Category: Primary

Shetland Islands Council Q&A

Education Scotland’s DigiLearn team are always happy to provide their digital expertise and support to practitioners. In October 2020 the team took part in Shetland Islands Council’s two in-service days for practitioners, which for the first time were held on-line.  The DigiLearn team provided a wide range of sessions for staff on everything from digital pedagogy skills to unleashing creativity using digital tools.  In this Q&A Jacqueline Casey, Workforce Development Advisor at the time, and James Johnston, Quality Improvement Officer, from Shetland Islands Council, and Tracy Langley, Operational Lead For Remote Teaching for Shetland and Depute e-Sgoil, discuss the sessions.

 

Why are in-service days important for your staff?

 

The October In-service days are two dedicated days per year that are focussed on professional learning for our staff, therefore ensuring a varied yet appropriate programme for them each year is vital.  Usually our programme is planned and compiled based on the wants, needs and feedback from our frontline staff and management and also any national themes and focus at the time.  The opportunity for professional learning is very important for staff development and practice, and also contributes to staff being able to positively influence the lives and experiences of the children and young people they work with in Shetland.

 

  • This was the first time Shetland’s in-service Day has been held on-line. How did you find this compared to previous years?

 

At the start of COVID-19 we had started our planning, including contacting external trainers from across Britain on the premise that they would be physically visiting us in October.  So when we went into lockdown and realised eventually that it wasn’t going to be a short term thing, a quick decision had to be made as to if and how we were going to be able to deliver the programme.  It was decided that we would push on to try to organise a fully virtual programme, thinking that it would be far smaller than our usual offering.  We also decided on four themes to try to make things a bit more focussed – Health and Wellbeing (for pupils and staff), Digital Skills, Literacy and Numeracy.  These themes were decided both based on national themes but also on a reflection of what the year had been like for our staff, and where priorities had needed to shift so rapidly in response to COVID-19.

 

The actual programme itself went really well, and the feedback we got from our follow up survey was really positive.  We were delighted that we could provide such a large and varied programme and of course that the technology all worked on the day!

 

  • What topics were you looking for Education Scotland’s DigiLearn team to cover as part of the in-service days?

 

We have worked with Education Scotland for digital input for a few years now, and in conjunction with our Digital Skills Lead here in Shetland, to contribute to and build on our Digital Strategy.  So we were really happy to be guided by the digital team for our in-service programme – particularly where we were aware that remote teaching and learning had rocketed to the front focus of how teachers and pupils were now living and working.  We wanted this theme to be about the delivery of blended teaching and learning, but also about making the best use of the technology available to our staff.  Therefore the courses that Susan and her colleagues delivered were:

  • Flipped Learning to Support Blended / Mixed Delivery Model
  • Digital Tools for Assessment & Feedback
  • Digital Pedagogy Skills
  • Using Digital Tools to Capture, Create and Share Outdoor Learning Experiences
  • Unleashing Creativity Using Digital Tools

 

  • Why did you think these topics in particular would be of interest to practitioners?

The themes of literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing and digital are present in each year of the October In-Service programme but are usually supplemented by a broad range of other professional learning opportunities.  Central Officers, in conjunction with workforce development colleagues took the decision to narrow the focus in 2020 across these core areas in respect of the following considerations:

Manageability – in terms of the online nature of the programme and practitioners skills and knowledge to access learning from remote locations

Alignment – ensuring professional learning supported our strategic priorities with regards to recovery and renewal and reflected our local authority messaging around minimising the number of school improvement priorities

Relevance – understanding the needs of staff and learners and providing a meaningful and motivating programme to meet these needs

Capacity – giving consideration to teachers’ and practitioners’ own ability to consume and implement new learning in the context of the pandemic

Readiness – supporting staff to be confident in delivering within their school’s approach to blended and/or remote learning

The digital skills aspect of the programme stood out by itself but also supported innovation and creativity relevant to the other three areas.

  • How do you think practitioners will use the information provided in these sessions?

 

The October In-Service creates an opportunity to collectively ‘pause and upskill’ but is just one aspect of a cyclical, year round offer of high quality professional learning opportunities.  Teachers will use the learning in a number of ways depending on where they are at in their learning journey but broadly speaking the digital approach to professional learning is driving more engagement and collaboration:

 

Engagement Building on the success of approaches to remote learning in term four of 2020, sharing coursework and homework on digital platformsand engaging with pupils and parents in a more digitally agile way.  Monitoring learner engagement and participation and identifying where more support is required.

 

Collaboration – using digital platforms to collaborate at many levels.  For example, withinschools, across departments andlocal authorities as well as engagement at RIC level and participation in national conversations, regional improvement collaboratives and nationally.  The ability to share knowledge and practice with colleagues and gather insight and information from national partners has been strengthened.

 

  • Looking to the future – what digital topics do you think will be useful for your practitioners to learn about?

 

Practitioners will need time to embed new skills and ways of working and so the pace of change needs to be managed effectively.  It is important to create the right conditions to ensure that people feel confident, competent and supported in working in a digitally agile way.  We have paused the development of a digital and teaching strategy in order to understand and evaluate this period of rapid change and, given the period of significant change within the digital learning and teaching landscapesince March 2020 , revisit some of the consultation questions which were shaping the strategy prior to lockdown.  This will ensure we are moving in the right direction, investing our resources and time in the right way and building a digital education workforce where nobody is left behind.  In the meantime, for the remainder of this school year, we will take advantage of the range of professional learning opportunities to support our current position and listen to what our teachers need next.

Going forward digital skills training for the use of the Glow platform and Teams, SharePoint, PowerPoint, One Note Class Notebook and the Promethean interactive panels are to be made our standard offering. Our digital skills support package is updated throughout the year to direct all staff to these online courses which they can do at a time that suits them best. One off sessions delivered by Ian Stuart at Microsoft and the Education Scotland team can also be offered as and when needed throughout the year. These can complement each other and also allow for staff to revisit online courses andtutorials if needed.

 

Local authorities – if you would like advice or support from Education Scotland’s DigiLearn team please contact – Kirsty McFaul via email at Kirsty.McFaul@educationscotland.gov.scot

20th April 2021 Technology Tools for Complex Needs with CALL Scotland.

This session is for education staff who are supporting learners with Complex Needs within an early years/primary context.

20th April 2021, 4:00 – 5.00pm 

This session will demonstrate how simple to use, free digital tools can be used to create activities for learning and communication. We will explore how these tools can be used to create learning experiences which support the development of Anticipation, Early Communication, Cause & Effect and Emergent Literacy & Numeracy. All of the digital tools are free to use and easy to share with families.

The technology tools that will be covered in this session include TarHeel Gameplay, Google Slides/PowerPoint, Google Forms/Microsoft Forms, Google Jamboard and Thinglink.

The session will take place in a Microsoft Team meeting. A staff Glow account will NOT be required.

Please sign up here

17th May 2021 Creating Google Sites To Share Learning Beyond the Classroom

Creating Google Sites To Share Learning Beyond the Classroom

17th May 2021, 4:00 – 5.00pm 

This session will introduce participants to Google Sites within Glow, demonstrate how to create a site and share it within or out with Glow.

This session will demonstrate how to create, customise and manage a Google Site. We will also highlight how your Google site can be used to showcase and share learning experiences beyond the classroom or school environment.

Please be aware these sessions are for practitioners across Scotland who have a Glow account. Some products may not be available in your Local Authority, please check in advance. . A Glow ​account is required to attend.

A staff Glow account will be required to access the Microsoft Team where the session will take place.

Please sign up here

10th May 2021 Now Accepting Contactless​, Design in a Global Pandemic with V&A Dundee

Now Accepting Contactless​, Design in a Global Pandemic with V&A Dundee

10th May 2021, 4:00 – 5.15pm 

Framed by a global pandemic, this interactive webinar focuses on how design can influence how we participate in society.

“Design can help us imagine a different world after the pandemic. A world that is more connected, sustainable, and equitable than before.” V&A Dundee​

This interactive session will highlight the resources which have been produced as part of the recent ‘Now Accepting Contactless’ exhibition shown at V & A Dundee. The presenters and curators will take you on a tour of artefacts and resources which have being produced by a wide range of people with and without design experience to showcase how we can create, often digital, solutions. All materials showcased will be available beyond the session to support classroom use and inspire those engaging with the concepts shared.​

This is a joint session between V&A Dundee and hosted by Education Scotland’s Digital Skills Team.

A staff Glow account will be required to access the Microsoft Team where the session will take place.

Please sign up here

29th April 2021 Design for All, Creative Classroom Edition with V&A Dundee

Design for All, Creative Classroom Edition with V&A Dundee

29th April 2021, 4:00 – 5.00pm 

Introducing design thinking, discussing what it means to be creative & how to apply design to your classroom regardless of stage or subject.

What does design mean to you? ​

This session will introduce attendees to what it means to be creative and how design can be explored within your learning environment. This session will highlight how developing design skills can support the development of critical thinking skills and creative problem solving. ​

This is a joint session between V&A Dundee and hosted by Education Scotland’s Digital Skills Team.

A staff Glow account will be required to access the Microsoft Team where the session will take place.

Please sign up here

20 April,16:00 – 17:00, Computing Science – Tackling unconscious bias and gender stereotypes

You will require a glow login for this webinar.

This session is designed to provide an introduction to the theory of unconscious bias and gender stereotypes and to challenge thinking and practice. We will look at how biases form and their effects on our own behaviours, on pupils and on the learning environment. There will be chance for people to reflect on their own practice and consider specific barriers for girls accessing computing science and possible strategies to mitigate this.

This session focuses on the groundwork into recognising and challenging our own biases and those of others as well as the stereotypes that deter children from exploring all opportunities. We will look into the science of biases, how they form and the reasons we should be looking to challenge them. There will be an opportunity to explore possible activities to take back to your own setting, and you will be invited to return and share what worked and engage in collaboration with practitioners from various settings.

There will be a follow up collaborative event Tuesday 4th May, 16:00 to share your practice and discuss strategies with colleagues. 

Book your place here 

18th Feb, 18:00, National eLearning Offer to Support Learning – ELC and Primary

This webinar will explore how the National e-Learning Offer can be used to support learning, both remotely and during recovery in schools an

About this Event

You will require a glow login for this webinar.

The target audience for this webinar is early learning and childcare practitioners and primary teachers

The National e-Learning Offer (NeLO) brings together the live learning option from e-Sgoil, recorded content led by West Partnership (West OS) and supported materials identified by practitioner networks and organised by Education Scotland. The webinar will inform and update participants on what is available through NeLO.

The main focus of this third webinar is to explore the suite of national e-learning resources available for use with learners in ELC and primary schools. It will share the rationale behind the approaches and discuss ways in which they can flexibly be used in practice – both in settings and at home.

Sign up here

18th Feb, 11am – National eLearning Offer to Support Learning – ELC and Primary – 11am

You will require a glow login for this webinar.

The target audience for this webinar is early learning and childcare practitioners and primary teachers

The National e-Learning Offer (NeLO) brings together the live learning option from e-Sgoil, recorded content led by West Partnership (West OS) and supported materials identified by practitioner networks and organised by Education Scotland. The webinar will inform and update participants on what is available through NeLO.

The main focus of this third webinar is to explore the suite of national e-learning resources available for use with learners in ELC and primary schools. It will share the rationale behind the approaches and discuss ways in which they can flexibly be used in practice – both in settings and at home.

Sign up here  

Aberdeenshire EAL Header

Aberdeenshire English as an Additional Language (EAL) Service

aberdeen council logoIn Aberdeenshire, our EAL teachers have been working to find the best ways to support bilingual learners and their families throughout the pandemic, as well as class teachers. If adapting to the challenges of the pandemic and online learning were not hard enough, many children and families have also faced the language barrier, as well as perhaps not being familiar with the Scottish Curriculum and routines and norms that may be taken for granted as something all children and families will think of as normal. Over the last year, our EAL teachers have embraced new ways of working and have developed a range of resources and approaches. Telephone interpreting used to be very rarely used but has now seen demand skyrocket with a lot of positive feedback on its effectiveness in breaking down the language barrier and building relationships between school and family. On several occasions schools have been able to speak to parents who they had not previously managed to reach, and as a result have managed to overcome some barriers that had prevented families from accessing online learning. EAL teachers have also been supporting bilingual learners by sharing advice and resources with class teachers, and also working with some pupils through video conferencing, including teaching SQA ESOL courses. The service has also produced translated comments and videos to support families who may be having difficulty in engaging with online learning.

 

 

Translated comments

A range of translated comments were develo­­­­­­ped to support home-school communication and have been used to communicate one way information to families, with comments being successfully used to overcome barriers to engagement:

 

“Aberdeenshire EAL Service covers a wide geographical area with a number of rural remote communities where our families can be distributed and which can pose communication challenges, particularly when schools are closed to most pupils during this time. One of my larger small town schools, that has a wide catchment area, have a family who were not responding to school information circulars and letters home. I sent the school the translated comments information which included a translation and the school came back and said they found it very useful and were discussing whether to send the translations out to other EAL families across the school.”

Sue Clutterbuck (EAL Teacher)

 

Translated Text Graphic

Telephone interpreting

Translated letters have also been developed to communicate to parents when the school would like to make a call and offer options that the parent can highlight for when they would be available. This has resulted in several calls with parents being arranged when the school had previously found it difficult to reach the parents.

 

“I supported a teacher in one of my schools in using the telephone interpreting service for the first time. By using the translated letters we had produced, parents were able to tell her when they would be free and she was able to call them and speak to them for the first time through an interpreter.”

Ian Brownlee (PT of EAL)

 

Our service has been strongly encouraging schools to use telephone interpreting and in general the feedback has been great (see examples of feedback in the picture below).

 

Telephone Interpreting Graphic

 

Translated Videos

We also worked in partnership with Aberdeenshire’s Learning Through Technology Team to develop translated videos that guide pupils/parents on how to log in to glow and how to use Microsoft Teams and Google Classrooms. The videos were produced in the top five most common languages in Aberdeenshire and have been successfully used to support some families in overcoming barriers to accessing and engaging with online learning:

“They used the link, watched the video and it worked! Bingo. ️”

Sarah Jane Bennison (EAL Teacher)

“I sent the video on how to connect to google classrooms to 2 of the P1 teachers from one of my schools, I made sure they had a direct access to the video, so they didn’t have to look around for it. They sent the video to the parents of P1 pupils with little English, who had not been engaged and 1 child the following day was online and the other child the week after.”

Amanda Blackburn (EAL Teacher)

Colleagues in other local authorities have also  given positive feedback on the videos:

“Of course, we have also been signposting homes to the brilliant videos on the use of ICT/GLOW/Teams on the Aberdeenshire site!”

“I’ve watched the translated glow videos your service have made – they are amazing! Would you mind if I shared that link with some of our schools?; the teams one and logging into glow are so valuable right now.”

 

Translated Video Screen Shot

 

 

Some aspects of online learning and supporting pupils remotely have of course been challenging and we are continuing to try to find ways to support bilingual learners, their families and teachers through the continually evolving circumstances. However the above examples have been successes that we were really happy with and delighted to share.

Ian Brownlee

Principal Teacher of English as an Additional Language

Aberdeenshire EAL Service

Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning

Learning for Sustainable Development Goals. Bring digital learning to life and take action on the big issues that shape our world with Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning’s (CCGL) new online partnerships programme! Join the CCGL team and Education Scotland to get advice on online collaboration and more information about the funding, free support, resources and professional learning on offer. And hear more from schools who are already taking part – collaborating locally, nationally and globally with each other to make Learning for Sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals part of everyday learning.