Category Archives: Attainment

**NEW** Better Eating Better Learning Award

**NEW** Better Eating, Better Learning AWARD

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The BEBL award is a competition open to primary and secondary schools across Scotland who can demonstrate innovative ways to improve school food and food education.

Is your school using Better Eating, Better Learning to champion positive changes to school food and the food education experience?

To apply, please complete the following questionnaire by midnight on Friday 31st March. Following this, the committee will review all entries and select 8 schools to visit based on strength of    application. These visits will take place from April – June 2017.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/X3VPXCL

What are we looking for?

Projects will be assessed based on the following criteria;

  • How well are you are using school food as part of a whole school approach to support learning as an integral part of the curriculum?
  • Are you serving school food that drives dietary behaviour change and supports our health and environmental goals?
  • Does your school champion fresh, seasonal, local and sustainable produce?
  • Do you celebrate provenance and ethical sourcing?
  • How are you inspiring future generations who are proud of, and contribute to, Scotland’s ambition as the a Good Food Nation?
  • Do you ensure that school food provides affordable access to good nutrition for all children and young people and optimising the uptake of school meals, in particular for those children and young people receiving free meals?
  • How well are you supporting children and young people, their parents, teaching and catering staff, to enjoy and value school food for its quality, provenance and appeal and in doing so to enable them to understand the relationship between school food, culture, health and the environment?

ASSIST FM, who provide support for suppliers and delivery of school food have created the innovation awards with CRB Cunningham sponsoring the secondary prize and Spaceright sponsoring the       primary prize.

For further Information and details, please contact lorna.aitken@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

‘Speakers for Schools’: Inspirational talks by UK’s leading figures

s4s-logoSpeakers for Schools is an independent education charity that provides young people in state secondary schools with access to key influential, eminent figures – free of charge. In 2012 they launched in Scotland but know there are still many schools not yet aware of their work that can help support them in their aims to better prepare their young people, inspire them in their ambitions and help young people develop skills and attributes they need to thrive in modern society.

The programme was founded by ITV Political Editor Robert Peston with the ambition of organising free talks from inspiring, brilliant industry leaders from all backgrounds in state schools across the UK, to level the playing field for all young people. Since launching the charity has attracted a network of over 1,000 speakers and organised over 3,279 free talks with schools and colleges across the UK.

These talks allow leading figures to give their time to share their insights and unique experiences with young people as someone at the top of their field, aiming to help broaden students’ horizons, make them feel confident about the possibilities for their future and motivate them to reach their maximum potential.

The talks help complement efforts of educators to raise attainment, aspirations and get learners thinking about the wider world, by engaging them in meaningful discussion.

As a charity Speakers in Schools believe their talks help by:

  • Seeing that all young people have the chance to experience a curriculum through which they learn about the worldof work, we can help you provide this by giving students access to insights, information and perspectives from top, influential figures to help them in preparing for their own future
  • Breaking down misconceptions about the opportunities available to students and/or bridging information gaps to encourage diverse thinking and change the way they think about their own ambitions.
  • Teachers being given support to facilitate young people’s learning and their ability to engage with a rapidly developing landscape of work/career and learning opportunities directly from industry leaders, and broadly increasing school links to more organisations, industries and networks.

 

Their services are free, and state secondary schools in Scotland are eligible to apply.

To find out more or to see if your school is already registered visit: http://www.speakers4schools.org/howitworks

Are you alright? – Reflections on a visit to Polmont

Through the Scottish Attainment  Challenge, the profile of poverty and the implications for attainment and outcomes  for children and young people has never been more to the forefront of discussion and policy.

As part of the Challenge, I have a role in looking at poverty and its resulting complexities from an academic viewpoint and in researching some recent articles.

I recently had the privilege of visiting Polmont Young Offenders Institute with  a group of colleagues to hear and see at first- hand some of the initiatives to increase life chances and improve opportunities in this context. I left the experience with great admiration for the  direction of travel not only to help prevent re- offending but more importantly, the clarity around understanding the stats and stories behind the young people being there in the first place.

These stats had a profound impact on my conscience and strengthened my resolve to share information about prevention rather than cure…..

A fundamental life experience touched almost all of the young people and that was an experience of bereavement, often a close family member. A high number of young folk had multiple losses, one as many as 17 in their life story. Another common feature, was school exclusion and interestingly, most did not dislike school when they were attending but did resort to ‘class clown’ behaviours. This clown image was evident in a striking piece of artwork on the wall of the performance arts studio in Polmont.

Speaking to some of the young people it was clear that common experiences and regret for poor choices was evident but in spite of these difficulties, there was hope for a better future and those who choose to gain skills and qualifications were hopeful these would help them once liberated. After the young people leave is a whole different blog post!

As a result of the visit, I developed this Sway presentation

I hope you find some of the content interesting and thought provoking and would ask you to consider these points.

  • How often do you encounter the ‘class clown’ ?
  • How often do you find the time and space to ask “Are you alright?”
  • What support would make a difference?  
  • What options do youngsters at risk in your care have and how are these made known to them?

This Sway may be useful as part of a professional learning session in your school. If you want to take part in a secure, online discussion of the questions, we are talking about them on the Scottish Attainment Challenge community on Glow

If you need your Glow password reset, see How do I get a Glow login?


 

Primary Nurturing Approaches Professional Learning Resource

A Primary Nurturing Approaches Professional Learning Resource has recently been completed by Education Scotland and was delivered to around 50 representatives from the 9 Challenge Authorities over 4 days in October and November 2016 as a pilot. This was an engaging and motivating 4 days and many of the representatives have begun to embed both universal nurturing approaches and targeted approaches in their schools and LAs.

