Composition in the Curriculum

The first meeting of the composition working group took place on Thursday 9th January. Throughout the day the group entered into lively discussion regarding the role of composition in the lives of young people and ways in which it could be supported in our schools.

The first meeting of the group was seen very much as a starting point to engage practitioners in a national conversation with the aim of building on existing good practice, developing creative approaches to composition and supporting delivery of composition in schools.

Throughout the day the group focussed on four main questions:

• What are the barriers to the development of composition in schools?
• What key skills need to be developed in learners to progress their abilities as composers?
• What would creative work in composition look like in schools?
• What could useful support for practitioners look like?

We would like to invite practitioners across sectors to join the conversation and share their thoughts and experience on the above questions which will help identify key issues and inform next steps for the working group.

We appreciate you taking the time to respond and look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas.

Big Big Sing – Songwriting Competiton

Write a Commonwealth Games song!

Big Big Sing is a nationwide celebration of singing that will inspire thousands of people to get singing in the lead up to and during Games Time. As part of this project, Big Big Sing is running an exciting songwriting competition open to Primary and Secondary School pupils in Scotland.

Big Big Sing invites pupils to write a song inspired by the Commonwealth Games, pupils can work individually or as a class to write a song between three and five minutes in length. With the games just around the corner there’s no shortage of inspiration for budding songwriters!

There’s a fantastic prize on offer which includes having a video of the winning song made and performing the song in front of thousands as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme! One winning entry will be picked from each category (Primary and Secondary School) by an expert judging panel.

Prize up for grabs:

– A special video of entrants performing the song

– A recording of the song included and promoted on the Big Big Sing website

– A performance spot at the BIG Big Big Sing event in Glasgow during July 2014.

For full guidelines and to find out more about the competition and the project in general please visit

Pitlochry High School – third school to receive Game On Scotland Plaque

Game On Scotland ambassador Holly Cram awarded Pitlochry High School with the Game On plaque for the challenges they have set themselves to creating exciting learning experiences in the wake of the Commonwealth Games.

The school has planned a whole year of challenges around the Games, ranging from inter-house activity days with Dragon’s Den presentations of their own mascot design to exploring the Commonwealth values. An extensive programme of sporting and outdoor initiatives support the agenda with swim- and bikeathons, extra curricular athletics, badminton competitions organised by the Youth Sport ambassadors, climbing, kayaking & mountaineering and even ‘Street Dance’ sessions. The school will conclude the year with two major events, the Primary Cluster and the High School Commonwealth Sports Day.

Congratulations and best wishes from the Game On Scotland team.

Scotland’s Environment Youth Discussion

Scotland’s Environment Web is running an exciting competition for young people, with fantastic prizes, and the closing date has been extended until 31st march 2014.

What is the competition about?

What needs to change in your local community that will make a difference to your environment and what role can you play in making it happen?

We want you to answer the question and tell us how you can make your environment better.

Who can enter?

The competition is open to all young people throughout Scotland between the ages of 5-18 whether through your school, as part of a group or as an individual. Prizes to be won, include a backstage tour of the Hydro, tickets to the Irn Bru Carnival 2014/2015 and the Teen Drive electric car event at Knockhill and gadgets like tablets!

For inspiration watch this video from pupils at St. David’s Primary, Dalkeith giving their opinions on environmental issues that matter to them

National Qualifications Course Materials

Education Scotland continues to add sciences materials created by local authorities to the NQ Glow Portal and is grateful to the practitioners and authorities across Scotland who have contributed to date.

We greatly appreciate the most recent contributions from colleagues in North Ayrshire for sharing materials at National 4 and National 5 for Physics and Cell Biology and Multicellular Organisms and we’re also grateful to colleagues in Moray who have shared their N5 Cell Biology materials.

Aberdeen City have kindly shared a range of National 4 and National 5 Chemistry materials.

Education Scotland is also in the final stages of editing course materials for all N3 and Higher sciences qualifications. These will be posted to the NQ Glow portal in February. Please see our STEM e-bulletin for ongoing updates about NQ support.

If you have any materials you would like to share the please contact

Scottish Education Awards – Sustainable School and Global Citizenship Categories

The Scottish Education Awards celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education. They recognise the achievements of people who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcase the valuable work and innovation in Scottish classrooms.

 The awards this year will once again feature a Sustainable School category and also a Global Citizenship category to recognise the achievements of schools that have developed effective whole school approaches in these areas. The awards also support the wider national strategy relating to the Learning for Sustainability Report.

If your school has a good story to tell in relation to global citizenship, sustainability, outdoor learning and play and/or children’s rights then we’d like to encourage you to apply so we can help celebrate your achievements and share your good practice with others. Find out more about the awards and how to apply by visiting

The deadline for submitting nominations is Friday 21 February 2014.

Starting Primary School: For parents who have learning disabilities

Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability

Starting Primary School is a new DVD for parents with learning disabilities who have pre-school age children. It gives them first hand practical advice to help them navigate their children’s transition to primary school. If you are a parent yourself, an advocate or a professional who supports parents, this DVD is for you.

If you would like hard copies of the DVD you can contact George Gordon ( or Robert Knox ( or phone the SCLD offices on 0141 559 5720.

There is a short video Starting Primary School available to view on their website: