Category Archives: Uncategorised

Technologies Impact Review – John Paul II – Technologies in the nursery

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.

Through the daily use of iPads and the interactive board the children are becoming more confident with technology as they participate in real “hands on “experiences. They can take photographs, make videos and have learned about direction through the use of a programmes like “Terry Turtle”.

The nursery has introduced other aspects of the technologies by introducing a woodwork bench and tools.  This was a perfect opportunity to seek the help of parents and get them involved in what they were doing in the nursery.

They displayed a poster asking for parents/grandparents to help out and demonstrate woodwork skills.

A volunteer parent who is a design & technology teacher came forward and offered to share her expertise with the children. She set up stations around the bench involving drilling, sawing, hammering and sanding, allowing the children to explore the tools and to begin to develop appropriate skills.  They discussed the type of wood, tools and the skills required to use them safely.  Staff benefitted from this experience as they were able to develop new skills and continue good practice demonstrated.

The children sawed and sanded a small block of wood to glue on to a wooden Christmas tree.  As part of this activity the children were given plastic stars with their names engraved on them, to hang on the blocks as decorations. They also painted and decorated the tree and it was displayed in the playroom during December.

Following these activities the young people continue to develop the skills learned and use the woodwork bench regularly, indoors and outdoors. The children enjoy wearing the safety glasses when sawing and the ear protectors when hammering.

Impact/Benefits of the craft, design, engineering and graphics project

Young people are

  • developing fine and gross motor skills
  • gaining confidence in using resources/ materials
  • being given opportunities to explore and use new materials
  • developing skills for ‘Life Long Learning’

Staff and practitioners are

  • Involving the parents in the community and using their skills
  • taking part in high quality CPD

Primary curriculum conversation day

Education Scotland is holding a conversation day focused on the primary curriculum on Friday 7 March in Duloch Primary School, Dunfermline. This event is aimed at school leaders.  We are keen to take stock of how the curriculum is developing in primary schools and hear school leaders’ views and experiences.

The purpose of the day is to:
•    consider how the curriculum is developing in the primary sector, particularly in relation to the raised expectations; and
•    identify areas that require further support and what that support needs to look like.

There will be opportunities to hear from a variety of colleagues as to how they are taking forward curriculum development at a strategic level in their schools as well as time for discussion.

If you would be interested in attending please contact Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please note travel expenses are not paid for conversation days.

If you would be interested in attending please contact Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please note travel expenses are not paid for conversation days.

Launch of the Tullis Russell Environmental Education Centre

Teachers from all over Fife gathered together on 6 February for an Open Evening marking the official educational launch of the Tullis Russell Environmental Education (TREE) Centre.

The TREE Centre along with its partner, Fife based eco-charity The Ecology Centre, are rolling out an exciting new educational programme aimed at school children aged 10–14 years. Teachers were able to see the new centre for the first time, check out the facilities in the state-of-the art eco-building and hear about how they can arrange visits for their classes.

Using highly engaging interactive displays and class activity, a visit to The TREE Centre takes pupils through four main pillars of sustainability education: ENERGY, RESOURCES, CLIMATE and BIODIVERSITY.  At the event, Clare Reid, Education Manager of The Ecology Centre said: “This is a unique and exciting resource for Scottish schools. All displays and activities have been designed to bring the curriculum alive through games and active learning. A visit to the TREE. Centre will be a really inspiring experience for pupils!”

Derek Guthrie, TREE Centre Manager, commented: “The Centre really provides a fantastic learning environment and we are absolutely delighted at the response we have had from teachers today. We very much look forward to working with schools all over Scotland to build the TREE Centre educational programme into a valued part of their curriculum and eco-schools work.”

For those who wish to know more about the education programme offered by the TREE Centre in partnership with the Ecology Centre, please contact Clare Reed at the Ecology Centre on:  A teacher’s handbook, explaining exactly what the programme offers, is available on request.

For general enquiries contact Keep up to date on what’s happening at TREE on Facebook and twitter – – .

Cool Cold Commonwealth Food and Health Challenge

FREE CPD opportunity Monday 17th Feb

Develop your knowledge and teaching ideas for Health and Well Being and creative food technologies with Scottish Food & Drink Federation, Education Scotland and partner agencies at Moray House School of Education.

The event supports newly qualified teachers and other practitioners in their planning of teaching and learning experiences, which develop higher order thinking skills, skills for learning, life and work, and some wider appreciation of topical debates and issues.


Lorna Aitken, Health and Wellbeing Development Officer, Food and Health, Education Scotland Overview of Food Education in Scottish Schools

Moira Stalker

Scottish Food and Drink Federation giving an overview of their approach to food education involving industry

Kirsten Mack and Scarlett Palmer

Castleview Primary School on food and health in classroom.


Chefs in School

Eco-Schools Scotland


Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI)

Soil Association/Crofting Connections

Focus on Food

For more information contact Leaghann Watson –

Ellen MacArthur Foundation

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

International Collaboration on School Improvement project

Education Scotland has been asked by the British Council to be part of a pilot project, International Collaboration on School Improvement, which is designed to build international partners specifically around self-evaluation.

The project will involve 24 secondary schools from across Scotland who will be paired with 24 secondary schools in Hong Kong. The partnership will be a virtual one where participants will work together to learn collaboratively, share ideas and good practice.

The programme is for secondary school headteachers who are currently working on improving their self-evaluation for improvement as a core part of their school improvement plan. The programme will be funded and facilitated by the British Council and supported by Education Scotland.  Education Scotland will host the training days.

The commitment required from headteachers in Scotland is as follows:

  • Attendance at three days facilitated training on 18, 19 and 20 March 2014 in Denholm House, Livingston
  • Collaborative work with their Hong Kong partner
  • Attendance at two  facilitated training days in October 2014 to share experiences and evaluate the project.

We have asked for expressions of interest from headteachers who would like to be considered for this project.  Headteachers who are interested must have the support of their local authority. In the first instance they will be asked to write a brief statement (no more than 250 words) explaining clearly why they should be included in the project, how this will support other developments in their school and the intended benefits to learners.

We look forward to working with the British Council to deliver this project and will share future developments and evaluations with you.

Primary technologies conversation day 28th February 2014

Education Scotland is holding a conversation day focused on technologies within primary on Friday 28th February, Jury’s Hotel Glasgow. This event is aimed at any primary practitioners or school leaders interested in this area.  We are keen to take stock of how schools and centres are delivering learning in the technologies and we would like to hear your views and experiences.

 The purpose of the day is to:

  • look at where technologies needs to go and what is needed in order to best support all learners.
  • identify areas that require further support and what that support needs to look like.

 There will be opportunities to hear from a variety of stakeholders, including practitioners as well as time for discussion.

 If you would be interested in attending please contact Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please note travel expenses are not paid for conversation days.

Big Big Sing – Songwriting Competiton

Write a Commonwealth Games song!

Big Big Sing is a nationwide celebration of singing that will inspire thousands of people to get singing in the lead up to and during Games Time. As part of this project, Big Big Sing is running an exciting songwriting competition open to Primary and Secondary School pupils in Scotland.

Big Big Sing invites pupils to write a song inspired by the Commonwealth Games, pupils can work individually or as a class to write a song between three and five minutes in length. With the games just around the corner there’s no shortage of inspiration for budding songwriters!

There’s a fantastic prize on offer which includes having a video of the winning song made and performing the song in front of thousands as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme! One winning entry will be picked from each category (Primary and Secondary School) by an expert judging panel.

Prize up for grabs:

– A special video of entrants performing the song

– A recording of the song included and promoted on the Big Big Sing website

– A performance spot at the BIG Big Big Sing event in Glasgow during July 2014.

For full guidelines and to find out more about the competition and the project in general please visit

Pitlochry High School – third school to receive Game On Scotland Plaque

Game On Scotland ambassador Holly Cram awarded Pitlochry High School with the Game On plaque for the challenges they have set themselves to creating exciting learning experiences in the wake of the Commonwealth Games.

The school has planned a whole year of challenges around the Games, ranging from inter-house activity days with Dragon’s Den presentations of their own mascot design to exploring the Commonwealth values. An extensive programme of sporting and outdoor initiatives support the agenda with swim- and bikeathons, extra curricular athletics, badminton competitions organised by the Youth Sport ambassadors, climbing, kayaking & mountaineering and even ‘Street Dance’ sessions. The school will conclude the year with two major events, the Primary Cluster and the High School Commonwealth Sports Day.

Congratulations and best wishes from the Game On Scotland team.

The RHS and Growing Schools Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Courses for Spring 2014

Available to teachers, support staff, school governors and others who are involved in teaching and inspiring children about plants, gardening and keeping animals in school. A wide range of topics is available, encompassing the use and development of school grounds, thus providing practical experience, activities and ideas for utilising horticulture in all areas of the curriculum.

The aims of this Programme are:

  • To enthuse and support adults in developing and using gardens in school.
  • To support progression through the RHS Campaign for School Gardening benchmarking scheme, levels 1 to 5.
  • To encourage and advise teaching of the curriculum both inside and outside the classroom using, plants, gardens, animals, school grounds and environmental areas.
  • To improve knowledge and understanding of plants, gardening and raising animals in school.

Please note:

  • The courses begin at 10.00am and finish at approximately 3.00pm, unless otherwise stated.
  • Part of the day is usually spent outdoors, so please bring/wear suitable clothing and footwear.
  • Lunch is included in the cost.
  • Payment is required before the course date. Please send a non-refundable cheque made payable to the RHS or request an invoice with your booking.
  • Further information and directions will be sent shortly before the course.


£60 per person

For further details about the courses and to register your school for the RHS ‘Campaign for school gardening’ visit: