All posts by J. Fenby

Call for Seminars for SLF 2016

The call for seminar proposals for the SLF 2016 programme is now open.  The Festival will once again host around 100 seminars over the two days and you are invited to submit a proposal to be part of the programme.


Is there a project you have been working on that could be showcased? Or perhaps you are aware of establishments that demonstrate good practice?


The Scottish Learning Festival 2016 will take place on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 September in the SECC, Glasgow.


The Scottish Learning Festival 2016: Promoting excellence and equity for all through:

  • school leadership and school improvement;
  • assessing children’s progress and parental engagement; and
  • teacher professionalism.


As you will see, this year’s theme actively promotes the key drivers of improvement in the National Improvement Framework. Full details of the theme, along with the online submission form, are available on the SLF website.


If you would like to submit a proposal for consideration, please do so before Friday 19 February.  All proposals must be submitted online.


Proposals received after the closing date will not be considered for inclusion in the conference programme.


There is a robust review, evaluation and scoring system in place to help ensure that all submissions are treated equally therefore it is essential that all requests to participate go through the submission process and adhere to the timescales.


Last year we received in excess of 300 proposals for the 100 seminar places which allowed Education Scotland to deliver a relevant and balanced conference programme covering all key areas of education.  The 2016 conference programme and registration will be launched in May and will feature the sessions that have been submitted and selected for inclusion.


We look forward to receiving your proposals and hope you will contribute to SLF 2016 to help continue to deliver Scotland’s largest annual national education event.  If you would like any further information about SLF 2016, please contact the SLF team.


Peer Reviewers sought to review artistic and creative work for Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland has developed an Artistic and Creative Review Framework to create an open dialogue with our Regularly Funded Organisations (RFOs) around the artistic and creative quality of their work.

The Framework is designed to help Creative Scotland, the sector and stakeholders to support a culture of continuous improvement and to better understand how we consider quality and excellence across the wide range of work that we fund. We will do this through a process enabling 3 perspectives on the work of the 118 RFOs:

  1. Self Review (by the RFO)
  2. Creative Scotland Review (by Creative Scotland’s Lead Officer for the RFO)
  3. Peer Review (by independent, relevant expertise from the sector)

We are now seeking a diverse pool of Peer Reviewers from the arts, screen and creative industries sector with professional expertise and knowledge of the following art forms/areas:

  • Craft
  • Dance
  • Digital (creative technology projects in any art form or medium)
  • Film
  • Literature, Publishing and Languages
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts


For more information on this opportunity and how to get involved, visit Creative Scotland’s website.

Transitions 20/40 – Production and Screen studies at the Royal Conservatoire

Transitions 20/40 seeks to help people from key Scottish postcodes who would like to study either Dance, Drama, Music, Production or Screen at a higher level, but are unsure of how to.


Transitions 20/40 supports those who have talent and show commitment by offering free access to Royal Conservatoire workshops, classes and short courses in preparation for audition or training at a higher education level. Help is also offered in terms of  other costs, such as travel. Do you know anyone aged 15 or over, who has skills in painting, design, woodwork or filmmaking?  We are interested in hearing from anyone who has an interest in these areas.



More information in regards to Transitions 20/40 can be found on our website:


We are still accepting applications for the academic year 2016/17.


If you are interested in this programme and wish to discuss this further with us please do not hesitate to contact the Transitions 20/40 team on 0141 270 8303 or email us at


Get involved with Voluntary Arts Week 2016

A wide range of self-led arts activity takes place each week, in cities, towns and villages across the country – an estimated 10,000 voluntary arts groups meet in Scotland alone – from voluntary-led choirs and craft groups to amateur dramatic societies and film clubs.


For those of us already involved, the value of this grassroots activity and the positive effects that taking part can have on our health and wellbeing might seem obvious BUT there are many people who don’t know about the groups that meet on their doorstep or may be apprehensive about going along for the first time.


Each May, Voluntary Arts Week shines a spotlight on cultural groups across the country and publicises a range of events that invite people to ‘get creative’ on their doorstep.


The events that make up the festival programme are run by groups and organisations of all shapes and sizes – connecting more people with arts activity happening locally and boosting awareness of the voluntary arts on a national level.


There are lots of ways for groups to get involved in Voluntary Arts Week, from opening up your usual meeting and making it welcoming to new people, to putting on a ‘come and try’ session or group exhibition.


