Category Archives: Learning, Teaching & Assessment

*Update June 16th 2020* Supporting Transitions from Home-Early Years-P1 in 2020.

On Monday 8th June over 50 dedicated early learning and childcare and primary practitioners and leaders came together online to discuss transitions.  We aimed to share ideas about creative ways to support our youngest children back into our settings this year; whether they are returning to ELC or starting ELC or Primary 1 for the first time.  They were ably led and supported in this discussion by Jackie Ballantyne from Education Scotland.

To read a summary of the discussion please click here 

Play At Home – Success

Our #PlayAtHome week was a huge success and it’s all thanks to YOU!

The level of contribution from our ELC settings and primary schools was outstanding. On top of that was the way that families enthusiastically took part, sharing their ideas from home.

It was fabulous to see children and families enjoying play experiences. The learning opportunities were endless. We saw lots of baking, treasure hunts, role play ideas, den building, traditional games, and much much more!

Older children joined in too, so it goes to show that it’s play all the way in Falkirk.

We believe that this success is testimony to the dedication and commitment we all have to play-pedagogy and play-based learning. Long may it continue.

**Thank you and well done**

Here’s a wee SWAY montage of your tweets – there’s great ideas, so take some time to take a look.

We also have a wee video montage to share with you.

Take a look at the previous #AtHome weeks too:


Week beginning 20 April – #LiteracyAtHome

Week beginning 27 April – #STEMatHome (**especially good)

Week beginning 4 May – #HWBatHome

This week is #MathsAtHome week – enjoy!

Falkirk Early Years Pedagogues Sharing Sessions


It has been another interesting session for Falkirk Early Years Pedagogues this year. As we all find ourselves in strange times, each and every one of us across Falkirk can be proud of the continued effort of ensuring our wee people and families feel connected and included, albeit from afar.

This year the Early Years Pedagogues and their teams have continued to strive for excellence and equity as they have explored, researched and implemented a variety of different projects which have impacted positively on the learning and development of their wee people and families within their settings and beyond.

Follow this link here to access the Early Years Pedagogue Sharing Session Presentations. A different format to the market stall sharing event we had planned, I am positive you will find these interesting, informative and impactful. We hope you’ll have a few ‘take away’ project ideas to implement in your own setting when the time is right.

We ask that once you have explored the different projects you complete the feedback form to let us know what you thought, to reflect and to tell us what you’d like to see from the Early Years Pedagogues in Falkirk next year. There is a link on the last slide of each presentation or you can access the questionnaire here.

Here is an overview of what you can expect to find in the project sharing sessions:

Elaine Haughton from Carmuirs ELC has explored the impact of retelling stories on children’s confidence and story awareness. Elaine and her team have also explored risk and resilience outdoors, in particular exploring children’s confidence through a variety of experiences. In turn this impacted on parent’s confidence in risky play opportunities. Elaine also explored how children’s subitising skills develop through play and the opportunities that can be provided to enhance this.

Claudette Wright from Beancross ELC explored the impact of children and their families healthy eating habits and how these changed with the addition of a ‘Fruit Barra’ in ELC. Explore how the experiences and provision of fresh fruit impacted on children within and out with ELC. Claudette and her team have also explored a ‘Nurturing Nature’ project- in particular exploring how playing and learning in a local green space impacted on the positive interactions between children and significant adults. The ‘Once Upon a Story Time’ project looks to including children under 3 years of age, in particular siblings from ELC and across the primary school. Explore how this has led Claudette and the team to build positive relationships with children before they attend the ELC setting and the impact these sessions have had on early literacy development.

Donna Green from Nethermains ELC implements a Froebelian practice into the setting, in particular using Block Play as a focus on developing children’s development in measure. Donna began this project during her time at Bainsford ELC. Donna is also Falkirk’s Froebel Lead and showcases how the Froebel family has grew and gone from strength to strength in the last year. Also explore the Big Chef, Little Chef project which encompasses the values of marvellous mealtimes but focuses on a real in-depth family learning approach. Also explore how the local community has supported children in developing their speech and language skills through “an explosion of vocabulary’’.

Louise Harrison from Bowhouse ELC explores the impact that using wordless books has had on children’s speech and language. Louise uses the Forth Valley speech and language pyramid to explore where children are and the impact of using wordless books has had. Louise also showcases her Family Feast project from her time at Easter Carmuirs ELC- again another family learning project which focuses on improving children and families association with healthy eating.

Helena McPhail from Westquarter ELC has had a primary focus on developing regular access to a local green space. Helena’s ‘’Doon the Glen’’ Project explores the importance of establishing parental support in developing remote access to sessions outdoors. Helena also explored the development of the ELC outdoor space and how she involved children, families and the team in the approach.

