There is a range of material available, including examples of candidate evidence with commentaries, as part of our Understanding Standards programme. This material is for teachers and lecturers to help them develop their understanding of the standards required for assessment. As new material is developed we will publish this information in our weekly Centre News. All material available can be found in the following locations:
- Available from our Understanding Standards website Material relating to externally assessed components of course assessment, with the exception of those subject to visiting assessment.
- Available from our secure website Material relating to internally assessed components of course assessment, and components of course assessment which are subject to visiting assessment. In addition, material relating to freestanding units which are no longer part of National 5 courses can be found on this website. Teachers and lecturers can arrange access to these materials through their SQA Co-ordinator.
More information on Understanding Standards material for this subject can be found on our Understanding Standards website at http://www.understandingstandards.org.uk/Subjects/Biology
The National 5 webinar provides a detailed overview of the revised course assessment for this subject.
National 5 Biology 15 June 2017
Additional CPD support
Where any particular areas of concern are identified, which are not addressed by our Understanding Standards events or support materials, we will offer free continuing professional development (CPD) training, subject to request. CPD support is subject-specific and can be tailored to cover one or more qualification level. To find out more about this service visit our CPD page.
SSERC, in partnership with SQA, have produced teacher/technician guides that provide background information to teachers/lecturers. Candidate guides containing protocols have also been produced. These are available via the following link:
National 5 Biology Assignment SSERC Resources
|Examiner marks||Your marks|
|Research Methods||6 /6||/6|
|Research Findings||6 /14||/14|
|Total||12/ 20||/ 20|
Candidate 1 - River Study (Commentary revised April 2016)
Candidate 1 has achieved 12 out of a possible 20 marks for the National 5 Geography Assignment.
The candidate was awarded 6 out of 6 marks
A mark was awarded at the end of the first sentence for the technique of measuring river depth. A second mark was awarded for the content within the second sentence in this section which gives further development of the technique (use of a metre stick to measure depth).The candidate gained two further marks in the third and fourth sentences for a more detailed explanation about measuring depth ie explaining that the metre stick touches the bottom and by making measurements at 1 metre intervals across the river. At this point the candidate has achieved the maximum number of 4 marks allowed for one technique.
However, in the fifth sentence the candidate goes on to describe the second technique - use of a flow meter to measure velocity - so gained a fifth mark. A developed point is then made in the following sentence about repeating the flowmeter measurements regularly across the river at the same 1 meter intervals. This statement gained a sixth mark.
The candidate achieved full marks for this section at this point. The final statement simply repeats the research topic and would not receive credit.
The candidate was awarded 6 out of 14 marks for their research findings and conclusion.
In the second sentence the candidate gained their first mark for stating the result that “the depth in the upper course of the river is much shallower than the lower course”. A second mark was awarded for a development of this point in the third sentence. A third mark was awarded in the fourth sentence for further development of the results found about depth in the lower course “the river got up to 58cms deep”. The fifth sentence gained a fourth mark for a summative statement about the differences in river depth between the upper and lower courses. The candidate gained the maximum of four marks available for their description of findings.
In the seventh sentence the candidate describes the results for velocity - that the upper course was much faster than the lower course – which could have gained a descriptive mark. They then make two further descriptive points about river velocity - firstly by quantifying the maximum river speeds found in the upper and lower course, and secondly by quantifying the minimum river speeds in the upper and lower courses. These would also have merited descriptive marks. However, the candidate had already received the maximum number of four descriptive marks by the end of the fifth sentence
Later in the final two sentences of this answer the candidate goes on to offer explanations for their findings and so is able to gain a further two marks. In the second last sentence the candidate explains that the faster river speed in the upper course is due to the steeper gradient. In the final sentence the candidate goes on to give a good explanation as to why the river is slower flowing in the lower course. So in addition to the four marks for description the candidate has gained a total of two marks for explanation
The candidate gains no further marks here. In practice, sections B and C are marked together, so for this candidate further marks were still available but all of the statements made in the conclusion simply repeat findings or conclusions which they have already made in the research findings section. The candidate does not receive credit twice for making the same point.