Highers - finished!
Relaxation all round in our house tonight. The last of our daughter's 5 Highers was today. Phew. This is part of the second paper of the two Modern Studies Higher papers. From Higher English on 13 May, through History, Italian and Music, it's been a long 3 weeks. No maths or science, you'll note. They were left behind with a sigh of relief after last year's Standard Grade and Intermediate 2 exams. As we don't have a baccalaureate system (tho daughter's school is going to be the first Scottish school to offer the International Baccalaureate alongside Scottish qualifications), there are no compulsory subjects. You might argue that this produces lop-sided students, tho plenty mix History and Physics, or Chemistry and Art. You could also argue that it lets students play to their strengths. I know it took every ounce of willpower that I had - and zero understanding - to scrape a pass in the equivalent of Standard/Intermediate 2 Maths, dyscalculic that I am. Don't ask me to explain the difference between Standard Grade and Intermediate 2, or why we have a mixed economy at this level. They're going to be replaced by the new 'Curriculum for Excellence' soon.
The exam timetable is centralised, so all over Scotland school students will have been sitting the same papers at the same time. Exams are set by the Scottish Qualifications Authority. If you're really interested, you can access the timetable here.
I'm impressed by the Modern Studies syllabus and exam. The syllabus covers contemporary social and political issues in Britain and worldwide. I would say that my daughter has a greater understanding of these issues than I do. As well as the knowledge base, the exam format really nails transferrable skills. The 'decision making task', above, involves using information from a variety of sources, including statistical data, to make a reasoned case for or against a proposal.
The earlier paper this morning took the form of 'classic' discursive essays on four topics, which in daughter's case were on voting behaviour, the interactions of health and wealth, social and economic change in China, and factors affecting development in Africa.
So now all that remains is to wait for the results in August.