S grade jargon under fire

10th May 1996 at 01:00
An appeal to simplify Standard grade by abandoning the reporting of its separate elements was heavily defeated.

Ian Goldsack, Highland, who proposed the motion, said: "We know the performance of our pupils. What is difficult for the people who are shown the final certificate is, what do these elements mean?" The public were confused by elements such as knowledge and understanding, reasoning, problem-solving and practical skills.

Norman Anderson, Dumfries and Galloway, headteacher of Wallace Hall Academy, incurred the wrath of delegates after proposing that assessment should be wholly internal, with sample moderation, and teachers paid to mark their own Standard grade papers. "How many would agree that the results are almost the same as those sent to the Scottish Examination Board?" Mr Anderson challenged.

Bob McGarill, Glasgow, condemned Mr Goldsack's motion as a "fundamental" attack on Standard grade. Courses would be changed entirely and pupil motivation would suffer. Sheena Richardson, Edinburgh, said: "The idea of trying to differentiate and look at different aspects of every subject has a lot to be said for it."

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