Special Seminar for Teachers – 3.30pm Friday 25th of April Royal Highland Centre

Need a greater understanding of the automotive industry to pass onto your learners? Transport Scotland, the Energy Saving Trust and their partners will provide an insight into the developments within the automotive sector and how Scotland is helping shape the future, with specific focus on low emission transport including low-carbon, hybrid, electric and hydrogen vehicles. The seminar will include case studies and examples of innovation to help shape courses and prepare learners to take advantage of this newly emerging and rapidly changing market. Please register your interest by emailing charlotte.cassar@psigroupltd.co.uk

Or you can just come along and enjoy the EVOLUTION show on 26th April and test drive new generation cars. FREE entry. Register at: www.evolutionshow.co.uk

Science Resources for the Nationals

Following the SQA/ Education Scotland joint publication of Past Paper Guidance for N5. Education Scotland has published copies of the identified questions on Sciences Glow 365 site, in the N5 folders for each subject. This compliments the previously shared N5 Biology questions. Further support materials for N5 will be published in the near future.

Shared on the Sciences Glow 365 site new class spreadsheets for tracking assessment standard passes at National 4 and an updated version for National 5. Look in the N4 and N5 folders in your subject.

There are still places available at Education Scotland’s Community Resilience Conversation and Networking Event on Monday 17th March.

The day is aimed at members of the Scottish Government, emergency planning and civil contingencies teams from local councils, representatives from local education authorities, and members of other key organisations to consider community resilience as a rich and exciting context for teaching and learning.

Conversation activities will provide delegates with opportunities to network with one another and engage in professional dialogue in relation to preparing for emergencies and developing resilient communities. Selected examples of good practice will also be shared through engaging presentations delivered by government, local council and school representatives.

We would like to invite you to take part in the event at the Glasgow Hilton Hotel on the 17th March 2014 to explore how we might take forward resilience education in schools and consider important developments in teaching and learning.

We would be grateful if you could register online at http://svy.mk/Mb8ZM7 by end of day Thursday 13th March 2014 to confirm your attendance and inform us of any special dietary or access requirements you may have.

Delegates attending our fourth conversation day at Bucksburn Academy identified three key themes for improving science education.

Discussions focussed on:

  1.  Priorities for sciences education
  2. Identifying partnerships that work
  3. What does great learning in the sciences look like?

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views regarding the second theme which addressed identifying partnerships that work.

Identifying partnerships that work

Delegates identified various partner organisations that they were engaging with including subsea 7, forest rangers, ABC, mentoring John Lewis, STEM ambassadors, car safety, BP renewable, Forvie Nature reserve, university medical students, Zoo lab, forensic scientists, “curious about chemistry”. Learners at Bucksburn Academy had also set up a programme of advanced level lunchtime lectures in relation to STEM.

Delegates put forward suggestions for successful partnership working. It was agreed that this had to be mutually beneficial, providing support, resources and expertise for the school, whilst meeting the business needs of the organisation. In addition delegates highlighted the following:

  • organisation must provide support in the classroom and visit the school (not the other way)
  • partnerships should be innovative, curriculum led, embedded in the curriculum
  • personnel involved are enthusiastic individuals with a willingness to commit extra time to establish short/long term working relationship
  • investment and funding through the partnership provides opportunities for all

Delegates identified areas of partnership working which they regarded as requiring further development:

  • not enough organisations/partnerships to support early years
  • more visiting scientists lecturing at a high level – aspirations needed to be raised
  • speakers need to be able to pitch talk at right level for young people
  • mixture of input needed for different levels of interest required

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views. Click on the title of this blog post to leave a comment

Time: 09:30 (for 10:00 start) – 15:00

Venue: Glasgow Hilton Hotel, William Street, Glasgow, G3 8HT

Education Scotland is excited to be hosting its first community resilience conversation and networking event with a view to developing a shared, partnership approach to provide 3-18 resilience education opportunities.

The day aims to bring together members of the Scottish Government, emergency planning and civil contingencies teams from local councils, representatives from local education authorities, and members of other key organisations to consider community resilience as a rich and exciting context for teaching and learning focusing on a range of contexts such as flooding and other forms of extreme weather and their impact on our lives.

Conversation activities will provide delegates with opportunities to network with one another and engage in professional dialogue in relation to preparing for emergencies and developing resilient communities. Selected examples of good practice will also be shared through engaging presentations delivered by government, local council and school representatives.

We would like to invite you to take part in the event at the Glasgow Hilton Hotel on the 17th March 2014 to explore how we might take forward resilience education and consider important developments in teaching and learning. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. There is no cost to attend.

We would be grateful if you could register online at http://svy.mk/Mb8ZM7 by Monday 10th March 2014 to confirm your attendance and inform us of any special dietary or access requirements you may have.

Following the publication of the updated 3-18 Curriculum Impact Report for Sciences in October 2013, Education Scotland hosted a series of conversation days to engage stakeholders in discussions around the findings of the report and to collectively identify priorities for action to secure improvements in science education nationally.

The fourth conversation day took place in Bucksburn Academy, Aberdeen, on 12th December 2013 and brought together around 40 participants from the local authority, Satrosphere Science Centre, Aberdeen University and representatives from industry, universities and schools. Delegates heard presentations from Kittybrewster Primary School, Bucksburn Academy, Glaxo Smith Kline and the University of Aberdeen.

Following the welcome presentation participants split into small discussion groups to identify the key priorities for improving science education. Discussions focussed on three themes:

  1. Priorities for sciences education
  2. Identifying partnerships that work
  3. What does great learning in the sciences look like?

 Priorities for sciences education

Attainment

Delegates recognised:

  • initiatives have been undertaken to address the gap in attainment however more was required to ensure those from the most deprived backgrounds are not disadvantaged further by their educational experience
  • the importance of support at home which had to be encouraged through good communication between parents and staff
  • developing good numeracy and literacy skills in primary helped access the sciences curriculum. This did not appear to be continuing at secondary, why?

Support

Delegates suggested:

  • local authorities should lead and coordinate science in all sectors. They should be providing early years and primary teachers with high quality, sustained science CPD opportunities
  • every primary school should have a science coordinator/nominated teacher with responsibility for science.

Confidence

  • Delegates highlighted the lack of confidence in science knowledge and expertise which can affect learning and teaching in the primary sector.
  • Practitioners are fully aware of the  importance of  bringing the real world into the classroom to motivate and engage learners and believe this can be achieved if they have access to relevant,  high quality CPD and are given time to commit to CPD.
  • Authorities should provide financial support to assist practitioners in accessing resources to facilitate and support their teaching.
  • In the primary sector qualified teachers in the STEM subjects would be advantageous

Cluster working

  • Delegates viewed that early years, primary and secondary colleagues should work as a team and there should be greater use of cross – sector links e.g. primary pupils should be invited to the secondary science club

Learners attending the conversation day highlighted the areas they regarded as being the key priorities in sciences education:

  • key to accessing the sciences curriculum is the relationship between learner and teacher and good communication ­– they needed to feel confident about asking for help
  • active learning in the sciences should be a priority
  • Practical activities helped engage learners and develop higher order thinking skills
  • homework should be relevant to the learning at the time and coordinated better between departments to avoid overloading learners
  • learning through real life contexts is extremely important
  • practitioners had to address the variety of learning styles and offer a variety of teaching experiences to engage and motivate pupils.

SECONDARY

Delegates highlighted a number of concerns relating to the secondary sector which they viewed as being key priorities in teaching the sciences:

  •  inadequate amount of time to deliver content within the new CfE qualifications – the issue of pace in learning and teaching has to be addressed to avoid putting learners under pressure
  • sequencing of teaching is a concern
  • Timescales for publishing of guidance documentation, support materials and resources has to be brought forward
  • Examples of assessments and tracking for the broad general education would be helpful
  • Difficulties of teaching N4 and N5 in the same class
  • Clarification is still required with regards to some aspects of assessment within the new national qualifications
  • Can universities help with the added value units?
  • Address gender bias within subjects – must address the image of  women in the sciences to get more girls to take physics.

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views. Click on the title of this blog post to leave a comment.

The Technologies Impact Review (TIR) is one of two aspect reviews being conducted by Education Scotland over 2013-14.  The other is literacy and English.  Similar reports were published in 2013 on science, social studies (on Education Scotland website) – these had similar process and objectives as for TIR: “What is it like to be a learner 3-18 in Scotland?  What contribution do the technologies make to that experience, and what is their impact on young people?”

 This blog post is part of a series of blogs sharing practice that has been seen in the schools visited as part of the review.

What is a QR code?

For those of you unfamiliar with QR (quick response) codes, they are similar to bar codes and contain information specific to an item. A key benefit of a QR code is that any amount of information can be attached to them. Creating QR codes is easy, free and you do not have to be an ICT expert to produce them. The following website contains information on how to get started https://www.the-qrcode-generator.com/. You can produce QR codes to use during lessons, using them in a variety of ways to enhance learning and teaching. To access the information contained within QR codes you will need the “scan” app. Apps are easily downloaded and installed on any mobile device.

 Example of an activity using QR codes:

QR codes have been used to enhance learning and teaching in Practical Woodworking across several topics such as, tools, processes, materials and construction. For each lesson, the format is generally the same, however alterations are made to ensure the lesson remains current. QR codes, some containing answers, descriptions and questions based on the topic being taught are produced and printed separately on A5 paper. A5 image sheets containing one picture and a QR code linked to the picture are also created. Finally, an answer sheet containing blanks linked to the answers, questions and descriptions found in the QR codes is produced. QR codes can be placed around the classroom and adjoining corridor.

 The Lesson:

During the lesson learners are placed into groups of no more than four. Learners are given instructions to find the answers/descriptions missing on their answer sheet.  Learners then work through a task using their answer sheet to identify a series of items found on their desks. For example, if the lesson focused on woods, learners would use their answer sheet to determine what answers/descriptions matched the wood samples given. In total, a timeframe of 20 minutes is given and a timer is placed on the interactive board.

