Glow Blog Migration

The Glow Blogs migration export will start on 19th September 2014

Any new posts or content added to blogs after that date will not be migrated to the new service. It is therefore advisable that if you do add to a blog that you keep a copy of the text/images.

The new service should be up and running by Oct 3rd 2014

The data from the current blog servers will be exported on the 19th of September and migrated to the new service ready for the go live date.

We’re making every effort to achieve the deadline of the new service for 3rd October. If anything changes, we will get in touch immediately.

This is not technically a content freeze as users will be able to add to their blog, rather it should be considered as a procedural content freeze.

Ultimate STEM Challenge

Ultimate STEM Challenge

Brought to you by BP, the Science Museum and STEMNET

The Ultimate STEM Challenge is a brand new competition brought to you by BP, the Science Museum and STEMNET.

We are asking teams of two to four students aged 11 to 14 from across the UK to put their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths skills to the test and win some fantastic prizes, including an invitation to a celebratory event at the Science Museum in London, £500 for their school and Science Museum goodies.

Take part in the Ultimate STEM Challenge

BBC iWonder – Would we starve without bees?

BBC iWonder – Would we starve without bees?

The importance of bees

Ever wondered where all the food that you eat comes from? Well it might surprise you that a significant proportion is provided by bees one way or another.

If you look at the plate of food on your dinner table, bees have played their part either pollinating the many vegetables and fruits we eat directly, or pollinating the food for the animals that we then consume. And that’s not all bees do for us – honey and wax are two other important products that come courtesy of bees.

But honey bees are disappearing globally at an alarming rate due to pesticides, parasites, disease and habitat loss. If these little insects that help provide so much of the food we eat were to vanish, what would we do without them?

Education Scotland Vacancies

Development Officer Posts – Community Resilience and Learning for Sustainability

Working in a team led by a Senior Education Officer, Development Officers work in partnership with colleagues from across the education sector, Scottish Government and other national organisations to develop, promote and support effective and innovative approaches within their specialist areas. We invite applications from highly motivated and enthusiastic individuals to support ongoing curriculum development in relation to the following two areas:


This role will support the implementation of the recommendations in the Learning for Sustainability Report. Candidates should have an excellent knowledge of a number of aspects of the learning for sustainability agenda including: global citizenship, outdoor learning, sustainable development education, international education, children’s rights and play. The post-holder will also play a key role in supporting the activities of the National Implementation Group for Learning for Sustainability and will work closely with colleagues in the Learning Directorate of the Scottish Government as well as in Education Scotland.


Flooding and other extreme weather events have affected many areas in Scotland and it is important for schools and their wider communities to be prepared for emergency situations like these. The post-holder will be responsible for liaising with key contacts in local authorities and other national and regional bodies to help learners and their school communities to become more resilient. This post requires an individual who will bring enthusiasm to the role and who is skilled in working in partnership with others. A detailed knowledge or previous experience of community resilience activities is welcome but not an essential requirement as a suitable induction and training programme will be provided.

 The successful candidate for each post will remain on their employer’s salary rate, terms and conditions. They will continue to be paid by their employer and will remain an employee of their organisation during the period of secondment.

Candidates should have an excellent knowledge of Curriculum for Excellence and be able to contribute to its continued development and implementation. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills will be required for both posts and candidates are expected to hold a relevant degree and have experience of teaching in a school.

Secondment duration for each post: 23 months.

Location: Successful candidates can choose to work from any of the Education Scotland offices subject to local availability.

Closing date for applications: Midnight on Sunday 5 October 2014

Further information about the posts and how to apply is available from the education Scotland website:

Applications should be returned electronically to

Updated and editable N5 resource guides for Sciences

Shared in the N5 folders of the GLOW 365 Sciences site, , two versions of the updated National 5 Resources Guide for #NQChemistry, #NQBiology and #NQPhysics. Both contain all the amendments to the National 5 Course and Unit Support notes from SQA in June. One is a static pdf version, commissioned by our writers, the second is a word version editable online, for all of us to share our best links and support each other in providing the best learning and teaching for the N5 sciences.

National Museums Scotland launch Secondary Schools Renewable Energy Programme

National Museums Scotland have launched a programme of Challenge Days for pupils undertaking their National Qualifications in Physics, based on the topic of renewable energy.

The days have been created by National Museums Scotland, working with experts from the energy industry. They will provide pupils with the opportunity to meet and interact with real-life scientists and engineers, plus hear from a keynote speaker about their career path and experiences. Working in groups, pupils will solve challenges around four types of renewable energy: hydro, wind, marine and solar power.

Throughout the day, each group will take part in two challenges and then feed back their findings. Industry experts then choose one winning group. Each pupil receives a certificate for taking part, and the winning group receives a prize for their school and themselves.

The Challenge Days are at National Museum of Rural Life on Thursday 23, Friday 24 & Monday 27 October 2014. Those at National Museum of Scotland are on Monday 3 & Monday 17 November 2014.

There are also two twilight CPD sessions for teachers being held on 1 October at National Museum of Rural Life and 2 October at National Museum of Scotland.

Get Energised is made possible by the generous support of the ScottishPower Foundation and all sessions are free, but spaces are limited. To book a place contact or phone 0131 247 4041

More information available on

Dance National Working Group

The Dance National Working Group (NWG) met for the third time on 2nd September at the Optima, Glasgow. Notes from the meeting are attached below.

Dance National Working Group (NWG) Meeting Notes

The Implemento document attached below summarises the ‘futures’ discussion we had in relation to dance education 3-18. From the process we have identified key areas for development and action.

Comments and suggestions in relation to all the above documents are very welcome.


Implemento Outputs

The draft action plan document explains how we arrived at the actions and next steps for the group to take these forward.

Dance NWG Draft Action Plan

The Dance National Working Group will meet again at the joint NWG meeting on 27th November at Atlantic Quay.

Glow TV at SLF

Once again Glow TV will be at the Scottish Leraning Festival to bring you the seminars that you can ‘t attend yourself!

This year we will be focussing on the new Glow tenancy and how you could use it effectively in your classroom:

SLF 2014 – Online Learning Spaces – Wednesday 24th September at 4.15pm
SLF 2014 – Using Glow and Office 365 to Support O365 – Thursday 25th September at 9.15am
SLF 2014 – Glow in Action – Thursday 25th September at 12pm
SLF 2014 – Glow the Evolution Continues – Thursday 25th September at 1.15pm

We hope that you can sign up and join us live or if not Watch Again!

Britain from Above

Britain from Above is a four year heritage lottery funded project to conserve, digitise and make accessible a collection of historic aerial photographs taken by pioneering company Aerofilms Limited.

The Aerofilms collection is a unique archive of 1.2 million historic aerial photographs, dating from 1919 to 2006 and documenting the changing face of Britain in the 20th century.

The aim of the project is to protect the most vulnerable pieces in the collection, which includes the first 95,000 photographs of the collection, dating between 1919 and 1953.

In this Glow TV event meet members of the Britain from Above project, as they answer questions about their work in the heritage sector, and the path they took to get there.

Learn about all of the different jobs within this one project, and the ways that they work together to reach their goals. Join us on Tuesday 23rd September at 10am in Glow TV or Watch Again if you can’t join us live.

Children and Families Conversations at SLF 2014

The Children and Families team have two conversations that they would love you to come along to.  The conversations take place in Conversation Area B and are as follows: Wednesday 24th September

15.30 – 16.00 Early learning and childcare Sian Neil, Senior Education Officer and Shona Taylor, HMI

Thursday 25th September

15.00 – 15.30 Family engagement in learning Sian Neil, Senior Education Officer and Susan Doherty, Development Officer

Please come along!

Free Community Resilience Conversation and Networking Event – Inverness October 7th

Community Resilience Education – Free Conversation Day and Networking Event

09:30 (for 10:00 start) – 15:00, Tuesday 7th October 2014

Venue: Thistle Hotel, Millburn Road, Inverness, IV2 3TR

Education Scotland is excited to be hosting a second community resilience conversation and networking event with a view to developing a shared, partnership approach to provide 3-18 resilience education opportunities.

The day aims to bring together members of the Scottish Government, emergency planning and civil contingencies teams from local councils, representatives from local education authorities, and members of other key organisations to consider the potential of community resilience as a rich and exciting context for teaching and learning. Key contexts for focus include flooding, severe weather and pandemic flu and the impact they can have on communities and how we can take steps to mitigate against their impact through educating learners.

We would also like to extend this event invite to school representatives (members of management teams, or teachers who have been, or are interested in engaging in community resilience education) to explore how we can take forward resilience education. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Conversation activities will provide delegates with opportunities to network and engage in professional dialogue in relation to developing more resilient individuals, families and communities. Selected examples of good practice will be shared through engaging presentations delivered by Education Scotland, Scottish Government, local councils and schools.

