CfE & Glow News – February Issue

The CfE and Glow News update provides you with information about Curriculum for Excellence and support for practitioners, along with all the latest developments within Glow. Read it here.

To sign up for this newsletter, please click here.

Scottish Network for Able Pupils event 21 March 2012

Literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing: making the experiences and outcomes work for able pupils

The Scottish Network for Able Pupils is running a one day session for managers and teachers interested in looking at what the experiences and outcomes in numeracy, literacy and health and wellbeing might look like in practice for highly able pupils particularly in P4-P7 years of primary school.
The day will draw on findings from a recent research project undertaken by SNAP. Participants will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced SNAP staff to develop activities linked to the experiences and outcomes. They will hear about current developments in education and what this means for children who are working ahead of their age peers. Participants will leave with ideas and activities that can be put into practice in the classroom. These ideas and activities will not only support pupils who are highly able but will support the learning of all.

Date: Wednesday 21st March 2012
Time: 9.15-3.15pm
Venue: St Andrew’s Building, University of Glasgow, 11 Eldon Street, Glasgow G3 6NH
Cost: £80 for SNAP members and for schools and Nurseries from Associate Tutor Authorities. £90 for non-SNAP Members
The day includes: all materials, tea/coffee on arrival, tea/coffee mid-morning, lunch.

To book a place please contact
Our address is
School of Education
St Andrew’s Building
University of Glasgow
11 Eldon Street
G3 6NH

Or fax :
0141 330 3476

CfE Films

New CfE – Impact and Benefits – How CfE is changing Scottish Education

In August 2010 Curriculum for Excellence was officially introduced in all public-funded Scottish schools. This was with the aim of making the curriculum more flexible, exciting, engaging and relevant, enabling Scotland’s children and young people to be better prepared for our ever-changing world, equipping them with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to help all learners get the best from their education, wherever they are on their learning journey.

One and a half years in and we are seeing more and more examples of how the flexibility of CfE is enabling our children to learn in different ways from the way past generations have, with far greater opportunity for more interesting and stimulating learning and teaching, more active participation and input from the learners themselves, raising engagement and subsequently their enthusiasm for learning. Following on from our earlier CfE in Action series, these videos are intended as a snapshot of where we are at the moment and a glimpse of the possibilities CfE has opened up so far.

They are intended for parents/carers and learners, as well as teachers and other education professionals, please feel free to share them widely via youtube.

Click here to view the films.

SLF 2012 Call for Participation Now Open

The Scottish Learning Festival 2012 will take place on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 September in the SECC, Glasgow. The theme for SLF 2012 is Creative Learning…. Creative Thinking.

The Scottish Learning Festival 2012 will offer practitioners opportunities to learn more about the importance of creative skills for themselves and for their learners. SLF 2012 will enable practitioners to develop skills and expertise to support creative learning and teaching across the curriculum through sharing information, highlighting innovation and showcasing best practice. SLF 2012 also provides continuing professional learning opportunities in line with recommendations set out in Teaching Scotland’s Future.

The Call for Participation is now open and full details of the theme along with an online submission form are available on the SLF website.

Are you aware of establishments that demonstrate good practice or maybe there is a project that you have been working on internally or with partners that could be showcased. We would encourage you to share this information with your networks and submit proposals for consideration.

There is a robust review, evaluation and scoring system in place to help ensure all submissions are treated equally and therefore it is essential that all requests to participate, whether internal or external, go through the submission process and adhere to the timescales provided. To ensure that your area of work is represented in the conference programme, please complete and submit the Call for Participation form for consideration.

Last year we received in excess of 350 submissions which allowed Education Scotland to deliver a relevant and balanced conference programme covering all key areas of education. The 2012 programme will be launched at the end of May and will feature those sessions that have been submitted and selected by the review panel.

There is a robust review, evaluation and scoring system in place to help ensure all submissions are treated equally and therefore it is essential that all requests to participate, whether internal or external, go through the submission process and adhere to the timescales provided. To ensure that your area of work is represented in the conference programme, please complete and submit the Call for Participation form for consideration.

Last year we received in excess of 350 submissions which allowed Education Scotland to deliver a relevant and balanced conference programme covering all key areas of education. The 2012 programme will be launched at the end of May and will feature those sessions that have been submitted and selected by the review panel.

The deadline for submitting proposals is Friday 30 March 2012, submissions received after this date cannot be considered for inclusion in the conference programme.

We look forward to receiving submissions and hope you will contribute to SLF 2012 to help continue to deliver Scotland’s largest annual national education conference and exhibition. If you would like to further discuss any aspects of SLF 2012 please contact Elaine Docherty.

The deadline for submitting proposals is Friday 30 March 2012, submissions received after this date cannot be considered for inclusion in the conference programme.

We look forward to receiving submissions and hope you will contribute to SLF 2012 to help continue to deliver Scotland’s largest annual national education conference and exhibition. If you would like to further discuss any aspects of SLF 2012 please contact Elaine Docherty.

The deadline for submitting proposals is Friday 30 March 2012, submissions received after this date cannot be considered for inclusion in the conference programme.

We look forward to receiving submissions and hope you will contribute to SLF 2012 to help continue to deliver Scotland’s largest annual national education conference and exhibition. If you would like to further discuss any aspects of SLF 2012 please contact Elaine Docherty.

World Book Day – 1st March

Talk with the author of ‘Horrid Henry’ through Glow TV and find other online resources to help celebrate World Book Day.

World Book Day is held on March 1 and was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe.

Speak with Francesca Simon, the author of the phenomenally successful Horrid Henry books, on Glow TV at 11am or at 1.15pm on Thursday March 1. The event is suitable for P1-P7 learners (age 5-12) and fans of the Horrid Henry series.

The event has been organised by the Scottish Book Trust. You can watch videos of previous author events – including Michael Rosen, Julia Donaldson, Charlie Higson, Michael Morpurgo and many more – in the Scottish Book Trust Glow Group (Requires Glow login).

Find more resources for World Book Day on the Education Scotland website.

Wise Up Wednesday – Literacy in Action

On Saturday the early years team at Education Scotland hosted a conference at Stirling Management Centre – 

Literacy in Action: Supporting Colleges to Support Early Years Practice.

Aileen Campbell MSP, Minister for Children andYoung People launched our new resource for parents every day’s a learning day. This resource highlights the learning opportunities present in every day situations from sorting the washing to preparing meals. Watch this space for more information

The conference was very successful with delegates sharing their enthusiasm about the workshops and the speakers which included:

Jean Carwood-Edwards, Programme Director, Education Scotland

Scotland’s Literacy Action Plan – everyone’s responsibility   

Alan Bissett, Author

Literacy in Action – promoting a reading culture in Scotland

National Updates

Education Scotland – Inspection Framework 

Louise Gaddi, Qualifications Manager Care Scotland, SQA

Catherine Agnew, Inspector Manager – Registration,Care Inspector

Nina Roberts, Education and Workforce Development Adviser, SSSC  

World Cafe Workshops

Development Officers provided an overview of how their own area of work supports the Literacy Action Plan and lead discussions on how the resources available could be used with students of early education and childcare.

Irene Russell, Development Officer, Parental Involvement

Susan Doherty, Development Officer, Work with Young People

Hilary Bombart, Team Leader (Acting), Literacy and English

Anna Cartlidge, Development Officer, Early Years/Responsibility of All

Visit Scotland’s Colleges Blog to see a video of the key messages from the day.

Transform Toolkit

Education Scotland has published a new online resource,
Transform Toolkit. The toolkit has been created by National Theatre of Scotland and Education Scotland to give every school and community the chance to create their own transformative experience.

Transform is an initiative which gives opportunities to schools and communities to work collaboratively on a large-scale creative project and allows participants to engage with and learn from artists from a range of creative industries.

Transform can be carried out by using the range of suggested tasks provided in the toolkit and/or with CPD support from National Theatre of Scotland. You can use the toolkit as a guide and it is designed to allow you to pick and choose the appropriate activities for the participants.

Big Dance 2012

Call for Participants

Big Dance 2012 is the UK’s biggest ever celebration of dance, with events taking part around the UK. As part of the Scottish Government’s policy to ‘Get Scotland Dancing’, Dance Base has received investment from Creative Scotland to produce a celebration of dance.

On Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July 2012, Dance Base is inviting every dance group, school and society to perform, teach or demonstrate in themed stages/areas throughout Edinburgh city centre. At night they will show an outdoor dance-along movie and a fringe programme of dance in bars and clubs, bringing people into the city to celebrate dance.

Dance Base is co-ordinating celebrations for the Edinburgh region and hopes to work with as many partners as possible to make the Big Dance celebration a high profile event attracting thousands.

Information on Big Dance 2012 can be found here.

If you are a group who would like to be involved register your interest with Dance Base by 29 February 2012. Over the next few months Dance Base will also be looking for individuals who want to volunteer in the run up to and during the event weekend.

Generations Working Together – National Conference (Glasgow)

National Conference is being held on Tuesday 13th March, 10.00 – 16.30, Scottish Youth Theatre, The Old Sheriff Court, 105 Brunswick Street, Glasgow, G1 1TF.  The conference is aimed at practitioners and those interested in the benefits of embedding intergenerational practice into policy. The key-note speech will be delivered by Carol Craig, Chief Executive, Centre for Confidence and Well-Being.   

To view further information click here.  The deadline for booking your place at the event is Wednesday 29th February 2012.   To book a place click here.

Children’s Mental Health Conference 2012 (Glasgow)

This conference will aim to refresh and enhance your knowledge on a variety of key topics and current developments in the field of children’s mental health, show examples of good practice and most importantly provide you with practical information which you can apply.  It will take place on Tuesday 15th May 2012 at Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor Hotel and costs £197 including lunch and refreshments.

Please click on the following link for information on the conference and booking details –

NHS Health Scotland Healthy Living Publications Update

The NHS Health Scotland suite of Healthy Living public facing resources will be updated in 2012-13 and NHS Health Scotland needs your professional support to guide the development of their National publications.

These publications relate to; Child Healthy Weight, Food & Health and Physical Activity & Healthy Weight in Scotland, across all age stages. By supporting the update, you are sure to gain valuable experience of being part of a national steering group and an insight into resource development.

