CfE Tackling Transition Events Series

HEA Scotland: CfE tackling transition events series – Biological Sciences

3rd Dec 2013, 17.45-20.15  

This event, which forms part of the Higher Education Academy Scotland CfE Tackling Transitions Series, will facilitate networking and dialogue between school, college and university Biological Sciences educators, to best support students throughout their learner journeys.

It is crucial that educators delivering university programmes have an in-depth understanding of developments and seek to build on these to achieve long-term improvements in the quality of the student experience in Scotland.

 The HEA is keen to facilitate dialogue, to promote greater understanding of the developments that are taking place, and to assist university staff in preparing to meet the changing needs of future students.

 The event will include contributions from the HEA’s Curriculum for Excellence Scholars in the Biological Sciences, who will be presenting outcomes from their work. 


The event will be held in Level 7 Conference Room in the Sir Duncan Rice Library at the University of Aberdeen, Tillydrone  Avenue , Scotland, AB24 2TZ and a buffet reception will be provided. The event will begin at 17.45 and conclude at 20.15.

Event costs

This event is free of charge to attend


Please book a place on this event at

Sciences conversation day, Aberdeen 12th Dec 2013

Improving Science Education – Conversation Day

10:00 – 15:30, Thurs 12th Dec 2013

Venue: Bucksburn Academy, Kepplehills
Bucksburn, Aberdeen AB21 9DG


Education Scotland has been holding a series of face-to-face
conversations this year with the Scottish education community to engage schools
and stakeholders in the findings of the
3-18 Curriculum Area Impact Project
report and
to determine key priorities for sciences education. The three events that have
already taken place have engaged a wide variety of people from all
school sectors as well as industry, colleges, universities, parent groups, and
science organisations.


Places are still available for the event on the 12th
December for those who would like to join discussions and help shape the future
of sciences education in Scottish schools. Please contact Jennifer Moore on
to book your place.

Scottish Water – Play safe around water this winter!

Scottish Water is reminding teachers and learners of the importance of playing safe this winter.

In recent years Scotland has witnessed some of the coldest winters for generations, so there’s no telling what the coming weeks may bring. Scottish Water is advising customers that they should remain vigilant and should not take any risks around freezing cold watercourses.

While it’s important that youngsters enjoy their school holidays and that people across Scotland take pleasure in the country’s beautiful lochs, rivers and reservoirs, it is also vital that they stay safe. Latest figures show 22 people died accidentally or from natural causes around water in Scotland last winter, but there are easy ways to prevent tragedies, and equipping yourself with the knowledge of what to do in an emergency can save a life.

For further details of Scottish Water’s recent release and advice on how to stay safe around water this winter, go to:

Climate Change in Scotland – Reflecting on Typhoon Haiyan and the impact of global climate change

The number of people confirmed dead in the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan now stands at in excess of 4000, and a further 4 million people have been forced to leave their homes since the storm hit.

At a recent conference at the Royal Society in central London, the Prince of Wales claimed that the typhoon is a ‘direct result’ of climate change and that ‘the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events has increased, and is set to increase even further’.

In the face of global warming and it’s possible impact closer to home, Scotland has set world-leading greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and has plans in place for how to reduce further by 42% by 2020.

Adaptation Scotland provides advice and support to help ensure that Scotland is prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of climate change. Find details of key messages, climate information and adaptation suggestions in light of climate change in Scotland.

Junior Saltire Prize 2014

Schools across Scotland are invited to make a splash by entering the Junior Saltire 2014 marine renewables competition.

Last year over 130 primary and secondary teams rose to the challenge.  For 2014, the brief is to design a simple hydrokinetic generator – a turbine to produce electricity when submerged in flowing water.

Great prizes of up to £750 as well as Junior Saltire medals are up for grabs and the competition is open to teams of four in three age groups – P5/7, S1/S3 and S4/S6.

Click here for further information and links to the brief and registration form.  NB The closing date for team registrations is Friday 20 December 2013.  Multiple entries per school welcome!

The Queen’s Baton Design

Game on Scotland : Learning Zone Glow Meet: The Queen’s Baton Design

This session allows learners to:

  • hear from the Queen’s Baton designer Will Mitchell (4cDesign) & share their own a baton design ideas
  • find out more about the challenges of producing lawn bowls from Grant Heron Taylor bowls
  • learn how they can get involved in the Scottish Engineering Special Leaders Award from Angela Greene from Primary Engineers.

In order for your learners to get involved most effectively in this session why not:

  • set your class a baton design challenge
  • prepare a 2 minute pitch of your idea to Will Mitchell from 4cDesign (Dragons’ Den Style) on the day.

Register for the Glow Meet either before Tuesday 26th November or join us on the day, 11 am – 12 noon, for the second of our Game on Scotland Technologies Glow Meets.

Glow meet sign-up:

For more information email Kirsty McFaul (DO Technologies)

National Competition Helps Pupils Bring History To Life

Primary schools in Scotland have until December 1, 2013 to sign up to a national competition that will see pupils turn detective to uncover the real life stories of ex servicemen and women.

The Scottish Primary School War Memorial competition, run by the Royal British Legion Scotland, will see hundreds of pupils investigating stories of soldiers – whose names are on local memorials – and their families from World War One and conflicts since.

Pupils will bring history to life as they work with local veterans from RBLS branches as part of the project. And they will get a chance to trace living relatives of war heroes as part of their research, which starts with a visit to the local war memorial.

Newburgh Primary School in Fife won the first competition in 2007. Head Teacher, Susan Mitchell said: “As a result of their research they spoke to living relatives of local boys and former pupils of the school, killed in action at 19. They also won a community award and Friends of the Forces.

She added: “The competition opens up so many opportunities. Pupils develop skills across the curriculum from literacy to IT. And ultimately it helps pupils learn the real value of history, as young citizens of their local community.”

To enter, pupils need to research a local war memorial within the school’s area and find out as much information as they can about the servicemen and women, the battles they were in and the stories of their service.

A great prize is up for grabs too – the winning school will win a trip for ten pupils to London to tour and sleep on board World War Two warship HMS Belfast moored on the Thames. Pupils will also present their winning entry to veterans from across Scotland.

To enter, teachers need to visit and fill in the entry form.

The Royal College of Surgeons Christmas Lecture

RCSEd Christmas Lecture :

“The work of the Sports Doctor; Tales of the Unexpected”

Join Dr James Robinson in a Glow meet  on Monday 2nd December, 1.55pm-2.55pm, where he will outline the role of exercise in health, both to the individual and the population.

Dr Robson has been team doctor on the last six consecutive tours by the British and Irish Lions. He joined the Scotland team as doctor at the start of season 2002/2003 and has now been team doctor for more than 100 Scotland Test matches, including the Rugby World Cup competitions in 2003, 2007 and 2011. 

He will endeavour to bring to life through his own experiences, over many years of International rugby, the life and times of the team doctor. From the lows of injury, to the highs of sporting victory, the lecture will touch on some moments of drama for those whose work is sport, and for those who care at pitch side.

For further details regarding registration:

Reminder – Make your booking today! Free interactive urban flood model visits and workshops.

Not to be missed! Heriot Watt University still have availability for schools interested in receiving a visit from the interactive flood model and flood experts.

For a flavour of what you can expect, see the flood model in action at:

What is it?

An interactive, free workshop has been developed to explain the processes involved with urban flooding and flood prevention. It also introduces the concept of community resilience and the role that individuals can play in protecting themselves and their neighbours.

The main element of the workshop is an interactive physical model, representing a typical town with a river, houses, shops, industrial units, roads and parks. The model simulates rainfall, with water being fed to sprinklers and the river via a system of pumps. Workshop participants are able to change certain elements of the urban fabric to help reduce the severity of flooding.

Is it any good?

Since 2009, over 5000 people have participated in the workshop, most of whom were young people. Independent evaluation of the workshop “…yielded strong evidence for the learning that took place during audiences’ interaction with the project”.

Work with the Scottish Government and SEPA has supported on-going flood risk awareness raising, and again the feedback has been very positive.

Can it come to my school?

Sure. The Scottish Government have commissioned Heriot-Watt University to take the workshop to Scottish schools in 2013/14.

We can visit you to run our interactive workshop for your pupils for free; all you have to do is provide us with some space to run the workshop and some interested children. We will also leave you with a follow up lesson plan to reinforce some of the key workshop messages

Contact Grant Wright to arrange a visit (Tel: 0131 4518261, Email:

For more information go to

Engineering Academy

A new collaboration between the University of Strathclyde, partner colleges and industry will provide a pathway to BEng Honours or MEng-level programmes in an engineering discipline within one of the Faculty of Engineering’s participating departments.