 On completion, learners begin peer assessment using a carousel system, placing ticks/crosses next to answers they agree/disagree with. Once the carousel is complete, each group returns to their own desk to see how well they have done. Learners can then share their views as to why they agreed/disagreed with other groups. This informs discussion and allows learners to utilise their knowledge in teaching one another. It also allows the teacher to raise important teaching points, to ensure learners understanding is further improved and correct.

 Why was this approach taken?

This approach was taken because the theory in Practical Woodworking can be seen by learners as repetitive and they find it difficult to retain the knowledge required. There is no final exam and practitioners often find that learners do not recognise the importance of developing their knowledge and struggle to recall information when prompted or when working through tasks, tests and homework. This approach allows the development of knowledge and understanding to be an active part of the course.

 What are the benefits for learners?

Learners gain several benefits from this approach. They are given the opportunity to explore their own understanding and share this with their peers, develop their critical thinking skills and become active in revision and assessment. The approach also utilises current technologies, whilst giving learners the opportunity to bring their own technology into the classroom. The topic naturally informs group discussion amongst learners and the teacher. Learners are also given ownership of assessment enabling them to peer assess work, which deepens their understanding, whilst continuing to develop their literacy skills.

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‘I learned not to be scared to talk about cancer’

A really exciting day on Friday 7th February when we welcomed P7 pupils to Dundee Science Centre to work with world-leading scientists from Dundee Cancer Centre. Through hands-on activities, developed and delivered by scientists, researchers and nurses from Dundee Cancer Centre, children learned about cells and cancer.

Children said:

I can’t choose one thing, I loved it all!

I learnt about how the different bloods get ready for scientists! It was fun!

That you should be careful with what you wear outside and that if you eat broccoli it helps a lot.

I learnt that cancer travels faster than normal cells.

There are 200 types of cancer cells

I enjoyed making play-doh drugs

Very easy to understand and was fun

I enjoyed meeting a real scientist

I learnt that strawberries have DNA and what our cells look like! It was fun!

I learnt today about cancer and how it can be stopped.

Teachers were equally positive in their feedback:

Hands on activities are great. Brilliant to see the kids engaging so well.

The people who were doing the explaining, explained very complex concepts in a very understandable way for the children.  It’s something that we will pick up on when we go back to school and share what we have learnt with the rest of the school and try to find out more.

This is the first part of a bigger piece of work, the next steps of which are to work with teachers from secondary schools and Dundee Cancer Centre to develop a workshop to support the broad general education in the secondary setting, or the Senior Phase.  This will provide opportunities for learning for teachers involved, and the pupils in the 10 secondary schools we work with, when we bring our funded outreach to them between September and December 2014.

If you’re interested in being part of this exciting project, and connecting your learners with cutting-edge, world-leading sciences happening in Dundee, please contact Lauren Boath, Science Learning Manager for more information (lauren.boath@dundeesciencecentre.org.uk)

Re-thinking Progress: 25th – 27th March 2014, register now

Big thinkers. Different sessions. One issue. 
 

Re-thinking Progress is the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s first ever education open-house event in partnership with Bradford University’s centre for the circular economy. We would love for you to join us.

Register here to receive more information and to be notified when tickets become available.

With a focus on discussion and interaction, Re-thinking Progress will see the Foundation’s education team host a one-off series of short talks, Q&A’s, breakout sessions, seminars, and expert lectures, to explore what the circular economy can offer in the way we approach and deliver effective education.

The event will be held at the re:centre, University of Bradford (pictured left) which is a cross University facility for business engagement and collaboration, with the circular economy providing one of the major programme elements.
Thinkers and innovators will join us from areas as diverse as 3D printing, higher education, urban design and aquaponics to inform the application of the circular economy for both formal and informal educators. Everyone is welcome.
 
See some of the highlights for the session topics below, and learn more about the circular economy in education here.

Session highlights

  • Circular economy “bootcamp”
  • Urban design and the circular economy
  • HE curriclum development
  • A New Dynamic - book launch
  • Aquaponic food systems
  • Systems thinking
  • STEM & the circular economy
  • The changing face of business education
  • Teaching the circular economy in the classroom
  • Ellen MacArthur live-streamed special address

http://bit.ly/Me9u7x

Severe weather has caused disruption through utility failures and signifiant flooding in various areas throughout Scotland.

Winds of up to 90 mph hit parts of the country last night causing power cuts, rough seas and heavy swells. Those regions partcularly badly affected include Glasgow, Aberdeen, the Western Isles, Shetland, Orkney and Dumfries and Galloway among others.

For further details go to: http://bbc.in/1klW9Yb

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has been issuing regular flood warnings urging the public to take immediate action against the predicted flooding.

The ‘Ready for Emergencies’ website contains free teaching resources to help young people and their local commuitites to prepare and cope in extreme weather situations like these. For severe weather learning journeys go to: http://bit.ly/1gmTEml

Make sure you are signed up for SEPA’s free flood alert service. Register at: http://bit.ly/1cCJ2uB

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