Category Archives: Young people, children & families

Ready for Emergencies? – Resilience Education Web Resource

Have you ever been affected by difficulties such as severe winter weather, flooding, utilities failures or pandemics (amongst others)? What would you do if you were? Would you know how to cope in an emergency situation and what procedures to follow? How could you ensure that you and your community were fully prepared for times of crisis?

The ‘Ready for Emergencies’ website provides information on all of the above and is a valuable resilience education resource to help develop resilient attitudes and pro-active strategies among young people to prevent and deal with emergency situations.

The site contains a wide range of links to free downloadable teaching and learning materials including learning journeys, challenges and media files covering numerous real-life emergency contexts linked to the experiences and outcomes of Curriculum for Excellence.

For further details – visit:

GIRFEC Survey for Parents

For parents within your early years establishment!

What does the national ‘Getting it right for every child’ approach to children’s health and wellbeing mean to parents?

‘Getting it right for every child’ (GIRFEC) is the national policy for improving the lives, health and wellbeing of all children and young people and for ensuring that services such as education and health work together, focussing on the needs of children and young people. The wellbeing of children and young people is at the heart of GIRFEC which asks whether children are safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included.

We have been asked to help in gathering parent views on their current understanding of GIRFEC and would be very grateful if you could encourage parents to take a couple of minutes to complete the short questionnaire.

This survey is anonymous. Individuals and individual responses will not be identified in the reporting of these findings

Parents will find the survey at

The survey will close on 1 November 2013 .

Royal Horticultural Society – The Edible School Garden

Royal Horticultural Society

The Edible School Garden
Dumfries House, KA18 2NJ – Tuesday 19th November 2013, 10 am – 3 pm

Kilbarchan Primary School, PA10 2LA Thursday 28th November 2013, 10 am – 3 pm
To give teachers of all age groups the skills to confidently grow and manage a simple productive garden throughout the year. To ensure that produce is used in tasting, cooking and enterprise activities. Every school should be a food growing school.
At the end of this course you will:
a) Have the knowledge and skills to sow and grow the RHS top 14 fruits, vegetables and herbs for the school garden, to provide a range of fresh, healthy produce throughout the school year
b) Get hints and tips on tasting and cooking with the produce, outside in the garden and in the school canteen
c) Know how to add value to your produce through correct harvesting and storage, preserving and other simple enterprise ideas.
Experience: Suitable for beginners and those with some experience.
CPD Provider

Angela Smith

RHS Development Officer for Scotland

Development Officer – Children and Families Team

Secondment Opportunity

An exciting opportunity has become available for a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual with proven track record within Children and Families to work as part of a team to promote effective and innovative approaches to improving outcomes for children and their families. They will support and deliver professional learning opportunities for the Early Years and Family Learning workforce and contribute to guidance relating to the Early Years, children and families.

Candidates should possess a degree, or equivalent, have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and sound knowledge of Curriculum for Excellence.

The successful candidate may be based at any Education Scotland office however this will be dependent upon availability. The post is being offered on a 23 month secondment basis. For further information and to apply please go to The completed application should be returned to

The closing date for applications is Friday 4 October 2013.

National Poetry Day 2013

Scottish Poetry Library have announced National Poetry Day will take place on Thursday 3 October 2013.

The theme for this year is ‘Water’, and they are delighted to be working in partnership with Scottish Water to provide a great range of teaching resources to support.

Online resources are now available free on and include:

a set of teaching notes for each poem

a pdf poster of each poem (doubles as a larger print text) to download and print

a pdf poster to advertise National Poetry Day

Scottish Water’s updated education materials, including a range of activity-based modules all about water for early, first, second, third and fourth level are now available free on

Themed water-related resources for teaching activities – images, audio & film clips on subjects ranging from Puddles, Ponds, Reflections or Ripples to Waterfalls or Waves can be sourced free to establishments on

Edinburgh International Book Festival / SottishPower – Calling All Writers Of The Future

A search is on to find the school with the most creative minds.

The annual Story Generator competition is a national writing competition which invites young people across Scotland to collaborate and create their own stories.

This year, budding young writers from S1 and S2 are being asked to create a digital picture book about what life might be like in the future, using the first line of the George Orwell classic, 1984, as their inspiration: ‘It was a bright, cold day in April…

The school that has written the best book will win a collection of books from the Edinburgh International Book Festival, with a printed copy of their Storybird online book included. The Pupil who devises the best page wins a Kindle which will come loaded with their own online book.

To find out more and to register your school, visit

National Early Years Network

The National Early Years Network is hosted by the NHS to provide information for all professionals working in the early years sector. NHS Health Scotland are conducting a  review of the information needs of early years professionals,  this review will help them to tailor the support they offer to professionals in all sectors.

They will be conducting telephone interviews lasting approximately 30 minutes during September – November 2013. The telephone interviews will explore your thoughts on information currently provided to support you in your role, your preferences on the information you would like to receive and how this information is provided to you.  There will also be an opportunity to respond via email if this would be your preference.

In order to help us support the needs of early years professionals working in different areas it is essential that we hear for as wide a range of people as possible.

If you would be willing to contribute please contact Laura Martin ( for more information.

Getting the right help in school – two new guides from Enquire explain young people’s rights

Getting the most out of education can be difficult if you are looked after or struggling to be in school. That’s why Enquire have produced two new guides to help young people understand their rights to support in school.

“What happens when you can’t go to school?” will help young people understand their rights to get support so they can carry on with their learning even when they are not at school. The guide considers a number of reasons young people might be away from school including being ill, caring for a family member, being excluded, home schooled from a travelling community or a refugee.

“Extra help at school when you are looked after” will help looked after pupils understand their rights to extra support and what that support might be. It explains how they can be involved in making decisions about their learning and the planning that should be in place for them as they prepare to leave school.

Created with help from children and young people, the guides are an essential tool for all those working with young people who aren’t in school or who are looked after. Short and easy to read, like all Enquire’s resources, it has been accredited by the Plain Language Commission.

The guides can be used as a teaching resource for a whole class or with individual pupils.

Both guides can be downloaded from the website

Outdoor Learning with the National Parks Inspiring Landscapes – Inspiring Learning

Senior Leaders Professional Learning Event – Dounans Centre, Aberfoyle: Friday 20th September 2013

A one day event for head teachers and deputy head teachers, focusing on whole school approaches, inspection and self-evaluation for school managers. Delegates will hear from senior managers, education officers and others with experience of outdoor learning in the context of school improvement.

Staff Professional Learning Weekend – Dounans Centre, Aberfoyle: Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd September 2013

This opportunity is aimed at staff from all schools and settings within the partner authorities, and will provide inputs from project and centre staff, from the National Park ranger service, and from Education Scotland staff to support you in embedding Curriculum for Excellence through Outdoor Learning in your school or nursery. As well as a variety of ‘sharing good practice’ sessions run by teachers across all sectors.

The weekend will provide staff with practical tools, ideas and inspiration for developing progressive and frequent outdoor learning opportunities for pupils which will support and enrich all aspects of their learning.

Spaces are still available on these programmes for further information contact

Workshops Staff Professional Learning Weekend

Staff CLPL residential weekend 2013 – info for schools

Final Programme Staff PL Weekend

Final Programme School Leaders

Children’s Services Scotland Conference


Children’s Services Scotland (Capita Conference)
Wednesday 11th September 2013 – Edinburgh

As the Children and Young People Bill progresses through the Scottish Parliament, this event features the breadth of elements under review and addresses the associated key issues linked to the implementation of the Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) components. 

This conference will focus on implementing the multiple forthcoming policy changes within children’s services. Attend to hear from key stakeholders about the future of children’s services and how to deliver effective interventions in your area. This event is your opportunity to share best practice and take away guidance to help shape and strengthen services to improve outcomes for Scotland’s children.   



Volunteer to review the Early Years Network

The Early Years Network is for early years practitioners from all areas of work. It covers a wide range of information and settings within the early years topic and provides information that is relevant to practitioners at many levels. A key element of the network is to provide the best possible links to up-to-date information, resources and support.

NHS Health Scotland is conducting a review of the Early Years Network to guide the future support of its network members. The review will explore:

  • how members prefer to communicate
  • where members look to for information
  • how members share information and their access to technology.

They are looking for members of the network to participate in a 30 minute telephone interview, conducted at a time suitable for you between July and October 2013. For further information, or to volunteer to take part in the review, please email:

Wise Up Wednesday: We Can and Must Do Better

CELCIS has launched a new website for the revised We Can and Must Do Better training materials.

The We Can and Must Do Better training materials were originally produced on a DVD-ROM in 2008. CELCIS has now reviewed and updated these materials to reflect current research and Scottish policy and practice around:

  • Getting It Right for Every Child
  • Curriculum for Excellence
  • Additional Support for Learning
  • The Looked After Children Regulations 2009
  • Early Years
  • Parenting

The materials are relevant to anyone working with looked after children, care leavers and their families; in particular residential workers, foster carers, kinship carers, teachers, social workers and health professionals. They may also be relevant to professionals from across the wider child care workforce who are working with any vulnerable children and families.

These materials can be used for self study or/and as a resource for trainers to develop tutored training courses.

View the We Can and Must Do Better website.

We Can and Must do Better – revised training materials from CELCIS

We Can and Must Do Better – new website launched

CELCIS has launched a new website for the revised We Can and Must Do Better training materials.
The We Can and Must Do Better training materials were originally produced on a DVD-ROM in 2008. CELCIS has now reviewed and updated these materials to reflect current research and Scottish policy and practice around:
• Getting It Right for Every Child
• Curriculum for Excellence
• Additional Support for Learning
• The Looked After Children Regulations 2009
• Early Years
• Parenting
The materials are relevant to anyone working with looked after children, care leavers and their families; in particular residential workers, foster carers, kinship carers, teachers, social workers and health professionals. They may also be relevant to professionals from across the wider child care workforce who are working with any vulnerable children and families.
These materials can be used for self study or/and as a resource for trainers to develop tutored training courses.

Scotland’s Nature Festival

Scotland’s Nature Festival (formerly Biodiversity Week) is organised by Scottish Natural Heritage and other strong partners in environment and forestry, outdoor learning and play to highlight and celebrate Scotland’s natural landscape, areas of wild beauty and city greenspaces. This year’s theme is ‘Love Life, Love Nature’ and aims to inspire fun, adventurous and positive engagement with nature as a way to promote biodiversity, sustainability, enjoyment and well-being.

The .pdf below lists a collection of resources, with weblinks for celebration activities and nature based experiences suitable for all ages.

2020 Scotland’s Nature Festival

Also included below is a presentation on the top ten reasons why Scottish teachers say they love leading learning in the outdoors – why not choose one to explore in a nature-based action learning project? Love life, love nature and enjoy celebrating!

Dalkeith Top Ten Reasons to Love OL

Children and Families Team Vacancies

Education Scotland wishes to appoint two Development Officers on secondment to the Children and Families team. The team supports quality and improvement in early years education and families from the period pre-birth onwards. Key areas of work include inspecting and reviewing pre-school education provision and developing, delivering and supporting aspects of Early Years Care and Education and Family Learning.

