Role of mentoring in languages

Researchers at the University of Cardiff have published a report on an initiative encouraging students to take up modern languages. It considers the role that mentoring, and in particular online mentoring, can have in addressing the decline in modern foreign languages  learning at GCSE level in Wales.

Comann nam Pàrant newsletter

Comann nam Pàrant, the national organisation that advises and supports parents/carers of those in Gaelic Medium Education (GME), have published their latest newsletter.

The newsletter provides a useful update, including:

  • Learning together, 2018 – 2021: Scotland’s national action plan on parental involvement, parental engagement, family learning and learning at home.
  • A new foundation apprenticeship through the medium of Gaelic entitled, Social Services: Children and Young People
  • National standardised assessments for Gaelic Medium Education(GME): Measaidhean Coitcheann Nàiseanta Gàidhlig (MCNG).
  • Expansion of GME in local authorities.
  • Comann nam Pàrant’s offer of a school trip to support the development of language skills
  • New television programmes for children to support Gaelic language learning

Please continue to read

Civil engineering apprenticeship has laid foundation for Sophia’s career

Taking a Foundation Apprenticeship gave Sophia Findlay the chance to find out what a career in engineering would be like and now it’s cemented her plans for the future.

The 17-year-old from Springboig in Glasgow was planning to leave school at the end of fifth year and didn’t know what she wanted to do for a living.

Then, her mum told her about opportunities through Foundation Apprenticeships.

The St. Andrew’s RC Secondary pupil chose to take a Foundation Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering in fifth year, alongside other school subjects.

Foundation Apprenticeships give senior school pupils the chance to spend time out of the classroom with a learning provider and gain experience in a work environment.

Completion leads to a qualification at the same level as a Higher, to progress into work including Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships as well as being recognised for entry into colleges and universities across Scotland.

Sophia explained: “I had no real plan about what I wanted to do and thought I could maybe go to college and take up an art course.

“My mum told me about Foundation Apprenticeships and thought it would be worth doing because I would get work experience with a qualification and be able to stay in school until sixth year.”

Sophia took the Foundation Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering at Glasgow Kelvin College alongside her other school subjects.

In the first year, Sophia went to college two half days a week.  “My first year at college was really good” said Sophia. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but there were also two other girls doing the Foundation Apprenticeship, so I felt more comfortable. The learning eased us in well because we weren’t bombarded with a lot of information.”

Now Sophia’s out of school one day a week getting her hands dirty, working on building sites with social housing developer, McTaggart Construction.

“At the moment I get to watch and learn,” said Sophia. “I’m looking forward to learn on the job and get hands on experience.”

Doing the Foundation Apprenticeship has opened her eyes up to different aspects of engineering Sophia didn’t know about, which has now given her a clear idea of what career she wants to pursue.

Sophia said: “I got to find out more about the career choices in Civil Engineering through the Foundation Apprenticeship and I thought they were fascinating.

“There is an opportunity to work in areas like flood protection and environmental protection, which really appeals to me because they are dealing with important issues.”

Ross Hammell, Sustainable Communities Programme Manager at McTaggart Construction:

“McTaggart Construction sees FA’s as a key element of our talent pipeline mix, alongside other traditional academic and vocational routes. The construction industry needs many more confident, hardworking young people across all disciplines to address the current skills shortage we face. The world of work can be a shock to a lot of school leavers, therefore FA’s offer the opportunity to gain a true understanding of a potential career path before they’ve even left school.”

“Since starting her FA with McTaggart Construction, Sophia has gained a lot of confidence which has enabled her to ask more questions and get more from her time on site, applying academic learning.”

Taking the Foundation Apprenticeship has changed Sophia’s opinion of school.

She explained: “Taking the Foundation Apprenticeship has given me something to look forward to and I’m excited to learn what the career would be like.

“Getting the experience of college and the workplace with my Foundation Apprenticeship has made me happier and more confident.”

Peter Brown, Senior Curriculum Manager from Glasgow Kelvin College said: “The Foundation Apprenticeship programme provides a range of benefits to our learners, chief among these being the opportunity to undertake a long-term work placement with an employer.

“During this time learners are given an invaluable insight into the world of work and a hands-on experience which inspires and shapes their future career paths whilst also preparing and equipping them with skills that are valued by industry.

“Furthermore, the Foundation Apprenticeship offers them the opportunity to learn in a programme and environment that has been solely designed with employment in mind.   Subjects they are currently studying at school e.g. Maths, Physics or IT are given real-world value through contextualisation and simulation of industry.  As a result, many learners better engage at school as abstract concepts now have real meaning and importance to their future career aspirations.”

