Scotland declared a Fairtrade Nation

Scotland has become one of the world’s first Fair Trade Nations, International Development Minister Humza Yousaf announced this week.

The news comes on the first day of Fairtrade Fortnight 2013 and follows a nationwide campaign led by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum that has seen the people of Scotland rally behind Fair Trade principles.

The accolade means people, government, businesses, public bodies and community organisations across Scotland have come together to meet stringent criteria designed to promote Fair Trade.

Speaking ahead of a visit to the Urban Fox project in Glasgow, where he will launch an initiative to supply Fairtrade footballs to youth and sports groups in disadvantaged areas, Mr Yousaf said:

“People in every city and across all local authority areas share a vision of Scotland as a good global citizen, committed to playing its part in addressing poverty.

“That vision includes our commitment to Malawi, to take the lead in climate change, to promote clean drinking water and explains why we have doubled our International Development Fund to £9 million since 2007/08.

“I thank every person, business and organisation who has helped Scotland towards achieving Fair Trade Nation status. In particular I commend the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, who have been instrumental in driving forward our Fair Trade Nation agenda.

“We must now build on today’s achievement and continue to work hard to encourage even greater Scottish support for Fair Trade.

To qualify for Fair Trade Nation status, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum (SFTF) was required to demonstrate how Scotland had met a series of stringent criteria, including:

  • All seven Scottish cities and at least 55 per cent of local authority areas to have Fairtrade status.
  • All 32 local authorities areas and at least 55 per cent of towns with a population of 5,000 or more to have active Fair Trade groups working towards Fairtrade status.
  • At least 60 per cent of higher education institutions to have active Fair Trade groups working towards Fairtrade status.
  • Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government to use, promote and make available Fair Trade products internally, and to actively promote Fairtrade Fortnight each year.
  • Fair Trade to be promoted in schools through the curriculum, procurement and other possible means.
  • Schools, Further Education Institutions, Faith Groups, Trade Unions, business networks, voluntary and youth organisations to pledge to use and promote Fair Trade.
  • 75 per cent of people to buy a Fair Trade product every year.
  • 40 per cent of people to regularly buy Fairtrade products.

Wise Up Wednesday: Celebrating Success at Woodside!

Woodside Nursery School
in Glasgow has become the latest nursery to have the quality of their provision recognised by achieving ‘excellent’ in all five of the quality indicators used by Education Scotland in inspection.

Education Scotland’s letter to the parents at Woodside highlights that:

  • children are motivated and enthusiastic, experiencing a high level of achievement and success;
  • the partnership with parents is highly effective;
  • partner agencies are involved in developing children’s learning;
  • there is exceptional teamwork among staff in working with children and their families; and
  • the leadership of the headteacher in developing the work of the nursery is outstanding.

The nursery has received many congratulations since the publication of the letter to parents earlier today:

“It is an outstanding achievement for a nursery to gain excellent ratings in all five areas of the rigorous inspection by Education Scotland. I offer my congratulations to the staff at Woodside Nursery; it is clear from the letter that they have excellent relationships with parents and inspire enthusiasm for learning among the children.

The hugely positive results from the Woodside inspection will be an example that others can follow as we work together to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up.”

Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People

“I would like to congratulate all the children, staff, parents and stakeholders at Woodside Nursery on the progress they are making in implementing Curriculum for Excellence for the benefit of their young learners. Our inspection shows that this is a notably high-performing nursery which has fully embraced the opportunities which the new curriculum presents.”

Dr Bill Maxwell, Chief Executive of Education Scotland

“This is a truly wonderful letter and the best yet for Glasgow. I’m delighted for Alison Forbes, her staff and the parents and carers of Woodside Nursery.

There are so many positives in this letter and it is fantastic that inspectors have highlighted the fact that the headteacher provides outstanding leadership and along with staff and parents, have a clear vision for developing the work of the nursery.

My heartfelt congratulations to all on this outstanding and excellent letter.”

Councillor Stephen Curran, Executive Member for Education and Young People

Education Scotland highlights the good practice our inspection teams find so that other education professionals can reflect on what they are doing and consider adapting some of the practice to their own circumstances.

How do you reflect on your own and other’s experiences to improve your practice?

How can Education Scotland help you with this?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

To find out more about the practice that makes Woodside Nursery School so effective in supporting young children’s learning you can read Education Scotland’s letter to parents here.

Promoting Diversity and Equality

Promoting Diversity and Equality: Developing Responsible Citizens for 21st Century Scotland

This publication aims to support schools and centres in promoting diversity and equality through all aspects of planned learning.

Diversity is about recognising and valuing difference, where everyone is respected for who they are. Equality is about creating a fairer society, where everyone can take part and where everyone has the opportunity to be all they can be.

Curriculum for Excellence challenges schools and communities to develop children and young people as responsible citizens who:
• show respect for others
• understand different beliefs and cultures
• are developing informed, ethical views of complex issues.

All involved in successful learning need to understand themselves what it means to live in this diverse society, and to help children and young people understand what it means for them.

Careers in Theatre – 26th February

Careers in Theatre is the Festival Theatre Edinburgh, The Lyceum Theatre and The Traverse Theatre’s unique interactive one day careers event. Join us live in Glow TV on Tuesday 26th February for 3 unique sessions each one hosted at a different theatre.

Front of House and Box Office Session – 10 – 11.30am

In our first session find out how the operational side of the Traverse Theatre works with representatives from our Front of House and Box Office teams. This workshop will explain and explore how we go about creating the best possible experience for our customers/audiences before and after they have been to one of our shows. Sign up and join us in Glow TV!

Technical Theatre – 12 – 1.30pm
During this second event find out more about a day in the life of a theatre technician, with Graham Raith, Head of Electrics at the Festival and King’s Theatres. Including on stage visit to see Scottish Opera’s set of Massenet’s Werther. Sign up and join us in Glow TV!

Acting and Directing – 2.30- 3.30pm

During this session learn more about acting and directing in a Producing Theatre, whilst meeting some of the people involved in Time and the Conways. A great chance to find out how to make a career as an actor or director. Sign up and join us in Glow TV!

The event is aimed at 5th & 6th year pupils interested in pursuing a career in the theatre, and will also act as a CPD session for Drama, Guidance/Support Teachers and Career’s Advisors. It may also be of interest to upper primary and early secondary pupils also interested in the theatre.

Join us for some or all of these exciting events and learn more about the careers involved in theatre and remember that all the events will be recorded and available in Glow TV’s Watch Again section.

Wise Up Wednesday: Go2Play Capacity Building Fund

Inspiring Scotland’s Go2Play Capacity Building fund is a small fund, looking to support innovative and exciting people within the play sector who, with tailored capacity building support, could turn great ideas from a concept into a reality, positively impacting upon the lives of children and supporting the development of play in Scotland.

The Capacity Building fund aims to support individuals within Scottish charities who are bursting with enthusiasm and potential, and who recognise the tremendous contribution play makes to children’s lives. The fund provides support to develop great ideas which utilise play, free play in particular, to enhance the wellbeing of Scotland’s children. Go2Play are particularly interested in looking at proposals which have ideas around the following areas:
  • supporting parents and young carers through the delivery of play;
  • using play as a health improvement tool and working within the health sector;
  • exploring how play can support children with additional support needs;
  • supporting children’s transitions through play; and
  • using play to enhance children’s physical activity.

The next deadline date is Friday 1st March 2013. You can find out more about Go2Play and the capacity building fund here.

Flushed with Success? Join the RIGHT Big Toilet Debate.

Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Tam Baillie will be hosting a Glow Meet for primary pupils on the subject of your school toilets.

He will be asking pupils to complete a survey on Glow to tell him what they think about their school toilets.

In addition three schools will be telling us about their toilets through presentations and photographs. Perhaps the pupils in your school would like to carry out their own survey or take some pictures to show Tam during the Glow meet?

Join us to talk toilets on Thursday 28th February at 10.45am live from Carrick Knowe Primary in Edinburgh! – Sign up in Glow TV.

Regional events – children’s rights, global citizenship and outdoor learning

Download flyer for regional events

Regional events – children’s rights, global citizenship and outdoor learning

Education Scotland is hosting a series of important regional events in March 2013 to enable schools to explore the implications of two major policy developments – the Children and Young People Bill  and the Learning for Sustainability report.

The Children and Young People Bill, which will be considered by the Scottish Parliament in 2013, sets out a range of proposals for children’s services and will seek to embed the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) across the public sector. This will support the Getting it Right for Every Child approach and also the exciting work taking place in Scottish schools to engage learners in rights-based education and pupil voice activities.

The Learning for Sustainability report, published in December 2012, sets out a strategic agenda for change for Scottish schools. The report recommends the adoption of a coherent whole school approach to ensure that sustainability, global citizenship and outdoor learning are experienced in a transformative way by every learner in every school across Scotland. The report also includes a number of recommendations relating to career-long professional learning, leadership development and the new GTC Scotland Professional Standards. The Scottish Government will respond to this report in March this year.

In addition, participants will also learn of the many exciting events taking place in 2013/14 to support these aspects of learning including:  the Year of Natural Scotland; Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games; the Scottish independence referendum; Homecoming Year; Ryder Cup; David Livingstone’s bicentenary; John Muir’s centenary and the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Through a mixture of workshops, exhibitions and spotlight sessions, delegates will have the opportunity to gain practical ideas and insight from early years, ASN, primary and secondary schools with interesting practice to share. Key national organisations will also be on hand to offer support, resources and advice.

Target audience: The main target audience are school leaders, local authority staff and those with a whole school responsibility for global citizenship, sustainability, children’s rights and outdoor learning.

Sectors: Early years (including partnership providers), ASN, primary and secondary schools.


  • 9:30am – 3:30pm, Wed 13th March – Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
  • 9:30am – 3:30pm, Mon 18th March – Drumossie Hotel, Inverness
  • 9:30am – 3:30pm, Wed 20th March ­– Hampden Stadium, Glasgow.

How to book: Delegate places have been allocated to each local authority to ensure all school sectors and geographical areas are well represented. School or local authority staff should contact their local authority coordinator in the first instance to book.

General bookings will be available from 26th Feb onwards. Please email Willie Bhari:  or Tel: 0141 282 5208 to add your name to this waiting list. Cost of attending event: Free.

Talk with us…about improving sciences education 3-18

With planning well underway for the next in our series of conversation days with a focus on the Sciences 3-18 Curriculum Area Impact Project report and improving sciences education 3-18 in Scotland, we have been sharing the discussions from our first day in December 2012 via our engagement blog.  So if you are interested in joining the discussions online, or at one of our face-to-face conversations, why not take a look?

Recent posts:

Talk with us…improving sciences education 3-18

Talk with us…about exemplification

Talk with us…about sharing practice

Call for Scottish Entries for the Kodu Kup 2013

If you are interested in game design then a good place to start is with a free application called Kodu. This is a visual programming language and games lab environment which allows students from Second Level upwards to design and build three dimensional games using either a PC or an XBox and XBox controller.  When using an application such as Kodu learners can begin to learn the core concepts of computer science within the context of a project which includes narrative writing, design and maths etc: a wonderfully creative and innovative exercise.  Kodu was developed in the Microsoft Research Labs and is completely free and free for anyone to download and use.

If you are interested in submitting an entry to the Kodu Kup then full details are available here..

Scottish teachers can also access class sets of 20 Xbox controllers for the PC that can be used to create games in Kodu. These are accessible form the CPDConsolarium community in Glow. Please do bear in mind that that loaning equipment from us means that you undertake to share your experience and practice in using the equipment.

There are also some tutorial videos for Kodu in the Consolarium Glow group as well as other further information about the Kodu cup which is accessible via these links:

Please do let us know if you plan to submit an entry to this years competition. Good luck!

Taking a closer look at the National Assessment Resource: A professional learning resource

Education Scotland have recently developed this professional learning resource.  It provides an opportunity to reflect on effective practice in learning, teaching and assessment, drawing on the work published on the National Assessment Resource (NAR).  It also provides a structured look at the NAR flow chart as a tool for planning effective learning, teaching, moderation and assessment.

The resource can be used by individual practitioners keen to reflect and improve on their assessment practice as well as pairs, groups of practitioners, associated school groups (ASGs) or clusters working collegiately to reflect on and improve practice.

It is available to download from the Education Scotland website and welcome section on NAR.  There will be a Glow meet on Wednesday the 13th of February at 8:20am and Thursday the 14th at 4:15pm to explore the resource further.

Improving Social Studies Education 3-18 Conversation Day

The first of our face to face Conversation Days took place on Tuesday 5 February 2013  at Denholm House in Livingston. Despite the snowy conditions we were joined by an enthusiastic group of practitioners and learners. Some parts of the day were filmed and once edited, this will be available along with other presentations from the day via the Social Studies Professional Learning Community. Have you joined our Professional Learning Community yet?

The conversation will continue on Glow TV on Monday 18 February. A second face to face day will be held on Friday 22 March in Cults Academy in Aberdeen. Please contact if you want more information about either of these events.

Assessing Progress and Achievement Professional Learning Resource

Education Scotland has recently published Professional Learning Resources on assessing progress and achievement designed to support quality assurance and moderation activities.

The resources are a work-in-progress and draw on emerging practice from practitioners from 3-15.

Tell us what you think

We would like to hear what you think about what has been produced so far for your sector or curriculum area. Your feedback will help inform on-going work on annotated exemplification of achievement of levels in each of the curriculum areas to be shared through NAR.

We would like to hear what you think about what has been produced so far for your sector or curriculum area. Your feedback will help inform on-going work on annotated exemplification of achievement of levels in each of the curriculum areas to be shared through NAR.

In particular we would be interested in your views on:

· How well does the outline of the significant aspects of learning in each of the curriculum areas describe the range of learning in the Es and Os in a clear and succinct way?
· How well do the descriptions of breadth, challenge and application in each of the curriculum areas support planning for progression?
· In what ways have you used (or intend to use) the resources to support professional learning and reflection?
· What aspects of the resources did you find particularly useful?
· What aspects of the resources could be improved ?
· In using the resources to reflect on your practice, what aspects have you identified for improvement in your approaches to supporting learners in their progress and achievement?
· What further support would be helpful in managing assessment within each of the curriculum areas?

In your comment response please can you let us know which sector you work in – early, primary, secondary, special and also the curriculum area you are responding to. Many thanks.

Paper Creativity Challenge Week 4

Join us for more fun and activities in our Paper Creativity Challenge when this week we will be investigating embellishing paper. Once again we have a range of exciting Glow Meets that you can become involved in – find out more….

Paper Cuts: Painting with Scissors – Monday 4th February at 11am

Paper cutting has a long history and Matisse called it “painting with scissors”

Starting with 19th century Victorian silhouette portrait cut outs and moving onto 19th century Polish Leluja cut outs with a big emphasis on symmetry you can take part and work along or watch and try it afterwards (a list of materials needed is included on the Glow TV advert)

Then the session will look at 20th century Matisse cut out, collages and stencil and end up with 21st century artists’ cut outs looking at a few examples and ideas. Join us in Glow TV – Paper Cuts: Painting with Scissors

Look after your Planet by Lauren Childs – Tuesday 5th February at 11am

Join us again for our final exciting reading with our Paper Princess Margo from West Lothian!

This time listen to ‘Look after your Planet’ by Lauren Child and find out about this week’s creativity challenge.

And in a special addition to this event we also have a reading of Lauren’s Clarice Bean picture book – ‘What Planet are You From?’ which is again about environmental themes.There are some great ideas in there of creating a beautiful tree using paper for leaves. – Look after your Planet

Storybird- Thursday 7th February at 2pm

‘Storybird is a visual storytelling community. A global hub of readers, writers, and artists of all ages.

This 45 min Glow meet will share how to explore and create digital stories using beautiful artwork. Join Anna to find out more – Storybird

Aiming High in Higher History: A Conference for Teachers and Learners

The Aiming High in Higher History conference the University of Glasgow held in December 2012 was very well received. A repeat of the event has been arranged for anyone who was unable to attend the event last year. The conference, which is free to attend, will take place on Saturday the 9th of March from 0930 until 1330. Registration is now open.

The sessions will share the latest research on Higher Scottish History topics and Simon Wood will provide advice on how to prepare for Higher Paper 2. As before, spaces are limited.

The conference programme can be found here:

Aiming High programme 9 March 2013

World of Work Wednesdays – Working in the Retail Sector

Our latest WoWW event on Wednesday 6th February at 2pm will explore the retail sector with speakers from very different aspects of the industry sharing their insight and experience into the opportunities that working in this sector offer. While the emphasis will be on the retail sector the speakers will highlight the soft skills required for entry into not only this but any employment sector making this a valuable learning experience for all young people who will be seeking to enter the world of work.

Why would I want to work in Retail?
The retail industry employs around 2.9m people in the UK and generates over £260bn a year in sales – larger than the combined economies of Portugal and Denmark.

By its very nature retail is a fast-moving industry as organisations try to respond to – and predict – customer demand and future trends. But if you think that a career in retail is limited solely to the shop floor, think again.

From sourcing new producers to transporting goods, ordering stock and forecasting trends, there are a multitude of roles that are critical to the retail operation that you may never have even realised.

And these roles can also be found in a number of associated sectors, from warehousing and distribution to finance, marketing and design.

The retail industry has plenty of variety – not least because of the vast array of products in the marketplace.

In both traditional retail stores and in new online markets, there really are limitless opportunities for people to work within a sector that interests them regardless of whether you are a petrol-head or fashion lover.

So join us to ask questions and find out more. Sign up and join us in Glow TV.

Tell us what you think of the Education Scotland website

At Education Scotland we are continually improving our website ( to ensure it meets the needs of Scottish education. As part of our plans to redevelop the website we need your opinions of it; this is your opportunity to review the website and provide feedback for improvements.

We are looking for a wide range of people who work in, or have an interest in, the education system, such as:
· practitioners (early years, primary, secondary, additional support needs, Gaelic)
· establishment managers and leaders
· community development officers
· college lecturers and curriculum leaders
· education service managers
· quality improvement officers (QIOs)
· parents and carers.

All you’ll need to do is spend an hour completing a few set tasks, supported by one of our usability experts.

If you are interested and would like more information, please email the following details to

· Name
· Position or role
· Educational establishment
· Local authority area
· Email
· Phone number

Many thanks
Education Scotland Online Service team