You can find more information about these exciting opportunities on our website.

Early Years Matters

Have you seen the new edition of Early Years Matters? The new edition can be read online or downloaded from the Education Scotland website.

This edition has a focus on children and families and the articles give a flavour of the wide range of work being undertaken in Scotland. We are extremely grateful to those who have contributed to this edition of Early Years Matters and we look forward to hearing your comments.

Afasic Scotland

Afasic Scotland is a charity that supports children and young people with speech, language and communication difficulties. Afasic is a registered Professional Learning provider for teacher training, partly funded by The Scottish Government to support delivery of training, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to ensure that the course opportunities and supplementary information reaches all of the schools.

They are offering a Spring Training Day entitled ‘Improving Social Communication Development’ on Thursday 9th May 2013 in Dundee. The course is designed to appeal to teachers who wish to develop skills in supporting children with social communication difficulties. The morning session will be built around awareness and skills-building to overcome difficulties and challenging situations in school. The afternoon will focus on practical solutions with some opportunities to share expertise through workshops. The training is suitable for nursery and primary school teachers, classroom assistants, Learning Support teachers and parents.

For more details please download the attached flyer –AFASIC SCOTLAND Training Flyer.

NB Bookings have now been extended until Thursday 2nd May.

Festival of Dangerous Ideas 13th – 21st June 2013

The brilliant folks from the College Development Network have put together another wonderful programme for this year’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas. The festival was created to ‘re-establish the importance of dangerous ideas as agents of change in education – to shift the axis of what is possible!’ There is a real focus on adventurous approaches to learning, especially in the outdoors, which fits completely with our work in professional learning and Adventures in Improvised Living. More information about the week and the overall programme of events which are suitable for a range of educators can be found on the CDN website:

There are two outstandingly innovative events which feature outdoor learning prominently. The first is a repeat of the most excellent Edible Edinburgh Breakfast at the Botanics Event which takes place in the Royal Botanic Gardens on 19th June. Check out the details: If you enjoy a stimulating, delicious and nature connected start to your working day, this event is a ‘must’ for you!

The second is a fabulous whole day event at West Highland College UHI in Fort William: Celebrating Failure and Success In the first part of the day, the West Highland Way Walkers who will just have completed their 5 day walk, led by young people from West Highland College will exhibit the dangerous ideas that grew during their journey in the wild. In the second half of the day, Outward Bound will lead a session that will explore how they have used the research on Mindsets to develop their work with young people. Mindset is a model developed by Professor Carol Dweck of Stanford University. At its heart is the distinction between students’ perceptions of their abilities. The belief that you have innate, unchanging capabilities is called a Fixed Mindset. The belief that you can develop your capabilities through hard work and practice is called a Growth Mindset. The implications of these two are significant, and will frame this workshop.

Mission:Explore celebrates John Muir with launch of a new ebook

A partnership between the John Muir Trust and Mission:Explore – a group of teachers, artists, activists and adventurers – has launched a free ebook to introduce the great explorer, naturalist, writer, mountaineer and conservationist to a new audience.

Supported by Scottish Natural Heritage, Mission:Explore – John Muir, features a range of activities that reflect the adventures and ethos of the Victorian Scot, whose 175th birthday will be celebrated this month in his adopted homeland the USA as well as in the land of his birth.

It encourages people of all ages – including groups and families – to follow in the footsteps of Muir by taking part in an imaginative set of ‘missions’, which involve looking, touching, walking, exploring, thinking, and even dancing in wild nature wherever they find it.

Suggested activities range from observing how frogs swim to getting windswept, creating a mini-National Park, and staring at the stars.

The book launch ties in perfectly with Year of Natural Scotland 2013 and its theme of celebrating John Muir. There is already interest across the UK and in America.

Your ebook is free to download from Mission:Explore and John Muir Award web pages, and can be used on smart phones, laptops and tablets, or printed off and read in the old-fashioned way.

Link to John Muir Award launch page –
Link to Mission:Explore launch page –

Daniel Raven-Ellison, Guerilla Geographer at Mission:Explore, said: “Mission:Explore and the John Muir Award have much in common. We’re both all about discovering, exploring, conserving and sharing, so making this book together made perfect sense.

“We had a great time making it and we’re sure that our readers will have an even better time doing each of the quirky adventures inside. Good luck!”

“These missions are great, you can really see the spark they’ve generated with teachers.” Carol Walker, South Lanarkshire Outdoor Learning Development Officer

Featuring 20 activities that reflect the adventures and ethos of the Victorian Scot, you can access the free Mission:Explore John Muir eBook or PDF in a number of ways:

• eBook – on-line with Graphicly
• eBook for iPhone or iPad – via ‘Mission Explore John Muir’ in iTunes
• eBook from Amazon
• Printable PDF version (5.3MB) from

Find hundreds of other missions on the Mission:Explore website

About Mission:Explore

• Mission:Explore is a collection of books created by the Geography Collective, a unique team of over 25 geographers, teachers, educators and artists who work together to help young people explore and see the world in new ways. It makes books full of illustrated challenges that aim to make children a little more confident, happy, empathetic and knowledgeable.They think that learning in the real world, in real places and about real issues are vital to any childhood.

• Mission:Explore has won awards including National Trust & Hay Festival Outdoor Book of the Year 2011, and a Pink Stinks approved stamp for being gender neutral.

About Year of Natural Scotland 2013

• The Year of Natural Scotland 2013 is the latest in a series of themed years for the Scottish Government. It aims to highlight Scotland’s stunning natural beauty and biodiversity, and promote opportunities for visitors and residents to enjoy our beautiful landscapes, wildlife and heritage responsibly.

