Barefoot Computing Programme

posted by Carol Lyon, Schools & Learning Support Officer (STEM), Schools and Learning

Please see email below from Kirsty McFaul, Senior Education Officer Technologies, Education Scotland.

As you know BT is committed to a programme of Tech Literacy projects, including the Barefoot Computing project for Primary Schools, which has been nominated for Digital Skills and Inclusion Initiative of the Year.

It’s part of the UK Digital Leaders 100 Club (DL100) that recognises the 100 companies and causes leading the way in the UK’s digital future.

More than 500 organisations were nominated for DL100 this year.

The Barefoot Computing Project helps primary school teachers get confident with the computational thinking concepts that underpin tech literacy through free teaching materials and face-to-face workshops led by trained volunteers.

Computational thinking provides the building blocks of the digital world – like logic, sequencing, abstraction and programming. In an era shaped by tech, these are the core abilities kids need to actively shape their futures.

To date, the Barefoot Computing Project has helped equip, empower and inspire over 39,000 teachers and 1.1 million primary pupils with computing.

A public vote to decide the rankings opens on the 10th May, and closes at 17:00 (BST) on 2nd June. This will determine where Barefoot places against the other 10 organisations in our category.

Voting only takes a few seconds, and it’s a great way to show the world our great work supporting tech literacy. So please boost our nomination by casting your vote.

To vote please visit:

Kirsty McFaul | Senior Education Officer | Education Scotland | Foghlam Alba

Raising Attainment Through Outdoor Learning and Play

posted by Alita Spink, Schools and Learning Support Officer, Schools and Learning

Grounds for Learning
Raising attainment through outdoor learning and play in Scotland 
May 2017

A selection of lessons for developing numeracy:

Early Years:
Is it bigger or smaller? – click here
Get into shapes – click here
More ideas – series 1 and series 2

How do you measure a tree or school building? – click here
Data Handling Outside – click here
Getting to Grips with equations –click here
Estimation and measure – through the Olympics  – click here
More ideas here and here

How fast is that car? (Speed, distance, time) – click here
Orienteering (grid, speed and direction) – click here
More ideas here


A sample of our training courses:

Professional Accreditation – This is aimed at education professionals or school grounds designers who wish to deliver projects for customers in schools and nurseries. You will have two years experience of training teachers or educators; or two years of landscape design to be considered for this programme. As an LTL Accredited Professional, you will benefit from contacts and resources to help you as well as opportunity to tender for work with GfL/LTL. Enquire here

Long Term Courses:
Developing a Whole School Approach to Outdoor Learning – this new programme for 2017/18 will support a school or cluster of schools to develop a whole school approach to outdoor learning and learning for sustainability. Through a series of training inputs and facilitated collegiate sessions, your whole staff team will develop the confidence, skills and resources required to transform your pupils experiences. More information here

Lead Teacher in Outdoor Learning – this proven training programme supports teachers to lead curricular learning in school grounds and local greenspace. Using the mantra “don’t do more, do different’, we consider literacy, numeracy, science and health and wellbeing outcomes from the CfE. In addition, the programme expects participants to share learning in their school. Book your place here

Nurturing Nature (Early Years)
Developed from our long term programme, this course works collaboratively with educators, children and parents. It will transform relationships between everyone involved, and deliver real health and wellbeing benefits to the children who participate. Read more and book here

Day or half day Courses
Taking Learning Outdoors – this inspiring and engaging single day course is ideal for schools who want to support less confident staff in using school grounds as part of their practice. We only have a couple of spaces available for the August in-service days, so do book quickly.

We have Literacy Outdoors and Meaningful Maths INSET days, ideal for supporting Attainment Challenge outcomes. Evidence and guidance confirms that pupils are more motivated and engaged when learning outdoors, and that some of our numeracy and literacy outcomes are best taught in the contexts outside of classroom walls.

Playtime Revolution – is a programme that will transform break time in your school. Either run by GfL Staff or self-led by schools, this course was written to support the Good School Playground Guide. You can read more about it here and find the resources here

Project news

Learning in Local Greenspace
Across Scotland, 100 schools will receive support for two years to make more use of local green space for outdoor learning as part of this project. The use of local space reduces time, cost and complexity, as well as embedding a sense of ‘place’ for learners, empowering them to affect and care for their local environment. If you are a school in West Lothian (particularly) or Fife, and score in the lowest 20% SMID, we would really like to hear from you – and 01786 465 934

This project is now in full swing, with hundreds of schools having surveyed their grounds and now making changes to make them more pollinator friendly. There are a huge number of resources on the website – do have a browse and be inspired by what learning is going on across the UK.