Three new topic based steering groups will ensure publication revisions are guided by people who have experience of using Healthy Living resources in practice and/or professional expertise in the topic areas. The three Healthy Living steering group topics are:

  • Child Healthy Weight Publication Steering Group
  • Food & Health Publication Steering Group (including ‘Eating for Health’ and ‘Hassle Free Food’)
  • Physical Activity & Healthy Weight Steering Group (including ‘Hassle Free Exercise’ and ‘Physical Activity During and After Pregnancy’)

Each of these groups will meet on a couple of occasions throughout 2012-13 to:

  • Review and edit the content within the identified Healthy Living publication titles (according to the update schedule and time you can commit)
  • Guide the dissemination of revised publications and raise awareness of these National publications

To find out more about the purpose and remit of the steering groups or to express interest in joining, please email Karen Mailer: asap.

Digitally Agile Scotland – Seminars

The Scottish Community Development Centre, Youthlink Scotland and Learning Link Scotland are working in partnership to deliver the Digitally Agile Project.  The project involves research and case studies of good and interesting practice in the use of social media and new technology in the community learning and development field.  The programme is being supported by Education Scotland and funded by the Scottish Government.

As part of the project we will be hosting 3 seminars in Aberdeen – 22 March 2012, Edinburgh – 27 March 2012 and Glasgow – 29 March 2012.  The seminars are for people working in adult learning, youth development and community capacity building and are designed to allow participants to hear about interesting practice involving social media and new technology.  Participants will have the opportunity to learn from others, share practice and exchange experience and knowledge.  You will also have the opportunity to have your say about the challenges and the importance of guidance in being digitally agile for your personal and professional development. 

The seminars are free of charge but places are limited. To book you place on the either one of the 3 seminars please click on the link below:

If you require further information about the programme please contact Paul Nelis

Singapore Government announces changes to tobacco packaging in 2012!

The Singapore government has announced that from March 2013, words like ‘light’, ‘low-tar’ and ‘mild’ will be banned from the packaging of tobacco products and a new set of graphic warnings will replace the current warnings used. Among other changes that will come about following the amendments in 2010 to the Smoking (Control of Advertisements and Sale of Tobacco) Act, the maximum tar and nicotine yield levels in cigarettes will be reduced, and current label indicating tar and nicotine yield levels on packaging will be replaced with warning of chemicals other than tar and nicotine in a cigarette.
If you would like to read more follow the link below:

STEM Central and Research Recommendations

How can teachers engage with the recommendations of a recent research pilot by the Department for Education and carried out by the Centre for Education and Industry at the University of Warwick (CEI), the International Centre for Guidance Studies at the University of Derby (iCeGs) and Isinglass Consultancy Ltd? This three year programme of work sought to explore the potential to embed STEM careers awareness in the early stages in early stages of secondary education.

STEM Central demonstrates opportunities for using engineering to learn through enquiry and investigation in curriculum areas and interdisciplinary studies. STEM Central  provides opportunities to embed learning of STEM across traditional subject boundaries, and offers opportunities for all learners to understand the wealth of learning and career opportunities offered by STEM.

Using the careers based videos can enrich teachers understanding of opportunities STEM offers their learners, and assist in planning for learning and teaching which prepares our young people to 

“gains the skills and aspirations essential for building the UK’s economy and to help them participate in an increasingly scientific and technological society.” (Good Timing: Implementing STEM careers strategy in secondary schools, November 2011)

Church of Scotland Leaflets on Moral and Ethical Issues

The Church of Scotland has published a series of leaflets about current moral and ethical issues. These leaflets link to the teachings of the church and the position that the Church takes on these issues. There are also reflective questions to help in your thinking about these issues.

These leaflets would be an ideal source of information for those teaching Senior pupils and in particular for NQ courses looking at moral issues.

Climate Change leaflet (1)

Synthetic Biology leaflet

Poverty leaflet

Stem Cells leaflet

Nuclear Weapons leaflet

Mental Health leaflet

Internet leaflet

Human Cloning Ethical Issues leaflet

Fair Trade Leaflet

End of Life Issues leaflet

Cloned Embryo Research leaflet

Teaching Transport?

The STEM Central Context on Electric Transport allows practitioners and learners to explore Electric Cars. The Electric Cars learning journey with a technologies focus is aimed at fourth level. Lessons give learners experiences and opportunities to develop their understanding of the differences between electric motors and petrol engines and the functional, societal and physical issues relating to electric forms of transport. Learners can research the current state of electric transport in the world to learn from elsewhere and deepen their understanding of the issues. Surveying people in the community allows them to better understand attitudes and views relating to this issue. Learners then develop an understanding of different case studies of schemes to encourage the adoption of electric transport and then research and present a reasoned argument on the environmental impact of a wider spread use of electric transport in Scotland.

The Glow Science (Glow log in required) video on Eco-Transport could be used to support the Electric Cars Learning Journey.

Planning for Learning, Teaching and Assessment in RME

A new resource has been developed to support practitioners in planning for effective learning, teaching and assessment in RME. This resource takes you through the process of unpacking the Es and Os to gathering evidence. There are tasks for staff to undertake and help develop your thinking. There is also an interactive powerpoint presentation and templates for you to use. The resource can be found by clicking here.

