Category Archives: Secondary

Western Isles Council – extensive apprenticeship offer

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and partners will publish an extensive list of over 40 apprenticeships which will see posts created from the Butt to Barra, across a wide range of sectors and departments including:

  • Business Administration
  • Business Management
  • Community Development
  • Child Care
  • Education Attainment
  • Gaelic language assistants
  • Health and Social Care
  • Heritage
  • Human Resource
  • Multi-Media
  • Outdoor/Indoor Education
  • Roads maintenance
  • Sustainable Resource Management
  • Sport and health
  • Motor Mechanics

The Comhairle will be hosting community meetings throughout the Western Isles to provide full information on the above apprentices. Dates have yet to be confirmed but these meetings will take place the week commencing Monday 5th June 2017 and further details will be publicised closer to the time.

Cllr Angus McCormack, Chairman of Education, Sport and Children’s Services, said:       “This is a fantastic opportunity for people from the Butt to Barra to earn whilst they learn, and very importantly – to do so in their own areas. This ties in very well indeed to the Comhairle’s aims to reverse depopulation, provide our people with the opportunity to remain in their communities, whilst also contributing to the economy. I would encourage those who speak Gaelic and also those who have a particular interest in land management and crofting to keep express their interest in these apprenticeships. I would reiterate once again that the apprenticeships are open to anyone, not just young people, and anyone who feels that they may be interested should register at www.myjobscotland.gov.uk and setup an alert for the job category “Modern Apprenticeships/Trainee” where they will receive notifications by e-mail as soon as the Comhairle’s Apprenticeships posts go live.

“The Comhairle is committed to workforce planning and having a sustainable platform for the future, to help our communities and our islands to flourish and we will continue to work hard to ensure that we achieve these aims.”

Gaelic Translation Competition Winners!

Education Scotland and SCILT are delighted to announce the winners of the Scientist biography translation competition.

They are: 

Hannah Wood, Gairloch High School-Gaelic (Learners);

Donald Morrison, Millburn Academy-Literacy and Gàidhlig

Congratulations and well done! Mealaibh ur naidheachd is gur math a rinn sibh!

Thank you to all who took part.

These winning entries are now available on the National Improvement Hub alongside the other biographies. This work will support learners of Gaelic across Scotland.

Using evidence to improve outcomes in secondary

By Carol McDonald, HM Inspector and Lead Officer for secondary inspection

Time to reflect on inspection evidence is always an interesting and key part of our work. Reviewing our findings for the recent report ‘Quality and improvement in Scottish education 2012 – 2016’ (QuISE) highlighted some important strengths in the secondary sector over a period with significant changes to the curriculum.

Inspectors appreciate the opportunity inspection offers to engage in dialogue with staff, parents, partners of the school and the young people themselves.   We learn a great deal from our discussions which informs many aspects of our work.

You can read the secondary chapter from QuISE on our website.  In secondary schools, inspectors found the curriculum in most schools evolving as new qualifications replaced old ones. Much of the work in schools focused on implementing new qualifications and increasing the range of accreditation available to young people in the senior phase.

Staff in schools recognised that to continue to improve attainment, improvements to learning pathways from S1 to S3 are required. Young people are well supported by the good relationships they enjoy with their teachers. However, too much variability was observed in the quality of learning and teaching.  Schools need to continue to work to ensure staff share a good understanding of the best features of effective practice.

Our evidence shows that schools need to use the wide range of evidence available to ensure that school improvement planning is manageable and achievable. The evidence from Insight, and from teacher’s professional judgements on the progress of young people, needs better used to inform improvement planning.

Schools are working effectively with partners to develop the young workforce using a range of innovative approaches. Senior staff in schools are using the Career Education Standard 3-18 (CES), the Work Placement Standard (WPS) and Guidance on School/Employer Partnerships as a platform to promote and develop DYW in their schools.  The use of the standards and the guidance to align and co-ordinate activity is still at an early stage.  Teaching staff, young people and employers are not yet aware of the entitlements and the expectations within the standards and guidance.

Our inspections in the current academic year show improvements in arrangements for assessing and tracking the progress of young people across all aspects of their learning. Using this evidence to implement appropriate interventions for individuals is key to improving outcomes for young people.  Collating the evidence at a department, faculty and whole school level allows staff to analyse and act upon necessary improvements.   Central to this work is the reliability of the assessment evidence.  We are seeing teachers beginning to make good use of the benchmarks to support them in this essential work.

In the best examples, schools are identifying, and taking account of, a range of features which may influence outcomes for young people. This includes factors such as being “looked after” (LAC), living in areas of social deprivation (SIMD 1 and 2) and having identified additional support requirements.  These factors need taken into account when planning learning for young people.

As staff continue to work hard in the interests of their pupils, they recognise that they are part of a wider team of adults that provide the necessary support to help young people succeed. It is good to see, and hear about, the successes of schools in improving outcomes for the young people in their community.

As we look ahead to next year’s inspections, I look forward to seeing these areas develop further, helping improve attainment for our young people.

Aberdeenshire Council helps to prepare young people for the world of work

Pupils from Ellon Academy took part in the launch a school employer partnership initiative designed to help prepare young people for the world of work.

As part of Aberdeenshire Council’s internal Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Strategy, the local authority has partnered with Ellon Academy in a first for the area.

Through the partnership, the Council intends to provide support to the academy in several ways. These include continuing to attend careers events, assisting curriculum delivery by giving specialist talks and providing employability skills training and internships to young people.

Ellon Academy Deputy Head Teacher, Kim Hall, said: “The key aim of this partnership is to support young people in Ellon Academy to gain the skills for learning, life and work they require for post school education and employment destinations.  We are delighted to have Aberdeenshire Council as our committed, ‘Flagship’ business partner to work with us jointly to achieve this aim.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Human Resources, Laura Simpson, said: “As a large employer, we are well positioned to help give young people inspiration, knowledge and skills as they transition through school and into employment.

“We offer a huge diversity of jobs and careers, and this partnership presents a great opportunity to promote Aberdeenshire Council to young people in the local area.

The Council’s Director of Business Services, Ritchie Johnson, said: “The Council is working on attracting more young people to work for it, placing itself as an employer of choice in the north-east, and this partnership is a significant milestone in that process.”

 

If you would like to get involved in the partnership, please contact peter.matthews@aberdeenshire.gov.uk for more information. ​

 

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.

Quality and Improvement in GME

We have now published the individual chapters form the Quality and Improvement in Scottish Education report on our website, along with the full report. This report gives a review of our inspection findings for the period 2012-2016. It highlights areas of growing strength and key areas for further improvement.

 

For the first time, we have included a chapter on Gaelic Medium Education (GME) which exemplifies the growth of the sector. This chapter is available at:

 

PDF file: Gaelic Medium Education (126 KB)

 

The full report may be accessed at:

PDF file: Quality and improvement in Scottish education 2012-2016 (1.1 MB)

 

We would encourage those with responsibility for Gaelic Learner and Medium Education across sectors to engage with the report. In particular,  the findings for Gaelic and to build these into improvement planning.  Addressing these areas for improvement effectively will make a decisive contribution to achieving the twin aims of excellence and equity for Scottish learners which sits at the heart of the National Improvement Framework. For more information to support improvement, please use our Advice on Gaelic Education.

 

To keep up to date with Gaelic at Education Scotland, please visit our learning blog for Gaelic Medium Education and Gaelic Learner Education.   We also publish Briefings on Gaelic Education for which partners’ contributions are invited.

TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGIES FOR TEACHERS – CPD Workshops

The School of Engineering and Computing, University of the

West of Scotland would like to extend an invitation to join us

at our Paisley Campus for a CPD Away Day. Attendees will not

only be able to participate in our workshops but also have the

opportunity to network with colleagues from other Secondary

Schools and the University over a light lunch. To enable you to

plan for your CPD Away Day, we will ensure that your place is

confirmed by same day return of email.

To reserve your place please email: computing@uws.ac.uk.

Please contact Georgia Adam on 0141 848 3101 who will be happy to help with all enquiries. We look forward to welcoming you on campus.

 

WORKSHOP A RADIATION:

Workshop focus is on detection of environmental radiation

where there would be an opportunity to use a range of stateof-

the-art radiation detector systems in order to learn how

these different systems can be used to locate and characterise

ionising radiation in our environment.

WORKSHOP B PROGRAMMING:

Session focus is on Arduino – programming for the real world.

The Arduino is an open software/hardware microprocessor

platform which can interact with the real world via digital and

analogue I/O using a variety of sensors, switches and actuators

(motors, servos, LEDs).

WORKSHOP C MUSIC:

“An introduction to AVID Pro Tools for music and post

production” in support of the Music Technology National

awards will be provided through a tailored practical session.

In addition, AVID Pro Tools training and certification is available

at UWS presented by an AVID Certified Instructor.

WORKSHOPS WILL BE FACILITATED BY:

Dr David O’Donnell, Lecturer in Nuclear Physics

Duncan Thomson, Programme Leader for Computer Networking

Colin Grassie, Lecturer in Music Technology.

Location: Paisley Campus

Date: Thursday 25th May 2017

Duration of workshop: 1000-1400 hours

Spaces available: Spaces are limited to 10 for each session

and given the anticipated popularity of the sessions, we will

offer places on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cost: We are delighted to be able to offer these ‘something

for the Teacher’ workshops with session fees waived on

this occasion to allow you to engage in hands-on activity

aligned to the Physics, Music or Computing Higher/ CfE /

National Qualifications.

 

Professional Learning for Teachers of Gaelic Medium Education (GME)

Streap, is a Postgraduate Teaching Certificate for teachers of 3-18 GME. It presents an opportunity to deepen your understanding of GME, while developing further fluency in the language. The next programme begins on 4 September 2017. This programme is fully-funded by the Scottish Government. For more information, please visit:
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/education/degrees-programmes/gaelic-medium-education-pgcert-436.php
http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/gd/cursaichean/streap