Starting today, for the next six weeks, teachers and FE lecturers across Scotland will be reviewing and analysing the Scottish Qualifications Authority exam papers that their pupils and students have been sitting.
They will discuss exams at a variety of levels. This week, all the subjects reviewed are Standard grade, but subsequent weeks will include the full range from Standard grade to Intermediate 1 and 2, Higher and Advanced Higher. The subjects will range from high-uptake ones such as Standard grade English, which features today, to some of the more esoteric, such as psychology. The more vocational subjects, such as travel and tourism, usually delivered in further education colleges, will also feature. This year some new exam papers have been introduced, for instance in Higher modern studies and music, and this will be an opportunity for teachers to compare the new and old formats.
Meanwhile, the SQA has announced that the following courses will be removed after this year's exams because of very low uptake in the past five years: art and design: research and appreciation (Advanced Higher); philosophy (Advanced Higher); and sociology (Advanced Higher).
A small number of very low-uptake subjects that were facing the axe have been given a reprieve until the impact of A Curriculum for Excellence is better known and because the SQA's own portfolio review has held out hope of an upsurge of interest in them. Greek, at Standard grade and Intermediate 1, and Russian (Intermediate 2) are being retained until the impact of ACfE becomes clearer; economics (Intermediate 1), G...idhlig (Inter-mediate 1), Media Studies (Advanced Higher) and Classical Greek (Advanced Higher) are all expected to show an increase in uptake.