QCA news

THE QCA is currently developing a website using pupils' work and case study material to show what the national curriculum in geography and history looks like in practice. The examples will illustrate the standards of pupils' work at different ages and how the programmes of study translate into activities.

Teachers will be able to use the website for comparing the performance of individual pupils against a common standard within and across the key stages, and as a basis for developing a departmental or school portfolio. It could also be used to help plan units of work, classroom activities and assessment tasks that relate to the programmes of study and are consistent with the standards set out in the national curriculum.

The website will contain a selection of materials from existing SCAAQCA publications. From Consistency in Teacher Assessment: Exemplification of Standards KS3 (1996) these will include, for geography, work on earthquakes, acid rain, Kenya, land use and environmental quality. For history there will be examples of work covering aspects of 19th and 20th-century history. From Expectations at Key Stages 1 and 2 (1997) the materials will include, for geography, work about the school grounds, the local shopping street, river investigations, environmental change, OS maps, aerial photographs and comparison of localities. For history there will be examples of work on Guy Fawkes, Boudicca, the Fire of London, the Home Front and Tudor Monarchs. New materials being collected from schools will be added regularly.

Each piece of work will be accompanied by activity objectives that set out the purpose and the teaching and learning objectives. There will be an activity description of what the pupil actually did, which will also describe the context for the work, the level of support provided and the extent to which the activity was structured.

Finally, there will be a commentary explaining why the piece of work shows the pupil's performance in relation to particular aspects of the level description and why it is a good example of the programme of study in practice.

As well as links to the Government's internet gateway for teachers (www.teachernet.gov.uk), the national curriculum website (www.nc.uk.net) and the Department for Education and EmploymentQCA schemes of work (www.standards.dfee.gov.ukschemes), there will be different ways to search for pupils' work. These range from a quick-search facility based on subject, key stage and level, to a more sophisticated approach using key words.

There will also be sections for both subjects on making an end-of-key-stage judgment and on recognising progression. Teachers will be able to exchange ideas through an online forum.

The geography and history teams at the QCA would like to hear from teachers who have examples of pupils' work that exemplify current good practice. These could include the use of ICT and activities drawn from the Department for Education and EmploymentQCA schemes of work.

For geography it would be valuable to receive teaching strategies or pupils' work for studies of places beyond the UK, and creative ways of linking different aspects of the programmes of study. E-mail Eleanor Rawling: rawlinge@qca.org.uk or John Westaway:westawayj@qca.org.uk For history, the QCA team would welcome examples from the world studies at KS2 and 3 and of historical interpretations. E-mail Jerome Freeman: freemanj@qca.org.uk or Heather Richardson richardsonh@qca.org.uk The website will be online later this year and will be regularly updated.

ELEANOR RAWLING, JOHN WESTAWAY, JEROME FREEMAN and HEATHER RICHARDSON

Eleanor Rawling and John Westaway are principal officers for geography, and Jerome Freeman and Heather Richardson are principal officers for history, Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 83 Piccadilly, London W1J 8QA. Tel: 020 7509 5555. Web: www.qca.org.uk

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