Category Archives: Young People

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.

Young People’s Social and Political Participation Across the EU

 LSE pilot study ends 3rd July
CATCH-EyoU (Constructing Active Citizenship with European Youth: Policies, Practices, Challenges and Solutions) is a research and innovation action funded by the European Commission
CATCH-EyoU is trying to find out about young people’s social and political participation across the EU and want to understand why and how some young people decide to participate (or to not participate) in their communities, in politics, and in social life. They are especially interested in European active citizenship and what this might mean to young people.
The project is currently carrying out a survey which seeks the views of young people, in two separate age groups: between 16-18, and between 19–25 on their experiences and perspectives as young European citizens. The pilot survey will be open until 3 July.
For young people between the ages of 16-18 the link to the survey is here.
For young people between the ages of 19-25 the link to the survey is here.
Any young person completing the whole survey will be eligible to win one of ten £20 Amazon voucher prizes. These will be randomly allocated at the beginning of July, and will be sent via email to the winning participant.
Find out more here.
Contact: Dr Sam Mejias at London School of Economic and Political Science, s.mejias@lse.ac.uk

EU Report: Youth work’s contribution to aid transition from education into employment

EU youth work and employabilityThe contribution of youth work to address the challenges young people are facing, in particular the transition from education to employment.

The Report presents results from the work of the expert group set up under the European Union Work Plan for Youth for 2014-2015.

The findings detail the role of youth work and its specific contribution to addressing the challenges young people face, in particular the transition from education to employment. The report seeks to make employers, Public Employment Services and policy-makers aware of the crucial role youth work can play – either as a lead agency or in partnership with others – in supporting the employment and employability of young people. In this context, youth work is defined as ‘actions directed towards young people regarding activities where they take part voluntarily, designed for supporting their personal and social development through non-formal and informal learning’.

SafeSpot

Small - SafeSpotMany children today will experience challenges and stressors. Within Scotland around 1 in 10 children aged 5-16 have mental health difficulties, and many of these young people are not able to access psychiatric services so suffer in silence or are seen by other clinicians or charity based services.

The SafeSpot mobile phone app and website (www.safespot.org.uk) will benefit children across Scotland, by helping them to learn how to cope and develop management strategies for times of difficulties. It will improve familial relationships, and enabling the child to live a much-improved quality of life. In addition improved mental health will improve attention, concentration and functioning at school empowering a child to fulfil their full potential.

Join us on Monday 9th May at 4pm to speak directly to those involved in creating this new app and website and find out how it can help your pupils.

Sign up now to take part live on the day – SafeSpot

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.

EU report on youth work and its contributions to youth employment

EU youth work reportThis report details the contribution of youth work to address the challenges young people are facing, in particular the transition from education to employment.

The report seeks to make employers, Public Employment Services and policy-makers aware of the crucial role youth work can play – either as a lead agency or in partnership with others – in supporting the employment and employability of young people. In this context, youth work is defined as ‘actions directed towards young people regarding activities where they take part voluntarily, designed for supporting their personal and social development through non-formal and informal learning’.

The role of this report is to contribute to the understanding of the value youth work brings to the lives of young people with a particular emphasis on its contribution to employability. In doing so the expert group explores and demonstrates the principles and practice by which youth work enables young people to face many life challenges, in particular the often difficult transition from education and training to employment.

The Report presents results from the work of the expert group set up under the European Union Work Plan for Youth for 2014-2015.