BTEC revision made interesting & relevant

This guest post was written by Phill Dalowsky. Phill can be found on twitter @phillyneville.

Here @TSLA_PE_DEPT (The St Lawrence Academy) we continually strive to give students the opportunity to learn and make progress in a variety of different ways, through technology, high quality L&T, a personalised curriculum and a wealth of pathways at KS4.


With the recent changes at KS 4 and particularly with regards to the new BTEC Sport option we have had to make many a difficult decision. An option choice? Only offer GCSE? Or continue to offer to the whole cohort through the 2 hours core time and split the course requirements through practical and theoretical teaching.

We opted for the latter. A total of 122 students were registered on the course and then came the decision when to enter the students for the external exam. Unit 1: Fitness for Sport & Exercise was identified as the first unit for all students in Y10 to cover from September 2013 and the exam would be sat during January 2014.

After covering the unit content in total during early January we then decided to offer some revision opportunities prior to the exam. We have a good history across all subjects of students buying into after school and weekend sessions and this was no different. On Saturday 26th January a total of 64 Y10 students joined myself @phillyneville (Director of Student Progress), @PEexpert (Senior Middle Leader for Student Empowerment) & @hearny10 (BTEC Co-ordinator & acting HOD) for a morning of stimulating revision.

Below are a number of photos that encapsulate the morning and how much the students bought into this. A huge vote of thanks must go to my wife @AbyLDal (AST & HOD PE @Winterton_PE) for all her help with resources also. So much can be positively shared and amongst colleagues it is much appreciated.

Here you can see a simple hexagonal exercise undertaken in groups, the students merely using their knowledge have to start with one area and then link them according to if they fit and are relevant. There was no right way to create a pattern and the discussions amongst students were impressive.


A simple description, definition, test or component of fitness is alongside its answer and in pairs the students tested their knowledge by either giving the single answer or the longer example. This was made more challenging by either allowing one student to just ask one all the questions or mix them up and go alternatively scoring points along the way.



@AbyDal had used one of our children’s old domino sets and stuck questions and answers to each domino. Divide them all up amongst the players and a simple game was created where students had to put down theirs when they had the relevant answer in their hand. Competitive, fun, easy to create.



In 3 different sets (tests, definitions and key words) all the cards were turned over and in groups of 4 individuals had to turn over 2 cards at a time, see if they matched and if they didn’t then turn them back over. A simple memory game developed and pairs kept until none remained.

Using the program Socrative ( and the apps downloaded which are socrative student and socrative teacher, a number of questions were created and then accessed by the students using our iPads in order to test their knowledge. Instant feedback given by the program and also allows for us to see where gaps in knowledge are and how we subsequently plan for future sessions.



A game of Jenga (another toy stolen from our children at home!) was modified by @AbyLDal to include questions that and to be answered when drawn from the tower. Increased the challenge and competitive nature!



More games created and this time by using the old favourite of Bop It. Students had to play in turn using a variety of the devices games and answer questions when they became available.



Lastly a very simple analysis and comparison of key word, definition and fitness tests that all fit together in order to complete a simple diagram that they could take away to use this weekend for revision.



All the above lasted around an hour with all the groups rotating round our central atrium space. We then broke off for muffins, cake and refreshments before competing the last hour in pairs in the computer suites and using the sample online tests. By becoming familiar with the icons and tools the students made themselves feel relaxed about the task ahead.

Did it work? Well the proof will be in the results later this term but I would say that by providing a simple breakfast from 9am, allowing them to come in their normal clothes, by offering a fun, competitive but relaxed environment and access to sample tests online our students went away feeling that it was time well spent.

Thanks go to,
Aby Dalowsky, Head of PE & AST at Winterton Community Academy,  @AbyLDal
Deb Hearn, BTEC Co-ordinator & PE for The St Lawrence Academy, @hearny10
Dan Ellerby, SML for Student Empowerment & PE at TSLA, @PEexpert

Wheel of Misfortune

This guest post was written by Stuart Hutton. Stuart can be found on Twitter @PEInnovators

So I am always looking at different ways of delivering lessons to pupils to keep them on their toes and actively engaged in all lessons. Although they are in the classroom I do like them to get a sweat on even if it is a theory based lesson!

Recently we have started Unit 5 in BTEC Sport, part of this looks at First Aid . I created a useful resource which would randomly select a sports injury in which pupils had to go and deliver the relevant treatment to.  Injuries such as breathing and non breathing unconscious causalities, hamstring tears,  fractures, black eyes, dislocations and gashes.  The theme tune of the lesson was the Bee Gees favourite “Staying Alive” which highly amused and captured the attention of the pupils.  The useful resource I referred to earlier was in fact was a giant Wheel of Misfortune!


On each section represented a picture of an injured athlete or disfigured body part!! This really supported the pupils engagement in the lesson to add to the active delivery and pupils could really test themselves moving rapidly through Blooms Taxonomy applying and synthesising their knowledge of treatments. Pupils graded their confidence at delivering treatment to sports injuries before they started and at the end with some really positive results. High levels of learning, engagement and resilience throughout I’m saving this one in the learning bank for OFSTED!!

Making & monitoring progress in BTEC

The following guest post was written by Tracy Parker. You can follow Tracy on Twitter @GymaholicTracy .

Keeping a track of progress for BTEC students can be an overwhelming task, especially as you finish one unit and move onto the next knowing full well that some students still haven’t met the criteria in the previous unit! It is extremely important that tracking progress is not just the responsibility of the teacher but the learners also take ownership of their own progress too!!

The first tracking should occur during the assignment and our students have found that a simple tick list that includes the unit content is invaluable when used alongside the assignment brief. See example below.

Personal Learning check

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For P7, you must be able to describe each of the 3 energy and relate the energy systems to their use in different sport and exercise activities.


For M4, you must examine each energy system and explain its use in a variety of sport and exercise activities.


D2 builds on M4, and requires you to analyse three different energy systems and their use in a wide variety of sport and exercise activities.


Solo taxonomy is another resource used to monitor progress during a lesson and provides students with a clear focus on the expectations.


What it SOLO Taxonomy?

SOLO is the Structured Observation of Learning Outcomes. It is useful as it scaffolds and personalises learning, it also encourages higher order thinking skills and can be used as a tool for monitoring progress during any lesson or subject. It can be used to structure feedback, as a framework for meeting BTEC criteria or to develop a deeper level of understanding to stretch and challenge learners and push them to meet  distinction criteria.


The following is useful word mat that learners can use to assist them with structuring their sentences to further any evaluation or analysis of a topic.



Below is an example of how I have used the BTEC criteria of a unit to differentiate the learning outcomes and use SOLO Taxonomy as a method for learners to monitor their own progress. I ask students to judge where they are in their learning at various stages in the lesson and add a time and initial to track this. The colours reflect the traffic light system and all students are encouraged to get to the green by the end of a lesson. This has motivated students to aim higher and work hard to get there.





A progress chart is another method for monitoring learning & progress at various stages during a lesson. This can be linked in with the SOLO taxonomy sheet and helps learners establish if they have made progress and if not, this is the perfect time for the teacher to explain problem areas further.

Learning Progression Mat



The learning progression map is a simple but effective way of condensing paper, booklets or worksheets into a simple map of charting learning progress on one page. It can be developed, tweaked and shared to improve its quality, application and ultimate impact on student progress/achievement. Again, this is used in conjunction with SOLO Taxonomy or the Progress Chart for learners to monitor their own progress. It can allow for greater independence of learning and does include all the criteria for a specific BTEC assignment and includes a variety of activities that excite the learner.



The aim of this grid is to promote learning and raise student achievement over time. It is also directly related to the criteria of a specific unit and can be used alongside SOLO Taxonomy so that students can work at their own pace and track their progress over time by ticking off completed tasks.


For students to independently track their progress on unit completion and calculate their qualification grade and UCAS points, the following tracker is useful.



You can download a copy of each of the resources mentioned in the post using this link. Your comments on the post would be most welcome!




Preparation for Standardisation (or Standards Verification) for the BTEC NG in Sport

Very shortly you should be receiving notification of who your standards verifier is for the year. You will receive this allocation if you have registered any learners onto this course. If like other centres, you have edged your bets and registered learners onto both the QCF BTEC Level 2 and the NG Level 1/2 BTEC it is now that you will have to make your mind up. To reduce a lot of hassle from your  standards verifier, and the possibility of having all BTEC certifications blocked please ensure that you withdraw any learners from any courses which you are no longer offering at your centre….


Tip 1: Only register learners onto courses which you intend to deliver and assess upon this year.

It is worth noting that if you register learners onto the NG BTEC this year and you only intend to sit the external assessment (Unit 1 Award & Unit 1 & 7 Certificate/Extended Certificate and Diploma) you will be expected to present some evidence of internal assessment evidence for standards verification.  For example, if as a centre you have not assessed any learner work you will be required to present the assessment plan and the assignment briefs for at least one unit which you have identified as been assessed in the first year of the programme. The Standards Verifier will sample these and complete the report for the first year on these materials alone.


Tip 2: Even if you are not delivering any internally assessed units you must be prepared to show the standards verifier some assignment briefs for internally assessed units

It is strongly advised that prior to submitting any assignment briefs for sampling you should have these checked reviewed through the Pearson/Edexcel endorsed Assignment Checking Service.  To access this service please use the following link and follow the appropriate links and directions to attach your assignment and have them checked and reviewed. If you are struggling to develop an assignment brief and you need inspiration obtain support and guidance from the authorised assignment briefs which can be found on the BTEC NG homepage . Follow the links to your subject homepage and then click on the tutor support materials icon and the you will find a plethora of support including authorised assignment briefs



Tip 3: Use the authorised assignment briefs as a guide or as inspiration for the development of your own centre devised assignment briefs.

Aim to make early contact your standards verifier. Ensure that as soon as you receive the contact details for your standards verifier that you make contact with them and that you ask them what they expect to see. You should receive an email from your standards verifier and it is advisable that if you have not heard anything from a standards verifier and you have learners completing the BTEC NG programme that you must inform Pearson/Edexcel immediately. You will be sampled annually for the BTEC NG course.


Tip 4: Contact your Standards Verifier as soon as you have been allocated him/her. Sampling will take place on a yearly basis. You will NOT not be sampled……..

To ensure that you are fully prepared for the sampling in 2014 you should ensure that as a centre you have completed the Online Standardisation for Centre Assessors (OSCA) training.  This is a different process to that which you may have carried out for the QCF BTEC suite of qualifications.  The OSCA training is also annual and you are required to update your training yearly. The Lead Internal Verifier (IV) must complete the initial training and then has the responsibility of facilitating the training to all the assessors who will assess on the qualification over the course the academic year.

If within your centre you are also delivering QCF BTEC’s in the same subject you will be required to have a Lead IV who has completed the OSCA for the QCF qualifications delivered and a Lead IV (as well as all the assessors internally) will be required to complete the OSCA training for the BTEC NG. There is no way of one overseeing the other qualification unfortunately.

It is the responsibility of the Quality Nominee to register the Lead IV and the Lead IV to indicate register when the training has been completed by all assessors.

Failure to complete the training could result in the Standards Verifier been unable to complete the sample for the year which could potentially delay certification of learners.


Tip 5: Ensure that the Lead IV and all assessors intending to assess on the qualification complete the OSCA training

In preparation for contact with the Standards Verifier ensure that you have prepared an assessment plan for the qualification. The assessment plan should indicate which units you intend to assess and provide an outline of when you intend on delivering these units. Obviously this outline is only an indication and the centre will not be held to these dates.

Pearson/Edexcel have provided a proforma which can be used for centres to include all of the key information which the standards verifier will require. It is therefore advisable that rather than creating your own version of an assessment plan that you use the Pearson/Edexcel endorsed one.


Tip 6: Have an assessment plan completed for the entire course

When it comes to the assessment of the qualification it is important that the assessor uses the specification and the assessment of the standards is consistent with the OSCA training provided. The centre must ensure that for each criterion the appropriate unit content has been covered and the requirement of the command verb has been covered in full within the evidence submitted. The use of observation records and witness statements alone will not be sufficient methods of evidence to demonstrate the awarding of assessment criteria.

The centre must ensure that a sample of the learners work which is assessed is internally verified and that this is recorded and documented.

The rules on assessment have also changed. Centres must be aware that formative feedback must now be recorded and summative assessment should be the final assessment decision. Learners can only revisit work if the Lead IV believes that there has been an assessment inaccuracy.  For more clarity regarding these rules please access the ‘Centre guide to assessment 2014’ which can be found on the Edexcel website.

External Assessment in NQF Level 1/Level 2 BTEC Sport

Why has an exam been included in the New BTEC First qualifications?

The new BTEC First qualifications have been designed in line with policy developments and the proposals recommended by the Wolf Report, which reviewed Vocational education.  The report recommended that all high-value vocational qualifications should contain an element of external assessment.  The external assessment for Sport is not an exam, in the traditional sense; it is an onscreen test that is completed online under controlled examination conditions.   The onscreen test is available ‘on demand’, which provides flexibility for your centre in relation to completing the assessment.  Your Exams Officer can make your external assessment booking via Edexcel Online.

When should my learners sit the external assessment?

As it is a Level 2 assessment, it is recommended that Year 9 learners do not sit the test, unless you are confident that they are ready to take the test.  You should consider the appropriate time to enter your learners for the assessment, with due regard for re-sit opportunities if you think that they may be necessary.  Once the onscreen tests are available , you will be able to run the tests when you choose to.  The first test booking is included in the cost of the registration, but resits will be charged at £13.85 per unit, per learner. Your learners will not be able to re-sit the test until they have received a result from their previous attempt.

What is an onscreen test?

Students will complete the online test on a computer, so it is important that the required number of computers are available for when your learners are going to sit the test.  The test will consist of multiple choice questions, short answers and matching exercises.  There are also questions that will provide opportunities for students to develop distinction-level answers.  The tests are very interactive and use videos, animation and provide stimulus material which will hopefully engage learners.  See example questions from last years test below.

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What is the best way to deliver externally assessed units?

It is vitally important that your learners are thoroughly prepared for the externally assessed unit.  You must ensure that your learners have covered the entire range of content, as questions will relate to the content from each learning aim.  It is also important that your learners have experience of the practical elements as the emphasis of the assessment is on learners’ application of their knowledge to a variety of practical sports-related situations.  The gaps in learner’s knowledge which were highlighted in the Lead Examiners report were related mainly to the application of the practical elements of the content.

What does the Lead Examiners report say?

The Lead Examiners report for last year’s test, highlighted examples of gaps in learner’s knowledge in relation to certain elements of the unit content.  Learner’s knowledge of the FITT principles and the additional principles of training were identified as topics that learners did not have a thorough understanding of and this detrimentally affected the points that they achieved for related questions.  Another topic which learners did not demonstrate a thorough understanding of was fitness tests.  You need to ensure that your learners actively take part in the administration and delivery of fitness tests and realistically they should participate in the fitness tests, to improve their understanding of the tests. The Lead Examiners report is available from the following link.

How do I prepare my learners for the online test?

Your first port of call should be the Sample Assessment Materials (SAM), which will help you and your learners understand the nature of the external assessment.  The SAM’s can be accessed at the following link. The materials also include the mark scheme, so that you can provide learners with guidance in relation to how to answer questions.  As with any exam, you need to ensure that your learners are exam ready, through providing them with exam technique and strategy training. Another issue that was highlighted in the Lead Examiners report was the minimal response from learners to open response questions.  It is important that you emphasise the importance of the stimulus materials provided within the questions, to your learners.  Learners should not only read the stimulus materials carefully, but they should also use the information within their answers to questions.  If learners do not use the stimulus materials in this way then it will restrict the number of marks that they can access.  To be able to provide stronger responses to extended response questions learners are required to not just provide theory, but also apply it.  To enable learners do this they need to be provided with opportunities to practice these types of questions, when preparing for the assessment.

How is the external assessment graded?

The same grades will be awarded as internally assessed units: Level 2 – Pass, Merit, Distinction, Level 1 and Unclassified.  The grade boundaries for the first onscreen test, which has now been retired, were:

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As each test will be different and may focus on different elements of the unit content, the grade boundaries will differ between tests.  However, the grade boundaries above will give you and your learners a general idea of the points required at each level.

Preparing a Standards Verification sample for the New 2012/2013 specification

In the last blog I discussed preparing to deliver the NQF Level 1/Level 2 First Qualification.  Hopefully you are now all prepared to start delivering the programme and your assessment plan is completed for the 1 or 2 years over which you will be delivering the programme.

In December you will be contacted by your Standards Verifier, who will ask you to send them your assessment plan.  Your assessment plan should be completed for all of the units that you will deliver and if you are completing the programme over two years, both years need to be completed.  This is so that your Standards Verifier can see what units you will delivering and plan the sample to be completed.

Remember – Edexcel have created an assessment plan template, so you just have to fill in the information for your centre.  You can find the template using this link, click on FORMS and the BTEC Assessment Plan is the top document.  Should look like the document below.

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Can I choose the Units that I will put forward for sampling?

No you can’t, the units that will be sampled are dependent on the units that you choose to deliver, so the units to be sampled are pretty much pre-determined.

The core unit (Unit 2 Practical Sports Performance) will be sampled; your Standards Verifier will probably ask to sample this in the first year of the programme.

The optional units are split into two groups and dependent on the units that you are delivering you could be required to submit up to two further units if you are delivering the Award or three further units if you are delivering the Certificate or Extended Certificate.  The groups are going to be changed every year, so I can’t advise you on the units that you should choose.

If you are used to delivering the QCF Level 2 Programme, you will recognise that this is a big increase and obviously this takes more preparation time.  This time needs to be factored in so that everything is completed within the sampling window.

Can I choose the Learners that I will put forward for sampling?

Again, no you can’t.  Your Standards Verifier will contact you and ask for your tracking grid for the units to be sampled about a month before the agreed sample date.  The Standards Verifier will then choose the learners to be sampled, they will look to sample a range of grades were possible.

So you can’t choose, but you can influence the decision!  Learners included in the sample must have been subject to internal verification, so if you highlight on your tracking grid the learners who have been internally verified, your Standards Verifier is going to be naturally drawn towards those learners.

What do I need to send in the sample?

First of all, think about receiving an assignment task from two of your learners.  One is neatly presented and everything is in the correct order and the other one is a mess, things in the wrong order, pieces of paper upside down.  Which would you prefer to mark?  It is the same for Standards Verifier’s when they receive a sample, if everything is completed in full and in the correct order it makes the whole process a lot easier.  Sorry, I was just trying to make sure I receive well organised samples!!

Remember – you are not supposed to send original work, send copies just in case!

OK, the sample should include:

  1. Lead Internal Verifier Declaration Form
  2. Assignment briefs for the unit
  3. Internal verification documents for the assignment briefs
  4. Learner 1 – 5 BTEC Sample Material Permission Form
  5. Learner 1 – 5 Learner  Assessment Submission Declaration Form
  6. Learner 1 – 5 Learner evidence for the whole unit
  7. Learner 1 – 5 Assessment records (Interim and Summative feedback forms)
  8. Observation record/witness statement and supporting evidence (where appropriate)
  9. Internal verification documents for assessment decisions

All of the documents mentioned above can be found using this link , click on FORMS and they are all there ready to be used.

Remember – All documents should be signed and dated by the relevant people specified.  This could be a parent/guardian, assessor, learner, internal verifier or the lead internal verifier

Some advice on using internal verification documents

If a unit has three assignment briefs, then you should complete an internal verification document for each assignment brief.  You should not complete one internal verification document to cover all of the briefs.  Oh yes, the document has two pages and they should both be included.

If a learner completes evidence for three assignments for one unit, the assessment decisions for each separate assignment should be internally verified.  The assessment decisions for the whole unit should not be internally verified on one document when the evidence for the whole unit is completed.  Internal verification should be completed after the evidence for each assignment has been assessed and this should be in line with the dates on your assessment plan.



What is supporting evidence for observation records?

Throughout sampling this year I usually received one or the other, but very seldom did I receive both fully completed.  Within the specification there are a number of units which require learners to include evidence of practical activity.  For example Unit 2 2B.P5 & 2B.M2 Use relevant skills, techniques and tactics effectively.  When I receive a sample I have to independently judge the validity of the assessment decisions.  So an observation record alone is not sufficient enough for me to make a decision.  But neither is a video of a sports game/competition without any guidance.  Both a fully completed observation record and video evidence should be included.

An observation record should provide a detailed explanation of how the learner has achieved the assessment/grading criteria awarded.  Whilst the video should include some kind of guidance so I know what I am looking at.

If you send me a video of an 11-a-side game of football for all five learners sampled, how do I know who is who, I won’t even know which team they are on!  Maybe each player could wear a numbered bib or the video could just focus on one player at a time.

It is important that the internal verifier judges the evidence objectively and makes a decision based solely on the included evidence

Preparing to deliver New Specification BTEC Sport (NQF 2012/2013) – Part 2

We are coming towards the end of the sampling window for the New NQF Sport qualification and some centres that are delivering the programme over a year, may be asking their Standards Verifier for an extension to complete their second sample and in some cases their first sample.

The Quality Assurance model for the qualification has come as a surprise for some centres, and it has upped the ante in terms of the requirements of standards verification.

What do you need to do before you start delivering the course?

The first thing that needs to be done is to complete standardisation training.  A member of staff needs to be registered as the Lead Internal Verifier.  The Lead Internal Verifier can access the training materials via OSCA and the materials should then be completed with the BTEC team to ensure that everyone involved with delivering and assessing the course are working towards the same standards.  Unlike the QCF qualification there isn’t a requirement to complete online standardisation to gain accreditation, but it is really important that the standardisation materials are accessed and worked through as a team.  Standardisation is not a one of thing; it needs to be completed every year.

From completing sampling this year, I can say that those centres that did not complete the standardisation materials did not tend to meet the National Standards and were blocked at first sampling.  To be fair though, some centres that did complete the standardisation were also blocked at first sampling.

I have completed the standardisation materials with my team, what’s next?

Before you start delivery, just like on any other qualification you need to plan assessment and verification.  However, on the New NQF qualification the assessment plan takes on more importance, because it is the first thing that your standards verifier will ask you for.  Not only does this need to be in place at the start of the year, but it also needs to be as accurate and realistic as possible.  As a Standards Verifier when I receive your assessment plan I can clearly see which units are being assessed and verified, when it is taking place and also who is doing it.  I will then base sampling around your assessment plan, so be realistic about the dates that you put forward on your assessment plan.  Nothing rings alarm bells more than a centre that don’t meet any of their proposed dates and are constantly making up excuses for the fact!

What about assignments, they have changed haven’t they?

Yes, they have changed and you need to be prepared for the changes, but to be fair Edexcel have tried to help with this matter.  Firstly, they have provided an assignment checking service, which I recommended all of my centres to send their assignment briefs to.  The service reviews your assignment briefs and provides detailed feedback which clearly informs you of what is missing or what needs to be amended on each brief, access it here.

Secondly, they have written authorised assignment briefs for most units and in some cases (Unit 2: Practical Sports Performance) they have written assignment briefs for the whole unit.  I recommended that all of my centres who were delivering Unit 2, to use the authorised assignment briefs in the first year of the programme.  The briefs can be used as they are or they can be adapted to place them in a relevant local content for learners.  You will have to add the relevant information that is not included; assessor details, internal verifier details, issue and submission dates.  But one thing that you should remember is that if you use an authorised brief, it needs to be internally verified whether you change it or not.

Remember: You need to include an interim submission date, when learners will be provided with formative feedback and a final submission date, when learners will be provided with summative feedback.

If I am going to write my own assignments, what do I need to consider?

When designing assignments and assignment tasks you should consider the following points:

a)     Try to work backwards from Distinction and then forwards from Level 2 Pass to think about what tasks and evidence would work

b)     Provide a scenario or context that links to those tasks – don’t forget to link the two together

c)     Tasks should be contextualised to the context which is set within the scenario for the assessment – the assessor should make it clear to the learners why they would be required to develop the evidence including the context requirements within the role/context set within the scenario

d)     The assessment criteria can’t be used as tasks, so think about using more general language to start a task

e)     You are not allowed to use the active verbs (describe, explain, evaluate).  So instead you should use a command verb which could overarch criteria which target pass and merit.

f)      Find a balance in giving guidance – not a blow by blow list and not a vague direction

g)     Be very specific about the evidence – if there is observation make it clear how and when this would happen

When you are designing assignment briefs, look at some of the authorised assignment briefs to give you some ideas.   The authorised briefs will give you some examples of relevant and appropriate scenarios and ways to phrase tasks without using the active verbs or the assessment criteria.

Remember: When you feel that the assignment brief is complete send it to the assignment checking service and pass the burden of checking the assignment is fit for purpose on to them, rather than straight onto your own internal verifier!  Keep the feedback that you get from the checking service as your Standards Verifier may ask for the evidence.

You should also send your assignment briefs to your Standards Verifier, who will provide you with feedback and inform you whether the briefs are fit for purpose or not.

Remember: Do not give assignment briefs that have not been checked to learners.  The last thing that you want is for learners to complete work which is not appropriate for the targeted assessment criteria.  Your learners could waste weeks producing the wrong work and then weeks making it right!

Getting ready for the Level 1/2 BTEC Next Generation in Sport

This guide has been produced to help you to prepare or support you with the delivery of the ‘new’  BTEC Sport Level 1/2 qualifications.


Although the qualification is states that it is a Level 1/2 course recruitment onto the programme should be aimed at level 2 learners. The level 1 criteria and content is a fall back and there are more suitable level 1 courses available for learners and centre which would prepare learners for progressions onto this or alternative level 2 courses.


The concept of BTEC fundamentally has not changed s internal assessment lies at the heart of all the new qualifications (award/certificate/extended certificate/diploma). However, the thing on most people’s minds is the external assessment. The external assessment has been introduced because of the new Department of Education requirements for all qualifications which are to be included with the Key Stage 4 headline results data.


The external assessment for the award is Unit 1 Fitness for Sport & Exercise (this accounts for 25% of the programme) and for each of the other qualifications the external assessment is Unit 1 Fitness for Sport & Exercise & Unit 7 Anatomy and Physiology for Sports Performance. Both of these qualifications require thorough preparation and learner will need to have developed the appropriate exam techniques as required for all other level 2 examinations. These exam techniques should be prepared and developed on top of the assessor delivering the unit content to the learners in preparation for the external assessments. Learners will be asked questions on any part of the unit content. Grades will be awarded on the culmination of points by the learners so this suggests that there are no specific pass, merit and distinction criteria to target. At preset there have been no mark boundaries produced by the board but there are some sample assessment materials (SAMS) which can be accessed directly from the Edexcel website. Learners can sit the external assessment from Year 9 onwards and the centre simply has to register with Edexcel when they would like to sit the external assessment and download the required assessment platform onto the appropriate ICT hardware and then the assessments will need to be sat on the agreed date following the JCQ guidelines for external assessments. Unit 1 external assessments can be taken from any point from September 2013, where as Unit 7 will not be available for learners to sit until early 2014.


Results will be provided within a window, of which centres will be informed when they register learners to sit the external assessments. As soon as results have been provided centres can decide whether or not learners need to re-sit the assessment. Re-sits will be charged at the cost of £13.50 per candidate. At present learners can re-sit as many times as they would like (or the centre sees fit). However, it is obviously important that if a re-sit is because of a poor result in the previous exam that learners are given the opportunity to prepare for the re-sit. Centres will be required to register for all subsequent tests be them re-sits or first attempts at the assessment.


Internal assessment remains the largest component of all of the new NG qualifications. It is therefore important that centres appropriately prepare for these assessments and ensure that all of the BTEC qualify procedures are in place and been followed for each stage of the assessment process. In addition to the traditional quality assurance processes centres are also now required to record formative assessment. Although internal verification is not required to take place at this stage of the assessment process centres are required to formalise the process through the inclusion of a formative assessment feedback form (an Edexcel endorsed form is available on the quality assurance page of the Edexcel website).


Prior to delivery of the programme centres are required to nominate a Lead IV. Similarly to the QCF qualification centres are required to nominate the Lead IV to carry out the OSCA training. However, the OSCA training is provided in the form of  training materials rather than in the form of a Test like it is for the QCF qualifications. The Lead IV has the responsibility to implement the training across the team of assessors. Records should be kept of the training taking place and the centre are required to register both the Lead and IV and assessors who have completed the training annually. The OSCA training should provide centres with appropriate standardisation and also demonstrate to assessors good practice which should then be implemented within the assessment for the programme. It is therefore imperative that the OSCA training is carried out by the team of assessors prior to the delivery of the programme.


After the completion of the OSCA training centres are then ready to prepare for the delivery and assessment for the NG programme. Firstly the centre assessors should agree the delivery programme. It is important that the units to be delivered are agreed and the order of delivery. When considering then combination of units centres are required to consider a number of factors including, progression, vocational links, practicality of the programme, teacher expertise, resource requirements and potential links with other units.


The core units must be delivered to learners and learners needs to achieve an aggregated points score required to achieve a level 2 pass. If a learners fails to meet the required points to active a level 2 pass and only achieves the posts required to achieve a level 1 pass then overall the learner can only achieve a level 1 pass for the qualification.  For example, a learner who is completing the award in Sport who fails the external assessment (0 points) would need to achieve a distinction (24 points) in Unit 2 Practical Sports Performance in order to achieve the equivalent of a level 2 pass for the core because the point requirements for for a level 2 Pass in the core is 24 points (Level 2 Pass for 30Glh units = 12 points, both Unit 1 & Unit 2 are 30Glh so 24 points is a level 2 pass). Further guidance on grade and point boundaries can be found in the specification in section 10 Awarding and reporting for the qualification.  Within this section of the specification are examples of a variety of  connotations which could occur (as well as the rules and the grade boundaries).


When designing internal assessments it is important that centres seek the guidance which is provided both in the specification and within the authorised assignment briefs. The guidelines should be followed as old QCF assignment structures are no longer acceptable for the NG qualifications.


Please use this guide when developing Assessment Materials for the NG suite of qualifications:


1. Include all key information on a separate front page for every assignment. This information should include:

– Programme details

– Unit number and title

– Assignment title

– Hand out date

– Interim submission date (formative feedback)

– Final submission date (summative feedback)

– Assessor name

– IV name and date of IV

2. The assessment should always have a scenario which has a vocational context and which also states the evidence requirements of the assessment

3. Tasks should be contextualised to the scenario and clear links made between the evidence requirements and the context set within the scenario

4. Tasks should target assessment criteria across the range of grades as appropriate but should not include command verbs and should not be the assessment criteria copied directly from the specification

5. Tasks should not target level 1 criteria, but this criteria should be embedded into level 2 pass tasks

6. Criteria targeted should be listed at the end of each task and level 1 criteria targeted should be included in a summary at the end of end of the assessment

7. Assessments should include all of the assessment criteria targeted for a learning aim ( more than one learning aim can be targeted per assessment).

8. Once completed assignment briefs should be subjected to internal verification

9. Feedback should be given after internal verification to the assessor and actions should be amended and signed off

10. The first assessment should be submitted for assignment checking via the Edexcel assignment checking service


When each of these stages have been completed for all of the assessment materials the centre should then devise an assessment plan which clearly shows the hand out, interim and final submission date for all assessments. Edexcel have produced a document a which centres should complete. This can be found on the quality assurance key documents page under download forms. This form should be completed and a centre should then submit this form along with all assessment materials for feedback to their allocated Standards Verifier ( allocations will usually take place in November). The centre should ensure that the assignment which is been used to assess on the course prior to this date has been sampled and checked by the Assignment  Checking Service to ensure that standards for assessment are been applied correctly.


The importance of feedback

The concept of feedback for a BTEC assignment is one, which is completed with much dread and anticipation by most centre assessors. What is the requirement of feedback and how much feedback are we required to provide?
The answer to this is very often one which most people do not like as it adds to the already heavy administrative burden of any BTEC programme. However, maybe by looking beyond what we have to include within the feedback we can get lost in this task.
For the QCF qualification we are only required to provide summative feedback, although for those of us who have more recently started to deliver the Next Generation course we now have to consider the additional feedback requirement of formative assessment.
To start with let’s address the difference and what Edexcel require to see for each type of feedback (especially for Next Generation Assessors).

Formative Feedback

Formative assessment involves both the Assessor and the learner in a conversation about their progress and takes place prior to summative assessment. Most assessors within centres have been doing this since they have been teaching BTEC qualifications or any qualifications which require learners to complete coursework. The main function of formative assessment is to provide feedback to enable the learner to make improvements or attain a higher grade. This feedback should be prompt so it has meaning and context for the learner and time must be given following the feedback for actions to be complete. Learners are provided with formative feedback during the process of assessment and are empowered to act to improve their performance.
Feedback on formative assessment must be constructive and provide clear guidance and actions for improvement. At this stage, the assessor should not be confirming achievement of specific assessment criteria. Instead feedback should be around progress on completion of tasks and direction provided for those learners who seem to be going off track with the task(s) of the assignment.
In some centres it has been reported that they are happy for learners to only achieve a Pass grade and are not interested in aiming higher and are therefore not encouraged to attempt higher grades. This is deemed as poor assessment practice and if spotted by a Standards Verifier during sampling can trigger further external scrutiny. Assessment tasks should be challenging rather than easily achievable, differentiated by outcome so that they stretch the most able but are open to lower achieving learners. Tasks which are developed by centre assessors should guide the learners through the assessment criteria as appropriate for each task. In instances when a task targets pass, merit and distinction criteria the task itself should guide the learner towards each of these criterion.
The role of feedback in motivating learners must not be underestimated. Feedback should outline what can be done to move the unit grade forward. This is much easier to achieve if formative assessment for learning has developed evidence towards summative assessment.
No more than two opportunities for formative assessment should be necessary and this will help Assessors to manage their assessment work load and avoid “ping-pong assessment” and the risk of malpractice.

Summative Feedback

Summative assessment is a final assessment decision on an assignment tasks and this should be made relation to the evidence provided by each learner against the targeted assessment criteria of each assignment or each unit. The summative assessment feedback should be the definitive assessment and recording of the learner’s achievement. This should be completed on a formal Assessment Front Sheet. The Assessors should annotate where the evidence supports their grading decisions against the unit assessment criteria throughout the evidence which has been submitted by the learner.
Particularly for the Next Generation qualification it is not expected that learners will be offered opportunities to revisit assignments at this stage of the assessment process unless approved by the Lead Internal Verifier. Learners will need to be familiar with the assessment criteria to be able to understand the quality of what is required. After the agreement of a resubmission from the Lead Internal verifier, learners should be informed of the differences between the assessment criteria so that higher skills can be achieved.
At a summative level it is important that assessor provides criteria based feedback – this means for each of the criteria targeted within an assessment the assessor should provide a commentary as to whether the learner has met the requirements of the criteria targeted within the assessment or not. The feedback should not be ‘well done you have described the skills of a sports leader’ or subsequently ‘at present you have not described the skills of a sports leader’ . The feedback which is provided to the learner should detail how they have met the requirement of the criterion. For example ‘well done you clearly compared the skills of sports leader through highlighting within your conclusion the similarities and differences of Alex Ferguson and Hope Powell’
The big challenge when giving feedback is when giving feedback to those learners who have not met the criterion targeted within the assessment. It is important when giving this learner feedback that you follow the SMART method of target setting.
Specific – Ensure that the feedback provided is specific, again do not simply state that learners have not met the criterion inform them of why they have not met the criterion and what they need to do to meet the criterion in full.
Measureable – ensure that learners are aware exactly what they are required to do and where possible draw upon previous examples from their work when they have met the requirements of a particular active verb or draw upon examples from within the evidence which they have submitted as to how they partially met the requirements of the targeted criterion (where relevant).
Achievable – it is important that the language you use in your feedback is set at an appropriate level. Sometimes the level of language provided within the specification is set at the level of the qualification. It is therefore important that within the feedback to learners we break the language down and we do not simply inform the learners that they have to analyse their performance but we tell them that they need to break down their performance and look at the good parts of the performance and the areas for development and then consider methods which could be followed to improve their performance.
Recordable – we must ensure that we always record feedback using formal summative assessment feedback forms. We should also ensure that learners receive additional feedback forms on final submissions. When this is the case please always ensure that the original feedback form is stapled to the re-submitted front sheet (this is for auditing purposes).
Timed – when providing actions points for learners always ensure that a timescale is provided regarding when they have to have submitted the actions for. This then provides an agreement between the assessor and learner.
It is important to note that for all those who are now delivering the NQF level 2 BTEC programmes that changes have been made to the number of submissions allowed after summative feedback has taken place. It is therefore very important that the level of feedback which is provided at first submission is thorough and very supportive for learners.
Good Luck