On Wednesday 9th December 2020, 47 participants attended a West Partnership hosted subject network event for Modern Languages practitioners. The purpose of the event was to provide a space for professional dialogue around recent changes to assessment in the senior phase. Attendees first heard from Education Scotland’s Shona Hugh and Louise Glen, who mapped out the national context facing Modern Language teachers today. Gillian Campbell-Thow, from Glasgow City Council, then provided a local authority perspective on the current context regarding moderation and assessment.
After the two key note presentations, participants were divided into four breakout rooms of approximately 10 practitioners each. In these breakout rooms practitioners were given a chance to discuss the challenges facing the gathering and moderating of evidence for the SQA in the senior phase. A number of innovative ideas were discussed as practitioners suggested various strategies to overcome existing barriers.
In reflecting on the event, the West Partnership’s Lead Officer for Curriculum, Learning, Teaching, and Assessment, John Stuart, said
‘The Modern Languages senior phase online discussion was well attended. There was a strong feeling of mutual support during the event which I think practitioners really appreciated. It was great to hear staff share practical suggestions for addressing the latest challenges around senior phase moderation and assessment.’
The event was also well received by participants, with 90% of the 30 evaluation respondents agreeing that the event was useful and of an appropriate length. No respondent suggested they were unlikely to attend future meetings hosted by the West Partnership. Furthermore, 96.7% of respondents agreed the event was well organised and 93.3% agreed that professional learning from the meeting would allow them to alter their practice. In explaining how the event may impact on their practice, one participant said ‘I am clearer now about issues involved in moderating NQ evidence, and will be able to discuss this with colleagues’ (Glasgow City). Another said ‘It has given me some clarity on what can and can’t be used as acceptable evidence.’(Glasgow City). Overall, feedback on the event was complimentary, with one respondent saying ‘It was reassuring to hear from other Modern Languages teachers and know that we are facing the same challenges. This space will be vital in sharing good practice over the coming months.’(North Lanarkshire). Another participant said ‘This was a great session – as an NQT I found it extremely useful to hear how other schools are doing things and (I) got some ideas’ (South Lanarkshire).
If you would like to be involved any the West Partnership Modern Languages subject network then you can find out teams space here: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/team/19%3a6269f02e827346fd87a4213ed6bc03d3%40thread.skype/conversations?groupId=54d53b25-bd8a-4fdc-8b24-72ba2254eb5c&tenantId=ccd32ca3-16ce-428f-9541-372d6b051929