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Key SQA documentation for NQ Modern Studies published

The SQA has updated Understanding Standards materials for National 5 and Advanced Higher Modern Studies, while a new Subject Update document provides this session’s uplift dates

According to the Subject Update, the SQA will uplift materials for external assessment between mid-March and late April 2020.

Uplift of the National 5 assignment will take place on 18 March 2020, with Higher Modern Studies assignments and Advanced Higher dissertations to be collected on 23 April 2020.

At National 5 level, the Subject Update confirms that the SQA has updated the Assignment Report booklet, with the flyleaf being removed – everything else remains the same. The flyleaf will be issued to schools in line with the arrangements for other subjects.

When it comes to the Advanced Higher project-dissertation, the Subject Update confirms that a new approved list of Advanced Higher dissertations has been written up for session 2019–20. The updated list can be found on the Advanced Higher Modern Studies subject page of the SQA website, under the ‘Coursework’ tab.

Turning to the Understanding Standards website, the SQA has published example candidate evidence for the National 5 question paper and assignment. Candidate evidence for the Advanced Higher question paper and project-dissertation has also been updated.

Course Reports contained reflection on the most recent SQA assessment period have been available for each level of Modern Studies, on their respective pages on the SQA website, since September.

New film showing the work of Scottish courts available for MSA members

Written by Douglas Skelton, ‘You the Jury’ is a one-hour long film produced by the Edinburgh Film Company in partnership with the Modern Studies Association (MSA). With support from the Faculty of Advocates, the Judicial Office for Scotland, the James Hutton Institute, the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service, Bloody Scotland and the Clark Foundation, the film is a reconstruction of a real Scottish criminal case. Conducted and filmed in a real Scottish court room, based on an actual case, with real-life lawyers, evidence, court staff and scientists playing their own parts, the case is followed from start to finish.

To access the 5-minute trailer and download the full version of the film, login with your Modern Studies Association (MSA) membership account below, or click the ‘Join Us’ link – joining the MSA is free and open to all Modern Studies Teachers across Scotland.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

Global Acts of Unity aims to promote tolerance in Scottish schools

Global Acts of Unity is a campaign promoting unity, tolerance and understanding in schools. Its founder is Mike Haines.

In 2014, Mike’s brother, David, was murdered by the terrorist group ISIS. Following such a tragic event and harrowing loss, Mike founded Global Acts of Unity so that something positive could come out of such a senseless and barbaric act.

Writing of his decision to found the campaign, Mike says, “If I live with anger and hate, the terrorists have won. Through creating fear and distrust, they want to turn us against each other. They want to turn community against community. So, I want to talk of unity, tolerance and understanding.”

Taking his campaign one step further, Mike has began to offer schools across the country the opportunity to get in touch with him, with some colleagues having already invited Mike to their schools to provide powerful and thought-provoking presentations.

As Mike writes on his website, “If I hate the people who killed my brother, they win. I will not let hatred enter into my life. I will fight to my dying breath against the fear and discord they seek to instill in us. This is now my path in life. This is why I created global acts of unity.”

Anyone wishing to find out more or to access classroom resources can do so by visiting the Global Acts of Unity website – just click here.

2019’s highest achieving Modern Studies candidates celebrated at Conference

Each year, at the Modern Studies Association (MSA) Annual Conference, the highest achieving candidates in Modern Studies have their academic achievement and hard work celebrated.

This year, with Annual Conference held in the magnificent surroundings of the Scottish Parliament debating chamber, four candidates – all of whom achieved full marks in the most recent SQA assessment period – were commended.

Gordon Black, a Trustee of the Modern Studies Educational Trust (MSET) spoke from the lectern on the floor of the chamber to introduce the candidates.

In turn, each candidate was applauded loudly by the 150 attendees, before being handed their trophy by – and having their photograph taken with – the Rt. Hon. Christine Grahame, MSP, Deputy Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament.

For Advanced Higher, Mike Cash collected the award on behalf of his daughter, Olivia Cash. Olivia was a candidate from George Watson’s College.
Three candidates all scored full marks at Higher level and were duly awarded. Elizabeth Farr was from St Andrew’s and St Bride’s High School; Sompure Banerjee was from Hutcheson’s Grammar School; and, Rachel Fairley was from George Heriot’s School, in Edinburgh.

Well done, and congratulations once again to all four of these marvellous young people, whose hard work more than paid off.

The photographs shared below are the copyright of the Scottish Parliament.

Upcoming CLPL opportunities from Hodder Education

Hodder Education has announced that they are planning to host several Continuing Lifelong Professional Learning (CLPL) opportunities for Modern Studies Teachers over the coming months.

In addition to traditional face-to-face professional development and update opportunities, Hodder Education is also planning on running Webinar sessions, allowing Teachers who might otherwise struggle to attend face-to-face CLPL, the chance to engage in the training on offer.

The upcoming events are entitled ‘Delivering SQA National 5 Modern Studies with confidence’ and ‘Maximising exam and assignment success in SQA Higher Modern Studies’. A face-to-face version and a Webinar version of each opportunity is available.

Those interested in the Webinar versions can book their places for £85 + VAT, while the face-to-face CLPL events will cost £215 + VAT.

Both the Webinars and face-to-face events are scheduled for late January and mid-February 2020, with anyone interested in booking able to do so online by clicking this link.

The Modern Studies Association (MSA) does not earn money from these events, nor this post, but we are happy to share details of opportunities such as these to support colleagues in their professional update and development.

Upcoming CLPL from AOK Learning

AOK Learning Limited has announced several dates for upcoming Continuing Lifelong Professional Learning (CLPL) opportunities.

The sessions shown in the image below are for colleagues who teach National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Studies. A CLPL opportunity in late October will also focus on Higher Politics.

Anyone interested in the input sessions can book by contacting AOK Learning Limited or accessing their website via aoklearning.co.uk.

Please note that the MSA does not organise this event, or profit from its promotion or sales. We are, however, happy to share the detail of appropriate training and resources to support colleagues.

Has your school or college signed up for UK Parliament Week?

UK Parliament Week (2-8 November 2019) is a yearly festival which aims to inspire the next generation of voters, highlighting how young people can participate today and have their say. Thousands of schools took part in UK Parliament Week last year, with 98% saying it helped them reach their curriculum aims.

Schools, museums, libraries, faith communities and youth organisations from the Highlands and Islands to South Scotland have already signed up to take part in the 2019 celebrations. Join the conversation by ordering your free kit (while stocks last), jam-packed with fun resources for all ages and abilities and require no preparation.

Your free kit includes:

  • Lesson ideas which link to the Curriculum for Excellence, including quizzes, fun facts and art activities
  • A ballot box so groups of young people can hold their own election, or vote on a debate
  • Posters, bunting, pin badges, wristbands and a selfie placard for your lively UK Parliament Week celebrations

Order your free UK Parliament Week kit now.

There are many more exciting and free ways you can get your school or college involved with UK Parliament throughout the year, including school trips, outreach visits to your school, teaching resources and CPD opportunities.

Find out more by clicking here.

New Scottish Parliament education resources launched

The Modern Studies Association (MSA) is proud to announce the launch of a brand new educational resource, which has been developed exclusively for members of the MSA by the Scottish Parliament Education Service.

The Scottish Parliament Challenge is a peer led resource, using guided research, presentation skills and peer to peer learning – it has been designed with flexibility in mind – your resources, your technology, your class time.

As part of the new resource, learners are encouraged to learn more about the background to the Scottish Parliament, elections to Holyrood, the process of passing a Bill, the work of MSPs, and how people can become politically engaged with the Parliament.

Full Teacher notes and Benchmarks spanning across Level’s 3 and 4 are available alongside the new digital resources, while printed materials can be requested directly from the Scottish Parliament Education Service.

Please see www.parliament.scot/msaresource for your downloadable resources, and more details – including information on how to provide feedback on the resources.

Bookings for Conference 2019 are now open

The Modern Studies Association (MSA) Annual Conference is the highlight of the MSA’s calendar. This year’s Annual Conference will be held in the Scottish Parliament on Saturday 2 November 2019.

The event will start at 10am (with registration open from 9am) and run until 3.15pm, with a variety of topic-specific keynote addresses and hands on workshops that aim to provide Modern Studies Teachers with a great CLPL experience.

As part of this year’s event, we are delighted to announce that Conference will be held in the chamber of the Scottish Parliament, with keynote speakers focussing on the 20th anniversary of devolved governance in Scotland. Thereafter, each attendee will attend two seminars (you will choose these during booking), with one being the opportunity to tour the building and speak to colleagues in the Parliament’s Education and Outreach team. The day’s programme will also include lunch and an opportunity to meet stallholders, who will no doubt offer a range of different teaching materials and offer the opportuntiy to form professional connections that will enhance professional understanding, as well as learning and teaching in our classrooms.

If your establishment or local authority will be paying for your ticket and they wish to pay via invoice, then this is possible. Just click the green ‘Tickets’ button at the top of the page, select your desired ticket type and quantity, before hitting ‘Checkout’. When the page loads, scroll down to the ‘Payment’ section and choose ‘Pay by invoice’ from the drop-down menu next to ‘Payment method’. When you have completed the booking process, an invoice should be attached to your booking confirmation e-mail, though this might arrive in your Spam or Junk folder(s).

Deadline for 2018 conference tickets approaching

Time is running out to get your early bird tickets for this year’s Modern Studies Association (MSA) Annual Conference, in Glasgow. Interested members have until 12th October to buy your ticket(s) via Eventbrite.

Booking via Eventbrite is simple, and allows you to select your seminar choices before paying via invoice, credit card or debit card.

To pay using invoice, click the green ‘Tickets’ button at the top of the Eventbrite page, select your desired ticket type and quantity, before hitting ‘Checkout’. When the page loads, scroll down to the ‘Payment’ section and choose ‘Pay by invoice’ from the drop-down menu next to ‘Payment method’. When you have completed the booking process, an invoice should be attached to your booking confirmation e-mail, though this might arrive in your Spam or Junk folder(s).

If you have already booked your ticket(s), please make sure that you pass your invoice (if paying this way) to your establishment who should pay the balance to our Treasurer, whose details are clearly shown on the invoice. Otherwise, we look forward to welcoming you along to the Queen Margaret Union on Saturday 3rd November.

Book your ticket(s) now by clicking the button below.