The Raising Aspirations in Science Education (RAiSE) network of Primary Science Development Officers (PSDOs) has developed a suite of resources, lesson ideas, professional learning events and tailored sessions to teachers during the lockdown period.
Throughout the country, primary STEM leads within the network have used a variety of digital technologies, tailoring their communications strategies and outputs dependent on local need and context.
Gayle Duffus, National Education Officer for RAiSE, said:
“RAiSE has been designed with flexibility at its core. Our aim is to offer an equitable approach to primary STEM learning opportunities that is firmly driven at a local level to ensure maximum impact in learning communities.
“With the announcement of lockdown and a move to home learning for the majority of pupils, our agile network rallied to enhance its digital footprint and deliver a series of innovative solutions which would support teachers to deliver impactful online learning.
“The role of the PSDO provides strategic support to the authorities within our network. These specialists offer a central point in which to foster networks, opportunities, professional learning and lesson ideas which can be effectively cascaded throughout the entire authority and beyond.”
RAiSE is a programme of The Wood Foundation, Education Scotland, Scottish Government and participating local authorities. Following a successful pilot, it is now being offered on a rolling basis to all local authorities in Scotland, with 14 having already joined the network.
Interventions by the RAiSE network in response to Covid-19 have included:
- The hosting of the third annual Dumfries & Galloway STEM Conference moved online with 32 professional learning opportunities hosted with themes designed following a survey of local need.
- Falkirk hosted a #STEMatHome Week and developed a range of resources linked to Star Wars Day which were very popular. Falkirk has grown its Teams group by 50 and had more than 30,000 impressions on tweets since lockdown began – showing its content is reaching practitioners in the region and beyond.
- South Ayrshire is developing a new website and hosting a number of professional learning opportunities virtually.
- North Lanarkshire PSDOs hosted professional learning for the rest of the RAiSE network to share their learning on breakout room-themed STEM lessons which could be conducted online. They provided this professional learning to 150 practitioners from all sectors using GLOW.
- Angus secured First Lego League Junior kits for eight learning hubs and is issuing a newsletter focused on home learning and professional learning opportunities.
- North Ayrshire has developed and promoted a range of online resources which have been viewed more than 1000 times.
- Clackmannanshire has created a new resource hub website, with professional learning tailored to responses from teachers on local need.
The online science planning resource, prepared by the RAiSE network, was published by Education Scotland. The resource forms an integral part of Education Scotland’s ‘Scotland Learns’ campaign supporting practitioners and communities to continue to best support learners during current extraordinary circumstances.