In schools across the country, the last eighteen months have brought a whirlwind of course and exam changes at the senior phase. Here at Bright Red we have been busy updating many of our National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher books to meet the SQA changes too.
Unexpected changes are quite tough from a publishing point of view but the biggest impact is in schools and for students and parents looking for the most current materials. Teachers need to update their course material and make decisions on what resources they can afford to replace (if any). This makes for tough choices in the current budget climate.
Rather than reviewing current qualifications however, many teachers want to be working to develop their offering for the Broad General Education (BGE) and tying it into the sharp end of the senior phase. This is the level secondary schools are (fairly or unfairly) judged on when results land in August. Getting the bedrock of the BGE absolutely right to put students in the best place possible for tackling their National Qualification exams is essential.
We have experienced a similar frustration at Bright Red as we have been developing full Course Books for BGE Level 3 and 4 since 2016. Our plans to publish last year were postponed in the face of the exam changes, but we now have five Level 3 books set to publish for Business, English, Geography, Mathematics and Science. Computing, French, History and Modern Studies are amongst other titles set to publish next year.
The concept of curriculum and precisely pinning down the BGE is difficult. In May and June, The Times Educational Supplement for Scotland published a series of fascinating articles on the Curriculum for Excellence which raised many questions. What does curriculum actually mean? What happens when the theory is applied to classroom teaching? And how are schools tailoring all of this to ensure highly effective teaching and learning to prepare students for their senior phase?
Our new BGE Level 3 Course Books are set to offer something for everyone from Primary 7 to S3. We have commissioned expert authors (all practicing teachers and SQA appointees) to build on the great work they have completed in their own schools. We have applied our publishing expertise to lay out the relevant experiences and outcomes clearly throughout. The more recent benchmarks are also tagged as we have structured the books to carry as much relevant content as we can squeeze in. A variety of great features work alongside the content to exemplify it best and give teachers, parents and students resources they can depend on completely. Check out our draft sample pages for Maths and Science.
We are very excited about our BGE books and are looking forward to publishing our first titles this autumn. These books will be beneficial to teachers who can rely on, pick from or fall back on them when stretched. They will benefit parents by offering a crucial overview and guidance to help support their child confidently. Most importantly though, they will benefit pupils with the knowledge, examples and questions they need to get the most from each curricular area.
After a period of so much change, and with so much uncertainty around the BGE in general, we can’t wait to get these books out into schools across the country. Our great hope is that they will shine some light on the Broad General Education and brighten it up for everybody.