Bioengineering goes live on STEM Central

Bioengineering – or biomedical engineering – has come to prominence and has expanded rapidly in the past decade. The learning journeys in the STEM Central Bioengineering context focus on efforts to repair, assist or augment impaired body functions through the use of brain-computer interfacing, polymeric biomaterials and prosthetics.

Additional videos available to support learning and teaching around this context can be found on Glow Science. Why not try:

Joints – explore movement of joints

Muscles Part 2 – how skeletal muscles help control your body

Plastics & Polymers – discover how properties of plastics

can be determined.

Teaching Flooding?

The STEM Central Context on Water allows practitioners and learners to explore flood planning and flood management. The microgeneration learning journey has a Sciences focus aimed at third level. Lessons give learners experiences and the opportunity to develop their understanding of a renewable source of energy through practical investigation. This context would lend itself well to an interdisciplinary learning planned in partnership with technologies.

The flood planning learning journey is aimed at third level Social Studies and begins by engaging learners with the topic of flooding through discussion of local flooding issues in Scotland. Learners are given opportunities to understand the social and financial impact of flooding and possible flood prevention methods both natural and manmade. They also consider the effect of flooding on both developed and developing countries and how aid may impact on this.

The flood management learning journey is aimed at fourth level Technologies and begins by engaging learners with the topic of flooding to immerse themselves in some of the issues and problems of the people affected by flooding. Learners are given opportunities to research existing products and systems, to analyse case studies and to design, model and apply the basic principles of control technology. They also consider the possible negative impacts of engineered solutions and whether sometimes ‘low tech’, or non-engineered solutions can be appropriate by looking at practice in this country and elsewhere in the world.

There are various videos available through Glow Science (Glow log in required) that you could use to support these learning journeys:

  • Hurricane Katrina: Part 1: In 2005, New Orleans was struck by Hurricane Katrina. What defences did the city have to protect it?
  • Hurricane Katrina: Part 2: In 2005, New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The city had flood defences which were meant to protect it. Why did these fail and could this happen again?
  • Storm Surges: Storm surges are huge domes of water sucked upwards by the eye of a hurricane. What happens if they hit the shore, or worse, a city?

Wise up Wednesday: CfE Impact and Benefits – Focus On: Early Years

 The Scottish Government have published new short films on Curriculum for Excellence for parents on the Engage for Education web site at:

The films illustrate, in nursery/primary/secondary learners’, parents’ and teachers’ own words, the kind of impact and benefits that Curriculum for Excellence is having across Scotland. 

The films contribute towards the Cabinet Secretary’s CfE Action Plan 2011/12 commitment to develop new materials for parents which illustrate the benefits of CfE, following specific calls for such resources from parents. 

They have been developed in co-operation with the National Parent Forum of Scotland.

Let your colleagues and parents know!!!

Teaching Circuits?

The STEM Central Context on Electric Transport allows practitioners and learners to explore Circuits. The Circuit learning journey has a Sciences focus and is aimed at third level. Lessons give learners experiences and the opportunity to develop their understanding of circuits and their application. Learners are given the chance to apply learning by designing their own circuits for particular functions.

There are various videos available through Glow Science (Glow log in required) that you could use to support the Circuits Learning Journey:

Glow Science – Teacher Testimonial

Teacher Katy Sowden explains how Glow Science has enriched and enlivened science learning in her classroom, and how it has helped her deliver Curriculum for Excellence outcomes.

Hear from P7 pupils at Williamston Primary School, who enthuse about the content and learning style offered by Glow Science.

To view the video click here.

Happy Talk

One factor that is increasingly being cited as an important economic indicator is happiness.

After all, what good is increased production and consumption if the result isn’t increased human satisfaction? Until fairly recently, the subject of happiness was mostly avoided by economists for lack of good ways to measure it; however, in recent years, “happiness economists” have found ways to combine subjective surveys with objective data (on lifespan, income, and education) to yield data with consistent patterns, making a national happiness index a practical reality

But at this moment in history, as GDP growth becomes an unachievable goal, it is especially important that societies re-examine their aims and measures. If we aim for what is no longer possible, we will achieve only delusion and frustration. But if we aim for genuinely worthwhile goals that can be attained, then even if we have less energy at our command and fewer material goods available, we might nevertheless still increase our satisfaction in life.

To read the full article click here.

Sport Your Trainers 2012

Sport your Trainers and get involved in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games!

As a school we’d like to set you the challenge of reaching your partner country by Commonwealth Day on the 12th March of this year and show your support for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games by getting involved in this year’s Sport your Trainers campaign.

You can take part by walking, jogging, rowing, cycling, and spinning or even skipping, the choice is yours and all activities count, so get creative. You can find out more about this in the Sport Your Trainers Glow Group.

To help celebrate this we will be having a special Glow Meet as part of the national launch and we will be coming live from Maddiston Primary in Falkirk on Thursday 23rd February at 11am. The athlete who will be appearing at the school is 18-year-old Scottish Pole Vaulter Jax Thoirs. Find out more about Jax.

Join us and find out more about Sport Your Trainers 2012 and ask your questions!! Sign up and join us in Glow TV.

The German Teacher Awards

Do you know an outstanding Teacher of German who you feel should be recognised at a national level?

The winners will receive a personal prize of £750 and a certificate. The prizes will be presented at a special ceremony at the “Sommerfest der Deutschen Sprache” on 28th of  June 2012 in the German Ambassador’s Residence in London.

For further information please click here to visit the website.


Herriot Watt University – The Multi- Lingual Debate 2012 – 22nd of March

This year’s multi- lingual debate will take place on Thursday 22nd of March 2012.  If you would like to attend, or would like to register your class to participate online, then please visit Herriot Watt’s website where you will be given details of how to register.

It’s a really fantastic opportunity for langauge learners to get an insight into the skills and techniques used by translators, while taking part in a really interesting and topical debate.  This is the first time that the event will be streamed live so that schools can fully participate no matter where they are located.

To register your class, click here to access the Herriot Watt website

What are friends for?

The presence of friends mitigates negative experiences, study proves

“Stand by me” is a common refrain when it comes to friendship; however, new research from Concordia University proves that the concept goes beyond pop music: keeping friends close has real physiological and psychological benefits. 

The presence of a best friend directly affects children going through negative experiences, as reported in the recent Concordia-based study published in Developmental Psychology. The study was conducted with the collaboration of researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Feelings of self-worth and levels of cortisol, a hormone produced naturally by the adrenal gland in direct response to stress, are largely dependent on the social context of a negative experience.
“Having a best friend present during an unpleasant event has an immediate impact on a child’s body and mind,” says author William M. Bukowski, a psychology professor and director of the Concordia Centre for Research in Human Development. “If a child is alone when he or she gets in trouble with a teacher or has an argument with a classmate, we see a measurable increase in cortisol levels and decrease in feelings of self-worth.”
A total of 55 boys and 48 girls from grades 5 and 6 in local Montreal schools took part in the study. Participants kept journals on their feelings and experiences over the course of four days and submitted to regular saliva tests that monitored cortisol levels. 

Concordia psychology professor William M. Bukowski | Photo by Concordia University
Although previous studies have shown that friendships can protect against later adjustment difficulties, this study is the first to definitively demonstrate that the presence of a friend results in an immediate benefit for the child undergoing a negative experience.
These results have far-reaching implications. “Our physiological and psychological reactions to negative experiences as children impacts us later in life,” explains Bukowski. “Excessive secretion of cortisol can lead to significant physiological changes, including immune suppression and decreased bone formation. Increased stress can really slow down a child’s development.”

According to Bukowski, when it comes to feelings of self-worth, “What we learn about ourselves as children is how we form our adult identities. If we build up feelings of low self-worth during childhood, this will translate directly into how we see ourselves as adults.”

The study builds on previous research at Concordia that has shown multiple friendships inoculate against negative outcomes such as bullying, exclusion and other kinds of aggression.
About the study
 The paper, “The Presence of a Best Friend Buffers the Effects of Negative Experiences,” published in the journal Developmental Psychology, was authored by William M. Bukowski of Concordia University in Canada, Ryan E. Adams of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and John Bruce Santo of the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the United States.

Talking Stem Cells in Scottish Schools

Pupils All Over Scotland Come Together Using Glow TV to Talk Stem Cells!

SSCN (Scottish Stem Cell Network) is delighted to announce the next Talking Stem Cells workshop will be running on Glow TV on February 21st 2012 at 2pm.

Talking Stem Cells is an opportunity for Scottish secondary school pupils to participate in an interactive and engaging workshop, presented on Glow TV, with real scientists working in this topical science field.

The workshop covers the basic science of stem cells, their therapeutic potentials and the research currently being conducted; while also highlighting some of the career possibilities the industry offers in Scotland, a world leader in this field.

By using Glow it allows for the breakdown of geographical and social barriers and allows pupils from all over Scotland to engage and tune in to activities and special guests that may not have previously been available, especially true of schools in more remote areas.

The event will be hosted by Forth Valley College and stem cell scientists, Dr. Andy Downes, Edinburgh University and Dr. Paul Shiels, Glasgow University. They will be leading the workshop which will include a mix of presentations, interactive activities and investigations by the participating students.

The workshop will see students participating from schools across Scotland, with participation from as far afield as Shetland, Orkney and the Highlands.

You can sign up and take part in this event in Glow TV – Sign up and join us!

A Random Walk through Mathematics at Stirling University

A planned context for phased development within STEM Central is the “Invisible Worlds” context. Envisaged as a context exploring the Invisible World that’s going on inside our bodies, this will connect the cutting edge of modelling, measuring, investigating, diagnosing and treating in these Invisible Worlds, associated with industry and education in Scotland.

If that sounds like something which you might be interested in, then why not take a look at Stirling University’s lecture on 23rd February which looks at their interest and expertise in modelling biological systems, disease spread and control, and building simple models of population growth.

Think of a Learner…and a loop the loop

Education Scotland’s Sciences Development Offier joined up with SSERC to work with Physics teachers from South Lanarkshire during their recent in-service days.

The Think of a Learner toolkit, under development to aid practitioners in self evaluation and engaging in professional dialogue, to explore in more depth the guidance and advice on CfE from the perspective of the individual learner, was used to stimulate and structure interesting and challenging discussion. This toolkit, designed to be used for individual, department, Faculty or whole school CPD,  addresses the most common questions and queries arising around new NQs and bridging from the BGE to Senior Phase. The theme was continued with some hands-on work including the amazing invisible test tube and new ideas for physics of motion using a loop the loop track and a neat piece of free software called Tracker.Jar. Together, we explored how learning and teaching in a three year Senior Phase can offer opportunity to build on prior learning and support the learning in achievement his or her potential.  

Many thanks for the teachers who worked hard on each of the two mornings, and to South Lanarkshire and SSERC for working in partnership with Education Scotland to support teachers with CfE.

Health and wellbeing Glow Meet Wednesday 22 February 1615-1700

This Glow meet will provide CPD support to deliver the aspects of HWB that are the Responsibility of All. 

You will have the opportunity to hear about the building blocks of HWB to develop a whole school approach and a shared understanding of Responsibility of all.  This shared understanding can help teachers and partners to consider assessment in HWB, in particular on those aspects that are the Responsibility of all.

There will be the opportunity to post questions throughout the meet.

To join your colleagues, please click here. (Glow log in required).

More online CPD from the CPD communities on Glow

CPDMeet 44 – An introduction to Jolly Phonics

Tuesday 21st February at 4pm

We have had to reschedule this CPDMeet as the original supply teacher colleague who requested it has landed a long-term contract! At least it’s for a good news reason! Please still sign up at and we will keep you posted on the new date

CPDMeet 45 – Extending your potential

Thursday 23rd February at 4.30pm

Rodger Hill, QIO in Dumfries and Galloway is pioneering an early leadership development programme within his authority, Extending Your Potential. What is unusual about this programme is it is entirely online, on Glow! Rodger has kindly offered to share an insight into the programme with the wider community of educators in CPDCentral. Sign up here for CPDMeet 45 -an open discussion about how EYP came about, how Rodger is developing and supporting it and their progress so far.

Technologies School Visits

Recently I have had the opportunity to visit a number of schools to find out how they are developing the Technologies Experiences and Outcomes.

To find out more have a look at these blog posts:

3D Modelling Software

Entrepreneurship in Enterprise

S1 Business Enterprise

S2 Business & Enterprise

Designing a Design & Technology Curriculum

Community Café

Digitalising Burns Poetry

Wise up Wednesday – Shrove Tuesday

Fantastic Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) books to read………..

  • “Curious George Makes Pancakes” by Margret Rey
  • “Pancakes, Pancakes!” by Eric Carle
  • “Mr Wolf’s Pancakes” by Jan Fearnley
  • “Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • “Pippi Longstocking” by Astrid Lindgren
  • “Moomintroll”  by Tove Jansson
  • “The Runaway Pancake” folktale


……and a quiz for afters, mmmmmmmmmmm!

Have fun!

3D Modelling Software

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Craft, Design and Technology Department at Queen Anne High School to see how they used 3D modelling software in S1 and how this progressed into the Senior Phase. 

To find out more about my visit view the video on the Chalkface Blog.

The Review of the Community Learning and Development Strategy in Scotland

The Review of the Community Learning and Development Strategy in Scotland
The discussion on the review of the CLD Strategy has now been widened and anyone interested can view the discussion paper and engage in the discussions online by going to

This is the route for formal written responses to the discussion, and is an opportunity to drive forward essential aspects of key agendas including Curriculum for Excellence, the Literacy Action Plan, 16+ Learning Choices, regeneration and community empowerment. The Scottish Government also sees the discussion as a way of developing shared thinking on key issues including post-16 education, college regionalisation and the Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill.

Community Café

On Wednesday (02/02/12) I had the opportunity to visit Kate O’Regan a Primary 7 teacher at Livingston Village Primary in West Lothian. The Primary 7 pupils were preparing for the opening of their Café the following day. They described the processes they went through to set up the Café and also explained the skills they developed.

To find out more about my visit view the video of Primary 7 on the Chalkface Blog.

To find out about  the opening of the Café visit their blog.

The Daily What Newsround

24/02/12 – 11am
The first of a whole series of ‘Daily What Newsrounds’ which we are all very excited about…

Every two weeks, on a Friday morning, Louise and Melisaa from our schools’ news service (The Daily What News- will introduce a fun-filled twenty minutes of news-related features.

This is the launch show, which will give Glow users a chance to meet Melissa and Louise and hear details of an amazing new competition they are launching. They will also give a tour of the site and discuss some of the most interesting stories from the past few weeks.

The show will continue on a fortnightly basis after that, with quiz features, special guests and lots of truly great learning opportunities.  Teachers will be pleased to be reminded that every news story has a related blog post of teaching and earning suggestions, so there’s lots of ideas to take forward with classes.

You will grow to really like Louise and Melissa and what a great chance for Glow users to find out more about the news in general and certain stories in particular.

E-Safety Live 2012

Edinburgh – Thursday 22nd March 2012

E-Safety Live, now in its 6th year, are landmark events bringing online safety providers, experts and global industry leaders together to participate and discuss with delegates the latest online safety topics.

