Glenfield Pre-five Centre – What is excellent?

Glenfield Pre-five Centre in Renfrewshire was inspected by Education Scotland and Care Inspectorate last year and received an excellent evaluation for Meeting Learning Needs.  Here the staff of the centre reflect on what it is they provide to meet learning needs.

We start our effective links with parents before children start at our centre as we believe in the importance of strong relationships with parents and families.  We visit children at home, complete all about me booklets and make parents feel welcome in our centre during their child’s settling period.  Parents and families are able to build relationships with us and these early discussions help to ensure ongoing communication.  Parents are always welcome in our centre.

We support and develop individual children at whatever stage of development they are at.  Across our staff team there is a deep knowledge of individual children and staff are skilled at responding to their needs and interests.  Staff planning reflects responsiveness and we use mind maps, discussions with children and individual observations in order to plan effectively to meet their learning needs.  All of the children who require additional support have a support plan.  This plan helps to take forward the child’s learning at an appropriate pace for their stage of learning.  Parents are fully involved in this planning process as well as room team members and outside agencies.  Staff link closely with outside agencies and have built strong, positive relationships as a result of this work.

Staff in our centre have regular professional dialogue and routinely meet to discuss observations of individual children.  Their knowledge of children enables them to plan activities which have developmentally appropriate learning intentions and success criteria tailored to individual children’s needs.  This ensures all of our children achieve success in their learning which is of paramount importance in building our children’s confidence and self-esteem.

Staff at Glenfield Pre-five Centre are totally committed to the work they do and are confident in taking on leadership roles.  This is reflected in the experiences and learning environment provided for our children which meets their learning needs in a highly effective way.

Here are the children, staff and parents enjoying sports day!

Pack Up Your Troubles: music and WW1

Read the new blog post in Education Scotland’s World War One blog. Pack Up Your Troubles explores the relationship between music and the war during 1914-18.

Listen to contemporary soundscapes composed by English group, the Tindersticks, and German avant-garde industrialists, Einstürzende Neubauten, for installations and live performances commemorating the Great War.

Follow this link:

If you’ve not yet done so, remember to sign up to the Social Studies e-bulletin for all the latest information and events from Education Scotland’s Social Studies team.

Instellar – CfE Higher Physics Resources

Instellar – CfE Higher Physics Resources

An Education pack has been created by the makers of Interstellar that helps teachers with some of the topics covered in the film. In discussion with Professor Martin Hendry from Glasgow University it became clear that this deals directly with some core topics of the new revised Physics Higher.

This guide to be available on the Glasgow Science Centre website at: Or from the Sciences Glow site in the Higher Our Dynamic Universe folder.
Additionally Martin has written a great blog post about the film here:

Engaging with Scottish schools to promote STEM

Engaging with Scottish schools to promote STEM
10am to 3:30pm, 2nd February 2015
Venue: Deans Community High School, Livingston

The Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce states in its report that ‘a focus on sciences, technologies, engineering and mathematics (STEM) should sit at the heart of the development of Scotland’s young workforce’ and calls for long-term partnerships to be established between schools, colleges and employers to bring about significant change.
Similarly, higher education institutions and research groups are looking for ways to engage effectively with school communities to encourage learners to develop STEM skills and pursue further study in these areas.
There are many activities taking place nationally and schools are already engaging with a variety of partner organisations and institutions to enhance the learning and teaching of STEM within Curriculum for Excellence and to develop the employability skills of learners. However, more needs to be done to coordinate efforts and scale up successful approaches to bring about the transformative change that is required.
The purpose of this event is to:
• Share interesting and thought-provoking models of school partnerships with industry, higher education and colleges
• Create a forum for discussion regarding effective partnership working with schools to support learning and teaching in STEM areas
• Outline the national actions that are being developed by national bodies to address the recommendations from the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce.
Audience: This event is aimed at key decision makers or a nominated substitute (persons with interest in STEM School engagement) in local authorities, professional bodies, colleges, higher education, research and industry.
Programme: The event will include a stimulating mix of keynote presentations, workshops and discussion. Further details regarding speakers and workshops will be provided in due course.
To register: This is a free event. Please email to book a place. It is advisable to book early as places are limited. When booking, please remember to send details of any special dietary or access requirements.
For further information please contact Scott Bryce at

Expressive Arts – National Working Groups

The National Working Groups (NWGs) for Art & Design, Dance, Drama and Music came together in a joint meeting for the first time at Atlantic Quay in Glasgow. The main focus for the morning session was to start work on a draft resource that will support the development key practical skills in each area of the expressive arts. The conversations centred on identifying and considering how to exemplify the practical skills in expressive arts throughout both broad general education (BGE) and senior phase. Draft documents for each area of the expressive arts were compiled and will be made available through the Expressive Arts National Network Centre in the coming weeks (GLOW login required)

Discussion in the afternoon session centred on the ‘Creative Space,’ model. The groups viewed examples of the model in action at Kiddiwinks Nursery in Fraserburgh. Music NWG member Anne Milne played videos of children in the nursery engaged in exploring music outdoors.

The “creative space” model encourages teachers to allow children to develop their skills in expressive arts through exploration, investigation and research and through partnerships with arts people in the local community and beyond.

Research tells us that one of the best ways we can help teachers to develop expressive arts skills in learners is to provide clear and accessible support that builds teacher confidence and draws on positive past experience.

The afternoon session was concluded with input from Con Morris from Education Scotland. Con demonstrated to the group the new Expressive Arts National Network Centre, a one stop shop that provides support and resources and connects all the expressive arts networks. All the outputs from the national working groups will be made available on the network centre.

Evaluating and Improving our Curriculum – Primary (your feedback is welcomed!)

Following the successful launch of our new Primary ‘toolkit’, we would welcome your suggestions ​for future primary support.

You can e-mail the Primary team at

This e-mail address also appears in ​the ‘How to use it?’ section on the first page of the toolkit located here. ​

If you are unfamiliar with this resource, please take some time to look through it and discuss it with your colleagues.

Supporting Outdoor Learning in Secondary Schools – Speyside High School, 15th November 2015

On Saturday 15th November the second of our ‘Supporting Outdoor Learning in Secondary Schools’ events took place at Speyside High School in Aberlour. The day began with an opening presentation from Nigel Engstrand, Head Teacher, Speyside High School who shared his thoughts on the relevance and importance of learning outdoors and discussed the commitment that Speyside High School has made to outdoor learning.

Throughout the day 12 workshops ran offering participants a variety of practical ideas on how to use outdoor learning approaches across the curriculum. Examples included using the outdoors to develop literacy skills, outdoor learning through physical education and physical activity, creativity in the outdoors, taking science outdoors and progression in outdoor learning from S1-S6. Many workshops also highlighted how partnership working had also helped enrich outdoor learning experiences. Details of all the workshops which took place can also be downloaded here: Workshops – Detailed descriptors

Representatives from 11 partner agencies also took part in the market place providing a wealth of information on further resources available to support outdoor learning.

But the undoubtable highlight of the day was the captivating keynote speech delivered by S4 Speyside High School pupil Zeki Basan. Zeki, a junior ‘Ray Mears’, provided a fascinating talk on bush craft (or the term he has coined ‘Bushology’) in which he shared his vast knowledge of the medicinal properties and practical uses of the wild plants and trees which exist in the local Speyside countryside. Most inspiring was Zeki’s candid account of how a meeting with Ray Mears together with his own passion for the natural world and thirst to learn more about it helped him to overcome his own personal barrier to learning.

Many thanks also to the other Speyside High School pupils Lee Tarling, Annemiek Daggert, Connel Laing and Elliot Gould who kindly gave up their Saturday to help meet and greet the participants and to share their experiences of outdoor learning at Speyside High School.

Feedback from the event has been very positive with many participants already making use of the contacts, resources and ideas they gained from the day:

“It was good meeting such positive teachers and outdoor learning providers. Seeing a school being successful in incorporating OL in the curriculum and not making it an add on.”

“Having young people involved and sharing their passion was the most engaging part of it.”

“I have already discussed using the local farming community with a geography colleague who wasn’t sure where to start.”

“I have an increased awareness of the value of outdoor learning within school and will work with others to improve, increase, support good practice.”

Participants have also had the opportunity to put forward suggestions for future outdoor learning events which will of great use in our planning.

Further information on this event including presentations and materials from the workshops and links to all of the partner organisations that took part can be found on the new Glow Outdoor Learning Community which can be accessed via: From here click on the tile ‘Previous events’ to access the sites for the Supporting Outdoor Learning in Secondary Schools events.

Many thanks to staff from Moray Council, Speyside High School, Banchory Academy, Kemnay Academy, Grantown Grammar School, Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET), The National Trust for Scotland, Horseback UK, Cairngorms National Park Authority, The John Muir Award, Field Studies Council, OPAL, Grounds for Learning, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Adventure Aberdeen, Classroom Outdoors, The Outward Bound Trust, Abernethy and Angus Education Service.