About The John Muir Trust

The John Muir Trust is the leading wild land conservation charity in the United Kingdom, with a membership of around 10,000.

We seek to ensure that wild land is protected and enhanced, and that wild places are valued by and for everyone.

The Trust does this by:
• Owning and managing wild land for conservation
• Assisting others in wild land management
• Campaigning for the long-term legal protection of wild land
• Encouraging people to connect with and care for wild places through the John Muir Award and volunteer conservation programmes.

We take our name and inspiration from John Muir (1838-1914), the pioneering, influential Scots-born American conservationist who dedicated his life to protecting wild places and campaigned successfully for the establishment of National Parks to safeguard vast tracts of wild land, including Yosemite Valley in California.

National Play Strategy Consultation Extended

The Scottish Government has extended it’s consultation about play until 23rd April 2013.

They are looking for individual children and young people and groups aged 3-18 to let them know what they think about play. The views collected will inform into the National Play Strategy which is due to be published later this year.

You can find out more at .

Wise Up Wednesday: GIRFEC supports UNCRC

A report by Professor Jane Aldgate reviews how embedding the Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) approach supports implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Read or download  UNCRC: The foundation of getting it right for every child.

How are you embedding children’s rights into your provision? We’d love to know. Why not share in the comments below or if you are a GLow user share it with us on the Early Years Professional Learning Community.

The National Play Strategy – Consultation with Children & Young People

The Scottish Government want Scotland to be the best place in the world to grow up. Making sure that children and young people are able to take up their right to play is an important part of this. The Scottish Government is writing the strategy to make sure that people know about children and young people’s right to play and understand why it is important.
The views of children and young people are important and the Scottish Government would like to know what they think.

If you are a child or young person you can help by filling in an online survey, either as an individual or as a group. The group could be a group of friends, a class at school, a football or hockey team, your Scout or Girls Brigade Group – it is up to you.
If you are a parent or carer of a child or young person who is not able to complete the survey by themselves, you can help by recording their responses for them.
If you work with groups of children or young people, in whatever setting, please help by gathering their views with one of our group surveys.

Just choose the link that is right for you:
For individual 3-5 year olds
For groups of 3-5 year olds
For individual children and young people of primary school age
For groups of children and young people of primary school age
For individuals aged 12 – 18 years
For groups of 12-18 year olds

If you want to print out a PDF of the survey to take along to your group you can download the group surveys here:
NPS Group Survey – 3 to 5
NPS Group Survey – Primary
NPS Group Survey – 12 to 18

Printed copies should be returned to National Play Strategy Consultation, Education Scotland, The Optima, 58 Robertson Street, Glasgow, G2 8DU or emailed to Please note that the closing date has now been extended to the 23rd April.

Children &Young People Bill Consultation Response

The Scottish Government has today published its response to the consultation on the Children & Young People Bill. This sets out the results of the consultation and the next steps. The Bill will be introduced to Parliament this year, with the intention that the early learning and childcare provisions (increase in pre-school entitlement and support for looked after 2 year olds) will start in 2014. Dates have not yet been set for the implementation of other aspects of the Bill.

Read the Scottish Government response to the consultation

BBC Baby Britain Series

The Baby Britain Season starts tonight on BBC3. It sets out to explore what life is really like for Britain’s young parents. Tackling everything from post-natal depression to the role of dads in the delivery room, this provocative BBC Three season explores what it means to be a young parent in Britain today.

You can find out more at:
The programmes are likely to be available on the BBC iplayer for up to a week after their broadcast date.

It will be interesting to see the approach taken by the BBC to these issues. It would be great to hear what you think about these programmes and whether they reflect the lives of the families you are working with.Are there lessons for us to learn about how we support families? What kind of messages about parents and parenting are being portrayed in the media and what is the impact of this on families living in Scotland today?

Remember you can join in the discussion in the comments here or, if you are a Glow user,  on the Early Years Professional Learning Community at :

Forced Marriage in Scotland

Figures collated from Scottish agencies, who support victims of forced marriage, estimate that almost 20% of the 59 people who contacted them in 2011/12 in fear of being forced to marry were under 18 years of age. Those seeking help included both boys and girls and agencies believe that these figures may just be the tip of the iceberg, with many victims often too scared to speak out.

This shows that forced marriage is a very real issue affecting young people in Scotland and it is important that they know how they can get help. In November 2011, legislation came into force in Scotland to protect those affected by forced marriage. The Forced Marriage etc. (Protection and Jurisdiction) (Scotland) Act 2011 provides civil remedies for those at risk of forced marriage and those who have already been forced into marriage.

Teachers and education professionals therefore play an important role in recognising potential victims of forced marriage and in signposting them appropriately to ensure that they receive the right kind of help they need.

With this in mind, a forced marriage information resource is being launched this month for those working with young people in Scotland. A Glow TV event has been scheduled for Monday 18th March at 4pm to give education professionals the chance to discuss the issues which surround forced marriage and how they can help those in their care who they are worried might be affected. The Glow TV event is appropriate for all education practitioners.

To help education practitioners understand the legislation and how their work might be impacted by forced marriage, a panel of experts, including a forced marriage survivor, will be present to answer questions on the issue such as:

• What is a forced marriage?
• Are many young people in Scotland being forced to marry?
• How does the law in Scotland to help those in a forced marriage or under threat of one?
• How can education professionals help any young person in their care that they are worried might be affected by forced marriage?

