Let's hear it for new curriculum
We are hearing more and more accounts of the really positive impact Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) is having on schools, teachers and pupils. In particular, many teachers report that they are actually enjoying the job much more than before. While active learning approaches need considerable planning and making of resources, which takes time and effort, teachers are getting a greater sense of achievement and job satisfaction.
When teachers are given the opportunity to meet and examine the experiences and outcomes, or use the materials on the CfE website, they feel positive about it and schools that are facilitating such opportunities are seeing CfE emerge.
There is some extremely positive cross-sector working and, with moderation procedures clearly being an integral part of assessment, this will increase. Again though, we need to make steady progress and not attempt to do everything at once. We will be calling on HMIE to give credit for this steady, well-planned, progress.
Increasingly, we have become aware that there is a danger that solutions offered by publishers could hijack the agenda. "Unpicking" the experiences and outcomes, production of forward planning tools and IT solutions for recording and reporting are appearing. They may be of value if adapted to local situations, but they will be costly and must not drive what we do. Certainly, we must resist any use of IT systems to gather meaningless information on pupil progress. We have had enough of that with 5-14 target-setting.
Overall though, there is definite momentum, excitement and willingness evident at the many events we are involved in organising or attending.
Let's make CfE work!
Irene Matier, president, Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland.