Category Archives: Senior Phase

Confident collaboration for improvement – the legacy of QuISE?

by Dr Bill Maxwell, HM Chief Inspector of Education

The publication of our report on Quality and improvement in Scottish education (QuISE), ranging back over the period 2012 to 2016, has been a great opportunity to take a step back from more immediate short-term concerns and take a ‘bigger picture’ view of what has been achieved over a period of major reform which has touched every area of Scottish education.

Having launched the report, I would now encourage each education setting to read their dedicated chapter and consider it in their self-evaluation.

Of course there is already good evidence around that, as result of the professionalism and expertise of staff and of course the efforts of learners themselves, outcomes have improved over that stretch of time. National Qualification outcomes have steadily improved and the proportion of young people entering a positive destination post-school now sits at a record high. Although there is still a long way to go, we have also seen evidence of progress in beginning to close the attainment gap between pupils from the most and the least disadvantaged backgrounds.

Equally, of course, not all in the statistical garden in rosy. We have also seen some unwelcome indications that we should be concerned about the pace of progress in literacy and numeracy through the broad general education, for example, and we saw a disappointing set of PISA results for 2015.

The QuISE report, offers a distinctly different, but complementary, perspective from that which you can get by simply looking at the statistics. It provides an analysis based on first-hand observation and evaluation of the quality what is actually happening in playrooms, classrooms, lecture rooms and other educational settings throughout the country. It summarises observation and evaluation undertaken by expert professionals, HM inspectors and indeed many other associates and lay members from education sectors across the country who join our inspection teams contributing a valuable additional perspective.

Our analysis of what has emerged from that more qualitative evidence base over the last four years has led us to conclude that there are some very positive and growing strengths in the provision and practice within Scottish education. These are strengths that align directly with the ambitions of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) and other related reforms.

We are seeing improvement in the quality of learning experiences, with the result that young people are increasingly well motivated, engaged and actively involved in their learning. We are seeing schools and other education settings becoming more inclusive, we are seeing a broader range of achievements being promoted and recognised, and we are seeing the impact of strong leadership, with a clear and sustained focus on raising the quality of the day-to-day learning and teaching that learners experience.

The report also sets out a set of five priority areas. This is where we believe targeted improvements in practice and provision would reap dividends in enabling us to make further progress towards meeting our collective national ambition of achieving excellence with equity for all Scottish learners. They include: exploiting more fully the flexibility of CfE; improving assessment and personal support; enhancing partnerships; strengthening approaches to self-evaluation and improvement; and growing a culture of collaborative enquiry. In all cases these go with the flow of current reforms and national strategies and in each case there are already examples of excellent practice in the system.

Taking a longer view of what has been achieved over the last few years, and thinking about where we go next, has also had quite a personal dimension for me, as I retire from the role of Chief Executive of Education Scotland this Summer. As I prepare to move on, I am convinced that the Scottish education system is well placed to make substantial progress across each of these key areas.

If I were to pick out a linking theme it would be about collective commitment across all partners in the education system to work together, to help each other, and indeed to constructively challenge each other, in ways which provide richer, more coherent, more personalised learning pathways capable of matching the needs of all our learners. Confident collaboration for improvement rather than competitive isolation should be the Scottish way, reflecting our deep national commitment to a strong education as a common public good.

Taking account of the themes in this report, and with the National Improvement Framework providing a new level of clarity and focus from national to local level, I am confident that we can rise to the challenge that the OECD left us with following their 2015 review: to make sure we achieve the potential of a progressive programme of national educational reform, by taking bold and specific action to fully realise its benefits. I hope the QuISE report helps inform discussion and debate in education settings of all types, across the whole country, about where that specific action is needed and how boldness can be ensured as it is pursued.

 

Invitation to SQA webinar: National 5 Gàidhlig – changes to course assessment

 

Date: Thursday, 30 March 2017
Time: 16:30pm to 17:30pm
Presenters: –       Alasdair Bauld (Qualifications Development Specialist)

–       Calum MacKay (Principal Assessor, National 5 Gàidhlig)

–       Marilyn Waters (Qualifications Manager)

–       Jay de Pellette (Qualifications Officer)

SQA are pleased to invite you to a webinar which will provide a detailed overview of the changes that  are being made to the National 5 Gàidhlig course from the start of academic session 2017/18 (including the new externally assessed writing assignment).

To register for this webinar, please visit the online events booking system: https://athena.sqameet.net/events/ebs.nsf.

Hosted by the Qualifications team responsible for SQA’s National Qualifications in Gàidhlig, this webinar will provide a clear overview of what is changing within the National 5 Gàidhlig course and why. Delegates will also have the opportunity to ask  subject and assessment experts questions.

Whilst delegates are free to ask questions at any time during the live webinar, SQA are keen to try and answer as many questions as possible in the time available and would therefore encourage you to submit any questions you may have in advance. If you would like to submit a question in advance of the webinar, please e-mail Jay de Pellette (Qualifications Officer): jay.depellette@sqa.org.uk.

Following the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills announcement that a strengthened final exam and externally assessed coursework will replace units and unit assessments for all National Qualifications at levels National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher, SQA are making some changes to the National 5 Gàidhlig course to ensure that standards are maintained and that the integrity of the qualification is protected.

More information about the changes SQA are making to National Qualifications, as a result of the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary’s decision to remove units and unit assessments, can be found here: http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/78398.html.

SQA strongly recommend that all practitioners and other interested stakeholders register to attend this webinar. It will provide valuable and informed commentary on the new course assessment model for National 5 Gàidhlig and also counts towards your continuing professional development (CPD). CPD certificates will be made available to delegates after the event.

Pre-apprenticeships set Craigroyston pupils on the right career path

News report from the SQA:

A unique partnership between an Edinburgh secondary school, and a number of local employers from across the city has received special recognition from the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

The Pre-Apprenticeship Programme delivered by staff at Craigroyston Community High School in the north of Edinburgh sees a number of the school’s senior pupils embark upon year-long structured work experience placements with local businesses. While on placements for two afternoons a week, the pupils continue to study for Highers, Nationals, and other awards at school, but combine this with working towards industry recognised vocational qualifications. And once they have successfully completed their placements, the pupils go on to a guaranteed full-time Modern Apprenticeship with their prospective employer. 

The scheme was first introduced in 2015, following a meeting between the school’s head teacher, Steve Ross, and Robert Allan, director of HR at Apex Hotels. In its first year, nine pupils went down the pre-apprenticeship route, taking up roles in the hospitality sector with Apex Hotels, Novotel, and IBIS, and with defence engineering firm, Leonardo. This year more employers, including Charlie Miller Hairdressing, and Robertson Construction have encouraged a fourfold increase in uptake, as 36 pupils began new placements.

The stay-on rate for senior pupils at Craigroyston has increased dramatically as a result of the scheme. The number of pupils now staying on from S4 to S5 has grown from 50% in 2014/15 to 90% in 2016/17, while the S6 intake has doubled over the same period.

 The scheme has been so successful it was highly commended at the SQA Star Awards, lifting a trophy for Promoting Inclusion.

Speaking about his ambitions for the pupils, Craigroyston head teacher Steve Ross, said: “I want to encourage every pupil in the school to stay on until the end of sixth year, so when they leave they do so with a portfolio of qualifications, experiences, skills, and a knowledge of the job market that will help them find a positive destination.”

Pre-Apprenticeship co-ordinator Elaine Gray, head of home economics at the school, worked closely with Danielle Ramsay, Group Recruitment Manager at Apex Hotels, to design the content of the programme. Elaine said that the success of the scheme is down to the close relationship fostered between the school, and the employers. The model they developed has since been rolled out to all the participating employers.

Elaine added: “The partnership between the school and the employer is really important. We have to set the right expectations for the pre-apprentices and help them understand what their employers expect from them. This might include helping them with things like time management, and attendance, but equally the employers must have realistic expectations of the pupils.  However, once we get them through the door, and we can see that relationship begin, we can see the pupils start to flourish as their confidence grows and they begin to realise what they are capable of.”

Danielle Ramsay said: “We work with the pupils to help them take the first steps in the work place, supporting them with their applications, and helping them with their interviews. The benefit in the long term for us as an employer is we get to invest in the pre-apprentices for a year and introduce them to the way we work. That means that when they start their Modern Apprenticeship, they are familiar with the company, our culture, and what we expect from them, meaning they are more likely to succeed.”

