Close and go back to newsletter

SQA News 18 June 2020

Updated documents for NQ sciences

Updated coursework assessment tasks for Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Science

We have updated some of the information in the coursework assessment task documents for the following courses, to provide further clarity for teachers, lecturers and candidates.

As we advised in our October 2019 subject updates, from session 2020-21 onwards, teachers and lecturers must not provide candidates with a list of sources or provide printed copies of source material for their internet/literature research in National 5 and Higher assignments. We have updated the National 5 and Higher coursework assessment task documents to reflect this.

For more information on these changes and to download the updated documents, please visit our Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Physics webpages.

 

Advanced Higher Biology course specification

We have made minor corrections to the Advanced Higher Biology course specification to address inconsistencies and to provide clarity. We will publish the updated course specification by the end of June on the Advanced Higher Biology webpage.

 

Biology and Human Biology assignment investigations

We have published a list of suggested investigations that are suitable for National 5 and Higher Biology assignments, and the Higher Human Biology assignment. The examples are based on assignments previously submitted by candidates.

You can access the list of investigations from the ‘Coursework’ tab on the National 5 Biology, Higher Biology and Higher Human Biology webpages.

These are suggested investigations only, so the list is not exhaustive or prescriptive.

 

Updated unit specifications and unit assessment support packs for freestanding Biology and Human Biology units at SCQF levels 5 and 6

The freestanding Biology and Human Biology units at SCQF levels 5 and 6 are no longer part of National 5 and Higher course hierarchies. However, some units still contribute to National Certificates (NCs), National Progression Awards (NPAs), centre-devised awards and Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP).

As we advised earlier this year, to support centres delivering these awards, we are updating the unit specifications and unit assessment support packs to reflect the revised content in the National 5 and Higher courses. These will be available by the end of June. We will also generate new codes for the freestanding units at SCQF levels 5 and 6.

All unit assessments must be kept secure and any assessment activity undertaken must adhere to the relevant conditions of assessment.

Important note: The revised unit assessment support packs contain some questions for assessment of outcome 2 that are in the previous versions, therefore they are not suitable to use for re-assessment. 

We will publish the updated documents by the end of June. They will be available from the Biology freestanding units and Human Biology freestanding units webpages. The unit assessment support packs will be available from the SQA Secure website.

We anticipate that centres will use the revised unit specifications and unit assessment support packs, however, the previous versions will remain available until 31 July 2021.

 

National 3 and SCQF level 5 Physics Outcome 2 Tests

We will be publishing Outcome 2 tests for each of the National 3 Physics units and for each of the SCQF level 5 Physics units that were formerly part of the N5 course. The tests will be available by the end of June.

These are holistic tests covering Outcome 2 Assessment Standards 2.1 and 2.2. The tests are for use as a single assessment instrument and must not be split into smaller assessments. Questions must not be extracted from these tests for use in other assessments.

The tests are alternative assessments to the original unit assessment support packs, with marks allocated to each question and a cut-off score used. When marking these tests, teachers and lecturers should use the Physics General Marking Principles.

Please remember that evidence for Outcome 1 is also required when undertaking the units.

 

SCQF level 5 Chemistry Outcome 2 Tests

We will be publishing Outcome 2 tests for each of the SCQF level 5 Chemistry units that were formerly part of the N5 Chemistry course.

These are holistic tests covering Outcome 2 Assessment Standards 2.1 and 2.2. The tests are for use as a single assessment instrument and must not be split into smaller assessments. Questions must not be extracted from these tests for use in other assessments. The tests are alternative assessments to the original unit assessment support packs, with marks allocated to each question and a cut-off score used.

Please remember that evidence for Outcome 1 is also required when undertaking the units.