Inter-authority Skills (Emerging Practice) Network

The Inter-authority Skills (Emerging Practice) Network meeting took place at Optima, Glasgow on Thursday 30th January 2014. The meeting was very productive and all the materials shared and a note of the key discussion points are linked within this post.

Note of meeting – Note of meeting on 30th Jan 2014

Representatives at the meeting agreed to respond to the SDS “Employer Engagement Framework” draft document by Friday 14th February 2014.

Documents shared by local authority representatives and partners:

SDS “Employer Engagement Framework” draft document – Employer Engagement Framework Draft

Strategic Skills Pipeline presentation by Hazel Mackie – Strategic Skills Pipeline Presentation

Video link to Falkirk’s School-College Opportunities to Succeed (SCOTS) programme – SCOTS Programme

Scottish Councils Enterprise in Education Network (SCEEN) statement on work experience – SCEEN Statement on Work Experience

OECD strategy paper: “Better skills, better jobs, better lives” – Better skills, better jobs, better lives

The date of the next Inter-authority Skills (Emerging Practice) Network meeting is Thursday 24th April at Optima.

Dundee Cancer Centre and Dundee Science Centre Science Learning Institute





‘I learned not to be scared to talk about cancer’

A really exciting day on Friday 7th February when we welcomed P7 pupils to Dundee Science Centre to work with world-leading scientists from Dundee Cancer Centre. Through hands-on activities, developed and delivered by scientists, researchers and nurses from Dundee Cancer Centre, children learned about cells and cancer.

Children said:

I can’t choose one thing, I loved it all!

I learnt about how the different bloods get ready for scientists! It was fun!

That you should be careful with what you wear outside and that if you eat broccoli it helps a lot.

I learnt that cancer travels faster than normal cells.

There are 200 types of cancer cells

I enjoyed making play-doh drugs

Very easy to understand and was fun

I enjoyed meeting a real scientist

I learnt that strawberries have DNA and what our cells look like! It was fun!

I learnt today about cancer and how it can be stopped.

Teachers were equally positive in their feedback:

Hands on activities are great. Brilliant to see the kids engaging so well.

The people who were doing the explaining, explained very complex concepts in a very understandable way for the children.  It’s something that we will pick up on when we go back to school and share what we have learnt with the rest of the school and try to find out more.

This is the first part of a bigger piece of work, the next steps of which are to work with teachers from secondary schools and Dundee Cancer Centre to develop a workshop to support the broad general education in the secondary setting, or the Senior Phase.  This will provide opportunities for learning for teachers involved, and the pupils in the 10 secondary schools we work with, when we bring our funded outreach to them between September and December 2014.

If you’re interested in being part of this exciting project, and connecting your learners with cutting-edge, world-leading sciences happening in Dundee, please contact Lauren Boath, Science Learning Manager for more information (

The world of Magnificent Microbes

We’re very excited about the start to our Magnificent Microbes project for 2014, a partnership between Dundee Science Centre Science Learning Institute and the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee.

We are exploring ways to structure and support learning for practitioners, and for children and young people, to increase the impact of what we do, and to ensure our work becomes increasingly sustainable and has a legacy in the classroom.

With this in mind, teachers whose classes are participating in the Magnificent Microbes project for 2014 joined us on Tuesday evening for a professional learning session with Dr Nicola Stanley-Wall and Dr James Chalmers of the Division of Molecular Microbiology at the College of Life Sciences from the University of Dundee.  Together, we explored the world of microbes, including getting hands-on with techniques use by microbiologists.  Feedback from participants was very positive, including

“…really helped me get into the project.  I am now excited rather than scared not knowing what would lie ahead.”

“I’m excited about how much they (the children) will enjoy the learning.”

“I now know how to approach a topic about microbiology and I will also be less scared to try this with my class.”

and we’re very much looking forward to children working with us over the course of the project, including working with the scientists in school, at Dundee Science Centre, and coming together to share and celebrate their learning in May.

Before the session we asked teachers to write down everything they think of when they hear the word ‘microbe’ and we did the same afterwards.

Watch this space for more on the sustainable legacy of the project…and how you can get involved in the world of microbes!