All interested delegates should register online at the following link: to confirm attendance and inform us of any special dietary or access requirements you may have.

If you have any further questions or your school is/has been involved in community resilience projects or initiatives and you would be interested in presenting at the event to share your practice with others, please contact Jennifer Moore at:

WW1 Teacher Forum (Where teachers can create, collaborate and innovate…)

The WW1 Teacher Forum is a secure online community where teachers who are involved in WW1 education can update, share and discuss with each other information and approaches to teaching and learning. This includes the organisation of WW1 commemorative events and visits to WW1 related sites.

Some of the features you will see in the site include:

•           Useful Resources

•           School Project and Visits

•           Relevant Web Links

•           Career Long Professional Development

•           Newsfeed.

To see what is happening all you need to do is click on: (Log into Glow first with your username and password before using this link

Glasgow Science Centre Events




Teachers Tea and Scones


8th October 2014

4pm –6.30pm

You’re invited to meet Glasgow Science Centre’s education team, experience our shows, components of our education programme and chat to some of our executive team over tea and cakes. We’d also like to introduce you to colleagues from Cineworld, Skills Development Scotland and Whitelee Windfarm Visitor Centre, who contribute to making the Science Centre a significant education resource.

Please register your interest at

World Space Week,

4th-12th October 2014

Education activities suitable for P4-S6

Celebrate World Space Week by joining us for our space themed programme of activity. Get hands on in the Lab and explore how we can use Invisible Science to view deep space or join us in the Fantastic Forces science show where we investigate the forces needed to get a rocket into space. Stargaze in our Planetarium or experience a multimedia musical feast amongst the stars with guest presenters Let’s Talk About Space. Pupils can also engage with cutting edge research happening right here in Scotland through our Meet the Expert programme.

Please call our bookings team on 0141 420 5003 for more details.

Behaviour management strategies for the Science classroom

Behaviour management strategies for the Science classroom

Managing classroom or laboratory behaviour can be one of the most challenging aspects of teaching. Join the National Science Learning Centre this autumn for a free, high quality, five week online continuing professional development course to help you improve students’ behaviour.
Watch the video and register

Good Brain, Bad Brain: Parkinson’s Disease

Good Brain, Bad Brain: Parkinson’s Disease

Learn the fundamentals of Parkinson’s disease; what causes it and what we can do to ameliorate the symptoms.

This free online course is aimed at anyone with an interest in finding out the fundamentals of Parkinson’s disease; how it affects people, what causes it, what we can do to try and ameliorate the symptoms and what we don’t yet know about it.

As one of the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases, most people at least know of one person who has Parkinson’s disease.

As the population ages, so the number of people with it will increase. Many people will be able to give a vague description of how that person is affected but may not know why. In this course we will consider how the normal principles of how neurones work and communicate are altered in the parkinsonian brain and why this leads to the symptoms that we see. We can then apply this knowledge to thinking about how current therapies work.

Finally we can think about where the holes in our knowledge are and the importance of this for improving our ability to alleviate the symptoms of the disease.

Future Learn – Basic Science: Understanding Experiments

Basic Science: Understanding Experiments

This practical, hands-on course is aimed at school aged learners to help them start thinking like a scientist by carrying out experiments at home and making scientific observations.

They will carry out simple experiments to extract the DNA from fruit or vegetables, observe osmosis in action and bake a potato to destruction! They’ll also investigate how different liquids behave when frozen and how much water an everyday food item contains.

As they carry out these experiments they will develop important science-based skills including observation, record-keeping, data analysis and how to control an experiment. After examining their results, they will share them with other learners and discuss their findings.

360 Degree Safe self-review tool

360 degree safe is an online, interactive Self Review Tool which allows schools to review their e-safety policy and practice. It is available, free of charge, to all schools across Scotland.   It is suitable for both local authority and independent schools. 

 The tool suggests possible sources of evidence, provides additional resources / good practice guidance and collates the school’s action plan for improvement.  Sections of these policy templates can also be found in the links / resources section in 360 degree safe.

You can access the tool at If you wish to discuss this further then please contact your local authority representative. 

Quotes from the training events took place in June 2014:

‘I  intend to promote awareness of the tool to all North Lanarkshire schools and centres and will offer them the opportunity to be supported in using it.  I hope to establish a network for schools to share good practice and collaborate appropriately.’  Morag Hay, Quality Improvement Officer, North Lanarkshire Council 

Very worthwhile session. Felt the tool was very easy to use and helpful for staff.’ Mark Allen, South Lanarkshire Council


Time is running out to join over 3,000 colleagues from across the education sector at this year’s Scottish Learning Festival, Scotland’s largest education event, which takes place at the SECC in Glasgow on Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th September.

At SLF this year you can choose your range of professional learning from the keynote speeches over 100 seminars and professional discussions, as well as the largest exhibition of its kind in the country.  Everything is themed around raising achievement and attainment for all by maximising educational outcomes through early intervention and prevention, through promoting health and wellbeing, and through developing employability skills.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell MSP will open the conference with a keynote speech to a wide audience who come from across the educational spectrum and who all contribute to the learning and development of Scotland’s children and young people. Delegates won’t want to miss the opportunity to hear the speeches from world renowned educationalists such as Dr Frank Dick, Prof Alma Harris or John Carnochan OBE, QPM. In addition there promises to be lively debate as part of the highly interactive seminar sessions, including sessions led by leading figures such as Sir Ian Wood, Sir Bill Gammell and Kenneth Muir.

Dr Bill Maxwell, Chief Executive for Education Scotland, said: “I’m looking forward to meeting colleagues from across the early years, primary, secondary, community learning, health, social work and voluntary sectors at this year’s Scottish Learning Festival, which looks set to be our best yet.

“Those attending will have the opportunity to meet with peers from across the country to network, share best practice and develop fruitful insights and partnerships that can really benefit children and young people.”

Alongside a huge range of stimulating keynotes and seminars and the ever-popular exhibition area, there will be a number of exciting announcements and launches over the course of the two days.  The new curriculum development toolkit ‘Evaluating and improving our curriculum-Primary’ will be launched as will ‘Insight’ the new benchmarking tool for the senior phase.  The newly redeveloped Parentzone website will also be previewed.

There is still time to register for this year’s Scottish Learning Festival, follow the link to book your place.

Improving RME: Religious and Moral Education National Engagement events

The Curriculum Area Impact Review Report for Religious and Moral Education was published in February 2014. The report highlighted strengths in RME in Scotland but also identified some significant aspects for improvement which are the responsibility of senior leaders across all sectors.  The report is available here.

A series of national engagement events has been arranged to explore the implications of the RME Impact Review Report, consider what high quality RME looks like and how improvements in RME can be realised, and support continuous improvement in RME through effective self-evaluation and high quality leadership.

These free one day events are aimed at senior leaders, Head Teachers and Depute Head Teachers across early years establishments, primary, special and secondary school sectors and will take place as follows:

  • 31 October, Edinburgh Victoria Quay
  • 28 November, Glasgow The Europa Building
  • 1 December, Inverness Scottish Natural Heritage Building
  • 2 December, Dundee Endeavour House

Places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. If you would to book a place at one of these events, or would like further information about the events, please contact

EU Code week

EU Code week will take place 11-17 October all around Europe. The purpose of the event which is taking place at Mozilla, London is to discuss, “Why should we teach coding to children?” and will also include some fun coding activities.

The event is free and you can book your tickets via the link below. Please pass this information around and encourage people to run a coding event during EU Code week. They should add their event directly to the EU Coding website.

EU Code week – Registration Site

Science and Sustainability at the Scottish Learning Festival


SLF 2014 is completely FREE for everyone to attend and will support practitioners as they explore a wide range of practical approaches, resources and research aimed at improving achievement and attainment for all learners in Scotland.

There will be inspirational keynotes speeches, conversation and debate in the professional discussion sessions and professional learning seminars where you can engage in activities and learn from practitioners and young people;

This includes a number of seminars specifically aimed at addressing the sciences curriculum.

Wednesday 24th  September 9.30-10.15am

Learning for sustainability – a strategic agenda for change – SLF Guide Page 7

In February 2014, the National Implementation Group for Learning for Sustainability was established to ensure all learners in schools experience global citizenship, outdoor learning, sustainability, children’s rights and play in a transformative way. This seminar will outline the ambitions of the group and this exciting agenda for change which will impact on all schools and support the introduction of the new GTCS Professional Standards.

Thursday 25th September 12.00-12.45  

Supporting primary science to inspire STEM careers – SLF Guide Page 21

STEM subjects are central to Scotland’s economic future and our health and wellbeing. They also offer a range of excellent career opportunities for young people. This seminar will demonstrate how SSERC and Education Scotland provide valuable support for primary practitioners to enthuse and inspire learners about science and STEM careers.

