted the need to have a good understanding of their ‘strengths and weaknesses’, develop certain skills (e.g. communication skills), and be determined to achieve a goal they themselves set. Pupils also stressed that ‘successful learning’ involves more than ‘academic performance’. Their teachers’ knowledge and enthusiasm affected them not only in creating a learning atmosphere that is conducive for learning but also one which encourages pupils to be enthusiastic in their learning.

Amongst the four capacities, developing responsible citizenship was viewed as an aspect where the influence of significant others, e.g. parents and family members, was stronger than that of the teachers and other school staff members. As for being an effective contributor, pupils stressed that everybody plays a role. Therefore, no contribution is too small to receive recognition.

There was strong agreement amongst pupils that these four capacities are ‘all connected’ and that taken together, they are a ‘good preparation for life’ as they help mould more valuable pupils – the type of people that society needs. In addition, the four capacities aim to bring about a better and more positive mindset, commitment, personal goals and achievements in young people as well as brighter future opportunities.

According to pupils (including disaffected ones), some of the activities they find motivating are tasks involving active, first-hand exploration and problem-solving (e.g. research, field work) and use of a wide range of learning strategies and technology. This makes learning diverse, fun, creative, relevant and interesting. Similarly, teachers’ understanding of pupils’ abilities informs choice of appropriate learning strategies and creation of a motivating learning environment.

Although there were pupils who had difficulty seeing the links between subjects, it was generally agreed that connections across curriculum areas could make learning more relevant, help with the primary–secondary transition, and perhaps most importantly, reflect the ‘cross-curricular’ nature of the world of work and life in general.

A more relevant education is more motivating for all learners. The balanced curriculum where both academic and vocational learning are promoted is seen to

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cater not only for the requirements of the academically-inclined pupils, but also for the needs of disaffected young people in obtaining skills that will help them to find employment and achieve their goals in life in the future. •

Children and young people also expressed their concern that in the past, their examination performance was the main driver of what and how they learned, which hindered their opportunity to learn lessons for the sake of learning.

Although the number of responses received was small, there appeared to be a marked consistency in the trialling experiences of pupils across the schools. In short, pupils appear to have enjoyed taking part in the trialling, and were often aware of how such activities and opportunities could benefit their learning generally and also support their learning in other subjects. They particularly enjoyed working as part of a team and being given responsibility for their own learning. There was an indication from secondary pupils that they welcomed the proposed changes in the curriculum. They anticipate that this would lead to ‘more subject choice’ and ‘more active learning opportunities’.

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9. Review of the data 9.1.

Introduction

In the previous two sections, the perspectives of pupils, parents and employers were addressed, drawing on focus group data generated at four regional events (SeptemberOctober 2008) convened by LTS. In contrast, this section of the report offers a review of the key messages to emerge through consultation with key providers of education services through the year-long engagement process. It is organised in five parts. First, a brief summary is offered of teachers’ feedback in relation to each of the fourteen sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes (detailed reports based on questionnaire, trialling and focus group feedback are presented in the Interim and Supplementary reports (University of Glasgow, 2008)). In the second part, the key issues identified by local authority officers, further education lecturers, representatives of the voluntary sector and universities, including faculties of teacher education, are contrasted with the messages emerging from consultation with the teaching profession. The section concludes with identification of a series of common cross-cutting themes. 9.2.

Teachers’ feedback in relation to draft sets of Experiences and Outcomes

Science: The feedback from the Science focus group was generally supportive of the aspirations for Curriculum for Excellence but there were significant misgivings about the capacity of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes to support conceptual development, continuity and progression. From the range of trialling feedback it is clear that the majority of respondents welcomed opportunities for cross-sector and interdisciplinary work. To capitalise on these opportunities, teachers identified a need for dedicated time to support sustained planning discussions and resource development. Teachers identified a specific need for support in differentiating expectations at different levels. Questionnaire responses contained contra-indications that both welcomed increased flexibility in the curriculum and requested greater direction. Across data sources, respondents indicated a strong desire for additional high quality support to prepare for implementation of the revised science curriculum, especially for non-specialists in primary schools. Numeracy: The numeracy focus groups welcomed opportunities to ‘review methodology’ and to liaise more closely with colleagues to improve transition. The main concerns related to strengthening consistency in interpretation and building effective systems for monitoring cross-curricular provision and pupil progress. Trialling feedback and responses to online questionnaires reiterated this concern, requesting that time be given through CPD and whole school planning to the development of wider awareness and understanding of numeracy across the curriculum. There was a widely expressed view that many of the draft statements were vague and that more detailed guidance will be needed to support full implementation. Attempts to bring the numeracy curriculum closer to ‘real life’ were widely welcomed. Modern Languages: Focus group participants were generally enthusiastic about the proposed changes and saw potential for stronger cross-curricular links, especially in terms of an integrated approach to literacy. Across the sources of data there was a commitment to the development of a broader range of innovative approaches and methodologies and recognition of the possible role of technology in enhancing learning. There were not calls for substantial re-writing of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. Respondents were keen to ground developments within the context of the particular status and challenges of Modern Languages teaching. The Draft Experiences and Outcomes were seen as an opportunity to revitalise this area within the school curriculum. The most prominent themes across data sources were a concern for further elaboration and exemplification to ensure consistency in interpretation and to support the further development of cross-curricular links.

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Mathematics: The focus group was supportive of efforts to extend the range of teaching and learning methodologies employed in mathematics education and particularly welcomed the emphasis on problem solving. The highest level of concern was expressed in relation to the level of detail provided in the Draft Experiences and Outcomes to support teachers’ planning and the accurate measurement of standards, especially at transition points. The provision of nationally coordinated CPD with exemplification, and opportunities for teachers to work together in schools were recommended as important steps in taking developments forward. Overall, the trialling and questionnaire responses emphasised a wish for the document to offer considerably more detail, with greater specificity and fuller elaboration. Classical Languages: The focus group generally welcomed the Draft Experiences and Outcomes as promoting enhanced opportunities for teachers to think about their practice and for pupils to reflect on their learning. Participants did not raise specific issues about clarity or content, focusing instead on general issues relating to assessment and the capacity of pupils to engage in self-assessment/reflective dialogue. In taking forward developments, participants expressed a need for continuing professional development involving exemplification and appropriate ICT training to support the development of a wider range of teaching methodologies. Teachers involved in trialling were very keen to share experiences, exemplars and ideas with other teachers. In order to use the outcomes with full confidence, questionnaire respondents anticipated further support in the form of CPD and exemplars. Charting progression was acknowledged to be a key challenge. Gaelic Learners: The focus group and trialling feedback identified a need for initial and continuing language training for teachers to support this area of the curriculum. Within the focus group a lack of ‘child friendly’ resources was identified as a potential barrier to development. Across the three data sources, participants were generally keen to assert that a strong relationship between age and level did not necessarily apply for Gaelic Learners and that variation in progression routes/rates was to be expected. All of the responses to the trialling questionnaire were enthusiastic about the inclusion of Gaelic culture within the curriculum and the opportunity this presented for making connections across the curriculum. This was reiterated in the online questionnaire submissions. Expressive Arts: The focus group was strongly opposed to the use of the terms ‘magic, wonder and power’ in the Draft Experiences and Outcomes, which they felt was not appropriate to the creative and expressive arts. Whilst participants sought further detail to support planning, they acknowledged the impact an over-emphasis on assessment might have on the principles of the Curriculum for Excellence. Trialling feedback highlighted a need for further guidance and support through CPD, exemplification and further elaboration. It was noted that the Draft Experiences and Outcomes might pose a significant challenge for some teachers, especially non-specialists delivering expressive arts within primary schools. In order for teachers to work confidently with the revised curriculum, they would welcome continuing support. Questionnaire responses expressed concern about a general lack of clarity and guidance. Social Studies: The focus group was generally very positive about the values, principles and purposes of Curriculum for Excellence, especially for children and young people with additional support needs. The draft document has the potential to support critical reflection on current practice and act as a catalyst for improvement. Where concerns were raised, these were primarily related to assessment and this is where greater clarification was sought. The trialling feedback suggested that the success of Curriculum for Excellence depends on teachers’ professional engagement and active participation, including cross-sector collaboration. Nationally coordinated CPD was identified as important in supporting the implementation process. Questionnaire respondents sought clarification on progression, transition and subject-specific issues within this area of the curriculum.

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Literacy and English: The focus group participants welcomed the flexibility within the revised framework and the enhanced professionality that this implies. Opportunities for joint planning and the sharing of good practice at school, regional and national levels were identified as important in supporting plans for implementation. Some concern was expressed about variation in interpretation across the profession. The most pressing concern expressed across the four focus groups was a lack of confidence in using the Draft Experiences and Outcomes to assess progress within and between the wider levels. Some concern was expressed about the positioning of the Literacy Experiences and Outcomes within the Literacy and English framework only. It was argued that if literacy was indeed the responsibility of all teachers then the Experiences and Outcomes should be embedded across curriculum areas. Concern was noted regarding the relative value attached to the promotion of critical literacy, compared with functional literacy. Literacy and Gaidhlig: Respondents welcomed the opportunities presented in the revised curriculum for tailoring learning experiences to real life contexts and the promotion of connections across the curriculum. The focus group, in particular, valued opportunities to reflect on current practice and the scope afforded to teachers to respond creatively in taking developments forward; this endorsement of greater flexibility, within a clear framework, was repeated in the questionnaire data. Where further guidance was requested, this was primarily in relation to planning and assessment. Respondents were keen to ensure consistency in interpretation and close monitoring of progression within and across levels. Health and Well Being: The focus group emphasised the need for continuing professional development to support non-specialist and less experienced teachers with responsibility for particular areas, such as food related activity and physical education in primary schools. Some aspects of health and wellbeing are the responsibility of all teachers. Some concern was expressed around a ‘lack of confidence’ in approaching sensitive areas, particularly those relating to substance abuse, relationships and sexual health. Participants welcomed new opportunities for professional dialogue and collaborative work with external partners, such as health professionals, Active Sports Coordinators and the voluntary sector. External agencies who participated in the consultation emphasised significant aspects that they felt were missing from the Draft Experiences and Outcomes, notably contraception, abortion, sexual health screening (reproductive health), intimacy, sexual diversity and sexual exploitation and abuse. Religious and Moral Education: Participants in the RME focus group offered generally positive comments about the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. Teachers welcomed opportunities for the promotion of active learning and increased ‘scope for creativity’. Most participants felt that the revised curriculum offered an appropriate balance of content and skills and would support the identification of inter-disciplinary themes. Some concerns were raised, particularly the issue of progression between stages. Some teachers felt that the cover paper and the content of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes could be more closely aligned. Concerns were also raised about the balance of religious and non-religious content, specifically a perceived privileging of Christianity. Formal submissions from a number of faith groups challenged the emphasis placed on Christianity in the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. Other contributors hoped for a stronger emphasis on the challenge of philosophy, greater emphasis on the personal search dimension and the inclusion of non-faith stances. Religious Education in Roman Catholic Schools: The Draft Experiences and Outcomes were warmly received by the majority of focus group participants who appreciated the emphasis placed on methodology and the stronger focus on the personal search element in the strands. Trialling schools noted that RE had become more ‘expansive’ and welcomed this development. Responses to the online questionnaire welcomed the opportunities created by the openness or flexibility of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. Across the sources of

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data, respondents were divided on the place of other world religions in the revised curriculum. Participants drew attention to the considerable demands placed on generalist teachers of Religious Education in Catholic Schools and the need to support colleagues for whom RE is an additional subject, or who are not Roman Catholics themselves. Several contributors noted possibilities for an enhanced role for school chaplains. Overall, the tone of responses was very positive, with relatively few criticisms. Respondents requested additional support materials such as teaching packs and resource materials and valued the supplementary guidance being developed by the Scottish Catholic Education Service. Technologies: Focus group participants were generally positive, especially when describing their experiences of cross-sector and cross-curricular working. However, there was some indication that such links could be inconsistent. Technologies is a curriculum area to which teachers with a range of subject backgrounds may be contributing. Across the data sources respondents reported a need and/or desire for further network opportunities and dedicated time to support planning and resource development. Some responses suggested there would be a need for significant training in ICT. Most frequently participants raised questions regarding pupil progression and attainment, a number of these comments being linked to a perceived vagueness in the documentation or a lack of information in relation to assessment. A significant proportion of questionnaire respondents did not feel that the Draft Experiences and Outcomes were clearly worded or provided a good basis for planning. Concerns arising from the speed of technological change were also raised. Whilst clearly not the sole preserve of Curriculum for Excellence, participants felt that if Curriculum for Excellence was to be successfully implemented this issue needed consideration. 9.3.

Comparison of perspectives 9.3.1. Local authorities

In describing the opportunities and challenges presented by Curriculum for Excellence school professionals and local authority officers voiced similar concerns and aspirations. Data gathered during the engagement process indicates strong support for the values, purposes and principles of Curriculum for Excellence. This section of the report directs attention to areas of concern that were identified by teachers, school managers and local authority officers. The issues identified for consideration below are those that featured most strongly across the various strands of data gathering – focus groups, trialling feedback, questionnaires and telephone interviews. These relate to questions concerning assessment, the issue of providing adequate support though exemplification without undue prescription, and the organisational and cultural challenges of promoting interdisciplinary and joint work across subject/stage demarcations and professional boundaries. Across the data sources a need for greater alignment between curriculum, pedagogy and assessment was apparent. Tensions were identified between summative assessment and systems for monitoring and reporting attainment and the intentions of Curriculum for Excellence. This was more marked in relation to secondary schools, but was not restricted to secondary education. A small minority of primary headteachers and local authority officers noted a similar influence on primary education. The stress on attainment is hampering the development of Curriculum for Excellence particularly in the secondary but also in the primary. That is a major mindset that has to be addressed. What we are not developing is a deeper understanding; living to learn capability in youngsters and that is the real challenge that faces us. A challenge that Curriculum for Excellence can address, but one that we are failing to get across to the workforce. (LA interviewee 3)

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Teachers and local authority officers reported difficulties in making sense of what are perceived to be mixed messages or competing demands placed on the profession. There were familiar tensions reported between defensible pedagogical practice and ‘the attainment agenda’. Whilst generated through the engagement process, these themes are not new and are not exclusive to Curriculum for Excellence. There was also a sense of dislocation of pedagogy from assessment. In part, this can be explained by timing. The engagement schedule followed the phased publication of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. In phase two of the engagement strategy the consultation on the next generation of national qualifications in Scotland was undertaken. On the one hand, teachers welcomed the encouragement to focus on pedagogy and to address national priorities broadly defined. On the other, there was widespread concern over a proposed implementation schedule (subsequently extended) that moved developments forward for the 3-15 age range, without full knowledge of future changes to the senior phase. The sequence of developments contributed to reported uncertainty among the profession, which produced strong calls for further information. The whole point about this is that it is supposed to be curriculum-driven and exam-supported. This is potentially a radical change and people can’t get their heads round it. It is not the fact that they don’t want radical change but they can’t get the picture of where we are going in their heads. They don’t know what the end of the journey is. (LA interviewee 12)

There was a tendency to separate instruction – frequently referred to as the ‘how’ of the curriculum - from processes of assessment. Many teachers welcomed the suggested emphasis on ‘methodologies’ in the Draft Experiences and Outcomes and requested further support in developing strategies to support ‘active learning’, ‘critical thinking’, ‘cooperative’ and ‘collaborative learning’ and technology supported learning. In some cases an emphasis on techniques appears to run ahead of deliberation on assessment. As one local authority interviewee commented, ‘We’ll get to assessment later’. Another interviewee noted inconsistency between previous commitments and progress made in relation to assessment for learning and the emphasis placed on the published Draft Experiences and Outcomes as ‘curriculum’ narrowly defined. Responses from teachers and local authority personnel suggest attention is needed to weave together different policy threads and in particular to develop a shared and more expansive understanding of curriculum. If the Assessment is for Learning programme meant anything it is that assessment is integral to the learning and teaching process. In a sense what we have done this year is separate them out again and that has been a wee bit unhelpful. (LA interviewee 15)

Local authority officers were supportive of the re-professionalising tenets of Curriculum for Excellence. In common with many of the teachers who participated in focus groups and submitted questionnaires, the emphasis on enhanced professional judgement was welcome. Local authority personnel reported challenges involved in encouraging flexible and creative local responses to the Draft Experiences and Outcomes, whilst monitoring provision across schools and providing adequate support to schools for implementation. People are saying, ‘Tell me what you want me to do and I will do it.’ We don’t want to go back to the teaching rote and lack of creativity, innovation and flexibility. It is a problem in that people do want and are used to having exemplification, especially in subject areas like Science where if they want a new course they get someone to write it for them. People are used to having off the shelf courses and they want benchmarking and standards that they should follow. So it’s quite a difficult situation. How do we not stifle creativity and flexibility but at the same time maintain standards? (LA interviewee 9)

