Revised Essential Communication Skills and Essential ...

Revised Essential Communication Skills and Essential ...

Qualified for life Delivering a Qualification System for Wales Vision and Evidence Base Qualifications that are understood, valued and meet the needs of our young people and the Welsh economy Based on evidence Review of Qualifications 14-19 and extensive consultation. Inclusive approach is continuing in implementation eg Qualification Wales Advisory Board External Stakeholder Reference Group Welsh Baccalaureate Group

Key Overarching Messages: Wales is Delivering a national qualification system Focusing on literacy and numeracy Moving towards Essential Skills being developed through the curriculum and assessed in both school and adult life Independence and more rigorous quality assurance Moving towards a single suite of high quality GCSEs and A levels Improved Welsh Bacculareate focusing on skills Portable qualifications, recognised and respected throughout the UK and internationally Revised Essential Communication Skills and

Essential Application of Number Skills Essential Skills Wales Concerns from the Review of Qualifications 2012 The portfolio approach to compiling evidence is widely criticised as burdensome and repetitive. Compiling evidence and portfolio building is seen as often taking place at the expense of actual teaching and learning. Assessment for Essential Skills Wales is also perceived as lacking in rigour. Repeated redrafting and high levels of support mean that many learners who attain the qualifications are unable to demonstrate independently the skills expected.

Subjective interpretation of the standards leads to inconsistent assessment judgements. Recommendations of the RoQ 2012 Essential Skills Wales (RoQ, 2012, p. 12 13) R26 The Welsh Government and WJEC should end the use of Essential Skills Wales qualifications at 14 to 16 within the Welsh Baccalaureate. R27 The Welsh Government should work with awarding organisations and stakeholders to review the content and assessment of Essential Skills Wales qualifications in communication and application of number to develop a more robust, consistent and reliable assessment method, with a greater proportion of externality. R29 The Welsh Government should ensure that the shortcomings of awarding organisations highlighted in the recent Essential Skills Wales Comparability Study on Communication Skills Levels 1 3 (Writing

Component, Welsh Government, 2012) are addressed as soon as possible. Work undertaken A range of options were evaluated and a preference was expressed for the following: Essential Skills Wales only available at entry level at Key Stage 4, PRUs and special schools; The standards for Essential Skills have been revised to clarify and support revised approaches; The revised assessment methodology has been specified, using a combination of a controlled task and a confirmatory test; The standards and assessments can be accessed in English and/or Welsh; A parallel suite of standards for Communication Skills has been created to support the development bilingual competence, i.e. the

ability to communicate through both English and Welsh as a part of the same purpose, as appropriate. Essential Skills All of the Essential Skills will be developed in a variety of ways across the curriculum and throughout learning and life. The aims of the stand-alone Essential Skills qualifications are to: structure and consolidate this learning making incidental, naturally occurring practices explicit; encourage articulation and analysis of and reflection on the skills and on the learners own proficiency in them in personalised terms; increase confidence and effectiveness in the use and application of these skills; develop an understanding of how to transfer skills to new

purposes and contexts; provide positive and engaging opportunities to further explore, develop, practise and apply the skills, in a range of meaningful and real-life contexts for real-life purposes. Essential Skills In order to achieve the qualification in Communications and Application of Number at Levels 1, 2 or 3, learners must demonstrate that their skills meet national standards in both: a controlled task, and a short, confirmatory test. The controlled task measures subject-specific skills and learners will need to show they can utilise those skills in a holistic manner, relevant to real-life circumstances. The purpose of the test is to confirm learners underpinning

knowledge and skills. Both parts of the assessment, i.e. the controlled task and test, must be completed within a 24 month period. Both assessments may be taken only once, however a learner may undertake different controlled task[s] or test[s] at another time within the 24 month period if they do not achieve a pass. Essential Skills Controlled tasks are: externally produced by awarding organisations can be developed by centres and approved by awarding organisations should be contextualised or vocationally specific to ensure purpose, meaning and relevance. Tests are:

externally produced by awarding organisations to be treated as confidential material by centres taken unseen by learners and completely unaided externally marked. Next Steps Essential Skills Communication and Application of Number Ministerial approval Feedback from Internal Steering Group and practitioner networks, i.e. Colegau Cymru ESW Network, NTfW ESW

Working Groups and Basic Skills Panel for Wales Design Principles published on Qualifications Wales website. Working with practitioner groups create vocationally specific and contextualised assessment tools for use in trialling and to contribute to bank of controlled tasks shared by awarding organisations

Trialling January-March 2015 Full implementation September 2015 Essential Skills ICT Revised Essential Digital Literacy Skills R28 The Welsh Government should work with awarding organisations and stakeholders to develop a new Essential Skills Wales qualification in digital literacy to replace the current Essential Skills Wales in ICT, with a revised assessment method.

Work Undertaken E-skills, the Sector Skills Council for IT, undertook a thorough and comprehensive review of ESW ICT and international concepts of Digital Literacy, producing a report recommending future direction of travel for Digital Literacy. An independent Ministerial Steering Group for ICT undertook a review of ICT and Computing across the curriculum. Cardiff Metropolitan University were commissioned to build on these two reviews to draft a metric for Digital Literacy which could be used as a starting point for the development of Essential Skills qualifications, Digital Literacy in the Welsh Baccalaureate and align with the developing wider skills framework for ages 3-19. Independent Ministerial Steering Group for ICT

Recommendation 3: A statutory Digital Literacy (DL) Framework should be implemented to work alongside the Literacy and Numeracy Framework from Foundation Phase through to post-16 education. The acquisition of Digital Literacy skills and digital competencies should not primarily be predicated on rapidly changing technologies, but should focus on pedagogy, deeper skill development, transferability, and understanding, as well as potential application of these competencies. Arthur et al. (2013, p. 16) It is also defined as: The general ability to use computers. This will be written in lower case to emphasize that it is a set of skills rather than a subject in its own right. Arthur et al. (2013, p.10)

Assessment In order to achieve the qualification in Essential Digital Literacy Skills at Entry Level 1 to Level 3, learners must demonstrate that their skills meet national standards in both: a controlled task, and a short professional discussion. The controlled task measures subject-specific skills and learners will need to show they can utilise those skills in a holistic manner, relevant to reallife circumstances. The purpose of the professional discussion is to confirm learners underpinning knowledge and skills Support for Digital Literacy WG has worked with awarding organisations to develop a L3 Essential Skills Practitioner Qualification for delivering Digital Literacy WG is working with JISC RSC to develop a blended online course for

practitioners Train the Trainer WG will support the CPD to train 20-30 Essential Digital Literacy Skills trainers in the North and 20-30 in the South of Wales. Having completed this training participants will have personal skills at L3, practitioner skills at L3 and an online resource/website with the resources required to deliver the same training to others demonstrating best practice Next Steps Digital Literacy Design Principles published on Qualifications Wales website.

Working with practitioner groups create vocationally specific and contextualised assessment tools for use in trialling and to contribute to bank of controlled tasks shared by awarding organisations Development of CPD pack Trialling January-March 2015 Train the Trainer course January June 2015

Full implementation September 2015 Essential Employability Skills (Formerly Wider Key Skills) Wider Skills: Concerns from the Review of Qualifications 2012 Content and assessment should be revisited; Difficult for teachers and learners in schools to generate the evidence required; Portfolio approach widely criticised as burdensome and repetitive and is seen as often taking place at the expense of

actual teaching and learning; The practice adopted by some AOs of requiring separate collection of evidence for each Wider Skill is artificial and can lead to a tedious paper chase; Essential Skills perceived as lacking rigour where repeated redrafting and high levels of support mean that many learners who attain the qualifications are unable to demonstrate the skills independently; Subjective interpretation of the standards leads to inconsistent assessment judgements. Recommendations of the RoQ that relate particularly to Wider Key Skills Wider Key Skills (RoQ, 2012, p. 12 13)

R26 The Welsh Government and WJEC should end the use of Essential Skills Wales qualifications at 14 to 16 within the Welsh Baccalaureate. R30 The Welsh Government should work with awarding organisations and stakeholders to update Wider Key Skills qualifications by reviewing the content, structure and assessment method. Work undertaken Following extensive engagement with both internal and external stakeholders, a range of options were evaluated and a preference was expressed for the following: The Wider Key Skills have been renamed Essential Employability Skills which are comprised of Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Planning and Organisation, Creativity and Innovation and Personal

Effectiveness. The standards for these Skills have been completely revised to clarify and support improved approaches to teaching, learning and assessment. The revised assessment methodology has been specified, using two controlled tasks one individual and one team-based Essential Skills Wales suite of qualifications only available at entry level at Key Stage 4, PRUs and special schools The standards and assessments can be accessed in English and/or Welsh. Essential Skills All of the Essential Skills will be developed in a variety of ways across the curriculum and throughout learning and life. The aims of the stand-alone Essential Skills qualifications are to:

structure and consolidate this learning making incidental, naturally occurring practices explicit; encourage articulation and analysis of and reflection on the skills and on the learners own proficiency in them in personalised terms; increase confidence and effectiveness in the use and application of these skills; develop an understanding of how to transfer skills to new purposes and contexts; provide positive and engaging opportunities to further explore, develop, practise and apply the skills, in a range of meaningful and real-life contexts for real-life purposes. Essential Employability Skills In order to achieve the qualification in Essential Employability Skills at Levels 1, 2 or 3, learners must demonstrate that their skills meet

national standards in both controlled tasks. The controlled tasks measure the learners achievement of the full range of Essential Employability Skills and learners will need to show they can utilise those skills in a holistic and integrated manner in their course of study, traineeship, apprenticeship, adult learning, adult employment, etc. Both controlled tasks must be completed within a 24 month period. Both assessments may be taken only once; however a learner may undertake different controlled tasks at another time within the 24 month period if they do not achieve a Pass. Essential Employability Skills Controlled tasks are: externally produced by awarding

organisations; can be developed by centres and approved by awarding organisations; should be contextualised or vocationally specific to ensure purpose, meaning and relevance. Essential Employability Skills Next Steps Ministerial approval

Feedback from Internal Steering Group and practitioner networks, i.e. Colegau Cymru ESW Network, NTfW ESW Working Groups and Basic Skills Panel for Wales Design Principles published on Qualifications Wales website. Working with practitioner groups create vocationally specific and contextualised assessment tools for use in trialling and to contribute to bank of controlled tasks shared by awarding organisations

Trialling January-March 2015 Full implementation September 2015

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