Foundation Apprenticeships are developed by Skills Development Scotland, in partnership with employers and funded by European Social Fund.

TES feature: Primary career education should broaden children’s horizons

By Nick Chambers for TES

The focus for primary schools shouldn’t be on ‘careers advice’ but on ‘career-related learning’, argues Nick Chambers

The last few months have seen a sudden enthusiasm for careers education in primary schools. Of course, it is a simple and seductive idea.
But many teachers and parents have expressed their concerns that we risk making our children grow up too fast. They are understandably concerned about the dangers in directing children towards a particular career or job at a time when their aspirations should be wide-ranging and, in large part, without boundaries.
I share their concerns. We should not be providing careers advice in primary schools: instead we should focus on broadening horizons and raising aspirations, giving children a wide range of experiences including the world of work. It is about opening doors, showing children the vast range of possibilities and helping to keep their options open for as long as possible.
And there are a range of attributes, skills and behaviours that can be encouraged in this early stage of a child’s life that will leave them in the best possible position as they begin their transitions to secondary education and to future life.
There is often alarm, too, when people hear or read the word ‘careers’ in the same sentence as primary schools. In my opinion, the focus for primary schools shouldn’t be on ‘careers advice’ but on what I refer to as ‘career-related learning’.
Teachers would tend to agree. Our recent survey, in partnership with Tes and the NAHT headteachers’ union, found that the majority of teachers believe that children should be learning about the world of work and different jobs in their first years of primary school. Nearly half (47 per cent) believed this should start from age five and under and that linking learning to the real world helped increase motivation, broaden aspirations and challenge gender stereotypes.
Politicians, too, are on side. Robert Halfon MP, chair of the Commons Education Select Committee was spot on in saying in Tes recently: “The impact of early engagement can have a hugely positive impact on wider academic attainment, motivating and inspiring both children and their families, by helping them to see a future to which they can aspire and which feels achievable.”
Earlier this year we tried to explore this a little further by exploring who primary-aged children ideally want to become, and, what shapes (and often limits) their career aspirations and dreams for the future. Drawing the Future asked children aged 7 to 11 to draw a picture of the job they wanted to do when they grew up. More than 13,000 children took part in the UK and it was clear that, from a young age, many children had ideas about careers. Some 36 per cent of children from as young as seven years old, based their career aspirations on people they knew. For those who didn’t know anyone who did the job they drew, 45 per cent stated that TV, film and radio were the biggest factors influencing their choice.
Meanwhile, less than 1 per cent of children knew about a job from someone visiting their school. This has huge implications for social mobility, as children from poorer backgrounds may not have access to successful role models from the world of work and their aspirations are limited as a result.
All children, regardless of their background should get the chance to meet a wide range of people doing different jobs, in different sectors and at different levels – from apprentices to CEOs.
This is essential if we are to improve social mobility and gender and ethnic equality. It is vital we support children to challenge the perceptions they may have about certain jobs, and to better understand the evolving world they are growing up in while they are still in primary school.
While teachers appreciate the importance to children of career-related learning many say that the lack of time and availability of volunteers are preventing them doing more. The NAHT has taken a lead to tackle this and created Primary Futures in partnership with my charity, Education and Employers.

Emma Fieldhouse from South Parade Primary school in Wakefield explains why her school got involved: “It was amazing to see the children talking and listening to the volunteers, and each other, as they begin to make the link between what they do in school every day and the exciting world of the future where they will be the next scientists, teachers, politicians, vets”.
We must not rest until we see this kind of ambition running through all of our students in all of our primary schools.

Nick Chambers is the founder and chief executive officer of the charity Education and Employers. The charity runs Inspiring the Future and its Primary Futures and Inspiring Women programmes and undertakes research into the effectiveness of employer engagement

Foundation Apprenticeships: Preparing Young People for the World of Work

Foundation Apprenticeships offer young people valuable work-based learning opportunities to develop their skills and employer connections  in order to build their future career pathways.

Learners will now have the option to select a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of their senior phase subject choices and complete the qualification over one or two years in collaboration with local learning provider, such as a college and with an employer.