Yvonne Robinson is assigned to undertake work with our Under 3 children from across Falkirk. As well as this Yvonne will also have responsibility for spreading and scaling Helicopter Stories across the authority from next session. Yvonne’s project focuses on implementing Helicopter Stories during her time in Easter Carmuirs ELC. Explore the practicalities of implementing such an approach and the impact this had on Easter Carmuirs wee people.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to welcome Lisa Boa to the pedagogue team. Lisa joined us in April and will be based within Bainsford ELC. Welcome to Falkirk, Lisa. Lisa has been working on Learning Environments CLPL for the authority. Lisa has been collating tweets around environments and linking this with theory and research to produce a reflective, insightful and in-depth piece of CLPL which I know will support practitioners in thinking forward. This piece of work is still under construction, but fear not, when it’s complete we will be sure to let you know.

If you would like further information you can find each of the pedagogue’s details on the last slide of their sharing session presentation. You can also contact me;

Gemma Paterson (Lead Early Years Pedagogue) at

Remember you can also use the blog comment section to leave feedback or ask a question.


Introducing #PlayAtHome Week

We want to say a huge **thank you** to our ELC and early learning colleagues and families who have supported our CS Comms #AtHome themed weeks.

So far, there have been three themes:

Week beginning 20 April – #LiteracyAtHome

Week beginning 27 April – #STEMatHome (**especially good)

Week beginning 4 May – #HWBatHome

The level of participation and engagement from settings, individual practitioners working at home when not in hubs, those in Hubs and from our families (with your support) has been simply outstanding.

Our lovely colleague and RAiSE Development Officer, Laura McCafferty, has been collating the tweets, retweets and quote tweets into a wee video. Click on the #AtHome links above to see the video and see yourself on the big screen. These videos are also great for seeing practice elsewhere and getting ideas for helping parents, carers and families support their child’s learning at home.


As well as these videos, you can also search on Twitter by entering the relevant #AtHome AND #JoinInFalkirk. We’ve made it a bit easier by linking these searches below. Click to go straight to the Twitter thread: #LiteracyAtHome #STEMatHome #HWBatHome


The big news of course is that next week (week beginning 11 May) is #PlayAtHome week.
We are so excited about showcasing the fabulous ways we are supporting learning through play and home and in our Hubs.

We know you’ll support and take part, so thank you in advance for all that you will do. We just have one small favour to ask…..remember when replying or quote tweeting (and we want lots of these) please remember to add the hashtags #JoinInFalkirk AND #PlayAtHome

Why? We need both hashtags as this is the search link we’ll use after the week finished to collate the engagement from the week. We would hate for your tweet to be missed, so please don’t forget.

With your continued help and support, #PlayAtHome is going to be a great week. Watch this space for the video collation too.

Remember to leave a reply on our blogs too.


Evaluation of 2019-2020 ELC Thematic Review

Calling all our #fabfalkirkfolk

If you can spare a few minutes, please help our team evaluate the 2019-2020 ELC thematic review process by completing a short evaluation form on Glow using this link.

Your feedback will be used to make improvements to the future quality assurance of Falkirk’s Early Learning and Childcare provision and we really appreciate you taking part.

Please note, there are different forms for EYOS, SEYOs and senior leaders to complete as part of this evaluation and you will need to login using your Glow account to access the forms.   They are stored in the folder called “Thematic Review 2019-2020 Evaluation forms”.

The deadline for returning evaluation forms is May 18th 2020.

If you have any difficulty accessing these, please contact Fiona Pascall or Margaret Aitken.




Pre 5 ASN Outreach Service

Alice Grant from the Pre 5 ASN Outreach Service has created a Team which staff can request to join – ‘Early Years ASN Outreach Service Falkirk’.

There staff will be able to access three  training sessions  which are usually delivered by the Pre 5 team. These will give insight and strategies to help support children with additional support needs. It is recommended that all three sessions are completed in a particular order.  ‘Communication’ and ‘Sensory’ sessions should be completed first of all followed by the session on ‘Behaviour’. Alice Grant is also a member of this team and she will be available to provide advice and support to colleagues.

Realising the Ambition and Marvellous Mealtimes CLPL

Realising the Ambition

Realising the Ambition support materials are now available on Glow! These materials have been adapted from the Education Scotland challenge questions that sit alongside Realising the Ambition. These materials have been developed to enable reflection, challenge and facilitation in developing your practice and approaches within your setting.

We’d advise that these materials are better focused on, one section at a time, preferably as a whole team. Professional discussion, challenge and debate will enhance your already in-depth thinking from the reflective activities. Focusing on these as a team ensures there is depth to your reflections and in turn meaningful adaptions can take place in looking forward.