Millport: Primary Fieldwork Weekend

38 primary teachers from 8 different local authorities landed on the Isle of Cumbrae between the 14-16th November for a fun packed weekend of Outdoor Learning. The Social Studies fieldwork skills CLPL was held at the Field Studies Council centre in Millport. The course was fully funded by Education Scotland and organised in conjunction with Scottish FSC manager, Daniel Moncrieff, and his team.

FSC Scotland delivers Primary, Environmental, Biology, Adventurous Activity and Geography courses for over 5000 students a year. The course built on this expertise and introduced participants to a range of different fieldwork activities which can be used with primary school students. The course was aimed at primary teachers and educators who wanted to further develop their skills to support and lead outdoor learning.

On Saturday, the course focused on Biodiversity and school grounds activities. Engaging activities to illustrate geographical processes included Kung Fu, Geosquishing and Sensory Mapping.

A trip to the Rocky Shore included a competitive scavenge for seal life, making Rocky Shore Real Estate adverts, using string quadrats to compare different areas of plants, and using found objects to create environmental beach art.

The afternoon consisted of fun interactive games helping to explain food chains and food webs, digging for  and collecting worm data (using one of the free Citizen Science Opal packs), a trip to the aquarium to study plankton under the microscope and an energetic game of Star Orienteering.

On Sunday the focus was on Energy and the Viking history of the island. The Viking activities included landscape poetry, sound maps, family dramas and a superb  Viking Changing Rooms activity where groups had to piece together the interior of a Viking home.

The Energy activity introduced annotated sketches and photos. The groups explored the advantages and drawbacks of different energy production methods present on the Clyde (including wind, coal and nuclear) and considered possible and probable futures over the next 100 years based on these activities. IPads were used to GPS log and annotate photos and to film imaginative stories explaining the litter objects found on the beach from the perspective of someone from 2600!

The feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive:

“I was not confident in my ability to come up with and deliver creative lessons which targeted the relevant CfE outcomes for Social Studies. With all the great ideas for games and activites I can transfer these skills to pretty much any outcome (with some tweaking of course).”

“The best bit was the practical nature of the whole weekend. It gave the opportunity to feel like the pupil and how they would benefit from all the different types of learning we experienced.”

“Daniel was absolutely fantastic at delivering every experience. His humour and intelligence go hand in hand.”

“The resources needed were easily accessible, cheap and did not require specialist knowledge.”

“I loved the rocky shore activity because it is something I could easily adapt at the allotment – searching through leaf piles and logs, etc.”

“I loved how they brought the history of the Vikings to life, incorporating Social Studies, literacy and Drama. I plan to adapt this activity next term during the Victorians IDL topic.”

“I enjoyed the course enormously. The course instructors were enthusiastic, passionate and very helpful. I look forward to taking outdoor learning to a higher level and delivering meaningful and engaging learning experiences to children.”

“Excellent opportunity for teachers to not only gain experience and knowledge of outdoor learning but it also provided an opportunity for teachers to get together and share experiences informally without paper work and expectations.”

The Education Scotland Social Studies team plan to run more opportunities in the future for primary and secondary teachers to improve their fieldwork skills.

Sign up now to the Social Studies E-Bulletin so you don’t miss out:

Log on to the Social Studies Network on Glow to share your thoughts on Outdoor Learning:

Contact Daniel and his staff at Millport FSC for more information about class visits and OPAL Survey packs:

Keep Scotland Beautiful – Community Grant

Keep Scotland Beautiful

‘Our Community Grant’ is now OPEN!  Using proceeds from the single use carrier bag charge collected by Tesco Scotland, grants fixed at £250 are available NOW to local groups, to make small improvements to their local environment, bringing people together and raising a smile.   Eligible projects will include local action to improve the local environment, delivered in an environmentally sustainable manner, involving and benefitting the community, and will be volunteer led.  The deadline for applying is Monday 15 December.  Visit for details.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland post – Transitions 20/40 – Apply Now

Transitions 20/40 is supported by the Scottish Funding Council and offers fully funded training for talented people living in Scotland who wish to study the performing or production arts at higher education level.

Transitions 20/40 students can study programmes in:
Ballet (for ages 11–17)
Drama (for ages 15+)
Music (for ages 12–18)
Production (for ages 15+)
Screen (for ages 15–18)

To be eligible to apply for Transitions 20/40 you must live in certain Scottish postcode areas. You can check to see if your postcode is eligible by clicking here.

Applications are now open and you can apply online. If you have any questions about Transitions 20/40 or how to apply please telephone 0141 270 8303 or

Application deadline: Friday 5 December 2014.

Updated N5 and Higher Resources guides for Biology, Chemistry, Human Biology and Physics

The highly popular Resource guides for N5 and Higher have been updated with the latest SQA information and new links.