Skills Development Scotland has developed the Foundation Apprenticeship programme, in partnership with education and industry, which now feature  on the senior phase curriculum in most secondary schools in Scotland.  Young people can select a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of their subject choices and complete the qualification over one or two years, usually starting in S5 or S6 . This provides them  with a real, practical work placement which will give their career a head start and looks great on their CV.
A Foundation Apprenticeship is a chance to try a career out  to decide if it’s right for them.  Whatever young people want to do after school – straight into work, onto a Modern or Graduate Apprenticeship or to college or university – a Foundation Apprenticeship can open up their options.

Watch this clip to find out more about FAs:  youtube.com/scottishapprenticeship

Foundation Apprenticeships are designed by employers to ensure the qualification and skills young people develop throughout are what are needed for the world of work. Employers therefore help shape the next generation of talent and build the skills they require for their future career pathways .   At the same time Foundation Apprenticeships allow employers to spot talented, motivated learners who could become their future employees.

For more information on Foundation Apprenticeships visit  apprenticeships.scot/foundation or follow  @apprentice_scot .

FA PowerPoint presentation: FA Presentation

Download an overview of the key aspects of FAs here:  foundation-apprenticeships-positioning-doc-august-2018

Women in Wellies – Event 2018

A one day event to inspire young women to choose rural careers took place on 30th October 2018.

The event was a huge success with 170 attendees and Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) is keen to do the event again next year.

CNPA is also keen for organisations across Scotland to use the model and repeat the event.

A new webpage has been created, sharing videos of the event and providing links for rural careers information (training, volunteering, jobs, qualifications):

http://cairngorms.co.uk/caring-future/education-learning/women-in-wellies/

This document outlines how we planned the event, successes, and how Women in Wellies can be developed in the future. Please share the document with anyone who is interested in planning a Women in Wellies event.

Attendees

The venue (Boat of Garten Community Hall) had a seated capacity of 200. We invited five local High Schools (Alford, Aboyne, Kingussie, Grantown and Speyside) to bring up to 30 girls each from S4-S6. We promoted the event to students through contacts at UHI. We opened up some places for young women and women seeking a career change through Eventbrite. All places were free. CNPA covered transport costs for school groups.

Speakers

We planned speakers by thinking about the particular jobs / areas of work in the outdoor sector we wanted covered, and then consulted our steering group to find suggestions for good speakers to fill those slots.  Here is an outline of the programme.

Programme

30th October 2018 Boat of Garten

9.30 Arrival and Welcome

10 Introduction by Jo O’Hara (Forestry Commission Scotland)

10.40 Panel chaired by Anna Fleming (Cairngorms National Park Authority) Area Speaker Organisation / employer
Stalking Megan Rowland Gordonbush Estate
Crofting / rangering / landscape management Lynn Cassells Lynbreck Croft
Farming Joyce Campbell Women in Agriculture Taskforce
Recreation / mountain guiding Heather Morning Mountaineering Scotland
Conservation / landscape Frances Thin Cairngorms National Park Authority
Forestry Sarah Toulson Cawdor Forestry

 

Afternoon

Farming and crofting Lynn and Sandra, Lynbreck Croft
 
Forestry, conservation and field ecology Becks Denny, field surveys
Veterinary, equine and academia Sophie Boyd, Strathspey Veterinary Centre
Game keeping, stalking and fisheries Pamela Esson, River Dee Trust
Guiding, recreation and rangers Heather Morning, Mountaineering Scotland

 

 

Young Enterprise Scotland – News

Earlier this year our Bridge 2 Business Programme joined forces with Heehaw, to bring an exciting competition and opportunity for Edinburgh College Students.

The competition gave Edinburgh College students the opportunity to win a paid work placement, and valuable experience in the industry of animation, film & television. This opportunity also gave students the chance to develop their skills, which hopefully would secure them a job in the future or give real inspiration to start up their own business!

Earlier this week, we got news from HeeHaw that the students who won the competition through Bridge2Business, have in fact gained employment within the industry. We had 40 students apply for the placement, which was then narrowed down to a top ten, and ultimately two won a paid placement!

 

#collaboration is a core value of everything we do and stand for at Young Enterprise Scotland you can imagine how pleased we are to be working with VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards.

Businesses in Scotland are taking significant steps to improve or reduce their impact on the environment, often saving money in the process. The VIBES are held each year to recognise and showcase best practice.

The VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards are a partnership between Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), The Scottish Government, Energy Saving Trust, Highland & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Water, Zero Waste Scotland and the 20:20 Climate Group. We were delighted to showcase our work via young people from Lochend Community School in Glasgow as well as being the charity partner at the lunch receiving over £1600 to help continue our work.

As we approach the end of Scotland’s Year of Young People we can look back with warmth at the role that Young Enterprise Scotland has played, and we will join a celebration event on 3rd December to showcase the legacy if the year’s activity.

The one key takeaway for Young Enterprise Scotland has been improved co-creation and engagement with young people to help shape our programmes for young people in the future.

This was to the fore this week as we held focus groups with our current group of Pathway Programme participants to use their knowledge of issues and challenges they face to help us shape a future enterprise programme fit for purpose and meeting the beneficiary needs – putting the customer at the heart of your business

Language Trends in Scotland

SCILT publish an annual analysis of published SQA statistics on language trends in Scottish schools.

For access to Trends from previous years, please contact SCILT.

Choices young people make regarding STEM and language subjects in school

  • Girls were more likely than boys to report choosing or intending to study a language other than English.
  • Young people from rural areas were significantly more likely than those from urban areas to report that they had chosen or intended to study a language subject.
  • The percentage of young people reporting that they had chosen or were intending to study a language decreased between S1 and S5. However, this number increases again in S6.
  • The most common reason for choosing to study a language was because the young person enjoyed it.

Highlights from the Young People in Scotland Survey, carried out by Ipsos MORI and published in March 2018. Find out more in the extract of these findings.

Attitudes towards language learning in schools in Scotland

  • Most people in Scotland (89%) think that learning a language other than English in school from the age of five is important. This was regardless of people’s age, educational qualifications, or socio-economic status.
  • The most common languages that people in Scotland think are appropriate for children in their area to learn are Western European languages.

Highlights from the Scottish Social Attitudes survey, carried out by Scotcen Social Research and published in February 2016.  Find out more in the extract of these findings.

Entries and awards for national qualifications in languages

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is the national accreditation and awarding body in Scotland. For the most recent data on all qualifications and subjects, including data on entries and awards for qualifications in languages, please refer to the following on the SQA website:

Language teaching

For information on how many Secondary specialist language teachers there are in Scotland, please refer to the data from the Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland No 8 (Scottish Government, December 2017):

Languages in the community

Data from the Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland No 8 (Scottish Government, December 2017) indicate the top 5 home languages in 2017, other than English, were Polish, Urdu, Scots, Punjabi and Arabic. A total of 158 languages were spoken as the main home language by pupils in publicly funded schools in Scotland. 53,052 pupils were identified whose main home language was neither English, Gaelic, Scots, Doric nor Sign Language. The greatest number of these pupils attend schools in Glasgow.

The statistics published by the Registrar General for Scotland on the Scotland’s Census website, present details from the 2011 Census in Scotland on Ethnicity, Identity, Language and Religion, from national to local level.

Navigate to the Standard Outputs menu and select ‘Ethnicity, Identity, Language and Religion’ to access the following tables:

  • Gaelic language skills by sex by age
  • English language skills by sex by age
  • Language other than English used at home by sex by age

Related Links:

Scottish Borders – Teacher Industry Insight Placements

Scottish Borders Council provided 55 teachers with the opportunity to find out first hand the skills required in  local  industries.

Sarah Rowson- Teacher of Modern languages from Berwickshire High School shares her experiences

Before the end of the summer term 2018 I spent two days with Rabbie’s Trail Burners as part of my Teacher Industry Insight Placement organised by Developing the Young Workforce Borders .

I spent one day in the Edinburgh headquarters being introduced to employees across the various departments and hearing about their roles in the organisation.  This was highly informative and helped me understand the structure and functions within the company.

The second day I spent on a day tour of the “West Highlands, Lochs and Castles” to give me a taste of Rabbie’s business from a customer’s viewpoint.

Since then, I have built on this link with Elaine Brannan, Head of HR, who is going well beyond the call of duty for my pupils.  I am running the SQA Languages for Life and Work Award this session, which includes an Employability unit.  Elaine has been in to Berwickshire High School to meet my pupils and has committed to coming back on several occasions to help them identify their transferable skills, create CVs and work on their interview skills.  She has also offered work experience to a small number.  Taking part in all these activities – and especially being interviewed and given constructive feedback – will be enormously beneficial for my pupils.  Elaine’s first visit last week was met with enormous enthusiasm, the most I have seen from this group for anything work-related!

My background is business-related (before I became a teacher) and both my experience and that of all the business contacts we have forged are really bringing home to the pupils the importance of identifying the transferable skills that they already have and developing them still further.  In this class our focus is not really the academic, but rather developing these young people in preparation to join the workforce in due course.  The placement I had with Rabbies has been invaluable here.

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