You will see a join code on the beginning of each title slide, inviting you to join the Realising the Ambition in Falkirk Team. We hope to use this as a platform to share and learn from others. On Friday, 1st May, we are holding two live chats on Section 3 from 10.30am-11.30am and Section 4 from 1.30pm-2.30pm. You might find it useful to explore these sections in the support materials to reflect on what you have read.


Please note- you can access these materials and receive the join code for the team here .

Marvellous Mealtimes


Marvellous Mealtimes CLPL materials are also now available on Glow! Explore how Marvellous Mealtimes has developed over the last two years and discover the key components of a high quality approach to snack and mealtimes.

We also have a Bonnypark ELCC case study, showcasing the approach in their setting. There is also a join code for you to join the Marvellous Mealtimes in Falkirk Team, again to share practice and explore the approach. Here you will find Marvellous Mealtimes Book 2. The second book explores where we are now and how the approach has developed. There are also case studies of the approach from a variety of settings across Falkirk.

Be sure to complete the Remote CLPL Evaluation and send it to

**NEW** Team Twitter

The EY central team now has a team twitter account @fceyteam to help you find out what’s happening in the world of early learning in Falkirk.


Individual team members shared still have their own Twitter accounts and will be very happy to still communicate with you that way.

The Early Learning Improvement Team:

Lisa McCabe – Education Team Manager (@FCLisaMcCabe)

Susan McElhatton – Curriculum Support Officer (@McelhattonSusan)

Fiona Pascall – Peripatetic Early Years Teacher (@fionapascallEY)

Cheryl Smyth – Peripatetic Early Years Teacher (@CherylSmyth15)

Elaine Craigen – Peripatetic Early Years Teacher (@elaine_craigen)

Margaret Aitken – Training & Development Officer (@MargaretDAitken)

Karen Thomson – 1140 Programme Manager & Childcare Provision Co-ordinator (@Falkirk1140)

Rehana Ali – Customer & Business Support Assistant

We felt that a Team Twitter account would help us to co-ordinate key messages a bit better so that you are all connected-in easily.

If you are one of our early learning colleagues, and you are a Twitterer, please make sure you follow us @fceyteam

We would love your posts about the fab-u-lous distance learning and family engagement you are providing to flood our team twitter, so please tag us as much as you can.

Our main endeavour as a team over the coming weeks is to support your professional learning and development so that you can be gainfully occupied when not in the hubs.

Our team will post a blog each week to share with you the most up-to-date learning opportunities and to give guidance on how best to log and record your learning.

In the meantime, it is vital that you take time to read and digest the messages from Realising the Ambition – Scotland’s refreshed national practice guidance for early learning.

The professional learning pack on the National Improvement Hub helps guide your learning and offers reflection questions. It would be good to use every opportunity you have, for example via Microsoft Teams, to talk and think about RtA with colleagues in your setting and maybe those across Falkirk!

Should you have any specific requests and/or ideas about professional learning, please do not hesitate to contact us.

You could maybe drop us a wee tweet just to let us know you have found us!

#ourchildrenfirst #makingfalkirkproud #joininfalkirk #playisthewayFC

Learning Together at Home

As a result of school and nursery closure we are aware that as parents you may be worried about how your children will learn over the coming weeks.   We also know that this time of uncertainty and change in routine can be very unsettling for children.  Many of us are parents ourselves and know that extended periods of time at home can be challenging as a family.

Please do not panic about providing the curriculum for your children the way settings do. At this young age all learning in settings is through play and play is the greatest work a child can engage in.  Thanks to the huge commitment of staff throughout the authority we are pleased to offer a wide range of suggestions on activities for you to do with your children at home in the Sway below.

Every Monday, we will update our blog  with further tips and ideas of how to support your child’s learning at home.  A link to these will also be posted on our FCEYcentralteam Twitter  account @FCEYteam.

If you would like to share the home learning adventures you have with your child, please feel free to tweet them adding #FCLearnAtHome.

Go to this Sway


STEM in Early Years



A new online CLPL Module focused on STEM in ELC has been launched by the University of West Scotland in partnership with the Scottish Government.
The online resource features practical activities, relevant reading, videos and examples of best practice in line with developing an ELC approach to STEM.

You might even see some familiar Falkirk faces with Bowhouse ELC taking part in the development of the module. Our very own Marvellous Mealtimes also features as a case study as part of the module materials.

The module can be accessed here (login required) The module will be available soon through the SSSC Learning Zone.

Share your thoughts on the new online module and the impact it is having on your practice to benefit Falkirk’s  wee people. Use our hashtag #WeeFalkirkSTEMpire to share your thoughts and STEM experiences!