Category Archives: Literacy

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.

 

 

Financial Education – Engaging with the wider community

In order to become more financially capable it is essential that young people understand the wider business, economic and financial world in which we all live.  Schools linking with a wide range of organisations, businesses and agencies can help make financial education much more relevant and engaging.  Making these connections can of course contribute to a wide range of curricular areas.

A really good example of this is taking young people to the Museum on the Mound in Edinburgh.

You get to see lots of money and the money that’s been used hundreds of years ago and how it was first made and what it was made of.

P5 Pupil

As well as learning about money, our young people get a great insight into the world of work. Obviously, two-fold in this case because they were in a museum, meeting the curator and learning about what a curator does and going around the museum itself and also the world of banking and the activities that happen in banking, even today.

Class teacher

Money as an industry in its own right, what a lot of people don’t always realise is the number of artists and craftsmen, printers that are involved in making what you get out of the hole in the wall or get back as change from a till.

Curator Museum on the Mound

In North Ayrshire the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) has partnered a local primary school to support the development of financial education.  This has involved using a resource called Skills 4 Bills.  Around ten members of staff from AiB took an afternoon away from their workplace to deliver this exciting simulation/game.  The purpose is to give an insight to financial management and the consequences people face should they find themselves in unsustainable debt.

During the game young people are given a different job or profession with its corresponding salary or wage.   Tax is then deducted before the young people choose their lifestyle options including their mode of transport, accommodation and holidays.  The game introduces young people to the swings and roundabouts of everyday life, some receiving bonuses while some suffer unexpected expenses.  At the end of round 1 in the game they review their results and then visit all the stations a second time before finding out whether or not they are in debt.

At the end of the simulation the young people worked with the AiB staff members to discuss what lessons have been learned and how they could avoid debt in their adult lives.

‘I learned that you should be careful when buying and you should only buy stuff that you need so you won’t go into debt’ P6 pupil

The young people were absolutely engaged in the activities and had lots of questions for the team from AiB that showed how much they had learned during the afternoon.

‘I think that the different options available to children gave them a taste of real-life contexts for finances.’ P7 teacher

Recently many more Credit Unions have become involved in schools in setting up Junior Savers schemes and delivering lessons in schools. For example Pioneer Mutual in East Renfrewshire are working with both primary schools and secondary schools delivering a series of financial education workshops, covering topics such as credit scores and real life budgeting.

There are a number of organisations that visit schools to enhance their provision around financial education particularly in secondary schools. Included in this are the Financial Education Partnership and the Stewart Ivory Financial Education Trust. Employees from the Royal Bank of Scotland also go into schools to deliver their very well received MoneySense workshops. They currently have 823 employees signed up in Scotland to deliver financial education sessions and have 1,011 schools across the country registered to use these resources.

Many of these interventions tend to be more successful when they are aligned with preparing young people for the world of work and for further and higher education.

Money and storytelling – powerful messages

One of the most inspirational ways that financial education has been delivered is through ‘stories’. In primary schools for example the use of the ‘On the Money’ short stories has been particularly successful and this was brought about by a partnership between Standard Life, Scottish Book Trust and Education Scotland .  The four stories were written by successful authors and covered a wide range of themes and contexts.

‘Funny Money’ written by Alison Prince focuses on:

  • Overspending and high levels of personal debt
  • Abstract nature of money
  • Attitudes and behaviours towards money

Nicola Morgan wrote ‘Charlie Fly and the Nice Dream’ which highlighted issues around:

  • Pocket money
  • Needs versus wants
  • Entrepreneurial and enterprising behaviour

‘No Change’ was written by Jonathan Meres and this short story looked at:

  • Family relationships
  • Marketing
  • Brand labels and peer pressure

Theresa Breslin’s contribution was ‘Down the Pan’. This short story focused on:

  • The divide between rich and poor
  • Global citizenship
  • Fundraising and charity

Engaging with these stories has helped young people tackle some very big issues, developing their own ideas as part of the process. For example young people in a Glasgow  primary school read ‘Down the Pan’ as part of their work during ‘Fairtrade’ week.

The follow up to ‘On the Money’ was produced in partnership between the Scottish Government, Scottish Book Trust and Education Scotland. It was a graphic novel entitled ‘Skint!’  This was a much ‘grittier’ resource aimed at young people aged 16-26.  It contains two illustrated stories that explore issues around attitudes and behaviours towards money management.  They were produced to engage reluctant readers and focused on realistic financial circumstances.

This book has been very well used in a number of different contexts particularly in community learning and development as well as schools and colleges.  As with ‘On the Money’ young people have engaged with the stories and the characters and these have provided memorable, enjoyable experiences and powerful messages for learners.   In particular there was a great deal of discussion amongst the learners about the characters and why they did certain things.  Many young people also face the issues that are discussed in the book and this makes it even more relevant for them.  The biggest issues that have arisen are:

  • Spending too much in teenage years and early twenties
  • Payday lenders
  • Buying on credit
  • Student debt

Many of these issues are discussed in the Money Advice Service report , It’s time to talk:young people and money regrets.

