Category Archives: Responsibility of All

A National Strategy for School Libraries in Scotland

 

Vibrant Libraries, Thriving Schools: ‘A National Strategy for School Libraries in Scotland, 2018-2023’, was published in September. The strategy highlights ways that staff in libraries and schools may collaborate on continuous improvement and professional development. This strategy will be of interest to those in English and Gaelic Medium Education.

 

https://scottishlibraries.org/media/2108/vibrant-libraries-thriving-schools.pdf?dm_i=LQE,5Y3K5,5GL2BW,NAIEG,1

 

An Deasbad Naiseanta 2018

The preliminary rounds of the National Gaelic Schools Debate will take place on 6 and 7 November 2018. This year marks the twentieth national debate.  By participating in this competition, young people in Gaelic Medium Education are afforded an opportunity to develop their debating skills through the medium of Gaelic.

Education Scotland is pleased to be a sponsor for this competition along with Bòrd na Gàidhlig, The Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, The Highland Council, Glasgow City Council and Scottish Qualifications Authority.

The final round of the competition will be on 28 November at The Scottish Parliament.

Opportunities for Personal Achievements through Gaelic

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.

Here are some useful links:

An Comann Gaidhealach’s newsletter:

http://www.ancomunn.co.uk/images/uploads/Cuairt-litir_Mart_2018.pdf

Education Scotland’s Advice on Gaelic Education:

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/self-evaluation/Comhairle%20mu%20Fhoghlam%20Gàidhlig/%20Advice%20on%20Gaelic%20Education

Statutory Guidance on Gaelic Education:

http://www.gaidhlig.scot/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Statutory-Guidance-for-Gaelic-Education.pdf

 

 

 

 

Interesting Practice exemplar – Castlebrae Community High School: Junior Adventure Leader

This exemplar outlines a 8 week programme that helps learners in  S2 to gain valuable experiences, skills and qualifications in relation to the world of work.  Delivered in partnership with a number or organisations this PSHE course component provides learner with the opportunities to develop a wide variety of employability and career management skills as well as key attributes and dispositions to better prepare them for the world of work.

This is one component of a wider whole school strategy on career education that aims to inspire and prepare learners for future pathways and the world of work.

The following will outline the programme in more detail:

The following documents provide materials in support of the delivery of an SQA employability award  :

 

Deputy First Minister’s Maths Challenge: GME Version

Tha Dùbhlan Matamataig an Leas Phrìomh Mhinisteir ri fhaighinn ann an Gàidhlig an seo:

http://gaelic.readwritecount.scot/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/148167_SCT1117349458-1_DFM_Maths_Challenge_A3_Gaelic-WEB22-1.pdf

Tha sinn an dòchas gun còrd e ruibh.

Deputy First Minister’s Maths Challenge is available through the medium of Gaelic:

http://gaelic.readwritecount.scot/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/148167_SCT1117349458-1_DFM_Maths_Challenge_A3_Gaelic-WEB22-1.pdf

Fun, festive activities to keep your child busy over the holidays!

Resources to support health and wellbeing in Gaelic Medium Education (GME)

The Safer Scotland Scottish Government website has resources to support children learning through the medium of Gaelic. These include interactive games and stories.  Please visit:

http://gaelic.gosafewithziggy.com/

Road Safety – ‘Go Safe with Ziggy’ Competition

Ziggy’s BIG competition is about helping children learn about road safety in a fun, creative way.  This is part of a Scotland-wide movement to help young children be safe on roads and about traffic. The competition is open until the end of April 2018.

Scots language creative writing competition – winners announced

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.

Everything in moderation

A blog by Jamie Farquhar
Deputy Head Teacher of Dumfries Academy

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.

Case Study: Increasing the uptake for languages in the senior phase

Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT) has published a case study which focuses on increasing the uptake for languages as young people move from the broad general education into the senior phase.   It demonstrates how self-evaluation has been used to secure improvements.

The case study is available here:

https://www.scilt.org.uk/Portals/24/Library/news/2017/St%20Thomas%20Aquinas%20Secondary%20School%20Case%20Study.pdf?ver=2017-11-17-162149-840

To use a similar approach for Gàidhlig and learning through the medium of Gaelic, please consider using the following:

How good is our school? (fourth edition)

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/frwk2hgios

Section 2 of the statutory Guidance on Gaelic Education

http://www.gaidhlig.scot/bord/education/statutory-guidance/

Advice on Gaelic Education: Secondary stages (Gaelic Medium Education)

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/Documents/Gael3-9secondarystages.pdf

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/Documents/Gael3-9rean%c3%a1rdsgoile.pdf

Quality and Improvement in Scottish Education: Gaelic Medium Education

https://education.gov.scot/Documents/QuISEGaelic%20Medium%20Education.pdf

Gaelic Medium Education: self-improvement, attainment and leadership

https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/eslb/2017/06/08/gaelic-medium-education-self-improvement-attainment-and-leadership/

 

Whole School Approach -reducing the cost of a school day

Child Poverty Action Group has some good practice examples of working with partners in the community including local organisations to help towards reducing the cost of a school day see link below

 http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/it-takes-all-us-whole-school-approach-reducing-costs-school-day