All posts by R. Cowie

John Byrne National Drawing Competition Winners

Cameron Lawson from Cedarbank School wins John Byrne National Drawing Competition

Thousands of budding young artists from across Scotland took part in this year’s John Byrne National Drawing Competition.

Cameron Lawson, a S3 pupil at Cedarbank School in West Lothian, has become the third pupil to win the competition, which is run in partnership with Education Scotland and open to pupils from Primary four through to third year in Secondary.

John Byrne said: “The talent this year has been outstanding, which made my job as a judge very difficult in choosing the overall winners.

“I’m delighted to have chosen Cameron as the overall winner as his drawing really captured the essence of the competition. The creativity of this piece stood out against other entries.

“I’m encouraged by the standard of all the artwork submitted in this year’s competition and I hope pupils across Scotland will continue to show us their artistic skills and love for drawing.”

The award ceremony took place at Paisley Museum, where a special exhibition of competition entries are on display for approximately five weeks.

The renowned artist and playwright, John Byrne, selected the work of Cameron Lawson as the winning entry. Eleana Meikle, a S3 pupil from Wellington School in Ayrshire, took second place and Charlotte Stewart, a P7 pupil from Gordon Primary School in Aberdeenshire was awarded third place.

John and the judges selected a further 30 young artists as runners up and they will receive a specially designed certificate.

Bill Maxwell, Education Scotland Chief Executive said: “I’m really pleased to see this competition, now in its third year, continue to attract such a high standard of entries from young artists of all ages. Education Scotland is delighted to be involved in the competition as it offers pupils, across Scotland, the opportunity to showcase their drawing skills and creativity and it is a great way to raise the profile of drawing. Congratulations to all the winners and those who took part.”

John was assisted by Ron Cowie, Senior Education Officer at Education Scotland, Lorna MacDonald, City of Edinburgh Council, and Wilma Eaton, University of Strathclyde, to judge the competition which took place at the University of Strathclyde.

John Byrne winners and runners up 2017

Andy Scott exclusive interview

KelpiesInternationally renowned artist, Andy Scott, creator of the famous ‘Kelpies’ and ‘Arria’ sculptures will be interviewed about his life and work by Education Scotland’s Ron Cowie.

Andy will talk about his experiences at school and describe the path he followed to become a successful artist. Viewers will hear about the people and things that influenced him along the way!

The Glow Meet will be broadcast exclusively from Andy’s studio workshop in Glasgow on Wednesday 11th March from 10:30- 11:30.

You can register for the event here

John Byrne Drawing Competition update

Friday 6th March is the date for final entries for the John Byrne national drawing competition to arrive at Education Scotland offices in either Dundee or Glasgow. We have had an excellent response from schools so far but there are still four days to go until the competition ends!

The prizes are fantastic and John is designing the special runner up certificates as I write this post.

Education Scotland will hold all drawings submitted for the competition until the judging has been completed on Friday 27th March. After that they will be available from the offices to which they were delivered until Friday 24th April, if schools wish to pick them up. I’m afraid we are unable to post entries back to schools.

Good luck to everyone who enters the competition!

John Byrne Drawing Competition and Glow Meet

Renowned artist and playwright, John Byrne, invites children and young people in schools across Scotland, from P4 – S3, to participate in the first annual John Byrne Drawing Competition.

The competition will be launched on 5th December 2014 through a Glow meet with John. Schools across the country will be invited to tune in to hear John talk about his work, and drawing in particular, and why he keeps wanting to learn! The Glow meet starts at 10.30 am and John will be interviewed at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow. Children and young people participating in the Glow meet will have a chance to ask John questions about his life and work.

Click here to sign up for the John Byrne Glow meet!

The competition will be judged in March 2015 and the closing date for entries is Friday 6th March 2015. Prizes and certificates will be awarded and the judging panel will include John himself.

The aim of the competition is to enhance the profile of drawing in the curriculum. By targeting the range of children between P4 and S3, John wants to highlight the importance of developing drawing skills in children as they go through the developmental stages of mark making and begin to represent their world through drawing.

John eagerly hopes the competition will encourage children and young people to give free rein to their imagination and creativity through the joy of drawing.

Information about how to enter the competition and the competition rules can be accessed here. This information will also be made available to Local Authority officers with responsibility for Expressive Arts.

Art and Design Advanced Higher Exhibition

Tramway and The Visual Arts Studio is hosting an exhibition of work submitted to the Scottish Qualifications Authority for the Art and Design Advanced Higher qualification in June 2014. The work comes from pupils across Scotland, and represents the talents of Scotland’s next generation of artists and members of its creative community.

Education Scotland is promoting and supporting the exhibition and encourages young people, parents and teachers from across the country to take the opportunity to visit the show.

Thu 30 October – Sun 9 November. Tue – Sun 12 noon – 5pm (6pm weekend). Please note, the exhibition is not open on Monday.

25 Albert Drive, Glasgow, G41 2PE
0845 330 3501

Dance National Working Group

The Dance National Working Group (NWG) met for the third time on 2nd September at the Optima, Glasgow. Notes from the meeting are attached below.

Dance National Working Group (NWG) Meeting Notes

The Implemento document attached below summarises the ‘futures’ discussion we had in relation to dance education 3-18. From the process we have identified key areas for development and action.

Comments and suggestions in relation to all the above documents are very welcome.


Implemento Outputs

The draft action plan document explains how we arrived at the actions and next steps for the group to take these forward.

Dance NWG Draft Action Plan

The Dance National Working Group will meet again at the joint NWG meeting on 27th November at Atlantic Quay.

Advanced Higher Art and Design exhibition catalogues

As a resource to support the Advanced Higher in Art and Design, Education Scotland has secured enough catalogues from the 2013 Advanced Higher exhibition to make one available for each secondary school in every Local Authority, free of charge.

We have contacted every Local Authority and made the catalogues available for uplift from our offices across the country from Tuesday 12th August 2014. Our offices may be found at the following locations: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness, Livingstone and Clydebank.

We are delighted that over 20 Local Authorities have taken us up on our offer of free catalogues to support their schools.

If you wish to acquire a copy of the catalogue for your school, please contact the officer responsible for Expressive Arts in your Local Authority.

Skills Conversation Day 3

The third in a series of conversation days focussing on skills across the 3-18 curriculum will take place at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness on Thursday 5th June 2014. Education Scotland are delighted to host the event along with our education partners Highland Council and Skills Development Scotland.

The event will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to continue the conversations started at Loch Leven Community Campus in September and December 2013. The focus then was on exploring the issues around developing a common language and understanding of skills and local approaches to engagement with employers, including contrasting rural and urban opportunities for work experience.

The key area of focus for the third event in the series will be how schools are planning for and recording progression in the development of skills. The conversations will pick up some of the inter-linked threads from previous events and weave these through the day’s presentations and activities.

The outcomes, materials and suggested actions generated from the day will be posted on the Education Scotland Learning Blog.

Expressive Arts Conversation Day 2

The second expressive arts conversation event took place on Friday 28th March 2014 at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness.

The views and experiences of invited stakeholders provided a very helpful basis for us to consider how best to provide further support for education establishments, stakeholders and education partners.

The purpose of the day was to:

  • explore the current national position with regard to developing practitioner confidence and capacity in expressive arts
  • highlight issues that could be addressed through examples and briefing
  • consider what challenges are emerging and how these are being addressed
  • identify areas that require further support and what that support needs to look like – including consideration of establishing a national primary expressive arts network/community.

During the day we discussed:

  • The approaches that are currently being taken to develop practitioner confidence and capacity in expressive arts and the thinking behind these approaches.
  • How far education establishments and partners have advanced in developing these approaches.
  • The key challenges; for example, the range of skills practitioners believe they need to ensure that learners have appropriate breadth of experience and challenge in expressive arts.
  • The support/information/guidance that is now needed and at what level.
  • How best to share with stakeholders the proposed steps towards developing practitioner confidence and capacity.

Below you will find the outputs from the day’s discussions which were generated through our use of the International Futures Forum’s “Implemento” transformational tool. The discussions focussed on the actions we need to take to achieve our aspirations for an ideal future system.

The evaluations from the day asked three questions that can now be used as a baseline from which we can measure the impact of the day. Have a look to see what our participants said!

Conversation Day 2 Evaluations

Implemento Table 4

Implemento Table 3

Implemento Table 2

Implemento Table 1