Learner feedback on Next Gen Computing

Regular readers will know that Computing is one of the subjects being modernised as part of SQA’s Next Gen project. Part of that programme involves learner evaluation of their experiences when undertaking these new qualifications. Emma Campos, who many of you will know as a previous member of the Computing team, carried out this evaluation. I thought you might be interested in her findings. So, I’ll let Emma tell you in her own words. “Learners taking HNC Computing:  Find the NextGen…

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Skills for English

Do you need a Secure English Language Test as part of your UK visa application process? Then Skills for English is the test for you! Find more details of the test at the following link: https://skillsforenglish.com/test/ For further information please contact the SELT team 

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NPA Computing structure agreed

Since my last update, I’m pleased to let you know that the QDT has agreed frameworks for NPA Computing at each of the three levels. The qualification will have the same framework at each level: Computing Fundamentals (mandatory) Computing Project (mandatory) Artificial Intelligence (option) Computer Games: Development (option) Computer Hardware & Systems (option) Computer Network Fundamentals (option) Computer Programming (option) Data Science (option) Data Security (option) Emerging Digital Technologies (option) Esports: Game Performance (option). The qualification will comprise two mandatory units…

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New pilot centres for HNC Computing

Regular readers will know that Higher National Qualifications (HNQs) are being revised as part of the “Next Generation” programme. Computing was one of the first subjects to be selected and we’ve now developed five new qualifications: HNC Computing HND Computer Science HND Data Science HND Networking & Cloud Infrastructure HND Software Development. HNC Computing was piloted in 2022/23 and 2023/24 in two colleges and, this year, we’re piloting HND Networking and HND Software Development (also in two colleges). I’m pleased…

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Happy New Year!

Me and the team wish you all a Happy New Year and a successful 2024. I posted a review of 2023 just before Christmas and I want to outline what we hope to achieve this year in this message. There are three on-going developments right now. We’re in the middle of developing NPA Computing, which will be ready for session 2024/25, refreshing NPA Data Science, also ready for next session, and continuing to pilot new Higher National Qualifications (HNQs), specifically…

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Review of the year

Twenty twenty-three has been a busy year for the team. The first part of the year was taken up with the Diploma in Digital Technology, a new Competence Based Qualification (CBQ) that replaced a number of existing awards, and the development of units within NPA Esports. We were also busy at that time with finalising the grading models for Next Gen Computing awards. NPA Esports was made available to centres in April. The new CBQ diplomas were made available in…

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QDT for NPA Computing

The second meeting of the Qualification Development Team (QDT) for NPA Computing took place yesterday. Sixteen people attended, representing schools, colleges, universities, employers and national organisations. The lead developer and me reported on the consultation that has taken place since the first meeting. There was a huge response (195 respondents) to the survey and the lead carried out a large number of one-to-one interviews. We proposed a number of options to members. There was broad agreement about the following. We’ll…

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Team changes and portfolio changes

Following on from my post about Amy moving to another team within SQA, I’m pleased to let you know that Gayle Rennie has join the team to replace Amy. Gayle has responsibility for non-advanced qualifications (SCQF Levels 3-6) and CBQs (SCQF Levels 5-8). Megan has moved to advanced qualifications (SCQF Levels 7-9). In other words, contact Gayle for NPAs, NCs and CBQs; contact Megan for HNQs and PDAs. If you’re not sure who to contact, you can write to computing@sqa.org.uk. Gayle…

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Help us develop NPA Computing

I’m pleased to let you know that a lead developer has been appointed to lead the development of NPA Computing. The developer is an experienced teacher from a Scottish school. One of the lead’s roles is to carry out consultation prior to designing the qualification. This involves qualitative and quantitative research. The lead will be speaking with a range of stakeholders to get their ideas about what should be included in the qualification, while me and my team carry out…

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First meeting of Qualification Development Team for NPA Computing

There was an excellent response for volunteers for the Qualification Development Team (QDT) for NPA Computing. We selected 15 people representing schools, colleges, employers and national bodies. The first meeting of the QDT took place last Thursday. It was a good meeting. The first meeting of any QDT is scene-setting but we took the opportunity to use break-out rooms for some brain-storming around the aims of the qualification and its key competencies. We’re in the process of reviewing the feedback.…