Through the Engineering Academy, students will initially undertake an HNC within partner Colleges and those who achieve the required performance will be guaranteed transfer to an undergraduate degree within one of the following Faculty of Engineering departments:

As well as continuing their studies, students will benefit from industry-funded scholarships and paid summer placements during the course of their undergraduate programme.There will be 80 funded places per year.

For further information access: or contact

The Engineering Development Trust

The Engineering Development Trust provides STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) enrichment activities for UK youth.

Work related learning schemes provide opportunities for 11-21 year olds to enhance their technical, personal and employability skills through industry-led projects, industrial placements and specialised courses.

EDT develops partnerships, build links between education and industry and helps organisations reach talent and connect with young engineers and scientists across the UK.

The EDT portfolio includes:

First Edition Hands-on STEM activity days for Year 7-11 & S1-S5 (11-16 yr old) students. Providing opportunities for under-represented groups (girls, ethnic minorities, first in family to consider higher education).

Open Industry Curriculum focused in-company educational experiences for students of all ages.

Go4SET Environmental themed 10 week STEM projects for Year 8/9 & S2 (12-14yr old) pupils.

Engineering Education Scheme (England & Scotland) Real life 6 month STEM projects for Year 12 (16-17yr old) students.

Headstart STEM experience courses at university for Year 12 & S5 (16-17yr old) students.

The Year in Industry  Paid career development work placements for students completing

A levels/Scottish Highers/equivalent qualifications or as part of a university sandwich year.

Download further information regarding EDT’s events programme:

EDT Schools Programmes 2013-14                               

edt scotland events calendar 2013-14 

To access EDT’s website:


Free SEPA flood alerts to your phone.

SEPA can provide free flood alerts to your home or school.

To sign up to the Floodline direct warning service you will need to have the postcode for the property that you wish to receive flood messages for.

SEPA can provide two different types of warning messages depending on your property location. When you enter your postcode, the system will check and confirm which warning service is available for your area.

  • If your school/property is within an area covered by a SEPA flood monitoring system, you will be able to sign up to receive a targeted Flood Warning message for your local area;
  • If your school/property is not within a Warning target area, you can sign up to receive a more general Flood Alert message for the wider geographical area, usually representing Local Authority boundaries.

For more information on Flood Alert and Flood Warning areas please click here.

To register your post code for flood alerts go to:

If you would like to register more than one property address, or you require any further assistance in registering, please call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 for more information.

Education Scotland promoting political literacy for all

Scotland’s new curriculum, Curriculum for Excellence, places political literacy at the heart of citizenship education. By doing so it aims to ensure that young people acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding that will help them become responsible citizens who participate actively in society’s decision-making processes.

Political literacy is one of the foundations of modern democracy. It is the means by which citizens make informed choices about the kind of society they want to live in. Being politically literate helps everyone to understand political decisions and how they affect their own lives, and it ensures that evidence and reasoned debate trump unsubstantiated assertion and hyperbole. Political literacy matters in a society whose values are wisdom, justice, compassion and integrity, one which demands equalities and fairness for all, and in which the right of all citizens to develop and express their own views is respected.

In Education Scotland we are committed to helping educators develop young people’s political literacy to the full.  Below is our position so that everyone understands our role and responsibilities which have been agreed with the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES), the Electoral Commission, the Electoral Management Board for Scotland and School Leaders Scotland as outlined in the briefing published jointly by us in June 2013. We want young people to engage in political processes in an active and well-informed way, whilst we are entirely impartial about how individuals’ might vote on any specific issue.

As Scotland’s 16 and 17 year olds will be eligible to vote for the first time in the Constitutional Referendum next year, it is now even more important to ensure that young people develop the skills they need to participate in an informed way. Young People need to be aware of the political process and the key issues at stake and have the confidence and skills they need to participate in a way which enables them to exercise an informed choice.

The development of political literacy should not be left to chance nor be dependent on the particular set of subjects that learners have chosen to study. Rather it needs to be mainstreamed into the curriculum for all. With that in mind Education Scotland is working widely with a range of partners to provide teachers with support for approaches that will enable them to help young people develop the skills, without guiding them towards any particular point of view.

We have already published ‘CfE Briefing 14: Political Literacy’ which provides clear guidance on approaches to promoting political literacy in an impartial way.  In the coming months we will also promote more resources, guidance, case studies and links to information on the referendum which teachers and those working with young people will have the option to use for teaching political literacy, if they are appropriate to their context. We will only promote resources which support the teaching of political literacy in a completely impartial and unbiased way.

Our aim is to ensure that all young people acquire political literacy skills and are well prepared to engage constructively with democratic processes such as the forthcoming Referendum. In any political process our aim is to ensure that all eligible young people are prepared to cast a well-informed vote after engaging in balanced and well-informed consideration of the issues at hand. That is what being a ‘responsible citizen’ is all about.

For more information please visit The Electoral Commission website.

Ancient Egypt – Ask the Curator

Join us for the second in the Ancient Egypt Glow TV series on Monday 18th November at 1.30pm at with the National Museum of Scotland. Meet our ancient Egypt curator who will reveal some exciting stories, help you explore some real artefacts and answer your questions about life in Ancient Egypt. Sign up and join us in Glow TV.

Before joining the experts and asking your questions on the day why not take part in some of the following activities?

Land of the Egyptians
Explore the Egyptian landscape using an interactive map and learn more about life and death along the Nile.

Can you read hieroglyphics?
Discover more about the stela and its meaning.

Dress like an Egyptian
Dress like an Egyptian queen or craftsman and learn about Egyptian clothing.

Build a pyramid
How quickly can you help the craftsmen find their basic supplies?

The Three Pyramids
Can you prepare our high priest for the afterlife before the sun rises? Navigate around the pyramid maze in a race against time to collect up everything you need to mummify his body and send him on his way

Egyptian tomb adventure
Become an online archaeologist excavating an ancient tomb.

Coffin and mummy-masks
Explore the detail of coffins and mummy-masks from Ancient Egypt.

FREE to your school!! Urban Flooding Model Workshops

What is it?

An interactive, free workshop has been developed to explain the processes involved with urban flooding and flood prevention. It also introduces the concept of community resilience and the role that individuals can play in protecting themselves and their neighbours.

The main element of the workshop is an interactive physical model, representing a typical town with a river, houses, shops, industrial units, roads and parks. The model simulates rainfall, with water being fed to sprinklers and the river via a system of pumps. Workshop participants are able to change certain elements of the urban fabric to help reduce the severity of flooding.

Is it any good?

Since 2009, over 5000 people have participated in the workshop, most of whom were young people. Independent evaluation of the workshop “…yielded strong evidence for the learning that took place during audiences’ interaction with the project”.

Work with the Scottish Government and SEPA has supported on-going flood risk awareness raising, and again the feedback has been very positive.

Can it come to my school?

Sure. The Scottish Government have commissioned Heriot-Watt University to take the workshop to Scottish schools in 2013/14.

We can visit you to run our interactive workshop for your pupils for free; all you have to do is provide us with some space to run the workshop and some interested children. We will also leave you with a follow up lesson plan to reinforce some of the key workshop messages

Contact Grant Wright to arrange a visit (Tel: 0131 4518261, Email:

For more information go to

Young Engineers & Science Club Scotland

The Young Engineers & Science Clubs Scotland is a Scotland wide primary and secondary programme run by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry and supported by many of its members including BP, Skills Development Scotland and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

Through a network of over 700 science, engineering and technology clubs throughout Scotland, from Orkney to Dumfries, pupils from P5-S2 test their problem-solving skills on a number of themed investigations. So far 12,000 members have worked alongside their teachers, real engineers and scientists on a variety of STEM projects.

Projects include:  

  • Junior Saltire Awards – 2014 Marine Energy Challenge
  • Science on the Menu – experiments and investigations to explore the world of food and drink through science  
  • Carbon Capture and Storage – S1/S2 interdisciplinary project to engage learners in the global challenge of limiting CO2 emissions
  • Ping Pong Pentathlon – STEM sporting challenge to mark the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Participating schools are fully supported by YESC in the form of start-up grants, free resource kits, advice and assistance.

Further information, advice and contact details can be accessed through the YESC website:


Choices for Life Live Is Back!

Choices for Life Online is pleased to announce its first event for the 2013 – 2014 school year!

The live broadcast is aimed at all P7 pupils and their teachers in Scotland with a focus around the risks and dangers of alcohol, negative peer pressure and substance misuse.
Choices for Life provides credible information to our young people on a range of important issues facing them in 21st Century Scotland in an inclusive, engaging and thought-provoking manner, to help them make positive lifestyle decisions and maximise their future potential.

Join us to see drama, video clips, music and have the opportunity to join a Glow Chat where pupils can comment on what they have seen in relation to key themes (drugs, alcohol and tobacco).

Watch ‘Liam’s Story’ which explores the issues around negative peer pressure and smoking. After this specially commissioned film there will be a chance for you to ask questions to a panel of studio guests examining the range of issues,including family,negative peer pressure, substance misuse, aspirations and regret.
There are also teaching resources available on the website to help you have a classroom discussion about Liam’s Story or do some further activities around the drama – Teaching Resources

The event will be live and presented by Mark Martin and Laura Marks from our very own Choices for Life TV studio and will also include some other fantastic video clips and messages from other inspirational role models and sporting stars.

The event will be delivered twice on the same day, to maximise and facilitate as many pupils as possible to view. Sign up for Wednesday 20th November – Morning Event at 10.30am OR Wednesday 20th November – Afternoon Event at 1.30pm.

We look forward to hearing from you on the day!

Daily What Newsround – Children in Need Special

Fraser Falconer, head of Children in Need Scotland will be in the studio on Children in Need Day 2014 on Friday 15th November at 11am to answer questions from viewers. And pupils from St Bernadette’s Primary School in Larbert will be sharing all their enterprising ideas live in the studio.

Stephen English from Kingspark Academy and Lauren Muir from St Aiden’s High School in Wishaw are co presenting this week’s Children in Need Special.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to share your fundraising plans with other schools and to tell Fraser all about what you have been doing.

And you can quiz him on how all the money will be spent this year, as well as catch up on a few stories from last year.

Plus we’ll have the usual guess the headline quizzes and we’ll announce our caption competition winners!

Sign up and join us in Glow TV!

Commonwealth Live

From Australia to Zambia, Heads of Government from across the Commonwealth will meet in Sri Lanka this week to discuss the important issues of the day.

What do you think they should be discussing?

Join us for a special international Glow meet on Thursday 14th November at 9.45am as we welcome pupils from Holy Trinity College in Sri Lanka to discuss the Commonwealth Games and Scotland’s role as a good global citizen.

Hear from our very own Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison and the president of the Commonwealth Games Federations HRH Prince Tunku Imran as we explore ways in which we can build strong friendships with our Commonwealth neighbours.

Sign up and join us in Glow TV!

Sciences Conversation Day 3

Delegates attending our third conversation day at Millburn Academy were asked to reflect on the findings of Education Scotland’s Sciences 3-18 Curriculum Impact Report and, through group discussion, identify what they saw as the key priorities for action.

In the second session of the day, participants were given the opportunity to use the Implemento planning tool to further explore one of the main themes emerging from the group activity in the morning. The following action was chosen as focus for this activity:

Ensure learners are empowered to determine how they learn.

Participants identified the following as the worst outcomes that could arise should this action not be implemented:

  • The status quo persists
  • Negativity and lack of motivation coupled with poor behaviour – time and opportunities are wasted and learners don’t enjoy or value science and are not given a choice in their learning. Don’t develop as global citizens
  • No aims/goals resulting in learners not achieving their potential and schools failing to raise attainment and ensure progression
  • Disillusioned students and teachers coupled with detrimental effect on health and well-being
  • Learners are disengaged and lack independence and are wholly dependent on quality and enthusiasm of the teachers. See science as not being relevant to them and take no responsibility for their learning! Maybe then not accountable either and learners become unable to make informed choices
  • Sausage machine approach to learning – one size fits all
  • Learners don’t develop necessary skills for leaning life and work resulting in national skill shortage – learners not opting for STEM career. Advances in technology may be slower and economy suffers. Society becomes more divided.
  • Unsuitable tertiary courses.

The following actions were suggested to help recover from these negatives outcomes:

  • Create courses that are relevant and interesting to pupils – learners need flexibility and choice to experience all types of learning in order to know what they’re good at
  • To ensure learners are empowered to determine how they learn, participation in planning learning must be structured and iterative. Needs to be part of constant cycle of improvement. Supporting pupils to make choices is necessary – building their capacity so they are aware of their skills and can identify next steps in learning. Need to create opportunity for choice e.g. research questions, how to present, peer tutors, methods of gathering info and so on
  • Teachers need training in order to offer these opportunities and are updated with current/real life science so that it is relevant. They must deliver on promises of learner engagement and be honest with what is possible
  • Negotiated and competence-based assessment is required as are more opportunities for collaborative learning
  • Use role models to show case relevant use of science
  • The John Muir Award offer learners a flexible approach to learning
  • Speak to wider community/customer about what they need/want to learn
  • Provide further opportunities to get back to education in later life (more advice/awareness).

Participants saw the following as the best possible outcomes of the action to empower learners:

  • Highly professional, confident teaching workforce able to maximise potential of empowered learners by guiding/facilitating learning rather than being the centre of attention
  • Less stress and more positive classroom ethos. More time spent learning resulting in better progress, achievement, attainment and results! Balanced partnership between teachers and pupils with ethos of mutual respect
  • Relevant, useful learning at school resulting in improved health and wellbeing, better community links and spirit and more parent helpers.
  • Systematic approach to offering professional learning opportunities to school science educators at all levels supported by the appointment of a science officer for every authority
  • Aspirational students with tools to get there. Pupils would know more about how they learn best as individuals. Every learner values themselves and their skills/abilities. And develops as responsible and independent citizens who are lifelong learners with a positive, can-do attitude.
  • Scotland will be globally competitive with a skilled workforce which brings inward investment and creates new business. There will be less unemployment with better prospects and equity in society
  • More flexible resources and approaches to learning (incl. online resources) with an increase in peer support across the school.

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views. Click on the title of this blog post to leave a comment.

Scotland’s Environment Website




Get Interactive with data

A whole range of new tools and resources to view, analyse and visualise data and information have been launched on Scotland’s Environment Web.

  • Map View where you can look at any combination of 165 published map layers,
  • Discover Data applications for the latest Household Waste and Water Classification data
  • Resources produced by different organisations providing interactive data
  • Environmental Games that make finding out about the environment more fun. 

The team at Scotland’s Environment Web are always interested to hear about new ideas for links to resources, games, data visualisation applications, map layers or even mobile app’s that record observations about Scotland’s Environment.

Contact with your ideas.

Sign up for regular information through Scotland’s Environment Web newsletter

Scottish Power Foundation Challenge Days

National Museums Scotland and The Scottish Power Foundation have joined together to offer 3rd and 4th Year students studying for National Physics Qualifications a unique opportunity to apply their classroom studies to challenges in real life.

Five Challenge Days will take place during National Science and Engineering Week, 14th-25th March 2014, bringing students together with experts from science and industry to design, build and test their ideas for meeting Scotland’s future electricity demand through renewable energy sources.

The Challenge Days are free to all participating schools.

The winning team will receive equipment for their department, a framed certificate and publicity for their school’s achievement. There will also be runner up prizes in a range of categories.

For further information regarding venues and how to apply download:  Get Energised schools marketing



NHS Health Scotland Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Event

Thursday 12th December, 10am- 3.30pm, IET Teacher Building, Glasgow This event is aimed at those with an interest in supporting improvement in children and young people’s mental health and reducing inequalities which impact on their mental health. The event will combine presentations with workshops, leading to opportunities for discussion and debate. Key note presentations will raise awareness of a variety of national developments in the field of children and young people’s mental health and showcase illustrations of innovative projects being taken forward by local area partnerships. Workshops and the market place will provide an opportunity for discussion and debate about emerging developments and issues. Speakers will include – The current picture of Children and Young people’s Mental Health in Scotland – Dr Jane Parkinson and Elaine Tod (NHS Health Scotland) The impact of Mental Health and Wellbeing within the Curriculum for Excellence – Lesley Kirkwood and Suzanne Hargreaves (Education Scotland) Building capacity and confidence to address Young people’s needs – Erica Stewart-Jones (NHS Health Scotland) Support for Young People – Pathway development – NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Project 99 – Youth Mental Health and Social Media – Young Scot/Snook/NHS GG&C To register for this event, please visit the eventbrite website.

More play for Scotland’s children – Play Strategy Implementation Fund

In response to the newly launched Play Strategy Action Plan, Inspiring Scotland has launched a Play Strategy implementation fund to support Scottish charities bring the strategy to life for Scotland’s children.

Inspiring Scotland has played a key role in supporting the development of the Play Strategy for Scotland and will continue to support the sector through this small focused implementation fund which will become available in 2014.

Speaking at the launch of the Play Strategy Action Plan, the Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell, MSP said:

“Children need to be active and playing regularly sets the foundations for a healthier lifestyle as they grow older and contributes to brain development. Research has also shown how vital play is in encouraging imagination, coordination and confidence to get youngsters ready for nursery and school and the new experiences that holds.

“I have been lucky enough to have visited many events supported by Inspiring Scotland and its partners and it is wonderful to see parents and children, ranging from the very young to teenagers, really having fun together. What comes across so strongly is that often time and a little imagination are all you need to have an excellent time together and get active.”

The Play Strategy Action Plan highlights the long term physical, social and educational benefits of inspiring youngsters to play. In launching the Plan, the Minister committed to the establishment of the £90,000 implementation fund to help charities deliver play opportunities.

Speaking following the launch event, Head of Funds at Inspiring Scotland, Celia Tennant, said: “The Go2Play Play Strategy Implementation Fund builds on our commitment to support the Play Sector, helping to develop and nurture play opportunities and ideas which will ultimately help to deliver the Play Strategy Action Plan.  We are delighted to be able to build upon the success of our Go2Play capacity building fund and respond to the needs of the play sector.  £90,000 will be available in 2014 from this fund which we are confident can lead to significant social impact when supported by our unique venture philanthropy model.”

Inspiring Scotland will launch the process for applications at end of 2013 which will consist of three funding rounds during 2014.

Inspiring Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Government, have been developing the capacity of the Play Sector since 2009 and significantly increased free play opportunities for vulnerable children across Scotland.

If interested in this fund, please contact Julia Abel or Paul Dickson to register your interest in the fund.

Chick and the Egg

Emerging scientists in Kilwinning Early Years Centre have been learning about biological science, through experiencing the life cycle, growth and development of a chick. The centre sourced the embryo eggs from an online company which were just a few days away from hatching. Chick eggs were housed in an incubator and the children cared for each egg and then nurturing the chicks once hatched. The children recorded their prior knowledge of chicks and chickens through mind maps, researched information about how to care for the eggs and chicks using the internet and gained knowledge and understanding of the concept of a particular life cycle. Observations and discussions about the life cycle of the chick were recorded on cameras and iPads. The project has enhanced their skills in enquiry and investigation and encouraged their curiosity about the world around them.

Sciences Conversation Day 3

Delegates attending our third conversation day at Millburn Academy were asked to reflect on the findings of Education Scotland’s Sciences 3-18 Curriculum Impact Report and, through group discussion, identify what they saw as the key priorities for action.

Priority areas for action

The priorities below are listed in order of prevalence. Those mentioned more frequently in group responses appear closest to the top of the list.

  1. Cluster approach – Local cluster science improvement plans should be developed – early years/primary/secondary school links, including links with further and higher education institutions, should be further developed to allow staff access to specialist equipment and expertise and to facilitate dialogue between practitioners.
  2. Primary science – There is a lack of specialist knowledge in primary schools. There is a need to increase access to and quantity of science learning pre-secondary by building confidence of primary practitioners. Science should be made explicit in primary schools – not just taught through interdisciplinary learning. There is a role for science champions in primary.
  3. Transitions between early years, primary and secondary and into work/FE/HE need to be improved. There should be planned progression through increased dialogue within and between centres and clear maps of learning and contexts.
  4. Leadership for sciences within schools at every level, including learners, should be developed to ensure support is in place and to facilitate good communication.
  5. Pupil voice should be strengthened at departmental and whole school level – the experiences of learners, and their involvement in decision-making, can be used to drive improvement. There is a need to develop a culture of talking to learners and including them in evaluation of learning. Facilitation of informal feedback should be encouraged and programmes of learning should be explained to learners.
  6. Better and more accessible links with industry, including STEM ambassadors, are required – it is essential to secure the involvement of people with real experience of STEM subjects. A coherent approach, and mapping process, is required to pull together different agencies and employers to ensure support structures are in place and to make young people aware of job opportunities.
  7. Learning and teaching in sciences needs to be dynamic and up to date so that learners understand the relevance and applications of their learning. More outdoor learning and interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary learning (IDL) should be encouraged to put science into context. There should be consistency in terms of the provision of high quality learning and teaching in sciences.
  8. Increased opportunities for science related career-long professional development, including through initial teacher education, should be made available to develop enthusiastic, confident and skilled practitioners who employ effective teaching strategies.
  9. Resources – Practitioners need to know about the resources out there. Funding to local authorities and partner agencies should be prioritised to ensure all centres are well equipped. Effective dissemination of available resources is required including online resources, outdoor spaces for learning etc. Education Scotland should consider developing a resource bank with download log and feedback.
  10. Practitioners would benefit from increased sharing of good practice at all stages.
  11. Skills – There is a need to improve knowledge and expectations in terms of wider skills development.
  12. Science a priority – Raising the awareness of education leaders, directors of education, head teachers, councillors of the importance of science is necessary. They should all recognise that science and STEM is a priority.

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views. Click on the title of this blog post to leave a comment.

Chemistry Week 16th-23rd November 2013

Chemistry Week is a themed week of nationwide events that is held every two years to promote  chemistry and increase the public understanding of the importance of chemical science in our everyday lives.

This year the theme selected by the Royal Society of Chemistry is health, with a particular emphasis on five areas of health that provide some of the greatest challenges and opportunities for chemical research.

  • Ageing
  • Hygiene
  • Lifestyle
  • Nutrition
  • Global Challenges

Part of the week’s events include the Global Experiment which this year is Measuring the Vitamin C Content of Fruit and Veg looking at, for example, the effect of aging, type of food and country of origin.

It is a practical experiment suitable for upper primary and S1 to S6 pupils, which links the Sciences with the theme of Health and Wellbeing.  Results obtained are uploaded onto the RSC web site and compared to results from schools all over the globe!! Pupils are also awarded a certificate for completing/participating in the experiment.

Further information can be obtained through:

The RSC are providing free resources for schools for Chemistry Week. These include bunting, pens, bugs, balloons, stickers, posters and write on posters.

Schools can view the resources and download an order form to order their own free resources using the link:

Please note the deadline for ordering free resources for Chemistry Week is the 11th November.

SSERC Residential Courses

SSERC, a Local Authority shared-service providing support across all thirty-two Scottish Education Authorities, is offering  practical hands-on CPD courses for primary practitioners.

A few places still remain on two residential courses.  

Science Rocks Our World is a 3 day residential course for primary teachers, taking place 21st -23rd November 2013.

Practitioners will engage in practical activities to support learning & teaching across CfE Sciences Experiences and Outcomes from the Planet Earth Organiser and develop their skills and expand their knowledge in this area of science. In addition, participants will be given equipment and resources to support them in the classroom.

Together with the SSERC team, Education Officers from various organisations will explore the lines of development within the themes of; Space, Processes of the Planet, and Biodiversity and Interdependence.

For further information and an application form download:Science_Rocks_2013_flyer

“Science for the Newly Qualified Primary Teacher’ is a 2 part residential course, with part 1 on 31st January – 1st February 2014 and part 2 on 12th May 2014.

The course will offer recently qualified primary practitioners, including probationers, the opportunity to share good practice, explore some of the “big ideas” in science and develop a variety of strategies to support delivery of the sciences within a Curriculum for Excellence. A major part of the course will involve exploring ways in which practical activities can be used to enhance teaching across Early, First and Second Levels.

For further information download the flyer: PrimProb_flyer_v3  

Course fees are £450 which includes meals, accommodation and course materials.Local Authority schools will be entitled to receive an ENTHUSE Award which will cover the cost of the courses. This grant is administered through the National Science Learning Centre.

 A complete listing of CPD opportunities can be accessed through the SSERC website:


NLN Conference November 2013

The NLN Conference is taking place in Stirling Management Centre on Wednesday 6th November and for those of you who are unable to attend we will be broadcasting two sessions live from there on the day.

Our first live broadcast is a showcase from learners from Duncanrig Secondary School who will demonstrate how they developed and applied their listening and talking skills by participating in the School Radio Station.

This session will be broadcast from 10am – sign up and join us in Glow TV.

Our second live broadcast is the popular 5 minute presentation slot. Practitioners from a range of establishments will share ideas and practice related to Listening and Talking.

This session will be broadcast from 11.40am – sign up and join us in Glow TV!

We hope that you can join us live on the day but if not the recordings will be available in Watch Again.