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Finally, school professionals and local authority officers identified similar contextual challenges influencing implementation. These included a perception of more favourable conditions in early years settings and primary schools; where it is suggested that ways of working are more conducive to the kinds of reform suggested in Curriculum for Excellence e.g. making links across the curriculum and embedding core themes and skills. Although hardly a new challenge, the existence of strong demarcations between ‘subjects’, the affiliation of secondary teachers to particular subject identities, and the organisational and logistical issues presented by the school timetable and assessment calendar, were all identified as key challenges facing secondary schools by both teachers and local authority personnel. In addition, local authority officers noted the support needs of school leaders in building curriculum structures that would support actualisation of the intentions of Curriculum for Excellence. 9.3.2. Further education In comparing the perspectives of further education lecturers and school teachers a number of areas of commonality emerge. These relate to support for the four capacities, the promotion of links across the curriculum, and a desire for greater collaboration. Both groups shared concerns around monitoring progression and resisting assessment-driven pedagogy. Where differences exist, these were in relation to the relative capacity of colleges to support higher levels of personalisation within existing learning pathways, particularly opportunities for early presentation. Both groups of educators expressed broad support for the four capacities. Representatives of the further education sector, drawing on experience in meeting a diverse range of learner needs, were quick to assert a non-hierarchical relation between the four capacities. In promoting additional opportunities for young adults and mature students through postcompulsory education, participants identified with the capacities and attributes, suggesting ‘that is pretty much our ethos, the ethos of any college at present’ (Further education focus group participant 9). I meet students who are confident individuals, very responsible citizens but have no qualifications...I would be scared that it’s seen as successful learners as the first criteria, then confident people that we can employ…There’s a need within many students to be able to shift that balance so that it’s not seen as one, two, three, four. (Further education focus group participant 7)

In common with school professionals, further education lecturers expressed some concern regarding the monitoring and encouragement of connections across the curriculum and the development of ‘core skills’ or ‘soft skills’. The embedding of numeracy and literacy across the curriculum was regarded as a very positive development. It was hoped that, rather than resulting in the labelling of learners who demonstrated lower levels of recorded attainment at an earlier age in schools, greater attention to numeracy and literacy would support shared efforts to promote more choices, more chances. A need to promote critical literacy was also noted by a participant in a further education focus group. It was suggested that within programmes of study for existing college courses, tutors find space to address these areas but not necessarily in any systematic or transparent manner. Responsibility for all these soft skills just somehow disappears into any other duties and there’s nobody actually monitoring what we’re doing to encourage these things. It’s just something that happens. Because it is part of your duties you will encourage people to become volunteers. You will encourage them to think about business but how you do that? How it’s actually brought to fruition?...The core skills just happen. (Further education focus group participant 7)

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Further education lecturers expressed support for the promotion of links across the curriculum in the Draft Experiences and Outcomes and suggested that this would support similar efforts within college provision. Responses confirm that strong demarcations between courses/subjects exist in both school and post compulsory settings and efforts to unsettle such divisions were welcomed in principle. Students don’t make connections because they come out of a school system where they see one subject as very much pigeon-holed against another and they don’t see that there is anything that crosses over. When they come into college from school they find it extremely difficult to see the relevance of one unit to another and how it actually fits into the course. (Further education focus group participant 11)

School and college educators shared a common concern about the value currently attached to interdisciplinary learning and the importance of maintaining a high profile for such developments among students and staff, including senior staff. It was noted that students following further education courses are strategic learners, constantly engaged in deliberation of where to invest effort to greatest effect. Older learners, schooled to play the attainment game, resist additional activities that they do not identify as core to their immediate educational goals. Within this context it would be important to embed interdisciplinary learning, rather than ‘add on’ topics. Quite often these cross-curricular activities are the first to go where there’s pressure to reduce the number of units…Students are most confident about telling you when there’s something in a programme that they do not think is relevant. The idea of building elements into a programme that are not directly vocationally relevant is quite a difficult thing to give students. (Further education focus group participant 10)

School teachers and college lecturers reported negative consequences of attainment pressures on teaching and learning. In common with many of the teachers who participated in the curriculum area focus groups, some college lecturers felt constrained by the expectations of students and managers and made compromises to satisfy competing professional commitments. A lot of students, all they are interested in is, ‘Is there going to be an exam and are we going to be tested on it? If it’s anything extra I don’t want to know’. We are trying to give them this additionality…The attitude towards assessment is that it’s the ‘be all’ and ‘end all’ and it shouldn’t be. If we have time to do a lot more formative assessment, students can actually use it as a learning experience. (Further education focus group participant 9) I think it’s good that assessment at the moment is in the background of this [Curriculum for Excellence] and it is about the learning experience…It’s the pressure of achievement, retention and performance indicators that stops us doing things the way we would really like to. (Further education focus group participant 5)

College lecturers identified similar challenges as school teachers when describing developments needed to take Curriculum for Excellence forward. Continuing professional development opportunities were identified as important in promoting higher levels of active learning in college settings. The ‘methodological shift’ identified by teachers is perhaps even greater for tutors whose professional preparation is informed by an andragogic approach. You still have lecturers who think that they teach a subject and not a group of students and I think this [Curriculum for Excellence] is going to have to be embedded in learning and teaching approaches if it’s going to make a difference. You still have people who are mainly teaching from the front of the class with limited amount of group work or who sit somebody in front of a computer for a big part of the lesson. There’s definitely training needed for learning and teaching to highlight how you can develop some of these skills across subjects.

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(Further education focus group participant 3)

In common with school teachers, college lecturers expressed an interest in working collaboratively to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by Curriculum for Excellence. Whilst noting that ‘there’s going to be no additional funding’ (Further education focus group participant 11), participants stressed the importance of time for joint work for planning and resource development. This was regarded as important in eroding the ‘privacy’ of teaching cultures in both schools and colleges and as an effective way of sharing and developing good practice at a local level. If anything really good was to come out of this we’d all stop reinventing the wheel in our own wee corners and that we would genuinely be able to get together, share existing materials, make the best use of them, develop new materials but do so in a group rather than every individuals away off in their own wee corners doing their own thing. That would be one of the biggest benefits for teachers that could come out of this. That kind of preciousness over what we’re doing would disappear. (Further education focus group participant 7)

One difference between the two groups was the relative capacity of colleges to support personalisation and choice within existing pathways in terms of the point of summative assessment. Early presentation was not regarded as viable within the context of colleges of further education, beyond existing provision that enabled students to sit AQA examination modules in the winter. It’s going to disadvantage people in FE colleges. If people are going to be brought through the school system with this idea of flexibility and being at one level in one thing and another level in another and just slowly making this kind of linear progression. Then they go into FE and you say, ‘Sorry, you can’t do that here. You’ve got to do all that in one year’. (Further education focus group participant 9) Our college set-up has a cycle, a data management cycle about course set up, enrolment, assessment, reporting of results – so that flexibility isn’t there to assess at different times. (Further education focus group participant 6)

Focus group participants representing the further education sector indicated that there were not always strong shared understandings between schools and post-compulsory education, even where there were reasonably effective, formal school-college links. In order to prepare for full implementation, especially in coordinating provision across the 14 to 19 age range, participants recommended joint staff development for mutual benefit. 9.3.3. Voluntary sector Representatives of voluntary sector organisations welcomed involvement in the engagement process. Contributions made by participants at a focus group resonated with teachers’ calls for more support through collaboration with other agencies and stronger partnership working. Among the focus group participants it was evident that voluntary sector organisations had different levels of involvement with Curriculum for Excellence. Some groups, such as the World Wildlife Fund, reported some involvement in the writing of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. Others, such as Barnardo’s Scotland and the YMCA, had involvement in the trialling process. Other groups had struggled to find an opportunity to have a voice: ‘it was actually seen that teachers were the conduit and we didn’t have that much to say unless we went directly through teachers’ (voluntary sector focus group participant 11). A comparison of teacher and voluntary sector perspectives reveals several potential areas for constructive joint work.

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Participants from the voluntary sector welcomed the broader orientation of the four capacities and were keen to avoid any diminution of the purposes and principles of Curriculum for Excellence as they are translated into sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes. In common with some of the teachers who participated in the curriculum area focus groups, it was suggested that the cover papers and broad intentions of Curriculum for Excellence were not explicitly aligned with the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. Concern was expressed about an overly prescriptive approach. The four capacities clash with the draft outcomes and experiences. If you give a teacher a list of things that their students have to achieve, then that’s what they’ll focus on. There’s an element of that process that could be disempowering for students, which then undermines some of the things in the four capacities. What Curriculum for Excellence hasn’t addressed for me is how these two sit together. (Voluntary sector focus group participant 6)

In looking toward refinement of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes and full implementation, it was hoped that the revised curriculum, ‘is still flexible and adaptable and ultimately is measured under the four capacities generally, rather than measured under specific outcomes….that’s where partnership with youth work is particularly important, to establish a foundation on which we might grow into the four capacities’ (Voluntary sector focus group participant 2). Representatives from the voluntary sector emphasised the added value their involvement would bring to school responses to the challenges of Curriculum for Excellence. This included bringing a fresh perspective to teaching approaches, especially targeting the development of core attributes such as confidence. We have a teaching profession a large percentage of whom have been taught and trained in a way that is about delivering knowledge and skills, and now we have a whole curriculum that is about delivering attitudes and attributes. If you ask a teacher, ‘Can you teach children the capitals of Europe?’ they’ll say, ‘Yes, no problem’. ‘Can you teach them the skills of being able to read a map?’ ‘Yes of course, no problem’. ‘Can you teach them the confidence to get on a train and travel across Europe by themselves?’ You have no training of how you would teach confidence. It will take a great deal of teacher training and new pedagogies to deliver this, regardless of what the outcomes say. (Voluntary sector focus group participant 5)

Participants emphasised their experience of supporting informal learning within learning environments other than formal classroom settings, especially in relation to motivating and supporting children and young people who may be disengaged and disaffected. It was suggested that the ‘fundamental shift’ necessary for the successful enactment of Curriculum of Excellence may require new approaches to delivering teacher development. The system is maintained because teachers train new teachers. LTS is full of teachers. This is how all professions work of course, but if you want to make a fundamental shift like this, then somebody somewhere needs to start to say, ‘Actually value these people over here, because they have a lot to offer’ and teach the teaching profession to start to come to us, whoever holds the budget. That will make the shift. (Voluntary sector focus group participant 6)

Recognition of wider achievement was an area of complementary expertise cited by focus group participants. It was noted that both schools and the voluntary sector have a shared commitment to the provision of education that recognises ‘distance travelled’ as well as endpoint achievement in the sense of ‘being past the post’. Members of the voluntary sector reported constructive involvement with SQA and commended recent developments related to skills for work (voluntary sector focus group participant 7).

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It’s not so much saying to schools, ‘We’re going to talk to you about the Duke of Edinburgh’s award’, but saying, ‘How are you going to recognise the achievements of young people beyond the traditional school curriculum?’ and looking at ways to build capacity to do that, which involves CPD for staff and partnership working and looking at the new inspection framework with HMIE. (Voluntary sector focus group participant 9)

Teachers’ feedback on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes for Health and Wellbeing identified a lack of confidence and professional preparation in approaching sensitive areas such as sexual health and substance misuse. In addition to the provision of specialist training, voluntary sector representatives acknowledged, ‘we all work to help young people increase their capacity to manage life better and give them transferable skills that help them to cope in a time of adversity’ (voluntary sector focus group participant 7). The development of high quality resources by those with specialist expertise was also cited as a valuable contribution made by the voluntary sector. Examples cited included resources to promote critical thinking in relation to values education, media constructions, poverty, climate change and citizenship education. This review of data from the engagement process suggests that educators, youth workers and NGOs might form productive partnerships to address areas of key policy concern, drawing a broader range of skills, abilities and methodologies to address common national priorities. It was noted that voluntary sector organisations were actively responding to the wider government focus on early intervention and prevention, adjusting intervention strategies for work with younger children from late primary onwards. One group, working in partnership with a local authority More Choices, More Chances team, was extending its target group from S4 to include P7 and S1. Voluntary sector organisations were keen to offer specialist expertise in resource development, consultancy and CPD provision. It was suggested that a formal forum would be beneficial in promoting ‘joined up’ thinking to capitalise on the full range of resources available to support Curriculum for Excellence (including informal and alternative provision, as well as classroom-based learning environments). It was suggested that the experience of the voluntary sector in working across professional boundaries would be useful in supporting the aspirations for Curriculum for Excellence. The sector would welcome further opportunities to ‘contribute to the conversation’ (voluntary sector focus group participant 3). It’s quite interesting that we’re sitting round a table as the voluntary sector talking about being more collaborative and people who are specifically in education are talking about it, so at some point there needs to be a bigger table, doesn’t there? (Voluntary sector focus group participant 7)

9.3.4. Universities This section draws on the perspectives offered by representatives of university Teaching and Learning committees who participated in a focus group. Participants were able to see potential alignment between the development of Curriculum of Excellence and activities taking place in universities and were keen to pursue further involvement, although aware of practical constraints and limitations of resource. There was concern that universities had joined the engagement process at a late stage. As one participant commented, ‘there is opportunity for resonance but you only get resonance if people know what is being put down’ (University focus group participant 6) Issues of common concern that were identified included admissions, transition and the development of employability skills and the recognition of achievement. University participants made associations between the attributes at the centre of Curriculum for Excellence and the consideration given to graduate attributes by higher education

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institutions. In responding to feedback from employers and in considering the case for further differentiation of degree classifications, some universities were considering ways to recognise wider achievement. As one participant noted, ‘that’s an interesting thread that goes through the sectors in many senses’ (University focus group participant 2). It was suggested that improvements to transition would require stronger communication between schools, further education colleges and universities. It was, however, acknowledged by several members of the university focus group that although wider qualities and attributes were important, grades remained the primary determinant of admission to university. The sheer volume of students we consider squeezes us, like employers, down to some very brutal decisions. (University focus group participant 6) Unless you’re going to go back to the days of interviews, you’re not really going to have a particularly reliable way of getting access to their wider qualities. I think although it’s a nice idea I’m not quite sure if you could actually put it into practice. (University focus group participant 4)

The emphasis placed on interdisciplinary learning was welcomed. Expressions of concern about the influence of discipline ‘silos’ on university courses paralleled teacher and local authority concerns about secondary school subject ‘silos’. Support was expressed for the promotion of literacy, numeracy and communication skills across the curriculum. Representatives from university admissions’ teams had been involved in the consultation on new assessment proposals. In common with feedback from some teachers and local authority officers, concern was expressed regarding a perceived emphasis on end-point qualifications rather than the purposes of assessment for and of learning that might better support the intentions of Curriculum for Excellence. There was a lot made about qualifications and maybe not as much on the uses and purposes of assessment which I think actually sits better with Curriculum for Excellence but I don’t think it featured all that strongly. (University focus group participant 7) The assessment scheme will undermine it because it’s not talking about the purposes of assessment. We’re talking about now about the names for the new certificate and I think that’s really dangerous. (University focus group participant 4)

In examining examples of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes, university participants voiced similar reservations to many teachers regarding a lack of clarity to support judgements about progression. Clarity was regarded to be important so that university tutors might better understand the skills and prior learning that undergraduates bring with them from their school experience. When you try to distinguish what’s a third or a fourth level of performance you find the word ‘independent’, but what exactly does that mean? It’s that kind of detail that requires careful consideration and isn’t happening...It would be very useful to have a clear handle on what skills we are expecting students to have when they come in so that we can design our activities to try and build on these skills. (University focus group participant 8)

University participants, in common with representatives from the voluntary sector, expressed a request for stronger linkage between different elements in the curriculum puzzle. This included strengthening internal organisational links between faculties of education, admissions offices, teaching and learning committees and QA enhancement teams; as well as local links with schools, colleges of further education and local authorities.

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QA enhancement teams are one of the main drivers for academic development in universities. They don’t seem to be joined up with what’s being done for Curriculum for Excellence, although there are a number of parallels. (University focus group participant 7)

Given the relative size of the university sector in Scotland, it was suggested that collaboration between organisations such as SQA, LTS, HMIE and University Scotland was feasible and desirable. There was general agreement within the university focus group that higher education needed to be much more involved in meaningful collaboration to develop areas of commonality and improve the continuity and progression of young people’s education in Scotland. 9.3.5. Teacher education The following section reports common areas of concern between Deans of Education who participated in a focus group and other key stakeholders. There was some concern that providers of teacher education were participating in the engagement process ‘after the event’ (post-publication of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes) and on-going opportunities for involvement were sought. Across the various focus groups, including those held in relation to curriculum areas with teachers, there was general support for the purposes of Curriculum for Excellence. The Deans of Education went further and requested deeper, critical engagement with the design principles that inform the revised curriculum framework. The Deans’ group made a distinction between presentation of the four capacities (which would be difficult to contest), the publication of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes, and the philosophy of Curriculum for Excellence. Support for the development of critically reflective practitioners required something in addition to receipt of a new framework. In common with some local authority officers and many teachers, Deans were cautious of any slippage towards prescription. If you produce something on paper people think this is what they should be doing and I had hoped that the aim of Curriculum for Excellence was to unleash the bonds of paperwork which we’ve had for many years…We’ve already seen examples in local authorities of people taking the paperwork and going through the same process as they did with 5-14, which is to produce a pack for teachers on how to teach. What change is Curriculum for Excellence going to produce if we’re going down this prescriptive ‘this is what you do’ route? (Deans of Education focus group)

Participants in the Deans’ group were careful to stress that changes to the curriculum that might ‘really reach down for the benefit of every child’ would entail intensive school-level engagement. Such engagement would be characterised by school-based collaborative enquiry leading to cycles of improvement action and deeper understanding. Care was taken to emphasis that professional learning entails change in ‘people’s beliefs’, as well as the production of documentation. It was acknowledged that ultimately teachers would enact change and act as mediators of policy intentions. The philosophy of Curriculum for Excellence is not a national approach. It’s not a national implementation. It’s a local implementation based within schools and what’s appropriate for them and so it requires teachers in the school to be thinking holistically about how we are going to do it in this school rather than looking for external advice on this is how you do it. (Deans of Education focus group) Teachers will provide the opportunities, not the curriculum, not the outcomes, not the experiences. It’s the teachers that have to provide them. (Deans of Education focus group)

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Influences on teachers’ responses to Curriculum for Excellence identified by participants in the Deans’ group echoed issues raised in feedback from teachers and local authority officers. These included subject positionality in secondary schools, the powerful influence on HMIE in shaping understandings of effectiveness and tensions between demands for measurable student attainment and alternative constructs of ‘being a good teacher’. Faculties of Education were currently engaged in developments that were supportive of the intentions of Curriculum for Excellence. These included harmonising primary and secondary teacher education courses, providing opportunities for primary and secondary student teachers to work together, and opportunities for shared curriculum areas with secondary students in some areas, as well as a stronger commitment to collaborative enquiry as an integral aspect of teacher professionalism. In taking developments further, building on an expanded notion of the curriculum, participants in the Deans’ group advocated sustained partnership work; possibly through formal consortia involving regional networks of schools and universities, with the close involvement of partners from integrated children’s services. It was noted that teacher educators are well placed to support schools as they plan for full implementation. In teacher education networks, visiting tutors engage with schools on a regular basis across a wide geographic area. Such visits offer new opportunities for reciprocal engagement around Curriculum for Excellence and would involve a ‘shift from going in to see our students and assess our student to much more going in to work with staff’. 9.4.

Summary

This section has offered an overview of the main messages to emerge from each strand of the data gathered throughout the year-long engagement process. A number of strong cross cutting themes are identifiable, which are summarised below. In feedback across all fourteen areas of the curriculum, participants welcomed the ‘openness’ or ‘flexibility’ of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. Teachers, school leaders and local authority officers identified moves towards greater flexibility as potentially ‘reprofessionalising’, within the context of further guidance. The ‘strength’ of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes was concurrently perceived as a ‘weakness’. Teachers welcomed opportunities to exercise professional judgement but within a supportive framework of clear expectations. Concern was repeatedly expressed by many teachers that the Draft Experiences and Outcomes, in general, were ‘vague’, ‘woolly’, ‘unclear’ on their first attempts at interpretation. Levels of concern expressed by teachers involved in the formal trialling process were substantially lower, perhaps indicating the benefits of enhanced support in periods of sustained engagement. The teaching profession expressed greatest concern in relation to progression. Across the focus group transcripts and questionnaire datasets, teachers requested further information to support assessment decisions. A lack of confidence was expressed in the Draft Experiences and Outcomes as ‘the basis of planning how children and young people will progress in their learning’. This was particularly marked in relation to mathematics, science, numeracy, technologies and RME. Teachers sought further detail to support professional judgments about pupil progress within and between the wider levels in the draft documents. Concern was expressed regarding consistency in teachers’ interpretation of standards in the same department/faculty/stage or school and across schools, regionally and nationally. School professionals anticipated a need to develop robust systems to effectively monitor progression. This was often expressed in relation to providing reliable information at key transition points. A concern with progression was frequently associated with, and

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compounded by, uncertainty about future assessment arrangements following the consultation on the next generation of national qualifications in Scotland. In terms of professional development needs, additional training was frequently requested to support non-specialist or less experienced teachers in primary schools, especially in relation to science, expressive arts and physical education. Additional support and opportunities for collaboration were requested to prepare teachers to address core areas of the curriculum that are the responsibility of all teachers: literacy, numeracy and aspects of health and wellbeing (and Religious Education in Catholic Schools). School professionals and local authority officers identified a need for dedicated time to develop greater awareness and to support systematic whole school planning. In addition, it was suggested that school leaders needed continuing support in building curriculum structures to realise the principles of Curriculum for Excellence. Some questions remained in relation to specific areas of the curriculum. These included: the positioning of literacy within the literacy and English framework only; suggested significant omissions in the health and wellbeing Draft Experiences and Outcomes (identified by health improvement agencies); concern about the privileging of Christianity in RME; and the place afforded to the study of other world religions within Religious Education for Catholic Schools. Teachers and other informed stakeholders expressed serious misgivings about the capacity of the draft science Experiences and Outcomes to support conceptual development. Feedback from other providers of education services indicates areas of shared interest and some shared areas of concern. Accounts from local authority officers brought into sharp focus some of the key tensions and challenges involved in preparing for full implementation. Significant amongst these challenges is the issue of providing additional support without constraining creativity and professional responsibility for local interpretation. Feedback from officers across the 32 local authorities suggests a need for further explanation as well as detailed exemplification (that is, explanation that would support local deliberation by teachers). From a position of oversight of a range of different settings, local authority officers identified a need to weave together different policy threads to present a coherent narrative for the profession. This included efforts to align expectations of attainment with expectations of methodologies conducive to the development of critical thinking and problem solving capabilities. The perspectives of representatives from further education colleges, universities and the voluntary sector affirmed a need for integrated approaches within the extended engagement process. Common threads for colleges and universities included a focus on improved transition across sectors, the recognition of wider achievement, a shared emphasis on literacy, numeracy and communication skills and the promotion of enhanced choice for learners. Representatives from further education colleges were supportive of the need to provide opportunities to support the development of learners who are not only successful but also confident. Educators within the post-compulsory sector identified clear links with the More Choices, More Chances policy agenda and welcomed the attention afforded to literacy and numeracy across the school curriculum. It was acknowledged that further and higher education faced comparable challenges in coordinating support for the development of core/transferable or employability skills across existing course provision. It was noted that opportunities for personalisation within post-compulsory education revolved around course selection, rather than different rates of progression through assessed courses. Contributions from further and higher education brought to the fore the issue of personal agency when approaching curriculum reform. College representatives noted that strong subject demarcations could be drawn by both tutors and learners and that learners made strategic choices in assigning priorities, irrespective of principles expressed in curriculum papers. University tutors reflected on the persistence of discipline ‘silos’ in higher education

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as a potential inhibitor of interdisciplinary learning. These accounts emphasised the importance of consistent approaches across the curriculum and across sectors of education (3-18 plus) and the importance of communicating intentions to learners. Participants in the Deans’ focus group emphasised the role of teachers as mediators of policy intentions, enacting the Curriculum for Excellence in the context of day-to-day classroom practice. The voluntary sector emphasised considerable experience in working across professional boundaries and in providing alternative opportunities outside formal classroom settings for learners whose needs are not currently met within conventional education settings. Several voluntary sector organisations were responding to national priorities for early intervention and prevention in working with children and young people at an earlier stage (from late primary onwards). The voluntary sector offered specialist expertise in resource development and through consultancy and CPD provision; and sought further opportunities for constructive engagement. This review of data has identified a number of core issues and cross-cutting themes. Uppermost among these is a concern with progression and the need to achieve an appropriate balance between explanation and exemplification; one that does not strip out the ‘re-professionalising’ potential contained in the emphasis placed on professional judgement in the proposed curriculum framework. A concern with improved transition, the promotion of connections across the curriculum and the development of methodologies to promote active learning, collaborative work and critical thinking were welcomed by teachers across the sectors of education. The feedback from stakeholders reviewed in this section, acknowledges the benefits of closer cooperation between sectors in addressing national policy priorities. The following section considers in more detail the lessons suggested by the engagement process following the release and trialling of the draft sets of Experiences and Outcomes for Curriculum for Excellence.

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10. Review of the process 10.1.

Introduction

This section reviews the progress of engagement with key stakeholders about a . The views presented in this section have been collated from the data collected. Views about the engagement process were not a specific focus of this research. However, a number of comments were expressed about the engagement process during the research and they are reported here. A brief summary of the background to the engagement process is provided followed by a review of progress, views of some of the key stakeholders, local authority officers, practitioners, LTS Team Leaders and a selection of comments collated from additional supporting documentation received. 10.2.

The Engagement Process

Engagement with key stakeholders concerning the Draft Experiences and Outcomes was led by Learning and Teaching Scotland and aimed to: • • •

Provide a broad range of stakeholders with knowledge and understanding of Curriculum for Excellence Draft Experiences and Outcomes; Provide opportunities for practitioners and other stakeholders to feedback their views about Curriculum for Excellence generally and the Draft Experiences and Outcomes particularly in order to shape the curriculum development; Develop and identify examples of good practice to disseminate.

The process of engagement has involved education authority contact meetings, information on LTS website, seminars, focus groups and events to promote Curriculum for Excellence and gather feedback from the education community and practitioners in all sectors. This engagement process began before and has continued through the phased release of the 14 draft sets of curriculum Experiences and Outcomes. The purpose of publishing all the Experiences and Outcomes initially in draft form was to allow for engagement with the education profession generally, subject specialists and other stakeholders before refinement and finalisation. Feedback about the Draft Experiences and Outcomes has been gathered through online questionnaires, trialling, CPD events and focus groups organised by LTS and by the University of Glasgow’s research. The online questionnaire was designed by LTS in order to provide the opportunity for any individual or group to feedback their views on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes in all 14 areas. The school trialling process, which involved practitioners in trying out the Experiences and Outcomes and providing feedback, formed a key part of the engagement process. This trialling process was launched in January 2008 with an event in Inverurie. Further events have taken place following the release of each set of Draft Experiences and Outcomes. The LTS Curriculum for Excellence Team and the LTS Area Advisers have liaised regularly with the local authorities organising and supporting events aimed at sharing the purposes, principles and practicalities of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. LTS has also engaged with a wide range of stakeholders (e.g. higher and further education personnel, employers, parents, subject specialist groups) in order to seek feedback to enable refinement, amendment or expansion of the draft guidance. 10.3.

Review of Progress

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The Engagement Process has been gaining momentum since the initial communication events and the number of people involved in the process has increased over time (practitioners and other stakeholders). The amount of feedback received about the first ten sets of Experiences and Outcomes released was in some cases relatively limited. However, with the release of each set of Experiences and Outcomes the engagement process extended and improved with an increase in feedback (see section 2). The increase in the amount of feedback and the range of individuals and groups involved indicates increased awareness of and interest in the Draft Experiences and Outcomes from the profession and other key stakeholders. The research that is presented here in this report in itself played a part in the engagement process. The telephone interviews conducted with local authority officers provided an opportunity for them to share their reflections on lessons learned from the trialling of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes in different environments. Different stakeholder groups including parents, employers, further and higher education, voluntary sector and pupils were invited to participate in a series of focus groups in order to provide them with an opportunity to express their views on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. The focus groups were not only a means of collecting data but offered an opportunity for the members of the various groups to develop their understanding and engage with Curriculum for Excellence. In some cases (e.g. parents and employee focus groups) information was provided to the focus group members prior to the data collection by the LTS Team either through oral presentations or using the DVD produced in the summer of 2008. Where the LTS Team were not present members of the University of Glasgow research team used the DVD (e.g. Further Education and Voluntary Organisation focus groups) to provide information about Curriculum for Excellence. The Interim Report (University of Glasgow, 2008) which collated and analysed the feedback from the first 10 sets of Experiences and Outcomes became a working document for the writing teams as the views of the profession and other key stakeholders were used to edit and refine the draft guidance. For example, in response to the feedback presented in the Interim Report concerning science, the Draft Experiences and Outcomes have been considered by a group of academics, science specialists and classroom practitioners and changes have been made as appropriate. This has included the development of further explanation to clarify for teachers what is expected and give educationalists a guide for classroom practice. This process of using the feedback from profession and other key stakeholders contributed to the engagement process as it demonstrated that views were being considered in shaping the curriculum guidance. The awareness that views were being considered and impacting on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes from the first 10 sets of guidance released may have contributed to the increase in feedback in the later stages of the engagement process. Practitioners and other stakeholders may have been aware that the provision of feedback was playing a key part in refining and finalising the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. 10.4.

Views on engagement process drawn from stakeholder focus groups

The level of feedback about the Draft Experiences and Outcomes has increased since the release of the first set in January 2008. A stated intention of the engagement strategy was to involve all those who have an interest in the education of Scotland’s children and young people. However, some of the stakeholders interviewed have not felt particularly involved in the engagement process. This view was particularly evident in the college sector. According to the majority of the college staff representatives who participated in the focus group there is a lack of awareness of Curriculum for Excellence in the colleges. I don’t think colleges are very far at all with . In my experience, they don’t know a lot about it at all. … (College staff, Glasgow)

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…We don’t know anything about it (Curriculum for Excellence). (College staff, Stirling)

Staff in Higher Education Institutions indicated that they had limited involvement in the engagement process. However, despite limited involvement the HEI representatives expressed the view that they were fairly knowledgeable and were ‘keeping up to date’ with Curriculum for Excellence and the four capacities. It is not clear if this extends to an understanding of the Experiences and Outcomes. Most parents across all the parent focus groups expressed the view that they only had very minimal knowledge of Curriculum for Excellence. They viewed the engagement events as an important opportunity to gain a better understanding of the new curriculum. However, these events involved a relatively small number of parents from across Scotland. Over the last few years, I have heard so much about Curriculum for Excellence but I haven’t actually been able to set eyes on or get to grips with what it actually means and today, I feel that I am beginning and only beginning (to know) … the rest is still unknown. (Parent, Edinburgh)

Employers were invited to events and focus groups but numbers present were low. Several employer representatives who did take part said they had only recently developed an awareness of Curriculum for Excellence and emphasised they had only a general awareness. …I don’t really have much in-depth knowledge about what Curriculum for Excellence really stands for. (Employer, Dundee) I was struck by the fact today that there are so few employers here at this employer consultation event although I understand that quite a number of them were invited but … I think there is going to be a real challenge on the part of the government and schools in getting employers more involved with schools than they are at the present time. I think that could possibly affect the success of Curriculum for Excellence. (Employer, Aberdeen)

The representatives of the Voluntary Groups at the focus group were more positive and demonstrated a sound understanding of Curriculum for Excellence. This appears to have come about through contributions made to the writing teams and through involvement with curriculum development activities in primary and secondary schools around the Curriculum for Excellence four capacities. A range of views were offered concerning the nature of the engagement process itself. The concern appeared to be that the focus had been on collecting feedback about the Draft Experiences and Outcomes rather than a wider process of engagement about curriculum and pedagogy. A number of stakeholder groups suggested that engagement around what they termed the ‘paperwork’ would not lead to successful implementation. Instead of focusing on engagement around what is written about Draft Experiences and Outcomes a number of stakeholders emphasised it should have been about the involvement of teachers thinking about how to put it in practice. how they think that’s actually going to be turned into practice for teachers and into practice in classrooms … the jury is out in the sense that the papers in themselves will not lead to success. (Dean of Education)

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the paperwork imposes a restrictive approach because people think that this is how you do it ... If you produce something on paper people think this is what we should be doing and I had hoped that the aim of was to sort of unleash the bonds to paperwork which we’ve had for many years. (Dean of Education)

Similarly, some of the parents expressed concern that the engagement process was focusing on feedback about the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. People seem to think that it [Curriculum for Excellence] probably is well engaged and has the potential to engage but what I am getting so far is that these other things such as the quality of teaching and other factors will be key here. (Parent Aberdeen)

The views highlighted that engagement with teachers was essential for Curriculum for Excellence to be effective. For this to work we need the best educators the education system could give us and if it is not there then this will go along the same route as what we have already got. (Parent, Dundee) … the actual curriculum, the whole theory, it sounds great and it does, you know, if it works it will be great, but if the teachers are not completely behind it or not so much that but don’t quite know where they’re going with it, then it really isn’t going to work properly … I feel a little bit confused about everything myself, as a parent, but if the teachers are like that, then that is a worry. (Parent, Edinburgh)

The concern over lack of engagement around pedagogy was also apparent in the views of the stakeholders representing the Voluntary Sector. So, that would be my main point that it will take a great deal of teacher training and new pedagogies to deliver this, regardless of what the outcomes say. (Voluntary Sector)

The importance of partnership working was also raised as an issue that needed greater attention. In general, parents thought that all stakeholders including employers, further education, higher education and parents themselves have a role to play in making Curriculum for Excellence a success. (Parents, Aberdeen, Edinburgh). They suggested that more information about Curriculum for Excellence could be placed on schools own websites to help parents maximise their support. Employers also raised the importance of partnership through greater engagement. They suggested that there should be space for genuine partnership between teachers, parents, career people and schools to make the curriculum not only motivating but also relevant (Employer, Dundee). The representatives from the Voluntary Sector emphasised during the focus group discussion that a continuum was needed to link learning in schools to learning in other sites. This again signals the need for partnership working to enable a 3–18 curriculum to be successful. … one of the things that strikes me is that the needs to be a continuum. It needs to be carried into lifelong learning and it needs to take those core skills, put them into that person’s employment … if you put them into work and you give them all those citizenship aspects of turning up to work and the self-esteem, they will learn better and that’s where sometimes the literacy and numeracy kicks in really well. I don’t think there’s enough focus on that…

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(Voluntary Sector)

One of the representatives from the Voluntary Sector indicated that there was no opportunity for them to engage formally in dialogue with the key agencies concerning their views about Curriculum for Excellence. There is no official forum of any kind that I’m aware of for those who shape formal education, Learning and Teaching Scotland, Scottish Qualifications Authority, HMIE, to meet with the voluntary sector. I’m aware that individual advisory liaison and various other named groups exist around specific subjects but there is no formal forum by which you can input, and I think that’s a really big missing piece of the puzzle. (Voluntary Sector)

Generally, the various stakeholder groups indicated they were unclear about the assessment processes associated with the new curriculum. It was acknowledged that taking account of wider achievement was commendable but there was concern that this stage of the engagement process had not clarified how Curriculum for Excellence would be assessed to ensure a good standard of learning for all pupils. 10.5.

