Category Archives: Languages and Literacy

Out to Play CPD Sessions – October 2019

“I hadn’t realised the power of imagination within outdoor learning”

Eco Drama is delivering 3 Out to Play CPD sessions for primary school teachers and education practitioners at venues in Glasgow and Paisley this October on the following dates/times:

  1. Monday 21st October, 3.30-5.30pm – Jordanhill School, Glasgow
  2. Tuesday 22nd October, 3.30-5.30pm – Kibble Education Centre, Paisley
  3. Thursday 24th October, 10-12noon – Glenburn Resource Centre, Paisley

The session will introduce the Out to Play project, supporting primary school teachers and education practitioners to engage further with outdoor learning and make imaginative use of school playgrounds using drama and storytelling. This 2 hour practical session costs £45 pp which includes a hard copy of Eco Drama’s latest resource ‘Let’s Go…Out to Play!‘.

There are a limited number of places left on each of the dates. To find out more information and book a place, please email

“Best CPD event I have been to in ages.” Catriona Brown, Battlefield Primary

“Fantastic workshop. Ben is inspirational.” Jane Johnston-Smith, Eaglesham Primary

Eco Drama Resource Pack ‘Let’s Go…Out to Play!’

Eco Drama have copies available of our brand new Resource Pack ‘Let’s Go…Out to Play!’, an invaluable 82 page document bursting with ideas, activities, stories and inspiration to develop a school’s ‘Out to Play’ journey.

Building on the first pack written by Eco Drama in 2015, this second edition draws on the experiences of the Drama Artists that delivered Out to Play residencies in school playgrounds across Glasgow during 2015-18. It contains an abundance of new ideas to support teachers to deliver imaginative outdoor learning sessions in school playgrounds, including inspiring environmental stories, nature connection exercises, session plans, drama activities and games, and is packed full of handy tips and insights for facilitating creative outdoor learning sessions.

The pack is suitable for teachers, early years practitioners or any practitioner working in an education setting, looking to explore more creative ways of delivering outdoor learning and sustainable development education.

“Teachers who have used this resource have found it well planned out, easy to follow and have found the activities to be very motivating for the children.” Andrea Gurd, Aultmore Park

Packs are available to purchase for £20 as a quality, ring-bound hard copy booklet. To order a copy pleased email View a sample copy or visit the Eco Drama website for more information:

Everything teachers need to know about grammar … and how to teach it creatively

Children In Scotland CLPL

Everything teachers need to know about grammar … and how to teach it creatively
Friday, 7 September 2018 – Edinburgh           

Knowledge of grammar is essential when teaching children how to write, yet it is an area that many teachers lack confidence in.

This seminar, led by literacy expert Sue Palmer, will cover the ‘what, why and how’ of teaching grammar to children aged 7 to 14. You’ll leave with improved grammatical knowledge required by teachers to help children raise standards in writing, as well as a wide variety of creative activities for developing children’s knowledge and enjoyment of language. You’ll also explore how grammar can be integrated into the teaching of language and literacy across the curriculum.

How much does it cost?

Costs start at £79 for Children in Scotland members and £99 for non-members.

How can I find out more and book my place?

By phoning us on 0131 313 8828
By emailing

Filmhouse Edinburgh – Forthcoming Screenings & Events

A very Happy January to everyone! We still have availability to book places at several upcoming schools screenings and education events. We can also announce a special screening of the wonderful animated film Loving Vincent in March as part of Into Film’s spring screening programme celebrating women in animation.

To book tickets please email Flip Kulakiewicz at or call 0131 228 2688 and ask to speak to the Duty Manager.

Edinburgh and Lothians Schools Film Competition – Teachers’ Information Meeting

Tuesday 23 January 2018, 4.30-6pm OR Friday 2 February, 2.00-3.30pm, Filmhouse Guild Rooms, Free to attend

The Edinburgh & Lothians Schools Film Competition is an exciting opportunity to showcase your pupils’ talents and to inspire a new generation of filmmakers. All successful films are screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June 2018 and there are seven special awards up for grabs! We invite teachers to attend this free teachers’ event to learn more about the competition, including a short filmmaking workshop showing how simply you can make a film with your pupils – no equipment or prior filmmaking experience is required.

For more information and to book places please email Heather Law at

Inside Hana’s Suitcase

A special screening for Holocaust Memorial Day

Thursday 25 January, 10am •  1h28min, £3/free for teachers, English, Czech and Japanese with English subtitles, recommended cert PG, Suitable for P6-S3, Religious and Moral Education, History

Hana Brady was just a little girl when she and her brother George were singled out at Jews, and sent away from home by the Nazis. Seventy years later a class of Japanese children received a package from the Holocaust museum in Germany. It contained what appears to be Hana’s suitcase and from this starting point the children and their teacher begin to unravel her story. A moving film which deals with the difficult subject of the holocaust, and a wider theme of tolerance.

A website and online learning resource to support the film is available here.


Wednesday 31 January OR 7 February, 10am •  1h45min, £3/free for teachers, Certificate PG, suitable for P6 upwards, English, Literacy

Based on R.J. Palacio’s book, Wonder is the heart-warming story of August ‘Auggie’ Pullman, a young boy born with facial differences that have stopped him from being able to go to mainstream school – until now. Enrolled in fifth grade at Beecher Prep, he embarks on a journey of new friendships, battling prejudice and inspiring change. TRAILER

Loving Vincent

Thursday 8 March, 10am • FREE, 1h35min, Certificate 12A (recommended for ages 14+), Art & Design, History

Made up of 65,000 painted frames, this is the first fully oil painted feature film, that cleverly brings to life the work of the Dutch impressionist Vincent Van Gogh. Exploring the intriguing mystery surrounding his death, the film takes the form of a detective story reluctantly led by Armand, the son of a postman the artist was friends with. This is a truly unique animation that tells the story of one of the most celebrated artists in the world through his own work. TRAILER

Tickets must be booked via the Into Film eventbrite listing here.

Projection Tours

Come and learn how cinema works, with a tour of our projection box and a screening of entertaining and inspiring short animations from the London International Animation Festival. Tours cost £75 for a class of up to 33 pupils, and are suitable for P4-S2.

Please note that, although we strive to make Filmhouse as accessible as possible, this tour is of a non-public area of the building which is up two flights of stairs, with no lift.

Please pass this email on to any colleagues who might be interested. Thanks!

Message from the Skies : Short Story Competition – postcodes EH, FK, KY

Please see details on the link below for an amazing opportunity for your pupils to have their short story projected onto buildings in the city this coming Hogmanay.




The competition is open to young people aged 18 and under who live, or attend school, in an EH, FK or KY postcode. There will be a winner from each of these age groups:

  • Primary School aged
  • S1 – S3
  • S4 – S6 or school leavers 18 and under

In January, each winning story will be projected onto buildings in Edinburgh for an hour a day, for around a week.

Scots language creative writing competition – now open

To celebrate the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, Education Scotland is running a creative writing competition for pupils across Scotland. To be in with a chance of winning a great selection of Scots language books, pupils should  write a poem or short story in Scots language. All entries must be submitted by 23 November. Find out more on  the Scots blether on Glow.

Out to Play Teacher CPD Opportunities & Resources this Autumn

Following on from a successful Out to Play pilot project in 2015, winner of the Glasgow City Council Environmental Initiative Award 2016, Eco Drama will run a series of 7 week creative outdoor learning residencies this autumn with 4 primary schools, marking the beginning of a 4 year project in 25 primary schools and nurseries across Greater Glasgow.

Out to Play is a creative learning project in which Drama Artists collaborate with partner Primary Schools and Nurseries to explore the role of Drama, Storytelling and Theatre in Outdoor Learning. The project seeks to facilitate interaction with the natural world through quality artistic experiences, re-thinking traditional views of nature and noticing and appreciating nature on our doorstep. Sessions are tailored to the unique surroundings of each school, and through imaginative play and adventurous learning, Out to Play aims to deepen young people’s connection to our natural world.

Out to Play Teacher CPD Opportunities 2017

As part of the project, Eco Drama are delivering Teacher CPD sessions, which were a popular element of the 2015 pilot project and which may be of interest in engaging teachers from your school in outdoor learning.

Eco Drama will be running an after school twilight CPD session on Wednesday 27th September at Dalmarnock Primary School, delivered by Ben Mali Macfadyen, the Drama Artist who delivered the Out to Play pilot project in 2015 and who led on the creation of the Eco Drama Out to Play Resource Pack. Additional CPD dates will likely be added on Tuesday 26th and/or 28th September.

During the session, teachers will explore how to integrate outdoor learning into the school curriculum and how to utilize creative learning methods such as drama, storytelling, song and movement in order to engage learners with the natural environment. Participating teachers will also leave with an Out to Play Outdoor Learning Resource Pack.

 Reviews: “I hadn’t realised the power of imagination within outdoor learning. Really informative session, lots of ideas to start with. Thank you.” Irene Boyle, Corpus Christi Primary

“Best CPD event I have been to in ages.” Catriona Brown, Battlefield Primary

“Excellent ideas and superb resource which I intend to use ASAP.” Ellie Henderson, Knightswood Primary

The cost is £45 per teacher, which includes the Out to Play Resource Pack (usual retail cost £16). Each CPD event is limited to 20 attendees and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

At the moment Eco Drama are gathering notes of interest from teachers who would like to attend this CPD event.  If this is of interest to your school, please email detailing how many teachers you would send and confirming if the 26th, 27th or 28th September would be suitable.

Alternatively, Eco Drama could visit your school with a dedicated CPD session for all of your teachers to attend. If this option is of interest, please get in touch with / 0141 552 9920 to discuss.

“A wonderful experience for the children and myself. A fresh look on how to develop Outdoor Learning in a more creative manner. Fantastic experience.” Tommy Hynes, Teacher, Corpus Christi Primary, participating school in pilot project 2015

Website:  Twitter: @EcoDrama1

Short film about Out to Play 2015:

CBBC Online Show-LOOKING FOR PRESENTERS – aged 12-14

If you’re aged between 12 – 14 years and love creating your own content and following the latest challenges, or just know you have the right personality to present an online show, we want to hear from you!

APPLY NOW via or contact the for an application form.

For further information, please contact (Jessica/Lucy), or call 02037614616, or visit

The deadline is Friday 02 June 2017 at 12:00.


Robert Louis Stevenson – Creative Writing Competition for S4-S6

S4-S6 learners can enter a creative writing competition based upon the works of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Prizes for the competition

The entries will be judged by acclaimed author Louise Welsh, who will also lead a writing workshop for the best entrants, with up to twelve places on offer. All those selected will receive a certificate and a year’s free membership of the Edinburgh Robert Louis Stevenson Club.

In addition, four individual awards of £100 are available for Fiction, Reflective Writing, Poetry and Writing in Scots (in any of these three forms). There will also a trophy for the overall winner’s school.

Fiction, Reflective Writing, Poetry

The piece submitted should be directly inspired by Stevenson’s writing or some aspect of his life. Candidates should write a brief paragraph describing this stimulus and how it has influenced them to write.

We encourage entries written in

Scots or in English.

Creative writing produced for SQA folio work may be submitted.

Prose items should be no more than

1500 words, poetry no more than 40 lines.

Download the flyers and poster below: