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Social studies lack 5-14 signposts for assessment

David Henderson report's from the NAS's annual conference

During open discussion at the conference, a strong feeling emerged that exemplars should be issued by Learning and Teaching Scotland to enable social studies teachers to assess S1 and S2 pupils more accurately in terms of 5-14 assessment criteria.

Duncan Toms, principal teacher of history at Bearsden Academy, said that the statements of what is expected of pupils are "quite vague and fairly arbitrary" and are not uderpinned by any philosophy.

These statements need to be made more concrete if we are going to do 5-14," Mr Toms said.

Patricia McCabe, principal teacher of modern studies at Our Lady's High School in Motherwell, said social studies teachers need to know exactly what is meant by a level E or a level F.

"Someone has got to point us in a direction, the way they did with Standard grade and Higher Still eventually, and say, 'here is what you are looking for'."

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