Category Archives: Profiling

Building the West Barns Primary School curriculum part 2

Developing the Life and Ethos of West Barns Primary School

Over the past 12 months at we have been working with pupils, families and the wider community to help us develop a clear rational for our curriculum based on shared values of respect, happiness, confidence, responsibility, safety and friendliness.  The school continues to develop open and supportive relationships with children and their families.  We are now beginning to see the impact of many months of hard work on the life and work of the school.

This year we have introduced Learning Journeys which will support pupils in reflecting on their learning and identify their next steps as well as recording their wider achievement.  We are sharing these with parents and families on a regular basis and encourage them to add their own comments, photos, certificates etc. and help their child set health and wellbeing targets.  This will provide parents with a great opportunity to become more involved in their child’s learning and achievements. By the end of this first term we are already seeing pupils engaging more in discussing their learning, identifying their strengths and next steps, thinking of strategies to help them move forward and evidencing their achievements.

Learning journeys

Parents and families also recently helped our Primary 4-7 pupils understand the importance that literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing skills will play in their adult lives.  Pupils interviewed adults as part of the Family Homework task (download parents survey). Pupils then worked together to process and present the information.  This gave our children a greater understanding of why it is important to master these basic skills during their school years.  Younger pupils have been thinking about what jobs they would like to do when they are older and which skills they will need.  Staff continue to make the links between the children’s learning and skills for learning, work and life.

Family homework task

This year we felt it was essential that we looked at how we could better promote emotional resilience in our pupils.  We are using a whole school approach to health and wellbeing through using Edinburgh City’s ‘Creating Confident Kids’ resources (http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20075/information_for_professionals/383/learning_publications ).  The Headteacher is working with all classes to develop a whole school approach through active learning and school assemblies.  The Playground Committee has also been looking at ways that we could better support pupils during break times through developing games and activities and have introduced their own Playground rules.

Playground rules

The whole school community are now working together to develop an ethos of positive behaviour to promote effective learning and wellbeing across the school.  This year, before choosing new House Captains, pupils were asked what attributes they valued most in a leader.  The results were unanimous – pupils wanted role models who showed respect, kindness and responsibility.  Candidates then used these findings to inform their election campaigns and now have a clear remit of what the school community expects from them in their new roles.

Most valued attributes in a leader

Our recent pupil survey showed us that our children wanted to contribute more to the life and work of the school.  We are now giving all our pupils the opportunity to exercise their responsibilities through playing an active part in one of our 4 school committees.  We have timetabled quality time and invested in resources to ensure that pupils have real opportunities to participate responsibly in decision-making, contribute as leaders and role models and offer support and service to others through meaningful projects that will benefit the school and our wider community.

Although we have an open door policy here at West Barns and welcome communication from parents, we were keen on trying to involve our parents more in the day to day running of the school.  Our Parent Council have recruited many volunteers through the West Barns Helping Hands scheme which involves parents, families or neighbours offering their help in a variety of different ways from creating resources, digging the garden, mending toys, making curtains and helping organise events.  We are seeing many more parents and families becoming involved in the school and we are making headway with many new projects thanks to their help.

Next month see how our curriculum rationale is being developed.

Glow Blog Migration

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

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

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

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

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

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

Use of Wikis

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

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

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

Taking a closer look at the National Assessment Resource: A professional learning resource

Education Scotland have recently developed this professional learning resource.  It provides an opportunity to reflect on effective practice in learning, teaching and assessment, drawing on the work published on the National Assessment Resource (NAR).  It also provides a structured look at the NAR flow chart as a tool for planning effective learning, teaching, moderation and assessment.

The resource can be used by individual practitioners keen to reflect and improve on their assessment practice as well as pairs, groups of practitioners, associated school groups (ASGs) or clusters working collegiately to reflect on and improve practice.

It is available to download from the Education Scotland website and welcome section on NAR.  There will be a Glow meet on Wednesday the 13th of February at 8:20am and Thursday the 14th at 4:15pm to explore the resource further.

Assessment Professional Learning Community on Glow

The assessment team at Education Scotland are developing a professional learning community on Glow, in collaboration with practitioners across Scotland.

There are a number of opportunities in our Learn area, including a suite of Glow meets from January to March 2013:

Date           Time                 Title

24.1.13      3:45 – 4:10    What is NAR?
29.1.13      8:20 – 8:45   The Moderation Process
31.1.13      3:45 – 4:10    The Moderation Process
06.2.13      8:20 – 8:45    Making Good Assessment Decisions
07.2.13      3:45 – 4:10    Making Good Assessment Decisions
13.2.13      8:20– 8:45     NAR professional learning resource
14.2.13      3:45 – 4:10    NAR professional learning resource
20.2.13      8:20 – 8:45    Profiling
21.2.13      3:45 – 4:10    Profiling
6.3.13        8:20 – 8:45    Glow to support assessment
7.3.13        3:45 – 4:10    Glow to support assessment

In the Share area, we continue to add a number of key power points which staff can use to explore the ideas in Building the Curriculum 5, including the ’10 key assessment messages’ and ‘What is NAR?’
You can always get help in our Support area and in the Change area you can add an intention of what you are going to do to improve assessment in the classroom, the wider school community, across the local authority or inter-authority.

I hope you will take the time to sign up and spread the word! And of course you are more than welcome to join us for the Glow meets and watch any you missed here: http://bit.ly/Teondr

S3 Profiling and Profiles

Schools and local authorities are working with the Assessment Team on continuing to develop profiling 3-18.  In particular, 18 schools from across the country are going to be working on developing approaches to S3 profiling and profiles.  In June, at the end of this supported development, materials will be published on NAR.  Presentations made at the start of this development can be found on the National Assessment Glow Group.

CfE & Glow News – February Issue

The CfE and Glow News update provides you with information about Curriculum for Excellence and support for practitioners, along with all the latest developments within Glow. Read it here.

To sign up for this newsletter, please click here.

Planning for Learning, Teaching and Assessment in RME

A new resource has been developed to support practitioners in planning for effective learning, teaching and assessment in RME. This resource takes you through the process of unpacking the Es and Os to gathering evidence. There are tasks for staff to undertake and help develop your thinking. There is also an interactive powerpoint presentation and templates for you to use. The resource can be found by clicking here.

New Case Studies Published on NAR

Education Scotland has worked with a range of establishments to publish new case studies on the National Assessment Resource (NAR). These case studies focus on the process of recognising achievement, profiling and reporting.

All of Scotland’s local authorities were involved in developing these materials, which reflect the local flexibility that schools and local authorities have in developing their processes, in line with the guidance provided by Building the Curriculum 5. The materials cover the early years, primary, secondary and ASN sectors and all have been through a national quality assurance and moderation process.

Support materials are available to help practitioners find their way around NAR and include videos of teachers and headteachers talking about their experiences of NAR, step-by-step video guides on how to get the most from using NAR, and a downloadable User manual and poster.

On NAR, and on the Education Scotland website, you will find information on assessment, quality assurance and moderation, all of which are integral to planning learning and teaching.

You can access these new case studies by focus by selecting ‘Aspects of Assessment’ under ‘Browse’ within NAR. You will need to login to NAR with your Glow login or through SQA Connect.

Award in Volunteering Skills

The Award in Volunteering Skills at SCQF Levels 3, 4 and 5 provides formal recognition of volunteering activity. Through participation in volunteering activities, candidates will develop a range of skills and personal development experiences which will help to prepare them for responsibility, further education and employment.

Candidates learn about the context of volunteering; plan a volunteering placement; review and reflect on their own skills and volunteering experience; and complete an investigative project.

More information is available here.