Why not sign up and find out more in Glow TV – Forced Marriage in Scotland Or if you miss it click the Watch Again link to view the recording.

Wise Up Wednesday: This Is Where It Starts

The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS) is a charitable company with a mission to Promoting positive outcomes for people who use Scotland’s social services

As part of their Early Years Evidence Project for 2012/13, they have produced the “This is where it startscollection of case studies of work with children and parents in the early years (pre-birth to eight years old).

The case studies are based on in-depth interviews with those working with children and parents in the early years to uncover what professionals perceive supports positive outcomes, early intervention and prevention. The case studies attempt to capture some of the experiential knowledge held by professionals working in the early years, to share this knowledge more widely across the sector and to provide inspiration to others.

An overview report, which explores learning from the seven case studies, is also available.

Read This is where it starts overview report and case studies.

As always we’d love to hear what you are doing to support children and families in your area. Why not share in the comments?

Wise Up Wednesday: Celebrating Success at Woodside!

Woodside Nursery School
in Glasgow has become the latest nursery to have the quality of their provision recognised by achieving ‘excellent’ in all five of the quality indicators used by Education Scotland in inspection.

Education Scotland’s letter to the parents at Woodside highlights that:

  • children are motivated and enthusiastic, experiencing a high level of achievement and success;
  • the partnership with parents is highly effective;
  • partner agencies are involved in developing children’s learning;
  • there is exceptional teamwork among staff in working with children and their families; and
  • the leadership of the headteacher in developing the work of the nursery is outstanding.

The nursery has received many congratulations since the publication of the letter to parents earlier today:

“It is an outstanding achievement for a nursery to gain excellent ratings in all five areas of the rigorous inspection by Education Scotland. I offer my congratulations to the staff at Woodside Nursery; it is clear from the letter that they have excellent relationships with parents and inspire enthusiasm for learning among the children.

The hugely positive results from the Woodside inspection will be an example that others can follow as we work together to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up.”

Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People

“I would like to congratulate all the children, staff, parents and stakeholders at Woodside Nursery on the progress they are making in implementing Curriculum for Excellence for the benefit of their young learners. Our inspection shows that this is a notably high-performing nursery which has fully embraced the opportunities which the new curriculum presents.”

Dr Bill Maxwell, Chief Executive of Education Scotland

“This is a truly wonderful letter and the best yet for Glasgow. I’m delighted for Alison Forbes, her staff and the parents and carers of Woodside Nursery.

There are so many positives in this letter and it is fantastic that inspectors have highlighted the fact that the headteacher provides outstanding leadership and along with staff and parents, have a clear vision for developing the work of the nursery.

My heartfelt congratulations to all on this outstanding and excellent letter.”

Councillor Stephen Curran, Executive Member for Education and Young People

Education Scotland highlights the good practice our inspection teams find so that other education professionals can reflect on what they are doing and consider adapting some of the practice to their own circumstances.

How do you reflect on your own and other’s experiences to improve your practice?

How can Education Scotland help you with this?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

To find out more about the practice that makes Woodside Nursery School so effective in supporting young children’s learning you can read Education Scotland’s letter to parents here.

Wise Up Wednesday: Go2Play Capacity Building Fund

Inspiring Scotland’s Go2Play Capacity Building fund is a small fund, looking to support innovative and exciting people within the play sector who, with tailored capacity building support, could turn great ideas from a concept into a reality, positively impacting upon the lives of children and supporting the development of play in Scotland.

The Capacity Building fund aims to support individuals within Scottish charities who are bursting with enthusiasm and potential, and who recognise the tremendous contribution play makes to children’s lives. The fund provides support to develop great ideas which utilise play, free play in particular, to enhance the wellbeing of Scotland’s children. Go2Play are particularly interested in looking at proposals which have ideas around the following areas:
  • supporting parents and young carers through the delivery of play;
  • using play as a health improvement tool and working within the health sector;
  • exploring how play can support children with additional support needs;
  • supporting children’s transitions through play; and
  • using play to enhance children’s physical activity.

The next deadline date is Friday 1st March 2013. You can find out more about Go2Play and the capacity building fund here.

Enquire National Conference – The strongest link… working together to provide additional support

The Enquire national conference, in partnership with Scottish Borders Council, will take place on March 7th 2013 at The Tweed Horizons Centre, Newtown St Boswells

It will explore partnership working in providing additional support for learning to children and young

The programme will:
• engage and inform professionals across health, education, social work and the voluntary
• highlight how communications, relationships and resources are managed to ensure the best
support is provided to those who need it
• consider how parents, children and young people are actively engaged and how their
involvement is effectively and appropriately managed.
Price – £140
For more information visit the Children in Scotland website

Wise Up Wednesday: National Storytelling Week

Picture of logo for National Storytelling WeekThe  Education Scotland calendar gives details about celebrations, awareness days and action weeks all covering topical issues relevant to childcare and education settings.

National Storytelling Week starts on 26 January and you can learn more about it and find relevant links on the calendar here.

We’d love to know how you use the art of story telling to make a difference to children’s learning. Why not share your practice in the comments?

Wise Up Wednesday: A Wee Bit Mair Than Burns

Last Spring Jenni Curson, the development officer for Studying Scotland, wrote an article called “A Wee Bit Mair Than Burns”  for the “Early Years Matters” magazine highlighting the  Studying Scotland website. The guidance on the website shows that while there is lots of excellent, innovative and challenging practice in Scotland already, there has also been a tendency to focus mainly on famous people and important events such as Robert Burns or St Andrew’s Day. Many practitioners are keen to see good practice which allows children to experience learning and teaching about Scotland in a more coherent and interdisciplinary way.

Children from Brucehill exploring their local area

The Education Scotland website shows examples of how early years staff have widened children’s understanding of Scotland. Karen Bulloch explains here how Cherry Tree Nursery used Robert Burns’ birthday as a meaningful starting point to develop children’s wider understanding of Scotland. This page shows how Brucehill Early Education and Childcare Centre involved parents in their children’s literacy development, using the Scots language as a context for learning.

We’d love to know how you are extending children’s learning about Scotland to be “a wee bit mair than Burns”. Go on, gie it a go!

Additional and Complex Needs newsletter

The first issue of the College Development Network’s Additional and Complex Needs Newsletter is now available on the website. This newsletter continues the work of the Profound and Complex Needs Newsletter.

The newsletter can be accessed here

Help needed to evaluate SSKS website

NHS Education for Scotland’s Knowledge Services Group is evaluating the impact the Social Services Knowledge Scotland (SSKS) website has on day-to-day practice and learning and development for social care workers.

It is also important to find out how satisfied you are with the material available on SSKS and the impact it has on your practice.

Complete the survey

For more information contact:

Lara Burton | Knowledge Support Officer | NHS Education for Scotland | 0141 352 2904

Wise Up Wednesday: New Year – New Direction?

Happy New Year –  here’s hoping that 2013 is a good one for us all!

Regular readers of Wise Up Wednesday will know that we (the Children and Families team at Education Scotland) have used the blog to share with you news about a whole range of subjects, which we hope will have been of interest to you.

These have included:

the early years professional learning community on Glow,

professional learning opportunities more generally,

information about relevant developments in organisations such as the NHS, and

resources which are freely available to practitioners to use with children and families.

It is important that this blog is helpful to those working with young children and their families, and covers issues which are of interesting and relevant to you. As we plan for the year ahead we would like to know what you think we should cover in 2013.

Do you have an exciting area of work that you would like us to share?

Is there a burning issue which is not getting the attention it needs?

Are you looking for information about an area of work related to early years, children and families?

This is your chance to tell us what you would like us to share on the blog. Please add your thoughts in the comments below.

Thank you!

Learning for Sustainability – report published

Learning for Sustainability – the report of the One Planet Schools Working Group, was published 17 December 2012. 

The report includes strategic recommendations to support the development of coherent whole school approaches to ensure that learning for sustainability, global citizenship and outdoor learning are experienced in a transformative way by every learner in every school across Scotland. The report includes a number of recommendations relating to career-long professional learning and initial teacher education and advocates genuine partnerships with local communities and action to improve the sustainability of the school estate. A key ambition of the report is to provide an agenda for strategic change that will create an enabling framework, remove barriers, and build on existing excellent practice.

Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages said:
“I welcome the publication of Learning for Sustainability and would like to thank the Working Group for their work and commitment to producing the report and recommendations. As we approach the Year of Natural Scotland in 2013, the report reminds us of the importance of learning which connects young people to local and global issues, an integral part of Curriculum for Excellence.

“A wide range of actions have been taken as part of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and we welcome steps to encourage and support schools in their approach to sustainability and global citizenship, including through outdoor learning.

“We will take time to consider the report, to engage with partners on its recommendations and respond in full in March 2013.”

The report can be downloaded from: 

See the associated Engage in Education blog from Professor Pete Higgins, Chair of the One Planet Schools Working Group:

Wise Up Wednesday: Children and Young People Bill

The Children and Young People Bill will be introduced to Parliament in 2013 and will set out fundamental reforms to the way services for children and young people are designed, delivered and reviewed.

Last week the Scottish Government published the Analysis of Responses to the Children and Young People Bill Consultation.

The report provides an analysis of responses to the consultation on the proposed Children and Young People Bill.  The consultation document invited views on key areas of proposed reform: children’s rightsearly learning and childcare; getting it right for every child; and the care system. The consultation ran for 12 weeks from July until September 2012, and a total of 300 responses were received.

You can read more about the consultation and download the report here.

Opportunities for All

The Scottish Government has published the following documents relating to Opportunities for All. They help to set out the expectations for delivery and processes to support better tracking of young people through the learning system.

Opportunities for All – Implementation Paper
This publication describes the aim, principles and delivery mechanisms of the Scottish Government’s commitment to an offer of a place in learning or training for all 16-19 year olds who are not already engaged. It has been drafted in collaboration with key delivery partners, Skills Development Scotland, DWP Jobcentre Plus, the Scottish Funding Council and local authorities.

Post-16 Transitions Policy and Practice Framework
This refresh of the 16+ Learning Choices Policy and Practice Framework positions 16+ Learning Choices within the context of the delivery of both Curriculum for Excellence and Opportunities for All. The Scottish Government would expect local partnerships to use this Framework to guide their detailed strategic and operational planning and to establish more formal agreements across and between services to ensure sustainable local delivery.

Post-16 Transitions Data Practice Framework
The Framework sets out the roles and responsibilities of partners to effectively share data to support young people as they move through learning and training into jobs. It sets out the framework for data sharing that will allow the Scottish Government and its partners to create a system of working that appropriately supports each and every learning and training transition a young person makes from age 16 up until their 20th birthday. This system of working is central to delivery of ‘Opportunities for All’ and will significantly reduce the risk of a young person disengaging with learning and/or training.

Wise Up Wednesday: Free Bookbug for the Home Training

Bookbug Session for the Home training is suitable for professionals already working with vulnerable families in their homes.

The training will provide professionals with the knowledge, tools and resources to incorporate the core principals of Bookbug sessions (talking, cuddling and sharing books, songs and rhymes) into their home visits. The training focuses on how to sensitively and practically encourage parents and carers to engage with children in the home.

Bookbug for the Home training is available on the following dates and locations.


28/11/2012 Education Suite, Dundee Heritage Trust 4-6.30pm


28/11/2012 Blythswood Room, Mitchell Library, Glasgow 10am-12.30pm

05/12/2012 Bridgeton Library, Glasgow 10am-12.30pm

16/01/2013 Bridgeton Library, Glasgow 10am-12.30pm

23/01/2013 Bridgeton Library, Glasgow 10am-12.30pm

West Lothian

19/11/2012 Conference Room 3, Civic Centre, Livingston 2 – 4.30pm

West Dunbartonshire

24/01/2013 Alexandria Library tbc

Bookbug for the Home is being delivered as part of the Bookbug Assertive Outreach programme to reach vulnerable families. This is taking place in the following authorities over 2012/13: Argyll and Bute, East Renfrewshire, Dundee, Glasgow, Inverclyde, South Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian. Subsequent training dates in all of these authorities will be offered in due course, and the Scottish Booktrust are very happy to put on bespoke dates on request.

To make a booking or for more information contact Kirsty Sinclair, Early Years Outreach Co-ordinator at Scottish Book Trust on 0131 524 0179 or e-mail

The Doran Review Report

The Doran Review Report – The Right Help at the Right Time in the Right Place. Strategic Review of Learning Provision for Children and Young People with Complex Additional Support Needs has been published by the Scottish Government.

The report and the Scottish Government response can be downloaded here:

The Doran Review Report
Scottish Government response

Wise Up Wednesday: Every Day’s A Learning Day Parent Questionnaire



This year Education Scotland, produced two booklets for parents, “Every day’s a learning day – birth to 3 years” and “Every day’s a learning day – 3-6 years.”The booklets are being distributed to parents of new born babies and children beginning their pre-school education aged 3, in the Scottish Book Trust’s Book Bug Bags. Filled with lots of ideas to help parents support their child’s learning in literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing during everyday experiences; the booklets show parents how easy it is for them to make a difference. Practitioners may also find the booklets useful when working with groups of parents. 

You can read and download the booklets here

If you have contact with parents of children under the age of 6 we would be grateful if you would let them know about our short survey and encourage them to share their views. Their feedback will, along with other information, help us decide how best we can support the parents of young children in the future. 

Thank you.

Early Years Matters Magazine

Following its launch at the Scottish Learning Festival, copies of Early Years Matters were sent out to centres across Scotland.

If you haven’t seen a paper copy, or would just like to have one of your own, you can always read the articles on line, or download the whole magazine to your computer, e-reader or phone.

Missed an edition? You can always catch up with our online archive here.

Remember our survey about Early Years Matters closes on 30 November 2012. Make sure you have your say and help us plan for the future!

Be at the heart of your child’s learning


Today sees the launch of a national campaign which aims to help parents and carers develop a better understanding of Curriculum for Excellence and how they can become more involved in their child’s learning.

Children do better when families support their learning. From reading together; spending time talking and listening through to finding out about their day and helping them prepare for exams – involvement makes a world of difference.

Curriculum for Excellence is raising standards of learning and teaching across Scotland. It is preparing children and young people with the skills and qualifications they need for a fast changing world. 

Parentzone is a website dedicated to providing parents and carers with the most up to date information about their child’s education. It provides practical advice and ideas of how parents and carers can be involved in their child’s learning as well as essential information on features of Curriculum for Excellence.

Get involved today by visiting


Teachers Urged to Report Missing Pupils

Teachers across Scotland are being asked to be look out for any pupils who don’t return to school after the summer break for fear of being at risk of a forced marriage.

A new booklet with advice and practitioner guidelines are available to all teachers to provide them with practical help on how to deal with a pupil that may be under threat of forced marriage or at risk of physical or mental abuse associated with this.

With experts at the UK Forced Marriage Unit predicting over 350 young people across Britain will be forced into marriage when they go abroad over the summer, the Scottish Government has teamed up with support agencies in Scotland to develop the booklet which includes information on forced marriage and how to get help locally.

Of the estimated figures collated through support agencies in Scotland, it is believed that almost 20 per cent of the 59 people who contacted support agencies were under 18 and concern both boys and girls.

Teachers are key to the campaign to raise awareness of forced marriage and the protection offered by the legislation, so they can help those under threat of a forced marriage. School or college may often be the only place where the potential victim can speak freely.

To help teachers recognise potential forced marriage victims, the Scottish Government has identified a number of important warning signs to look out for. These include:

• a student being anxious about talking about school holidays
• surveillance of a student by cousins or siblings at school or being met by family at the end of the day
• a student is prevented from going on to further or higher education.

Other equally important signs to consider include: persistent absence; requests for extended leave; decline in behaviour, performance or punctuality; not being allowed to attend extra-curricular activities or sudden announcement of engagement to a stranger.

If you are concerned about forced marriage yourself or worried about someone in your care, help is available. For advice, support and protection, call 0800 027 1234 in complete confidence or visit

Practitioner guidelines are available to view or download on the Scottish Government’s Forced Marriage web pages which can be viewed on the Scottish Government website.

Get to Know the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Scotland Seminar

Wednesday 14 November 2012

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is holding a seminar on Wednesday 14 November from 5pm to 7pm at their offices at Rosebery House in Edinburgh. The aim of this seminar is to:

  • Provide an overview of the charities structure and work;
  • List current partner organisations that are delivering DofE;
  • Provide an overview of the DofE programme and it’s uses in different settings;
  • Look at how the DofE is delivering on local and national outcomes;
  • Look at opportunities to deliver the DofE as a licensed organisation.

This FREE event is aimed at anyone with an interest in delivering the DofE whether that be a practitioner, manager or volunteer.

Contact: Sarah Hayden at The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, phone: 0131 343 0920  e-mail

Youth Music Initiative

Creative Scotland recently announced the launch of the Scottish Government’s £10million Youth Music Investment (YMI) programme for 2012/13.

The YMI programme intends to:

  • Create access to high quality music making opportunities for young people aged 0 – 25, particularly for those that would not normally have the chance to participate;
  • Enable young people to achieve their potential in or through music making;
  • Support the development of the youth music sector for the benefit of young people.

There are 3 investment programmes available for organisations and individuals to apply for investment:

1. School based music making (invited applications from Local Authorities);

2. Access to music making;

3. Strengthening youth music .

For all the information on the investment routes and for details on how to apply please visit here.

CfE – An Introduction for Youth Work

A new set of dates for CfE – An introduction for Youth Work training course events have been confirmed. These events are free to attend thanks to support from Education Scotland and Scottish Governement. Thanks also to the four Local Authorities that are hosting them.

Three dates for staff to develeop their skills in linking youth work practice to CfE can be viewed here.

One Training the Trainers date to support you to deliver these courses yourself can be viewed here

Contact  if you would like to host an additional event. 0131 554 2561

Youth Survey from the United Nations

Youth Survey from UN

The United Nations is developing a System-Wide Action Plan (SWAP) on Youth. This Action Plan will affect the way the whole UN system will work with and for youth in the coming years. The Action Plan will focus on the five priority areas identified by the Secretary General:
Education, including education on sexual and reproductive health
Citizenship and protection of rights
Political inclusion

Before developing this Action Plan, the United Nations is reaching out to youth, youth-led organizations and others to seek their inputs.

Please take a moment to fill out the questionnaire.

The questionnaire is online here

West Lothian External School Hub – Partnership Working

West Lothian has set up a forum known as the External School Hub to enable all partnership agencies to come together in a solution-focussed approach to supporting vulnerable young people who require more choices and more chances into a positive pathway. The External Hub adopts a holistic approach to providing maximum support which involves close partnership working (including young people and parents) to enable the young people to benefit from a personalised education and support package either within or outwith the school setting.

more information

Early Years case study published – Family literacy project: Brucehill tots speak Scots

Using the Scots language as a context for learning, this project aimed to help parents/carers to support their child’s literacy development with particular emphasis on talking and listening skills.

Find out more here.

Inquiry into decision-making on taking children into care

Education and Culture Committee of the Scottish Parliament is holding an inquiry into the decision-making processes involved in determining whether a child should be removed from the family home and taken into care; and whether these processes are delivering the best outcomes for children and their families.

The Committee is interested in undertaking informal fact-finding visits as part of the evidence-gathering process. Please contact if you are interested in hosting one of these visits.

Deadline for written evidence: 28 August 2012


Children and Young People Bill

The Scottish Government is consulting on its vision for children and young people’s rights and services. The Bill’s measures include:

  • embedding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child across the public sector;
  • extending the powers of the Scottish Commissioner for Children and Young People to enable the Commissioner to undertake investigations on behalf of individual children and young people;
  • increasing the funded annual provision of pre-school education for 3 and 4 year olds and looked-after 2 year olds;
  • fully implementing the Getting it right for every child approach across Scotland so that all children and young people have a Named Person;
  • introducing a single planning process to support children and young people needing the involvement of a range of services;
  • raising the age at which young people leaving care can ask for help from a local authority from 21 to 25; placing a clearer definition of corporate parenting is put on statute. YouthLink Scotland will consult with our membership on a response to the Bill. Further details will be available in due course.

Further information can be found on the scottish government Website

North Ayrshire-Extended Outreach Case Study- Supporting Young People into Positive and Sustained Destinations

This filmed case study with reflective questions to support planning for choices and changes, MCMC and 16+ Learning Choices is now available on the Education Scotland website.

The case study highlights the support available from a range of partners in planning for choices and change (including 16+ learning choices) to post 16 transition stage. The case study is located in the planning for choices and change/16+ Learning Choices areas of the website. Key themes covered are inclusion, GIRFEC and support for young people with additional support needs. This case study will benefit all partners working with young people in the senior phase and post school.

Community Learning and Development: Strategic Guidance for Community Planning Partnerships

The CLD strategic guidance was launched on Monday 11 June on the Engage for Education website. Watch the video blog by Michael Russell, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning.

Throughout the week of the 11th June there was a series of themed blog discussions covering areas such as: the impact of CLD and how the Guidance will support this work, Curriculum for Excellence, community engagement and empowerment, young people’s transitions from school and the implementation phase of the Guidance.

Following the initial launch, further discussion about the Guidance will take place on our Strategic Guidance Blog on Connect.

Wise up Wednesday: Our latest Glow Meet


Thank you to Alastair Seaman and Julie Buchanan from Grounds for Learning for taking time out of their busy schedule to join us for our Glow Meet, Play on the Longest Day on Monday. Also a big thank you to those of you who tuned in on the day. If you missed the live event the good news is that you can ‘watch again’!

Our new video featuring Julie and her excellent work at Shotts Nursery Centre as well as the  PowerPoint from the day and some useful links are now on the ‘share’ section of the Early Years CPDCentral site.

If you are not a member of our Early Years CPDCentral site, visit the site and ‘add’ your details it is really easy and quick.

Thank you

The Early Years Team

Click here to see details about the Glow Meet.