Assessment in Science, Glow Meet and Professional Learning Twilight Sessions

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 guidance on and exemplifications for assessment in the sciences.

To address this aspect the sciences team will be hosting the second of three Glow Meets, complimented again by a series of professional learning twilight sessions.

The Education Scotland assessment support documentation will be explored, using exemplifications from the NAR.

The second Glow meet Assessment in the Sciences will take place on Tuesday 13th January 3.45-4.30pm
To register

Dates, times and venues for the complimentary twilight sessions to date are:

Dundee, Education Scotland Endeavour House, Monday 26th January 4-6pm
Dumfries, Lochside Education Centre, Tuesday 27th January 4-6pm
Inverness, Mercure Hotel, Wednesday 28th January 4-6pm
Aberdeen, Satrosphere Science Centre, Thursday 29th January 4-6pm
Edinburgh, Dynamic Earth, Monday 2nd February 4-6pm
Glasgow, St Andrews Secondary, Thursday 5th February 4-6pm

Please register through survey monkey

Revisit the first Glow Meet

Project to improve the Education Scotland website

Education Scotland is running a project over the next year to improve its website.

This redevelopment work will focus on improving the user experience by enhancing navigation, mobile experience and menu system. We will be introducing Mega Menus to help users navigate to the content they are looking for. The site will also move to a responsive approach to support a better mobile browsing experience. And we are looking to improve the search tool on the website. If all goes to plan we will start to introduce these improvements from  March 2015.

Visuals outlining how the new site will look with further details on the project rationale and timeline can be accessed from the slideshare below.

If you have any comments or questions about this project please contact Mark Sproul, Head of Online Services at Education Scotland.

Expressive Arts Conversation Day 3

The third Expressive Arts Conversation Day took place in the Insight Institute, Strathclyde University. The main aim of the day was to explore the current national position with regard to developing practitioner confidence and capacity in relation to expressive arts. Delegates attended representing a range of stakeholder groups such as Teacher Education Institutes, Local Authorities, Arts Partners, teachers, and students.

The day got off to a flying start with three very inspiring and provocative talks. Charlie Byrne (Stratchclyde University) discussed the role creativity plays within an Expressive Arts Curriculum. Anne Valyo(Aberdeen University) highlighted the benefits and challenges of establishing partnerships which are sustainable. Fiona MacGregor(Glasgow University) spoke about recognising and nurturing talent in learners.

The speaker inputs stimulated table conversations where issues were teased out and discussed. The outputs from these conversations provided the basis for a session on future planning. Aims were established from earlier table conversations, and through using future planning tools, actions were agreed.

The Fridays, a band of young musicians from Hazelwood school provided music over lunch. Their infectious enthusiasm for performing, talent and wide ranging set list had something for everyone and provided a real high point of the day.

The afternoon session focussed on the ‘Creative Space,’ where young people lead their learning in the Expressive Arts. An example of this in action was given by Wilma Eaton(Strathclyde University) who, along with students from Strathclyde university, explained an initiative they had undertaken with a primary school in Glasgow. Ron Cowie, Senior Education Officer, Education Scotland, then guided the delegates through a draft proposal of what the conditions required to make a creative space might look like.

The ‘Creative Space’ model along with outputs from the day will be shared early in the New Year.

Raspberry Pi Day 17 January 2015 – University of Strathclyde – 10am to 4pm

The Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized computer, designed to improve computer programming knowledge. It is a low cost but capable device that can be used by people of all ages to learn about computing. It connects to the Internet, plays HD video, and can be installed with a variety of Linux operating systems. The Raspberry Pi supports a multitude of applications and development tools – like Scratch which is designed to teach programming concepts to young people. The Raspberry Pi also makes it easy to connect to external sensors and electronics, allowing it to be incorporated into a wide range of projects, such as robots, games, weather stations and more.

The Raspberry Pi day is an event for all levels of ability and involvement. Several talks will be given during the day, covering the basics of the Raspberry Pi, as well as programming and electronics applications. There will also be a laboratory area, with Raspberry Pis for interactive demonstrations and space for guest projects.

Book your tickets now. Tickets for children are free. Adult tickets are £2.50. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For more information:

CLD conversation event – 30 January 2015

Education Scotland and CLD Managers Scotland are hosting a CLD conversation event on passing power to people and communities.

Education Scotland has been hosting a series of conversation days over recent months looking at current areas of community learning and development (CLD) policy and practice. This conversation will discuss the increasing emphasis being placed on community empowerment by the Scottish Government and focus on the contributions that CLD can make to empowering communities. The day will be co-hosted with North Lanarkshire Council.

The aims of the conversation will be to:
• Share examples of CLD practice that contribute to community empowerment;
• Provide an opportunity for CLD providers to consider their own contributions to community
• Help to identify national priorities for workforce development and inform future policy
development on building stronger communities through CLD, and;
• Influence the agenda for future conversation sessions.

The day will consist of several short inputs from practitioners and plenty of time for discussions. This event is open to practitioners and managers from the voluntary and public sector who work in community learning and development. It is free of charge and a light lunch will be available.

There will be a limit on numbers so please reserve your place by registering online no later than Monday January 19th 2015.