Local authority views of engagement process drawn from telephone interviews

The telephone interviews conducted during this research with the 32 local authority officers (and a representative of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools, SCiS) provided a vehicle for them to feedback their views. The sense of active engagement through dialogue is important. Opportunities for people to have a voice in any change process need to be facilitated at local and national levels. The local authority officers who took part in the telephone interviews were keen to reflect on lessons learned from the trialling of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. Schools and pre-school establishments were selected for involvement in liaison with headteachers and Quality Improvement Officers and were drawn from a wide range of socio-economic, demographic and geographic settings. Engagement of personnel at school and local authority level is another important element of the development of a sense of ownership of Curriculum for Excellence through partnership working. This is enhanced by enabling decision-making according to local contexts. The choice of school for trialling was influenced by different factors in different authorities and curriculum areas. In some cases schools were selected because they had a strong local reputation for effective teaching and learning, sometimes in relation to Assessment is for Learning (AifL) or cooperative learning. In other cases, schools or department were selected on the basis that the trialling presented a development opportunity that might act as a stimulus for change. In one local authority schools were recruited that (a) were ‘keen’ and (b) had ‘the capacity to actually do the trialling properly’ (LA interviewee19). Schools, supported by local authority link personnel, were encouraged to select a small number of Draft Experiences and Outcomes to trial and were advised to select outcomes that would sit within normal planning for the time of year. A limited number of teachers in each trialling school participated in the trials. The trialling process in a minority of schools was disrupted by moving into new buildings during the trialling process (two schools), extended periods of unavoidable absence among lead personnel and, in one case, by an HMIE inspection. These circumstances are the reality of school life and it is part of the process of trialling the Draft Experiences and Outcomes in authentic contexts From the analysis of the transcripts of the telephone interviews with the local authority education officers, three main messages emerged concerning engagement with Curriculum for Excellence through the trialling process. First, greater understanding comes from engaging with the Experiences and Outcomes and through discussion of strategies, designs

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and activities with peers in a mutually supportive environment. This is a key point in considering the way forward for the next phase of Curriculum for Excellence. The local authority officers indicated that trialling provided opportunities for initial reservations to be worked through and teachers were able to adapt the guidance within specific applied contexts: ‘The more they use them, the more they like them’ (LA interviewee 11) Over the year I have definitely seen a shift. There was more anxiety expressed by secondary teachers earlier in the year. As they have gone through the year, we have had more and more positive remarks being made. We have a lot of good work done by people, some really interesting work. We have had wonderful professional discussion and I think that people have been quite enthused, not across the board. I am not going to claim that everyone has been enthused but generally speaking I think we have had a lot of success with good work being done. (LA interviewee 16) People need time to engage with the outcomes; to look at them in the way that the trialling schools did and to share the practice. What worked well at the early stages in the primary school and why it worked well as opposed to the difficulties that those working in isolation in the upper school experienced. It’s about having an interface where you could have that kind of discussion. Once people become more confident in using the broader outcomes, they will actually appreciate it more. To have the freedom to develop creativity in their teaching. (LA interviewee 6) In order to trial, this school actually developed some collegiate working so from nursery to P3 they took the same context and applied the outcomes across that range and that was the most positive thing that came out the trialling for them, the collegiate working and the common understanding. They said that it would help in terms of transition from nursery to primary and also from class to class. (LA interviewee 6)

Second, the local authority officers indicated that the scope of the trialling process had limitations which impacted on the effectiveness of the engagement process. Some of them said where a small number of teachers worked with a small number of outcomes the wider value of trialling to the school community was limited. As one interviewee noted, ‘I am sure some schools are doing bits of this and are doing very well but it’s all in pockets’ (LA interviewee 3). A number of interviewees noted that trialling participants were more likely to be committed ‘volunteers’ who were ‘more enthusiastic’ open to change and experimentation. It should be noted that one interviewee (LA interviewee 10) reported an explicit attempt to involve all school teaching staff in primary trialling schools and most of the department in secondary trialling schools. However, this was not typical across the interviews. The danger is that you have a small group of pilot schools and teachers who are up to a certain level now but you have got the vast majority of the teaching staff who have had nothing to do with the pilot. I suspect there are a lot of teachers who have done nothing more than have a quick look over the learning experience outcomes. They are finding it difficult to just do more than they are doing. (LA interviewee 3)

These comments have implications for the next stage of Curriculum for Excellence when all schools and all teachers are expected to engage with the Experiences and Outcomes. The insight of the local authority officers in relation to local contexts for implementation will be important in making the transition to all school involvement. It was also pointed out that when teachers focused on a small number of outcomes then an understanding of the whole curriculum area and an understanding of progression through levels was not easily attained.

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Discussing magnetism in a particular outcome from Science, one teacher described something she had done in two hours inside one day whilst someone else is doing quite an extensive range of science experiments and investigations. It’s not until they start to talk to one another that they realise that there might be more to it. When they do get round the table, they are actually identifying the different aspects that might relate to a different outcome. The problem is when this goes wider into all schools, the opportunities that are available to those involved in the trialling will not be made available more generally and that I think is a real problem. (LA interviewee 3)

This comment indicates the need for teachers to understand the big picture in relation to and the development of pupils’ learning in a holistic way not just their within their own area of expertise. Third, several local authority interviewees commented on what they perceived to be limited investment in the trials. Comments addressed: (a) the time available to provide support to schools; (b) the time period in which the trials were to be completed; and (c) the lack of advance notice to recruit schools. It was suggested that it would have been beneficial to recruit schools whilst improvement plans for the forthcoming session were in development. A number of interviewees commented on the impact of the limited and shifting timescale for the trialling, which as one interviewee commented ‘included an Easter holiday and a period of time for exam leave in secondary’. Working with Draft Experiences and Outcomes in different curriculum areas in quick succession was also cited as a limiting factor: ‘It’s been a bit of a machine gun approach.’ (LA interviewee 25). The teachers involved felt a sense of responsibility in testing the Draft Experiences and Outcomes and some felt the pressure of this when feeding back comments in a short timescale. One of the local authority officers summed up the feeling describing teachers’ responses to the early stages of the trialling process as characterised by ‘fear and trepidation’ (LA interviewee 25). Because the trialling was done in such a short timescale it’s been quite stressful for [teachers]. They have been responsible for giving us the responses on behalf of the Authority, so they felt quite a high degree of responsibility and it was a very short timescale to really enable them to familiarise themselves properly with the outcomes and give good quality feedback. So they worked really, really hard and now they’re glad they did it, but at the beginning and up to about half way through it they were very, very worried about the whole process. (LA interviewee 25) The amount of time that was required and the relatively short amount of time in which to get through an awful lot was hard. The timescale that was issued was quite tight and I think that made some people quite uncomfortable…. (LA interviewee 1)

The need to ensure that timescale did not constrain opportunities for reflection or cause added stress was raised during the telephone interviews. It’s more important that we get this right than we get this on time. I think that we have to make sure that we continue to focus on learning and teaching methodology because that is what this is about rather than the outcomes and it’s been very exciting to see that. (LA interviewee 15)

The time factor was also linked to ensuring the timescale for implementation would give teachers time to think through the implications of the new curriculum and that the engagement process should include time for CPD. One interviewee reflected favourably on the development of Higher Still and the scope afforded for extended feedback and development.

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As soon as there is any exemplification delivered, even if it is rough draft, there should be national CPD meetings were teachers who are going to be delivering this, get a chance to see it and feedback. Now we did this with the Higher Still and it was extremely effective in its delivery and its uptake because people then knew what they were required to do and they saw it two to three years before they were asked to implement it and they were able to influence that national debate, they were able to influence the policy that was taking place and the quality and content of the courses themselves. (LA interviewee 10)

It was pointed out that the engagement process should have enabled more opportunities for teachers to discuss and reflect on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes with each other. One interviewee (LA interviewee 8) suggested that resource constraints influenced the trialling process by limiting possibilities for teachers to meet with peers and local authority officers outside school. It was also suggested that headteachers have an increasing expectation that replacement teaching costs will be provided for teachers who are involved in development activities outwith the school e.g. joint meetings to design trialling materials and provide feedback. In one authority short-term contracts of up to twenty-five hours were awarded to teachers to enable them to participate fully in the trialling and feedback process, including attending meetings after school. These comments suggest that the trialling process was viewed by some teachers as separate from their everyday reflection and development of learning and teaching. An engagement approach that involves teachers in an ongoing process of reflection about curriculum development will require an embedded culture of enquiry though opportunities for professional dialogue between peers in and between schools on a regular basis. The interviews with the local authority officers highlighted the variations in the method of trialling for the different sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes. Some of the trialling visit proforma received contained general reports on discussions with school staff, others were observations of lessons. For example, in relation to Health and Well Being a key focus of the formal trialling appears to have been mapping existing provision against the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. A proforma from an early years/primary school notes, ‘staff leading trialling took the school planner and crossed off where Health and Well Being is covered’. A primary school described the process as an ‘audit’ organised according to two guiding questions: ‘What are we doing? Are there gaps?’ A secondary school developed an ‘audit tool’ to support a systematic review of the delivery of Sexual Health Education (SHE). The headteacher picked out the relevant outcomes, photocopied them for staff and asked staff to highlight what they were already doing to deliver the outcomes in their class. (Trialling visit proforma, early years/ primary school)

The feedback received during the engagement process was also provided in different ways. In some cases one proforma was submitted by a local authority for a large number of schools. For example, one local authority submitted one proforma on behalf of nineteen primary schools. In other cases, trialling was carried out and reported by one teacher. Some local authority officers commented that although they were involved in setting up the trials, they felt removed from the feedback process: ‘The reporting has gone to LTS and any responses that have gone to them haven’t gone through me’. Another interviewee asked LTS for information on which schools had responded to the trialling questionnaire as they did not have authority level records of submissions. We haven’t asked for teachers who have been doing the trialling to send their responses to us. LTS made it very clear that they would like the responses direct. This removes us a little bit from knowing first hand how teachers feel. I sat in on many of the sessions and the feedback I am giving you is from those sessions. The teachers have always been encouraged to provide their own feedback to the questionnaires and we haven’t asked for them.

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(LA interviewee 17)

The variations in methods used for feeding back comments were further highlighted by two interviewees from different local authorities indicated that the schools involved in the trialling had experienced problems in accessing and saving the online forms. In one authority it was reported that local authority officers had produced responses on behalf of the teachers involved in the trials. The justification offered for the mediation of responses was prevention of additional demands on participating teachers. I had to make schools aware of how to complete the forms and how to find the forms. They had to register on the online community to get access to the forms. I think there was a little bit of confusion as to what forms to complete because there were the general public questionnaires that were available on the website for each of the curriculum areas but there were also the specific trialling questionnaires that were only available on the online community. Of course to have a copy of that they had to make sure they printed it. They couldn’t save it on their own computers. Due to that and because of the timescale and schools then going straight on holiday … feedback has been minimal at the moment. (LA interviewee 17) You cannot expect people to sit and complete an online survey when they have put weeks into trialling them. What they want is to be able to complete something, go away, add a few more comments, come back. You can’t do that with the online survey. Neither are they going to submit a written hard copy to LTS so we have had to re-create the word documents. We have not had any intention of diluting or editing what the responses are. We purely wanted to make things easier for people involved. (LA interviewee 11)

A local authority officer coordinating the trialling of Health and Well-Being Draft Outcomes also commented on the limitations of the online feedback process, saying that the online trialling forum did not encourage partnership work with external agencies. Participants needed a school-based or government email address to log in, excluding potentially significant NHS and voluntary sector partners. These comments highlight technical issues which are important and should be considered to make it as easy as possible for people to provide their views. A key element of the engagement is giving as many people as possible a way of feeling part of the process. The comments also indicate the local authority variations in approach which are essential to ensuring relevancy to local needs and contexts. However, the views raise questions about the balance between enabling local development and variation and working within a national framework of curriculum guidance. 10.6.

Teacher views on the engagement process drawn from the questionnaires

In general, teachers who responded to the invitation to submit questionnaires and trialling feedback or take part in focus groups welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the engagement process. Across the sources of data there was a strong desire for the practitioner perspective to be ‘taken seriously’, for the views of the many participants to be valued and their questions addressed. It was hoped that contributions made by teachers might inform an appropriate national response. In giving their time to contribute to the engagement process, teachers looked forward to continued dialogue as the Draft Experiences and Outcome are subject to further refinement. Please can this consultation be taken seriously and not just be ignored and the draft become a reality. Please do not consult then ignore. This happens too often in teaching. (Maths online questionnaire)

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It is hoped that this is a genuine consultation and that views of respondents are listened to and acted on. (Numeracy online questionnaire) There is concern about whether these comments will be considered and acted on at national level. (Science online questionnaire) I would like to know how the draft outcomes were made and whether faith communities were consulted about them. I hope that comments from practitioners will be taken into account before the final outcomes are published. (Religious and Moral Education online questionnaire)

In common with local authority respondents, a minority of teachers expressed some concern about technical and logistical aspects of the feedback process. The questionnaires provided opportunities to respond to statements by selecting from a fixed range of responses (using a Likert scale) and in addition offered the opportunity to provide comments in relation to each question and further open comment at the end of the set of questions. Some respondents felt constrained by the framing of the questions, the format of the questionnaires and the process for accessing paper and electronic copies of the document. It is not a good idea to expect teachers / interested parties to respond to consultation without sending a paper copy of the proposals. Publishing such an important document on a website only, might restrict the number of responses. Producing a “standard” form for responses might restrict stakeholders’ ability to make the comments they want to make. (English and Literacy online questionnaire) Teachers are clearly concerned with the timescale of the engagement process. There is a strong feeling that the questionnaire method of feedback which has been used is formulated to give an expected outcome. There is also a cautionary suspicion that their views will not be fully taken into account. (Science online questionnaire)

Some concern was expressed about the sequence of developments within the engagement calendar. This was expressed in terms of a perceived ‘delay’ in the publication of the draft documents, the impact of phased release on a sense of coherence across the areas of the curriculum at early stage in the engagement calendar and, in particular, the relationship between the Draft Experiences and Outcomes and future assessment arrangements for the senior phase in secondary schools. The phased release of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes in the year-long engagement period was felt by some practitioners to be detrimental to the promotion of connections across the curriculum. Sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes released at an early point in the engagement strategy were initially approached in isolation. Health and Well-Being, parts of which apply to all professionals, was among the last four sets to be released. The disjointed unveiling of the experiences and outcomes has not aided the cross-curricular process. (Maths online questionnaire)

A key area of concern was the publication of the draft sets of Experiences and Outcomes in advance of the outcomes of the consultation on future arrangements for national qualifications. A number of responses noted a sense of anxiety associated with uncertainty around the future assessment framework. Without knowing the details of any syllabus proposed in light of the probable merging of Intermediate 2/Credit it is impossible to comment on the transition from Fourth Level to any new/amended courses.

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(Maths online questionnaire) Coverage to S3 does not fit the current pattern in secondary schools; this causes confusion. Simply saying "Ignore the fourth stage just now" is simply not good enough. The SQA must speak before this goes any further. Ultimately what we do will be affected by the undiminished demand for pupils to pass examinations. (Science online questionnaire) As a teacher and Head of Department, I am interested in how this will change the approach we currently take to feedback and assessment. Until there is a unified approach to creating an excellent curriculum which marries the unarguably good principles of with the assessment and exam process I don't think I can cope with implementing another layer of outcomes/criteria /experiences etc. Apart from the sheer despondency of this there is a workload issue. I feel we are being asked to comment on a half decided venture. (English and Literacy online questionnaire) It is generally thought that the consultation period is too short. The discussions surrounding National qualifications are similarly too short. The consultation period runs from June to October. Realistically the profession has not been able to actively engage during this period. Schools are not in session. Until teachers have had the opportunity to collaborate and respond to concerns regarding qualifications they cannot realistically be asked to answer questions on progression. (Religious and Moral Education online questionnaire)

Other contributors noted the positive impact of their participation in the engagement process. Comments focused on how the publication of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes had acted as a stimulus for discussion, collaboration and sharing within local networks. Many respondents reflected positively on participation in area events, twilight ‘in-service’ sessions and opportunities to strengthen links across stages in school clusters. The group was pleased to note that the Experiences and Outcomes are evolutionary rather that revolutionary and that they are very open, with the emphasis on skills rather than content. The release of the Modern Languages Experiences and Outcomes has promoted dialogue across sectors and more sharing of practice already. (Modern Languages online questionnaire)

Teachers who participated in the formal trialling process commented on the contribution of trialling to their professional development and suggested that this had contributed to improved classroom practice. This was especially marked in the comments relating to Religious Education (in Roman Catholic schools). This highlights the value of teachers engaging in curriculum development. It suggests that reflection on curriculum development has a positive impact on learning and teaching. Similar to the comments made by the local authority officers some concern was expressed by teachers about the time available to commit to trialling within busy teaching and assessment calendars. The intended optimal period for trialling was six months – one month for preparation and planning, four months working with a selection of Draft Experiences and Outcomes which could be accommodated within existing curriculum plans (implementation), and one month for reviewing and reporting. This did not prove feasible for many of the teachers who were involved in the formal trialling process, who nevertheless felt they derived benefit from their participation. I really enjoyed the RE trialling lessons and will continue to take a more active approach in my religious lessons. (RE (RC) online questionnaire)

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I have enjoyed taking part in the RE Trials. Made me think carefully about making lessons more meaningful for the pupils and has been good for my own spiritual development as a Catholic school teacher. (RE (RC) online questionnaire) Trialling has been a worthwhile experience and has allowed me a degree of autonomy in terms of how I deliver the RE programme. (RE (RC) online questionnaire)

Responses to the online questionnaires indicated that teachers who had not yet had the opportunity to be involved in formal and informal trialling were looking for further guidance. In general, feedback from teachers suggests that in addition to the production of documents more active and participatory forms of engagement are desirable. I have been awaiting anything of substance to give me advice of how to put material together and so far nothing appears to be happening. The "Building the Curriculum" publications only seem to be telling us that there is a need for change and that the change will be great but nothing of how we are to actually achieve this change. (Science online questionnaire)

It was also acknowledged that new opportunities for enhanced partnership work, especially home-school links, were presented as schools responded positively to Curriculum for Excellence. Awareness-raising for parents should be considered to support schools in developing literacy (across curriculum). (English and Literacy online questionnaire) We need to think through how far this framework of Experiences and Outcomes can also be an important point of reference for parents, parishes, Church organisations (e.g. SCIAF, SVDP), and of Diocesan and national youth services. We need to develop leaflets. (RE (RC) online questionnaire)

10.7.

LTS Team Leaders views on engagement drawn from focus group data

The LTS Team Leaders participated in a focus group which provided them with the opportunity to express their views about the engagement process. They indicated that as well as specific engagement events they undertook engagement visits. This allowed them to engage with practitioners and ask questions directly about the Draft Experiences and Outcomes and about the impact on learning and teaching approaches. In looking at this outcome and trying to unpack it, what do you think you do already that would help you to meet this, what sorts of layers of learning do you build up with children and young people in order to help them achieve these outcomes, and what kinds of practical experiences do you already provide in the classroom to ensure that young people can achieve this? (LTS Team Leader) I support the region as well, we involve participants in activities which led them towards thinking about their practice, so, for example, from looking at how to bring experiences and outcomes together, in an integrated way, and so the activities built around the learning and teaching approaches, it would support the experiences and outcomes as we felt that that was very important to the learning and teaching rather than just the nitty gritty of the wording or the content of the experiences and outcomes. (LTS Team Leader)

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The Team Leaders emphasised that during their engagement visits they asked teachers to think about the Draft Experiences and Outcomes in relation to existing practice. Part of this process was indicating to practitioners that their views about current practice were important in thinking about curriculum development. … when we were looking at the engagement with practitioners, we were trying to get them to identify what they knew was good from the already existing frameworks, so that they weren’t seeing this as being something which was going to be very new to them, but to actually identify their good practice, what was good about those particular frameworks and actually begin to see where it could be developed with the new approaches that we were suggesting within the draft framework, so we were building at all times on the best practice that was out there … (LTS Team Leader) … we reassured practitioners that we were taking their views into account as well, you know, that we really valued their feedback and that their feedback would react upon, you know, that we would act upon any feedback that they did give us and we’d really emphasise that these were draft experiences and outcomes, and we would take in any feedback that was given to us. (LTS Team Leader)

The comments made during the focus group made reference to additional guidance that was provided during the engagement process to support understanding of the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. For example, in relation to Literacy three additional guidance papers were provided. … when we did go out to engage we also provided support papers to go along with the Experiences and Outcomes. They came in three forms. One was to explain or to provide a definition of the word “text” and the word “text” appeared right throughout the framework, and it was to ensure that people understood that we’re looking at a very broad, wide definition of text. We also provided a paper that explained what we meant by “reading strategies”, and there was also a paper about early reading. So those were all made available to help support practitioners when they were looking at the Experiences and Outcomes. (LTS Team Leader)

The importance of inter-disciplinary working was noted by the Team Leaders as a key part of the engagement process. They explained that planning for inter-disciplinary work has been raised as an issue during engagement visits. Positive comments were also noted by the Team Leaders about the value of cross discipline and cross sector working in the development of Curriculum for Excellence. We’ve also been looking at ways of planning for the inter-disciplinary working and when we’ve been out on engagement, that’s really been one of the big questions, how are we going to plan for that? (LTS Team Leader) … one of the things we’ve tried to do is bring together working groups and people from across the curriculum, but also from across the sectors, and the comments that we’ve had about evaluation, we get very few that criticise having had to work through people in other sectors, you know, working with colleagues from other sectors, and people mainly say how much they’ve learned from that experience, both from the generalist approach of nursery and primary practitioners and from the very specialist approach of the secondary person, they learn from each other, and I think we do have to think about how we organise CPD in the future to reflect that, so that people have more opportunities to work across curriculum areas and across sectors. (LTS Team Leader)

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The comment above raised the issue of CPD and many of the comments made during the LTS Team Leader focus group related to the importance of CPD. They indicated that during engagement visits the need for CPD was a regular request. … the kind of things that are coming up for us is please, please, can we have more CPD? (LTS Team Leader)

However, differences in confidence and expertise of the teachers were noted by the Team Leaders and they were in accord with the views of other stakeholders who emphasised the role and expertise of the teacher. One of the Team Leaders pointed out ‘… it is very much down to the interpretation by the teacher’. The importance of the engagement process in supporting teachers’ understanding was highlighted. where they’re saying, “I want clarification”, sometimes what they really mean is, “I want reassurance that what I’m doing …” and once they get that within an engagement procedure, or presentations that we’re doing, they’re a lot happier with that. (LTS Team Leader)

The Team Leaders made the link between CPD and the need for leadership at all levels. CPD that’s going to be well programmed needs leadership at all levels and I think the two of them need to go hand in hand (LTS Team Leader). In some cases the Team Leaders pointed out that there was a lack of teacher engagement with the Draft Experiences and Outcomes because they did not know that they were available on the LTS website or there was an unwillingness of lack of time to download them. This hampered teacher engagement, particularly in secondary schools with the Draft Experiences and Outcomes in their own area and interdisciplinary development. … in some of the engagement events we’ve been to, had people say to us things like, “We didn’t realise we could only get them from the website, we were waiting for the hard copy to be delivered” (LTS Team Leader) … when I’m going out on engagement, teachers are not reading the documentation and I’m not down on them for that, I know how busy they are, but they haven’t time to read big wads of information (LTS Team Leader) …from a secondary teacher’s perspective, they’re not particularly keen at the thought of having to go in, download their own framework, print out a copy and then also print out the Literacy and English framework and score out the English Outcomes and Experiences that don’t apply to them, and then to go and get the Numeracy ones, which are nicely printed on their own, but also bring in Health and Well-being and also the framework for Technologies where it’s the Outcomes which actually relate to all. So there’s going to have to be some work done on that, whether there’s an easier way for the profession to actually access the frameworks. (LTS Team Leader)

10.8.

Views on engagement provided in additional supporting documentation

LTS made a range of supplementary material received from, for example, professional bodies and subject associations available to the Research Team. Some of this supplementary material included comments about the engagement process.

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The technical difficulty of feeding back echoed some of the comments from the local authority officers. In some cases the online questionnaires were not felt to be appropriate to convey their views and this was the reason given for submitting additional supporting documentation. It was concluded that the survey forms provided as a vehicle for responses were not suitable to convey our views in a coherent or suitably balanced way (STEM ED Scotland) …several respondents stating that they did not feel that the LTS questionnaire allowed them to make the comments on the consultation that they wished to make and/or they could not provide suitable answers for the questions they asked. (The Association for Science Education Scotland)

Similar to comments made by the Deans of Education concern was expressed that the engagement process (particularly the collection of feedback from trialling) focused on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. The view expressed in this case was that the Draft Experiences and Outcomes should have been considered in relation to the overarching Curriculum for Excellence vision. It is regrettable that the request for feedback only asked questions about the Draft Outcomes and Experiences. These, read without an understanding of the vision outlined in the Cover paper, are meaningless. As a result, some respondents may have misunderstood the purpose of the Draft Outcomes and Experiences. This oversight highlights the significance of the vital connection between the Cover paper and the Outcomes and Experiences and may suggest that these should be two parts of one document, rather than separate documents as they currently are. (Scottish Catholic Education Service)

Views expressed in another supplementary document indicated that it would have been helpful to ‘identify and clearly state what the precursors for change were. Explain what's wrong with the previous paradigm so we don't repeat the same mistakes and it would have been useful to have understood why it was decided necessary to change from the 5-14 program in order to avoid "repeating its mistakes" ’(Technology Teachers Association). A number of documents provided lengthy examples relating to the Draft Experiences and Outcomes but added comments indicating a willingness to engage in the development of Curriculum for Excellence. For example, Archaeology Scotland would be happy to refine or amend any of the learning outcomes listed, or develop s further set … as the develops. (Archaeology Scotland) We are very willing to be part of any future developments or support which would benefit the teaching profession in implementing . (The Association for Science Education Scotland)

The issue of sufficient time being given to the engagement process was also raised in the additional supporting documentation and echoed the views of some of the local authority officers interviewed. We have concerns that insufficient time has been provided for teachers to become familiar with the vision and to trial outcomes and experiences at this stage. Thus, it is possible that responses to consultation will be based on very limited consideration and reflection. (Scottish Catholic Education Service)

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Active engagement with extended networks of stakeholders was emphasised in some of the additional documentation. For example, ‌this is a major and important undertaking and that success requires active engagement and input of the stakeholder community. (STEM ED Scotland)

The documentation emphasised the need for input from external agencies (e.g. universities, science centres, industry) to be explicitly planned and integrated into curriculum development. Significant reference was made to the need to embed CPD within the engagement process. The suggestions stressed the need for expanded and ongoing CPD including active networking opportunities involving teachers in their own discipline with teachers in other schools and with teachers in other disciplines in their own school. Similar to the comments made during the interviews with stakeholder groups the quality of teaching was emphasised. For example, A great deal will depend on the experience, skills and motivation of the practitioner on whether the possibilities embraced within the science Experiences and Outcomes are fully explored. The amount and quality of science a pupil will experience, particularly primary pupils, will depend largely on the confidence of their teacher to teach any outcome to a particular depth. This will only be improved with much further guidance and CPD. (The Association for Science Education Scotland)

The challenges of balancing local authority and school freedom to develop and support Curriculum for Excellence within a national framework of guidance were also raised in some of the supporting documentation. It is critical that supporting explanation and guidance is developed centrally as the task is far too complicated and important to be attempted separately by each local authority or school. (STEM ED Scotland) The need for supplementary guidance has been expressed by most parties considering these draft materials. It is vital that, at the time of final publication, teachers will be aware that the supplementary guidance is an essential component for anyone trying to understand the outcomes and experiences. (Scottish Catholic Education Service)

10.9.

Summary

The engagement process did not form part of the research brief, however, a number of views were expressed about it during the data collection and this section presented a selection of them. Responses to the various engagement activities increased in volume, as the process progressed and actual involvement in the trialling of the reforms tended to lead to much more positive engagement. LTS has responded to practitioners and stakeholders’ comments and the engagement process has developed and expanded since its inception. However, some stakeholders felt that they had not been sufficiently involved in the process, particularly the colleges and the faculties of education. The engagement process did provide individuals and groups with the opportunity to feedback views about the Draft Experiences and Outcomes but it was suggested that engagement needs to involve more than feedback about Draft Experiences and Outcomes. A number of views were expressed indicating that thinking,

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discussion, trialling and reflection also needs to include pedagogy and that teachers should be engaging in testing the ‘how’ and not just providing feedback about the ‘what’. It was also suggested that CPD should have been a key part of the engagement process. Teachers should have had opportunities to think about and try out new ways of working and exchange ideas and practice with colleagues from the outset of the engagement process. Use could be made of GLOW to provide opportunity for teachers to work in communities of practice and reflect together on how they realise the four capacities and the contribution the Draft Experiences and Outcomes make. The views of stakeholders indicated a willingness and desire to be involved in curriculum development and more opportunities could be made available for partnership working across stakeholder groups to discuss, share and extend the contribution of different groups to Curriculum for Excellence. The feedback from the local authorities indicated that the engagement process had differed across the authorities. The methods used to trial the Draft Experiences and Outcomes, support the teachers in the process and provide feedback was different. It was not suggested that differences in approaches in the local authorities were problematic but it highlighted the need to find a balance between freedom to develop and interpret curriculum guidance according to local needs and a national framework to maintain an excellent system of education across Scotland.

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11. The Way Forward: implementation of Curriculum for Excellence 11.1. Introduction In this report we have reviewed an enormous amount of data that has been generated through the engagement process managed by LTS over the past year. Drawing on all of this data and on the interim and supplementary reports on the fourteen sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes, this final section of the report sets out to summarise the key themes, issues and challenges that have emerged from this review. The purpose is not to set out recommendations for LTS or other stakeholders, but rather to provide a balanced summary, based on the views and responses that have been analysed, in the hope that this will be helpful to those, including LTS, who do have responsibility for making decisions about procedures and processes for the further development and implementation of Curriculum for Excellence. The remarks that follow are grouped under six major headings, although these themes do have strong inter-relationships. 11.2. The alignment of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment The considerable enthusiasm for the underlying philosophy and principles of Curriculum for Excellence was closely related to a desire on the part of many teachers and other education professionals to take increased responsibility for the determination of the detail of the curriculum. This was coupled with an enthusiasm for being imaginative and innovative in relation to pedagogical approaches. However, these enthusiasms were often coupled with concern about ensuring continuity and progression in pupils’ learning and also with concerns about the need for a close correspondence to the approach taken to the assessment of pupil learning. Enthusiasm for the formative approaches of Assessment is for Learning was also frequently expressed, but there was also recognition that a national assessment system is an essential requirement and has to include summative elements. While teachers and others were determined that the curriculum should not be led by assessment, the need to relate assessment reform and specifically the Review of National Qualifications to the Curriculum for Excellence was frequently expressed. 11.3. CPD for teachers and others As has been seen, many teachers, local authorities and others are very enthusiastic about what is perceived to be a more flexible and professionally led approach set out in the Draft Experiences and Outcomes. However, many of those who are positive, as well as a large number of those who are less enthusiastic, expressed concern about the ‘vagueness’ of many statements. Frequently the use of terms such as this was accompanied by a call for significant opportunities for teachers to undertake CPD. Across the three strands of data gathering – focus groups, trialling feedback and questionnaires – teachers consistently identified a need for significant investment in a range of different types of CPD, as well as further exemplification through the production of resources and illustrative planners, perhaps arising from formal and informal trialling. Teachers would welcome the development of communities to provide support for curriculum review and development planning: online and face-to-face, inter-departmental, cross-school and between schools and sectors/stages. The involvement of other education and healthrelated professionals, as well as the voluntary sector, was frequently identified as potentially constructive in supporting local preparation of plans for full implementation. The support needs of non-specialist and less experienced teachers were particularly emphasised. The challenge presented in working with sensitive areas, especially those related to substance misuse, relationships and sexual health were noted. In both phases of the engagement

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process, there were strong calls for high quality, nationally coordinated CPD delivered locally to promote engagement with the profession and the involvement of the profession in the formulation of local responses. Teachers repeatedly identified a need for time and space to support professional dialogue and school-based development informed by the anticipated provision of further guidance. Some key questions about CPD provision that emerged would include the following: • • • • • •

At what levels and by whom should CPD activity be organised? What purposes should CPD seek to achieve? What forms should it take? How can CPD address the need to align curriculum, pedagogy and assessment? Should there be opportunities for primary and secondary teachers to work together, in order to address concerns about continuity and progression through transitions? Should there be a significant focus on inter-curricular relationships as well as on core cross-curricularity (e.g. literacy, numeracy, health and well-being)?

11.4. Local support It was clear from the responses of local authority staff that the majority welcome the opportunity to provide greater local influence on the curriculum. Indeed, many of them, in recognising the opportunity for greater professional judgement by teachers, also took the view that local authorities would gain greater scope for local determination of aspects of the curriculum. These generally positive views were derived not only from working in trialling Curriculum for Excellence in some of their schools, but also from experiences most of them had had in relation to the Assessment is for Learning programme. There was recognition of a possible tension between local authority, school and teacher decision making, with a need to redefine the scope for decision making at each of these ‘levels’. The extent to which developments can be organized through clustering of schools and the facilitation of sharing successful experiences is a matter for those working at a local level. 11.5. National support Given that Curriculum for Excellence is a national programme of reform, there is a need for support also to be available at this level. Many at local authority level would anticipate that national level activity should be largely of a strategic nature. In considering how to respond to the range of advice offered by the thousands of respondents who have contributed in this process so far, it would seem important that all key stakeholders with relevant responsibilities work even more closely together and that connections between these curriculum developments and other current policy developments in Scottish education are taken into consideration. On the first of these points, the key organisations that teachers and others, including parents and employers, will expect to see collaborating on the developments will include The Scottish Government, LTS, SQA and HMIe. The current developments around national qualifications, for example, must be seen to relate closely to the development of Curriculum for Excellence. Similarly, the increased responsibility for curriculum implementation at school and teacher level, that is so much a part of the curriculum proposals, will need to be reflected in the evolution of inspection procedures. Such parallel developments are already very much in the minds of those who are leading on these developments, but there is likely to be a need for continuing demonstration of such cooperation and collaboration in order to give teachers confidence in the way in which policies are currently being developed.

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On the second point, judging from the nature of the responses summarised in this report, the key aspects of parallel policy development that might be considered, relate to developing notions of teacher professionalism. There are several other examples of current policies where teachers are being offered – and taking – increased opportunities for decision making and judgement, for becoming more reflective practitioners. Examples would include programmes such as SQH and Chartered Teacher, developments such as Assessment is for Learning and the teacher-led action research associated with Schools of Ambition. The development and implementation of Curriculum for Excellence would appear to provide a nationwide opportunity for extending such enquiry-oriented and enquiry-based models of teacher development across the profession as a whole. This could well be a key strand in the programme of CPD activity that was referred to above. 11.6. Leadership Many of those responding demonstrate an awareness that the success of the development and implementation of a Curriculum for Excellence will be very dependent on a wide range of professionals accepting a significant leadership responsibility. Clearly those with management posts in local authorities, schools and teacher education institutions – as well as those in national agencies – will recognise that they have significant responsibilities in providing leadership for curriculum development, but it was also widely recognised that there is an opportunity, indeed a need, for all teachers to demonstrate leadership in the context of the new curriculum, given the flexible and open nature of the plans, by comparison with earlier curricular forms. 11.7. Ongoing review and development A key feature of Curriculum for Excellence is that it is not to be ‘set in stone’, but rather it is anticipated that it will be continuously developing, through the engagement of teachers, other professionals and other stakeholders. The process of engagement itself, which has been the subject of this report, and was reviewed in Section 10, has demonstrated how these kinds of activities can take a considerable time to gain momentum. Thus it was noted that responses to the various engagement activities increased in volume, the longer the process went on and that actual involvement in the trialling of the reforms tended to lead to much more positive engagement. In the interests of maintaining professional dialogues and development it would seem highly desirable to ensure that discussion fora are established at national, local and institutional level. It may be anticipated that much of this may be facilitated through GLOW. 11.8. Conclusion In collecting, analysing and reporting the data that have been generated over the past year in relation to the Draft Experiences and Outcomes, it is apparent that there is a wide range of views concerning the development of a Curriculum for Excellence. The process of engagement itself has demonstrated how those charged with developing the statements have been able to learn from each other and to respond to the feedback that has been generated. Throughout the process there does appear to have been a growing sense of confidence that the increased flexibility and openness of the approach taken is seen as an opportunity for increasing professional engagement by all concerned. There is also recognition that pupils themselves can play a part in curriculum development.

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In identifying the five broad themes in this section, the authors of this report have sought to prioritise what amount to key principles for ongoing successful implementation and development of a Curriculum for Excellence. Teachers will be at the centre of the process and so must be provided with the professional development support that will give them confidence in taking increased responsibility. This support will need to be provided at local and national levels and by providers of teacher education. Leadership in curriculum development becomes a responsibility for all and it is very important that discussions and debate continue as part of the process of continuing development of the curriculum.

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References Alexander, R. J. (2001). Border Crossings: towards a comparative pedagogy. Comparative Education, 37(4), 507-523. Argyris, C., & Schon, D. (1978). Organisational Learning in Action: A Theory in Action Perspective. Boston: Addison-Wesley Christie, D. and Boyd, B. (2005) Overview of recent research-based literature for the curriculum review. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Cochran-Smith, M., & Lytle, S. L. (2001). Beyond Certainty: Taking an Inquiry Stance on Practice. In A. Leiberman & L. Miller (Eds.), Teachers Caught in the Action: Professional Development that Matters (pp. 45-60). New York: Teachers' College Press. Dadds, M. (2001). The politics of pedagogy. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 7(1), 43-58.

Farrell, C., & Morris, J. (2004). Resigned Compliance: Teacher Attitudes Towards Performance Related Pay. Educational Management, Administration and Leadership, 32(1) 81-104. Hargreaves, D. (2003). Education epidemic: transforming secondary schooling through innovation. London: Demos. Hayward, L. (2007). Curriculum, pedagogies and assessment in Scotland: the quest for social justice. 'Ah kent yir faither'. Assessment in Education, 14(2), 251-268. Hayward, L., Priestley, M., & Young, M. (2004). Ruffling the calm of the ocean floor: merging, practice, policy and research in assessment in Scotland. Oxford Review of Education, 30(3), 397-416. Hutchinson, C., & Hayward, L. (2005). The journey so far: assessment for learning in Scotland. The Curriculum Journal, 16(2), 225-248. Reid, A., & Scott, A. (2008). Cross-curricularity in the national curriculum. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 13(2), 181-204. Shulman, L. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1), 1-22. Seligman, M. (1992). Learned Optimism: Butler-Bowden Books. Troman, G., Jeffrey, B., & Raggl, A. (2007). Creativity and performativity policies in primary school cultures. Journal of Education Policy, 22(5), 549-572.

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Appendix One: Online and Trialling Questionnaires by Curriculum Area Q1. The draft [subject] Experiences and Outcomes are clearly worded. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Subject

n=

Online questionnaires Agree (%) Don't know (%) 50 1

Disagree (%)

n=

49

47

Trialling questionnaires Agree (%) Don't know (%) 87 2

Disagree (%)

Science

316

Numeracy

135

46

4

50

20

90

5

5

Modern Languages

101

72

2

26

5

80

0

20

Mathematics

132

38

3

59

7

85

0

14

Classical Languages

8

88

0

13

3

100

0

0

Gaelic Learners

5

40

0

60

7

85

0

14

Expressive Arts

116

54

5

41

8

88

0

13

Social Studies

162

68

2

30

4

100

0

0

Literacy and English

125

69

4

28

39

92

0

8

Gaidhlig and Literacy

4

75

25

0

7

72

0

29

Health and Wellbeing

200

75

1

24

40

83

0

18

Religious and Moral Education

55

76

2

22

7

100

0

0

RE (Roman Catholic schools)

111

90

2

8

49

79

0

20

Technologies

289

45

2

54

7

100

0

0

11


Q2. The expectations of the draft [subject] Experiences and Outcomes at each level are suitably challenging. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Subject

Online questionnaires Agree (%) Don't know (%) 50 14

Science Numeracy

134

46

19

35

20

85

5

10

99

69

12

19

5

80

20

0

130

51

15

33

7

71

0

29

Classical Languages

8

88

0

13

3

100

0

0

Gaelic Learners

5

60

0

40

7

86

0

14

Expressive Arts

116

56

13

31

8

88

0

13

Social Studies

161

60

9

31

4

100

0

0

Literacy and English

124

69

10

21

41

81

7

12

Gaidhlig and Literacy

4

75

0

25

7

100

0

0

Health and Wellbeing

199

78

4

19

40

80

8

13

Religious and Moral Education

55

64

7

29

7

100

0

0

RE (Roman Catholic schools)

110

90

2

8

47

87

6

6

Technologies

289

52

11

37

8

100

0

0

Modern Languages Mathematics

Disagree (%) 26

n= 46

Trialling questionnaires Agree (%) Don't know (%) 80 9

n= 315

Disagree (%) 11

126


Q3. Overall, the draft [subject] Experiences and Outcomes provide a good basis for planning how children and young people will progress in their learning in [subject]. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Subject

Online questionnaires Agree (%) Don't know (%) 39 5

Disagree (%) 57

n= 47

Trialling questionnaires Agree (%) Don't know (%) 75 4

Disagree (%) 21

Science

n= 314

Numeracy

135

38

8

53

20

50

0

50

Modern Languages

100

62

9

29

5

100

0

0

Mathematics

130

29

6

65

7

57

14

29

Classical Languages

8

76

0

26

3

100

0

0

Gaelic Learners

5

40

0

60

7

100

0

0

Expressive Arts

114

51

6

43

8

100

0

0

Social Studies

159

56

10

33

4

75

0

25

Literacy and English

124

54

6

40

40

83

10

8

Gaidhlig and Literacy

4

50

0

50

7

86

0

14

Health and Wellbeing

200

78

3

20

40

81

5

16

Religious and Moral Education

54

41

6

54

7

100

0

0

RE (Roman Catholic schools)

111

88

1

12

47

92

4

4

Technologies

289

42

5

52

8

88

0

13

127


Q4. The draft [subject] Experiences and Outcomes provide opportunities to promote good teaching approaches and deep learning. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Subject

Online questionnaires Agree (%) Don't know (%) 64 8

Science Numeracy

134

58

7

35

20

85

10

5

99

84

7

9

5

100

0

0

129

51

9

41

7

72

14

14

Classical Languages

8

75

0

25

3

100

0

0

Gaelic Learners

5

60

40

0

7

86

0

14

Expressive Arts

114

64

11

25

7

100

0

0

Social Studies

160

74

6

20

4

100

0

0

Literacy and English

124

69

9

23

40

90

3

8

Gaidhlig and Literacy

4

50

0

50

7

100

0

0

Health and Wellbeing

198

81

6

13

40

88

8

5

Religious and Moral Education

55

58

7

35

7

100

0

0

RE (Roman Catholic schools)

109

94

1

6

49

100

0

0

Technologies

288

61

9

30

8

100

0

0

Modern Languages Mathematics

Disagree (%) 29

n= 47

Trialling questionnaires Agree (%) Don't know (%) 96 2

n= 315

Disagree (%) 2

128


Q5. The draft [subject] Experiences and Outcomes provide opportunities for effective links with other areas of the curriculum. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Subject

n=

Online questionnaires Agree (%) Don't know (%) 71 8

Disagree (%)

n=

20

47

Trialling questionnaires Agree (%) Don't know (%) 89 9

Disagree (%)

Science

315

2

Numeracy

134

71

7

22

20

90

5

5

Modern Languages

102

82

8

10

5

100

0

0

Mathematics

131

60

13

27

7

100

0

0

Classical Languages

8

100

0

0

3

100

0

0

Gaelic Learners

5

80

20

0

7

100

0

0

Expressive Arts

115

81

7

12

7

86

14

0

Social Studies

161

78

7

15

4

100

0

0

Literacy and English

125

80

8

13

38

95

0

5

Gaidhlig and Literacy

4

100

0

0

7

100

0

0

Health and Wellbeing

200

88

3

10

40

93

5

3

Religious and Moral Education

55

78

4

18

7

86

0

14

RE (Roman Catholic schools)

110

97

3

1

49

92

4

4

Technologies

289

79

7

14

7

86

0

14

129


Q6. Taken together, the draft [subject] Experiences and Outcomes provide opportunities for development of the four capacities (successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens, effective contributors). To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Subject

n=

Online questionnaires Agree (%) Don't know (%) 78 7

Disagree (%)

n=

15

48

Trialling questionnaires Agree (%) Don't know (%) 94 6

Disagree (%)

Science

315

0

Numeracy

134

66

12

21

20

95

0

5

Modern Languages

102

91

6

3

5

100

0

0

Mathematics

130

61

16

23

7

72

14

14

Classical Languages

8

100

0

0

3

100

0

0

Gaelic Learners

5

60

20

20

7

100

0

0

Expressive Arts

116

78

7

14

8

100

0

0

Social Studies

160

82

3

15

4

100

0

0

Literacy and English

124

77

11

12

39

100

0

0

Gaidhlig and Literacy

4

100

0

0

7

100

0

0

Health and Wellbeing

200

93

2

6

40

98

0

3

Religious and Moral Education

55

71

5

24

7

100

0

0

RE (Roman Catholic schools)

111

98

1

1

48

100

0

0

Technologies

288

76

9

15

8

100

0

0

130


Q7. The draft [subject] Experiences and Outcomes provide opportunities for children and young people to develop an understanding of how their learning will help them in their future lives. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Subject

n=

Online questionnaires Agree (%) Don't know (%) 59 15

Disagree (%)

n=

26

47

Trialling questionnaires Agree (%) Don't know (%) 89 6

Disagree (%)

Science

316

4

Numeracy

133

70

9

21

20

95

0

5

Modern Languages

100

76

9

15

5

100

0

0

Mathematics

131

59

9

32

7

100

0

0

Classical Languages

8

100

0

0

3

100

0

0

Gaelic Learners

5

60

20

20

7

71

14

14

Expressive Arts

116

58

11

31

8

100

0

0

Social Studies

159

60

14

26

3

67

0

33

Literacy and English

124

70

11

18

39

85

5

10

Gaidhlig and Literacy

4

100

0

0

7

100

0

0

Health and Wellbeing

199

87

4

9

40

96

5

0

Religious and Moral Education

55

67

7

26

7

100

0

0

RE (Roman Catholic schools)

109

89

6

6

48

83

6

10

Technologies

288

66

11

24

8

88

0

13

131


Appendix Two: Sources of data Total responses to the Draft Experiences and Outcomes and the trialling questionnaires Sets of Draft Experiences and Outcomes

Questionnaire on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes

Total

316 135 102 133 8

Trialling Feedback questionnaire on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes 48 20 5 8 3

1. Science 2. Numeracy 3. Modern Languages 4. Mathematics 5. Classical Languages 6. Gaelic Learners

5

7

12

7. Expressive Arts

117

8

125

8. Social Studies 9. English and Literacy 10. Gaidhlig and Literacy

162 125 4

4 42 7

166 167 11

11. RME

55

7

62

12. RE (RC)

111

49

160

13. Technologies

289

8

297

14. Health and Wellbeing

200

40

240

*Total

1762

256

2018

364 155 107 141 11

*Total number of questionnaires on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes is the total number of submissions received (online and paper copies). Total number of Trialling questionnaires is the total number of submissions received (online and paper copies).

132


Composition of focus groups: Draft sets of Experiences and Outcomes Focus Group Science: Glasgow

Early Years / Nursery

Primary

Secondary

SEN

Independent

LA

SSN/ others

1

4

3

1

1

1

2

Total 13

Numeracy: Edinburgh

0

5

7

0

1

2

0

15

Numeracy: Glasgow Numeracy: Aberdeen

1 0

2 3

4 8

1 0

1 1

2 1

0 1

11 14

Numeracy: Ayr

1

7

6

1

1

0

0

16

Modern Languages: Glasgow Mathematics: Glasgow

0 1

2 2

8 5

0 0

1 1

3 1

1 0

15 10

Classical Languages: Glasgow Gaelic Learners: Glasgow

0 1

0 2

3 1

0 0

0 0

0 0

1 0

4 4

Expressive Arts: Glasgow

0

1

4

0

0

1

0

6

Social Studies: Glasgow

1

1

7

1

2

0

1

13

Literacy and English: Edinburgh

0

4

4

0

1

1

0

10

Literacy and English: Glasgow

1

2

3

1

0

2

0

9

Literacy and English: Aberdeen Literacy and English: Ayr

1

3

2

0

1

2

0

1

4

5

0

0

1

1

9 12

Technologies: Glasgow

0 1

5 4

9 6

0 3

1 1

4 0

1 0

0

3

10

1

0

1

1

0 0

4 5

5 12

0 0

0 2

1 0

0 0

10

10

63

112

9

15

23

9

241

Health and Wellbeing: Glasgow RME: Glasgow Gaidhlig and Literacy: Stornoway RE (RC): Glasgow

20 15 16 19

133


Focus group composition: Stakeholder engagement

Regional events for parents, pupils and employers Four regional events were convened by LTS in Dundee (15/09/08), Edinburgh (22/09/08), Aberdeen (06/10/08) and Glasgow (08/10/08). The following total number of participants who contributed to focus groups at these events is as follows: • • •

33 Pupils 27 Parents 22 Employers

Higher Education 9 representatives from the Teaching and Learning Committees of the following universities participated in a focus group convened in Glasgow (13/10/08): • • • • • • • •

Napier University The Glasgow School of Art The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) University of Aberdeen University of Edinburgh University of Glasgow University of Stirling University of Strathclyde

Teacher Education Senior figures with responsibility for teacher education in the following universities participated in a focus group convened in Glasgow (27/11/08): • • •

University of Aberdeen University of Dundee University of Strathclyde

Voluntary Sector 12 representatives from the following organisations participated in a focus group convened in Glasgow (04/11/08): • • • • • • • • •

Barnardo’s Scotland Callander Youth Project Christian Aid Firefly Arts Company Glasgow South West Regeneration Agency Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Scottish SPCA) The British Red Cross The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme The Scottish Muslim Parents’ Association


• •

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) YMCA Scotland

Further Education Colleges 12 representatives from the following colleges participated in focus groups convened in Stirling (06/11/08) and Glasgow (07/11/08): • • • • • • • •

Borders College, Galashiels Clydebank College Elmwood College, Cupar, Fife Glasgow Metropolitan College Jewel and Esk College, Midlothian Langside College, Glasgow Moray College, Elgin South Lanarkshire College

Learning and Teaching Scotland 10 representatives from Learning and Teaching Scotland with involvement in the following areas participated in a focus group (16/07/08): • • • • • • • •

Curriculum for Excellence National Team Early Years Expressive Arts Gaelic Literacy and English Modern Languages Numeracy and Mathematics Science

135


Appendix Three: Log of non-standard documents submitted for consideration Organisations n=113 SCIENCE Code Title Curriculum for Excellence: Science and GR003-1 Numeracy Experiences and Outcomes. Comments on the Science, Numeracy and GR004-1 Mathematics Guidelines in CfE. GR005-1

Association for Science Education Scotland CfE Science Questionnaire.

GR006-1

Interim feedback on Science Learning Outcomes.

GR007-1 GR008-1

GR009-1

GR010-1 GR011-1 GR012-1

(ASE)

Compiled by Physics Department, Gordon's College.

Robert

The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Source Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen. The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Brief description 3 page document.

16/08/08.

7 page document

A ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ Inter-Authority Project Officer.

14/03/08.

Edinburgh City.

A Development Officer, Learning and Teaching Scotland.

08/04/08.

N/A.

12 page document.

29/04/08.

7 page document.

04/08/08.

39 page document.

04/06/08.

7 page document.

26/03/08.

3 page document.

N/A.

15 page document

11/06/08.

5 page document.

Annex A: Pages 5-6.

STEM-ED Scotland.

The Consultations Officer of The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

SDELG: Report 1, Draft Science Experiences and Outcomes.

Sustainable Development Education Liaison Group (SDELG).

The Royal Society of Edinburgh. SDELG; also a copy of identical report with a compliments slip from RSPB Scotland. Member's feedback based on LTS Questionnaire. The Director, BIA Scotland. Beeslack Community High School Science Departments. Scottish Science Advisory Group (SSAG). Membership includes QIOs, Reps from HMIe, LTS, SSERC.

The Chair(person) of ASE Scotland. BIA Scotland. A contact from Community High School.

Beeslack

GR016-1

Feedback on Science Experiences and Outcomes

A QIO and the Strategic Leader (518) on behalf of the Scottish Science Advisory Group (SSAG).

GR017-1

CfE: Response to the Draft Outcomes: Part 1. Draft Outcomes Consultation.

The Chairperson, The Scottish Muslim Parents Association.

The Scottish Muslim Parents Association.

30/06/08.

GR018-1

Collated responses to questionnaire for Science.

A ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ InterAuthority Project Officer.

A CfE Inter-Authority Project Officer.

28/03/08.

GR021-1

Response to the Draft Science Experiences and Outcomes.

A contact on behalf of a Group of 8 Science teachers within a Science / Technology Faculty.

GR024-1

CfE: Feedback on the Draft Science Experiences and Outcomes.

The Institute of Physics (IOP): An Institute of Physics response.

generic

online

Completed InterAuthority Questionnaire by ASE Scotland. 4 page document + 2 pages of e-mails attached.

A contact from the Association for Science Education (ASE) Scotland

A response to the Consultation from Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Education STEM-ED Scotland. CfE - Numeracy, Science and Mathematics, and wider issues, 29/04/08.

Association for Science Education (ASE) Scotland: CfE Science. “Bio Industry Association Scotland.” CfE: Feedback questions on the Draft Science Experiences and Outcomes.

Date 18/03/08.

On behalf of a group of 8 Science teachers within Science / Technology Faculty. (Only info provided). The Director of Education and Science. The Institute of

12 page feedback; collated response to the draft outcomes questionnaires. Email with 2 appendices; 7 pages in total.

N/A.

5 page document.

30/06/08.

Letter questionnaire

and on


Physics (IOP).

GR 0281

Scottish Screen response to Draft Science Experiences and Outcomes.

GR032-1

Feedback questions on the Experiences and Outcomes.

GRO451

A detailed response from the ‘Engineering the Future’ project Team on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes in Science.

GRO591 GR064-1

Draft

Science

Collated summary of comments on the Draft Science Outcomes and Experiences from the 6 Midlothian Secondary Schools. Science and Engineering Experiences and Outcomes

Scottish SCREEN, the nonDepartmental Public body for all aspects of screen culture and industry. A contact on behalf of Tayside Chemistry Teachers.

behalf of the IOP. 4 page commentary. 11 pages in total.

SCOTTISH SCREEN.

N/A.

7 page document.

Tayside Chemistry Teachers

N/A.

7 page questionnaire.

Engineering the Future Research Team.

The ‘Engineering the Future’ Research Team.

N/A.

Detailed response document. 10 page document.

Midlothian Council.

An Education (Midlothian Council).

Officer

09/04/08.

Engineering Project.

Future

Engineering Team.

the

Future

Project

the

N/A.

Page of detailed feedback on the Draft Science E & O. 8 pages of detailed response. 17 pages of detailed response.

GR068-1

Comments from Staff on CfE Outcomes: Science.

St. David’s Primary School.

St. David’s Primary School.

N/A.

GR070-1

Response to Draft Experiences & Outcomes in Science.

An ‘Angus’ Secondary School.

Individual Teachers. Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Science Departments.

N/A.

1 page response.

GR071-1

Science “Final Report. ”

East Renfrewshire Council.

The St. Luke’s (High School) Cluster response.

06/08/08.

14 pages of detailed response.

GR079-1

ASE Scotland CfE Science Questionnaire.

A contact on behalf of Tayside Chemistry Teachers.

Tayside Chemistry Teachers.

N/A.

4 page response.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh

The Royal Edinburgh.

N/A.

7 page response.

A contact from the University of Strathclyde on behalf of The Scottish Maths Recovery Network..

University of Strathclyde.

31/03/08.

5 page document.

Stockbridge Primary School.

Stockbridge Primary School.

02/08/08.

In service feedback; 3 page document.

SCOTTISH SCREEN.

N/A.

1 page document.

SDELG.

01/06/08.

8 page document.

SDELG.

01/06/08.

4 page document.

Comments on the Science, Numeracy and Mathematics Guidelines in CfE. NUMERACY GR084-1

GR001-1

Response to CfE Draft Experiences and Outcomes.

GR039-1

CfE Numeracy feedback.

Maths/

Numeracy

Society

of

MODERN LANGUAGES GR027-1

Scottish Screen on Draft Modern Languages Experiences and Outcomes.

GR029-1

SDELG: Report 3, Draft Modern Languages Experiences and Outcomes

Scottish SCREEN, the nonDepartmental Public body for all aspects of screen culture and industry. SDELG Sustainable Development Education Liaison Group.

MATHEMATICS GR026-1

SDELG: Report 5, Draft Experiences and Outcomes.

Mathematics

SDELG Sustainable Development Education Liaison Group.

137


Response to the Mathematics and Numeracy Outcomes and Experiences CLASSICAL LANGUAGES: none GR038-1

The Scottish Mathematical Council

The Chair of The Scottish Mathematical Council.

30/6/08.

6 page response.

narrative

A contact from “VAGA Scotland” and a contact from “Engage Scotland.”

N/A.

4 page document.

GAELIC LEARNERS: none EXPRESSIVE ARTS GR002-1

Curriculum for Excellence: Draft Expressive Arts Outcomes Consultation.

VAGA Scotland Scotland.

GR031-1

SDELG: Report 4, Draft Experiences and Outcomes.

SDELG Sustainable Development Education Liaison Group.

SDELG.

01/06/08.

9 page document.

Scottish SCREEN

SCOTTISH SCREEN.

N/A.

7 page document.

A contact on behalf of The Scottish Local History Forum.

Scottish History Response.

01/04/08.

Committee endorsed comments on 2 sheets.

05/08/08.

1 page double sided document.

N/A.

2 page document.

Expressive

Arts

Scottish Screen feedback on Draft Expressive Arts Experiences and Outcomes. SOCIAL STUDIES GR043-1

&

Engage

Forum

GR013-1

The Scottish Local History Forum.

GR022-1

Comment on the Draft Experiences & Outcomes.

GR023-1

CfE and the History Learning Outcomes

A Teacher from the History Department of Portobello High School, Edinburgh City.

On behalf of the History Department of Lenzie Academy. A Teacher on behalf of the History Department, Portobello High School.

GR033-1

CfE: Response from the History and Modern Studies Department, Douglas Academy (East Dunbartonshire) to the Draft Social Studies Outcomes.

A Principal Teacher of History and Modern Studies.

A Principal Teacher of History and Modern Studies.

26/06/2008.

5 pages of detailed feedback on the Draft Outcomes in Social Studies.

SDELG Sustainable Development Education Liaison Group.

SDELG; also a copy of identical report with a compliments slip from (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds: RSPB Scotland).

06/08/08.

43 page document.

N/A.

N/A.

4 page document.

SCOTTISH SCREEN.

N/A.

5 page response.

St. David’s Primary School.

N/A.

“Angus” (Council) Social Studies Local Support Group.

01/07/08.

Social

Social

Studies

Studies

A Principal Teacher of History

GR035-1

SDELG: Report 2, Draft Experiences and Outcomes.

GR037-1

Response to the Social Subjects Experiences and Outcomes Business Education.

GR061-1

Feedback from Scottish Screen on Draft Social experiences & outcomes

GR069-1

Comments from Staff on CfE Outcomes- Social Studies.

No author or source: file description in footer reads: R\BE\ACfE\Q's SS Experiences and Outcomes. Scottish SCREEN, the nonDepartmental Public body for all aspects of screen culture and industry. A contact from St. David’s Primary School.

GR072-1

CfE Social Studies Draft Outcomes response.

A Quality Improvement Officer.

15 pages of detailed response. Organisation’s response to questionnaire.

138


Response to the CfE Draft Social Studies Experiences and Outcomes. ENGLISH AND LITERACY The Association for Scottish Literary Studies GR014-1 response to Draft Experiences and Outcomes in English and Literacy. GR077-1

A contact Scotland.’

from

‘Archaeology

22/05/08.

14 pages of detailed response

11/06/2008.

5 page questionnaire.

27/06/08.

6 page document.

Education Resources Learning Centre, Blantyre.

27/06/2008.

17 page document.

Principal Teachers of English (North Lanarkshire).

N/A.

4 page document.

SDELG.

01/06/08.

7 page document.

SCOTTISH SCREEN.

N/A.

3 page document.

Archaeology Scotland.

The Convener of the Education Committee. Association for Scottish Literary Studies.

The Convener of Education Committee.

The Consultations Officer of The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The Royal Edinburgh.

GR015-1

CfE - Literacy & English, Expressive Arts and Social Studies.

GR019-1

Response to the Draft Literacy and English Experiences and Outcomes (South Lanarkshire).

GR020-1

Response to the Draft Literacy and English Outcomes (North Lanarkshire).

GR030-1

SDELG: Report 6, Draft Literacy and English Experiences and Outcomes.

GR036-1

Scottish Screen on Draft Literacy and English Experiences and Outcomes.

GR040-1

Response to the Draft Learning Outcomes Literacy (& English).

GR041-1

Feedback from staff Trialling Literacy Outcomes.

Dundee - feedback on Literacy outcomes.

A Learning Teaching Scotland Contact (Dundee).

N/A.

GR042-1

Response to CfE Literacy & English Draft Outcomes.

The Association for Scottish Literary Studies.

The Association for Scottish Literary Studies.

30/06/08.

Response to the Draft Literacy and English Outcomes – ACE.

The English Department, Urquhart High School, Highland Council.

Draft Literacy Experiences.

Scottish Library and Information Council and CILIP in Scotland.

A Principal Teacher of English - Glen Urquhart High School. Scottish Library and Information Council and CILIP in Scotland.

GR044-1

GR062-1

and

English

Outcomes

and

Response to the Draft Outcomes for English and Literacy. GAIDHLIG AND LITERACY GR063-1

GR034-1

Scottish Screen on Draft Gaidhlig and Literacy Experiences and Outcomes.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING Response from West Dunbartonshire Council on GRO47the Draft Health and Well-being Experiences and 1 Outcomes.

A contact on behalf of 500 Teaching Practitioners, all Sectors, in South Lanarkshire. Collective response from Principal Teachers of English across North Lanarkshire. The SDELG Sustainable Development Education Liaison Group. Scottish SCREEN, the nonDepartmental Public body for all aspects of screen culture and industry. A Principal Teacher of Literacy and Performing Arts.

Glen The

Society

the

English Department, High School.

of

Islay

18/06/08.

2 pages of feedback via email. 2 page feedback/ summary document from a Meeting An organisation response to the questionnaire. 3 page document.

N/A.

2 page response.

N/A.

3 pages of detailed response.

“AEAS.”

23/06/08.

4 page response.

Scottish SCREEN, the nonDepartmental Public body for all aspects of screen culture and industry.

SCOTTISH SCREEN.

N/A.

1 page document.

Quality Improvement Officer.

West Dunbartonshire Council.

12/11/08.

15 page response.

A Quality Improvement English Language.

Officer,

139


GRO491

GR050-1

Oral Health and Wellbeing Specialist Interest Group and Childsmile Response to Draft Health and Wellbeing Experiences and Outcomes Curriculum for Excellence. Scottish Oral Health Promoters Action Group (SOHPAG) Response to Draft Health and Well being experiences and Outcomes Curriculum for Excellence.

Childsmile National Programme.

Oral Health Co-ordinator

04/11/08.

4 page response.

Scottish Oral Health Promoters Action Group (SOHPAG) SOHPAG.

Oral Health Co-ordinator

04/11/08.

3 page response.

6/11/08.

Transcript of Flipchart pages. 9 pages in total.

GRO541

Health and Well being feedback from Dundee 23/06/08 Event.

Has general feedback points among comments expressed.

Health and Tranche Launch.

GRO551

Craigroyston Cluster Schools CfE Health and Well being Report Dated 27/10/08.

Two Groups from the Craigroyston Cluster Schools.

LTS led event feedback prepared by the CfE Craigroyston Cluster Groups.

17/11/08.

10 pages of detailed feedback.

GR065-1

Evaluation of CfE project in Our Lady of Peace Primary in Linwood.

Health Development Worker and Home Link Worker.

Our Lady of Peace Primary, Linwood.

05/06/08.

5 page response.

GR066-1

Feedback on the experiences and outcomes for Health and Wellbeing: Secondary Physical Education.

Edinburgh City Principal Teachers of Physical Education.

N/A.

15 pages of detailed response.

GR067-1

InverClyde, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire Inter-authority Health and Wellbeing Engagement Seminars.

InverClyde, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire Inter-authority Health and Wellbeing Engagement Seminars.

10/10/08.

6 pages of detailed response.

GR073-1

Feedback questions on the Draft Health and Wellbeing Experiences and Outcomes.

East Renfrewshire Education Department.

East Renfrewshire Council Education Department.

05/11/08.

Organisation’s response questionnaire.

GR074-1

Feedback on Early Level Learning Outcomes.

Castleview Primary School.

27/10/08.

1 page response.

GR080-1

CfE- Health and Wellbeing Draft Experiences and Outcomes: Commentary on Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood.

Greater Glasgow and Clyde Sexual Health Planning and Implementation Group.

15/10/08.

7 page response.

GR082-1

CfE: Health and Wellbeing Outcomes: Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood.

Senior Health Promotion Officer.

24/11/08.

2 page response.

GR085-1

Feedback on the Health and Wellbeing Draft Experiences and Outcomes.

A contact from Health Promotion Services.

03/12/08.

10 page response.

GR086-1

Feedback on Draft Outcomes and Experiences in Health and Wellbeing to Learning and Teaching Scotland.

Forres Associated School Group (ASG).

Forres ASG (Moray).

03/12/08.

1 page response.

GR087-1

Feedback on the Draft Health and Wellbeing Experiences and Outcomes.

Two Contacts Consultancy.”

“Create Consultancy”

01/12/08.

13 page response.

CfE

Council

Castleview Primary School Nursery Staff. Lead Director- Sexual Health, Chair- Greater Glasgow and Clyde Sexual Health Planning and Implementation Group.

from

“Create

Wellbeing

Edinburgh City Principal Teachers of Physical Education. InverClyde, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire Interauthority Health and Wellbeing Engagement Seminars.

NHS Lanarkshire Sexual Health and (Blood Borne Virus) BBV Health Promotion Team. NHS Lothian Health Promotion Services (Third Floor) Lauriston Building Edinburgh EN3 9HA.

to

140


GR088-1

The British Red Cross Response to the Draft Experiences and Outcomes (Health and Wellbeing).

Public Affairs Officer.

The British Red Cross.

28/11/08.

8 page response.

GR089-1

Health and Wellbeing Feedback.

A Parent and Carer Focus Group.

Edinburgh City.

28/11/08.

2 page response.

N/A.

“Careers Scotland” Discussion Groups.

19/11/08.

2 page response.

A school in Edinburgh City (only info given).

Edinburgh City.

27/11/08.

3 page response.

N/A Unclear.

Leith City.

27/1108.

3 page response.

N/A Unclear

N/A Unclear.

27/11/08.

2 page response.

Edinburgh City.

27/11/08.

1 page response.

N/A Unclear.

27/11/08.

3 page response.

NHS Tayside Schools’ Team Directorate of Public Health, NHS Tayside, Kings Cross, Clepington Road, Dundee, DD3 8EA.

28/11/08.

4 page response.

The Highland Council.

02/11/08.

9 page response.

ACE Information Event.

ACE Information Event.

28/11/08.

5 page response.

GR090-1 GR091-1 GR092-1 GR093-1

Looking at ‘Planning for Choices & Changes’ Experience & Outcomes within Health and Wellbeing. Student Review of Health and Wellbeing Guidelines: Drugs. Feedback on the Experiences and Outcomes for Health and Wellbeing PSE. Feedback on the Experiences and Outcomes for Health and Wellbeing PSE.

GR094-1

“SNAG Group” - Health and Wellbeing Review.

Boroughmuir Teachers.

GR095-1

Feedback on the Experiences and Outcomes for Health and Wellbeing PSE.

N/A Unclear.

CfE Feedback - Health Experiences and Outcomes.

Development Worker, People and Senior Promotion Officer.

GR096-1

GR097-1

GR098-1

and

Wellbeing

Working Together to Inspire Learning and Achievement in Highland Communities (Trialling the Curriculum for Excellence Draft Health and Wellbeing Experiences and Outcomes). A Curriculum for Excellence – Comments from Young People in Highland (Health and Wellbeing)

1 detailed response.

Higher

Education

non-standard

Young Health

group

Academy,

Edinburgh

GR099-1

Health and Wellbeing Trialling Report.

A contact from Kincardine Nursery School.

Kincardine Nursery School.

02/12/08.

13 page response.

GR100-1

Curriculum for Excellence Learning Outcomes for Health and Wellbeing.

N/A Unclear.

Learning Scotland.

28/11/08.

3 page response.

GR046-1

Collective response from Midlothian Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies (RMPS) staff to the Draft Experiences and Outcomes in Religious and Moral Education (RME).

Midlothian RMPS Meeting (on 19/08/08) with 11 delegates present representing all 5 of the nondenominational High Schools of Midlothian.

Midlothian RMPS staff.

27/10/08.

2 page response.

GR060-1

Official Response to the Curriculum for Excellence RME Experiences and Outcomes Ref: OR-007/2008

Church of Scotland, Church and Society Council, EAGLAIS NA HALBA

Contact from the Church of Scotland, Church and Society Council, EAGLAIS NA HALBA

07/10/08

2 page response.

GR075-1

Feedback questions on the Draft Religious and Moral Education experiences and outcomes.

East Renfrewshire Education Department.

East Renfrewshire Council Education Department.

05/11/08.

Organisation’s response questionnaire.

and

Teaching

RELIGIOUS AND MORAL EDUCATION

Council

to

141


GR076-1

Religious and Moral Education Engagement Process.

Contact from the RME Engagement process held at the Shetland Learning Festival.

GR081-1

CfE Comments on the Religious and Moral Education (RME) Draft Document.

A Lecturer in Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies.

GR101-1

Last 4 Curricular Areas – RME, HWB, Technologies and RE(RC) – Response to the Draft Outcomes – Part 2.

The Scottish Muslim Association (SMPA).

GR106-1

Response to Curriculum for Excellence – Religious and Moral Education (RME) Feedback.

The General Secretary of Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association/Conference of Edinburgh’s Religious Leaders.

Response Curriculum for Excellence – Religious and Moral Education (RME). Outcomes (Primary 6/7). Response from “The Scottish Sikh Women’s Association” – Learning and Teaching Scotland – GR108-1 Proposals for Religious and Moral Education in Scotland. Response to RME Experiences and Outcomes GR109-1 (Primary 5/6). Response to Trial Religious and Moral Education GR110-1 (RME) Outcomes. Response to Written Evidence from the Scottish Inter- Faith Council – Learning and Teaching GR111-1 Scotland – Proposals for Religious and Moral Education in Scotland. Curriculum for Excellence – Religious and Moral GR113-1 Education Experiences – Response from the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities. RELIGIOUS EDUCATION (DENOMINATIONAL) GR107-1

Parent’s

Shetland Learning Festival. The Moray House School of Education, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh. The Chairperson (SMPA), 113 Commerce Street, Glasgow, G5 8DL. Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association/Conference of Edinburgh’s Religious Leaders.

30/10/08.

3 page response.

30/11/08.

39 page response.

28/11/08.

4 page response.

02/12/08.

3 page response.

St. Ninian’s School, Fife.

“The Scottish Sikh Women’s Association.“, 255 Nithsdale Road, Pollockshields, Glasgow, G41 5AQ.

“The Scottish Sikh Women’s Association. “

01/12/08.

5 page response.

N/A Unclear.

N/A Unclear.

01/12/08.

14 page response.

A contact from St. Ninian’s RC Primary, Fife.

St. Ninian’s RC Primary, Fife.

02/12/08.

1 page response.

The Parliamentary and Equalities Officer.

“The Scottish Council. “

01/12/08.

6 page response.

“The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities.”

“The Scottish Council Jewish Communities.”

01/12/08.

13 page response.

31/10/08.

3 page response + RCRE feedback. 9 pages in total.

28/11/08.

2 page response.

N/A.

Completed questionnaire on Technologies on behalf of Scottish SCREEN.

GR083-1

Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire Inter-authority RE (in Roman Catholic Schools) Engagement Seminars.

GR112-1

Response to Curriculum for Excellence – Proposals for Religious Education in Catholic Schools.

“The National Association of Diocesan Religious Education Advisers.”

Primary

1 page response.

N/A Unclear.

Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire Inter-authority Religious Education (in Roman Catholic Schools) Engagement Seminars.

RC

19/11/08.

Inter-Faith

of

Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire Interauthority RE (in Roman Catholic Schools) Engagement Seminars. The Director of “The Scottish Catholic Education Service”, 75, Craigpark, Glasgow, G31 2HD.

TECHNOLOGIES

GR025-1

Scottish Screen on Draft Experiences and Outcomes.

Technologies

Scottish SCREEN, the nonDepartmental Public body for all aspects of screen culture and industry.

SCOTTISH SCREEN.

142


GR048-1

Response from Technologies.

GRO511

Feedback on Technologies, West Council, Home Economics Department.

GRO521

Scottish ICT Development Group Comments on Draft Experiences and Outcomes for Technologies.

The Scottish ICT Development Group is an association of educational ICT staff from the 32 Local Authorities in Scotland.

GRO531

Inverclyde, Renfrewshire Dunbartonshire Inter-Authority Seminars.

Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire Inter-Authority Technologies Seminars.

GRO561 GRO571

West

Lothian

Council

on

A contact Academy.

based

at

Linlithgow

Lothian

A contact Academy.

based

at

Linlithgow

and West Technologies

SCIS (The Scottish Council of Independent Schools) Edinburgh Home Economics Group: dated 10th November, 2008. Departmental Response to Draft Outcomes for Technology from Braes High School, Design Engineering & Technology Department.

GRO581

Galashiels Academy Computing Department on the Draft Outcomes in Technology.

GR078-1

Technologies - Experiences and Outcomes.

GR102-1

Response to Technologies Draft Experiences and Outcomes.

GR103-1

SCIS (Edinburgh) Home Economics Group.

West Lothian Council.

10/11/08.

4 pages of detailed response.

West Lothian Home Economics Department.

7/11/08.

4 page response.

detailed

Contact from Development Group.

13/11/08.

4 page response.

detailed

11/11/08.

6 pages of detailed responses.

14/11/08.

4 pages of response

19/11/08.

5 page document.

ICT

Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire InterAuthority Technologies Seminars. The Convener - based at George Herriot’s School, Edinburgh .

Contact from Braes High School.

Contact School.

from

Braes

High

Received by email from a Class Teacher.

Galashiels Academy Computing Department.

17/11/08.

2 page response.

Montrose Academy.

N/A.

12 pages of detailed response.

28/11/08.

2 page response.

30/11/08.

2 page letter.

01/12/08.

1 page response.

01/12/08.

7 page response.

Response to Draft Experiences and Outcomes in the Technologies.

A Principal Teacher of Computing & Business Education. Scottish Technology and Engineering Association, (SCOTETA), (Director), SCOTETA. The General Secretary of The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

SCOTETA – The Engineering and Technology Association (Scotland). The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

GR104-1

Curriculum for Excellence: Response to Technologies Outcomes and Experiences (Draft).

Two contacts from The Scottish Heads of Computing.

The Scottish Computing.

GR105-1

Technology Teachers’ Association’s response to ACfE Technologies Outcomes

A contact from the Technology Teachers Association.

Technology Association.

Heads

of

Teachers

143


Individuals n=20 additional documents (18 on curricular areas; 2 general responses [1 handwritten letter]). SCIENCE Code

Title

Compiled by

Source

Date

Brief description

PER0011

A personal response to CfE Learning Experiences and Outcomes for Science.

A Senior Lecturer in Science Education.

University of Edinburgh.

23/02/08.

4 page document.

PER0021

Feedback from Website: Physics: personal feedback in response to the Draft Experiences and Outcomes in Science.

A Principal Teacher of Physics (St. Maurices High School).

St. Maurice's High School.

N/A.

1 page document.

PER0041

Views on Curriculum for Excellence Science/ Chemistry.

A contact from the University of Edinburgh, School of Chemistry.

A Contact from the University of Edinburgh, School of Chemistry.

30/06/2008.

2 page document.

A contact from the Gaelic Department, Sgoil Lionacleit.

Gaelic Department, Sgoil Lionacleit.

N/A.

2 page document.

Gaelic Learners.

Gaelic Learners information given).

N/A.

2 page response.

A contact from Donaldson's School for the Deaf.

A contact from Donaldson's School for the Deaf.

N/A.

1 paragraph feedback.

PER0031

An individual response from the Gaelic Department/ Sgoil Lionacleit: Submission for Draft Literacy and Gaidhlig outcomes.

“Sgoil Lionacleit.”

An individual response from the Gaelic Department/ Sgoil Lionacleit: “Sgoil Lionacleit.” (Only information given).

N/A.

2 page document.

PER0171

A Submission for Draft Literacy and Gaidhlig Outcomes.

Gaelic Department.

Gaelic Department information given).

N/A.

2 pages of detailed response.

N/A.

“Mental Health Emotional Wellbeing.”

04/12/08.

1 page response.

A contact from Graeme High School, Falkirk.

Graeme Falkirk.

27/10/08.

2 pages of feedback.

GAELIC LEARNERS PER0051

Sgiol Lionacleit, Feedback on Outcomes for Gaelic Learners.

the

Draft

PER0151

Feedback on Curriculum for Excellence Area Event (Gaelic Learners).

(Only

ENGLISH AND LITERACY PER0061

Feedback on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes for Literacy.

of

GAIDHLIG AND LITERACY

(Only

HEALTH AND WELLBEING PER0191

A Response Outcomes.

to

Health

and

Wellbeing

and

RELIGIOUS AND MORAL EDUCATION PER0081

Feedback/ Comments on Cover paper for Draft Experiences and Outcomes for Religious and Moral Education (RME) as well as comments

High

School,

144


on the Draft E & O in Religious and Moral Education (RME). A contact from the Glasgow Buddhist Centre.

A representative of (FWBO) the Glasgow Buddhist Centre, 329, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3HW.

27/10/08.

1 page response.

PER0161

A Principal Teacher of RME.

North Berwick High School. East Lothian.

N/A.

1 page response.

PER0071

A contact from the School of Computing, University of the West of Scotland.

The School of Computing, University of the West of Scotland.

N/A.

1 page on CfE Technologies with reference to the computer games element.

Individual Teacher response 1.

Design, Engineering & Technology Department, Braes High School.

19/11/08.

4 page response document.

Individual Teacher response 2.

Design, Engineering & Technology Department, Braes High School.

19/11/08.

4 page response document.

Individual Teacher response 3.

Design, Engineering & Technology Department, Braes High School.

19/11/08.

4 page response document.

Individual Teacher response 4.

Design, Engineering & Technology Department, Braes High School.

19/11/08.

4 page response document.

An individual Teacher response.

Teacher of Business Education and ICT (Inverclyde).

08/11/08.

1 paragraph comment.

PER0091

A response to the Draft Experiences and Outcomes for Religious and Moral Education (RME).

A Response to Curriculum for Excellence Religious and Moral Education (RME) proposals. TECHNOLOGIES

PER0101

PER0111

PER0121

PER0131 PER0141

Feedback on Technologies, Draft Outcomes.

An individual Teacher response (1) to the Draft Outcomes for Technology from Braes High School, Design Engineering and Technology Department. An individual Teacher Response (2) to the Draft Outcomes for Technology from Braes High School, Design Engineering and Technology Department. An individual Teacher Response (3) to the Draft Outcomes for Technology from Braes High School, Design Engineering and Technology Department. An individual Teacher Response (4) to the Draft Outcomes for Technology from Braes High School, Design Engineering and Technology Department. A personal comment on the Draft Experiences and Outcomes for Technologies.

General response PER0181

A general response to the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Consultation on Outcomes.

A Head teacher.

Primary School, Glasgow City.

19/03/08.

2 page hand-written letter.

PER0201

A general response to the CfE Draft Outcomes.

An Acting Principal teacher.

Primary school, City.

03/12/08.

1 page response.

Glasgow

145


university of glasgow 2009_curriculum for excellence, draft experiences and outcomes [final report]