1. The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is required by the national Quality Assurance body, UMALUSI, to provide certain guarantees regarding the moderation and quality control of the Continuous Assessment (CASS). This is necessary in order to protect both the integrity of the examinations and to protect the learners. Although the practice in recent years has resulted in greatly improved adherence to common standards and controls, it is clear that there are still examples of inadequate compliance with stipulations. The quality assurance exercise must be carried out in full at both Grade 9 and Grade 12 levels.
2. The process plan for 2005 is listed below for your immediate attention:
2.1 There will be 3 moderation cluster meetings for each subject and learning area - one in Term 1, one in Term 2 or 3 and one in Term 4. Together the three meetings constitute the moderation process as a whole.
2.1.1 One teacher from each school should attend each of the three meetings. Ideally the same person should attend each meeting. Wherever possible this should be the subject or learning area head.
2.1.2 Meeting 1 consists of a formal standard-setting process to quality assure the continuous assessment requirements. At this meeting the details of what is to be moderated at Meeting 2 will be defined by each subject/learning area. The meeting is likely to involve the introduction of a key development focus for the year.
2.1.3 To facilitate the quality process, between 50% and 80% of the year’s work should be fully moderated during Meeting 2. The logic used here is that, because the compilation of a portfolio is an ongoing process, once a proportion of the academic year has been completed, a similar proportion of work will have been completed by learners. A properly responsive system will then moderate work at that point so that the moderation process is given more meaning. All schools will be requested to supply those samples of completed work which were agreed upon in Meeting 1 for moderation. Although only one teacher represents the school at this meeting, portfolios from each teacher involved in teaching the relevant grade should be presented for moderation.
2.1.4 At Meeting 3 the balance of the portfolio will be moderated, the portfolios scanned for compliance, totals checked and all other routines completed. All Grade 12 moderation should be completed by the end of October.
2.2 Site-based support should take place regularly.

2.2.1 If it is evident from the portfolios supplied at Meeting 2 that certain schools require more site-based support, then mandatory and intensive site-based support for non-compliant schools will take place. This will be done in order to ensure that learners are given the learning opportunity and the support to which they are entitled.

2.3 Practical and oral components which require what is termed “face” moderation will continue with the appropriate practices at the Grade 12 level.

2.4 The above compulsory cluster meetings form the core of the moderation process.

2.4.1 The sharing model promotes growth, because teachers are given the opportunity to explore the tasks set across the whole cluster. As the exercise includes a study of the assessment tools and the methodologies used, standards are set and maintained via genuine cross-referencing across the system.
2.4.2 This exercise culminates in the Umalusi verification process at which a sample of portfolios is presented.
2.4.3 Additional visits to schools are at the discretion of the curriculum advisers concerned.
3. A functional moderation system depends on a clear and completely functional internal moderation system within the school itself. This year the WCED plans to concentrate on ensuring that schools have internal moderation systems in place. Schools should ensure that they have clearly articulated plans and that these are being carried out by all levels inside the school. The WCED will supply guidelines to support schools in this process.
4. A functional system, in which common standards are a reality, also depends on the full participation of all parties. School principals are asked to ensure compliance with this moderation model for 2005.
5. Schools will be informed of EMDC cluster meetings and the dates will also be advertised on the curriculum website at http://curriculum.wcape.school.za on the link to Assessment (GET and FET).
6. Schools are asked to bring the contents of this circular to the attention of all concerned.
7. Further enquiries may be directed to the Directors or Chief Curriculum Advisers at the EMDC.

DATE: 2005:03:02