The resource is being updated to incorporate the feedback of those who attended and will be run again as a 4 day course on the 23rd, and 24th of January and 20th and 21st of February 2017 in Glasgow.  There is an expectation that those who attend this training will be able to take it forward and deliver it in their own context.  Notes of interest are asked to be submitted to the following email: Anne-Marie.Lamont@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk.  Details on the course and requirements for attending will then be sent out to all those who are interested after which interested parties will be invited to attend if they are felt to be at a stage of readiness to take the training forward in their context. Although the first round of training focused on Challenge authorities, notes of interest are now extended to any interested local authority or school.

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 http://us.suttontrust.com/ 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.

John Muir Award activity with schools 2015-2016

john_muir_way_scotland_10-12-2006The John Muir Award is used to help deliver Curriculum for Excellence outcomes and demonstrates Learning for Sustainability in action. It involves pupils taking responsibility for nature (in school grounds and communities), helps establish aspirations for healthy behaviour, and improves wellbeing in line with Scottish Government SHANARRI indicators. Such activity helps foster a culture of achievement in schools – building essential skills for life, learning and work, and raising attainment for all.

During 2015-2016:

  •  445 schools were involved in delivering the John Muir Award in Scotland (this includes 45% of Secondary Schools, 12% of Primary Schools and 13% of Special Schools)
  •  15,858 Awards were achieved by pupils and staff (15% increase on 2014-15)
  •  3,362 Awards (21%) were achieved by pupils who experience some form of disadvantage

For full report with breakdown of each local authority  see here

Why are creativity skills important for attainment? – new Creativity JPEGS available for use in presentations, reports, posters and online.

The following JPEGs are drawn from the Why are creativity skills important for attainment? infographic available on the National Improvement Hub.

Please use and share the images as widely as possible with educators, learners and partners in presentations, reports, posters and online.

You can also build your own infographics from scratch using the Everything Is Creative online tool and make your own use of the artwork you see here.

If you were an engineer in Scotland, what would you do?

Scottish Engineering, the University of Strathclyde, and Primary Engineer Programmes are working together to ignite the creative engineer in our pupils and help them engineer solutions to the problems that affect them and others.

 This is a free competition open to all schools where pupils are invited to interview engineers about their creative engineering p

  •  Pupils devise, illustrate and annotate their solutions and include a ‘Pitch Letter’ to engineers explaining why they should build their invention…and, you never know, they just might!
  • All entries gain a certificate
  •  All schools will have entries put on public display
  • From all the entries two pupils per year group will be chosen by a panel of distinguished judges to receive awards and be invited to a grand Award Ceremony to collect them.
  • Grand Final held in the Barony Hall in June 2017

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Schools can register for the Scottish Engineering Leaders Award 2016-2017 here

In focus: How ‘Insight’ supports DYW

Insight assists secondary schools and local authorities in identifying where improvements can be made in the senior phase as well as areas of success and best practice. It supports professional dialogue about performance at whole school, curriculum area and subject level as part of the improvement process to raise attainment and improve post-school participation in employment, further and higher education. Insight went live in September 2014 but did you realise that discussions are ongoing with awards providers with a view to expanding the range of qualifications in Insight, including, most importantly, those that support vocational learning. Qualifications must be credit-rated on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, and aligned with the principles of Curriculum for Excellence.

Insight already includes attainment data on a range of qualifications related to vocational education. These include National Certificates, Higher National Qualifications, Scottish Vocational Qualifications, National Progression Awards and Skills for Work qualifications. From September 2016 there will be additional useful updates:

  • some increases in the tariff points allocated to some specific work-related courses. Some courses attract ‘added value’ – i.e., where there is deemed to be value to the learner over and above the sum of the award’s constituent components – which might be units or courses.   This might be either because they contain an exam unit, an identified ‘added value unit’ (e.g. National 4) or because the award provider has made a case to the Insight project board that the course delivers added value in another way.
  • ‘added value’ recognition will be extended to National Certificates; National Progression Awards; and Scottish Vocational Qualifications. Skills for Work already had this recognition.  Of course, it is vital that choices about courses are made in the best interests of the individual learner, and not on the basis of tariff points, but the adjustments here will support effective self-evaluation by schools of their pupil cohorts’ outcomes
  • remember, Insight captures detail of awards gained by learners at establishments other than their base centre and these are included within the tariff-based benchmarking measures.  From September a new ‘partnership attainment’ measure to make data on the learning achieved by young people in colleges or other training providers, as part of a senior phase vocational pathway, will be more visible and convenient for users to access.

There is more;

  • the new Foundation Apprenticeships will also be awarded added-value from the first certifications in summer 2018.  As Foundation Apprenticeships will vary in SCQF credit points, the Insight tariff points for any particular framework will also vary depend on its characteristics. (Again, remember that course choices must of course be made in the best interests of the individual learner.)
  • a full review of the tariff principles (building on the annual health-checks)  is underway, now that Curriculum for Excellence and the new National Qualifications are fully implemented.  The review will consider whether any adjustments may be necessary to the tariff scale within Insight going forward, to ensure it is fulfilling its purpose as a benchmarking and self-evaluation tool. Keep your eyes open, we want to encourage as many responses as possible .

If you have any further question or wish to join the debate on Insight, please get in touch with Julie Anderson, Senior Phase Pathways & College Partnerships, DYW at the Scottish Government Learning Directorate.