Two versions are available on the Sciences Glow 365 site

Got some good links to share? Then post using the edit online feature on the editable resource guide.

Or use the pdf version for Education Scotland’s latest update.

These guides can also be found on the NQ Course Materials portal at the following links

Higher Biology

Higher Human Biology

N5 Biology

Higher Chemistry

N5 Chemistry

Higher Physics

N5 Physics

An invitation – Expressive Arts Conversation Day

Expressive Arts Conversation Day 3 will take place on Friday 12th December 2014 at the Insight Institute, Strathclyde University, Glasgow.

Education Scotland and the Scottish Government are keen to take stock of where schools and nurseries and their Teacher Education Institute partners are with regard to developing practitioner confidence and capacity in relation to expressive arts.

The purpose of the day is to
•    explore the current national position with regard to developing practitioner confidence and capacity in relation to expressive arts
•    consider what challenges and opportunities are emerging and how these are being addressed
•    identify areas that require further support and what that support needs to look like.

If you would like to attend the event, please contact Ron Cowie, Senior Education Officer, Expressive Arts.
We expect around 40-50 colleagues from across education sectors and partnership bodies to participate on the day. A programme for the day will be sent out to participants along with confirmation of attendance.

Education Scotland Conversation Day – Future approaches to inspection and a revised edition of How Good Is Our School? (3rd edition)

Education Scotland is undertaking a review of its approaches to inspection.  Over the coming months, Education Scotland staff will be engaging with stakeholders to consider future approaches to inspection to ensure they take account of recent changes and current priorities in education.  The review will look at all the different types of education settings currently inspected by HM Inspectors, and is not just about school inspection.  We are also seeking stakeholder views on how we can further improve approaches to improvement through self-evaluation through a revised version of How Good Is Our School (3rd edition) which we aim to publish in autumn 2015.  To include as many people as possible in this process, we are carrying out a range of consultation activities, including a series of regional conversation events starting in November.

The first event is being held on Tuesday 25 November 2014 – 10.00 – 15.00 at St John’s Academy, North Inch Community Campus, Gowans Terrace, Perth, PH1 5BF, if you wish to attend please contact Andrea Fraser by close of play Wednesday 19 November.

Early Years and Primary Science

The sciences Glow 365 site continues to develop and is being populated with many resources to support the sciences curriculum.

A tile entitled Primary/Early Years Science is now available on the site through which you can access our newsfeed, resources and blog page. All are easily accessible and provide up to date relevant information for practitioners in each sector.

Our latest blogs include details about grants from the British Science Association, how to access the new FREE primary ReachOut CPD programme and you can download the recent Supporting Primary and Early Years science Glow Meet.

To access the site  

The site is work in progress and further developments will be introduced as the Glow 365 platform takes shape

You can also access information and discuss the latest developments with colleagues through the   Learning Together site

#primary science

It’s Our World – mass participation arts project

It’s Our World is a mass participation arts project that aims to create the UK’s largest online collection of artwork celebrating the environment, as seen through the eyes of its future custodians, aged 4–19 years.

The purpose is to inspire children and young people to speak out for positive environmental action by creating artworks to bring their local landscape, coastline or neighbourhood to life. Participants are also encouraged to consider their environmental impact and to take the lead in living more sustainably, with online resources available from

It has been developed in support of The Campaign for Drawing with the active involvement of over 20 environmental, educational and arts partners. Amongst those involved are The UN World Environment Day, The Eden Project, The Scottish Wildlife Trust, Keep Britain Tidy (Eco-Schools), The John Muir Trust, Jupiter Artland, The National Society for Education in Art & Design and The Royal Photographic Society.

Subject matter can be approached in a variety of ways including observation, outdoor learning, multiple perspectives that reflect local landmarks and neighbourhoods, critical thinking about environmental impacts and ways in which to lead more sustainable lives. Artworks can Include close up studies of natural forms, sweeping landscapes or studies of urban environments, in any medium including painting, drawing, textiles, printmaking, graphics and photography. Use of recycled and natural materials is especially encouraged in creating collages, mosaics and 3D artworks.

The Online Gallery is now open for submissions until end of May.  Uploaded artwork will be showcased on digital ad screens across the UK from UN World Environment Day 5th June 2015

It’s Our World can be linked across subjects to help deliver curriculum outcomes, and be a creative aspect of any outdoor activity.

For moderation purposes PIN Codes have been issued to every school and college  in the UK to access the gallery and upload artwork.   Please contact if you would like a code to share your students’ work.

