Category Archives: Literacy

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

 

 

 

 

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/

 

Comhairle nan Leabhraichean Bileag Ùr do Phàrantan

Tha Comhairle nan Leabhraichean air bileag ùr a chruthachadh do phàrantan aig nach eil Gàidhlig, aig a bheil clann ann am foghlam tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig. Tha molaidhean agus fiosrachadh ann mu dheidhinn leabhraichean agus goireasan a tha rim faighinn airson diofar aoisean, bho phàistean gu inbhich òga. Cuiribh fios Shelagh is cuiridh iad pasgan dhan sgoil.

The Gaelic Books Council has produced a new leaflet for non-Gaelic speaking parents of children in Gaelic Medium Education. It contains information and advice about books and resources for all ages. Please contact Shelagh for more information.

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.