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QDT meeting for Next Gen Computing

The Qualification Development Team (QDT) for Next Gen Computing qualifications met this afternoon to discuss progress with the development. It was the fifth meeting of the committee since the start of the second phase of developments. Five Higher National Qualifications (HNQs) are involved in this work: HNC Computing (phase 1) HND Computer Science (phase 2) HND Data Science (phase 1) HND Networking & Cloud Infrastructure (phase 2) HND Software Development (phase 2). The development work was completed some time ago…

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Portfolio update

I’ve updated the diagram that illustrates the portfolio of vocational Computing qualifications. Here’s PDF version for you to download. Portfolio (vocational Computing) I know that some of you begin to plan next session’s qualifications towards the end of the calendar year. Here are the highlights from the diagram. There has been a lot of changes to CBQs over the last year. Please note that the following diplomas don’t lapse until the end of October: IT & Telecom Professionals (Level 6),…

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Team change

I’m pleased to let you know that Amy has been successful in applying for a permanent Qualifications Officer position in the Business Administration team. Amy will move to her new position next Monday (18 September) but will continue to work on Next Gen for Computing for the foreseeable future. Megan is going to move to advanced qualifications (HNC/HND/PDA) and will take over that portfolio from next week. In the meantime, Megan will also continue to support non-advanced qualifications (NPA/NC) and…

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SQA Connections Week

Following the success of last year’s SQA Connections Week, SQA will be running the event again from Monday 2nd to Thursday 5th October 2023. The online event offers schools, colleges and employers/training providers the opportunity to learn about qualification updates, get insights into new developments, and develop ideas for the future. SQA Computing will be running the following sessions: Wednesday 4th October 3pm – 4pm: National Progression Award (NPA) in Esports – this session will provide an overview of our…

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Skills for English

Do you need a Secure English Language Test as part of your UK visa application process? Then Skills for English is the test for you! Find more details of the test at the following link: https://skillsforenglish.com/test/ For further information please contact the SELT team 

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Committees

The team are helped by two committees. These are the Sector Panel and the Qualifications Support Team (QST). The Sector Panel provides strategic advice to the team about such things as new qualifications needed by employers. The membership comprises representatives of industry, education, training centres and national organisations. The Qualification Support Team advises us about the types of support needed for existing qualifications. The membership comprises school teachers, college lecturers and training providers. We’re looking for new members for both committees. The time…

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Join us on Viva Engage

Over 300 educators have joined the Viva Engage (aka Yammer) network, dedicated to supporting vocational qualifications in Computing. There are specialist groups to support various qualifications including NPA Cyber Security, NPA Esports, NPA Data Science and SVQs. So, if you teach a vocational Computing qualification in a school, college or training centre, please consider joining the network. You’ll find it at this URL: https://www.yammer.com/sqacomputing We plan to focus our support efforts on this platform this session so we think you’ll…

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Qualification Development Team for NPA Computing

I recently announced that SQA will be developing a new, broad-based vocational qualification in Computing and we’re now in a position to form a Qualification Development Team (QDT) for this work. The QDT is responsible to designing and developing the qualification so it serves a vital role. We’re looking for educators, employers and others to participate. Although serving on the committee is not paid, additional work (such as writing units) is paid. The work will take place from now (August)…

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Higher National modernisation programme

Regular readers will know that we’ve been involved, along with some other subjects, in a big development programme called “Next Generation Higher National Qualifications”. This seems a good time to update you about what’s been happening. The “Next Gen” programme is more than updating the contents of Higher National Qualifications (HNQs) — although it certainly does that. It redesigns them in quite fundamental ways and introduces qualification grading (“Achieved”, “Merit” or “Distinction”). Four existing qualifications have been updated and one…

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Welcome back

The team would like to welcome you back for session 2023/24. We hope that you had a nice summer holiday. The coming session is shaping up to be a busy and interesting year. NPA Data Science is being reviewed to address some of the issues that have been identified since it was first introduced in 2019. Data science is a vital discipline for Scotland and it’s pleasing to see the relatively rapid growth of this qualification since then. At the very…

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