Tag Archives: Adult Literacies

Adult Learning Strategy sub group update

 Following the first meeting of the Adult Learning Strategic Forum for Scotland (ALSFS), in September, the Adult Learning Strategy Sub-Group set about getting 5 consultative workshops and an adult learning survey underway. 

By late-October, the learning survey was up and running (https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/AdultLearningSurvey2019/).  This will remain live until at least the end of November, so please encourage and support your learners to participate.

The Strategy Sub-Group would like to thank the partners and colleagues who participated in the recent strategic themed workshops.  These were organised around the themes of:

The Adult Learning Offer and Planning Progression

Advice and Guidance

Access, Empowerment and Change

Learning for Work

Workforce Development

 The rich discussion led to outputs and actions which the Sub-Group are now reviewing.  These will be reported to ALSFS when it next meets in December. Although still early in its conception, work around the new Adult Learning Strategy has already gathered momentum and it’s hoped that colleagues and partners are already enjoying a sense of involvement and ownership of the strategy, which is expected in late 2020. 

If you haven’t had the chance to input into the strategy yet, further consultation is planned over the coming months for local services, practitioners and learners – dates and locations to follow.  We look forward to seeing you there.

 

Focus on Adult Learning in CLD

This month marks 100 years of Adult Learning. Across our communication channels we have been busy highlighting the campaign and the work that Community Learning and Development (CLD) covers in adult learning.

The thing that surprises most people about CLD is the variety of roles and diversity of learning that is covered. People who work in CLD often have a variety of disciplines to cover and ensure they are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide these. The CLD Standards Council is the professional body for people who work or volunteer in CLD.

Adult literacy & Numeracy in Scotland follows a social practice model. It looks at the skills, knowledge and understanding that a learner has to build on and relates learning to a context within personal, family, working or community life. Provision is offered in a learner centred way and can use real life resources such as bills, letters, newspapers or other household resources to support learning to have a real life context.

ESOL is English for Speakers of other languages and community based ESOL is delivered by CLD teams across Scotland. Scotland has supported the Syrian Resettlement Scheme in recent years which also links to ESOL provision and wider CLD activity in communities although this can look different in different local authorities. ESOL learners can come from any country in the world and groups can be made up of a variety of languages and cultures.

Community based adult learning in Community Learning and Development (CLD) can cover a wide variety of learning opportunities that are intended to be informal, relaxed, friendly opportunities that aim to break down barriers for learners who are hardest to reach. These can be adults with multiple barriers such as mental health, physical health, learning difficulties, alcohol and drug addictions, long term unemployment and social isolation among others.

Adult learning in CLD covers a variety of areas such as confidence building, health issues, bereavement, life changes (such as divorce or redundancy) focussing on areas of high deprivation where poverty impacts on households and families.

CLD is a value-based practice and CLD professionals have committed themselves to the values of self-determination, inclusion, empowerment, working collaboratively and the promotion of adult learning as a lifelong activity. Programmes and activities are developed in dialogue with communities and participants, working particularly with those excluded from participation in the decisions and processes that shape their lives.

The focus of CLD in all areas of adult learning are improved life chances for people of all ages, through learning, personal development and active citizenship with stronger, more resilient, supportive, influential and inclusive communities.

The Education Scotland CLD Team works to support the CLD sector in delivering high quality learning opportunities relevant to the communities that are in need. The Education Scotland CLD Team supports professional learning across different areas of adult learning in CLD and supports the creation of new policies and strategies. The team is keen to share and promote interesting practice that is of interest delivered by CLD workers who work tirelessly to improve the communities and individuals they work with. Get in touch if there is a piece of work you would like us to share! Contact Laura.McIntosh@educationscotland.gov.scot for more information.

Update from the Adult Learning Strategy working group

Following on from our last update, posted after the highly successful Adult Learning Conference at Newbattle Abbey College,  the Adult Learning Strategy working group, a subgroup of the Adult Learning Strategic Forum for Scotland, has met on several occasions. There have also been meetings with the new chair of the Adult Learning Strategic Forum for Scotland: Mhairi Harrington, to discuss progress with the strategy’s development. As you might expect, the final document is still a number of months away so a great deal of work is still needed before a first draft of the strategy is available for consultation. At this stage however the group is pleased to report that the outline of a strategy, based on all the prior consultation and feedback from the sector, is beginning to emerge.

The working group are clear that any new strategy should be aligned to the National Performance Framework so the key deliverables within the strategy will contribute to one or more policy objectives. A draft vision and mission has now been developed and some broad areas of focus and key delivery themes are gradually being formed. All of these developments and proposals from the working group were discussed at a full meeting of the Adult Learning Strategic Forum for Scotland on 20th August and an update to the wider sector will follow about the continued shaping of the strategy.

The strategy working group has also been looking to find ways and means to engage directly with learners and ensure that any strategy fundamentally meets learner needs. A survey questionnaire is now in the final stages of development. This will be tested in the next few weeks with several small focus groups before wider circulation later in the year.  This will also provide a snapshot picture of adult learning in Scotland so please help us by sharing the survey so that this data is as robust and representative as possible.

The outcomes from the meeting of the Adult Learning Strategic Forum for Scotland on 20th August and the feedback from the learner questionnaire will shape the efforts of the working group over the next few months. A number of sector stakeholder events will be planned around the proposed themes and areas of focus. These will be led by members of the working group and will give everyone further opportunities to comment on and contribute to the next stages of the strategy’s development.

The working group will continue to update the sector regularly and hope that you and your learners will join us to share your views in the months ahead, as the strategy develops.  All opportunities for engagement will be promoted widely through the usual channels.

For more information contact Nicola.Mcandrew@gov.scot

National Coding Week 19th September 2016

NCW-Banner-BlueText-Scottish

How to get involved with National Coding Week

Children are part of a confident “Digital Generation” having grown up with the internet, smart phones and coding classes. However, many adults have missed out on the digital revolution and feel left behind.

“The aim of National Coding Week is to give adults the opportunity to learn some digital skills”.

Children can inspire adults

Children are learning digital skills in school or through coding clubs such as Code Clubs and CoderDojos. We therefore would like these clubs to open their doors to parents for a one-off session in which the children will teach the adults some of the skills they have learnt.

Libraries can act as focal points

Libraries are in an ideal position to act as a focal point and can host a coding session. Either the staff can lead the session or someone who is confident and familiar with coding from the local community can share their skills. Read CILIP’s blog: Libraries — how they can improve our Digital Literacy

Schools can get involved

Children are learning coding but many parents don’t understand what their children are doing and many non-specialist teachers and governors feel they have missed out on these skills.

Web, app, creative and digital businesses can throw open their doors

Those with the expertise can share their skills and have fun teaching people the basics of coding. There are many training organisations who offer courses throughout the year. They can contribute to the week by offering taster sessions to encourage people to sign-up.

Tech Hubs

There are hundreds of tech hubs with amazing businesses working from them. The tech hubs are giving start-ups a platform from which to launch businesses and inspire others. These can be the perfect venue for the week and we would love them to be involved.

Advice:

1) Keep it simple — it might simply by showing people resources available on the Technologies Professional Learning Community  in Glow, Code.org or Barefoot Computing

2) If you are able to organise it, get a friendly local web development agency, ICT teacher or FE college tutor to lead the session.

Click here to get involved!

Global Goals and the World’s Largest Lesson

gg-logo-tileThe United Nations recently agreed a set of goals that aim to make our planet fair, healthy and sustainable by 2030.  A 17-point plan to end poverty, combat climate change and fight injustice and inequality. They are the biggest attempt in the history of the human race to make the world a better place. Resources available include: a guide, an animated introductory film and a set of lesson plans.

Community in Action in Castlemilk

Learners from a Castlemilk adult learning group, The Only Way is Up, celebrated the completion of the first SCQF level 4 accredited course based on Counting on a Greener Scotland (COGS)  at Whitelee Wind farm.   They are pictured with   Heather Reid who presented their certificates and WEA tutor Alison McLachlan.    Learners evaluated the pilot course resources and their  feedback will inform future provision.

Counting on a Greener Scotland
Left to right- Karen, Alison, Frannie, Heather, Madge, Marie, Anna and Annmarie. Maggie, Anne and Mary were unable to attend the ceremony

The Only Way is Up  is supported by the WEA, Ardenglen Housing Association, Clyde College and South Area Literacies Partnership. Education Scotland funded the development and design of the original numeracy educational  pack Counting on a Greener Scotland  which was developed by WEA with Heather Reid. Counting on a Greener Scotland  focuses on weather, climate change and energy.

UNESCO International Literacy Day 2015 at the Glasgow Science Centre

The choice of the Glasgow Science Centre reflected two UNESCO themes for 2015:

  • Literacy and Sustainable Societies and
  • International Year of Light and Light Based Industries
Minister with Literacy and HR
Joined Up Working

Dr. Alasdair Allan, MSP, Minister for Learning Science and Scotland’s Languages provided the keynote speech and launched the Scots Language resource, biographies of famous Scottish scientists in Scots and English. Of special interest is the Scots Scientist James Clerk Maxwell who predated Einstein and contrGlasgow Science Centreibuted to the understanding of light.

Dr Allan said: “Literacy, has a massive effect on the sustainable development of communities around the world.

“Literacy attainment is a key focus in Scottish education and raising the levels of literacy learning is something we’re aiming to address with the Scottish Attainment Challenge.”

Professor Sue Ellis, University of Strathclyde, co-author of the research Closing the Attainment Gap has highlighted the importance of understanding and teaching different literacy strategies for different subjects.

A key impact was the raising of awareness of the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a meaningful context for learning

The benefit of interdisciplinary learning was the theme of the key note address from former BBC presenter scientist Heather Reid OBE.  Workshops reflected this interdisciplinary approach.