Category Archives: CLD

Tackling the priorities in QuISE – a joined up approach?

 

By Alan Armstrong, Strategic Director

Our report ‘Quality and improvement in Scottish education 2012-2016’ (QuISE) points to five key aspects of education and practice which we believe should be priorities for improvement if all learners in Scotland are to achieve their potential. Many or all sectors of education should be:

  • exploiting fully the flexibility of Curriculum for Excellence to meet better the needs of all learners;
  • improving arrangements for assessment and tracking to provide personalised guidance and support throughout the learner journey;
  • maximising the contribution of partnerships with other services, parents and the wider community to enhance children’s and young people’s learning experiences;
  • improving further the use of self-evaluation and improvement approaches to ensure consistent high quality of provision; and
  • growing a culture of collaboration within and across establishments and services to drive innovation, sharing of practice and collective improvement.

Looking at these priorities from my perspective in ensuring the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence, the employability and skills agenda, and digital learning and teaching, I am struck by how the priorities inter-relate and, indeed, are interdependent.

The flexibility offered by CfE has the potential for schools to design their curriculum structures in ways that reflect fully the local contexts and aspirations of their learners. Within this, the range of progression pathways can then enable children and young people to make suitably brisk progress across the broad general education, and into and through the senior phase.  This needs to be informed by improved assessment and tracking to ensure teachers, learners and parents make the most appropriate decisions at the right time.

However, there is no doubt that the curriculum structures needed to make this a reality rely very strongly on the direct contributions of partners, including agencies and local employers. Collaborations amongst staff within and across schools, with colleagues in colleges, community learning and development and other areas of expertise all combine to enrich the curriculum and motivate learners.

In early learning and childcare provision, primary and secondary schools, the new curriculum area Benchmarks are beginning to support a clearer understanding of learners’ progression across the broad general education. This  will help teachers to plan the breadth, challenge and application of learning that will prepare young people for the three year learner journey of their senior phase.  And that of course involves collaborations and the wide range of qualifications across the SCQF framework, exploiting again the flexibility of CfE in preparing learners for their futures.

Partnerships are the essential element in Developing the Young Workforce. I’m becoming aware of increasingly effective approaches to employability, skills and career education, often promoted through three-ways partnerships amongst schools, colleges and employers.  And by now you’ll be seeing the connections with the other QuISE priorities of collaboration and more informed personal guidance that can help to exploit that full flexibility in CfE.

Digital learning and teaching has great potential to promote and improve partnership working and collaboration, locally, nationally and internationally. Teachers and pupils can gain significantly in learning from the innovative and effective practice of others.  Where digital is central in planning and delivering learning and teaching, and makes use of learners’ own digital skills or develops them further, I’m in no doubt that young people benefit.  Digital can and does support teachers in their tracking and monitoring, reducing bureaucracy and workload.  As digital access and digital skills continues to improve, the opportunities for leaders, practitioners and learners to take steps that address the QuISE priorities are significant.

The individual QuISE chapters on each education sector highlight good practice as well as challenges in providing high quality experiences for all. The key is often the distinct professionalism of leaders and practitioners, engaging individually and collaboratively to reflect and to make the changes that matter.

Finally, effective self-evaluation is central to ensuring continuous improvement in addressing the priorities in QuISE.   I am beginning to see schools, colleges, and community learning and development now looking beyond their own centre and working with all partners in undertaking self-evaluation and analysing evidence.  The benefit will be greater collective understanding of how effectively their curriculum, learning, teaching and assessment genuinely meet their learners’ needs.  Where that process leads to jointly agreed actions for improvement, I’m in no doubt that the learning experiences and the outcomes for all children and young people will also improve.

Confident collaboration for improvement – the legacy of QuISE?

by Dr Bill Maxwell, HM Chief Inspector of Education

The publication of our report on Quality and improvement in Scottish education (QuISE), ranging back over the period 2012 to 2016, has been a great opportunity to take a step back from more immediate short-term concerns and take a ‘bigger picture’ view of what has been achieved over a period of major reform which has touched every area of Scottish education.

Having launched the report, I would now encourage each education setting to read their dedicated chapter and consider it in their self-evaluation.

Of course there is already good evidence around that, as result of the professionalism and expertise of staff and of course the efforts of learners themselves, outcomes have improved over that stretch of time. National Qualification outcomes have steadily improved and the proportion of young people entering a positive destination post-school now sits at a record high. Although there is still a long way to go, we have also seen evidence of progress in beginning to close the attainment gap between pupils from the most and the least disadvantaged backgrounds.

Equally, of course, not all in the statistical garden in rosy. We have also seen some unwelcome indications that we should be concerned about the pace of progress in literacy and numeracy through the broad general education, for example, and we saw a disappointing set of PISA results for 2015.

The QuISE report, offers a distinctly different, but complementary, perspective from that which you can get by simply looking at the statistics. It provides an analysis based on first-hand observation and evaluation of the quality what is actually happening in playrooms, classrooms, lecture rooms and other educational settings throughout the country. It summarises observation and evaluation undertaken by expert professionals, HM inspectors and indeed many other associates and lay members from education sectors across the country who join our inspection teams contributing a valuable additional perspective.

Our analysis of what has emerged from that more qualitative evidence base over the last four years has led us to conclude that there are some very positive and growing strengths in the provision and practice within Scottish education. These are strengths that align directly with the ambitions of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) and other related reforms.

We are seeing improvement in the quality of learning experiences, with the result that young people are increasingly well motivated, engaged and actively involved in their learning. We are seeing schools and other education settings becoming more inclusive, we are seeing a broader range of achievements being promoted and recognised, and we are seeing the impact of strong leadership, with a clear and sustained focus on raising the quality of the day-to-day learning and teaching that learners experience.

The report also sets out a set of five priority areas. This is where we believe targeted improvements in practice and provision would reap dividends in enabling us to make further progress towards meeting our collective national ambition of achieving excellence with equity for all Scottish learners. They include: exploiting more fully the flexibility of CfE; improving assessment and personal support; enhancing partnerships; strengthening approaches to self-evaluation and improvement; and growing a culture of collaborative enquiry. In all cases these go with the flow of current reforms and national strategies and in each case there are already examples of excellent practice in the system.

Taking a longer view of what has been achieved over the last few years, and thinking about where we go next, has also had quite a personal dimension for me, as I retire from the role of Chief Executive of Education Scotland this Summer. As I prepare to move on, I am convinced that the Scottish education system is well placed to make substantial progress across each of these key areas.

If I were to pick out a linking theme it would be about collective commitment across all partners in the education system to work together, to help each other, and indeed to constructively challenge each other, in ways which provide richer, more coherent, more personalised learning pathways capable of matching the needs of all our learners. Confident collaboration for improvement rather than competitive isolation should be the Scottish way, reflecting our deep national commitment to a strong education as a common public good.

Taking account of the themes in this report, and with the National Improvement Framework providing a new level of clarity and focus from national to local level, I am confident that we can rise to the challenge that the OECD left us with following their 2015 review: to make sure we achieve the potential of a progressive programme of national educational reform, by taking bold and specific action to fully realise its benefits. I hope the QuISE report helps inform discussion and debate in education settings of all types, across the whole country, about where that specific action is needed and how boldness can be ensured as it is pursued.

 

Gaelic Language Enrichment Course for teachers of Gaelic Learner and Medium Education (GLE and GME)

When: 2 – 7 July 2017 and 23 – 27 July 2017

Where: South Uist

Fee: £250

Language level: Beginner to Fluent

Brief: This Gaelic Enrichment Course is a career-long professional learning opportunity for teachers of GLE and GME. The course aims to support teachers use and develop their Gaelic language skills within a community setting. The course will be tailored to the specific needs of the teachers.  It includes: conversational skills, grammar, resources for the classroom, workshops and field trips.

For more information, please contact: Ceòlas Uibhist, Taigh Gleus, Dalabrog, Uibhist a Deas HS8 5SS Tel: 01878 700154 E-mail: info@ceolas.co.uk

www.ceolas .co.uk

The CDN College Awards 2017: Call for Entries

We are seeking entries for this year’s CDN College Awards. The deadline date for entries is Friday 7 July 2017.  

Entries are invited in the following eight categories:

  • Developing a Regional Curriculum Award
  • Digital Education Award
  • Employer Connections Award
  • Essential Skills Award
  • Health Promoting College Award
  • Inclusive College Award
  • Innovative College Award
  • Student Citizenship Award

For further information and how to enter please visit online:   

www.cdn.ac.uk/cdn-college-awards-2017/ 

 The winners will be announced at a black tie awards dinner.

Financial Education Week

Education Scotland and the Money Advice Service, in partnership with the Scottish Financial Capability Partnership (http://www.fincap.org.uk/scotland-forum) are running a Scottish Financial Education Week from 20-24 March which will see a series of events happening to promote money management for children, young people and young adults and to raise awareness of the importance of financial education both in schools and in the wider community.

The following are examples of what is taking place

Wednesday 22nd – Focus Group at Young Scot (Edinburgh) examining the development of financial capability with young apprentices.

