Cuts to internal assessment earn acceptance

2nd October 1998 at 01:00
The streamlining ordered in February will reduce the number of internally assessed learning outcomes from eight to six. Writing a report is to be optional within the writing outcome, and the piece of non-fiction analysis is not to be formally assessed.

But Stuart Holden of the Higher Still Development Unit concedes: "There is no hiding from the fact that there will be more internal assessment. The upside is that, instead of pupils sitting exams and failing, internal assessment provides evidence and gives confidence that pupils are being presented at the right level. If they sit Intermediate 1 they might even gain an A or a B, instead of a near pass at Higher which is no use to anybody."

Moira Reynolds at St Ninian's High says continuous assessment helps motivate less academic pupils by allowing them to take small steps and experiencing success. But she does not plan to assess each learning outcome after 40 hours. "Where units are integrated, we would report later although, of course, you could report earlier on progression," she says.

Principal teachers welcome the changes that have been made so far, both in reducing the number of learning outcomes and restructuring performance criteria to emphasise common skills.

One innovation they are not so happy with at Higher level is teaching and assessing talk. Fiona Norris of Eyemouth High would prefer a straight pass or fail, believing there will be major problems in standardising and moderating performance.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today