Category Archives: Technologies

SDS news: National STEM event at South Lanarkshire Council

Uddingston Grammar Head Teacher John McKay, Frank, SDS Careers Adviser Donna Robertson and SDS Acting Director of Operations James Russell.

Frank Devine, SDS Careers Adviser at Uddingston Grammar School, tells us more about a recent event supporting teachers to encourage young people to consider STEM careers.  ‘We understand the influential role teachers play in young people’s careers choices.

Part of our role as Scotland’s national careers service is to ensure we work closely with, and support teachers to, offer the support young people need to make informed career decisions.  That was the main driver behind our recent Career Gap event.   Working with South Lanarkshire Council’s Developing the Young Workforce co-ordinator as well as a group of local teachers, our aim was to give teachers across the area help to support pupils to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.

More than 50 attended, from 18 local area secondary schools.

By tapping in to the wealth of expertise and knowledge on offer across SDS, we were able to offer a full day programme looking at the subject from a variety of angles – equalities, career management skills and employer need.

Our National Training Programmes team supported the day to raise awareness of the ways unconscious bias could be stopping some pupils, especially young women, progressing in STEM.

They brought in Improving Gender Balance Scotland project officer Charlotte Govan to give some cold hard numbers on subject uptake, and the impact that has further down on employment, as well as practical ways of combatting unconscious bias.

Our employer team helped to put us in touch with employers and apprentices to tell teachers their stories, offer ideas on support that could be helpful to pupils now, and talk about what it’s really like to work in STEM industries. BT, BAE and Scotland Energy and Utility Skills all attended on the day.

My colleague Donna Robertson and I were able to give more information on career management skills, career long professional learning modules we offer, the support resources available to teachers via My World of Work and more detail on SDS careers services in schools.

All the teachers who attended took away packs with more information on the support SDS offers, and we’ll be creating further lesson plans and resources to share with all the teachers who attended.

This wasn’t just a chance at CPD for teachers, but offered us the chance to develop the skills of young people from the area too. Recent graduate Stephen Benedetti lent his sound engineer skills for the podium and round table mics, and sixth year Uddingston pupil Adam McKibben snapped pictures for us on the day which were used on the SDS website and social media.

Partnership working was key to the success of the event, as it is to all the work SDS is involved in.

Donna and I are really proud of the strength of the partnerships we have here in South Lanarkshire.  We work closely with all members of the school staff, including subject teachers, pastoral care teachers and the senior management team, the local authority and with partner organisations working within education and with our customers across the area.

It’s those strong partnerships that allow us to stage not just major one-off events like this, but to ensure day-to-day we are offering the best service we can to our customers.

Our recent Education Scotland review shows our hard work is paying off.

If you want to find out more about the support SDS can offer teachers, speak to your school careers adviser for latest information and events and find out about support resources we offer at My World of Work here.

You can also access CLPL modules on the Career Education Standard, labour market information, career management skills and My World of Work at this page.

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.

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.

 

Learn @ BBC Scotland: How will you be living in 50 years’ time?

BBC Scotland Learning and the Glasgow Science Centre invite you to take part in a day of talks and activities to look at the future. There will be a live talk by Scotland’s leading scientists talking about robots, climate and health at the Science Centre on 8 May.

Dallas Campbell will host the event as he speaks to Prof Sethu Vijayakumar, Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics and a Judge on Robot Wars, Prof Lesley Yellowlees, who was the first ever female President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and geneticist Prof Kevin O’Dell from Glasgow University.

The talk will also be streamed live and you can talk to the expert panel online.

Find out more here.

Scotland’s Enterprising Schools: Supporting career education from 3 – 18

Are you looking for creative ways to develop children and young people’s learning about the world of work?

To inspire you have a look at our Interesting Practice area that highlights the many creative ways schools like Broxburn Academy are providing opportunities for young people around entrepreneurship and enterprise.

 Interesting practice exemplars from Fife Council

The Raytheon Quadcopter Challenge is a partnership between the Council and Raytheon UK. The programme brings STEM Ambassadors from Raytheon UK to deliver lessons in classrooms to second year pupils, on a variety of engineering topics, bringing contextualised learning to young people.  Another great example from Fife is The Enterprise Game. The game is a developmental tool helping pupils to learn about business.  Initially created as a board game, it allows young people to use their entrepreneurial skills to make, sell and deliver products to customers around the board.  It has been customised to incorporate the names of many major employers throughout Fife which helps players to increase their understanding not just of enterprise, but of the wider Fife economy.

You can also learn about the great opportunities offered to young people by Glasgow City Council and Renfrewshire Council.   If you have interesting practice to share please contact us.

Looking for support?

If you would like support to embed enterprise within your school’s curriculum Scotland’s Enterprising Schools can help.  Have a look at our resource area for ideas or contact us to arrange for a member of our team to get in touch with you. You can also expand your knowledge around enterprise and get support to embed the Developing the Young Workforce strategy by attending one of the free twilight professional learning sessions we are delivering across Scotland.  You should hear about these opportunities from your Local Authority shortly.  The next sessions will be held as follows:

Fife Twilight Session (venues and times tbc):

  • 26th April 2017 – West Fife
  • 2nd May 2017 – Central Fife
  • 8th May 2017 – North East Fife

Aberdeen City Twilight Session (venue and time tbc):                         10th May 2017

Inverness All Day event (for senior leaders) at Smithton-Culloden Free Church   –  1st June 2017

If you would like more information about these sessions or opportunities in your area please contact us.

Tackling the Technology Gender Gap Together 2017

Wednesday 29th March 2017 – 09.30am until 2.30pm (including lunch and networking)  University of Strathclyde’s Technology & Innovation Centre,  99 George Street Glasgow G1 1RD

The theme of this event is to share good practice, and for you to take away new ideas and approaches to encouraging more women into technology.  During the event you will hear from schools, tech clubs, colleges, universities and employers who have all been successful in engaging and supporting females into digital technology.  Ms Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Minister for Higher Education, Further Education and Science, will also present a ministerial address highlighting the importance of tackling the gender gap.

This is an opportunity to:

  • Hear about best practice from organisations who have been successful in encouraging females in digital technology
  • Attend workshops that will allow you to discuss and learn more about these successful strategies and how you can incorporate them into your own plans
  • Network and form new partnerships with organisations who could support your own gender plans and strategies
  • Discuss how we can jointly work towards making a real and lasting impact in this area

To secure your place at this event please register here where you can view agenda and workshops

Digital Schools Award Scotland

digital-school

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science presented the first primary schools in Scotland to achieve ‘Digital School’ status with their award on 22/02/17 at Wormit Primary School.

The Minister met with representatives from the schools and from the Digital Schools Awards Scotland programme, speaking to them about the value of digital skills before presenting them with their award:

Digital skills are an integral part of our everyday lives, and as such it is absolutely essential that we give young people the opportunities to understand and use them properly. The Digital Schools Awards Programme is a fantastic example of industry supporting education in Scotland and helping ensure our young people develop the skills and opportunities to flourish.”

21 Schools have achieved this award to date and they are;

List of Awarded Schools

School Location Local Authority
Kelvinside Academy Glasgow Glasgow
Kirkton of Largo Leven Fife
Calside Primary School Dumfries Dumfries & Galloway
Dalry Primary School Dalry North Ayrshire
Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral Primary School Motherwell North Lanarkshire
Echt School Echt Aberdeenshire
Lundavra Primary School Fort William The Highlands
Wormit Primary School Newport-on-Tay Fife
Bonhill Primary School Bonhill West Dunbartonshire
Kildrum Primary School Kildrum North Lanarkshire
Bathgate Early Years Centre Bathgate West Lothian
The Compass School Haddington East Lothian
Mearns Primary School East Renfrewshire East Renfrewshire
Whitehirst Park Primary Kilwinning North Ayrshire
Kingswells School Aberdeen Aberdeen City
Kinlochleven Primary School Kinlochleven The Highlands
The Edinburgh Academy Jnr School Edinburgh City of Edinburgh
Blackfriars Primary School Glasgow Glasgow City
Netherlee Primary School Glasgow East Renfrewshire
Beith Primary School Beith North Ayrshire
Rosebank Primary School Dundee Dundee

The event gathered media interest and was featured on STV news

More info leading up to the event and on the day itself is available on twitter from following users @Schools_Digital and @EducationScot and from following the hashtags #DigitalSchoolsAward #DigitalDifference

PROGRAMME BACKGROUND

Digital Schools Award Scotland is a national awards programme to promote, recognise and encourage the use of digital technology in primary schools. It builds on the progress already made at schools, by providing a pathway and resources for schools who are seeking to do more with digital technology to deliver the curriculum. The Digital Schools Awards programme is being delivered by HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Intel and is recognised by Education Scotland.

For more info on the programme please visit https://digilearn.scot/2016/09/23/digital-schools-awards-now-launched/

The Big Bang Fair Scotland

the-big-bang-logo

Location: Perth College UHI

Date: Tuesday 13 Jun, 2017

The Big Bang Near Me programme plays a vital role in inspiring the UK’s future scientists and engineers at a regional, local and school level. We encourage more people to take these subjects, as well as celebrating young people’s achievements in science and engineering through displaying their STEM projects and letting them talk with engineers and scientists, face to face.

The UK needs many more scientists and engineers and equipping young people with skills in science, technology, engineering and maths is key to their future employability. Students attending a Near Me fair really enjoy themselves too – with nine out of ten rating the event they attended as “good” or “very good”.

Zones will include:

  • Engineering
  • Construction
  • Food and Drink
  • Science and Maths
  • Career Zone – Companies to provide careers advise in their sector.
  • 15 minute presentation slots available to address small groups of young people.

There will also be a chance to experience a selection of STEM challenges available to schools including the ‘turbo charged’ National Final of the Bloodhound Scotland Rocket Car Challenge and Scottish Big Bang Competition final.

If you would like to attend this event please contact Energy Skills Partnership at info@esp-scotland.ac.uk

 

 

Apps for Good Scottish Event

apps_for_good_logo_version_2

Apps for Good is an education movement that is powering a generation to change their world with technology. We partner with teachers in schools and learning centres to deliver our course to young people from 8 -18 years of age. Students work together as teams to find real issues they care about and learn how to solve them using technology. Since 2010 Apps for Good has been delivered to over 75,000 students in more than 1,500 schools across the UK and internationally.

Join us to celebrate the next generation of Scotland’s tech entrepreneurs.

On Wednesday 15th March, over 100 students from across Scotland will travel to Edinburgh’s Quincentenary Conference Centre to participate in Apps for Good’s first ever Scottish event.

The event will bring together the next generation of digital talent in Scotland under one roof in the heart of Edinburgh’s city centre for a day of networking and workshops. Teams of young people are working together and creating apps to tackle the problems & issues which matter most to them, and the event will provide them with the opportunity to engage directly with a range of invited guests, and the other participating Scottish schools.

We’re inviting you to join the Marketplace part of the event from 2pm – 4pm, giving you the opportunity to walk around the room and meet the young people who have been working on their app ideas. The students will be keen to practice their pitch and listen to any feedback and advice that you may have. You will also be able to cast your vote in our People’s Choice Award which will allow us to recognise the top three teams.

We would love to see you there to celebrate all of our students’ hard work!

Our first ever Scottish event has been made possible after being awarded a grant from Digital Xtra, funded by the Scottish Government Digital Skills Business Excellence Partnership, who have provided Apps for Good with support to help us grow our after-school activities in Scotland.

Sign up via Eventbrite here

Better Energy School Awards 2017

small-besla-photoJoin us in Glow TV on Tuesday 21st February at 11am as Total and the Young People’s Trust for the Environment launch Better Energy School Awards 2017.

Find out how your school can win £5,000 in this exciting competition that encourages environmental education for young people aged 5 – 11.
There will be an opportunity to ask questions and hear from 2016 Regional Winners, Hanover Street primary in Aberdeen. Find out more at https://betterenergyschoolawards.org.uk/

Last year 35,000 pupils across the UK took part in the competition. Encourage your school to do the same and join this growing number in 2017!

Sign up and join us in Glow TV – Better Energy School Awards 2017.

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.