National 4 & 5

Derek Noble, working on the SQA QDT for the National 4 and 5 courses in Physics released the following documents onto the National Glow group in June.

As not everyone will have access to Glow, Derek has agreed to allow me to host them here.

Please feel free to add your comments at the foot of this page.

National 4 -

Physics Content 4d3

N4 Waves table

National 5 -

Physics Content 5d3

N5 Waves table

Latest Unit Drafts July 2011

** N.B. These documents have been posted with the permission of Derek Noble, who is working on the Qualification Development Team for the SQA.

He has asked me to make them available in order to collect opinions of practitioners while the specifications are still in draft form.

Please add your comments below, these will be passed on to the QDT. **







5 Responses to National 4 & 5

  1. This is Fabulous Drew. We're crying out for a preview of National 4 and 5 Content. Thanks so much for sharing! Regards John.

  2. Derek and Drew,
    Thanks for getting these up here. I think teachers will probably be both relieved and surprised by the N5 unit drafts.
    Relieved as there appears to be nothing unfamiliar here - O Grade, Credit, Int 2! I know the basics of physics, Newton's laws, circuit analysis, wave properties etc need to be there and haven't changed much for a century or two.
    Surprised because there are not many hints at the brave new world of CfE. CfE is more about the pedagogy and skills development than the knowledge. These tables could be interpreted in a way that leads to a very dry presentation of the knowledge and little in the way of the skills development of CfE, especially in a school short of good equipment in these cash strapped times. I am assuming that the suggested experiences or contexts are not assessable and optional.

    I was expecting a bit more in the way of data handling, evaluation of experimental work etc. CfE skills development in physics is a lot more than research a scientist and present the findings to the class. Will there be other parts of the full arrangements documents that gives more detail/guidance on skills? How will the coursework assessment relate to these skills?

    I am sure there are plenty opportunities for doing good relevant, interesting, exciting (to the pupils) physics here. I also think it important that we not lose the benefits of the applications led approach of Standard Grade, without us building in obsolete applications like b&w TV.

  3. Firstly thanks for getting these up for us to have a look at and the ability to comment on them.
    Secondly I think as Stuart has said a lot of people will be relieved by the content here. Not too much which is new to this level; black holes, big bang and pulsars are about the only thing not taught fully to S4 at present.
    There are plenty of opportunities for good, interesting and relevant teaching within this content and (as with CfE) it will depend on teachers/departments how will it is delivered.
    Following on from Stuart's comments, is it possibly assumed that the skills developed through CfE up until this point are now embedded in the learning and teaching?
    Finally, the comment in the Space unit about possibly putting something about EM spectrum dangers into the course. Would it not be more appropriate to put this into the Waves section (as with Health Physics at present), if it is to go in at all?

  4. Thanks again for this latest material Drew. A lot of interesting stuff, particularly the cosmology section. One of our greatest worries is uptake. We used to have Science as a core option in S3, now it is just Maths and English. Concerned that if students don't take Physics in S3, they will be lost to us for ever? Also, what to offer in S3? The school's current thoughts are level 4 outcomes from CFE. We're not so sure about this. We would also like to offer a Science course, but the only option offering progression seems to be Environmental Science-or can you guys see other options? One thing is clear in Fife; every school is going their own way to a large extent, and I'm not sure what parents and students are making of it all! Kind regards, John.

  5. Others have covered most of my thoughts. The one issue I have with the Energy section is the emphasis on energy transformation. Surely we should be talking about energy transfers and conservation.

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