Financial Education – powerful messages and memorable experiences

Much has been done over the past ten years or so to improve the quality and quantity of the financial education delivered in our schools. This has been achieved by working across the financial, education and cultural sectors to raise the status and profile of financial education but also to improve the confidence of teachers to address the issues in this area of the curriculum.  The main reasons for a continued focus on financial education are the ever changing economic, political, social and environmental issues that continue to have a wide-ranging impact on all our lives.  These contexts are a central feature of  ‘learning for sustainability’ . Financial education has an important role in tackling poverty, reducing financial and social exclusion and improving the employability skills of all our young people. This will benefit both the individual and society in general.

Financial education is about helping young people meet the financial and economic challenges, now and particularly in ‘post-Brexit Britain’. The best way to do this to make sure they receive powerful messages about money and their experiences in and out of the classroom are memorable. Economics, politics and philosophy are at the heart of the development of financial capability underpinned by numeracy and literacy skills. It should be recognised that developing financial skills will make a contribution to an individual’s economic wellbeing which in turn improves physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing.   Issues such as

  • High levels of personal debt (including student debt)
  • Increasingly sophisticated financial products
  • Pay day and other high cost lending
  • ‘Food banks’ and increasing levels of poverty
  • High pressure advertising particularly around gambling
  • Pension regulation
  • Probable increase and fluctuations in interest rates
  • Changes to taxes and benefits

mean that there is an even greater need for individuals to take a much more active and informed interest in their own financial futures. Low levels of financial capability can be a cause and a symptom of poverty with the resulting impact on all aspects of health and wellbeing. It is really important that schools work with a range of stakeholders including credit unions to improve the financial skills of our young people.

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.

Scots in Shawlands

By Adam Black

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“We at Shawlands decided that it would be nice for our Primary Two classes to learn a little about Scots language. On discussing this with the children they seemed very upbeat and interested. We decided to start off our learning process by teaching some classic Scottish songs (Skyscraper Wean/Cannae Shove yer Grannie Aff a Bus etc) and by reading ‘The Gruffalo’ in Scots. This worked well and the children were hooked!

We decided to create Scots language dictionaries where the children copy down a Scots word and write what they think it means before writing down the true translation. This created lots of hilarity in the class.

We then thought it would be good to seek a talk form a professional. The children love receiving visitors and when I contacted the Education Scotland Scots language team they were prompt and pleasant in their reply. We very quickly set up a date for Bruce Eunson to come in and speak to the children. Bruce had a lovely manner with the children and they were captivated from start to finish. They really enjoyed his use of Scots and the game he played with the red balls was one they adored (I also liked it and will steal it for my own literacy work!).

Bruce also introduced us to the NLS Oor Wullie Scots website. This is a fantastic resource which we wouldn’t have found ourselves. It has interesting activities which are easy to use. It has also captured the children’s imagination as several children have come into school with Oor Wullie annuals.

Overall we are delighted that we chose to look at Scots. The children are really benefiting from learning a little about their cultural history and are enjoying throwing the occasional Scots word into lessons. They loved meeting Bruce and practising with Oor Wullie. A enjoyable experience for all and one we will use with our classes for years to come!”

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Making connections: Numeracy & Mathematics and the world of work

The following materials will be of interest to anyone who would like to explore connections between numeracy/mathematics and the world of work. It includes an interactive financial education resource, Money Talks, an article on how mathematics is used in the workplace from the Mathematics Association of America and Citizen Maths, a site for people who want to become more confident in using maths at work and in life.     There are also links to the National Numeracy and Mathematics Hub, a virtual learning environment for all practitioners and a copy of the latest Numeracy and Mathematics Resource Guide.

 

Learning Families – Intergenerational Approaches to Literacy Teaching and Learning

“All of the programmes featured in this publication by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning  share valuable experiences and lessons. They reflect a view of effective learning families whereby each child is a member of a family, and within a learning family every member is a lifelong learner. Among disadvantaged families and communities in particular, a family literacy and learning approach is more likely to break the intergenerational cycle of low education and literacy skills..” (Elfert and Hanermann 2014)

http://uil.unesco.org/fileadmin/keydocuments/Literacy/en/learning-families.pdf

https://familylearningscot.wordpress.com/

Family Learning Research

This report presents findings from a study of family literacy programmes in England carried out by the National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy (NRDC) at UCL Institute of Education (IOE) between July 2013 and May 2015. This mixed-methods study was funded by the Nuffield Foundation and explored: 1) the impact of school-based family literacy programmes on young children’s progress in reading and writing; and 2) how parents translate and implement what they learn in these classes into the home literacy environment. This study provides evidence that after attending family literacy sessions children improve their literacy skills and there are positive changes in the home literacy environment.

http://www.nrdc.org.uk/?p=838

https://familylearningscot.wordpress.com/