Designed to aid practitioners in the UK to connect with providers, the events will focus on ways to better help safeguard children, as well as professionals, when online.

The workshops focus on four main topics:
• Classroom – Aiming to outline support & resources available to teachers to use in the classroom.
• Preparing Schools – Will offer advice & support to help schools manage and improve their e-safety provision.
• Training Professionals – Focusing on how professionals can manage their online professional reputation, as well as how organisations working with children and young people can engage parents
• Industry – Delivered by leading industry players, these workshops will provide an insight into technologies children love to use and demonstrate the tools or resources available for using them safely.

Visit the website to find out more.

Developing Learning in Early Number Conferences 16th & 17th March

The Numeracy team at Education Scotland is hosting events for practitioners on Friday 16 March in the Drumossie House Hotel, Inverness and again on Saturday 17 March in the AECC, Aberdeen. The aim of the event is to support effective teaching and learning of number in early years settings and primary schools. Throughout the day there will be opportunities to participate in workshops, network with colleagues, share good practice and hear key messages in numeracy. (Inverness) (Aberdeen)

 The event will be of particular interest to practitioners in early years settings and in primaries 1 to 3. If you are interested in attending this free event please email either (Inverness event) or (Aberdeen event).

Glow Science

Glow Science is a great free resource offering rich engaging learning material for pupils aged 8-14. Inspire your pupils to engage with Science across the curriculum.

Glow Science is a stunning video-based learning resource designed for pupils aged 8 to 14 to engage their imaginations and enhance their understanding of Science in the modern world. Over 500 three-minute films and their associated learning materials (including quizzes, lesson ideas, extension questions, diagrams, images), cover Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth Science.

 Topics in Chemistry and Physics include the Periodic Table and Newton’s laws of motion; Biology includes films about the brain, heart, pregnancy, senses, muscles, lungs, hormones; Earth Science covers a wide range of topics from volcanoes to renewable energy.

Glow Science can be used in many different ways to support the Sciences experiences and outcomes, as well as other areas of Curriculum for Excellence. It has been available free to all teachers in Scotland since April 2011 and is accessed using your Glow username and password.

Katy Sowden, principal teacher at Williamston Primary school in Livingston, has seen a marked improvement in levels of pupil engagement since she started using Glow Science as well as helping to deepen her own understanding of science concepts. You can read a cookbook of Katy and her pupils using the resource in class.

Glow Science answers pupils’ questions: “What makes our blood red? Why do some people see smells and hear colours? How does the largest mammal on earth hold its breath for up to two hours? It allows learners to journey from Earth’s core to land surface, examining the layers that make up our planet; they can discover how our DNA make us unique and understand the scientific evidence that supports the Big Bang theory.

New content is regularly added to Glow Science. The latest Biology module is called Healthy Living and covers Health and Disease, Substance Misuse, Fitness and Nutrition.You can download a list of over 500 films from the Glow Science website.

Education Scotland Awards

Health and Wellbeing Award

This category recognises schools and pre schools that are developing a holistic approach to health and wellbeing of children and young people, involving knowledge and understanding, skills and attributes necessary for mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing.

To nominate a school:

S2 Business & Enterprise

On Wednesday (08/02/12) I had the opportunity to visit Claire Grubb a Business Education teacher from Kincorth Academy in Aberdeen. Claire described how they have re-written their second year Business and Enterprise Course using the Technologies and Social Studies Experiences and Outcomes. She also describes how they assessed the learning.

To find out more about my visit view the video of Claire on the Chalkface Blog.

Early Years Glow Meet – Building the Curriculum 4: skills in the early years

Wednesday 29th February
4.00pm – 4.30pm

This Glow Meet is appropriate for all early years practitioners.
Building the Curriculum 4 supports the planning, design and delivery of the curriculum in early years establishments, schools and colleges. It sets out skills for learning, life and work demonstrating how they are embedded in the experiences and outcomes.
Can we build employability skills in the early years? Should we be thinking about these within the early level? During the session we will speak to a practitioner who, in partnership with her colleagues, helps children develop the skills they need for their life now and in the future.
A key aim of this Glow Meet will be to promote discussion and to inspire practitioners to explore different approaches to skills development in the early years. Participants will have the chance to ask the panel questions and share ideas.
Hope to see you there!
Click here to sign up and find out more!

S1 Business Enterprise

On Wednesday (08/02/12) I had the opportunity to visit Elizabeth Still a Business Education teacher from Kincorth Academy in Aberdeen. She described to me their S1 Business Enterprise Course, this programme involves the class running a small enterprise activity.

To find out more about my visit, view the video of Elizabeth on the Chalkface Blog.

National Early Years Conference: Getting it Right for Every Child – The Journey so Far…



1st March 2012

Getting it Right for Every Child – the Journey So Far

This event is now oversubscribed but you can still sign up to participate through webcast.

If you would like to participate through webcast, email :

Find out more at the following links:

Maternal and Early Years Website for Early Years Professionals

Sign up for the National Early Years Network and receive the monthly e-newsletter 

Information for parents

Water Works

Looking for a new idea to enrich the STEM Central water context?

A trickling burn, a flooded street, a horse’s trough or a grand Scottish loch – no matter what comes to mind when you think of water the Water Works competition wants your photographs.

The James Hutton Institute via the Centre of Expertise for Waters  are running a year long competition aimed at raising awareness of water and water-related issues across both primary and secondary ages. The competition, with monthly prizes, aims to encourage learners to think about the natural environment and make the link between CfE curriculum areas Sciences, Technologies and Expressive Arts. The competition page gives background on the competition and entry instructions.

Health and Wellbeing Showcase, Thursday 9th February, Aberdeen

The Health and wellbeing team welcomed over sixty practitioners to our Showcase event. 

We had a packed day celebrating good practice across the health and wellbeing organisers. There was a marketplace where many of our partners were available to discuss how they can support schools, these included Active Schools, British Heart Foundation, The Red Cross, Organ Donation, Sustrans, Health Working Lives and Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency.  

Alison Hammerton from Outdoor Learning enthused with ideas that stimulated how schools can deliver health and wellbeing by taking the curriculum outside. Click here to go the Outdoor Learning Blog for updates.

We finished the day with a keynote speech from Craig Brown, former Head Teacher and current Manager of Aberdeen Football Club.  He shared some tales of football fun whilst integrating the key messages of health and wellbeing and gave us all a laugh too.

We hope our delegates gain a lot from the day and would encourage them to sign up to our HWB Community where we will share the presentations from the day and partner contact information. Click here to sign up to the community.

Also don’t forget to join Education Scotland on Facebook and Twitter.

Entrepreneurship in Enterprise

On Wednesday (08/02/12) I had the opportunity to visit Lauren Hay a Business Education teacher from Kincorth Academy in Aberdeen. She described to me their Enterprise Project with the Wood Family Trust. This programme focused on the entrepreneurship aspect of enterprise and intergrated entrepreneurship across the curriculum.

To find out more about my visit, view the video of Lauren on the Chalkface Blog.

Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS)

The Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS) is part of an important and long established series of national surveys on smoking, drinking and drug use. Information has been collected in Scotland from 1982 on smoking, 1990 on drinking and since 1998 on drug use. The latest survey was carried out during the autumn term of 2010 with a sample of over 37,000 pupils from S2 and S4 classes from across Scotland.

The report provides information on:

Prevalence of smoking, drinking and drug use
Frequency of substance misuse
Sources of cigarettes, alcohol and drugs
Pupils’ attitudes to substance misuse

The report makes very interesting reading and is useful point of reference for practitioners working with children and young people.

A summary of the report can be found at –

Designing a Design & Technology Curriculum

Yesterday (o8/02/2012) I had the opportunity to visit Kirsty McFaul, the Principal Teacher of Design and Technology at Hazlehead Academy in Aberdeen. During this visit Kirsty described how they redesigned their S1-3 curriculum for  Design and Technology using the Technologies Experiences and Outcomes. One aspect of the course included an interdisciplinary project which involved the Maths and Art Departments. Kirsty also discussed how they used the National Assessment Resource (NAR) to help move towards a more formative assessment approach.

To find out more about this visit, watch the video on the Chalkface Blog.

Developing global citizens through sciences, social studies and technologies

Developing global citizens through sciences, social studies and technologies

Interdisciplinary learning for a low carbon and zero waste future

CDP event for practitioners in secondary schools

Menzies Hotel, Washington Street, Glasgow G3 8AZ

9:30am to 3:30pm, Friday 30st March 2012

Target audience: Practitioners, Principal Teachers and Faculty Heads of Technologies (e.g. CDT, Food and Textiles, Business and Enterprise), Sciences and Social Studies. Also local authority coordinators and QIOs.

Aim of the event:

This CPD event provides an exciting opportunity for secondary school practitioners to discover how cradle to cradle technologies and a circular economy can be used as a rich and stimulating context for interdisciplinary learning relating to sustainable development education and global citizenship within Curriculum for Excellence.

The Scottish Government is committed to a low-carbon and zero-waste economy, and the development of enterprise, creativity, STEM (Sciences, Technologies, Engineering and Maths) and higher order thinking skills in young people are essential if we are to realise these ambitious plans for the future. The circular economy concept proposes the use of sustainable technologies, innovative design and production methods and systems thinking to minimise waste and reduce the exploitation of the Earth’s precious resources. This event will draw on practical and exciting developments within industry which are set to transform the way our economy operates in the decades ahead.

Education Scotland is working in partnership with The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the University of Edinburgh to develop strategies for professional development around sustainable development education and the circular economy to encourage the setting up of communities of practice among practitioners in Scotland. These will provide opportunities for ongoing, localised support and collaboration.

To find out more about the circular economy visit:

How to book

To book, please email: or Tel. 0141 282 5172. Places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. This is a free event!

Download CPD event flyer and programme >>

The Daily What in Mind Reading shock!

At the start of February I was blogging about the amazing breakthrough in brain computer interfacing, reported widely in the press, which links to our forthcoming Bioengineering context on STEM Central.

Turns out those clever folks at The Daily What read my mind to come up with this article and interesting lesson ideas and suggestions. The Brain Quiz (mind reading not required, just click the mouse) can be used to introduce or refresh prior learning on the brain and nervous system, with ideas for discussion topics and links to information and animations to support learning and teaching.