The new Early Years team are excited to be part of Education Scotland’s Learning Blog. We will keep you up to date with the most exciting news from our team. At the moment we are finalising the September issue of Early Years Matters (Early Years twice yearly magazine). This issue includes an interview with Bill Maxwell our transitional Chief Executive. We are also looking forward to the Scottish Learning Festival where Jacqué Fee from the Early Years team will be speaking about “Policy to Pavement: ensuring the best start for Scotland’s Children”.
The Creativity Portal is now eleven months old and is playing its part in promoting creativity across learning and teaching. Users are visiting the Creativity Portal for its offer of creative partnerships, resources and inspiration, as well as engaging with the Creativity Portal Glow Group behind the scenes in new and exciting ways. Here are a few of the successes so far.
- Nearly 12000 unique users have visited the Creativity Portal already, well over a thousand a month.
- Users have viewed nearly 50,000 pages.
- 100% of users surveyed say that they will be recommending the Creativity Portal to others.
- Nearly 500 partnership opportunities and examples of good practice have already been shared through the Creativity Blog – many of which are free for teachers and community groups. Many of these are being re-tweeted and shared with an even wider audience through the @CreativPortal Twitter feed and Facebook page. A direct feed by email is now available (including special feeds relating to individual subject areas including Literacy, Dance and Heritage) and will be rolled out this academic year.
- New creative partners are joining the Creativity Portal all the time, with Fèisean nan Gàidheal, Eden Court Theatre and Dance House amongst the most recent. By using the search tools users can find extremely local and relevant resources, Glow Groups, Creative Partners and opportunities all in the one place – and stumble across plenty of inspiration they didn’t know they were looking for.
- 92% of users say that the Creativity Portal will make their search for Creative Partnerships easier, quicker or more successful.
- Many of these partners are going on to develop their own Glow Groups, offering more for schools and community groups than ever before and embedding the use of Glow into their core activities. There are already 32 creative Glow Groups and communities listed on the Creativity Portal with more developing each week.
Various associated Glow Groups and tools have been developed alongside the public facing Creativity Portal including a Creativity Forum, Creativity Archive of projects and lessons, Creativity Portal online newspaper, listing of Creative Glow Meets and Glow TV’s Creativity Channel.
The Creativity Portal and Creative Learning Networks (CLNs) recently held a week long online discussion around creativity and the Glow Group is still open for business – Is It Creative?. Glow Meets and the Creativity Forum were used to engage CLN and creative organisation staff building a model for future use of Glow Meet technology. For almost all users it was the first time they had used web conferencing technology and the learning curve was impressive. The use of Glow Meet by the creative partners and CLNs will no doubt prove to be a major asset over the next year in their delivery of tailored CPD and creative experiences for young people.
This is an exciting phase for the Creativity Portal and with changes happening all the time your feedback is as powerful as ever. You can access the Creativity Portal Evaluation tool here – http://glo.li/mrNuJE, leave a comment on the Creativity Forum – http://glo.li/ieF6fA, or email me direct on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions or suggestions then please do not hesitate to ask. You can also find resources to help you promote and share the Creativity Portal’s resources with colleagues in the Creativity Portal Glow Group.
One Parent Families Scotland has recently updated the Young Parents Survival Guide jointly with NHS Health Scotland and has FREE copies available for distribution (postage costs only). The Guide can be viewed and downloaded here.
The Guide provides key information and useful advice for young parents covering a whole range of topics from when young people first suspect they are pregnant to coping with raising children.
OPFS is also working to link up services electronically across Scotland working with parents to share information on what has worked and on any difficulties faced through a dedicated section of their website.