Category Archives: Young People

YouthLink Scotland Policy Seminar – Digital Youth Work and Cyber Resilience

YouthLink Scotland would like to invite you to join them for their policy seminar on digital youth work and cyber resilience on 27th September 2018 in Edinburgh.

There will be an amazing line up of speakers, including David McNeill (SCVO), Suvi Tuominen (VERKE, Finland’s National Development Centre for Digital Youth Work), and 5Rights Ambassadors – as well as youth worker Darran Gillan (YMCA) sharing his approach to digital youth work, and Rural Youth Project co-founder Rebecca Dawes talking about international rural youth vlogging and blogging.

Some of the key questions that the seminar will address include:

  • Are young people really ‘digital natives?’
  • Are youth workers equipped and ready to support young people to navigate this changing ‘digital’ world, to realise their potential and address new challenges?
  • Do we still deliver youth work services in the same way we always have?

The seminar will also include some brand new films from the EU Digital Youth Work project.

Booking information can be found here.

First Minister’s Question Time – participation project

National charity Children in Scotland and national agency for youth work YouthLink Scotland are developing an exciting new participation project, First Minister’s Question Time (FMQT), which will launch later this year. It aims to empower children and young people, particularly those too young to have a vote or whose voices are seldom heard, to express their views, opinions and needs directly to Scotland’s leaders.

 

As part of planning for the first FMQT event, Children in Scotland and YouthLink Scotland will be contacting schools in June and asking young people to submit questions. An education resource linked to the project is also being developed which will be shared with schools.

 

If you are interested in hearing more about the project and would like to be sent further information, please email: info@youthlinkscotland.org or info@childreninscotland.org.uk with ‘FMQT project’ in the subject line.

CLD Meetings and events updates

CLD Standards Council

The CLD Standards Council held a successful conference with over 180 members participating actively in a wide variety of workshops with a professional learning focus across a wide spectrum of CLD practice. For more information about their work, visit their website: http://cldstandardscouncil.org.uk/

CLD and STEM

Education Scotland met with colleagues from the Science Centres and Festivals to discuss STEM actions in relation to CLD. We are currently undertaking an audit of science centre and CLD STEM engagement. This information will give a baseline of current activity. Further discussions will take place with CLD, Education Scotland, Scottish Government and Science Centres and Festivals to identify priorities and begin to produce STEM Community Plans.

Newbattle Abbey Adult Learning Conference

The fifth Adult Learning Conference took place in Newbattle Abbey College on the 24th April and delegates came from local authorities, colleges, National Organisations, Higher Education and the Third Sector.  Shirley- Anne Somerville,  Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science delivered the Keynote Address and announced grant support from Education Scotland for the Adult Achievement Awards. Joan MacKay, Assistant Director, Education Scotland, invited the audience to help shape the CLD offer in the light of Education Scotland’s new National and Regional responsibilities. Adult Guidance was the theme of the

conference, introduced by Marian Docherty, Principal of Newbattle Abbey College and there were two powerful testimonies from adult learners about their learner journeys and the importance of adult guidance in shaping their futures. Conference delegates agreed recommendations for actions to develop Adult Guidance in Scotland. This Action Plan will be sent to Ms Somerville and the National Strategic Forum for Adult Learning will implement the recommendations once approved by the Minister.

National Youth Work Strategy

The National Youth Work Strategy Group met on 2 May at Youthlink. Key themes arising were how to build on the legacy work of the YOYP and ensure that the new Strategy was reflective of young people’s aspirations and how to make use of evidence from the GUS research to help inform the new Strategy and build a strong evidence base for the future.

Languages in FE and ESOL Practitioner Professional Learning Network

The second meeting of the steering group for the Languages in FE and ESOL Practitioner Professional Learning Network took place at the end of April. This network is being supported by a partnership between the College Development Network, Education Scotland and Scotland’s Centre for Languages.

The Languages and ESOL network supports the learning and teaching of all languages and cultures. Its purpose is to be a national voice for languages and ESOL within FE and the wider community, and to provide a platform for sharing and developing practice in its widest sense. For more information about the work of the steering group, please contact Mandy Watts.

National Strategic Forum for Adult Learning in Scotland Learner Voice Working Group

The National Strategic Forum for Adult Learning is chaired by Education Scotland. The new Learner Voice Pack contains information on the work of this strategic group and case studies from Glasgow Women’s Library, Scottish Book Trust, Stirling Council, Crisis Skylight Edinburgh, Scottish Borders CLD, East Renfrewshire Council, Age Scotland, Airdrie Adult Learners’ Forum  and West Dunbartonshire Learners’ Voice. It is accessible now from the CPD Forum page of i-develop. It will be formally launched at Learning Link Scotland on the 15th May.

Sleep in the Park: 1000 Free School Tickets!

This year Social Bite are bringing together 9,000 people in Princes Street Gardens, on the 9th of December, for the world’s largest ever Sleep-Out to try and end homelessness in Scotland for good. Participants will be joined by some of the world’s biggest artists to sleep in the cold for one night.
We have invited some amazing musicians to “busk” stripped back acoustics sets including Liam Gallagher, Deacon Blue, Amy Macdonald and Frightened Rabbit. We also have Rob Brydon hosting the event, Sir Bob Geldof sleeping out and John Cleese has agreed to come and read a bedtime story!

The website is: https://www.sleepinthepark.co.uk/
You can see a little video about the event here:

 Sleep In The Park Launch Video.mp4

Please note:  This allocation is for young people 16 and over and they must be accompanied by an adult.

Opportunity for Your School

Ordinarily, in order to participate in the event people have to pay an initial donation of £50 and commit to raise at least £50 more. However, we have had a wealthy individual donate £50,000 to fund the participation of 1,000 School kids (aged 16 and over).

Therefore I am writing to see if you would like to take an allocation of free tickets for children over 16 at your school. The group would need to commit to raising a minimum of £50 or more per person in order to take part, but would not have to pay any initial £50 registration fee as this has been entirely funded. They would also have to be accompanied to the event by a teacher(s).

We are giving the school ticket allocations out on a first come first served basis and we expect the demand to be high and the 1,000 available to be taken quickly. Therefore could you let me know if you would like an allocation of tickets? If so please let me know the number of tickets you would like for your school?

Josh Littlejohn MBE

Social Bite

Co-Founder

t: 0131 220 8206

 

Water Safety

As we approach the summer holidays, Scottish Water would like to make all parents and their children aware of the water safety code.
Water safety is a priority but especially during the summer months when children spend more time outdoors.

Scottish water would encourage teachers to take the time to access the Go Safe Scotland resource and deliver a water safety lesson before the summer break.

For more information go to Go Safe Scotland – Water Safety.

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.

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

 

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

Education Governance Review – Ask The DFM

small-john-swinney-ed-governanceAs you may be aware the Education Governance Review is currently underway. The Deputy First Minister is hosting a Q&A session live on Glow TV for teachers to discuss the Governance Review on Tuesday 17th November at 6pm.

The Scottish Government believe that decisions about children’s learning and schools should be taken within schools themselves supported by parents and communities. If schools are to have greater control over the decisions they take, there is a clear rational to change the allocation of resources to support this. The Scottish Government will introduce a new fair and transparent needs based funding formula to make sure that resources get to the areas that need it most.

The Scottish Government recognise that there may be some functions which are best delivered at a local, regional or national level rather than at school level and that teachers and practitioners require support to do their jobs well. They want to hear your views on how all levels of our education system can be improved to support the empowered, collaborative and flexible culture which we are seeking to develop. If you are unable to attend the live session and wish a question to be asked please send it to – governacereview@gov.scot

Register now to take part live – Education Governance Review – Ask The DFM

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.