Thursday 23rd – University of Edinburgh Business School is hosting a seminar and interactive webinar focusing on supporting and developing young adult financial capability.

https://www.business-school.ed.ac.uk/event/seminar-supporting-and-developing-young-adult-financial-capability

Thursday 23rd (evening) – Lloyds Money for Life workshop in Glasgow involving young people.

Friday 24th – Financial Education Conference at Murrayfield (Edinburgh) – aimed at teachers and local authority education workers. Sponsored by the Accountant in Bankruptcy and the Money Advice Service.   To register e-mail edscfe@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk

Also, throughout the week there will be a series of consumer facing events run by Lloyds Money for Life programme, in partnership with Youth Scotland, where young people will be going out across Scotland to ask young people about their hopes and fears for their financial future

Financial Education Conference 2017 Workshops

Finance Fairtrade Fortnight – St Catherine’s Primary School, Glasgow City Council

Jennifer Anderson PT and Claire Conlon PT will describe how the school’s themed finance fortnight addressed the priorities in the School Improvement Plan (SIP), such as improving learning in literacy, numeracy and social studies, embedding outdoor learning in the curriculum, making connections to global citizenship and developing a shared understanding around learning for sustainability. They will demonstrate how the ‘real life’ money activities they and their colleagues offered the children using support from the local community provided an increased focus on lifelong learning, made the young people aware of the links between economic wellbeing and health, improved staff understanding and knowledge of financial education within the curriculum areas of health and wellbeing (HWB), numeracy and social studies (SS), met the children’s needs via ‘going out to learn’/outdoor learning and supported the children regarding the ‘world of work’.   Jennifer and Claire will discuss the usefulness of ‘Money Mates’ in assessing the children’s learning over the fortnight and next steps.

Financial education and additional support needs – Cardinal Winning Secondary School, Glasgow City Council

Marie Inglis PT and Paula Elliot CT will demonstrate how ‘Money Week’, besides addressing financial education, provided a platform for the development of interdisciplinary learning (IDL) and the delivery of an exciting and challenging curriculum while developing the necessary skills for learning, life and work. Besides IDL, the other main themes developed were supporting the young people with everyday money management skills and self-evaluation. Marie and Paula will describe how the school’s aims of Money Week were met – developing IDL, promoting a sound savings ethos, raised awareness of ‘needs versus wants’, developing independence, a wider awareness of employment opportunities and links to managing money, awareness-raising of using money in a digital age and understanding ‘risks and rewards’. They will discuss how the themed event supported the development of employability and entrepreneurial skills.

Credit Unions, Money Week and more – Prestonfield Primary School, City of Edinburgh Council

Fiona Murray, Head teacher at Prestonfield PS, has organised and run several Money Weeks in recent years and following the Money Week in February 2016 she proposed the setting up of a school savings bank in partnership with Capital Credit Union. In this workshop she will share examples of interesting practice and the lessons learned from these themed inter-disciplinary weeks. She will explain how this has impacted the development of a high quality Financial Education programme in the school context and offer advice for delivering similar provision in other establishments. She will be assisted in this workshop by Kenny Ferguson who is the volunteer in school in charge of the CU Savings Bank.

Financial education and numeracy across learning – Knox Academy, East Lothian Council

Calum Blair who is a curriculum leader in Knox Academy will describe how as part of the school improvement plan they implemented and evaluated their money week. This focused on ‘numeracy across learning’, interdisciplinary learning (IDL) and the delivery of high quality learning and teaching opportunities with a focus on raising attainment. ‘Money Week’, besides raising an awareness of the issues underpinning financial education, provided an opportunity to make connections to support from the financial services sector and the wider community. Calum will talk about how the school are taking forward the lessons learned over the course of the week and through subsequent discussions with colleagues and members of the school management team.

Going out to Learn: real life financial education – Westercraigs Nursery School, Glasgow City Council

Lesley Morrison HT with a group of staff and young children will demonstrate the variety of fun, challenging and highly rewarding experiences the whole establishment enjoys while interacting with services out with the playroom – all on an almost daily basis. During this workshop the children will operate their real life fruit and veg shop and show how “pupil voice” informs how the profits they make from their business activities are researched, agreed and spent. The concept of fairness within a Curriculum for Excellence is included in a First Level outcome. Westercraigs children will offer their take on fairness and Fair Trade and demonstrate their ability and eagerness to meaningfully engage, with fairness in mind, in the life and work of their community at Early Level.

Financial Education: meeting challenges now and in the future – Money Advice Service

We know that the money experiences and learning children and young people have in their school years is important for managing money well later on.  Financial education is on the curriculum, yet there’s still too little evidence and research about how to deliver it effectively, and some children are still missing out.

This workshop will explore what MAS has found from extensive research into children’s and young people’s needs, why financial education matters so much, and what you can do to help improve it. It will provide insights into activities happening to understand more about ‘what works’, and an opportunity to consider the barriers to doing more of it – and solutions to overcoming them, including the chance to learn about a range of MAS tools and projects to support more evidence-based, effective financial education.

Progression in financial education, numeracy benchmarks – Education Scotland

Education Scotland published draft benchmarks for numeracy and mathematics in August 2016. There is currently an online consultation seeking practitioners’ views on these. Education Scotland is keen to consult with as many practitioners and partners as possible. Final Benchmarks will be published in June 2017. This workshop provides an opportunity for you to find out more about how the Benchmarks will be used to support professional judgement of achievement of a level in numeracy and mathematics. There will be an opportunity for professional discussion and for you to provide feedback on the Benchmarks related to Money and Number and number processes.

 

Credit Unions in Schools – Pioneer Credit Union

Beth Welsh, Business Development Manager and Amanda Gilmour, Project Co-ordinator for Pioneer Mutual Credit Union will talk about how they are engaging with schools across East Renfrewshire as part of the Scottish Government’s Junior Savers Scheme Fund. The project aims to encourage positive financial habits from a young age, and Pioneer Mutual are working with both primary schools and secondary schools.  In order to achieve this we have developed a series of financial education workshops, covering topics including credit scores and real life budgeting. The workshops focus on ensuring that participants gain an understanding of money and budgeting the digital world. We are working with Wildhearts to enable all the schools involved in our partnership project participate in their Micro-Tyco challenge; as we believe that the savings and ethical finance practices the Credit Union promotes works hand in hand with the entrepreneurial skills learnt through the challenge.

Prison Education: A Hard Cell! – Scottish Prison Service

The prison population in Scotland is comprised of a disparate mix of prisoners with complex problems and backgrounds. This workshop will provide an overview of how the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) in partnership with their two college education providers help tackle such issues through encouraging participation in learning. The workshop will be led by Jim King Head of Learning & Skills for SPS with support from Fife college and New College Lanarkshire. This will include examples of innovative case studies to demonstrate the complexity of issues facing the prison population and the ways in which our education providers promote the benefits of financial education for prisoners.

 

 

Tackling Sectarianism Resource Launch Event

The Scottish Government and  Education Scotland are hosting the launch of a free suite of anti-sectarianism learning and teaching resources for children and young people. The launch will be opened by the Scottish Government Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Annabelle Ewing, in Stirling on the 22 Febuary 2017. Throughout the day detailed information about these resources and how they can be best deployed will be presented by a range of education practitioners. There will also be opportunities for you to explore the resources.

Date and Venue

22nd February 2017 9.30am – 4pm

Stirling Court Hotel, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Refreshments and lunch will be provided

Background.

As part of the wider “Tackling Sectarianism” agenda by the Scottish Government a large number of both local authority and community based projects have been, and in some cases are still being, delivered across Scotland.

These projects were delivered in a variety of settings and involved a great deal of action research.

As a result of this work a number of anti-sectarianism resources were produced under the guidance of the Scottish Government Community Safety Unit and its appointed Government Advisory Group.

The Scottish Government then tasked an Education Scotland working group with reviewing these resources and carrying out a Quality Assurance programme so that the best of these resources could be made available to practitioners across Scotland through the Education Scotland National Improvement Hub.

The launch event will be opened by the Scottish Government Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Annabelle Ewing. Throughout the day detailed information about these resources and how they can be best deployed will be presented by a variety of personnel and there will be opportunities for you to explore the resources.

Places can be reserved via the link below by Friday 17th Febuary 2016.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/28SKYXB

 

Developing Gaelic literacy skills

Tuesday 7th February, Balnain House, Inverness; 09.15  – 17.00 Tutor: Roddy MacLean

Are you interested in developing your skills in editing and proof-reading Gaelic texts?  If so, this professional learning opportunity may be of interest to you.  It includes a focus on grammar and writing conventions.  For more information, or to register for the course, email John Storey, at the Gaelic Books Council.

Sgilean Sgrìobhaidh is Deasachaidh Gàidhlig airson nan Gnìomhachasan Cruthachail

Dimàirt 7 an Gearran, Balnain House, Inbhir Nis. 09.15 – 17.00 Neach-teagaisg: Ruairidh MacIlleathain

A bheil ùidh agad ann an obair-deasachaidh ceangailte ri leabhraichean no foillseachaidhean eile?  Ma tha, ‘s dòcha gum bi ùidh agad anns a’ chùrsa ùr seo.  Airson tuilleadh fiosrachaidh, no airson clàradh, cuiribh brath gu John Storey, Ceannard Litreachais agus Foillseachaidh.

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?