‘The John Muir Trust is delighted to be part of such an inspirational and ambitious project. It’s Our World is already stimulating more artwork as part of the John Muir Award. Anything that encourages a sense of place, and helps us to value and care for what’s around us, has to be worth getting involved in.’ Rob Bushby, John Muir Trust

Outdoor Learning in Argyll

15 primary schools from the Oban area have taken part this year in an Outdoor Learning Programme  delivered by Stramash, the Oban based social enterprise and charity.

“The programme uses the unique environment of the west coast of Scotland to help inspire the next generation to enjoy and engage with all the great outdoors has to offer. The programme offers a range of outdoor experiences for children & young people that challenge and inspire, enrich the learning that takes place inside the classroom and supports the personal, social and emotional development of each individual.  This supports Curriculum for Excellence, providing experiences which stimulate learning, connect to the natural environment and encourage active, healthy lifestyles. The programme is varied and tailored to suit each school. We have delivered the programme in forest, woodland and coastal environments and the children have participated in a variety of activities including hillwalking, orienteering and sea kayaking as part of the programme.” Outdoor Learning Manager, Stramash

Stramash have created a film to tell the story of the programme. To view the film click on this link

Disruptive Innovation Festival

Hopefully you will have had the chance to see some of the outstanding sessions available as part of the online Disruptive Innovation Festival which has been running from 20th October to 14th November 2014. For those of you that have not managed to catch any of the sessions or missed some due to other commitments we are delighted to announce that many of the events have been recorded and will be available to view for another 30 days.

Visit the DIF website archive at DIF Archive to access the sessions that are still available until 14th December 2014.

Here is a small sample of some of the events that will be available to view until 14th December:
• 3D Printed materials and the Circular Economy
• Internet of Things
• Circular Economy Classroom Activity
• Biomimicry Classroom
• William McDonough (Cradle to cradle): Redesigning the Future
• Jeremy Rifkin: The Next Industrial Revolution
• Mark Miodownik: Made to be Made Again
• TU Delft: Pioneers of Design -Longer Lasting Products
• Sir Ken Robinson: Inspiring a Generation

Please share this information with colleagues who might be interested: STEM subjects, Geography, Business Education, Economics, Modern Studies and anyone interested in inter-disciplinary learning.

If you are inspired to introduce your pupils to the circular economy but would welcome some help in getting started please do not hesitate to contact me by email at

Complex Conversation

On 12th November, Education Scotland brought together 35 delegates from all over Scotland to discuss and engage with others about best practice in making provision for those with complex needs.   Delegates heard an update from the Doran Review from  Laura Meikle of Scottish Government, considered good practice, listened to four examples of good practice from Isobel Mair School, Stanmore House School, Southcraig School and Mavisbank School.  The presentations featured on curriculum, learning and teaching, assessment and support through  inclusive practices.  The event was valued and practitioners asked for other ones to follow. Delegates mentioned that they enjoyed the exchanges with fellow practitioners and felt that Education Scotland has a key role to play in ensuring more successful partnership working across services through GIRFEC practices. Another Conversation is to be organised for 3rd December and details will be circulated.

Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, Christmas Lecture 2014- The Definitive Human: Using Computer Graphics to Improve our Understanding of Human Anatomy

Digital Design Studio (DDS) is a specialist department of the world famous Glasgow School of Art.

Launched in 1997, DDS focuses upon true-realistic digital 3D visualisation in the areas of Medicine and Architectural History. It produces images which are faithful reproductions of the real object in digital 3D, images with which the public can truly engage and interact. 

Join Professor Paul Anderson on Monday 1st December 1.50pm for the Glow Meet where he will examine how computer graphics can be used to improve our understanding of human anatomy for both training, educational and research purposes.

For further information about DDS

The Only Constant is Change!

By Alastair Delaney, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Inspection

Maybe that’s a cliché, but we are certainly seeing huge changes across all sectors of education in Scotland at the moment.  And as Education Scotland’s Director of Inspection, it is my job to ensure that inspection takes account of all these changes, and remains fit for purpose over the next three to five years, and beyond.

So that begs the question – what is the purpose of inspection?  Education Scotland is clear that the purpose is three-fold:

  • to give assurance to stakeholders  (notably parents when we are talking about school inspection) that learners are getting the high-quality education they deserve – and if that is not the case, to ensure  improvements are made as soon as possible;
  • to build capacity for improvement through professional dialogue with practitioners and sharing good practice; and
  • to provide advice to education policy-makers, based on first-hand observation of learning and teaching, and of what is working well in practice.

Education Scotland evaluates education in a wide range of sectors and settings across Scotland. Our inspection and review programmes include:  early learning and childcare settings; primary, secondary, all-through, special and independent schools; educational psychology services; strategic scrutiny at local authority and community planning partnership level; public and private colleges; community learning and development; voluntary services; teacher education; careers information, advice and guidance: and prison education.