Speaking about the value of the pre-apprenticeship programme, Theresa McGowan, SQA regional manager for Edinburgh, said: “The approach the team at Craigroyston has taken was tailored specifically for the needs of their pupils, and their local community, but it is a model that could be replicated elsewhere. The positive relationships between the school and employers across the city are delivering real results for the pupils, and they are really benefitting from the opportunity to complete the additional work-experience and vocational qualifications.”

For more information about how SQA supports Modern Apprenticeships and other training opportunities, visit www.sqa.org.uk/appenticeships.

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

Inspection Myth Busters

1Join us on Thursday 16th March at 3.45pm to find out more about the recent changes to the inspection process with our Inspection Myth Busters Glow TV event.

Over the past months Education Scotland has developed new inspection approaches, to help you understand the changes to inspection we’re holding a Glow TV event with Alastair Delaney, Director of Inspection. You can find out more about the changes to inspections and ask Alastair questions that you have surrounding this.

Register to take part live – Inspection Myth Busters

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2017

twitter-images-apprenticeship-weekScottish Apprenticeship Week is a nationwide celebration showing that apprenticeships work for businesses, individuals and the economy and encouraging more employers to take on apprentices.

From 6 to 10 March the campaign theme for 2017 is ‘Apprenticeships are Changing’.With a commitment to more Modern Apprenticeships; the introduction of Foundation and Graduate Level Apprenticeships – it’s never been more important to promote the apprenticeship family.

Organisations and employers are being urged to take part and share the business benefits of apprenticeships with others. Organised by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), #ScotAppWeek17 highlights the commitment of businesses who have decided to invest in the skills of their workforce and showcases the successes of apprentices who have chosen to get a job, get paid and get qualified.

Visit the campaign homepage scottishapprenticeshipweek.com for information on the week, to register events and to access the digital toolkit featuring images, posters and social media designs.

Co-fharpais Eadar-theangachaidh Ghàidhlig! Gaelic Translation Competition!

Tha an co-fharpais eadar-theangachaidh seo fosgailte do chlann is daoin’ òga a tha ann am Foghlam Luchd-ionnsachaidh agus Meadhan Gàidhlig.

Gheibhear postairean do naoi luchd-saidheans Albannach ann am Beurla agus ochd ann an Gàidhlig air an Ionad Leasachaidh Nàiseanta. Tha aon a dhìth ann an Gàidhlig- Alexander Graham Bell.

Tha cuireadh a’ dol a mach gu clann is daoin’ òga eadar-theangachadh gu Gàidhlig a dhèanamh air an sgeul-goirid aig Alexander Graham Bell. ’S e cothrom air leth a tha seo airson d’ obair a bhith air a cho-roinn aig ìre nàiseanta agus seasaidh am postair agad ri taobh na h-ochd sgeulachdan-goirid luchd-saidheans a tha air an Ionad Leasachaidh Nàiseanta mar tha. Dh’fhaodadh gun toireadh an obair agadsa taic do luchd ionnsachaidh na Gàidhlig air feadh Alba!

Lean an ceangal seo, is gheibhear an teamplaid bàn ri chleachdadh agus am postair Beurla.

Bu chòir innteartan a chuir gu  EDSCFE@EducationScotland.gsi.gov.uk ron 3mh latha den Mhàirt.

Thèid an neach-buannachaidh ainmeachadh aig an Language Show Live anns an SECC air Dihaoine an 10mh latha den Mhàirt. Às dèidh sin, thèid am postair suas air an Ionad Leasachaidh Nàiseanta ri taobh na postairean Gàidhlig eile.

Ma tha clann a’ gabhail pàirt anns a cho-fharpais seo, tha iad ag aontachadh gun tig an obair aca a cho-roinn air na seirbhisean air loidhne aig Foghlam Alba, le an ainm agus ainm an sgoil far a bheil iad. 

Tha an cò-fharpais seo a’ tighinn a mach bho Foghlam Alba ann am com-pàirteachas le SCILT.

This translation competition is open to all children and young people in both Gaelic Learner and Gaelic Medium Education.

There are nine English and eight Gaelic posters of Scotland’s scientists available on the National Improvement Hub. One of the Gaelic posters is missing- Alexander Graham Bell.

Children and young people are invited to translate a short biography on Alexander Graham Bell into Gaelic. This is an exciting opportunity to have your work shared nationally and to feature alongside the other eight scientist biographies available on the National Improvement Hub. Your work could support learners of Gaelic across Scotland.

Please follow this link to the National Improvement Hub to access the blank template to be used, the English version and the other eight biographies.

Entries should be submitted to EDSCFE@EducationScotland.gsi.gov.uk by the 3rd of March. Please include your name and school with your entry. 

The winner will be announced at the Languages Show Live at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre on Friday the 10th March.  It will feature on the National Improvement Hub thereafter. 

In entering the competition children and young people agree to have their work on our online services, along with their name and the school they attend.

This competition is being launched by Education Scotland in partnership with SCILT.

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Financial Education, Numeracy and Mathematics

The ability to work with numbers is an essential part of being financially capable. This has been recognised recently in a number of support materials recently published by Education Scotland. The first of these is the National Numeracy and Progression Framework. This includes a progression pathway on money (linked to the experiences and outcomes for money in Curriculum for Excellence) One of the key aspects of this framework is the concept of understanding finance in a digital world.

As well this there is also a set of benchmarks that will support teachers in assessing learning. These Benchmarks were published in August 2016 as draft documents. There is currently an online consultation which can be accessed via the National Improvement Hub. This consultation will close on 31.3.17 and the final Benchmarks will be published in June 2017.

There are many activities that will support young people’s learning across a number of different levels to ensure that financial education can provide memorable experiences and powerful messages. In a number of practical situations the following opportunities can be provided

  • budgeting
  • investigating value for money
  • deciding on costings for design and manufacture
  • discussing types of bank cards and costs involved
  • designing coins/notes – shapes, patterns, etc
  • taking part in money games
  • investigating exchange rates
  • discussing various methods of payment and costs involved
  • using tally sheets and producing graphs/pictograms
  • engaging with money transactions – different combinations of coins and notes
  • comparing prices
  • using Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and other ‘money’ machines
  • calculating profit/loss

In addition to this engaging with numeracy and mathematics helps young people make the jump from dealing with concrete examples to the much more abstract nature of ‘money in the digital age’.

My world of work: What career options are available with a qualification in Gàidhlig, Gaelic (Learners) and Gaelic Medium Education?

My World of Work offers career information, advice and resources to help children and young people learning Gaelic and in GME make informed choices about their future.     It enables children and young people to choose school subjects based on labour market information and career pathways. Find out more.

For information on teaching Gaelic, or through the medium of Gaelic, please visit Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s website

 

 

John Byrne National Drawing Competition 2016/17

Budding young artists in Scotland are being urged to enter the third annual John Byrne Drawing Competition.

Since the launch of the competition in 2014, over 7000 entries from pupils across Scotland have submitted their artwork to be judged by the renowned artist and playwright himself, John Byrne.

The competition, in partnership with Education Scotland, is aimed at pupils from primary four through to third year.

John Byrne, along with a selection panel, will choose the overall winners and runners-up, whose work will then be exhibited at Paisley Museum and Art Gallery on Thursday 16 March.

John said: “It’s important we give the young people in our country the opportunity to harness their artistic skills and love for drawing. This competition is a great way to showcase that and, once again, I look forward to seeing the remarkable talent that will be unveiled.”

john-byrneLast year’s competition winner, Alba Cooke Ribes (P5) from Hermitage Park Primary School in Edinburgh was selected from over 4,000 children and young people from across Scotland.

Ron Cowie, Senior Education Officer at Education Scotland, added: “Art is an important part of the curriculum and this competition aims to encourage pupils across Scotland to develop their drawing skills and use their creativity. Education Scotland is proud to be involved in this competition as it is a great way to raise the profile of drawing.”

The closing date for entries is Friday 3 March 2017.

Read more for competition rules and information about submitting entries in the link below.

john-byrne-national-drawing-competition-2016-competition-rules