Voluntary Arts Week is also a great opportunity to do something special, this could mean taking your creativity outdoors as part of a group Flashmob, CraftBomb or Woollen Woods, organising a collaborative event with other groups in your area or staging a drop-in workshop in your local shopping centre.


There are lots more event ideas on the Voluntary Arts Week website along with event toolkits and useful links that offer practical guidance on how to organise, list and publicise your event .


Apply to the Voluntary Arts Week Microfund – we will award 40 pots of £100 groups that plan to reach out to new participants and volunteers as part of their Voluntary Arts Week event. The aim is that this modest funding will help your group to grow and be more sustainable in the long term.


Last year groups used this money to cover venue costs, Facebook advertising, materials and refreshments. The Microfund application is straightforward to fill in and is an ideal first funding application for youth-led groups that may not have made a funding application before. For more information see the Voluntary Arts Scotland website. Deadline: 22 February.

Y Dance CLPL


Discovering the Olympics

Wednesday 16 March 2016

9.30am – 4pm

£75 (+ VAT)

Reidvale Neighbourhood Centre, 13 Whitevale Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G31 1 QW.

This session will be for primary school teachers and will cover the Olympic Motto, Olympic Sports, Olympic Rings and Exploring Cultures such as Rio and Japan.




Discovering the Olympics

Wednesday 23 March 2016

10am – 1pm

£45 (+ VAT)

Reidvale Neighbourhood Centre, 13 Whitevale Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G31 1QW

Sessions are aimed at teachers working in nurseries or early years settings and will cover sport themed dance, Japanese inspired cultural dance using fans and parasols and carnival inspired session.




Dance for Early Years

Monday 25 April 2016

9.30am – 4pm

£75 (+ VAT)

Reidvale Neighbourhood Centre, 13 Whitevale Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G31 1QW

Develop your teaching skills for delivering dance for early years children in this one day course covering creative ideas for dance classes inspired by stories and topics, planning and structuring a lesson plan or creative workshop and using props and music.




Dance for Primary Children

Tuesday 26 April 2016

9.30am – 4pm

£75 (+ VAT)

Reidvale Neighbourhood Centre, 13 Whitevale Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G31 1 QW.

Come and explore what dance could be in your classroom.  Using simple games, tasks and sequences your YDance tutor will help you achieve the Curriculum for Excellece experiences and outcomes required for planning your dance session for early – upper primary.




Inclusive Dance Practice for Teachers Working in ASN Settings

Thursday 28 April 2016

9.30am – 4pm

£75 (+ VAT)

Reidvale Neighbourhood Centre, 13 Whitevale Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G31 1QW.

Develop your teaching skills for delivering dance effectively with children and young people with additional support needs.  In this one day course you will explore –

  • Methods of Inclusive Dance
  • Creative ideas for pupils with and without additional support needs
  • Planning and structuring a lesson plan/creative workshop


Edinburgh Creative Conversation – Monday 26 Nov

Blinded by the Light…….

Edinburgh’s second Creative Conversation of 2012/13 takes place on Monday 26 November, 4 for 4.30pm until 5.30pm followed by wine and canapes (venue to follow on confirmation of attendance).

The creative catalysts for this event are Laurie O’Donnell and Jim Elder, and the conversation is facilitated by David Cameron.

Creative Conversations are Edinburgh’s Creative Learning Network and aim to stimulate professional dialogue about creativity within Curriculum for Excellence.

Laurie O’Donnell is an independent consultant, adviser and visiting professor specialising in the space where learning, technology and innovation collide. His background is in secondary schools and local government advisory services. His last full-time role was as director of learning and technology at Learning and Teaching Scotland.

Jim Elder is an independent education consultant and technology implementation adviser. Jim’s background is in primary education, national education development and local authority quality improvement. His last full time role was with Apple as Senior Education Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Download further information on the programme and contributors:

Jim Elder and Laurie O’Donnell prog and info

If you would like to attend, please respond to Linda Lees at:

New community music project inspired by St Abb’s Head

Local communities across the Scottish Borders will join forces at Eyemouth Primary School on 14 November as part of a new community project celebrating nature, heritage and music in the area.

The St Abb’s Head Music Project is a collaboration between the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO), the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) and Scottish Borders Council Youth Music Initiative. Over the past five months, school pupils and local residents have been working with composer Howard Moody and SCO musicians to write music inspired by the land and seascape around the popular St Abb’s Head National Nature Reserve and St Abb’s Head Voluntary Marine Reserve.

45 pupils from Eyemouth and Coldingham Primary Schools and members of both the Eyemouth Fishermen’s Choir and Mission Crew have created songs based on the NTS site.

The project is part of a wider programme in which Howard Moody has been commissioned to write a new piece for the SCO that celebrates the significance of St Abb’s Head. His as-yet-untitled work will be informed by the creative work of both the children and the choirs from in and around Eyemouth.

The commission will be premiered as part of the SCO’s annual summer tour to the South of Scotland in May 2012, with performances in Duns (24 May) and Galashiels (25 May).

Work began in May with the pupils visiting the site to record sounds of the area: from these recordings they created ‘Sonic Postcards’, with contemporary music organisation Sound and Music. These postcards combine recorded sounds with words to create a ‘sound postcard’ of the area. Using the Sonic Postcards as a starting point, the pupils and Howard Moody have written songs together inspired by the site.
The Fishermen’s Choir and Mission Crew have also been hard at work rehearsing a new song written especially for them by Howard Moody. The song, Waimie Carr, is based on the rock of the same name in St Abb’s Bay and was created following a discussion Howard had with keen local historian Rennie Weatherhead about the area.

The new works will be performed at an informal gathering of parents and members of the community at Eyemouth Primary School on 14 November, accompanied by an ensemble of SCO musicians.

SCO Connect Project Officer Kirsten Hunter said: “Being part of the process of bringing together the two ends of the age spectrum in this intergenerational project has been an inspiration for SCO Connect. It has been wonderful project to be involved in, and the pupils and choirs have created some fantastic music. This is the first time we have worked with the National Trust for Scotland and it has been a real collaboration and sharing of ideas between the two national organisations. The support the project has received from Scottish Borders Arts Development Team has been tremendous and greatly appreciated.”

Sandra Morrison, Learning Manager NTS added, “Working together on the St Abbs project, it is clear that the SCO and NTS have developed a first-rate partnership.  Add to that the support of a forward-thinking local authority, Scottish Borders Council, and the collaboration blossoms into something very special. For the NTS we have found a new and creative way to raise awareness of the uniqueness of St Abbs, with its coastal and marine nature reserves.  Using music as a means to share our knowledge of this wonderful place and to encourage others to enjoy it and support our work has been invigorating.  Watching the different generations coming together to share their experiences has been incredibly rewarding and I am really looking forward to hearing Howard Moody’s composition next year, when we again have another opportunity to talk about St Abbs and all it has to offer us as humans, as well as the birds and wildlife”.

Councillor Graham Garvie, Executive Member for Culture, Sport and Community Learning at Scottish Borders Council, said: “We are very grateful to Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative for funding which has enabled local pupils to be involved in this unique project.  It is very exciting that they are working with renowned composer Howard Moody and the SCO musicians to produce a piece of music that SCO will take on tour with them.”

For further information, please contact Sheena Macrae on 0131 478 8340 or

Dance in Scotland Report launched

A new report aiming to raise the profile of Dance in Scotland was launched last week by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs and Andrew Dixon Chief Executive, Creative Scotland. It recommends changes and developments which will strengthen and reinforce the place of dance in our society. The four key messages of the report are:

  • Everyone in Scotland should have access to a local dance activity
  • Investment in professional dance needs to be sustained in order to build new audiences
  • All children should have access to high quality dance teaching in schools
  • More opportunities for specialist training and professional development are needed

The report has been developed by the Federation of Scottish Theatre in consultation with Scotland’s dance and education communities. Visit the Creative Scotland website for more news on the report or the Federation of Scottish Theatre website to view the report in full.

Lennoxlove Book Festival, 4-6 November

Visit Lennoxlove House, East Lothian, this weekend for the third Lennoxlove Book Festival plus fireworks! The programme encompasses history, biography, politics, fiction and fun. Michael Morpurgo talks about his powerful classic tale, War Horse, and Alistair Darling about the world financial crisis in his gripping account, Back from the Brink. With workshops on writing and illustrating childrens’ stories and storytelling sessions for families there is something for everyone. For more information visit

Imaginate Winter Sessions for artists and producers

As part of their art form development programme, Imaginate is offering a range of development opportunities for artists and producers, reflecting their commitment to empowering individuals and organisations to create work of the highest quality for children throughout Scotland. The Winter Sessions programme includes: a masterclass with Johan De Smet on creating for young audiences; Sharing Practice workshops with Lewis Hetherington and Gareth Nicholls and advice on planning and delivering a marketing campaign with Sally Wilson. For more information on the programme and to book a place visit the Imaginate website.