The review we are currently undertaking includes all of these sectors and settings – and clearly it is important that we involve our stakeholders in considering how we might inspect in future. We have no firm proposals for change at the moment, as we are keen to explore a wide range of ideas for possible future approaches to inspection and hear the views of everyone who has an interest.

The highly successful Scottish approach to quality improvement in education attracts much attention internationally. It is based on our national consensus that: educational establishments and services evaluate the quality of their own work and plan for improvement where necessary; local authorities support and challenge the establishments and services in their areas to improve; and that these processes are backed up by rigorous, external inspection carried out by Education Scotland’s inspectors. These approaches are perhaps something that we take for granted – but they are recognised as world-class.

So why do we need to review what we do?

If we want to remain world-class, on-going review of our approaches is essential. Since I was first appointed as HMI in 2000, there have been massive changes in how we inspect. And this process of change needs to continue.

In recent years, our approaches to inspection have recognised the growing strengths in self-evaluation across all sectors of Scottish education. For example, since 2008 we have started school inspections by asking headteachers to tell us about their strengths and how they are working to bring about improvement, then planning our inspection activities accordingly.

Our current inspection models give high priority to the user-focus agenda by involving staff, parents, learners and community partners in the inspection process. They emphasise the need for inspection teams to establish and maintain positive relationships with the staff in establishments and services being inspected, and to work in partnership with staff to ensure the process is a positive one and leads to improvement – the “with not to” agenda.

There have been significant changes to the delivery of education through such developments as Curriculum for Excellence and GIRFEC. The Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce report brings us new challenges across all sectors relating to the skills for work agenda. And then we have the Children and Young People’s Act, the Statement of Ambition on adult learning, the National Youth Work Strategy and college amalgamations. We also need to take account of societal changes in the use of technology, changes in demographics, the sustainability agenda and the challenge of ensuring greater equity in the outcomes of Scottish education – to name but a few of the wider issues we need to take into account.

At the same time as this review of inspection, we have started work to produce the next edition of How good is our school? and we want to get your views on this important development too.

We have already held meetings with key stakeholders, including a meeting of a new External Reference Group in September and a seminar at the Scottish Learning Festival. A series of regional conversation events begins in November.

You can find out more about this consultation by visiting the Future approaches to Inspection and Review pages on our website.

I look forward to hearing from you!

A-Z of Attachment and Resilience

South Lanarkshire Council, Psychological Service, have kindly given permission for their “a-z of attachment and resilience” publication to be shared on the early years section of the Education Scotland website. Elizabeth King, Principal Psychologist, is featured in the latest edition of Early Years Matters and this resource compliments the attachment theory and practice that she talks about in her article.  The “a-z of attachment and resilience” is in PDF form and can be found by clicking the link below.

A to Z of Attachment and Resilience 2014 South Lanark

Royal Academy of Engineering:Deployable Structures Kit

The Royal Academy of Engineering provides leadership and promotes excellence across all fields of engineering.

The Academy has a diverse range of partners and a long history of delivering STEM enhancement and enrichment programmes in schools to inspire the next generation of engineers and technicians.

Teachers can access resources created by teachers and engineers that aim to engage school students with science, technology and mathematics by placing these subjects in engineering contexts

The most recent resource is Deployable Structures.

These resources allow the learning of maths within the engineering context of deployable structures. There are a range of Third level maths topics covered including density, nets, transformations, scale, conversions, circles, area, compound shapes problem solving. A source of challenging material for Second Level learners.

The resources consist of a teacher’s guide to explain how the activities could be used, six activities and two case studies about engineers involved in deployable structures. Please read the safety advice in each activity.

Further information about the Royal Academy of Engineering resources can be found at

The search is on for Scotland’s Youth Worker of the Year

Youth workers and volunteers are being encouraged to nominate entries for YouthLink Scotland’s National Youth Worker of the Year Awards 2015. The awards will showcase the remarkable work that is being done across Scotland.

Nominations for each of the ten award categories are open now until Thursday 18 December. The winners will be announced and celebrated at the awards dinner in March 2015.

To find out more information about the National Youth Worker of the Year Awards 2015 and to download a nomination form, visit the YouthLink Scotland website

Launch of the Digitally Agile National Principles

Launched on 5th November, the Digitally Agile National Principles, are a national framework of guiding principles for the use of digital technology and social media in Community Learning and Development (CLD).

These are a key output of the third phase of the Digitally Agile CLD project delivered by YouthLink Scotland, Scottish Community Development Centre and Learning Link Scotland, supported by Education Scotland.

