The new Early Years team are excited to be part of Education Scotland’s Learning Blog. We will keep you up to date with the most exciting news from our team. At the moment we are finalising the September issue of Early Years Matters (Early Years twice yearly magazine). This issue includes an interview with Bill Maxwell our transitional Chief Executive. We are also looking forward to the Scottish Learning Festival where Jacqué Fee from the Early Years team will be speaking about “Policy to Pavement: ensuring the best start for Scotland’s Children”.
The Creativity Portal is now eleven months old and is playing its part in promoting creativity across learning and teaching. Users are visiting the Creativity Portal for its offer of creative partnerships, resources and inspiration, as well as engaging with the Creativity Portal Glow Group behind the scenes in new and exciting ways. Here are a few of the successes so far.
- Nearly 12000 unique users have visited the Creativity Portal already, well over a thousand a month.
- Users have viewed nearly 50,000 pages.
- 100% of users surveyed say that they will be recommending the Creativity Portal to others.
- Nearly 500 partnership opportunities and examples of good practice have already been shared through the Creativity Blog – many of which are free for teachers and community groups. Many of these are being re-tweeted and shared with an even wider audience through the @CreativPortal Twitter feed and Facebook page. A direct feed by email is now available (including special feeds relating to individual subject areas including Literacy, Dance and Heritage) and will be rolled out this academic year.
- New creative partners are joining the Creativity Portal all the time, with Fèisean nan Gàidheal, Eden Court Theatre and Dance House amongst the most recent. By using the search tools users can find extremely local and relevant resources, Glow Groups, Creative Partners and opportunities all in the one place – and stumble across plenty of inspiration they didn’t know they were looking for.
- 92% of users say that the Creativity Portal will make their search for Creative Partnerships easier, quicker or more successful.
- Many of these partners are going on to develop their own Glow Groups, offering more for schools and community groups than ever before and embedding the use of Glow into their core activities. There are already 32 creative Glow Groups and communities listed on the Creativity Portal with more developing each week.
Various associated Glow Groups and tools have been developed alongside the public facing Creativity Portal including a Creativity Forum, Creativity Archive of projects and lessons, Creativity Portal online newspaper, listing of Creative Glow Meets and Glow TV’s Creativity Channel.
The Creativity Portal and Creative Learning Networks (CLNs) recently held a week long online discussion around creativity and the Glow Group is still open for business – Is It Creative?. Glow Meets and the Creativity Forum were used to engage CLN and creative organisation staff building a model for future use of Glow Meet technology. For almost all users it was the first time they had used web conferencing technology and the learning curve was impressive. The use of Glow Meet by the creative partners and CLNs will no doubt prove to be a major asset over the next year in their delivery of tailored CPD and creative experiences for young people.
This is an exciting phase for the Creativity Portal and with changes happening all the time your feedback is as powerful as ever. You can access the Creativity Portal Evaluation tool here – http://glo.li/mrNuJE, leave a comment on the Creativity Forum – http://glo.li/ieF6fA, or email me direct on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions or suggestions then please do not hesitate to ask. You can also find resources to help you promote and share the Creativity Portal’s resources with colleagues in the Creativity Portal Glow Group.
One Parent Families Scotland has recently updated the Young Parents Survival Guide jointly with NHS Health Scotland and has FREE copies available for distribution (postage costs only). The Guide can be viewed and downloaded here.
The Guide provides key information and useful advice for young parents covering a whole range of topics from when young people first suspect they are pregnant to coping with raising children.
OPFS is also working to link up services electronically across Scotland working with parents to share information on what has worked and on any difficulties faced through a dedicated section of their website.
The Scottish Community Development Centre, has been awarded funding through the Grundtvig programme of the European Commission to take part in a network for community development with marginalised social groups. Other partners are the Hungarian Association for Community Development, Estrategies de Transformacio Comunitaria Sostenible (Barcelona) and the Association of Local Democracy Agencies, which is based in France and works in the Balkans and Caucasus. The aim of the project is to allow for mutual learning about innovative tools of community work to strengthen the capacity of the partnering organisation to combat poverty and support the social integration and citizen participation of excluded social groups.
This will result in a practical guide on community development with marginalised social groups as well as short films on the localities and projects visited through the programme.
For more information contact Stuart Hashagen on 0141 222 4837 or email@example.com
Ten new CLD filmed case studies are now live on the CLD section of the Education Scotland website. The presenter-led introductory film offers a definition of community learning and development (CLD) in Scotland and introduces a series of filmed case studies illustrating current practice in CLD from the Shetland Islands to the Scottish Borders. The films reflect CLD’s three national priorities: achievement through learning for adults, achievement through learning for young people and achievement through building community capacity.
Watch the videos online or download the videos in MP4 format if you wish a sharper video quality or to share the case studies with others.
This report presents the findings from a major study of young people and their relationship with alcohol, and explores the wide range of influences on their drinking.
Scoping the training needs of those working with young people to deliver effective tobacco awareness training
ASH Scotland aim to significantly reduce the rate of smoking by young people as part of their five year strategy. The their youth development work, ASH Scotland want to equip those working with young people with resources and skills to effectively incorporate tobacco awareness-raising into practice and contribute to smoking prevention.
ASH Scotland are now in the process of conducting a Training Needs Analysis to explore: TO what extent there is a need for training for those working directly with young people to help them incorporate effective tobacco awareness-raising into practice.
The survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. You participation will help to scope specific needs of those working with young people and build recommendations to inform future developments.
The closing date for responses for this survey is Friday 22 July 2011.
The Scottish Green Awards, created by Scottish Business Insider in association with Scottish Power, take place on Thursday 29 September 2011 at the Glasgow Science Centre.
The Scottish Green Awards will celebrate the achievements and initiatives of both corporate organisations and individuals who work to reduce carbon emissions.
The 2011 Award Categories are:
- Best Green SME;
- Best Green Large Company;
- Best Green Community Initiative;
- Best Green Campaigner/Activist;
- Best Young Person Campaigner/Activist;
- Best Green School;
- Best Green Public Service or Public Sector Provision;
- Best Green PR Campaign;
- Outstanding Contribution to the Scottish Environment.
The deadline for applications is Friday 29 July 2011.
I recently was invited to the Food for Thought Community Cafe at St. Nicholas Primary School in Broxburn, West Lothian.
Food for Thought is a Fair-Trade community café run by the pupils of St. Nicholas Primary School. At Food for Thought you can share a tea or coffee and some delicious home baking over a chat while learning more about Fair-Trade and how it helps countries in the developing world. You can also buy Fair-Trade goods and find out more about the pupil’s learning in school. From time to time they may provide entertainment or run workshops for you to get involved in. At Food For Thought their aim is to provide a happy atmosphere and a strong sense of community.
Food for Thought was dreamt up by the pupils while they were working on a block of learning about Global Citizenship. It is a Social Enterprise venture and profits will support their sister school in Ghana and local community groups supported by the St. Vincent de Paul.
To view their leaflet click here. FFTCC Leaflet