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#1 A Finemess

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 10:52 PM

A thread on another topic made me think that some info on education north of the border might be helpful and of interest to colleagues south of Hadrians Wall?

1. In Scotland all pupils attend Primary school from age 5 - 12. We have no middle schools although this was tried in some areas in the 60s and 70s. For the last 10 years or so we have had a 5 - 14 curriculum which has tried to tie together Primary and Secondary curricula. Result has been an overburdening of our Primary colleagues who of course lack the expertise in specific areas ( esp Science, Mod Languages etc).

2. Standard Grade courses were introduced in the mid 80s for pupils in S4 (secondary 4 age 15 / 16). These courses introduced assessment for all and grade related criteria (shiver). At the same time subjects such as Mod Languages and RMPS were made core. Result? An inflexible curriculum which forced many kids to do subjects that they had no interest in. (Clue: Ask any parent how to switch off an adolescent to anything? Answer: Try to force them to do it!)

3. In the early 90s, there was debate about the S5 / 6 curriculum. Previously the Higher grade (established 1880s) had been for the academic elite who sat up to 5 - 6 Highers in a broad spread of subjects in one year, S5. An enquiry recommended a Baccalaureat type system (pay attention at the back, you can learn from this). This was rejected because it proposed two certificates, essentially academic and vocational. Rejected as being contrary to the Scottish tradition. The HMI (Some of you southrons may remember them ) proposed Higher Still (or lower yet for the cynical). A kind of grown up Standard Grade for the new senior pupils of the 90s. A level of course for virtually every ability: Access 1,2, 3 for the .... er challenged. Intermediate 1 for the slightly less challenged. Intermediate 2 for the pupils who achieved middling grades at S Grade and Higher for the high achievers.

In some subjects (not in History thank God) the usual mountebanks and careerists took the chance to apply bizarre curricula, assessment schemes etc. In addition the whole scheme is founded on learning outcomes which must be passed in order to achieve a course pass. Mastery learning theory in action. Some pupils of course take more than one attempt to pass the assessment item (from a national item bank). Result : Courses become educational gymkhanas for pupils and teachers and it is nigh impossible to complete the course. As to having a bit of fun while actually teaching and learning ...

Beyond Higher, there is Advanced Higher (formerly 6th year studies). This seems not to have been bodged too badly.

All of the above combined with HMI who were in charge but not in touch, (these guys made Pangloss look like Cassandra) led to the exams disaster of a couple of years ago. As always Scotland leading the way for you guys down south!

And now you are heading in the same direction. You have been warned!
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#2 Dan Dyson

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 11:18 PM

Ooh Cheery!
:upset: :sad:
Beware of the History Teacher,
Cause of many a pupil’s sorrow,
Though he drones on about the past
His homework is due in tomorrow!

#3 Dan Dyson

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 01:26 AM

I have also felt for a long time that the difficulties my own school faces are also just a few years ahead of the same difficulties being faced in the majority of other schools.
Heres to HMI and special measures then :wacko:
Beware of the History Teacher,
Cause of many a pupil’s sorrow,
Though he drones on about the past
His homework is due in tomorrow!

#4 A Finemess

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 05:01 PM

Fair comment Dan. The outline is perhaps on the negative side. In essence though, I would hold to what I said above. Various attempts have been made to sort out the worst aspects of things (e.g. simplifying assessment in some subjects) and as I said, the History people have generally made a pretty good fist of things. The important lesson I think is for secondary classroom teachers (as opposed to the careerists) to get together and make sure that the curricula and assessment schemes decided upon can work in the real world
“All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out otheir dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”.(T.E. Lawrence)
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#5 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 12:10 AM

A thread on another topic made me think that some info on education north of the border might be helpful and of interest to colleagues south of Hadrians Wall?
.....

And now you are heading in the same direction.  You have been warned!

I guess it was my query that prompted you to make this helpful description/explanation. Not sure that I have got my head round it all yet, but thank you.


Warning noted.

#6 Dave Wallbanks

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 08:04 AM

I'd love to work in Scotland. Fantastic people and a mostly beautiful place. BUT I'm told not to bother because the hassle of getting the relevant documentation and the fact I'm English and that there are loads of history teachers up there mean I would never get a job! Who told me? A senior career advisor in Scotland....
I did work there once.......... cleaning aeroplanes!
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#7 neil mcdonald

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 08:15 AM

What are the implications for someone wishing to teach north of the border? Do the new EU laws regarding working practices and conditions allow for English teachers to teach in Scotland?
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#8 Andrew Field

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 08:33 AM

What are the implications for someone wishing to teach north of the border?  Do the new EU laws regarding working practices and conditions allow for English teachers to teach in Scotland?

You can work in Scotland, but you have to do an 'on the job' conversion of your PGCE. I think it takes about 6 months to a year before someone qualified with a PGCE from England is 'properly qualified' in Scotland. However, mostly due to the much better teaching conditions, there is no shortage of teachers in Scotland!


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#9 A Finemess

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 05:09 PM

Anyone wanting to work here should contact the GTCS. Web site at http://www.gtcs.org.uk/. You must be registered with the GTCS before you can set foot in a school to teach. There are comparabilities between degrees and teaching qualifications across the EU of course but registration is not automatic. All applications are vetted by an Exceptional Admissions Committee. Documentation is required of course but the committee can give conditional approval which might involve the applicant undertaking an additional course when they have arrived and after they have taken up a post

Many teachers working outwith Scotland do seek registration just in case they end up here. Others just want the kudos of having it and apparently the GTCS registration does bestow some kudos in some parts of the world!!!(I've tried telling my pupils that but it cuts little ice ...!)

Teaching vacancies in the land of the mountain and the flood? There are likely to be quite a few in the next few years because of the demographics and the recent pay settlement. We expect a surge of retirements in the next year as the final pay rise kicks in.

Shortages? Not strictly correct Andrew. Our school has been looking for a Maths teacher for ages and a PE teacher also. Tell your friends - but they will have to have GTCS registration!

At the moment supply teachers are like Hen's teeth!
“All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out otheir dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”.(T.E. Lawrence)
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#10 Andrew Field

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 05:33 PM

Shortages?  Not strictly correct Andrew.  Our school has been looking for a Maths teacher for ages and a PE teacher also.  Tell your friends - but they will have to have GTCS registration!

At the moment supply teachers are like Hen's teeth!

I was just remembering what my wife (who is from Scotland) looked into when deciding where to do teacher training. As for shortages surely we here don't really give a monkeys about Maths and PE - what about the subject? ;)


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