Feb 132015
 

Education_Scotland_logoEducation Scotland will publish the report of the Technologies Impact Review, “Building Society: young people’s experiences in the technologies”, on 9th March 2015. This report continues the series in which Education Scotland evaluates the quality of young people’s learning and achievements, in this case in the technologies. The report contributes to the overall picture of what it is like to be a learner in a Scottish early years centre or school in this second decade of the 21st Century.

Education Scotland have organized a launch event for this report and the college aspect report Computing and Digital Media.

Making tomorrow happen: technology education in Scotland

 will be held in Celtic Park, Glasgow on 9 March 2015.

 The event has been organized to raise awareness of the reports and to discuss the implications for future developments in the Technologies area of the curriculum.

It would greatly assist the organisation of the conference if you could send your nominees to Kenneth Rae – Kenneth.Rae@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk by 27th February 2015, stating their name, role and email address.

Feb 092015
 

The Society of Biology is pleased to announce the first round of our Regional Grant Scheme in Scotland

Individual biologists or biology-related organisations can apply for funding to run a biology public engagement or schools event or activity in Scotland.
The grant scheme is funded by the Scottish Government and offers grants of up to £200 for small events and up to £500 for larger events.

Events can take place between May and December 2015 and priority will be given to events in under-served areas of Scotland.
Application forms are submitted by email and the deadline is Monday 16th March 2015.
Full details and application forms are available at www.societyofbiology.org/RGS-Scotland

For questions about the grant scheme, please contact

Dr Jane Magill
Regional Co-ordinator (Scotland and Northern England)
Society of Biology
janemagill@societyofbiology.org
Mobile: 07885 914212

Feb 022015
 

First Minister meets Higgs Prize for Physics winners.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced the newest winners of the Higgs Prize for Physics, congratulating them on their success.

The prize is named after Scottish-based Nobel Physics Prize winner Professor Peter Higgs, whose work in the field has had a significant impact on modern day particle physics, and rewards pupils who show a particular aptitude for the subject.

Ms Sturgeon and Education Secretary Angela Constance met Professor Higgs himself and the four winners in the First Minister’s office on Thursday 29th January.

The winners are:

• Eilidh Birse – a former pupil at Boclair Academy in Bearsden who is now studying medicine at the University of St Andrews
• Julie Lynch – a former pupil at St Ninian’s High School in Giffnock who is now studying Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Glasgow and is continuing to take Physics as a third subject
• Stuart McGibbon – a fellow former pupil at St Ninian’s High School in Giffnock, now currently studying Physics at the University of Glasgow
• Raheem Beg – a former pupil at Perth High School who is currently studying mathematics at the University of Dundee

As part of the Scottish Government funded prize, they will travel to the internationally renowned CERN research facility in Switzerland in July to attend lectures and seminars on physics as part of the summer school programme, as well as talking to Scottish researchers about their work at the facility and their careers in physics.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Scotland has a wonderful history of scientific discovery and it’s encouraging to see that tradition continue through today’s pupils and students who continue to be passionate and excited to take on the scientific challenges that remain unexplained.

“Science is hugely important to Scotland in the modern era and the achievements of Professor Higgs – a man whose work is internationally renowned – are of course inspiring for any budding scientist. This year, the International Year of Light, also celebrates the incredible legacy of another Scottish physicist, James Clerk Maxwell, whose theories underpin the technology at the heart of almost all communications equipment we take for granted today.

“We are absolutely determined to support pupils to excel and remove any barriers that might prevent them from realising their full potential. This prize is the perfect example of hard work opening up life-changing opportunities. Today’s four winners Eilidh, Julie, Stuart and Raheem now have the opportunity to go to the fantastic CERN research facility in Switzerland to listen and learn from some of the brightest minds of our generation. We are offering them the chance to be the very best they can be – the vast knowledge and experience they will have access to is an opportunity that many across the world will envy.

“I’m therefore delighted to award a prize in Professor Higg’s name to these exceptionally hard working and talented youngsters.”

Professor Higgs said:

“Everyone in life has people that they admire and strive to be like – my own inspiration was Paul Dirac, a man who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933 – and I’m honoured that an award in my name is used as inspiration to the younger generation of physicists.

“I congratulate Eilidh, Julie, Stuart and Raheem on winning this prize and I am sure they will have an amazing time at CERN where they will learn from the very best. I hope these four promising young talents go on to became esteemed in their own right.”

Background

Pictures of the First Minister meeting Professor Higgs and the prize winners will be available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/firstministerofscotland

The prize is awarded on merit, to the highest performing male and female Advanced Higher Physics candidates from a publicly-funded school.

Feb 022015
 

Another phase of funding has been announced as part of The Food for Thought Education Fund to support schools across Scotland to develop and improve learning and teaching around food education.

Schools are also required to identify and work in partnership with a local business to enhance their project and to develop skills for learning, life and work.  In Phase One, 176 different businesses engaged with schools. The value of their time, resources, advice, expertise and volunteering was estimated by Scottish Business in the Community to be worth £300,000, which is very close to match funding the £358,618.61 awarded to schools as part of Phase One.

Now in its third year, the aim of the Food for Thought Education Fund is to support schools to use food and health as a context for learning across Curriculum for Excellence, to improve teacher confidence in delivering food education and as a way to engage with parents and the wider community.

The Fund allows schools to apply for grants individually or in a joint application as part of a cluster of schools from their education authority. More information about applying for funding can be found on the Education Scotland website.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment, Richard Lochhead, said:

“In Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink I want to see more young people engage with the journey of their food and drink – but not only that: I want them to look to the future and think about the potential careers they could have in an industry that is full of promise – they can learn about business management and how to plan and promote events in the sector.

“I’m delighted that the Food for Thought funding has entered its third phase, with another £300,000 going towards developing and improving both teaching and learning around food education. Scotland’s food and drink industry is booming, and interest in what we have to offer has never been greater. This is a successful sector which Scotland can be – and is – proud of, and it’s really fantastic to see schools getting involved.

“This third round of funding is now open through the Education Scotland website and I would encourage more schools across the country to look at possible projects and get involved in helping Scotland to become a Good Food Nation. I’m also keen to see the private sector support this project – both to increase the funds available and to develop productive relationships between schools and local firms.”

Suzanne Hargreaves, Senior Education Officer for Health and Wellbeing at Education Scotland, said: “We are thrilled to be able to give schools the opportunity to apply for the third phase of the Food for Thought Education Fund, which is having such a positive impact in schools across Scotland already. Since the fund started we have helped support 9,143 learners get involved in new and exciting food education projects.

“One very interesting project we have supported is at Charleston Academy, Inverness where the school has had the help of world-renowned chef Albert Roux over the last five years with both culinary and financial support. The Food for Thought Funding combined with funding from Highland Council and the school’s own fund raising activities has allowed them to open The Albert Roux Training Kitchen at the school. We wish them all the best with this project and would encourage all schools to consider the great opportunities this funding could bring to their learners.”

A total of 232 schools were involved in the first phase of the fund, amounting to an average spend of around £1,532 per school across 25 local authorities, with 20 per cent of the fund targeted at schools to help learners from disadvantaged backgrounds

To enquire about applying for funding or to read a copy of the full evaluation report from Phase One of the Food for Though Education Fund, please contact the Food for Thought team. Schools who were awarded funds in Phase Two are currently evaluating the impact of their projects, and schools who have applied for funding in Phase Three will be notified if their application has been successful by June 2015.

Additional information:

£358,618.61 of funding was granted in Phase One and £649,006.41 in Phase Two.
232 schools were involved meaning an average spend of £1,532 per school in Phase One.
•A total of 9,143 learners were involved in Phase One.
•There were 61 successful applications across 25 Local Authorities, with 20% of the fund focused on the least advantaged areas in Phase One.
•There were 124 successful applications across 30 Local Authorities in Phase Two.
176 different businesses engaged with schools, some with more than one school in Phase One.
•The value of the time, resources, advice, expertise and volunteering provided by the business who were engaged with schools in Phase One is estimated to be worth £300,000 according to Scottish Business in the Community.
•In Phase One 100% of schools reported that learners, staff and the local community benefited as a result of receiving funding.
 

Education Scotland has been working in partnership with a number of organisations and food education partners to embed food and health in the curriculum and produce resources, host career-long professional learning events and to provide guidance and support to schools developing their food education programmes. These partners include the Royal Highland Education Trust, Crofting Connections, Scottish Food and Drink Federation, Food for Life Scotland, Healthier Scotland Cooking Bus, Seafood Scotland, Chefs@School, Dumfries House, Young Engineers and Science Clubs Scotland, Quality Meat Scotland, Food Standards Agency Scotland and Eco Schools Scotland.

Feb 012015
 

The Scottish Education Awards celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education. They recognise the achievements of people who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcase the valuable work and innovation in Scottish classrooms

This year a new award category for STEM, Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, has been introduced.

This category recognises establishments who are helping children and young people develop STEM skills and apply these across the four contexts for learning – curriculum, inter-disciplinary learning, ethos and life of the school and opportunities for personal achievement.

Nominations should be able to evidence the following questions and describe the impact on learners, the school and wider community:

  • In what ways do learners in your establishment demonstrate successful application of STEM skills?
  • In what ways are learners using STEM to develop skills for learning, life and work?
  • In what ways do you work with partners/parents/wider community to support STEM?

Nominations for this year’s awards are now open.

Nominations close 12pm on Monday 16 February 2015.

#primaryscience

Jan 272015
 

ComPound Interest

 

Looking for a weekly summary of both new chemistry research and studies that have been in the news? ComPound Interest is a blog by Andy Brunning, a chemistry teacher in the UK, creating graphics looking at the chemistry and chemical reactions we come across on a day-to-day basis. This week’s summary features a nanoparticle drug that prevents the spread of cancer in mice, the discovery of polymeric organic material on comet 67-P, and more.

The Infographics he creates can be used as corridor and classroom displays and cover Elements, Food chemistry, Colour chemistry, Organic Chemistry and many more. You can subscribe to receive new content posted on the site automatically via email.

Jan 262015
 

SLF_logo_URLSLF 2015 takes place on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 September in Glasgow.

SLF provides high quality continuing professional learning and is a rendezvous for educational professionals both nationally and internationally, providing a unique platform to engage with a diverse range of experts, colleagues and suppliers.

We are now accepting seminar proposals for the 2015 conference programme which will feature around 100 seminars over the 2 days.

Is there a project you have been working on that could be showcased? Or perhaps you are aware of establishments that demonstrate good practice? We would encourage you to share this information with your colleagues and networks and submit relevant proposals for consideration.

The theme for SLF 2015: Raising attainment and achievement for all, with a focus on maximising educational outcomes through:

• local partnerships and collaboration – to share approaches that lead to better outcomes
• self-evaluation – to ensure creative and innovative approaches to sustained improvement
• work-related learning – to improve transitions into sustainable, productive employment.

Full details of the theme are available on the SLF website.

If you would like to submit a proposal for consideration please do so before Friday 27 February. Proposals received after this date will not be considered for inclusion in the conference programme. All proposals must be submitted online.

There is a robust review, evaluation and scoring system in place to help ensure that all submissions are treated equally therefore it is essential that all requests to participate go through the submission process and adhere to the timescales.

Last year we received in excess of 300 proposals which allowed Education Scotland to deliver a relevant and balanced conference programme covering all key areas of education. The 2015 conference programme and registration will be launched in May and will feature the sessions that have been submitted and selected for inclusion.

We look forward to receiving your proposals and hope you will contribute to SLF 2015 to help continue to deliver Scotland’s largest annual national education event. If you would like any further information about SLF 2015 please contact the SLF team.

Jan 202015
 

Celebrate your 16th birthday in style and register to vote! February 5 marks National Voter Registration Day. Run by the youth political engagement charity, Bite The Ballot, they aim to get as many new voters on the register as possible. Last year they registered 50,000 new voters with just £9000. It costs just 25p each to register a new voter. Help them raise the bar even higher.
Bite The Ballot have lots of brilliant resources to help you organise your own voter registration day. http://bitetheballot.co.uk/nvrd/
Use the Twitter hashtag #NRVD to keep tabs on what other schools and colleges are doing to raise voter awareness and register young people on the electoral register.

Jan 152015
 

The countdown is on for nominations to the Scottish Education Awards and your school could be the inaugural winners of the newly established Learning for Sustainability award. This award replaces the separate categories for global citizenship and sustainable schools. It aims to recognise the connections schools and centres have made between the different aspects of learning for sustainability (sustainable development education, international education, education for citizenship, global citizenship, outdoor learning, children’s rights and play) and how they have successfully implemented them across their schools and wider communities.
See our Conversations about learning for sustainability report for case studies of schools and centres that have demonstrated a commitment to learning for sustainability.
The full list of award categories is online, and we would encourage teachers, schools and local authorities to consider nominations before the deadline on Monday 16th February 2015.
Reminder – sign up to our new learning for sustainability ebulletin to keep up to date with the best news about new resources, professional learning and events.

Dec 172014
 

We’re delighted to announce that SLF 2015 will take place on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 September in the SECC, Glasgow. SLF is the largest education event in Scotland and will focus on raising achievement and attainment. Those interested in presenting a seminar at the festival can submit a proposal in January, when further information will be available on the SLF website.

Registration for the SLF will open in May, look out for more information over the coming months and save the dates in your diary now.

We are also working with a range of partners to host a series of SLF Extra events in 2015. On 17 February, Aberdeen City Council in partnership with Education Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council and Moray Council will host the Aberdeen Learning Festival in the AECC. The festival will include keynotes, workshop and an exhibition. More information about the event and how to register will be available in January.

On 27 February Children in Scotland, in partnership with Education Scotland, are hosting the first in a series of six free events for all those involved in education. The morning session will focus on pupil engagement and participation and the afternoon session will look at parental engagement. This first event takes place in Melrose and more information is available on the Children in Scotland website.

More SLF Extra events will be taking place in 2015, visit the SLF website for details.