Category Archives: Early Learning

Eco Drama – Schools Tour 2017


Magic Van on Islay Original

Spring/Summer 2017 Tour

Welcome to our Spring/Summer 2017 Scotland Tour bringing The Worm – An Underground Adventure and Recycling Heroes to primary schools across Scotland. Each workshop and production links directly with the Curriculum for Excellence whilst also supporting your pupils to explore Eco Schools topics through exciting theatre productions and interactive workshops. For more information, click on the pictures below or get in touch with:

Julie Aitken, Schools Coordinator, at!

Recycling Heroes

Worm illustration RGB for web



Eco Drama Schools Tour 2016/17

ECO_DRAMA_SIDE_MONSTER_LRG_for_use_on_whiteMagic Van on Islay Original

Eco Drama will be touring to schools across Scotland with a  programme of creative learning theatre productions and drama workshops from September 16 to March 17.

Select one of our shows to find out more.   

Worm-Inspectors-monsters-and name - for-web  B&T purple RGB 72dpi cropped       Worm-Inspectors-monsters-no-nutrient-cycle-for-web             Worm illustration RGB for web

For more information contact
Dawn Rawcliffe Schools Coordinator
0141 552 9920 ~ 07982 159 071


Creative Skills Programme/qualification for Early Years practitioners

Since 2013, Starcatchers has been delivering Creative Skills training for Early Years practitioners in Scotland.  Funded by the Scottish Government, this programme offers a range of training sessions from Early Years artists which explore a range of art forms using a playful, open-ended, child centred approach. As evidenced through an independent evaluation undertaken for the pilot programme 2013-15 (Really Useful Knowledge), the training has been proven to deepen understanding of arts and creativity and to help participants integrate knowledge and skills gained into practice.

We are delighted that the Scottish Government has funded this free, innovative training for  Inverclyde, Dundee, Aberdeen and Midlothian in 2016-2017.

We are also launching the Creative Skills in Early Childhood practice SQA qualification, developed using the Creative Skills approach.  The course will be delivered in partnership with Glasgow Kelvin College from January 2017, and Glasgow City Council may be able to cover up to 50% of the £500 course fee.
To find out more click here:

Dare to Dream

For the Attention of Headteachers, Faculty Heads and All Teachers:

We are aware that creativity is high on the agenda and is part of many School Improvement Plans for the upcoming academic year. For the first time creativity is embedded in HGIOS 4 quality indicators. We hope that this initiative is an easy way to progress creative learning in your school community with maximum impact, at the same time creating a positive and inclusive experience for pupils.

Invitation to All Schools:

We invite all schools in Scotland to be a part of our  Dare to Dream  campaign 2016.  The campaign  is an outreach initiative from this year’s  Scottish International Storytelling Festival and will run from September to November.

“Discover the stories of the past and dream the stories of the future. What are the stories of your local place? What stories would you tell to the world today, from the future of your dreams? Everything created must first be imagined: explore the possible and Dare to Dream!”

By taking part, your school will be contributing to a Scotland-wide initiative inviting and creating space for children to imagine their personal and collective futures, which in turn will build confidence to begin to make these aspirations and ambitions a reality.

The principles of creative learningactive learning and inclusion are embedded in this project. Through dreaming, the liberating power of the imagination is open to everyone – neither language nor disability are barriers to participation. The campaign is relevant to the entire school and to every subject area. Activities will also help meet outcomes in both Literacy and Health and Wellbeing.

In an ever-changing world, we believe that it is vital that children are educated about their role and the value they have in shaping a vibrant and sustainable future. By setting learning in the context of your local school and focusing on issues relevant to your pupils, our #DareToDream campaign provides a great opportunity for you to encourage children to think about their right to participate, empowering and enabling them to become active citizens, both locally and globally. We provide the context for learning and suggest tasks and activities, but there is no limit on where this engaging topic could be taken in the classroom.

How to Take Part:

We have made it as simple as possible for teachers to take part, with the options for engaging in more depth should the individual teacher so wish. In a secondary school context, we have suggested a simple activity that could take place in registration class.

Our info for teachers can be found on our website under the tab ‘For Teachers.’ This includes a schools’ toolkit and information about how to book a storyteller if you wish.

We have also worked in partnership with  heritage organisationsmental health organisationsartists and storytellers  to create simple resources for you to use. All additional learning resources will be available on our website when we launch our campaign to the public, the week beginning *Monday 22nd Aug.* Resources will also be available on GLOW.

If you are interested, please register your name, contact, school and postcode by clicking the link below. We will send you an update with links to all resources and materials.

Register your school here

Showcase your school online:

We will run a #DareToDream social media campaign for the duration of the main International Festival, from the 21st – 31st November. During this period we will make visible all contributions via our online platform. This is an opportunity to showcase your own school’s contribution with the wider community should you so wish in the form of a blog, video, photographs or otherwise.

As part of our social media campaign, we will have a special #DareToDream Day on Thursday 28th October. On this day, we will encourage every creative citizen in Scotland to share a dream for the future on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the campaign hashtag. Our aim is to make visible Scotland’s collective imagination for all to see!





Tesco Bank Art Competition for Schools 2017


Something you can bank on…

Whether you teach nursery, primary or secondary (S1-3) pupils the Tesco Bank Art Competition for Schools 2017 helps you enthuse learners to look at, discuss and create art. There are 85 fantastic ways to win including art materials and artist-led workshops as well as having work feature in a touring exhibition. Closing date Friday 5 May 2017. So what are you waiting for?


Find out more

Edinburgh Art Festival joins the Creativity Portal

edinburgh art festivalAlong with over 100 quality assured creative partners, all offering subsidised and free learning experiences and CLPL across the sectors, Edinburgh Art Festival is now searchable on the Creativity Portal.

Edinburgh Art Festival is the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art offering an unrivalled programme of exhibitions, commissions and special events.

Their creative learning programme works directly with children and young people offering a range of free creative workshops focused around our festivals commissions programme, which in the past has explored themes such as the Improbable City, Art in Unusual Places and Monuments.

Their Explorers programme has been running for 4 years working with children and young people to develop content for a free activity booklet and map for the festival.


FREE Twilight Creative Conversations in Stirling and Falkirk

We would like to invite you and any colleagues that you think would be interested, to two inspiring Creative Conversation in May.


·         16th May | 4.15pm – 6pm @ Tolbooth, Stirling –  Hywel Roberts, Teacher, Educationalist and Author (please note change of time, this conversation is a slightly earlier time than usual conversations – please join us when you can as we realise it might be tight to get to us by 4.15pm if you are travelling from a distance)


·         26th May | 4.30pm – 6.30pm @ Camelon Education Centre, Falkirk –  Dennis Guiney, Educational Psychologist and Author



We will be joined on the 16th May by Hywel Roberts, Teacher, Educationalist and Author (with an energy and a humour that is infectious) who will be asking those that join us to reclaim our professional imaginations and IMAGINEER THE CURRICULUM.  We highly recommend hearing Hywel speak if you are interested in exploring approaches that make learning real for young people and reimagining learning (in under 2 hours!). You can find out more about Hywel and his work at  See Hywel in action in 2014:  Hywel has also written two books which can be found at


On Thursday the 26th May we will be joined by Dennis Guiney, Educational Psychologist and Author who will be asking us all to DARE TO DREAM. 

Dennis wrote an inspiring article in TESS back in September 2015 which sent us on a path of discovery to find him.  We have attached the article below.  His article asked why, when we know more about how education works than ever before, the basic model has barely changed in decades.  In this interactive conversation Dennis will use a potted form of Appreciative Inquiry to support teachers to try a bit of the dreaming stage of AI which can support teacher led curriculum creativity.   Alongside Tim O’ Brien, Dennis wrote ‘Differentiation in Teaching and Learning: Principles and Practice’.


For further information about the Creative Conversations and how to book tickets please see the leaflets attached below. 


If you are able to put these up in your school / college staff room, office, notice board or send this email to staff we would be very grateful if you could share this information wider.


If you need any further information please do not hesitate to get in touch with either myself at or Gayle Martin in Falkirk at


We hope you can join us.


Kind Regards




Clare Hoare

Senior Practitioner (Creative Learning)

Stirling Council

Children, Young People and Education

c/o Tolbooth

Jail Wynd




Tel No:

Mon – Wed: 01786 274000 (Tolbooth)

Thurs – Fri: 01786 233226 (Municipal Buildings)


Nursery/primary teachers – £400 funding available for a creative project

Scottish Book Trust are offering £400 funding plus support for nursery and primary teachers who’d like to develop a fun, creative book-based project!

We’re looking for creative practitioners who’d like to use our free digital Authors Live event with author Ed Vere as a springboard for an inspiring project. Find out more on our website!

You can also sign up to watch this event, which takes place on May 19. It’s going to be a fun-filled 45 mins filled with stories and drawing! You’ll be entered into a prize draw simply for signing up. We hope you enjoy the event, and if you can’t catch it on the day, it’ll be available to watch in our Watch on Demand section soon after.

Gifting Every Child

What songs, stories, dance steps and seasonal customs should every child in Scotland know? What belongs to them regardless of origin, culture or language? Presented in a simple online format incorporating text, audio, video and helpful guidelines, Gifting Every Child provides a manageable and accessible introduction to the traditional arts that can easily be put to use in the classroom, club, community hall or family sitting room.

View or download the resources for free at:

CLPL Opportunities from YDance – early learning, primary, secondary and highers

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.


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.


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


Dance for Core PE for Secondary Teachers

Wednesday 27 April 2016

9.30am – 4pm

£75 (+ VAT)

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

With a focus on contemporary and street dance styles learn how to warm up your pupils, play creative dance games, teach a simple sequence, develop a sequence, use stimulus to create dance material and encourage your pupils to develop their confidence, creativity and co-operation skills. These sessions for secondary teachers also address some of the CfE Health and Well-being outcomes.


Nat 5 Dance

This SQA qualification requires students to study 2 different dance styles and choreography to achieve this national qualification. Choose from the options listed below to build your own National 5 Dance course.

(Please note the National 5 Choreography & Contemporary days are fully booked however we are happy to take your details and add you to a reserve list)

  • Contemporary, Monday 9 May 2016 – Fully Booked
  • Jazz, Tuesday 10 May 2016
  • Choreography (SQA Mandatory Unit), Wednesday 11 May 2016 – Fully Booked
  • Hip hop, Thursday 12 May 2016

All courses will run from 9.30am – 4pm.

Mad Studios, 13 Main St, Coatbridge ML5 3AJ


National 5 single day costs – £85 (+ VAT)

Choreographic DVD – £95 (+ VAT)


YDance National 5 Package costs £300 (+ VAT).  This includes 2 dance style days, the Choreography day and a copy of the Choreographic DVD resource.


Higher Dance

This SQA qualification requires students to study 2 contrasting dance styles and choreography to achieve this national qualification. Choose from the options listed below to build your own Higher Dance course.

Two days are allocated to each style to allow time for technique class, exploration of sequences and support to develop a centre set performance solo, meeting the outcomes set out in the Higher Dance Performance unit. Two days are allocated for Choreography to cover the Higher Dance Practice Activity Assessment requirements and to demonstrate the progression through the learning outcomes.

Training Courses Available

  • Contemporary Technique, Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 May 2016
  • Jazz Technique, Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 May 2016
  • Choreography Unit (SQA Mandatory Unit), Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 May 2016
  • Hip hopWednesday 25 and Thursday 26 May 2016

All courses run from 9.30am – 4pm.

Mad Studios, 13 Main St, Coatbridge ML5 3AJ


Higher Dance single unit costs – £150 (+ VAT) per 2 day course

Choreographic DVD – £95 (+ VAT)


YDance Higher Dance Package costs £500 (+VAT).  This includes 2 dance style courses (2 days each), the 2 day Choreography course and a copy of the Choreographic DVD resource.