Andy Scott exclusive interview

KelpiesInternationally renowned artist, Andy Scott, creator of the famous ‘Kelpies’ and ‘Arria’ sculptures will be interviewed about his life and work by Education Scotland’s Ron Cowie.

Andy will talk about his experiences at school and describe the path he followed to become a successful artist. Viewers will hear about the people and things that influenced him along the way!

The Glow Meet will be broadcast exclusively from Andy’s studio workshop in Glasgow on Wednesday 11th March from 10:30- 11:30.

You can register for the event here

John Byrne Drawing Competition update

Friday 6th March is the date for final entries for the John Byrne national drawing competition to arrive at Education Scotland offices in either Dundee or Glasgow. We have had an excellent response from schools so far but there are still four days to go until the competition ends!

The prizes are fantastic and John is designing the special runner up certificates as I write this post.

Education Scotland will hold all drawings submitted for the competition until the judging has been completed on Friday 27th March. After that they will be available from the offices to which they were delivered until Friday 24th April, if schools wish to pick them up. I’m afraid we are unable to post entries back to schools.

Good luck to everyone who enters the competition!

New Early Learn Glow Community


Today (2 March) Education Scotland staff launched the Community with colleagues in Dundee. ELCC practitioners came along to St. Paul’s Academy to hear from Education Scotland about the importance of being connected through Glow. Myself and Con Morris talked about how Glow is to become an important way for ELCC practitioners to find high-quality professional development material.

During the event, colleagues joined the Early Learn community, chatted via Glow and commented on some of the resources already available.

To join the community all you need to do is login to Glow then type into the address bar. That will take you straight into the Homepage of the community.


In the top right-hand side of the screen you will see a ‘follow’ command. Make sure you follow the community and you will recieve updates from others who are also members.

The new Early Learn Glow Community has already attracted lots of new members. The Children and Families Team have uploaded several new resources for you to download. Among these new resources are extracts from the as yet unpublished resource The Learning Cycle – Planning and Assessment in the Early Level. Uploaded for comment are support materials on assessment skills: Engagement; Noticing; Interpreting. More support materials will follow.

We have also uploaded video material from Cowgate and Arnprior nurseries. More of that to follow if you find it useful.

To hear about some of the other ways that Education Scotland will be providing support to ELCC practitioners come along to the March ELCC Local Conversations.

17 March University of West of Scotland, Ayr
20 March Victoria Quay, Edinburgh
25 March Millburn Academy, Inverness

You can register to come along via Survey Monkey.

Conference: Bilingual Education and Language Revitalisation

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Isle of Skye 29-30 of May 2015

The second Soillse conference, in conjunction with CAER, the Education Society of the European Regions is free for practitioners of Gaelic and Gaelic Medium Education(GME).  Keynote speakers  are Miquel Strubell, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and Antonella Sorace, University of Edinburgh. For more information, please visit the website.

Audit of Career-Long Professional Learning (CLPL) needs for practitioners working in Gaelic Medium and Learner Education

As part of our Gaelic Language Plan, Education Scotland is committed to producing a CLPL needs analysis for staff.  The findings of this audit will be used to plan future programmes of professional learning.

There are three audits:
GME Secondary:

Gaelic Learner Education 3-18:

GME Early Learning and Childcare Centres and  Primary:

We appreciate your support in completing these audits by 23 March 2015.


The Scottish Voice

The Scottish Voice is a computer ‘text-to-speech’ programme to assist with reading electronic books;
PDF files (such as SQA exam papers); worksheets and other documents in Microsoft Word and create audio files using the voice.  This is being developed to assist with Gaelic text.

The new Gaelic voice will be available to schools from The Scottish Voice website for the start of the 2015-16 academic session. This will help learners with additional support needs and also all learners to read websites, documents, or to check and proof-read their own letters or emails.  The voice will be licensed for use by Scottish schools, colleges, universities, local and national government agencies, NHS units and for use at home by pupils and staff.  It is funded by The Scottish Government Gaelic and Scots Unit; Scottish Funding Council; Scottish Qualifications Authority and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Supporting Early Learning and Childcare through Wellbeing

Conference 1

The Supporting Early Learning and Childcare through Wellbeing conference was held at Victoria Quay, Edinburgh on 23 February 2015. Over 80 early learning practitioners from across Scotland signed up to what was a very positive and productive day of information, sharing and networking.

The conference was opened by Lesley Brown, Strategic Director for Families, Inclusion and Local Authorities within Education Scotland, who welcomed everyone and set the tone for the day by emphasising the importance of positive relationships for developing the children’s wellbeing.

Key drivers in current Scottish education policy were discussed, with an update on GIRFEC legislation from Pauline Davidson of Scottish Government – particularly looking at the role of the named person – with opportunity for delegates to ask questions and clarify points.

The importance of recognising and realising children’s rights, as outlined in the Children and Young People’s Act (Scotland) 2014, was highlighted by Paul McWatt, Education Scotland, who gave an overview of the articles of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and how they can be applied in an educational setting.

Tricia Madden, Early Years Development Officer, provided participants with an update on National Guidance around Building the Ambition. There was productive discussion exploring the Image of the Child and what this means practically in the early years setting.

A variety of workshops were offered, ranging from research-based finding on social, emotional and behavioural needs in the transition from nursery-primary from the Growing Up in Scotland survey, to building dens with Cowgate Under 5’s Centre to emphasise the positive impacts of child led play. The wellbeing indicators were further explored practically by Parkhead Nursery, Glasgow, and there was also opportunity to explore relational approaches such as nurture and restorative.

Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People closed the day with a summary of the findings of A Right Wee Blether – which again, highlighted the importance of children’s voice and positive relationships.

Participants – and presenters – spoke very highly of the quality of presentations and workshops, and of how useful and enjoyable they had found the day.