At Castlemilk, I presented pupils for certificated courses prescribed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, SQA, an executive non-departmental public body (NDPB) sponsored by the Scottish Government Schools Directorate. It is the national body in Scotland responsible for the development, accreditation, assessment and certification of qualifications other than degrees.
Here are the levels I taught:
Higher Biology – secondary years 5 and 6.
Intermediate 1 and 2 Biology – secondary years 3 to 6.
Standard Grade Biology – secondary years 3-4.
Standard Grade Science – secondary years 3-4.
Teachers working with pupils in Scottish state primary schools and in the first two years of secondary education are guided by the recommendations of the 5-14 national guidelines on teaching and assessment. The 5-14 curriculum is divided into five broad curricular areas: language, mathematics, environmental studies, expressive arts and religious and moral education with attainment outcomes for each strand of learning within these areas. I teach Science to secondary years 1 and 2 under the curriculum area ‘environmental studies’, the main strands of which are Earth and Space, Energy and Forces and Living Things and the Processes of Life. The aim of the 5-14 program has been to promote the teaching of a broad, coherent and balanced curriculum that offers all pupils continuity and progression as they move through school.
The Scottish curriculum is currently going through the national review, Curriculum for Excellence, with the aim of developing a streamlined curriculum for 3-18 year-olds and implementing new approaches to assessment. The purpose is to enable all young people to become successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens,and will eventually replace the 5-14 national guidelines. It is intended that Scottish Schools will soon adopt the International Baccalaureate.
Once every two weeks with secondary years 1 and 2 classes, I also taught Cognitive Acceleration in Science lessons as part of our departmental policy on Thinking Skills. This program was developed by Kings College London.