Sky Academy Skills Studios in Livingston

Sky Academy Skills Studios in Livingston is inviting you and your class to be part of an unforgettable, exciting and interactive learning experience!
Already hugely popular in London, Sky Academy Skills Studios opens in Livingston in March 2015. This free half day learning experience gives young people between the ages of 8-18 the opportunity to use cutting edge technology to make their very own TV report based on a subject area of your choice.

Groups of up to 32 students will be divided into four teams, each with their own studio equipped with a green screen, broadcast quality HD camera and touch screen edit table.

The whole experience is tailored to the Curriculum for Excellence, and learning is central to every stage of the experience. Topics link to:
• Mathematics
• Literacy and English
• Sciences, Technologies
• Expressive Arts
• Social Studies
• Health and Wellbeing

Students also develop core life skills such as creativity, problem solving, communication, teamwork and self-management. Sky’s dedicated team will be on hand to ensure the experience is inspiring and unforgettable, as well as safe and easy to organise.

Take a look online ( to find out more about Sky Academy Skills Studios and book now on or call us on 01506 325 999.

Scottish Learning Festival 2015 – save the dates

We’re delighted to announce that SLF 2015 will take place on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 September in the SECC, Glasgow. SLF is the largest education event in Scotland and will focus on raising achievement and attainment. Those interested in presenting a seminar at the festival can submit a proposal in January, when further information will be available on the SLF website.

Registration for the SLF will open in May, look out for more information over the coming months and save the dates in your diary now.

We are also working with a range of partners to host a series of SLF Extra events in 2015. On 17 February, Aberdeen City Council in partnership with Education Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council and Moray Council will host the Aberdeen Learning Festival in the AECC. The festival will include keynotes, workshop and an exhibition. More information about the event and how to register will be available in January.

On 27 February Children in Scotland, in partnership with Education Scotland, are hosting the first in a series of six free events for all those involved in education. The morning session will focus on pupil engagement and participation and the afternoon session will look at parental engagement. This first event takes place in Melrose and more information is available on the Children in Scotland website.

More SLF Extra events will be taking place in 2015, visit the SLF website for details.

Assessment in the Sciences Glow Meet and Professional Learning Twilight Sessions

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 guidance on and exemplifications for assessment in the sciences.

To address this aspect the sciences team will be hosting the second of three Glow Meets, complimented again by a series of professional learning twilight sessions.

The Education Scotland assessment support documentation will be explored, using exemplifications from the NAR, addressing particular science Significant Aspects of Learning.

The second Glow meet Assessment in the Sciences will take place on Tuesday 13th January 3.45-4.30pm

To register:

Dates, times and venues for the complimentary twilight sessions to date are:

Dundee, Education Scotland Endeavour House, Monday 26th January 4-6pm

Inverness, Mercure Hotel, Wednesday 28th January  4-6pm                            

Aberdeen, Satrosphere Science Centre, Thursday 29th January 4-6pm

Edinburgh, Dynamic Earth, Monday 2nd February 4-6pm

Glasgow , St Andrew’s Secondary, Thursday 5th February 4-6pm

Dumfries and Borders (tbc)

Please sign up through

Revisit the first Glow meet Supporting Primary & Early Years Science

Advanced Higher Biology resources

Advanced Higher Biology learning and teaching resources for Unit 1 and Unit 3 have been added to the Education Scotland website at

These resources contain activities, tutorials and powerpoints to support the delivery of Revised and CfE Advanced Highers. Unit 2 to follow soon.

Primary Leadership Conferences – new footage on website

Two videos from our recent primary leadership conferences have been added to the Education Scotland ​website.

The first features headteacher James Wylie talking about his approach to structuring the P5-7 curriculum which is based on a faculty model.

In the second, headteacher Lindsey Watt describes the steps she has taken to ensure that the children in her school are helped to succeed and have the best possible chances in life.​

​The footage can be found here​.

Creative Change Pilot Project – January to June 2015

Call to educators: Is there an issue you would like to address in order to make a change that will improve outcomes for learners?

Scotland’s Creative Learning Partnership is offering you a unique opportunity to help you address a challenging issue and make a transformative change.  Issues and changes can be at any scale – from classroom-based to whole establishment/learning community.  This invitation is open to individuals from all education sectors so there is potential for cross-sectoral partnership working.

We will help you explore your issue by matching you up with a creative catalyst who will work with you, using creative approaches and coaching techniques, to help you plan and implement your change.

You are invited to register your interest with us by answering these questions:
•    What is the issue you would like to address?
•    What is the change you would like to make?
•    What is the impact you would like this change to have on learners?

On receipt of expressions of interest, we will select a number of projects to go forwards to the next stage. If selected, you will be invited to attend an event in Glasgow on 22nd January at which you will be asked to share your issue with a range of creative practitioners, who will, in turn, have the opportunity to present examples of their experiences of working in educational settings to you.

This pilot project will run from January through to June 2015, with the engagement element taking place from February to May in the form of tailor made support, whereby creative practitioners will be matched with education challenges at and following the January event. You will be expected to document your learning and experiences as your project progresses using film, voice recordings, visuals etc. and will be invited to participate in a final event to share your learning as part of the Emporium of Dangerous Ideas, June 2015.

Please register your interest by Wednesday 14 January, by emailing your response to the three questions above to:

Karen Lawson, Advisor, College Development Network: (colleges)
Julia Fenby, Education Officer – Creativity, Education Scotland: (early years; schools; community learning)

Design A GlowLogo Competition

The Glow development team has set up a wee on-going competition to design a logo that will periodically replace the “Glow” in “Glow powered by Office 365″ you see on the top LHS of each Glow O365 page.

You may have noticed the poppy there during Remembrance Week and the competition follows on from a small trial for St Andrew’s Day for which the Glow logo was replaced by a pupils design from a similar competition.

This month’s competition is “Design a Christmas Glow Logo”. It is hoped that this competition will evolve into a series of “monthly” events to generate some further user input into glow. It would be great if you could publicise this competition with schools in your area. Further info on the competition can be found at – (Glow login details required).

Santa on Glow TV

Yes it’s that time of year again when we welcome Santa back to Glow TV! Santa will be taking a break from making all the toys at the North Pole to come to a school in Scotland to answer all the questions that you might have about Christmas and Santa. He will be with us at 10am on Thursday 18th December.

How does he make all the toys? How does he deliver them all on time? What does he feed his reindeer? How does Rudolph help him with his red nose?

These and many many more questions will be answered in this very special Glow TV event.
Sign up and join us in Glow TV.

K’Nex Cluster Challenge 2015

Glasgow Science Festival is pleased to announce the K’Nex Cluster Challenge for 2015. This annual competition is a chance for primary 5 and 6 pupils to apply their creativity and construction skills to various engineering based challenges, competing at three levels; classroom, cluster and area to become their area champion.

The Cluster Challenge involves primary schools working together with their cluster secondary school through each level of the competition. Pupils will work in teams of two to demonstrate their imagination, creativity and ingenuity by designing and making a model, using K’Nex, which solves a set engineering based challenge.
Each level has different fun challenges set by Glasgow Science Festival with judging criteria including the following categories: communication, design, problem solving and visual appeal. The overall winning team at each level will compete in the next level of the competition until a winning team for each area in the west of Scotland is found.
Full details of the competition and how your cluster can get involved can be found on the Glasgow Science Festival website.
Applications must be made by Friday 30th January 2015.

Developing a rationale for the West Barns Curriculum 1- Back to basics

Over the past year at West Barns we have been developing a clearer rationale for our curriculum. From the outset it was evident that in order to move this forward we needed to work closely with our pupils and their families, staff and the wider community to define what kind of school we wanted at West Barns.
We felt it was important that the vision, value and aims reflected the views of our staff, pupils and families and defined the unique features of our school and its environment. We also wanted the whole school community to have a shared understanding of what we are trying to achieve.

Why ‘Team’ West Barns?
Over the past year we have been working closely with the whole school community to help us improve our school and provide a high quality education for all our learners. Developing a team spirit with pupils, staff, families and the local community has been an important underlying theme, and through this we have been able to move forward the learning and teaching as well as the life and ethos of the school.
This has included:
• Introducing cooperative learning to help pupils develop their group working and independent learning skills.
• Using school and house challenges and team sports to help build the school community.
• Providing all pupils and staff with more meaningful opportunities to develop the life and work of the school through School Committees.
• Working with outside organisations to ensure that our pupils have all the support that they need to do their best in school.
• Using Learning Journeys to help our pupils reflect on their learning and share their achievements with their families.
• Including parents and families in the work and life of the school through Parent Council, West Barns Helping Hands and other volunteering opportunities.
• Working closely with parents and families to keep them informed and find out their views on how we can develop our school.
• Finding more opportunities for the school to work with the local community.
• Working with local organisations to learn about and protect our local environment.
• Providing staff with opportunities to work together to help share good practice in learning and teaching.
• Developing closer working relationships with other schools through sharing good practice, joint professional learning opportunities, moderation and self-evaluation visits.
• Working collaboratively with other Head Teachers on curriculum development, professional learning and self-evaluation.
Using this as a starting point we began to develop a new vision, values and aims for West Barns that would support every child towards reaching their full potential and help them to develop the skills and confidence to face the challenges of the 21st Century.
From this starting point we have begun to evaluate our curriculum rationale, reflecting on our strengths and identifying those areas we now need to develop.

Coming soon – Developing a rationale for the West Barns Curriculum 2 – Pulling the pieces together.

Twig on Glow: Animal Kingdom

Twig on Glow’s new Biology module, Animal Kingdom, has over 60 stunning films for you and your learners to explore.

 Mapped to Biodiversity and Interdependence within Curriculum for Excellence, these captivating short films give learners an insight into the lives of some of the planet’s most unusual and exciting species.

  • Find out how reptiles evolved from early amphibians, and the adaptations that allowed them to thrive on dry land.
  • ​Watch an introduction to the duck-billed platypus – one of the world’s few egg-laying mammals. Find out what it looks like, where it lives, and what it eats.
  •  Find out more about the poison arrow frog which lays its eggs on the ground and must climb high into the rainforest canopy to transport its young to a watery nursery.

Teachers why not try the Weird and Wonderful Animal Kingdom Quiz with your class? Submit your class’s answers via the online form and you could win £100 of Amazon vouchers for your school!

 All you require is your glow log in


NQ Music site updated

The NQ music support site developed by practitioners, has been updated to incorporate music concepts from the new higher lists.

We would like to thank all practitioners involved in developing and adding to the new content.

Revision quiz materials for Higher music are also available. These have been developed taking into account feedback received from staff and young people about previous quizzes. New quiz materials for National 5 have also been developed.

To visit the site, click here

Junior Saltire Competition 2015 – Marine Energy Challenge

Young Engineers and Science Clubs Scotland encourage you to enter the Junior Saltire Competition 2015 Marine Energy Challenge.

Finalists will be invited to test their devices at FloWave’s Ocean Energy Research Facility,  which is the world’s most sophisticated ocean simulator.  

Prizes of up to £750 and unique Saltire medals are up for grabs!  

Read more in our newsletter


Risky Behaviours? Supporting Informed Personal Choices for Healthy Lifestyles – University of Dundee, 22 November 2014

On Saturday 22nd of November we hosted a further ‘Risky Behaviours’ event, mainly aimed at primary, secondary and further education practitioners but also attended by representatives from our Health and wellbeing (HWB) partner organisations. The event took place in the Dalhousie Building at University of Dundee and was attended by over 100 delegates from across Scotland. In keeping with the spirit of the day, we took a risk in beginning with a flash mob style performance by students from Dundee & Angus College. Working in partnership with NHS Tayside, the dance/drama project is piloting support in mental and emotional wellbeing for secondary school pupils. Some of our delegates identified this as a highlight, which provided an “uplifting” start to the day.

The day was organised into three sections using the following HWB curriculum organisers:
~ Mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing
~ Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood
~ Substance Misuse

Each part of the day was introduced by a key note speaker. Firstly, Brian Donnelly (Directory of Respectme) presented a common sense approach to anti-bullying in schools with powerful messages on the nature, intent and impact of bullying. He also offered suggestions on how schools might re-think their anti-bullying policies and approaches, including online bullying. Many of our delegates stated that Brian’s speech was ‘inspirational’ and that his messages will have an impact on their future practice.

The second part of our day saw an excellent presentation from John Naples Campbell from Knightswood Secondary School on LGBT, which took delegates on an emotional journey as John gave insights into his personal experience. He called for a change in the way that homophobia is addressed in schools and offered resources and strategies to support children and young people.

Finally, Emma Hamilton from the Scottish Drugs Forum provided a very informative presentation on drug use in Scotland, with a particular focus on drugs that young people are accessing and using. Bringing us right up to date with the issues that need to be tackled, Emma offered suggestions on what schools can do and provided links to further sources of information and support.

Throughout the day 15 workshops took place showcasing examples of innovative practice, resources and strategies from a range of schools and partner agencies. Many of the workshops highlighted how partnership working has helped learners to become better informed and to develop the skills and confidence to make informed choices about risky behaviours. Details of all the workshops which took place can also be downloaded here: WorkshopDescriptors

A special thank you must also go to the range of peer educators, including those from Kirkcaldy High School, The Corner (Dundee) and LGBT Youth who gave up their time (on a Saturday of all days!) to present at this event. This was praised as a particular strength of the day, as it was felt that the contributions of the young people added depth to inputs and gave learners a voice. Many of the young people have commented on what a valuable (if a little nerve wracking) experience this was for them also.

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. Participants have also had the opportunity to put forward suggestions for future ‘Risky Behaviours’ events which will be of great use in our planning. Our next ‘Risky Behaviours’ event is due to be held in Inverness on 28th of February 2015.

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 HWB Learning Community which can be accessed here: hwbrisky by searching for ‘HWB events’.

Many thanks to the representatives from University of Dundee, Dundee and Angus College, Respectme, Knightswood Secondary School, Scottish Drugs Forum, International Futures Forum, University of Dundee College of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing, Dundee City Council, Fintry Primary School, North Ayrshire Council, NSPCC, Sexpression, LGBT Youth, Angus Council, Perth and Kinross Council, NHS Tayside, Kirkcaldy High School, The Corner, Medics Against Violence, ASH Scotland, Police Scotland and Tayside Council on Alcohol. An additional thanks goes to the Education Scotland staff who supported with presentations at this event.

Christmas Cyber Security public Lecture

The Christmas cyber security lectures, run in association with SICSA, are a series of lectures for school pupils that take place across Scotland in the week before the Christmas holidays. With up to 5 talks from leading industry figures, Police Scotland and University academics in one session the lectures provide a fun and varied introduction to the challenges facing all of us as we move towards the internet of things.   The lectures aim to use light-hearted and fun methods to promote cyber security and to highlight educational and career options in the field.

The first two times slots are for school pupils only (approximately age 14+), while the third, starting at 14:30, is a public lecture open to all.   There are public lectures at Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow universities.

· Glasgow Uni – Mon 15th Dec, 1430-1630

· Edinburgh Napier (Riady lecture theatre, Craiglockhart campus) – Tue 16th Dec, 1430-1630

· Dundee Abertay – Wed 17th Dec, 1430-1630

Registration is free and is open via Eventbrite at

Hermitage Primary School, Technology Challenge 2014

Primary 7 pupils at Hermitage Primary School, Helensburgh took part in their Technology Challenge presentation evening on Thursday 4th December, which brought their interdisciplinary topic to a close.

The project incorporated all STEM subjects enabling learners to develop their knowledge and understanding of the concepts and skills in Technologies, Maths, Language and Science. This also included aspects of PSD.

The Technology Challenge required pupils to work in cooperative groups, to plan and design a working electrical vehicle which was supported by a good business plan. Their progress was recorded in the form of a booklet and i-pad presentation. 

Vehicles had to move forwards, backwards and have working lights and were to be created within a given budget.  In addition, pupils were granted an additional £10 by the Head Teacher in order to add extra technology such as LED lights, pulley operated doors, a working lift and even a moving dragon’s head! 

Following weeks of hard work the 10 teams of 6 pupils spoke to a panel of 3 judges and an audience of invited guests.

Each team gave a presentation about their vehicle detailing their experiences of working as a team, planning and designing, working to a budget and what they felt they had achieved.

The judging panel were very impressed with the standard of work and the efforts of every team member and eventually selected  U-PoP as the winning team. 

U-Pop created a mobile recording studio which included a working recording and playback sound module. 

The delighted team members were Max Kemp, Hamish Paterson, Annika Seitz, Shannon Beaton, Esther Lopez and Rory Frew.


John Byrne National Drawing Competition launches for schools

By Ron Cowie, Senior Education Officer in Express Arts at Education Scotland.

Ever dreamed of yourself as Britain’s next great artist? Well, now is your chance to put your artistic skills to the test.

Well-known artist and playwright, John Byrne, is inviting children and young people in schools across Scotland, from P4 – S3, to take part in the first annual John Byrne Drawing Competition, which was officially launched on Friday 5 December 2014.

The aim of the competition is to encourage children and young people from P4 – S3 to increase the amount of time they spend drawing in school and at home. The competition also aims to encourage you to be imaginative and creative and really enjoy drawing!

You don’t have to follow a particular theme but John has suggested ‘A day in my life’ as a possible theme for those who want some inspiration. The drawing can be of any size but you might want to consider the size and weight if your school is going to send it in the post. You can use any kind of drawing materials but an important requirement is that your work can clearly be identified as a drawing, as this is the basis on which your work will be judged.

John Byrne was born and raised in Paisley, attending St Mirin’s Academy before becoming a student at the Glasgow School of Art. He began his career designing covers for Penguin books before moving on to designing sets for his plays and then record covers for the likes of The Beatles. An exhibition of John’s work was recently held at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.

If you are lucky enough to be one of the three winners, you will receive one of the following prizes, as well as having your drawing included in an exhibition at Paisley Museum, alongside artwork by John, from the museum’s collection.

  • 1st prize – Limited edition full colour print “Moonstruck” by John Byrne and £100 voucher for art materials.
  • 2nd prize- Limited edition black and white print ‘Lost and Hungry’ by John Byrne and a £50 book token.
  • 3rd prize – £50 voucher for art materials.
  • 30 runners-up will receive a certificate specially designed by John.

Entries must be received by Friday 6th March 2015 before 4pm. All entries should be posted or handed in to Education Scotland at either their Glasgow or Dundee office. Entries must be submitted through your school, with only one piece of work per pupil. On the back of the drawing you should include your name, class, teacher, school address and phone number to be eligible to win. If you’d like your entry returned, please include a stamped addressed envelope with your entry.

The winners will be decided by a judging panel including John Byrne himself. The winning entries will be announced on Education Scotland’s learning blog by 5pm on Friday 27th March 2015.

Further information and details of the terms & conditions for the competition are available here.

SCAP2020 training event

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Zero Waste Scotland, Stirling

(venue beside train station)

9.30 Registration

10.00 Welcome

Introduction of Participants

Sustainability Challenge & SCAP Knowledge Hub

Knowledge Hub Scavenger Hunt (exercise)

Learning Resources + Tools

Sustainable Design Knowledge Building

Sustainable Product Design (exercise)

12.25 Lunch

1.05 Sustainable Raw Materials + Textiles Knowledge Building

Colouration Knowledge Building

Case Study

What is needed in the education sector to move the sustainability agenda and the circular economy strategy forward? (group activity)

Q&A + Wrap Up

3.00 Close

Some assistance towards travel costs/accommodation for participants travelling significant distances will be provided by Zero Waste Scotland. Please contact Lynn Wilson if you wish to apply at

Spaces at the event are limited, with a maximum of 4 student participants, please book now by emailing Sally at to reserve your place.

Scottish Education STEM Award 2015

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

This year a new award category for STEM, Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, has been introduced. 

This category recognises establishments who are helping children and young people develop STEM skills and apply these across the four contexts for learning – curriculum, inter-disciplinary learning, ethos and life of the school and opportunities for personal achievement.

Nominations should be able to evidence the following questions and describe the impact on learners, the school and wider community:

  •  In what ways do learners in your establishment demonstrate successful application of STEM skills?
  • In what ways are learners using STEM to develop skills for learning, life and work? 
  • In what ways do you work with partners/parents/wider community to support STEM?

 Nominations for this year’s awards are now open.

Nominations close 12pm on Monday 16 February 2015.


BBC Schools Report Practice Day

There is still plenty of time to sign up for the BBC’s School Report. The next practice day is on the 11th December.

BBC News School Report gives 11-16 year-old students in the UK the chance to make their own news reports for a real audience.

It is a collaborative project run by BBC News and BBC Learning.

Using lesson plans and materials from this website, and with support from BBC staff and partners, teachers help students develop their journalistic skills to become School Reporters.

In March, schools take part in an annual News Day, simultaneously creating video, audio and text-based news reports, and publishing them on a school website, to which the BBC aims to link.

School Reporters produced a stunning array of content on 27 March 2014, with more than 1,000 schools across the UK making the news on the biggest ever School Report News Day.

The ninth News Day will be held on 19 March 2015.

Sign up to the Social Studies e-bulletin:

Scottish Youth Parliament Candidates

The Scottish Youth Parliament holds elections every two years.

The next elections to the Scottish Youth Parliament will take place in March 2015. The organisation seeks to promote the values of democracy, inclusion, political independence and passion. Since its inception over 1000 young people have become MSYPs.

The deadline has now passed for registering to stand as a candidate. The confirmed candidates for the 2015 SYP Elections will be announced shortly and candidates will be announcing their manifestos.

You can already follow the candidates and ask them questions on Twitter. Use this link This is a chance to get involved in discussions and use #SYPElex to share who you think should be elected as an MSYP.

Amnesty Youth Awards

The Amnesty Youth Awards celebrates young people’s talents for human rights reporting, photography, songwriting (and performing), campaigning and fundraising.

Applications for our Youth Awards 2015 open on 8 September 2014 and closes on the 30 January 2015.

The competition is open to young people between the ages of 7 – 19 (up to and including Further Education). Students can take part in one or more categories to develop new skills and confidence to engage creatively with human rights.

Amnesty has awards and teaching resources to support five different catagories:

The Awards run in conjunction with the Times Educational Supplement and this year’s judges include:

  • Sir Richard Branson – ambassador of Amnesty’s Youth Awards
  • Sir Trevor McDonald OBE – judge, Young Reporter strand
  • Krishnan Guru-Murthy – judge, Young Reporter strand
  • Rankin – judge, Photographer strand
  • Kate Nash – judge, Singer-Songwriter strand
  • Owen Jones – judge, Campaigner strand

Scots…an important national treasure

By Dr Simon Hall, a Scots Language Coordinator at Education Scotland.

I sometime use the phrase ‘national treasure’ when I’m out and about talking to people about Scots language. There are a few reasons why I like this phrase. Firstly, Scots is indeed a ‘national’ language. It is spoken in all its rich varieties from Stranraer to Shetland, and pretty much everywhere in between. Folk in the Borders use it, and it’s used in our Scottish cities and across the Central Belt. It thrives in Angus, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Caithness and Orkney.

Scots is the ancient language of Lowland Scotland and the Northern Isles, once used in parliament, formerly spoken by kings, poets, courtiers and commoners.  Along with English and Gaelic, it is one of the three indigenous languages of modern Scotland, and you’ll hear it today on our streets, and in our offices, factories, construction sites, shops, schools and hospitals.

Of course, Scots has a vast and rich vocabulary. Some of the academic Scots dictionaries have as many as 60,000 entries. Many of the most colourful, stand-out words are what linguists call ‘lexical items’, nouns or verbs like clanjamfry, glaur, bogle, bubblyjock, threip, gilravage, dordie-lochran, mirk or moose. But there is also a range of more common verbs and everyday prepositions – mak, tak, ken, doon, owre, ahint, afore – which are also unique to our part of the world.

Scots is so much more than just our favourite Scots word; it is the sum of the parts of the lexical items, the prepositions, and the accent. In common with Norwegian and other related Scandinavian languages, Scots uses the older ‘oo’ vowel sound in words like hoose, moose or ku where English adopted ‘ou’ or ‘ow’.

Is this stuff really treasure, though? I would have to say I think it is. Scots is a unique cultural phenomenon. Along with things like traditional dance or Scottish song, it belongs in the category of ‘intangible cultural heritage’, and, as such, it is fragile, and in some danger of being forgotten in our multi-media global village. If Scots were a wild plant or a wild creature, we would be doing everything we could to preserve it. Towns and communities using guid Scots would be designated as Sites of Special Linguistic Interest.

Scots is becoming increasingly present in social media. Shetlanders use it on Facebook every day. It is popular in text. Scots Language Dictionaries has just launched a superb new Scots dictionary app. BBC Radio Orkney broadcasts in excellent Scots every morning. Translation of classic bairns’ books into Scots is at an all-time high level.

So it’s with these and other positives in mind that the team of Scots Language coordinators at Education Scotland are working to celebrate and promote excellent Scots Language education in our schools.

Many primary schools across a range of Local Authorities are looking at developing their ability to teach Scots within the areas of Literacy and English, while a number of forward-thinking secondary schools are pioneering the new Scottish Qualifications Authority Award in Scots Language. Another exciting development is Education Scotland’s ‘Scots Language Ambassadors’ initiative, where a team of Scots speakers from all walks of life are pairing up with schools to celebrate and promote Scots. Chefs, shopkeepers, authors, musicians, broadcasters, teachers and senior educationalists have all signed up to form friendly partnerships with schools: their ultimate aim is to promote this national treasure among the next generation of learners.

This article first appeared in the Edinburgh Evening News on Monday 8 December 2014.

A new book club to support Gaelic Medium Education

A new book club, Cuilean Cràicte, is being established to support children and young people in Gaelic Medium Education (GME).  It will be run by a group of volunteers which includes  professional publishers, translators  and parents of those in GME.  The book club will make available each month a Gaelic chapter book.  This will feature hot off the press translations of books by popular authors such as Terry Deary and Frank Cottrell Boyce.  The benefits to children and young people include

  • fostering an interest in reading
  • encouraging independence in reading
  • supporting skills in literacy and Gaelic
  • helping to improve vocabulary
  • helping to increase fluency in Gaelic.

If you wish to join the club, please do so by 15 December 2014.  A minimum number of subscribers is required to enable this club to run. For additional information, please click here.

Scottish Education Awards 2015 – now open for nominations

Nominations for the Scottish Education Awards 2015 awards are now open. Celebrating the hard work and success in Scottish education, the awards recognise the achievements of people who dedicate their lives to children and young people.

There are 17 awards available across a range of categories covering all areas of education. New awards for this year include learning for sustainability, making languages come alive and transforming lives through partnerships.

If you know of a school or teacher that deserves to be recognised for their hard work visit the Scottish Education Awards website for more information and to submit a nomination.

Nominations must be submitted by Monday 16 February 2015, good luck.

My visit to Isobel Mair School

By Graeme Logan, Education Scotland Strategic Director for School Years

I visited Isobel Mair School this morning to celebrate their achievements following their recent inspection in August 2014 and to see some of the innovative practice taking place to support the learning and development of children with additional support needs.

The school, in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire, is a great example of putting the rights of the child at the heart of everything they do and by using this approach to develop their curriculum they are able to offer a fantastic breadth and depth of learning experiences for the children at the school.

As part of the inspection, the school and its practitioners were praised for their use of ICT, which is tailored to suit individual children’s learning needs, and to see that in practice was really inspiring. By using interactive whiteboard and smart table technology, practitioners are able to actively involve children in their learning, and encourage them to participate, which is having a positive impact on them and their skills development.

Learners also used a variety of communication aids to help them communicate independently where they shared experiences of their learning with one another, which really engages the children and increased their participation in learning activities.

Throughout our visit I was really impressed with the level of care and attention given to each individual child, and this one to one support is vital to supporting the children with additional support needs as they move through their school career from nursery age right through to the senior phase.

With it being this time of year we visited a number of classrooms where we saw the children learning about the Christmas story using a variety of different approaches.  We were also treated to a special performance of The Gruffalo by Class Bute at an open morning for parents. It was really magical to see the children have fun and their performance received a huge round of applause which put a smile on our faces.

I’d like to say a personal thank you to all the staff, parents and children we met for giving us such a warm welcome and an interesting tour of the school. Special thanks goes to Headteacher Mari Wallace who has delivered outstanding work at the school over the last ten years, and we’ll be sad to see her go when she retires early next year.

Bite The Ballot: Leaders Live!

Bite the Ballot, the youth charity aimed at politically motivating young people, have a mission:

To drive the biggest turnout of informed, educated and engaged young voters at
the 2015 general election; calling for the next Government to make voter
registration easier, more accessible and engaging for generations to come.

Bite the Ballot insist that people aged 16-24, have been ignored by our leaders for too long.

Bite The Ballot’s giving you the chance to change this by putting your questions to them directly; live and online.
They have organised a series of live Q&A with UK political party leaders. The next one is with Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband, and takes place on the 8th December between 5.30-6.30pm. If you want to take part or watch the interviews with the Greens and UKIP then follow this link:

Interviews with the leaders for the SNP and Plaid Cymru are planned for the new year.

Educational Scotland has resources about politics and political literacy here:

Japan Webpage Contest

This contest is open to any UK school that is teaching Japanese or doing any kind of project related to Japan. Your school does not need to be teaching Japanese to enter the contest.

To enter the contest, all you need to do is make a simple webpage about the work that your school is doing with Japanese or Japan. This could be a blog, a wiki, or a page that’s part of your school’s website.

Your webpage could feature:

  • A project with your Japanese partner school
  • A report on your school’s visit to Japan
  • A report on your school’s Japan Day
  • Japanese or Japan-related resources that you have made to help your students
  • Japanese language work made by students
  • Other Japan-related work by students, e.g. from geography, history, art, sports, music, intercultural understanding, cross-curricular lessons
  • Students’ experiences of learning Japanese or about Japan
  • An overview of Japanese at your school

All entries to the contest will be featured on the website. You will also have your chance to vote for your favourite shortlisted entries, in the online voting poll.

Cash prizes and other prizes will be awarded to the best entries. Click here for more information.

In 2010, the Public Vote Award was won by Bearsden Primary School for their Godzilla’s Den website.

Look at other past entries for more inspiration.

(The contest is organised by the Japan Foundation London. The Japan Foundation is Japan’s principal organisation for promoting international cultural exchange.)

Air Quality walk and survey

Find out more about the work OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) do and improve your own knowledge and understanding of air quality and environmental surveys this weekend.

Lichen walk: Air Pollution indicators
7 December 2014, 1-2pm
Maryhill Park (meet at the Maryhill Road Gate), G20 0AB

Join OPAL as we walk around Maryhill Park looking for lichens and spotting species which indicate how much pollution is in the air. We will learn how to complete an OPAL Air Survey and each participants will each receive a survey pack to take away.

Please dress appropriately for our glorious Scottish winter weather!

For more information or to sign up for the walk email or call 0141 420 5010 (ext 270).

Game Masters: Teachers Preview Event

Date: Tuesday 9 December
Venue: Studio 1, Learning Centre, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Cost: Free
Booking: Please book your FREE space by email or phone 0131 247 4041. Tea/coffee and cake will be provided. Spaces are limited so please book your place as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

This session will introduce teachers to the Game Masters exhibition in preparation for visiting with a class.

The event will run as follows:

4.30pm – Registration and Refreshments

4.45pm – Introduction, practicalities about visit & overview of resources

5pm – Sarah Rothwell, Assistant Curator (Modern & Contemporary Design), introduces exhibition

5.15pm – Short tour of exhibition, followed by opportunity to explore exhibition and try games

6.15pm – Finish

More details about school visits to Game Masters:

3-18 RME Impact Review Report National Engagement Events for Practitioners

Following a series of highly successful national engagement events for school leaders, Education Scotland has arranged two events exploring the implications of the 3-18 RME Curriculum Area Impact Review Report for practitioners.

Event 1 is aimed at RME Practitioners in non-denominational secondary/special schools and will take place on Monday 2nd February 2015 in Victoria Quay, Edinburgh from 10:00-15:30

Event 2 is aimed at Practitioners in non-denominational primary/special schools and will take place on Friday 6th February 2015 in Victoria Quay, Edinburgh from 10:00-15:30

There will be additional events for Practitioners in denominational establishments, and details of these will follow soon on Education Scotland’s website.

Applications to attend these events should be made by close of business on Friday 9th January. After this date, delegates will be selected so as to ensure a varied geographical and sectoral spread.

To book a place at this event contact

3-18 RME Impact Review Report National Engagement Events for Practitioners

Following a series of highly successful national engagement events for school leaders, Education Scotland has arranged two events exploring the implications of the 3-18 RME Curriculum Area Impact Review Report for practitioners.

Event 1 is aimed at RME Practitioners in non-denominational secondary/special schools and will take place on Monday 2nd February 2015 in Victoria Quay, Edinburgh from 10:00-15:30

Event 2 is aimed at Practitioners in non-denominational primary/special schools and will take place on Friday 6th February 2015 in Victoria Quay, Edinburgh from 10:00-15:30

There will be additional events for Practitioners in denominational establishments, and details of these will follow soon on Education Scotland’s website.

Applications to attend these events should be made by close of business on Friday 9th January. After this date, delegates will be selected so as to ensure a varied geographical and sectoral spread.

To book a place at this event contact

Great Learning: a pupil-led Conversation Day

A Conversation Day planned and delivered entirely by pupils will take place at Inveralmond Community High School, Livingston, on Thursday 12 February 2015 10:00-15:30. The content and format of this day will be planned and delivered by a group of pupils from Inveralmond Community High School and promises to be an exciting, innovative and creative way to explore how we understand and deliver Great Learning in Scotland. This event is aimed at all those professionally involved in education.

Places at this free one day event will be in high demand, so apply for a place now!

Closing date for applications is Friday 19th December 2014. Places will then be allocated in consultation with the pupils to ensure good balance across geography, sectors and other factors.

If you would like to apply for a place at this event contact

Inspiring workshops and presentations for all year groups

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Our presentations are designed to be delivered to up to 150 people. We can happily deliver these to an entire year group. All presentations run from 40mins– 1 hour

P7 – S3 Workshops

Our workshops are intensive fully interactive sessions designed for groups of up to 30 pupils (unless otherwise stated). Workshops are 45mins—1 hour long to fit into a standard lesson.

Careers & Parents’ Evenings

We are happy to attend your careers event or parents’ evening to answer individual questions and provide literature and information on our courses. We also have presentations suitable for a group of parents & carers. Please let us know your date and we will check availability.

Edinburgh Napier University Information Stand

If you are holding a careers event or parents’ evening, invite us along, and we can bring our information stand with literature about our courses and applying. We will provide a member of staff to answer any questions.

For more information and a brochure on more about ‘what we can do for your pupils’ –

John Byrne Drawing Competition and Glow Meet

Renowned artist and playwright, John Byrne, invites children and young people in schools across Scotland, from P4 – S3, to participate in the first annual John Byrne Drawing Competition.

The competition will be launched on 5th December 2014 through a Glow meet with John. Schools across the country will be invited to tune in to hear John talk about his work, and drawing in particular, and why he keeps wanting to learn! The Glow meet starts at 10.30 am and John will be interviewed at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow. Children and young people participating in the Glow meet will have a chance to ask John questions about his life and work.

Click here to sign up for the John Byrne Glow meet!

The competition will be judged in March 2015 and the closing date for entries is Friday 6th March 2015. Prizes and certificates will be awarded and the judging panel will include John himself.

The aim of the competition is to enhance the profile of drawing in the curriculum. By targeting the range of children between P4 and S3, John wants to highlight the importance of developing drawing skills in children as they go through the developmental stages of mark making and begin to represent their world through drawing.

John eagerly hopes the competition will encourage children and young people to give free rein to their imagination and creativity through the joy of drawing.

Information about how to enter the competition and the competition rules can be accessed here. This information will also be made available to Local Authority officers with responsibility for Expressive Arts.