e-Sgoil is an interactive, real-time teaching facility which uses Glow, Office 365 and Vscene to support the teaching of Gaelic and through Gaelic in any school in Scotland. It supports the curriculum for 1+2, Gaelic Learner and Gaelic Medium Education. A short promotional video is available here:
“HM Inspectors found that in primary schools, most staff used Curriculum for Excellence well to plan learning experiences which were broad and balanced. However, they noted that improvements are required in secondary schools to ensure personalised learning pathways for young people in GME. Staff need to make better use of digital technology, partnerships with the local community and businesses and colleges to support delivery of some of the curriculum through Gaelic.” Read more in the report, Quality and Improvement in Scottish Education
Do your plans for the curriculum include developing children and young people’s knowledge, skills and understanding of the First World War? Do you intend to do some intergenerational work to promote children and young people’s Gaelic language skills? Has your tracking of children and young people’s skills in technology shown a gap for which an opportunity to create a film would be useful?
A grant of £250 is available, as part of the Scottish Government’s five-year World War 1 Commemorative Programme, to mark the centenary of the First World War. It aims to help children and young people develop their understanding of the causes of the First World War and impact on people’s lives.
The Scottish Learning Festival (SLF) is Scotland’s key educational event. We look forward to inviting you to a seminar for the Gaelic sector at 9.30am on Wednesday 19 September. This will have a focus on raising attainment and promoting excellence and equity for learners through an improved GME curriculum.
We are delighted that John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills will make some opening remarks at the seminar. This will set the national, strategic direction for Gaelic Education from the recently-published National Gaelic Language Plan, 2018-2023.
Joan Esson, HM Inspector of Education will share the successes and challenges of the free GME ELC hours, and how solution-focused approaches are being implemented. This will be based on our evaluations of the quality of experiences, as part of The Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) GME trials, which will be augmented with our inspection findings on GME ELC.
Angela NicIllebhràighe, Course Co-ordinator: Childcare Programmes and Seonaidh Charity, Programme Leader, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig University of Highlands and Islands will share how they can support GME post-16 pathways to support workforce planning. This will include:
The Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services: Children and Young People, which is a two-year programme delivered by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI through the medium of Gaelic. This is for young people in S5 and S6 and combines college-based learning with work placements.
HNC Childhood Practice, which is delivered by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI over two years on a part-time basis. The HNC Childhood Practice is a nationally recognised qualification, with the opportunity to study by distance learning. On successful completion, you will be eligible to register with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).
The BA (Hons) Gaelic and Education is a new four-year GME teacher education programme. The programme can be studied through distance learning, or by on-site delivery. It has a focus on the distinctive pedagogy required for GME. Students gain a degree, as well as a teaching qualification. This allows a direct route into teacher education, in an area in which there is a recognised shortage of teachers. The programme is designed for teaching Gàidhlig and Gaelic (Learners) at the secondary stages, or GME Primary Teaching. It includes 18 weeks of teaching experience within schools.
The Primary Science Education Conference (PSEC) is coming to Edinburgh in June 2019. It will bring together teachers and primary science experts from across the UK and internationally to share best practice in primary science teaching. From 6-8 June 2019, the comprehensive programme will offer outstanding professional development in primary science, complemented by a dynamic exhibition specifically focussed on primary science teaching.
Now is the perfect time to register your interest in attending PSEC, submit a proposal to deliver a workshop and apply for a teachers bursary to help cover your costs. On Friday 7th June there will be a dedicated Children’s Conference and more details of this will be released in September.
PSEC is brought to you by the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) – an educational charity whose vision is to see excellent teaching of science in every primary classroom in the UK.
An Comann Gaidhealach’s newsletter has a summary of the dates for local Mods across Scotland. Education Scotland’s Advice on Gaelic Education refers to such opportunities for personal achievements as an important context for applying language, building confidence and developing a range of skills for learning life and work.
The Scottish Government has commissioned Gaelic Medium Education Scottish National Standardised Assessments (GME SNSA) as part of the National Improvement Framework. The GME SNSA will assess children and young people from Gaelic Medium Education in reading, writing and numeracy during P1, P4, P7 and S3.
Giglets Education is developing the GME SNSA for launch in schools in August 2018. We are now bringing together a team of educators with experience of CfE in Gaelic Medium Education to develop content for the GME National Standardised Assessments.
To celebrate the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, Education Scotland organised a Scots language creative writing competition inviting pupils to write a poem or short story in Scots.
We received a great selection of entries from across Scotland and we’re delighted to announce the winners:
Tris Davidson – Comely Park Primary School, Falkirk
Eliot Wearden – Biggar High School, South Lanarkshire
Mackenzie Reilly – Airdrie Academy, North Lanarkshire
Sarah Green – Keith Grammar School, Moray
The winning entries were all chosen for their excellent use of Scots vocabulary as well as demonstrating the skills and commitment required to write in Scots. They also showed creativity through the range of subject matters, from space fiction to the Loch Ness Monster and the adventures of Pickles the cat.
Having received such a high standard of entries, four runners-up have also been selected for their creativity and dedication to writing in Scots. The runners-up are:
Euan Hendry – Comely Park Primary School, Falkirk
Eilidh McAllan – Biggar High School, South Lanarkshire
Eilidh Currie, Eilidh McDermid and Rachel Thom – Airdrie Academy, North Lanarkshire
Lewis Rodgers and Kirsty Duncan – Keith Grammar School, Moray
The winner and runners-up will receive a great selection of Scots language books for their schools.
A special commendation for creativity and imagination has also been awarded to Eva Kerr from Airdrie Academy. Eva not only wrote a poem about the Kelpies but she also created a great animation
Thank you to everyone who took part in the competition. For more information about Scots language visit the Scots Blether on Glow.
A blog by Jamie Farquhar Deputy Head Teacher of Dumfries Academy
I am a QAMSO.
Increasingly – in the second year of there being QAMSOs – colleagues know what that is. Good; it saves me unpacking the acronym to its full glory of Quality Assurance and Moderation Support Officer and it suggests we* are having an impact.
My role is to support colleagues in their understanding and application of Moderation in its widest sense through the lens of a particular Numeracy or Literacy level. In my case, this is Third Level Writing.
I am not an English Teacher. However, I am a passionate advocate for the Teaching Profession and of the Responsibilities of All as key priorities for our learners. I believe the Broad General Education (BGE) provides the platform for teachers to co-create a curriculum that meets the needs of individual learners, in individual schools.
To achieve this we need the confidence to spurn the false panacea of centrally distributed WAGOLLs (What a Good One Looks Like) and resist ‘mimetic isomorphism’. In other words; it’s not about teachers doing the same thing, in the same way, either through decree or by the copycatting of perceived eminence. Rather, we should aim for the contextualised consistency of quality; as a QAMSO I advocate achieving this through planning, professional dialogue, reflection, sharing, experimentation and evaluation i.e. through Moderation.
Moderation is about skilled professionals working together to plan, evaluate, feedback and feed forward learning to all learning partners. Moderation is groups of teachers subjecting the entire learning process to rigorous professional scrutiny and so trusting and being trusted in their judgements. Through collaboration we empower a move beyond consistency of practice to an increased confidence in individual judgements, planning and interventions.
The Moderation Cycle provides a framework through which to embark on this process. In my own school, we accessed the cycle through the Evaluation stage by leading engagement with the Literacy Benchmarks and developing professional confidence in making judgements of CfE-levels. This starting point was chosen due to a familiarity, within a secondary context, of judging work against set standards in the Senior Phase. The challenge is to move thinking and practice from summative evaluation of output to include moderated planning of input; to ensure we are teaching and supporting what we later assess.
We have begun. Our Literacy Strategy produced Evidence which, as well as debate over CfE-levels, led to dialogue about the evidence’s relevance and validity. This demanded we reflect on our Assessment tools; which asked questions about the effectiveness of our Learning and Teaching and learners’ understanding of what they were learning and how well they had learned it (Learning Intentions and Success Criteria).
Colleagues then began to revisit their planning (Es and Os) to reflect learning and the Learner more holistically. This provided a range of on-going and holistic Evidence which demonstrated strengths, successes and nextsteps which informed Feedback, Reporting and planning of the next learning experience and so on. The principles of the Moderation Cycle as applied to Literacy have started to impact on practice in other curriculum areas and beyond the BGE.
The Moderation Hub provides an incredible resource to support this work. I will use it extensively in my QAMSO role to support Professional Learning in schools. The Hub provides off-the-shelf material for Professional Learning Workshops and e-learning. I recommend it to all Literacy / Numeracy Leads and Professional Learning Coordinators. I also commend the Moderation Cycle and Hub to all school leaders as a means to lead and evidence genuine Quality Assurance of Learning and Teaching.
The workshops take a little time as they work through each stage of the cycle, asking colleagues to reflect on examples and craft improvements collaboratively. A commitment to mutual engagement and knowledge creation through the Moderation Cycle should lead to a sustained shift of culture and improvement in outcomes for learners that simply being ‘given the answers’ cannot hope to achieve.
The Moderation Cycle provides the framework to be autonomous, contextually-aware, professional leaders of learning.
This QAMSO’s advice: Follow the Cycle – Co-Create – Trust your Judgements.
*There are lots of us: Each Local Authority has a QAMSO for each CfE Level from Early to Fourth in Numeracy, Writing and Reading.