Registration for this event has now opened.
A copy of the registration form for the event can be downloaded below and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively, you can register for the event by completing the form below (which when the submit button is clicked is sent to email@example.com).
Free CPD for SAGT members - 'LAFI' day (LAFI = lesson and fieldwork ideas)
Saturday 20th May at Edinburgh Academy from 9.30am - 3.00pm
Speakers from Geobus, Field Studies Centre, Geographical Asssociation and current geography teachers. Limited number of spaces. Registration details will follow later this month.
Any queries should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
These changes will take effect from session 2017-18 onwards.
More detailed information will be provided in the revised Course Specifications, which will be available by the end of April 2017.
There will be no change to the assignment; however the revised Course Specification will provide further clarification on the conditions for assessment. The assignment will continue to be worth 20 marks and will now be worth 20% of the course assessment.
Changes to exam
The question paper will be extended to include more questions and the number of marks will increase from 60 marks to 80. The duration of the exam will therefore also increase. Candidates will be asked to answer questions on physical environments (including a choice from two questions relating to the type of landscape studied) and human environments. Candidates will also answer two questions, from a choice of six, on global issues. The exam will now be worth 80% of the course assessment.
The information above has been reposted from the SQA website.
SQA have also publish a document:
Changes to assessment of National Courses: Your Questions Answered
Immediately after the exam May 2016 there were many comments being made online about the Higher exam and we received a few emails. At SAGT committee in August there was much discussion around the table about this year's exams. In the past there have been numerous discussions between members and at committee about the new qualifications and complaints about communication from the SQA. There was also a fair bit of talk, from some teachers, about marking procedures etc and the content of the higher.
At the same time, the education committee of RSGS had been discussing the loss of Geography in the curriculum, poor communication between the teachers and the SQA and the changes in Geography. There was also an RSGS/ SAGT task group which had been set up to discuss such issues. It was felt by the committee that it would be best to continue with the dialogue between SQA and also with the government as 'going to the press' was not a good idea and would not serve any of our members or our subject.
At this point we would like to say that complaints have always been about the SQA as a body/excessive paperwork / lack of clarity / the new qualifications etc and not individuals involved in the process.
As a result of these discussions it was decided that a survey about the Higher would be sent out to all members. We were led to believe, from the SQA, that we could not feedback our thoughts on the Higher individually as in the past, as this system was being stopped i.e. there appeared to be no teacher/learner survey available.
In online discussions, it was clear that members were getting very heated about SAGT not 'doing anything’. We tried to let people know, via minutes and ESGNs that discussion with the SQA was taking place.
This survey was put out and analysed by 3 members of committee and returns were received from 350 Geography teachers (members and non-members). This was presented at conference to the members who were present. It was decided to bring it up in the afternoon session so that there were no pupils present. The feedback was also started off with a statement that this was not a comment on the work of markers or setters but a reflection of how many members felt about the exam. Quotes were taken from the members who took part.
It was decided the results of this survey would be sent to the SQA and to the RSGS. It was also decided that we would send this to the government's review of SQA. The date for these responses was only a few days after the SAGT conference so it was copied and pasted from the power point results of the survey. In hindsight perhaps more care could have been taken over it as we subsequently found out that it had been published online by the government.
It was our intention to share the results of the survey with all SAGT members after the SQA had a chance to respond. However, the BBC’s reporter had read the submission that was made to the government’s review. It was decided that we would not respond to requests for an interview from the BBC as we felt that a report may upset markers and setters, as well as our pupils. We can only apologise if this was the case as the news report only really focussed on 1 or 2 lines from that survey.
On the 18th of November Liz Crisp (past president) and I met with Angela Baird (Qualification manager), Lesley Joyce (Head of service) and Joan Highton. (Geography Subject Implementation manager). This was a very cordial and productive meeting.
The following points were made:
1. SQA were very surprised to hear our submission as they had only heard from one network group about concerns. We stated that this was partly because the usual feedback form was no longer available.
2. There was a problem with the reduction of the number of marks available having been reduced to 60 from the previous 200.It was agreed that this was not enough to adequately assess the course. They were looking at increasing the total number of marks for the written exam in the current review from 2018.
3. There was a great deal of difficulty getting people to mark the exams and it was only at the last minute that they managed to do so. It was agreed that this was partly due to the system of marking online. As a result, next year’s Higher marking will be done on paper. The point was made that “marking from image” does give SQA more data re breakdown of marks for each question across whole cohort etc.
4. In response to criticism that pupils had performed lower than expected, we were told that statistics showed that the number of A passes matched perfectly the estimates that teachers sent. A – C passes were only 3 % less than estimates.
5. It was agreed that there was a problem with the physical geography being under-assessed in the exam. This will be looked at for the review of the Higher, which was already due to take place, before our complaints. The Higher review planned to take place next session will now occur the following year once National 5 amendments are in place. This is due to the government decision re removal of unit assessments in their current format.
6. There is a very rigorous checking of markers’ work and the SQA were satisfied that there were no inconsistencies.
7. All questions and marking schemes were put through a rigorous checking procedure and all questions followed SQA guidelines.
8. 18 people had been involved in the standardisation process to make it rigorous.
9. Changes had already been planned after a review of both the National and Higher qualifications. John Swinney had set that deadline as June 2019.
10. There will be a high level statement made in January about the National exam and documents will be available in April. The plan is for the new information to be contained in one single document under different headings rather than in many different documents
11. The national rating for Geography is low and shows that pupils are performing as expected.
12. The difficulty of accessing the webinars was discussed .Angela was unaware of those problems and said that teachers should email her to let her know of problems. As a result of one email the number of people on the webinar was increased. Please continue to email if there are problems/ queries.
13. The importance of teachers reading the Principal Verifier’s report and the Subject report was emphasised.
14. Unfortunately, SQA IT does not enable them to just mail info directly to geographers – updates, webinar dates etc. are highlighted in SQA Centre news sent to SQA co-ordinators weekly. It is possible for individual teachers to subscribe too and therefore get the information directly. SAGT try to highlight any new updates etc. on twitter, Facebook and on our webpage as well
It would be appreciated that anyone who is having problems accessing information ,who has concerns or questions regarding the qualifications should email either Angela Baird (qualifications manager ) : email@example.com or Joan Highton ( subject implementation manager): firstname.lastname@example.org. Or perhaps to email me, see below.
Elaine Batty, SAGT President 2015 – 17. (email@example.com)
30th November, 2016.
SAGT committee are shocked and saddened to hear of the death of one of our respected members. Morven was a hardworking, enthusiastic and much loved teacher who will be missed by staff and pupils alike. She gave a Hotspots presentation at our recent conference. Our thoughts are with Morven's family,friends and colleagues at Grove Academy.
There appears to have been a misinterpretation of some comments that were made at a meeting and I would like to clarify a couple of points:
All three Geography Principal Assessors, for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher, are qualified and experienced geographers. In addition the new geography Subject Implementation Manager (SIM), is also a qualified and experienced geographer. The secondment for the previous SIM ended because her school was unable to release her for a longer period than previously agreed.
E.Batty , SAGT president 2015-2017
The SAGT Geography quiz is open to teams from secondary schools in Scotland. Teams should consist of three pupils, one from S2, S3 and S4. Teams will compete in a local heat and the winning team from each local heat (to be held by January 2017) will be expected to travel to a Scottish final taking place in June 2017.
Application forms should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: Friday 4th November 2016
The National Qualifications Geography Review Report was published today.
It is included below and can also be found on the subject page (under updates & announcements, review report) http://ow.ly/5SVC3007ekO