Category Archives: Uncategorised

DYW Interesting Practice – Calderglen High School: Inspirational learning delivered in partnership

Calderglen High School has established far-reaching partnerships to deliver inspirational learning opportunities for young people.  The school’s strategic approach to Developing the Young Workforce ensures that all faculties actively collaborate with partners to develop and deliver a curriculum that supports the development of pupils’ employability and career management skills.
Calderglen has radically overhauled its curriculum to meet more appropriately the needs of all learners and to prepare young people for the opportunities, jobs and career pathways.  Using labour market information and incorporating work-based learning opportunities are central to providing learners with experiences that inspire career aspirations and realistic progression pathways.

Find out more about the school’s approach to career education through:

The following videos inspire thinking about the work at Calderglen High School:

 

 

Ruthvenfield Primary School Inspection Experience

As part of Education Scotland’s on-going Inspection Mythbuster’s campaign, which has been developed to help beat the common misconceptions of inspection which have built up over the years, we have invited the Headteacher at Ruthvenfield Primary School, Andrew Clark, to blog about his inspection experience.

“After the initial ‘excitement’ of receiving pre inspection notification had passed, my preparation for inspection followed four main areas:

  1. Engaging with staff: I met with all staff in the school to plan out our inspection week, listen to concerns and ensure that everyone would be prepared to deliver their best throughout the process. We scheduled meetings and arranged time to get together. The management team worked on the Self Evaluation, reviewing this with teaching staff before sharing with all staff for agreement.
  2. Engaging with pupils: This was about ensuring our learners would be ready to share their school and really show all their best qualities throughout the week. That was easy!
  3. Inspection week timetable: This phase was about managing the timetable across the week, ensuring parents had opportunity to meet with inspectors and that nothing was left out. We wanted to make sure everyone in our school had the chance to speak and share their involvement in our school.
  4. Paperwork: I spent time preparing paperwork for the inspection process and cross checking sources of evidence to make sure that no stone was left unturned.

I also found that the self-evaluation for inspections is an ideal starting point for discussions about your school’s context. Throughout our inspection I referred back to our self-evaluation to make sure that the stories that go along with the statements were easy to find and that examples were a true depiction that could be ‘lived’.

Meetings were held throughout the week and we used these to work together to develop the school’s picture. Quick ‘catch-up’ meetings in the morning were always welcome and allowed me to add detail to any points from the previous day’s meetings.

Our inspection team made themselves available in a non-threatening, supportive way throughout the visit. Inspectors spent time throughout the week interacting with staff about learning and particular learners. We also found the Professional Dialogue session on the Tuesday afternoon was an opportunity to ask some deeper questions about our practice.

Overall, our Inspection validated the very good practice across our school and provided insight into themes of development. As a result, our direction after inspection is even clearer and more focussed, and we are a stronger school community with a refined vision for how we move from Good to Very Good and from Very Good to Excellent.”

Andrew Clark, Headteacher at Ruthvenfield Primary School, Perth

For more information about the Inspection Mythbuster’s campaign please visit the Education Scotland website.

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.

DYW Interesting Practice – Craigroyston Community High School: Helping young people realise their aspirations

In order to provide the best possible pathways for learners Craigroyston Community High School has fully embraced the DYW agenda and designed a twenty-first century curriculum for learning, life and work, providing all leaners with the opportunity to explore career pathways leading to positive and sustained destinations.

Headteacher Steve Ross placed a strong emphasis on employability when redesigning the curriculum to meet the needs of all learners.   The school vision includes the following statement:

“The school will ensure every young person leaves Craigroyston at the end of S6 with a portfolio of qualifications, skills, experiences and a knowledge of the job market so that they can enter a sustained, positive destination of further/higher education, apprenticeship or employment.”

This vision is underpinned by a culture of high aspirations and fostering a ‘can do’ attitude that both staff and pupils buy into.

In order to enhance learners’ employability and career management skills  the senior phase timetable allows learners to select from a wide range of work related courses to work in industry, undertake apprenticeships or employment.  For more information on the curriculum design in the school access the following documents:

Listen to Steve, his staff and pupils talk about the structure, content and impact of the school’s approach to career education.

You can download a summary sheet of the schools approaches to career education here: Interesting Practice in Skills DYW – Craigroyston CHS

As part of this agenda the school offers a pre-apprenticeship programme that allows senior pupils to engage in year-long structured work experience placements with local businesses. On successful completion of their placements, the pupils go on to a guaranteed full-time Modern Apprenticeship with their prospective employer. This unique partnership between Craigroyston CHS and a number of local employers from across the city has received special recognition from the Scottish Qualifications Authority. More information including a video clip here.

Craigroyston’s curriculum offer is having a positive impact.  Staying on rates and attendance figures have both improved significantly, there are now very few exclusions and overall attainment is rising.

Watch the video and Steve Ross – Reflections of a HT (Craigroyston) PowerPoint presentation to find out more about Steve’s vision for the school and the alignment of his work with the Scottish Attainment Challenge.   A case study of Craigroyston Community High School’s innovative approach to the redesign of their whole curriculum can be found on the National Improvement Hub.

DYW Interesting Practice – Busby Primary School: Skills development at the core of the curriculum

Busby Primary School (East Renfrewshire) has developed a highly dynamic initiative that focuses on enhancing skills  for learning, life and work from early years to P7.  Based on a masterclass concept, headteacher Sharon Hunter has inspired the Skills Academy, a programme that brings together staff, employers, parents and community organisations to provide inspirational, progressive learning experiences for all children and young people.   The timetabled programme is built around five cross-cutting themes which learners access on a rotational basis:

  • Food Technology
  • Community,
  • Design & Manufacture
  • Creativity
  • Life skills

Throughout the academy programme pupils collaborate with each other across Early, First and Second Levels.  Its successful implementation is based on the strategic planning and support provided by the school’s leadership team, enabling all staff to engage according to their interests through relevant CLPL opportunities.

Clip 1:  Head Teacher perspective – overview

Learners excel in skills development

As a result learners are progressively developing a employability and career management skills throughout their primary education.  The programme offers a wide range of contextualised learning experiences as varied as hosting an art exhibition, creating an outdoor learning space (eg. building a stage and planting a scented garden), working with a professional film maker and designing apps.  First hand experience in the catering industry has resulted in learners collaboratively catering for large audiences (eg. Burns Supper).

Leaners are fully aware of the skills they develop through the academy programme,  how these relate to world of work and the value these hold for their future pathways.

The following document contains an overview of the Skills Academy programme: Interesting Practice in Skills DYW – Busby PS

The following clips provide a range of perspectives around the Skills Academy programme:

 

 

Scot Pot – School Meal Product Development Competition

Test your creativity and innovation skills!

The competition is open to all primary 5,6, and 7 pupils from schools across Scotland. Individual prizes will be given to the best entries, but all the pupils in the winning class will win an all-expenses paid trip to the Royal Highland Show 22nd – 25th June 2017. The winning product will be showcased at the ASSIST FM National Conference on 24th & 25th August 2017 in Glasgow.

The winning product will feature in schools across Scotland during Scottish School Meals week, 31st October 2017.

We are asking pupils to conduct their own market research to develop a new Scots Origin One Pot Dish that could be sold as a stand-alone product or be part of school meal that can be used in schools across Scotland.

The challenge is based on a similar format to the television programme ‘Dragons Den’. We would like pupils to put their creative and entrepreneurial skills to the test and design an innovative new ‘one pot’ product that:

  • They would like to eat and that could form part or all of a school meal for example; meal soup, meal pot, layered dish or something creative and innovative.
  • Has to contain AT LEAST ONE Scottish ingredient.
  • Would encourage more pupils to take school meals if it was sold in the dining area.
  • Could be promoted with an innovative advertising campaign that would include a name and a catch phrase to promote the product and fit with the Scots Origin branding.
  • Can be sold as a stand alone product.
  • Meets the nutritional guidance for a theme day in school.

To enter, please complete the attached entry forms and send to schools@sfdf.og.uk by 5th May 2017

Scot Pot Entry Form 2017

 

 

The Big Pedal 20th – 31st March 2017

The Big Pedal is our UK wide inter-school scooting and cycling challenge, where schools compete to try to get the largest percentage of pupils, staff and parents travelling to school by two wheels.

the-big-pedal

 

Details:

This year’s challenge will be running from March 20th – 31st. It is open to primary and secondary schools who register and then log their data each day.  Schools with the highest participation win great prizes.

Schools can choose to enter a 1 or 5 day challenge where their best day or best 5 days out of the two weeks count. On the final day of the challenge we encourage schools to run a Superhero Day, where pupils dress themselves and their bikes as superheroes.

This year’s theme is Around the World in 10 Days and schools will track their progress on a wall chart – register using the link below –  learning about the countries and cities they pass through along the way.

Information and registration is at http://bigpedal.org.uk/.

The value:

We see the challenge as a great way to get whole school communities excited about active travel and to impact school traffic issues.

 

Red Nose Day 24th March 2017

https://www.rednoseday.com/schools

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Red Nose Day is back on Friday 24th March 2017. Thousands of schools across the country will be getting involved and making their laugh matter.

Comic Relief has designed lots of learning resources and fundraising activities for teachers in nursery, primary and secondary schools.

There are  films, assemblies, learning resources, tutor time activities and an interactive story to make Red Nose Day come to life in the classroom.

How is your school getting involved?

To get involved go to www.rednoseday.com/schools and order your free fundraising pack.

Follow @rednosedaysch for fundraising tips, ideas and lots of fun!

 

DYW- Interesting practice exemplar: The Outward Bound Trust- supporting young people on their future pathways

alness-academy-1Over the last 75 years The Outward Bound Trust has used the outdoors to equip young people from all walks of life with valuable skills for education, work and life in order to fulfil their potential. Through participation in the charity’s courses, young people become more confident and self-aware, are better able to work collaboratively with others, better able to communicate effectively and become more resilient and determined individuals.  These skills in turn increase their chances of success in their education, and support them in their future career pathways and prepare them for the world of work. (See research report)

As a result of recent discussions around the alignment of their work to the Career Education Standard (3-18) (CES), Freda Fallon (Education Partnerships) has begun to map their experiences against the expectations, entitlements and ‘I can’ statements of the standard (see outward-bound-dyw-career-standard-mapping-exercise-draft).   It is clear that many of the Outward Bound programmes support the realisation of CES and deliver on the entitlements of children and young people outlined within the standard.

To find out more about The Outward Bound Trust’s programmes, their links to industry and the world of work as well as case studies from schools that successfully partner with the charity and individual testimonies of young people please access the following interesting practice exemplar: Interesting-Practice-in-Skills-DYW-Outward-Bound

Contact: 

Freda Fallon

The Outward Bound Trust

Loch Eil Centre, Achdalieu

Fort William, PH33 7NN

T 07919 887716

W outwardbound.org.uk