They are intended to support CLD teams and organisations to create an empowering environment to use digital technologies and social media as part of their practice; effectively, safely and creatively. For more information visit, @DigitallyAgile

Glow TV’s Watch Again Service for Higher Physics

On Monday 3rd November, at Ardrossan Academy, Professor Martin Hendry, Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow, gave a talk on the astronomy and cosmology content in the CfE Higher Physics course.

The talk can be seen on GlowTV’s watch again service by following this link.

STEM @ university contacts

As part of the Scottish Universities Deans of Science and Engineering education groups work to support Scottish Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in schools many Universities in Scotland have recently set up a single e-mail address for teachers who have STEM related enquiries. It is not expected that the person receiving the initial e-mail at the University will always give a direct response but it would be expected that they ensure a response is made from a related department within the University or to direct you to the appropriate contact within the University.
University of Aberdeen –
University of Abertay –
University of Dundee –
Glasgow Caledonian University –
University of the Highlands and Islands –
University of Glasgow –
University of Edinburgh –

For a brief overview of STEM study options within each University please refer to the following brief document. (Please always refer pupils to University prospectus and websites as this document may not always be up to date).
Please feel free to share this information with other colleagues in STEM departments.’

EDF Energy – Award winning Education Programme

EDF Energy has three main aims:

  • inspire young people to choose more sustainable life style
  • promote STEM as a career choice
  • demonstrate the importance of having low carbon energy supply

EDF have produced a variety of resources to support STEM education which can be accessed through The Pod

The most recent resource supports the WW1 centenary year.  

Many schools are looking at what the war meant for the country in 1914 and the impact it had on people’s lives at the time and in the following years.
Engage your learners using a power point presentation showing how electricity was used during both World Wars.

The slides describe how some of the equipment developed during the wars – such as radar and the enigma machine has gone on to shape our modern world.

Further information can be accessed through

Award for Leadership in Gaelic Medium Education (GME)

There are still a few places left on the Award for Leadership for those teaching in GME.  On this programme, you will gain a valuable insight into what it takes to be an effective leader.  This course gives an opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).

The programme will be delivered in two sessions, 4 & 5 December  and 26 & 27 February on the Isle of Skye.  For more information and to apply, please contact Kate McArdle on 01463 238 088 or

Tackling bureaucracy in schools

This article by Education Scotland Chief Executive Bill Maxwell was published in The Herald on 4 November 2014.

As anyone with an interest in education will know, this past year has been hugely significant in the re-shaping of learning experiences for our young people as we continue to implement Curriculum for Excellence (CfE).  Teachers should be proud of the successes achieved in delivering the new National Qualifications whilst simultaneously delivering the highest number of Higher passes ever awarded. The scale of change has certainly been challenging, but I think we can all take heart that we are now seeing learners benefitting increasingly from a curriculum that will equip them better than ever before with the skills and knowledge they need in the modern world.

As we chart our way through the next stages of this journey, it will be vitally important that we keep our intended destination in focus. That means keeping the big picture of the overall aims of the CfE at the forefront of our plans. We have seen issues arise where there has been a tension between a natural desire for structure and reassurance through a period of change and the need to realise some of the key aims of CfE. This has been crystallised, for example, in instances of over-complex planning or assessment practices, standing in clear contrast with the core aim of CfE to create a learning environment in which teachers have more time to teach more flexibly, and pupils have more time to deepen their learning.

Two reports published by the government in the past year have set out recommendations for addressing this issue. We were able to respond quickly to these reports with a range of enhancements to the programme of national support being provided by the key national bodies. These were set out fully in an updated national implementation support plan, provided to all local authorities last month.  We all know, however, that action at local level, drawing on national support, is absolutely key to ensuring success. We know that the quality of support which local authorities and their headteachers provide to their schools has a huge influence on the experience of teachers, pupils and parents and so the national implementation plan also highlights a range of expected local actions. Further research into this issue will be considered by the Tackling Bureaucracy Working Group in the coming weeks.

I am determined Education Scotland will play our part in promoting effective implementation to the full.  It is extremely important that our inspectors are consistently challenging overly-bureaucratic approaches whenever they see them in schools. Where we do find them, we are offering practical assistance to schools and local authorities to help them revise their approaches. We have a growing range of good examples on our website to help schools learn from their counterparts elsewhere.

On the key issue of assessment, our assessment team, working closely with the SQA, has provided advice to support teachers’ understanding and confidence in the new process of assessment. We intend to continue to do this until every school in the country has a clear, simple, effective process in place matched to their curriculum model.

One of the challenges in any major change process can be navigating the increasing range of guidance and support which tends to accrue over time. That is why one of our priority actions over the last year has been the creation of an easily accessible online portal for advice and support materials, which guarantees easy and comprehensive access to the latest support available.

In the year ahead, we are continuing on a journey which will no doubt have its own challenges but I am confident that all the partners involved in this transformational reform programme are committed to ensuring its success. Teachers, parents, young people and the public at large can rest assured that if we stick to the task these changes have the potential to move our education system from being good to being truly great.

Young Engineers and Science Club Scotland are Recruiting

The YESC are recruiting for part-time Regional Coordinators – one for the central belt and one for Dumfries and Galloway.  Details are on the website as well as on S1 Jobs. 

We are looking for people with a teaching, science or engineering background to support expansion of our club network.  Please forward details to anyone you think might be interested. 

Closing date for applications is 7th November.

YESC Update

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

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

Projects for the coming year include: 

2015 Junior Saltire Awards Challenge- Design and Build a Wave Energy Convertor

Free Watt’s Watt Kit – Marks the 250th anniversary of James Watt’s invention to greatly improve the steam engine

The Ultimate STEM Challenge – Primary and Secondary Challenges

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

Disruptive Innovation Festival – must-see events this week for Educators

It’s week 3 of the Disruptive Innovation Festival: an online festival exploring emerging ideas and technologies that have the potential to reshape our economy. The Festival is curated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

So far you will have had the opportunity to drop in on events covering ideas such as self-driving cars, powering cities with coffee bean waste, cradle-to-cradle design, restructuring the financial system, biomimicry design and the sharing economy.

This week – the penultimate week – has a strong focus on education. This includes a Headline Act by Sir Ken Robinson on Thursday where you will have the opportunity to put questions to him and hear of his thoughts for a transformed educational system. Sign up for free here:

Transforming D&T Education
04 Nov 16:00 GMT – 04 Nov 17:00 GMT
Steve Parkinson of Teach Design will host this session where he will take a look at the changing face of D&T education, and what he and his students have learned from studying the circular economy and Cradle-to-Cradle design.

Product Teardown
05 Nov 17:00 GMT – 05 Nov 18:00 GMT
Kyle Wiens will walk us through product teardown, showing us the process the iFixit team go through when rating products for their repairability. Kyle will take your questions on how designers could re-educate themselves to design for disassembly and repairability.

Transforming Learning: Beyond the $1,000 Pencil
06 Nov 13:00 GMT – 06 Nov 14:00 GMT
Join the renowned Alan November to hear how we can equip our students to take responsibility to manage a large proportion of their learning, and to help others to learn.

The Circular Economy Workshop
06 Nov 17:00 GMT – 06 Nov 18:00 GMT
Watch this video to learn how the circular economy can be introduced to a large group of students by taking a group work approach. Download the presentation and lesson plan so you can replicate the session in your setting

Education: What are the new stories?
06 Nov 17:30 GMT – 06 Nov 18:30 GMT
Is the traditional narrative of school, qualifications and a ‘good job’ still relevant? Oliver Quinlan doesn’t think so, but he wants to hear from YOU in this session as he asks for the new stories around education

Watch this quick video summary of what else is in store for educators this week at the DIF:

Art and Design Advanced Higher Exhibition

Tramway and The Visual Arts Studio is hosting an exhibition of work submitted to the Scottish Qualifications Authority for the Art and Design Advanced Higher qualification in June 2014. The work comes from pupils across Scotland, and represents the talents of Scotland’s next generation of artists and members of its creative community.

Education Scotland is promoting and supporting the exhibition and encourages young people, parents and teachers from across the country to take the opportunity to visit the show.

Thu 30 October – Sun 9 November. Tue – Sun 12 noon – 5pm (6pm weekend). Please note, the exhibition is not open on Monday.

25 Albert Drive, Glasgow, G41 2PE
0845 330 3501

Game Masters – The developmeny of Video Games – National Museum of Scotland

Exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland

5 December 2014 – 20 April 2015

The exhibition explores the development of video games through interviews with game designers and rare original game artwork, as well as looking forward to how independently produced games are leading the way in design, aesthetics and game play.


Exhibition Gallery 1, Level 3


Adults £10
Concession* £8
Child £6.50 (under 5s free)
Family of 3** £23
Family of 4** £28
Students*** £5 (Tuesdays only)

Members go free!

National Art Pass holders receive 50% discount (only available in person and by phone).

* Concession prices apply to 60+, students and unemployed with ID, disabled people. Carers of disabled people free.

** Must include at least 1 adult and 1 child

*** A valid NUS or Young Scot card must be shown

Further details about the exhibition can be found at: