All posts by N. Morgan

Higher Education in the USA – “taster” opportunity

The Sutton Trust U.S. Program is now open for applications for Summer 2017.

This program provides high-achieving, state school students with a taste of life at a top American university. Focusing on social mobility, the Sutton Trust U.S. Program is aimed at students from low or middle income families who would be the first in their family to go to university. The initiative is centred on a one-week summer school at a leading American university, with introductory events and application support in the UK before and after. Previous host campuses have included Harvard, Yale, and MIT.

The Sutton Trust is looking for S5 students who earned six or more As or Bs in their S4 qualifications, or close to this. If you know a student who fits the criteria for this program, please encourage them to visit the Sutton Trust’s website at and apply!
The deadline for student applications is Sunday, January 22, 2017. Please get your students to check the requirements on the Sutton Trust website closely to confirm they are eligible to apply.

This exchange program can be life-changing, with many Scottish students going on to study at U.S. universities over the past few years.

Genocide and Srebrenica

srebrenica2For anyone working on discrimination, the Holocaust and genocide, there’s a new education resource for secondary teachers based on the Srebrenica experience 20 years ago during the Bosnian civil war. It has been produced by a UK charity, Remembering Srebrenica, and the Scottish edition has just been launched.

– you have to register to get access, on the website’s resources/education packs page.


Rewrite the Headlines competition

rewrite A new competition has been launched to help primary school children understand how the latest research becomes headline news in the media.

The ‘Rewrite the Headlines’ initiative will work with schools to assist young people to better understand what research is and how it gets reported in the media. They will get a better understanding of the journey from “lab to headline”, so they can more confidently judge any research stories they might come across. Equipping children to evaluate what they read and hear is a valuable life skill.

This competition is being run by the Research the Headlines group, which will run workshops in participating schools, using recent examples of research reports. Organisers will highlight good reporting and the hazards of bias, exaggeration, inaccuracy, etc.


Primary school Euroquiz 2015 – winners


Yesterday a team of four P6 pupils from Carmondean primary school, Livingston, West Lothian, emerged as the winners of the 2015 Euroquiz organised by the Scottish European Educational Trust. Pupils from more than 400 primary schools in 30 local authorities took part in this year’s competition, with the national finals held in the Scottish Parliament chamber on Monday 11th May. The young people involved displayed a range of learning and skills, dazzling the audience of teachers and parents with their knowledge about Europe and the European Union and their skills in the languages round. Experiences such as this contribute to the development of young global citizens.

St.Mary’s primary school, Duntocher, West Dunbartonshire was the runner up, and Alloway primary school, South Ayrshire took third place.

The Scottish Parliament TV service broadcast the finals event live, and many schools watched remotely to see how their teams performed and attempt to answer the questions themselves. Video of the event can be watched on the Parliament TV website.

The competition was sponsored by the European Parliament. The quiz finals were chaired by Scottish Parliament’s Deputy Presiding Officer, Elaine Smith MSP, with answers identified by Per Johansson, Head of Office for the European Parliament in Edinburgh.

Congratulations to all the pupils and teachers who participated, and thanks to all the organisations which assisted in the running of the local heats and national finals.


VE Day anniversary

ve day

Today, May 8th, is the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day 1945. Seventy years ago this day marked the official end of World War Two in Europe, and people in all the nations involved marked the news in different ways: for some it was a victory, for others a defeat, for all a time to remember the dead, wounded, lost and missing. The war against Japanese forces in the Far East continued for another three months.

On this anniversary in 2015 there are public events taking place all over Europe to commemorate the finish of the war in Europe. A BBC story covers these events around the world, in countries such as France, Poland, Russia and Germany. In the UK a weekend of commemoration will include a 2 minute silence to show respect for the dead, and a chain of fire beacons will be lit, with Midlothian being one of the Scottish sites. Many community events will take place, with armed services veterans involved. Education Scotland’s website identifies some resources which schools might use to take part in some way or to learn more.

The BBC iWonder resource “VE Day: How did the British plan to celebrate” provides background history.


Scottish History and the Picts

The Picts sm

The Picts lived in the north and east of Scotland in the 3rd to 9th centuries A.D. Now the Forestry Commission Scotland aims to encourage primary teachers to explore this period of Scottish history with their pupils, investigating the Pictish people, their culture and their impact on the land. FCS has produced a new learning resource, targeted at CFE level 2, which includes creative activities for both classroom and place-based outdoor learning. The resource makes use of many museum and archaeological assets, and suggests further study of local historic monuments.

It is available online as a PDF download from the Historic Scotland website.

A BBC Scotland news piece gives more detail.

Victory in Europe Day

Friday 8th May 2015 will be the 70th anniversary of ‘Victory in Europe Day’ 1945, the day during World War Two on which German forces surrendered and fighting in Europe came to an end.

Plans to commemorate the end of the war in Europe are now at an advanced stage, with local communities encouraged to mark the event and remember the sacrifices made during the conflict. Religious services, parades, street parties and a national network of fire-lit beacons will be parts of the events across the country.

Teachers who wish to undertake some special activity in school for the 8th May can make use of ideas and resources published online by a number of organisations; for example, the Memories tasks suggested by Imperial War Museum, which support the gathering of testimony and stories about wartime.

The BBC History website is a good starting point for any teacher wanting historical background to the event.

Food and rationing during wartime are themes which may have a wide appeal to schools. The Ration Book Challenge is one approach, and helped to raise funds for armed services veterans organisation the British Legion.

Legion Scotland will host a commemorative event in Forfar on Saturday 9th May for veterans, families and community members.

We will publish more examples in the lead-up to the anniversary.



A documentary about Scotland – made by you

The new project Northern Lights sets out to be Scotland’s first ever mass participation documentary, an innovative way to build a movie about contemporary Scotland. Basically it will be composed, and edited into a final feature-length film, from videos made by people all over the country and contributed to a common pool of rich material.

Global Citizenship often starts local, and this seems a great way for secondary schools and students over the age of 14 to reflect on their own community and how it is represented to the world. And the skills involved in such a piece of work: research, team work, communication, media, ICT, and lots of creativity.

It’s all explained here with extra description of how to participate, ‘how to’ guides, etc,

The project is open for submissions until 21st June. There are already a lot of submitted videos, and web audiences get to vote on their favourites. Why not get your secondary school involved, and showcase the creative skills of your pupils?

For further information, please contact

Swiss and Basque schools seeks Scottish partners

A French-speaking school near Basel in Switzerland is looking for a Scottish secondary school partner – for joint learning projects, shared language learning, etc.  Their students are in the 16-18 age bracket.

And a Basque school in Oinati, northern Spain, is also seeking a Scottish secondary for possible joint projects in language, culture or science, and maybe an exchange programme or Comenius project in the future. Aagin, their students are around 16-18.

If your school is interested in a link with either of these two schools, contact Nick at for more details.