Category Archives: Mathematics and Numeracy

Watch Again – seminars from SLF 2012 – Creative Learning… Creative Thinking

The Creativity Portal has added links to a range of ‘Watch Again’ Glow Meets from this year’s creativity themed Scottish Learning Festival.

Seminars include:

Creativity – Experience it, Understand it, Teach it

Creativity… in Maths!?

Developing Storytelling through Games

You will need your Glow Login to view the films.

All Subject Inter-disciplinary project brings Chinese Orchestra of Peking University to Kilmarnock

Silk Road from Peking… to Kilmarnock

Grange Academy reverberated to the unearthly sounds of the erhu recently, as the world-renowned Chinese Orchestra of Peking University delighted youngsters with its first ever performance outside China.

Eminent composer Professor Nigel Osborne – who has shared a stage with Barack Obama in his time – said hearing the orchestra perform a Chinese song written by Annanhill pupils was “one of the most exciting moments of my career” – and a “world first”.

Professor Osborne was visiting Grange Campus to see youngsters work with the Chinese musicians.

The 70 players of traditional instruments such as Chinese bamboo flutes, erhu (a two-stringed Chinese violin), pipa (lute) and yangqin (Chinese dulcimer) played music from all regions and traditions of China, as well as new compositions in Chinese classical style.

The musicians themselves are the elite of a new generation of young people at China’s leading university, studying a wide range of subjects from the sciences and humanities to new technologies, law and medicine.

Professor Osborne said they were “the smartest of a country of hundreds of millions, to get into this high-flying group at Peking University” – the future top politicians, business leaders and scientists of China.

Their performance thrilled pupils from Annanhill Primary, Park School and Grange Academy, who joined the orchestra to play melodies on metallophones and to sing in Mandarin Chinese.

The prestigious cultural visit was designed to boost Grange Academy’s huge Silk Road project, an innovative educational programme relating to pathways of commerce, thought and knowledge stretching from China to Scotland.

The project involves all school subject areas in studying the historical trade routes that criss-crossed Eurasia for 2,000 years. Silk travelled from China to Scotland, but so also did cultural, scientific, mathematical and religious ideas.

By following the silk route, the school touches on many areas of interest, using music as an entry point to learning in the arts, sciences and social subjects.

The orchestra’s visit celebrates strong emerging links between China and Scotland.

Professor Osborne said: “Grange Campus has made a fantastic contribution to learning and teaching. These young Scottish pupils have composed authentic Chinese songs which have been played by a top Chinese orchestra – a world first!”

Grange Academy Headteacher Fred Wildridge said: “This was the elite orchestra’s first major visit abroad and we were proud that they chose to come to Scotland and indeed Kilmarnock.

“The stunning performance fitted well with our Chinese language programme in school and linked also to our Silk Road project”.

Councillor Stephanie Primrose, Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning, said: “The spectacular show was a real treat for the young people, bringing vividly to life the culture and language of China.

“The visit to Grange Academy – where global citizenship is high on the agenda – also provided a wonderful opportunity for pupils to meet the young Chinese performers face to face”.

As part of the Silk Road project, 1,000 pupils from Grange and two other schools in the project are due to perform in a mass concert in Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall in November 2012.

Young bright sparks get into engineering

In a move to spark youngsters’ interest in engineering, East Ayrshire Council has teamed up with a trailblazing national organisation to bring a new educational programme into schools.

Pupils will work on design and make projects, supported by professional engineers from local industry who will offer a ‘real-world’ context for the learning, while acting as role models for the budding young scientists.

Primary Engineer, founded in 2005, already supports schools throughout the UK and will now be working with local pupils and teachers. They will help girls and boys from a very early age to aspire to become Scottish engineers of the future

Executive Director of Educational and Social Services Graham Short said: “The idea is to stimulate in children an interest in engineering, which will also lead to a new understanding of science subjects and mathematics”.

Councillor Stephanie Primrose, Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning, said: “This exciting development brings a new dimension to linking schools and industry.

“The programme will be of long-term benefit to young people, as they approach an increasingly competitive jobs market in the future.”

Susan Scurlock, Primary Engineer Chief Executive, said:We believe that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are key subjects in securing positive opportunities and career paths for future generations – and that this begins in primary school.

“We look to provide a rich learning experience for pupils. Our Leaders Award scheme helps to bring professionals into the classroom to provide a link to the wider world and to encourage young people to take part in STEM activities”.

If you could be an engineer… what would you do?

Engineers touch every aspect of our lives but frequently we do not recognise who they are or what they do. To inspire young people to become engineers we must first help them to understand what it is that engineers do, what inspires them and what it takes to become one. Engineering as a rich, stimulating and challenging context for learning in sciences, technologies and maths is the basis of Education Scotland’s STEM Central  <> resource.

Scottish Engineering and The Leaders Award <>  for STEM are challenging learners to become Leaders for STEM in their schools by considering what they would do if they were an engineer.

Marks on the Landscape

Education Scotland’s online interdisciplinary learning resource, Marks on the Landscape <> , is being used by schools throughout the country to help develop creative learning and teaching experiences across the curriculum.

One of the most popular areas of the resource is the Design Challenge section <>  which provides a set of interdisciplinary challenges intended to inspire learners to apply their knowledge and skills to real-life situations.

We would like to find out more about some of the innovative ways the design challenges are being used in schools and would appreciate you letting us know how your learners are using them. Please email details to <> .,OG31,3GU5HR,1Z1WU,1,OG31,3GU5HR,1Z1WU,1

Creativity in the Classroom – a call out to share what works

Consider yourself creative?

The Creativity Portal is looking for examples of simple, short creative exercises that teachers and youth workers like yourself have used in the classroom and youth group settings.

It could be:

  • A creative chemistry experiment
  • The school’s fastest paper aeroplane contest
  • The imaginative alphabet
  • A 30 second dramatic warm-up

We would love to hear what’s worked for you. Get a mention on the national Creativity Portal and an invitation to future creative CPD. A wee bit of text is all it takes.

Add to the Creativity Archive here within Glow.

Or email

Using Technology to Support Higher Order Skills: including Creativity

A slideshow created by Ollie Bray, National Adviser for Emerging Technologies in Learning here at Education Scotland, highlighting the uses of technology in the classroom to support higher order skills with great reference to creativity. Well worth a skim through!

Education Scotland Learning Blog

Education Scotland’s development officers share good practice and current events as they work with practitioners across Scotland. This blog includes the latest news from all the teams, with links to our website, Glow Groups and good practice.

European Space Agency – ‘satellite in a can’ competition

Entries wanted for the 2012 European CanSat competition

The European Space Agency (ESA) is holding a Europe-wide competition for schools to create a working satellite within the confines of a soft drinks can. The chosen projects will compete in the final in Norway in April 2012 when the selected 10 satellites from all over Europe will be launched by rocket to the height of about 1 km and will carry out some real science.

ESA have allocated one guaranteed launch slot to the winners of the Scottish Cansat Competition to be held for Scottish schools between September 2011 and March 2012. The competition is open to pupils aged 16 and over. Your school could be there!

This is a fantastic opportunity to have your school compete and hopefully win a prestigious Europe-wide science competition. Please respond to Dr. Paul Lyden ( by 7 September if you are interested in taking part.

Please visit the website for more information.