Higher Biology Resource Guide

This Higher Biology Resources guide links Mandatory key areas to learning and teaching resources.

The pages show the Mandatory key areas table from the SQA Higher Biology course and unit support notes with an additional column containing hyperlinks to videos, animations and other resources. Content new to the course from the Higher Still Higher has been highlighted in green to further assist practitioners.

Updates will be posted on GLOW 365

Higher Biology Resources Guide

John Muir – Back to the Future

2014 has seen John Muir leap to prominence, with a Way, a Festival, a Conference…not to mention a recent trend for beards (coincidence?!).

But what does the younger generation make of a man who left Dunbar, East Lothian for America aged 10, became an adventurer and conservation visionary, helped set up the National Parks movement, and died 100 years ago?

The John Muir Trust asked them – and found out some fascinating facts, interesting insights, and whether Muir’s message has relevance to young people today.

Watch a 5 minute film created by the John Muir Trust at http://vimeo.com/95260067 .

“The film captures young people’s thoughts and integrates John Muir’s life story fabulously.” Koren Calder, Young Adult Project Manager, Scottish Book Trust

“A lovely evocation of the roots and the meaning of Muir set into teen parlance.” John Beatty

Moving ahead with the School Improvement Partnership Programme

Post by Alastair Delaney, Strategic Director, Education Scotland

We have just published an interim report into the School Improvement Partnership Programme (SIPP). This is a new approach we are adopting in Scotland with a focus on innovating to tackle educational inequality. It draws on the wealth of international educational research and practice that demonstrates the most effective school improvements are locally owned and led by teachers and school leaders working in partnership and collaboration with like-minded professionals.

The partnerships vary in size and now cover 14 authorities and involve 15 primary schools, 18 secondary schools and two high school learning communities.

These partnerships are focusing on specific challenges and issues, learning from each other through collaborative enquiry and trying new approaches in their own settings as a result. Research evidence indicates that well supported partnerships can lead to significant and sustained improvement and ultimately raised achievement. In developing this programme we are working with the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change of Glasgow University and are supported by a reference group involving representatives of ADES, COSLA, AHDS, SLS, EIS and Scottish Government.

A key feature of the SIPP is the research and evaluation support being provided by researchers from the Robert Owen Centre. The report they have just prepared provides a summary of progress to date across all the partnerships engaged with the programme. The report notes that whilst there have been some challenges around timing and coordination between all relevant parties, these imaginative and creative partnership teams are devising diverse and complex collaborative networks and programmes to tackle inequality in education across Scotland.

The report identifies partnerships which are becoming established and putting in place interventions that have proved successful elsewhere. These partnerships are creating networks that are helping professional learning amongst teachers and increasing their confidence in using a variety of teaching strategies to help address these issues.

We will continue to support these partnerships along with our colleagues in the Robert Owen Centre and with the various education authorities. In the coming months we will be carrying out further evaluation, running further seminars and sessions which will allow partners to share their experiences so far and to learn from each other and build on this. Further to this we have some more partnerships due to start working together soon. Although early days for the programme, there are encouraging signs of exciting emerging practice in this work and I am confident the SIPP could have a real impact on closing the attainment gap.

This programme is a really good example of collaboration, using international research findings and applying them to Scotland, building the capacity of our teaching workforce, and trying out new approaches and evaluating them to help Scottish education improve.

Research on the impact of the School Improvement Partnership Programme: interim report

The School Improvement Partnership Programme – background information

SWGfL 360 degree e-safety self-review tool training sessions – places still available

The South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) Trust is holding a series of free training sessions throughout Scotland on their 360 degree safe e-safety self review tool, which have been commissioned by Education Scotland and the Scottish Government.  Places are still available at the Glasgow and Edinburgh venues.  See details below.

The 360 degree safe self review tool was the winner of the 2011 BETT Awards for Leadership and Management Solutions. The judges described the tool as a “clear winner” by the fact it engages the school community in the process of identifying strengths and weaknesses in e-safety provision.

Course aims

The course aims to:
•    Introduce Trainers (from local authorities and other organisations) to the 360 degree safe e-safety self review tool.
•    Describe how school leaders can gain the maximum benefit from the use of this very powerful tool.
•    Enable Trainers to deliver high quality training in the use of the 360 degree safe tool for school leaders.

On successful completion, the course will enable delegates to:
•    Understand how the 360 degree safe tool allows schools to review their policy and practice, benchmark it against nationa data and draw up action plans.
•    Deliver high quality training in the use of the 360 degree safe tool for school leaders.


The course will consider:
•    The most effective ways in which school leaders can engage staff and the wider school community in the 360 degree safe review of e-safety.
•    The University of Plymouth report on evidence provided by the use of the tool across the UK and the lessons that this provides for the development of e-safety policy and practice in schools
•    How evidence sources, actions and commentary can be recorded and an action plan developed.
•    The use of the links to other documents and resources section.
•    How the school can benchmark its provision against the national data included in the 360 tool.
•    How schools, that meet the required benchmarks, can apply for the E-Safety Mark.

How will the session be organised?

The course will consist of a 360 degree safe presentation from the course leader, with  opportunity for delegates to discuss how they will train school leaders in the use of the  tool.  Where possible online access to the tool will be provided to enable the delegate to gain practical experience of using this tool. Delegates will review the national/local data provided by the 360 tool and consider the implications for e-safety developments in schools.

Training sessions

The training sessions are free and will take place on the following dates:

1. Wednesday 4 June 9:30 – 12:30 Jury’s Inn, 80 Jamaica Street, Glasgow G1 4QS
2. Wednesday 4 June 13:30 – 16:30 – Jury’s Inn, 80 Jamaica Street, Glasgow G1 4QS
3. Thursday 5 June 9:30 – 12:30 – Holiday Inn, 132 Costorphine Road Edinburgh EH12 6UA
4. Thursday 5 June 13:30 – 16:30– Holiday Inn 132 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh EH12 6UA
5. Friday 6 June 9:30 – 12:30 – Copthorne Hotel, 122 Huntly Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1SU
6. Friday 6 June 13:30 – 16:30 – Copthorne Hotel, 122 Huntly Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1SU

Important information

•    To gain the greatest benefit from the training session, those attending should register to use the 360 degree safe E-Safety Self Review tool before the training session. You need to go to www.360safescotland.org.uk and click on “register” – top right on the home page.  If you are from a school, you can register automatically on the left hand side of the page using the school’s SEED number. If not (if you are from an LA), you will need to do a manual registration on the right hand side of the page. You should enter any postcode and when the tool fails to find a school, or offers you one which you will not use you can then register your own “dummy school”.  Please allow five days for the registration to be completed (though it is usually much quicker) – you will need to verify your email address. If you have any difficulties with this, please contact Ron.Richards@swgfl.org.uk.
•    You should bring a wi-fi enabled laptop / tablet to the training session to be able to access your account. If you are not able to access a laptop  then please let Joan know and we will try to help with this.
•    To reserve your place at the training events please email Joan.Reilly@educationscotland.gov.uk and ensure you state which event you will be attending.
•    If you are not able to access a laptop  then please let Joan know and we will try to help with this.

Skills Conversation Day 3

The third in a series of conversation days focussing on skills across the 3-18 curriculum will take place at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness on Thursday 5th June 2014. Education Scotland are delighted to host the event along with our education partners Highland Council and Skills Development Scotland.

The event will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to continue the conversations started at Loch Leven Community Campus in September and December 2013. The focus then was on exploring the issues around developing a common language and understanding of skills and local approaches to engagement with employers, including contrasting rural and urban opportunities for work experience.

The key area of focus for the third event in the series will be how schools are planning for and recording progression in the development of skills. The conversations will pick up some of the inter-linked threads from previous events and weave these through the day’s presentations and activities.

The outcomes, materials and suggested actions generated from the day will be posted on the Education Scotland Learning Blog.

Expressive Arts Conversation Day 2

The second expressive arts conversation event took place on Friday 28th March 2014 at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness.

The views and experiences of invited stakeholders provided a very helpful basis for us to consider how best to provide further support for education establishments, stakeholders and education partners.

The purpose of the day was to:

  • explore the current national position with regard to developing practitioner confidence and capacity in expressive arts
  • highlight issues that could be addressed through examples and briefing
  • consider what challenges are emerging and how these are being addressed
  • identify areas that require further support and what that support needs to look like – including consideration of establishing a national primary expressive arts network/community.

During the day we discussed:

  • The approaches that are currently being taken to develop practitioner confidence and capacity in expressive arts and the thinking behind these approaches.
  • How far education establishments and partners have advanced in developing these approaches.
  • The key challenges; for example, the range of skills practitioners believe they need to ensure that learners have appropriate breadth of experience and challenge in expressive arts.
  • The support/information/guidance that is now needed and at what level.
  • How best to share with stakeholders the proposed steps towards developing practitioner confidence and capacity.

Below you will find the outputs from the day’s discussions which were generated through our use of the International Futures Forum’s “Implemento” transformational tool. The discussions focussed on the actions we need to take to achieve our aspirations for an ideal future system.

The evaluations from the day asked three questions that can now be used as a baseline from which we can measure the impact of the day. Have a look to see what our participants said!

Conversation Day 2 Evaluations

Implemento Table 4

Implemento Table 3

Implemento Table 2

Implemento Table 1

SQA Star Awards 2014 – Nominate Your Brightest Stars!

Nominations are now open. The SQA’s annual Star Awards are a unique way to celebrate success, triumph, achievement and recognition of the best in education and training. Behind every success story lies motivation and commitment, pride and self-esteem and, of course, sheer hard work.

See the stars come out – nominate your stars today www.sqa.org.uk/star

Closing date for entries is Friday 27 June 2014.

Education & Engagement Officer, Food for Life Scotland

Closing date: Sunday, June 08, 2014
Contract type: Full time, fixed term contract until 31 July 2015
Salary: £22,932
Location: Glasgow, with regular travel
Soil Association Scotland’s Food for Life programme aims to transform food culture across Scotland through supporting the production and enjoyment of good food that is healthy, sustainable and accessible to all.
As Education and Engagement Officer you will pay a key role in supporting the Education and Engagement Co-ordinator in the development and delivery of Food for Life Scotland’s education framework, and the uptake of the Food for Life Catering Mark in schools. You will work in designated local authority areas across Scotland to increase knowledge and understanding of the connections between health, economy and the environment among catering staff, consumers, teachers, pupils and the wider community.
Educated to degree level, or with equivalent professional experience, the successful candidate will have considerable knowledge of the Curriculum for Excellence and have experience of delivering education activities and support in schools, including engaging with senior management teams, teaching staff, pupils and catering staff. You will be an experienced relationship builder and public speaker and be confident presenting to small and large groups across a range of audience types.
You will have an understanding of the connections between food, health and the environment, and ideally of the principles that underpin the Food for Life approach and Food for Life Catering Mark. Experience of working on cooking and growing projects would be a real advantage.
For more details please click here.
Closing date: 8 June 2014
Interviews are likely to be held in Glasgow on 18 June 2014

Registration for SLF 2014 now open

Registration for SLF 2014 is now open at www.scottishlearningfestival.org.uk

The theme of SLF 2014 is raising achievement and attainment for all with a focus on maximising educational outcomes through:
• early intervention and prevention – for children, young people and adult learners in order to maximise educational outcomes;
• health and wellbeing – ranging from physical education and sport to the full range of health and wellbeing subjects which are the responsibility of all practitioners;
• employability skills – to secure a highly educated, well prepared and well-motivated young workforce able to compete in a global market.

SLF 2014 is free for everyone to attend and gives you access to:

• Inspirational keynotes from Michael Russell MSP, Dr Frank Dick, Prof Alma Harris and John Carnochan;
• Over 100 professional development seminars where you can engage in activities and learn from practitioners and young people;
• Lively debate at the professional discussions led by Sir Ian Wood, Chair of the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce, Sir Bill Gammell, Chairman and Co-founder of the Winning Scotland Foundation and Kenneth Muir, Chief Executive of the GTCS;
• Scotland’s largest education exhibition with over 100 exhibitors showcasing educational resources;
• Opportunities for discussion and professional networking with peers and colleagues from across Scotland.

Book Now
To guarantee your place at SLF 2014 and your choice of seminars book now, as many sessions do fill up before the summer break. Visit www.scottishlearningfestival.org.uk to browse the full conference programme and book your place today.

Royal Society of Chemistry Global Experiment 2014

The Global Experiment 2014 encourages young people aged 7-16 , from all around the world, to participate in two experiments, investigating solubility and growing crystals, and to share their results around the world by posting them online. The resources required are very simple and there is an introductory video, lesson plans and certificates for those who take part.

The experiments address experiences and outcomes from Materials: Properties and uses of substances, SCN 2-16b & SCN 3-16b.

The experiments help learners to develop skills associated with measuring and recording results, embed numeracy skills within a practical context and offer ICT development opportunities through presenting and publishing their results on the web.

Full details about the Global Experiment 2014 can be downloaded using the link http://rsc.li/ge2014

Did you know?
In 2013, over 21000 children took part in the Global Experiment, with 103 schools in Scotland posting results.

Software to support server-side development for Higher Computing Science

The new Higher Computing Science has a clear focus on modern technologies and development for the Web.  Server-side scripting and online databases are the building blocks of the large information systems that we all use today.

The new Higher requires learners to provide “exemplifications and implementation of coding to create and modify information systems including the use of: … scripting (database/web pages), server-side scripting…”

This means that every learner studying Higher Computing Science should have experience of using these technologies.  To support the introduction of the new Higher Computing Science, Aberdeen City Council have created and deployed a number of open source software packages.

We have deployed EasyPHP to provide each learner with a dedicated web and database server. This open source software provides an Apache Web Server, MySQL Database Server, PHP language plug-in (to allow for server-side scripting), phpMyAdmin (a web based database management tool) and Xdebug (to provide full debug information for learners as they develop programs).  These servers are hosted locally on each computer where this software is deployed and the servers are controlled via a small application that learners can manage to start/store the servers as required.

This solution provides a full suite of technology that our teachers can now deploy in the classroom. We have modified the software so the data that a learner creates is stored and moves with the leaner in his/her roaming profile.  No matter which computer he/she is using the required data is available. 

As the solution is deployed locally on each station, the web pages are viewed using the localhost (http://localhost/) URL and the server is not broadcast to the wider Internet.

To assist with the development of programs, we have also deployed the open source NetBeans web project editor which supports development using a number of technologies that feature in the new Higher:  Javascript (client-side scripting), PHP (server-side scripting), MySQL (database queries), HTML, CSS and others.

In tandem with this software deployment, we have also provided training to support this technology, which all our Computing Science teachers have been involved with. 

If you would like additional information about this solution please contact Charlie Love at Aberdeen City Council.

Twitter chats with the Royal Institute

Ever wished you could attend an event at the Royal Institute but haven’t been able to get tickets? Or do you live too far away to make evening events?

The Ri are now offering more opportunities for you to hear from researchers and experts from the UK and beyond.

As well as filming many events, making talks and debates available online for free, the Ri are now running Twitter chats with speakers to give everyone at home the chance to ask their questions.

The Twitter chat series launches TOMORROW Thursday 21 May with astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell at 7.30pm BST and mathematician Jordan Ellenberg on 4 June at 7pm BST.

For more information about twitter chats and What’s On in May at the Royal Institute: http://www.rigb.org/whats-on

Adult learning in Scotland – Statement of Ambition

Education Scotland is pleased to present Adult Learning in Scotland, a Statement of Ambition. Developed in partnership with the National Strategic Forum for Adult Learning, it takes account of the views of adult learners.

The agreed aspiration is that Scotland becomes the best place to learn. The Statement has three core principles, that adult learning should be:
•learner centred.

As such it recognises the key and distinctive role that adult learning plays in helping to develop the person, the family, communities and society.

Next steps in achieving this ambition will be to work with a task group to put in place a strategic implementation plan by autumn 2014.

The National Youth Work Strategy and Adult Learning in Scotland, a Statement of Ambition will both be instrumental in improving life chances for all.

Click to access AdultLearningStatementofAmbition_tcm4-826940.pdf

Primary practitioner information Glasgow Science Festival 5th – 15th June 2014

The Glasgow Science Festival is preparing to bring its exciting mix of science and innovative events to its biggest ever festival.

Primary practitioners can access a variety of events, activities and workshops which showcase the contribution Glasgow and Glasgow based researchers make to the worlds of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM).

From the intriguing Commonwealth Games Whodunnit, to the genetic investigation entitled Blame it on the Parents, to demonstrating energy and forces through the construction of a medieval castle there is something for every budding STEM learner.

For further information:  http://www.gla.ac.uk/events/sciencefestival/events/schools/

Glasgow Science Festival 5th – 15th June 2014

As Glasgow prepares for the Commonwealth Games the Glasgow Science Festival is preparing to bring its exciting mix of science and innovative events to its biggest ever festival.

The principle  aim of the Festival is to showcase the outstanding contribution Glasgow and Glasgow based researchers make to the worlds of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM).

From 5-15th June explore the frontiers of research through comedy, live shows, public debates and hands on exhibitions.

The science of sport will be uncovered and you can debate questions such as “If Usain Bolt was a bacterium, what would he be?”

For further information:  http://www.gla.ac.uk/events/sciencefestival/events/

Scottish Engineering – Special Leaders Award 2014/2015

Leaders Award for STEM is a fun and rewarding way of finding out about careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). We also play host to additional Special Leaders Awards which run throughout the year, each having a particular focus.

If you could be an engineer in Scotland – what would you do?

We challenge Primary and Secondary school pupils in Scotland to research and interview inspiring engineers!

This award is a great opportunity to engage pupils with real engineers who will convey the importance of STEM in their daily working lives. Schools will be able to develop relationships with industry, both local and worldwide, giving pupils a unique perspective of professions and their significance in the wider world. Our website contains resources and lesson plans which can help pupils get their research underway. Just visit the ‘Downloads’ section of our website at www.leadersaward.com. All successful participants will receive a certificate and winning entries will be exhibited to the public at the Barony Hall, University of Strathclyde (date TBC).

Closing date: 10th February 2015.

The Challenge

Pupils are asked to research engineering and interview a practicing engineer to interpret the statement “if you could be an engineer in Scotland – what would you do?”

Primary pupils are asked to illustrate their response, accompanied by 100 words.

Secondary pupils are asked to illustrate their response, accompanied by 350 words.

Register your school via the website www.leadersaward.com. Once registered, you will receive an application pack and further guidance on completing the award.

For more information about the Scottish Engineering Special Leaders Award, please visit www.leadersaward.com



11th June 2014

Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh



10:00 – 10:25 am –        Registration 

10:30- 11:15 am –          Welcome to Big Ambition Scotland

11:20 –  Learning zones:

  • Expert Zone – join us for opportunity to ask industry experts questions like
    • What it is like to work in ICT and Digital Technologies?
    • How do I get in to the sector?
    • What sort of skills are you looking for in employees?
    • What the jobs of the future are likely to be? 
    • Opportunity Zone – learn from employers and education providers about the different entry routes into the ICT and Digital Technologies sector.  You will be able to hear about the different job opportunities that are available, college and university courses and other options such as Modern Apprenticeship
  • Interactive Zone – an interactive session led by industry to teach you about programming in coding languages. Hand on session giving you an important insight into the world of code

13:45 – 1405 – Lunch break

14:05 – 14:15 – Closing session

Register via the BigAmbition Scotland website:


National Working Group for Dance

The national working group for Dance met on the 8th May at Optima Glasgow.
The main focus of the group is
• to establish what the barriers are to the delivery of Dance
• to improve communication within the dance community
• to establish a network of contacts within the dance community
Con Morris from Education Scotland gave the group an insight into how Glow could be used to establish better communication and links. How a “Blether account” would allow practitioners to support each other and share good practice.

Emma Stewart Jones from Creative Scotland gave an update on the latest training opportunities for PE students and staff. Also partnership with the Conservatoire of Scotland. New PGDE Dance course to start 2015/16.

Keith Murphy from Education Scotland gave an account of how the 3 horizons approach can be used for future thinking, focussed discussion and raise points for action
This led onto discussion points for the next meeting.

Improving the communication network.
As Dance is mainly delivered by PE teachers in Schools Anne McEwan from Denny Dance Academy suggested contacting SATPE (Scottish Association of Teachers of Physical Education) to join their network.
Response from SATPE was
“The SATPE Conference is to be held at Tulliallan on 1st November 2014 ,they would be delighted for the National working group to include a slot on Dance in Education. They are also happy for us to offer workshops etc, if we feel it would be appropriate. This is an excellent opportunity for us to reinforce concrete links with the PE Profession and ensure PE Teachers are fully up to speed in the delivery of dance.”

The group will meet 3 times per year, the next meeting is scheduled for 2nd September 2014

We would welcome your comments and thoughts in this exciting time for Dance education in Scotland.

Computing Science Conference

As part of the ongoing support for senior phase qualifications Education Scotland has organised a conference to support practitioners who are delivering the new Higher Computing Science course.  This will be held in Edinburgh on Thursday, 29 May, 9:30 am, at the Hilton Grosvenor Haymarket.  Places have been allocated via local authorities, however there are a limited number of spaces still remaining and we would like to offer these on a ‘first come, first served’ basis to anyone who will be delivering the new course.  If you would like to attend, please email your name, school and authority/organisation to Brett.Hillman@scotland.gsi.gov.uk as soon as possible.  Full details will be sent out by email once all of the remaining places have been allocated.  We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the event.

The Gaelic Books Council – free workshop

The Gaelic Books Council, with the Scottish Book Trust, are hosting a free workshop for those interested in writing through the medium of Gaelic.

The workshop will be led by Catriona Lexy Campbell on Saturday 24 May at 1200-1600 at the Gaelic Books Council, 32 Mansfield St, Glasgow, G11 5QP.  Participants will be given an opportunity to write stories, poetry, songs or plays.  If you are interested in this workshop, please e-mail rosemary@gaelicbooks.org or storiesofhome@scottishbooktrust.com.

e-Stòras, a new resource for Gaelic Medium Education, is now live

The Multimedia Unit of the Education and Children’s Services Department of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has developed a new website to support 3-18 Gaelic Medium Education.Resources support Gàidhlig as well as a range of other curricular areas.

The website is being continuously updated with new materials to enhance young people’s learning opportunities through the medium of Gaelic. For more information,visit the website or contact the Multimedia Unit at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar by emailing evelyn.coull@cne-siar.gov.uk.

Open day – a whole cluster approach to science

Venue: Mearns Primary School, East Renfrewshire

Date: 9am to 12:30pm, Tuesday 3rd June 2014

This professional learning event presents an exciting opportunity to learn about the approaches to 3-18 sciences developed by the Eastwood High School and Mearns Castle High School clusters which have been identified through the inspection process as being very good practice.

The event is aimed at Quality Improvement Officers, Science Development Officers, science coordinators, school leaders and practitioners from all sectors with responsibility for sciences as well as national agencies and partner organisations.

The event will provide delegates with an opportunity to hear about various strengths of work taking place in the cluster including the:

  • effectiveness of their collegiate working led by the Science Ambassadors and also the partnership with SSERC
  • cross-cluster development which has produced a very high-quality programme with strong progression across all the organisers and significant aspects of learning
  • well planned discrete and interdisciplinary learning experiences from nursery to secondary
  • outstanding resources for science across all stages which are easily accessible and very well matched to the experiences and outcomes
  • learning rounds involving staff across the clusters focused on progression which provide very good evidence of how well children are progressing through the levels
  • curriculum transitions which are described as sector leading.

To book a place at this event please contact Jennifer.Moore@educationscotland.gov.uk. It is advisable to book early to avoid disappointment.

Inter-Authority Skills Network

The Inter-Authority Skills Network convened for the second time this year on April 19th at Denholm House, Livingston. A key focus for the meeting was discussion of the recommendations from the Wood Commission’s interim report “Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce.”

Keynote presentations were made by Neil McLennan, co-chair of RSE Young Academy of Scotland, Excellence in Education group and Louise Harley from ‘Inspiring the Future.’
Neil described work undertaken by the Excellence in Education group in taking forward the skills agenda, including developing the ‘numeracy counts’ area of the group’s website.
Louise discussed the range of work undertaken by “Inspiring the Future” focussing on the area of employer engagement.

Details of these presentations and notes from discussions are linked within this post.

Notes from Inter-Authority Skills Meeting – 19th April

Documents shared by local authority representatives and partners – to follow.

Your Unique Opportunity…..

Tomorrow – Thursday 15th May school pupils from across Scotland will be inspired to ‘be their personal best’ by meeting and learning from dozens of Scotland’s top athletes, including Olympic and Commonwealth medallists.

You can join us too live through Glow TV and also take part in a unique opportunity to ask questions of Scotland’s most influential sporting hero and heroine!!

We can’t tell you who they are at the moment as they will be revealed tomorrow morning so watch this space at 9.45am to find out who they are and join us from 11.20 – 11.50am in our “Athlete Lounge” for a Q&A session with an exclusive slot for Glow participants! Sign up and join us in Glow TV.

You can join us all morning too if you like as we will have an exciting series of events going on via Glow TV:

9.30 – 10.00am Meet the Athletes – Join us as we reveal live who our special athlete guests will be
10.35 – 11.10am “Success Through Effort” – an active session that you can join in with live in your classrooms
11.20 – 11.50am “Athlete Lounge” – Q&A session with an exclusive slot for Glow participants

Watch this space and don’t miss your opportunity to speak to top Scottish athletes live in Glow TV!

Writing competition for Gaelic Medium and Gaelic Learner Education

CLAS – The Professional Association for Secondary Teachers of Gaelic – are pleased to launch their annual writing competition for Gaelic Medium and Gaelic Learner Education.  Young people in S1 and S2 are being encouraged to write on a choice of topics related to the significance of the year 2014 for Scotland.  Schools should submit their entries by 9 June 2014.

For more information on the competition, please visit www.clas123.wordpress.com/co-fharpaisean. For general information on CLAS, which celebrates its 10th anniversary later this year, please visit www.facebook.com/tidsearan.

New When and how to use Citizen Science guide

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Scotland’s Environment Web has a unique set of on-line guidance and digital tools to help people set up their own public environmental monitoring projects.

Public monitoring or ‘citizen science’ can be described as “scientific activities in which non-professional scientists volunteer to participate in data collection, analysis and dissemination of a scientific project…” It can be a great, fun way to gather information and get involved – scientists need your help!

On May 7th a best practice guide on When and how to use Citizen Science was published.

It will take anyone thinking about embarking on a project through the steps which will help decide when you should choose and how to use citizen science.

Whether you are a teacher keen to get your students outdoors, a member of the public wanting to get more involved in your local environment, or an organisation wanting to set up a project, here is support available in the Scotland’s Environment Web toolkit. The tools make it easier to start and run a project, using some of the new digital technology to help. 

Click on the link to access Scotland’s Environment Website: http://bit.ly/18JGXwU 

National Women in Engineering Day June 23rd 2014

National Women in Engineering Day has been set up by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to celebrate its 95th anniversary. It takes place on 23 June 2014.

The aim is to celebrate the work that women do in engineering, and to showcase the great engineering careers that are available for girls.

The WES is calling on all groups (Governmental, educational, corporate, Professional Engineering Institutions, individuals and other organisations) to organise their own events in support of the day, and link them together for maximum impact through the use of the NWED logo, corresponding website, and supporting resources.

Find out how you can get involved here National Women in Engineering Day

Bookbug’s Big Sports Days

Bookbug, Scotlands national book gifting programme have announced the details of their annual Bookbug Week celebrations. The dates for this year are 19th-25th May 2014 and the theme is Bookbug’s Big Sports Day.

Sports themed activities, rhymes, stories and songs will be available at over 200 special events. Details of the events can be found by visiting www.scottishbooktrust.com/bookbug .

Bookbug’s Big Sport’s Day – Launch Event in North Inch Park, Perth

There will be a special Bookbug Week flagship event at North Inch Park in Perth on Monday 19 May from 10.30am to 3pm. There will be races and games in the park, getting creative with arts and crafts and face painting and joining Bookbug for some special sporty stories, songs and rhymes. For more information about the event, please visitwww.pkc.gov.uk/library or contact the Perth and Kinross Bookbug team atBookbug@pkc.gov.uk or 01738 477 043.

BBC School Radio programmes to focus on the Commonwealth Games

The BBC are broadcasting a series of School Radio programmes which will focus on the Commonwealth Games.

For First Level learners, Movement First takes in a tour of 5 Commonwealth countries through music, movement and imagination. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03g6hc9

For second level learners, Making the Commonwealth looks at the preparations for the Games and looks at the maths behind the tournament? http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01yb2sg

Three more programmes in each series with new programme going out weekly on Thursday evening.

Programmes can be streamed from the site or downloaded for up to one year after they’ve been broadcast. There is a huge array of content for primary learners including features and radio dramas about Scottish History and Archaeology, the Referendum, Science, Myths and Legends, Bullying, as well as linkups with big stars like Nina and the Neurons and Dick and Dom!  It’s a great way to bring active listening to the classroom and there are lots of opportunities for everyone in the class to get involved.

You can explore here:
(Early/1st Level) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03g64r6/episodes/player
(2nd Level) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03g64r7/episodes/player

New Gaelic Young Writers Award

The Gaelic Books Council, the lead organisation for Gaelic literature in Scotland, is delighted to be working in collaboration with the Scottish Book Trust to establish an award for a young writer of Gaelic.

Teenagers who are keen writers are being offered a golden opportunity with four awards from the Scottish Book Trust being available to people between 14 and 17 who write in Gaelic, English or Scots. The recipients of this year’s Young Writers’ Awards will receive a prize which includes a six month mentoring period with a published writer, a visit to a top London publisher, a writers’ retreat at Moniack Mhòr and the chance to meet industry professionals.

Budding authors are invited to submit a piece of creative writing and a personal statement explaining why they would benefit from this programme. The closing date for applications is 27 June 2014. Full details are available on the Scottish Book Trust website. For more information on the award for Gaelic please contact rosemary@gaelicbooks.org.

New Commonwealth Games venue films available now!

Scottish National Hockey Centre

A range of top-class sporting venues across Glasgow and Scotland will be used for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and we’ve produced films for each, to help you see where the action will take place. Access them on the Game On Scotland site.

From the Athletes’ Village through to Tollcross International Swimming Centre, there’s a wide range of spectacular venues to explore, all captured on film to make for an interesting viewing experience. We are currently finalising the Hampden Park film and this will shortly be added to the site.

On a related note, for those teachers who may be thinking of organising trips to the venues, control will shortly be handed over to the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee to enable them to be made ready for the Games. When this happens, they will no longer be open to the public and it will not be possible to accommodate visits or tours. At that point, the priority is to make the final modifications necessary to deliver 11 days of world class sport. Please do not contact Game On Scotland about organising visits as we are unable to assist.

Meet the athletes…..

On 15 May, school pupils from across Scotland will be inspired to ‘be their personal best’ by meeting and learning from dozens of Scotland’s top athletes, including Olympic and Commonwealth medallists.

Two world-famous Scottish sporting heroes will also be revealed and will take part on the day!

Through a series of workshops, the event aims to inspire young people to be successful in life and show them that everyone has it in them to succeed. The athletes will help the pupils understand how to learn through failure and how success comes from sustained effort.

No matter who you are, where you’re from or what you’re good at, everyone has it in them to be their personal best.

The session will include the following components:

9.30 – 10.00: Meet the Athletes – Introduction

10.35 – 11.10: “Success through effort” – an active workshop session

11.20 – 11.50: “Athlete Lounge” – Q&A session with an exclusive slot for Glow participants

Register for or join this unique Glow Meet here.

RSE Young Academy of Scotland – Numeracy Counts

Part of the remit of The Young Academy of Scotland’s Excellence in Education Working Group is to “draw upon YAS expertise to develop teaching resources that enable teachers to make full use of the interdisciplinary possibilities of CfE [Curriculum for Excellence].” 

This resource, working within the Numeracy curriculum area, utilised the broad multi-disciplinary nature of the YAS membership to show how numeracy matters in the everyday lives and work of Scotland’s emerging leaders from the disciplines of science and humanities, the professions, the arts, business and civil society.

Through this YAS resource learners can find out how Cardiologist Marc Dweck uses numeracy in the diagnosis and treatment of heartattacks, discover how astrophysicist Catherine Heymans uses spread sheets when buying a new mobile phone and, most importantly, find out why ‘Numeracy Counts!’

Access the resources here – http://bit.ly/MqEQrJ

GLOW TV Session Introducing circular economy of textiles

CPD session 

 28th May from 16.00-17.00

Lynn Wilson, Key Accounts Manager (Textiles), Circular Economy Team at Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) will deliver a GLOW TV session introducing circular economy textiles and clothing industry models and how examples could be applied to class project work. It will also cover ZWS current work with the clothing industry – Sustainable Clothing Action Plan 2020 and the consumer side of this work – Love Your Clothes (www.loveyourclothes.org.uk) as well as Circular Economy Business Models in clothing retail.

ZWS is commissioning a series of master classes for textile and clothing industry experts, academia and education practitioners to up skill in areas such as zero waste pattern design; assembly for disassembly; fibre processing and dry dyeing and printing, to be delivered from January – December 2015. Four places per master class (there will be 16 in a class) are offered to teaching staff responsible for national curriculum development. Those wishing to attend must apply by preparing a proposal identifying how it will contribute to their professional development and how they will disseminate the learning. An introductory one day event introducing the topics will be hosted by the Scottish Textile and Leather Association in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland in September and the date will be announced shortly.

This session and the master classes proposed will be of interest to teaching professionals across disciplines from Science to Design and Technology as well as more traditional textile and clothing curriculum areas such as Home Economics and Art and Design.

Click on the link below to sign up for this session.

Sign up here!

Education Scotland STEM Conversation Day, May 12th

STEM Conversation Day

09:30 – 15:00, Monday 12th May 2014    

Venue: Optima Building, 58 Robertson Street, Glasgow

Education Scotland would like to invite you to take part in the Stem  Conversation Day.

The day will commence with a presentation about STEM, followed by four discussion activities exploring STEM in education.

 If you wish to attend please contact Louise Morton, STEM Development Officer at Louise.Morton@educationscotland.gov.uk

 You may find it useful to familiarise yourself with some of the documentation relating to Science, Technologies and Mathematics, all online at Education Scotland.

Glow Update – New RM Unify Release

Each month the Scottish Government produces an update detailing the progress of the various projects involved in Glow as well as useful information for Key Contacts, partners and educationalists.

Here on the Learning Blog we will be publishing these updates and highlighting various aspects of it during the month.

This post will be looking at the Glow Service and the new RM Unify Release.