Outdoor Classroom Day
Yesterday over 1m children in the UK were outdoors, learning and playing in the outdoors for Outdoor Classroom Day. You can find out more about the project here and be inspired by some of the images and practice on Twitter.

Funding Ideas

Pupil Equity Fund
We have a number of schools who are using their PEF funding to access our training and consultancy, or for improving the outdoor environment of their school. In some local authorities this is being co-ordinated, so that a number of schools can access our long term courses together such as Lead Teacher in Outdoor Learning. If you are interested in this, please call Alison Motion or Matt Robinson on 01786 465 934.

Local School Nature Grants
The first round of our Local School Nature Grants has concluded, and was very oversubscribed. Please do apply again, or for the first time as our ongoing rounds have more money available and fewer applicants.

The grants are a combination of equipment/resources and training for staff, with a simple application form and process. More information and apply here.

School Funding for Environmental Projects

Schools and local community groups can apply for funding of up to £2,000 through the Greggs Foundation. The closing date for applications is the 24th June 2017. More information here

The type of activities that could be funded include for example:

A growing project in a local primary school
A group of volunteers who completed litter picking exercises in their local parks or along a local riverbank
Clearing an area of wasteland in an area of high social need to create a community garden; etc.

Staff news

A big thank you to Juno Hollyhock and Lorna Sloan who we have said goodbye to us this month. Lorna has worked with many of you in Early Years has headed off to join John Muir Trust and East Ayrshire education. Juno has moved on after 5 years of leading LTL through challenging times, and leaves our organisation and team in a much stronger place. Thank you to both of you.

Carley Sefton has been appointed as our new CEO, based in Winchester in the LTL offices. Carley will be up in Scotland regularly from August on, as she leads our teams in the next chapter of the adventure.

Gordon Maclean joins us as Early Years and Parenting Officer. Based in central Scotland, Gordon will lead our ongoing Nurturing Nature programme, some Local Schools Nature Grants work and ongoing training and consultancy work.

Lets talk Creativity Celebration Event – 5th June

posted by Louise Kirby, YMI Coordinator, Schools & Learning

Christine Jackson (Schools & Learning Support Officer) would like to invite you to the Lets Talk Creativity Celebration Event.

The evening will showcase some of the creative activities that have been taking place in Angus over the last 6 months.  Join us for music from Angus Bands & Orchestras, displays and presentations from some of our local schools and some chat over coffee and snacks.

Please RSVP to Louise Kirby

Monday 5th June 2017
Brechin Community Campus
Free entry

2017 Cycle Friendly Secondary School Development Fund

posted by Lesley Eaton, School Travel Administrator, Schools and Learning

Cycling Scotland are currently inviting applications to the Cycle Friendly Secondary School Development Fund 2017/18.

About the Fund The fund is designed to encourage and support secondary schools across Scotland to take a leading role in increasing the number of pupils and staff travelling by bike.   Projects should be focused on improving cycling provision through events, training, introduction of bike maintenance, acquisition of bikes where applicable and more. Pupil cycling champions should take an active role in the project. Cycling Scotland will award individual grants of up to £3,000.

Please note that schools already funded by Cycling Scotland during the 2016-17 school year are ineligible to apply at this time.

Guidance & Application Pack

Please refer to the Guidance on questions relating to; fund criteria, match funding; eligible and ineligible expenditure; scoring and assessment; how to apply.

Applicants are advised to discuss proposals with the Cycling Scotland development team, prior to submitting an application. The closing date for applications is 5pm Friday, 30rd of June 2017.

Downloads: Guidance Notes, Application Form and Standard Terms & Conditions

If you have any questions please contact Matt Wilberton, Development Officer – 0141 229 5446

Barack Obama Dinner

posted by Alita Spink, Schools and Learning Support Officer, Schools and Learning

School competition to win a table at Barack Obama dinner

The 44th President of the United States will address philanthropy and business leaders at a dinner in Edinburgh on 26 May 2017 at the EICC, and your pupils could be there.

The Hunter Foundation in partnership with Skills Development Scotland and Founders4Schools is offering one group of Scottish school pupils a table for ten at the event. All they have to do is write an essay that summarises what their school would do if they ran Scotland. The closing date for the competition is 15 May. Find out details and terms and conditions of entry.