Pre-school home teaching service

Quest for learning and Q skills

The Highland Context

From 2016 we have been introducing using Quest and Q Skills as an assessment tool to support curriculum planning and tracking for pupils with Profound Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) or Severe and Complex Learning Needs, within the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE).
The aim of CfE is to empower young people to achieve their full potential and to make informed and responsible choices throughout their lives. It promotes a learner-centred approach that encourages every pupil to progress. The content of the curriculum is not prescriptive but gives freedom and flexibility for schools, to tailor the education provision to meet the needs and develop the skills and capabilities of their pupils, within a broad and general framework.

Curriculum for Excellence

This is designed to provide a coherent, flexible, and enriched curriculum from 3 to 18. It includes the totality of experiences which are planned for children and young people through their education, wherever this may take place.
Learning begins at birth and continues throughout our lives. The Scottish Government’s education strategy recognises that learning is life-long and aims to help learners develop the skills they need for learning, life, and work in an ever changing world.

Principles of Assessment

‘…for those individuals who consistently fail to show measurable progress on conventional assessments, a different model of progress is required. It is not that these individuals cannot make progress, but we may argue that the instruments by which progress is measured do not suit the people whose abilities are being measured.’ 
Barber and Goldbart (1998)

The principles of assessment achieve coherence across experiences and outcomes, learning, teaching and assessment by:

  • Supporting learning
  • Ensuring learner engagement
  • Ensuring appropriate support

Quest and Q Skills allow for pupil-centred planning and assessment which puts the needs of learners first. Teachers may include additional elements in the curriculum, as appropriate to learners’ needs.
This holistic approach is appropriate for learners working at the very earliest levels of development, including learners with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD). The focus is on skills and capabilities, rather than “working towards” subject-related targets that may not be priorities for the individuals concerned.

Strengths of Quest and Q Skills

  • Equality of provision for pupils with Additional Support Needs (ASN)
  • Pupil centred planning and specific Individual Education Plans (IEP) targets
  • Accurate reporting to parents
  • Encourages higher standards of teaching and learning
  • Clearly shows pupil progress
  • Identify pupil’s skills, strengths and areas for development
  • Assessment is appropriate and meaningful
  • Provides future direction for teachers
  • A commonality of language
  • Qualitative data rather than quantitative

Partnership working

Using Quest and Q Skills is most effective as a collaborative process. A wide range of organisations and partners can actively assist learning and assessment and the development of the four capacities and fulfilment of entitlements.
These assessments assist a coordinated working through Child Plans as well as ensuring appropriate targets for IEPs.

Highland is committed to the use of these assessments and support resources for children with ASN.
Please discuss with you area ASN Manager or ASN Officer should you have any questions.

For more information please see the PowerPoint used in training.

Quest and Q Skills – List of Resource links

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