RM Unify is the product from RM Education that hosts the Launchpad from which users can access their Glow content and services. An update, Version 2.0, is now live. We will continue to try to improve our notification process to you of these updates. The new features include:

  • Personal Launch Pads and an improved RM user interface including optimization for different screen sizes.
  • The My Launchpad feature allows individuals to personalise the Launchpad from a selection of tiles, including those made available by their school.
  • My Launchpad is available to all users by default. All users will now have restricted access to the RM Unify App Library to allow population of My Launchpad.
  • Schools can disable the My Launchpad feature if they wish using their RM Unify Administration accounts.
  • The RM Unify support documentation describes in detail the process of enabling.
  • To find out more visit the RM Unify Blog

    You can also download the full Glow Update Newsletter – April 2014 document.

    HIgher Chemistry Resources Guide


    This is the next in a series of Higher Resources guides linking key areas of the curriculum to identified learning and teaching resources

    The pages show the SQA Higher Chemistry course and unit support notes with an extra column. Content new to the course from the Higher Still Higher are highlighted in green.

    The extra column, entitled “Resources identified by Education Scotland”, shows links to resources each with a brief description. They are web-based resources such as animations which help understanding of the mandatory content listed. Each resource is placed adjacent to the content it exemplifies.

    Updates will appear on GLOW 365.

    Higher Chemistry Resources Guide

    Higher Physics Resources Guide

    This is part of a series of Higher Resources guides linking Mandatory Course key areas to useful learning and teaching resources.

    The pages show the Mandatory Course key areas table from the SQA Higher Physics Course and Unit Support Notes with an additional column containing hyperlinks to videos, animations and other resources. Content new to the course from the Higher Still Higher has been highlighted in green to further assist practitioners.

    Updates will appear on GLOW 365

    Higher Physics Resources Guide

    Forestry Commission Scotland – Woodland Workout

    Forestry Commission Scotland is encouraging young people to feel the benefit of the Commonwealth Games with a new Woodland Workout pack. Targeted at 3-14 year olds the pack promotes opportunities for quality, fun and safe physical activity in the outdoors and includes ideas for games, physical activities and staging ‘adapted’ Commonwealth sports in the woodlands. The pack, complete with teachers’ guide, encourages young people to have fun but to also be responsible for their well-being and consider risk. As well as considering potential hazards in their activity space and taking risks with solving problems, it also allows children the chance to learn how to manage ‘failure’ through reflecting on performance to set new challenges.

    The Woodland Workout, with Commonwealth Games supplement has been issued to schools across Scotland and is available to download.

    Space Dinner Competition

    This resource provides information about a competition which requires students to create a meal for Tim Peake to eat on the International Space Station.

    The On board the ISS presentation outlines facts about food in space and provides photographs to simulate discussion.

    The Great British Space Dinner Competition presentation sets the challenge for the students and gives information about the constraints that must be taken into consideration when designing the meal. The full size picture file contains higher resolution images.

    The Menu design team activity sheet can be used to plan out the meal, give reasons for choices made and to evaluate the results, after making the meal.

    For further information and how to participate in the competition:  http://bit.ly/1iGqdix

    Use of Wikis

    As you might know, the current wiki service within Glow will be decommissioned in October 2014 and we are planning to have a replacement service by then.

    As part of that process, we are gathering requirements and we would like to consult with users of wikis to understand their current use (Glow or otherwise) and the features they would be interested to see in the future.

    To participate in this survey please visit the QuestBack Survey.
    Thank you in advance for taking part your feedback is very important to us.

    I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here!




    I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here!  have been producing a series of science debate kits for some years now. They contain a detailed lesson plans and online resources. They are simple and ready to use educational resources that are good for small groups or a whole class.

    Their latest free debate kit is on the topic of Electricity Distribution. It gets secondary students thinking about how electricity distribution is a major engineering and technical challenge.  Teachers can sign up to receive this kit and future ones here: debate.imascientist.org.uk/electricity.

    Particle Physics Masterclass, 17th June 2014

    On behalf of Dr Aidan Robson FInstP,

    Reader in Physics,

    The University of Glasgow

    Dear colleagues,

    As part of “Elementary – CERN and Scotland”, http://cernandscotland.tumblr.com,

    I’m pleased to invite you and your current 5th-year students to this year’s schools Particle Physics Masterclass, which will be held on Tuesday 17th June 2014 at Glasgow University.

    This one-day introduction to fundamental particles and forces will be led by experts working at CERN and will convey some of the excitement of front-line research in a rapidly-developing field, with talks and hands-on sessions in particle detection and analysis of real collider data.

    The masterclass will take place on Tuesday 17th June 2014 from 10am to 3.30pm, with registration from 9.30am, in the Kelvin Building at the University of Glasgow. It is intended for students who are just finishing 5th year; ideally for those continuing to Advanced Higher. There is no charge, and lunch will be provided. However, participation is by advance booking only and numbers are limited.

    Please consult your pupils and if they would like to attend, email a list of their names to masterclass@physics.gla.ac.uk and indicate whether you would like to accompany them. The masterclass is normally oversubscribed, so I will try to make a fair allocation to schools on 9th May or shortly thereafter. Note that I’m unlikely to be able to fulfil requests for groups of more than about 10 per school.

    We all look forward to seeing some of you here on 17th June.

    Best wishes,

    Aidan Robson