External Examiner's Report Template Academic Year:

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1 External Examiner's Report Template Academic Year: Section A Name of External Examiner: Karen Teasdale Home Institution of External Examiner: Birmingham City University UW Award/Course being externally examined: PGCE Secondary Performing Arts (Drama, Music) PGCE Modern Foreign Languages (German, French and Spanish) Masters Level University of Worcester Institute: Education Name of all partner institutions involved in delivery: Devon Secondary Teacher Training Group NB. Where provision is delivered by more than one partner organisation, this report should comment both separately and comparatively on student performance and achievement, threshold academic standards, consistency in assessment practice and marking e.g. application of grading criteria and the quality of students learning opportunities for all identified collaborative partners. Section B Submission of the Report 1 Please the report to Margaret Chaffey within 3 weeks of the final examination board. 2. Payment of your fee will be arranged on receipt of your report. Section C The Report The purpose of the report is to enable Academic Board to monitor the academic standards of awards, by providing comment on: the appropriateness of stated aims and outcomes of the course or courses, the assessment process, and the standards of student attainment against national benchmarks; and to assist in making any necessary improvements, either immediately or at the next review, as appropriate. The report is an integral part of the duties of an external examiner, and an essential part of the evaluation process. We ask you therefore to complete the whole template as fully as possible, along with the checklist appended. We may return the report to you for further information if deemed necessary. Updated May

2 This is not a confidential document. Reports are routinely shared with students via course committee meetings, and therefore should avoid reference to individuals, either students or staff. We thank you for your efforts throughout the course of the year. Naturally, if we can be of assistance in any way please do feel free to contact Margaret Chaffey in the first instance. 1 Academic Standards In your view, are the threshold academic standards set for the award(s) in accordance with the frameworks for higher education qualifications (FHEQ) and applicable subject benchmark statements? In particular, please provide feedback on the extent to which: the programme and its component parts continue to be coherent and their outcomes aligned with the relevant qualification descriptor set out in the FHEQ, supplemented where applicable by one or more subject benchmark statements the programme reflects any additional Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements assessments in modules of the same level are of a comparable standard the curriculum remains current assessment criteria, marking schemes and (where applicable) arrangements for classification are set at the appropriate level the aims and learning outcomes are effectively communicated to students, employers, workbased mentors etc (eg via handbooks or guides). This is my fourth and final year as External Examiner and I can confidently report that the threshold academic standards that are set remain appropriate. The aims and learning outcomes of the course remain current and relevant. They directly support trainees in achieving QTS and enable trainees to become outstanding teachers. Trainees, tutors and school partners all comment that the aims and learning outcomes are effectively communicated. There is also a clear sense of partnership in terms of how the aims and learning outcomes are devised and reviewed. The course continues to be held in high esteem by trainees, partners in school and other ITT providers. 2 Students performance In your view, are the academic standards and the achievements of students comparable with those in other UK higher education institutions of which you have experience? Please comment specifically on the following: in relation to the award under consideration in relation to peers on comparable courses in relation to students in previous years in relation to national frameworks (including the FHEQ) and/or professional body standards. My visit took place in May 2013 and involved meeting with a group of trainees who represented all of the subject pathways, and the two route paths. As in previous visits, I examined a range of Updated May

3 portfolios that reflected the ability range within the whole cohort and I was able to observe two trainees teaching at two different schools, King Edward VI Community College (Keviccs) and Kingsbridge Community College. From this I am able to confidently confirm that this remains an academically rigorous course which provides appropriate levels of challenge. In addition, the trainees progress and attainment compares well with comparable programmes and previous cohorts. Over the four years, it has been extremely valuable to visit different schools and to meet a range of mentors. This has also enabled me to confidently and unquestionably conclude that the achievement of trainees remains high. Please also provide comment on: the strengths and weaknesses of the cohort the quality of knowledge and skills (both general and subject specific). Where students are studying at more than one site or partner institution, please comment on student performance at the different sites/partners. (Please avoid reference by name to individual students.) As in previous years the assignments demonstrate critical thinking and analysis. The trainees are being effectively challenged to develop their personal rationale for teaching and learning in their subjects. The subject specific skills audit remains an integral component in the development of the trainees subject knowledge. Both trainees that were observed had a confident engaging presence in the classroom and pupils were clearly making good progress in their learning. Both trainees demonstrated good subject knowledge and subject pedagogy. They were clearly being encouraged to develop a range of teaching and learning strategies. In addition, both of the trainees were able to critically evaluate the effectiveness of their chosen teaching and learning strategies and accurately assess pupils learning. Updated May

4 3 Assessment a. In your view, do the processes for assessment, examination and the determination of grades measure student achievement rigorously and fairly against the intended outcomes of the programme(s)? b. Do you consider those processes to have been conducted in line with the institution's policies and regulations? Please comment on the extent to which you feel the following statements to be an accurate description based on the evidence you have seen: the types of assessment are appropriate for the subject, the students, the respective level of study, and the expected outcomes the marking scheme/grading criteria have been properly and consistently applied, arrangements for moderation and marking have been appropriate and in line with University policy internal marking is of an appropriate standard, fair and reliable the assessment processes are carried out in accordance with the University s regulations and procedures procedures governing mitigating circumstances and academic integrity (alleged cheating) have been considered fairly and equitably applying institutional regulations. Please also note any issues arising from a review of the assessments, including for curriculum, aims, content, teaching methods and resources of the course, and for assessment policy and strategy. The types and processes for assessment remain rigorous and transparent. The trainees value the assignment moderation process and they feel that judgements against the assessment criteria for assignments are thorough and consistent. They commended tutors and mentors for the high quality feedback that they receive for all aspects of their training. Once again, the trainees highlighted the importance of the peer assessments of their portfolios and the regular checks by tutors and mentors. 4 Quality of teaching and learning as indicated by student performance Please provide comments on any identified good practice and/or areas requiring specific attention in the light of student performance. The trainees described the support in terms of academic support, pastoral care and modelling outstanding practice as "overwhelming" and "unbelievable". They thoroughly enjoy the training sessions and clearly value the tutors experience and high levels of expertise. There are no areas requiring specific attention in the light of student performance. 5 The conduct and operation of the Board of Examiners Updated May

5 Please comment on the operation and arrangements made for the Board of Examiners including the extent to which it was conducted efficiently, fairly and with appropriate membership? As in previous years, the Board of Examiners was conducted efficiently and fairly and there was appropriate membership which comprised of the Devon STTG course tutors, representatives from partnership schools and staff from Worcester University. 6 Any institutional issues Please note any issues identified that you consider fall beyond the remit of the course team. A response to any institutional issues raised will be provided to you by the Director of Quality and Educational Development, normally in January/February, after issues have been considered through the University committee and executive structures as appropriate. None. Updated May

6 7 Recommendations for improving the provision based on your experience of examining Please list below any specific recommendations to the course team (add rows as necessary). The team will provide an initial response to the recommendations in the second column below and return the completed form to you, normally within 6 weeks of receipt of the report. When available the Annual Evaluation Report for the course will be forwarded to you. Issue As discussed during my visit it would be beneficial for the trainees to explicitly comment on how the pupils evaluations of their learning have informed subsequent teaching strategies within the written assignment. Response from course team Trainees will be briefed to explicitly comment on how the pupils evaluations of their learning have informed subsequent teaching strategies within written assignment two.. Additional commentary from course leader if applicable We are pleased with this report and would like to formally record our thanks to Karen Teasdale for her guidance and support this last 4 years. For University use: Response to issues prepared by: (name) (date) Signed: Institute/Subject/Divisional/Centre Head: (name) (date) Signed: Once the response section has been completed and signed off, the report should be sent to the External Examiner and also copied to the Institute Quality Committee secretary who will upload it to the shared drive. 8 Response to previous report Did you receive a response to your previous report from the course team? Please comment on the adequacy of the response Are there any areas that were highlighted last year still requiring attention? None 9 Outline of activities undertaken during the year (e.g. any visits to talk with students) Liaison with Sian Morgan prior to the visit Updated May

7 Lesson observation of drama trainee at Keviccs and music trainee at Kingsbridge Community College Discussion with mentors and observation of feedback Meetings with Sian Morgan Course Manager and Kelly Housecroft Meetings with trainees across subjects and routes. Examination of portfolios across subjects and routes. 10 Any examples of good practice identified that should be disseminated further The outstanding support of trainees from the tutors. As previously stated the trainees reflect the three previous cohorts I have met with and who feel that their support has been "overwhelming" and "unbelievable". The outstanding leadership and management both in terms of responding to the changing educational landscape; and in effectively enabling the course to develop in terms of broadening the subject portfolio whilst maintaining the unique features of the course. The course s organisation and effective communication amongst all members of the partnership. Trainees and mentors continue to feel that they have a voice and an active role within the partnership and the development of the course. There is consistency in terms of shared aims and values and in the training experience that the trainees receive. The lesson plan structure which enables trainees to internalise the process of planning 11 Any comment on the University s interpretation of the role of external examiner and the support given in order to carry out that role I have been well supported throughout the four years I have been an external examiner. 12 In the case of examiners completing their term of office, (normally after 4 years), any additional comments on the overall experience For quality assurance and enhancement purposes, please complete the short checklist via this link Signed: Karen Teasdale Date 25/7/13 If returning by , please type name Updated May

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