Thursday 25th September 13.15-14.00

Engaging pupils with science – SLF Guide Page 23

Outlining the various projects Aberdeen City have developed, which have increased pupils’ engagement and enthusiasm in science. This includes the S6 Science Ambassador Award; Science Buddy Award; P6/7 Science Champions; Intertek Science Fair; Science for PSAs & Playground Science.

Wednesday 24th September 14:00 -14:30

Thursday 25th September 11-11.30am

Conversation Area : Supporting the Sciences

Meet the Education Scotland Sciences Team and explore the vast range of support available across all levels of the sciences curriculum. Discuss how to enthuse and motivate learners and practitioners through real life contexts and partnership working.

 To book your place browse the conference programme, note the seminars you want to

attend and visit the SLF website –

Register on line today.

Higher Sciences Evidence Spreadsheets

Posted on the NQ Higher Sciences website Higher evidence recording spread sheets for Higher Biology, Higher Chemistry, Higher Human Biology and Higher Physics. Similar to the spreadsheets shared to record the evidence for nationals, these are bespoke to each Higher. They can accessed at

Many thanks to John Watson of Campbeltown Grammar and to the SQA for their help and support in producing these.

Scottish Gaelic Awards 2014 – nominations now open

Entries are being sought for the annual Gaelic Awards that recognise the contribution the language and culture make to Scottish life. Following the success of the 2013 Gaelic Awards, The Daily Record are proud to launch the 2014 campaign with sponsors Bord Na Gaidhlig. Education Scotland is delighted to sponsor the Innovation in Education Award.

Last year’s awards celebrated dozens of individuals and community organisations who had made a huge difference to the Gaelic world. With 10 categories, this year’s awards will highlight education and language and the excellent work done to maintain growth and heritage.

To place a nomination please visit, the deadline for nominations is Friday 26 September.

Dundee Science Centre: Professional Learning for Education Practitioners

Dundee Science Centre Science Learning Institute is a partnership for professional development in learning, teaching and public engagement with science.

  • School of Education, Social Work and Community Education, University of Dundee
  • Dundee College
  • Revealing Research, University of Dundee
  • Scottish Council for Development and Industry
  • Abertay University

The Science Learning Institute is a collaborative approach to providing support and development for the many professions who engage with learners throughout the community.  Dundee Science Centre’s vision is a culture of curiosity, confidence and engagement with science for the whole community, and we are working with our partners to provide high quality and interprofessional training for practising professionals, those in further and higher education, STEM Ambassadors and others working with children and young people in formal and informal learning settings, to enhance learning for all across our region.

Working in partnership allows us to support you in making your teaching relevant, engaging and challenging, reflecting cutting-edge science in Dundee and the surrounding area, Scotland and beyond.

Through joint programming, a wide range of learning sessions and courses are created and delivered by the Dundee Science Centre Science Learning Institute team and partners. We are delighted to have funding to cover the costs of attendance. Please not that this is limited, so please get in touch soon to reserve a place for the session(s) you’d like to attend.

To help with your planning, we have arranged our information in date order and have indicated suggested level for each session.  For more information on our offerings, please see our website where information on Curriculum for Excellence organisers and significant aspects of learning can also be found for each offering.

Except where stated, all courses are open to all professions and backgrounds.  We look forward to welcoming and working with you.

Upcoming Professional Learning sessions

Dove self-esteem PL session

Kindly supported by the Mathew Trust and Dundee City Council

Generation Science

Edinburgh International Festival is an educational charity. Each year it delivers one of Europe’s largest science festivals, a primary school education programme and a variety of international projects.

 A key part is Generation Science.

Generation Science tours all over Scotland bringing educational and entertaining performances to your classroom, including hands on activities.

This year, to compliment the Logo Mindstorms Challenge workshop, there will be a Mindstorms Advanced workshop where learners will be challenged to use their programming skills to rescue a robot stranded on another island.

Through the Fuel Hunters workshop learners will become exploratory engineers and discover the origins of oil.

The Generation Science team deliver science workshops from Early to Second Level. The team will come to your establishment and support your delivery of transition projects, science fayres and science themed days.

For further information call 0131 553 0321  or download the Generation Science Brochure

Glow Meet, Supporting the Sciences: planning the primary and early years science curriculum

Following the publication of its 3-18 Curriculum Impact Report for Sciences in September 2012, Education Scotland organised a series of conversation days where priorities for action to secure improvements in science education nationally were identified.

Key aspects for development emerged, which included primary and early years practitioners requiring:

  • support with the initial planning for learning and teaching in the sciences
  • guidance and exemplifications for assessment in the sciences
  • support to develop and improve confidence in teaching the experiences and outcomes, including how to deliver practical activities

To address each aspect the sciences team will be hosting three Glow meets, complimented by a series of professional learning twilight sessions.

The first Glow meet Supporting the Sciences: planning the primary & early years science curriculum will take place on Wednesday 17th September 3.45 – 4.30pm.

To register for the glow meet:

Further information regarding dates and venues for the professional learning twilights relating to this Glow meet will be available shortly.

Glow Update – August 2014

The Scottish Government August 2014 Glow Update is now available. This update details 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 helpful updates on a monthly basis to keep everyone up to date with developments in Glow. In this edition you can find information on:

  • Glow is developing
  • Using Glow
  • Getting Involved
  • Stay in Touch

Download the August 2014 Glow Update. – August 2014 Glow Update Newsletter

Unlocking Potential – Developing a Growth Mindset for Success

Glow TV is delighted to work with the Winning Scotland Foundation to present Professor Carol Dweck’s acclaimed Mindset Research.

Professor Dweck’s research identifies that individuals can approach their own abilities and talents with either a fixed or growth mindset. With a fixed mindset being people believe their basic qualities, like intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time validating their intelligence or talent instead of developing it.

A growth mindset however is people believing their abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. People with a growth mindset strive to achieve their full potential through continually developing themselves.

This event is aimed at all teachers – early years/primary/secondary and is part of a live event taking place in Edinburgh on Tuesday 9th September at 5pm. Sign up and join us live or Watch Again!

Learning for people of all ages requires a multifaceted approach

This article by Alan Armstrong, Strategic Director, Lifelong Learning appeared in the Herald newspaper on 08 September 2014.

Scottish Education is undergoing a major shift with the introduction of the new curriculum from 3-18 and stories relating to education have been dominated by scrutiny of the new national qualifications. When speaking of education, the predominant image is inevitably of school-going children and young people.  However, learning is for everyone. Learning takes place throughout life and in a broad range of settings.   Education Scotland works to promote and improve learning opportunities for all. Community Learning and Development (CLD) is a hugely significant area of development for us.  It supports individuals, families and communities to tackle real issues in their lives through learning and action.

We are well aware of the links between deprivation and attainment. Whilst many answers lie within school settings, CLD has a significant role to play in closing this gap. We have been working hard to raise broader awareness of strengths in this area of education. CLD provides great opportunities for young people to undertake learning which contributes to their wider achievements, for example through youth work or schemes such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

New CLD Regulations mean Community Planning Partnerships, local authorities and providers of public services must respond appropriately to expectations set by the national CLD Strategic Guidance. Working with agencies, our aim collectively is to create stronger, more resilient, supportive, influential communities and improve life chances for people of all ages. We support them through learning, personal development and active citizenship which can be the key to successes in our personal, family, community and working lives.

The recently published Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill proposes new rights for communities and duties for public authorities. These will, it is widely recognised, require more than legislation to become effective realities. Active community development interventions will be required if communities are to have a chance, on an equal basis, of benefiting from provisions in the Act.

This summer we also published the Adult Learning Statement of Ambition which we developed in partnership with learners and national agencies.  It aims to give every adult the right to access learning and make Scotland one of the most creative and engaged learning societies in the world.  However, without action and investment these are just words. Local authorities, politicians, employers, support agencies and everyone who supports adult learning need to add their commitment to this ambition and to act on it.

The new Youth Work Strategy, developed with YouthLink recognises that youth work too is creating substantial opportunities for learning outside the classroom. This strategy will give young people a voice, build sustainable learning cultures, ensure that Scotland is the best place to be young and in which to grow up, and ultimately improve wellbeing and life chances.

Through the CLD regulations and our developments in youth work and adult learning, Education Scotland has led a step-change in the clarity of ambitions for CLD and an energy and sense of purpose for the sector that will provide guidance over the coming years.

These initiatives have also ensured strong synergies with many other developments in education and beyond – the Early Years Collaborative, the Children and Young People’s Act, Curriculum for Excellence, the Post-16 Act, and The Wood Commission.  Together they provide an integrated framework of policy, advice and guidance.  I am confident that practitioners across CLD are very well placed to draw on this framework in providing the very best experiences for the young people, adults, families and communities they work with.

Scotland has a long, prestigious history for great learning, invention and innovation. We should embrace this legacy and look towards untapped potential amongst people of all ages. The impact of lifelong learning is extensive and includes opportunities to change or start new careers, help build communities and assist children with their homework. Learning means different things to different people at different stages but one thing is certain, it can mean life-changing possibilities both for individuals and for their communities, given the right level of support and encouragement. That it is up to all of us to help provide.

Ross Rocks Reading Launch Events

Ross Rocks Reading is an exciting and innovative challenge for schools and their communities to get more involved with reading.

Glow TV will be joining pupils from various primary and secondary schools in East Lothian as they tell us all about the books that they have been reading and what books they are looking forward to reading.

Join us to find out more about this exciting opportunity and how you and your school/community can become involved in your own Rocking Reading Challenge!

We are delighted to have two separate events on Tuesday 9th September – Primary Event at 9.30am and Secondary Event at 11am. Sign up and join us on the day or Watch Again if you are unable to watch us live!

Building the West Barns Primary School curriculum part 1

Welcome to the first post from West Barns Primary School in East Lothian. The school community will be telling their story via monthly posts on the Primary section of the Learning Blog. They will be describing the process they are using to develop their curriculum together…

West Barns Primary School is a small village school situated on the outskirts of Dunbar.  We have 71 primary pupils split between 4 classes and 13 children in our Nursery.  The school is well supported by our families and the local community. Our pupils enjoy the wonderful school grounds and the opportunities offered by the outstanding local environment.

This year the school has been working with the whole school community to build a curriculum that provides our children with relevant, motivating and challenging experiences that meet the needs of all our learners.  Children and their families, staff and the wider community are helping us create a new vision for West Barns Primary School, identify what we need to do to get there and plan how we are going to bring this about.

Together staff, children and their families have begun to examine the different elements of the curriculum and have embarked on a journey to find out how we would like it to look in our school.

We used a button vote to find out the views of parents and carers.

Some of the questions and statements the children used with the parents included:

  • My child enjoys learning at school.
  • I feel encouraged to be actively involved in my child’s education.
  • I receive clear reports about my child’s learning and progress.

Download the full list of parent questions here.

The results gave us a clear picture of what we were doing well and the areas we needed to improve.

From the start we wanted to encourage our children to contribute more to the life and work of the school and exercise their responsibilities as members of our learning community.  We began by involving our children in a series of workshops designed to build a picture of how they saw our school. All pupils filled in an ’ How good is our school?’ survey.  Older pupils supported younger children by explaining the questions and helping them traffic light their answers.

Download the children’s survey here.

The children analysed the results and collated them so that everyone could see what was working well and what needed to be improved. We used this information to help us develop our School Improvement Plan.

Survey results

To help develop our next steps we also asked all our children some important questions, including:

  • What makes a good learner?
  • What makes a good teacher?
  • What makes a good school?

Download the template with all the questions here.

Pupils from across the school worked together to gather their ideas.

You can see what came out as important in the Wordles pupils created with the results.

We thought it was great that the words ‘good’, ‘helpful’ and ‘responsible’ came out as important for both our teachers and our learners.

Pupils, parents and staff then worked together by using a button vote to choose new values for our school.

It was interesting to see that respect, happiness, confidence, responsibility, safety and friendliness were our outstanding choices.  This has given us a clear direction for the future and has informed our health and wellbeing programme for this year.

Come back in October to see what the West Barns school community do next as they develop their curriculum together.

Moving Forward Together: a discussion event

Education Scotland is taking forward capacity building activities to support Scottish Government’s objective in tackling sectarianism. We are organising a discussion event in the Albert Halls Stirling on 6th October 2014.  This discussion event jointly organised with the Voluntary Action Fund offers the chance to draw upon good practice in communities in dealing with prejudice.

The key objectives of this discussion event are for delegates to hear from Scottish Government on their approach to tackling sectarianism, to build capacity to tackle sectarianism in partnership at a local and national level, to encourage further development of positive working relationships across the wider community including, third sector, education and CLD and to focus on sustainability and legacy at a local level in tackling sectarianism.

The agenda will include opportunities for workshops from practitioners including education authority staff, an update from Education Scotland and a keynote address from Scottish Government. If you require any further information please contact June on 0141 282 5137 or email

Music Technology Glossary

A glossary covering the music technology terms from National 3 to Higher has been added to the NQ course materials website. The glossary is currently sited in the music technology section under the higher category. There are two documents, and A-Z of terms and another which is classified by level. Use the link below to access the materials:

Teachmeet @ SLF 2014

Sign-up now for TeachMeet @ Scottish Learning Festival 2014.

Learn something new, be amazed, amused and enthused. This is an informal gathering of those curious about teaching and learning. Anyone can share great ideas they’ve trialled in their classrooms, ask important questions or simply sign up to take part in learning conversations. Education professionals from all sectors are welcome to take part.

The Scottish Learning Festival TeachMeet is always something special. It is usually the biggest TeachMeet in Scotland and often attracts some of the biggest names in education. It is also great fun!

John Carnochan at SLF 2014

With SLF 2014 now only 4 weeks away we hear for one of this year’s keynote speakers, John Carnochan about his keynote and thoughts on Scottish education.

Responding Differently

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.” Herman Melville

Teachers, parents and families have a collective responsibility to ensure our children receive a rounded education that helps prepare them for life. Sadly, in the process, we too often forget or ignore the fundamental importance of human connection and relationships in our lives.

We seem to think now that as professionals we just need to do more of the same and everything will be ok, more policy, more training, more process and everything will be fine. This slavish adherence to professional process is, at times, naively arrogant and often ineffective. Not only does it ignore the value of human attributes, it often deliberately de-values them as being somehow unprofessional.

Professionals do not have all the answers and neither can we continue to assume that professional skills are the only “skills” appropriate or adequate responses to persistent problems. The strategies, systems and structures that exist today often can only manage the problems we face, new thinking is required if we are to make these problems better. We must begin to Respond Differently.

Professional and technical skills are important but they are not more important than the human attributes that demand we care for our fellow humans that help us establish relationships and that keep us connected. By combining the professional technical skills with our human attributes we will produce far more effective services and also help us do the right things for the right reasons.

Teachers are on the front line of Responding Differently, helping prepare our children for life. It’s certainly true that our children will need many of the technical skills delivered so effectively everyday in classrooms across Scotland. But these technical skills alone will not be enough if our children are to lead successful and productive lives. There is every possibility that many will be working in roles and doing jobs that have not yet been invented; they may be working in industries that haven’t been created yet. The skills that will be of most use to them in everything they do will be human “skills’. Our children will need to be resilient, adaptable, courageous, thoughtful, collaborative; they will need to communicate, problem solve, negotiate, compromise. Most importantly they will need to connect with others, they will need to be human; create better relationships and in schools it will create better learning and better behaviour.

In Scotland we have started to Respond Differently, particularly in Education. We have defined What our ambition is for our children, we want to make Scotland the Best Place to Grow Up. We have also defined How we are going to do it with the introduction of national policies such as GIRFEC and CfE. The inclusion of “wellbeing”, in CfE, with its aims to help children become Successful Learners, Confident Individuals, Effective Contributors and Responsible Citizens is hugely important.

This is an exciting time for Scotland and I sense that we have started to Respond Differently to children how we educate them and how we include them.

We know What we want to do and we know How we’re going to do it that’s a great start. Change is always difficult but if we remember also Why we are doing it the angst borne of the change will lessen as our aspirations increase. We are after all humans first and change is what we humans do, its what we have always done. Leadership has a role to play but we are all leaders and we can all Respond Differently.

If you want to hear John’s keynote then register for SLF 2014.

Glow Meet, Supporting the Sciences: planning the primary and early years science curriculum

Following the publication of its 3-18 Curriculum Impact Report for Sciences in September 2012, Education Scotland organised a series of conversation days where priorities for action to secure improvements in science education nationally were identified.

Key aspects for development emerged, which included primary and early years practitioners requiring:

  • support with the initial planning for learning and teaching in the sciences
  • guidance and exemplifications for assessment in the sciences
  • support to develop and improve confidence in teaching the experiences and outcomes, including how to deliver practical activities

To address each aspect the sciences team will be hosting three Glow meets, complimented by a series of professional learning twilight sessions.

The first Glow meet Supporting the Sciences: planning the primary & early years science curriculum will take place on Wednesday 17th September 3.45 – 4.30pm

To register for the glow meet:

Further information regarding dates and venues for the professional learning twilights relating to this Glow meet will be available shortly.

Route maps for Gaelic (Learners) and Gàidhlig

Route maps are a sequential list of the key guidelines, advice and support for qualifications at N4, N5 and Higher. They include important information about assessment, learning and teaching.  These papers are for teachers and other staff who provide learning, teaching and support as learners work towards National 4, National 5 and Higher.  The route maps for Gaelic (Learners) and Gàidhlig are available on the Education Scotland website.