Category Archives: Early Years

Skills in Practice

Education Scotland has recently published a practical guide to support the development of the key messages surrounding Building the Curriculum 4: Skills for Learning, Life and Work. It will provide teachers and other practitioners with support to help them ensure that skills development is an integral part of learning throughout the Broad General Education stage of Curriculum for Excellence.


Highlights include:

  • Examples of innovative practice from a variety of educational establishments
  • Short film clips providing practitioner, employer, parent and learner perspectives on skills
  • Downloadable CPD activities to support practitioners to reflect and develop their practice
  • A focus on developing thinking skills with activities and film insights with Keir Bloomer (Chair of the Higher Order Skills Excellence Group)
  • Activities exploring planning and progression in skills through the Experiences and Outcomes
  • Links to a range of GLOW resources including Watch Again GLOW Meets


Find the Skills in Practice resource here on the Education Scotland website:

STEM Central Sound context…a holographic link

Holoxica, a company based at the University of Edinburgh, has used sonar scan data to build a 3D hologram of the HMS Royal Oak, where it sank on the seabed near Orkney having been hit by torpedoes in October 1939. The 3D holographic image is expected to go on display to the public around Scotland. A perfect link to our soon to be published EY to fourth level context on Sound.

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

Schools IT Excellence Group set up

The Scottish Government has announced that Education Secretary Michael Russell has appointed the Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Muffy Calder to convene an ICT Excellence Group to consider the future development of the schools’ intranet ‘Glow’.

 The new ICT Excellence Group will draw on the experience and expertise of end-users, and educational technology experts to scope the long-term user-centred future of Glow.

 Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell said:

 “It is crucial that the next generation of Glow allows schools to harness the power of technology for learning, to keep pace with rapidly evolving developments and speak the language that young people speak online.

 “Professor Calder’s group will have the challenge of imagining a future for the service that can be customised to the individual requirements of our young people, is dynamic and can remain relevant for years to come. I look forward to receiving their advice later this year.”

 The group members are now announced as follows: Prof Muffy Calder, Prof Ian Sommerville, Prof Mike Sharples, Mr Ewan McIntosh, Mr Charlie Love, Prof Bill Buchanan, Mr Hamish Budge, Prof Jeff Haywood, Mr Neil Winton, Mr Tony Rafferty, Mr Fraser Speirs, Ms Jaye Richards Hill and Mr Martin Dewar who will facilitate the involvement of two school pupils in the group.

See announcement on Engage for Education.

Wise up Wednesday – Play Opportunities


News from Play Scotland, the organisation which works to promote the importance of play for all children and young people, and campaigns to create increased play opportunities in the community.

Play Scotland have created an online Petition calling for a Statutory Duty for Play, which would ensure that local authorities are committed to providing sufficient and satisfying play opportunities for children of all ages and abilities, to be included in the new Children and Young Peoples Bill.

You can access the petition here:

Thank you

The Early Years Team

Sound Context Goes Live on STEM Central

STEM Central makes connections between sciences, technologies and mathematics through the context of engineering allows learners to broaden their understanding of the applications of concepts and skills developed in curriculum subjects. It allows learners to develop solutions to problems and demonstrate creativity through inquiry.

We are delighted to annouce that our Sound Context for learning is live on STEM Central.

Sound is an important part of our lives and we are constantly surrounded by it. From talking in the classroom, to animal sounds in the forest, from listening to music to hearing a fire engine siren, different sounds can make us feel different emotions; they can trigger memories and remind of us of key events in our lives. It can also affect how we remember different events. Animals and humans use sound to communicate with each other in a variety of forms including song, voice, ultrasound, and the telephone. Sound can be about survival and can warn us of danger but it can also be used for relaxation and entertainment through the medium of music.

The learning journeys with a Sciences and Technologies focus within early and first levels will give learners the opportunity to investigate a variety of sound making materials. They will recognise and produce different sounds through constructive play, design and construct their own instruments and create and record sounds. There will also be second and fourth level learning journeys coming soon.

Click here to visit the new Sound Context on STEM Central.

Today is….the longest day, so get out and play!

Here are some links to fabulous resources to help you explore the outdoors, even if it is raining!

International Mud Day:

Play Scotland’s site with lots of play ideas:

15 ideas for play outdoors (and more mud!)

Early Years Glow Meet on ‘Play on the Longest Day’

Have fun!

Early Years Team

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.

STEM Central: Have you heard about our new Sound context?

By the time the new school year starts in August, you’ll find our newest STEM Central context “Sound” available!

Helping practitioners to understanding learning around the science of sound as it progresses through early to fourth level, these learning journeys incorporate sciences and technologies, with everything from listening walks to the X-factor! So if you’re looking for materials to inspire you, or help you to understand the levels and progression within the broad general education (BGE) check back here, or on the STEM Central website for publication info.

Don’t forget that the Glow Science videos and fantastic mind map tool can provide inspiration and CPD.

An exciting Glow meet…Play on the Longest Day !

 Parents and children explore outdoor play  

Monday 18th June, 3.30pm – 4.00pmIn the lead up to Play on the Longest Day on the 21 June 2012, a celebration of play, we will be thinking and talking about practical ideas and activities for outdoor play. We will also be sharing the outdoor play initiative developed at Shotts Nursery Centre, North Lanarkshire in partnership with Grounds for Learning.

The Meet will consist of a panel discussion and panel members will include Julie Buchanan and Alistair Seaman from Grounds for Learning. Film footage taken of the development at Shotts Nursery Centre will be aired during the Glow Meet and discussion time will focus on how parents were actively involved in the initiative. Alistair will also give a flavour of some of the other projects Grounds for Learning are currently taking forward.

Participants will have the opportunity to ask the panel questions and share ideas. Please tune in to be inspired and get ready to Play on the Longest Day!

Hope to see you there. Click here to sign up.


Ask an Astronaut with the Scottish Space School…or an Evening with NASA

Wednesday 13 June 10:00 – 10:45

Join us again this year for a fantastic opportunity to explore space travel and meet three NASA guests all in one day. Find out about what they’ve done, ask your own questions, take part in space quizzes and use this unique opportunity to enter the world of space exploration.

The University of Strathclyde’s Scottish Space School runs from 10-15 June for learners in S5. Find out more at the Scottish Space School web page.

The Scottish Space School will also be hosting its annual  public lecture on Wednesday 13th June 2012 from 18:30 to 20:00, when the guest speakers will include two astronauts with six space missions between them, and a lead engineer on spacesuit design. If you would like to attend this event please apply for an e-ticket by clicking on to the link: E-ticket application

Did you know Scotland is active in space research? STEM Central’s Exploring Engineering is aimed at learners and practitioners for CPD and includes interviews with Scottish and global engineers, working in Scotland, round the world, and beyond!

Cabinet Secretary announces positive future for Glow

Mr Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, made an announcement today on the immediate and long-term future of Glow. 

You can read full details of Mr Russell’s announcement on Engage for Education.

Sharing learning and teaching ideas for early to second level

Participating in in-service today provided an opportunity to talk with practitioners around learning and teaching in science and share some of the ways in which Education  Scotland can provide support. Issues explored included assessment and moderation, a shared understanding of standards, progression, meeting the needs of learners, transitions, using effective partnerships and keeping the curriculum alive and relevant to inspire young learners.

The following were used to exemplify support for practitioners:

STEM Central

Weather and Climate Change

Exploring Climate Change

Marks on the Landscape

Glow TV

Education Scotland Learning blog – sharing by the Development Officers in Education Scotland

STEM Central in Motion blog – sharing by practitioners and partners

Food for Thought leaflet and poster – we will shortly be developing the new Food Security context for STEM Central

STEM Central Learning Journeys from the Sound context, early years and first level due for publication later this month, and the draft second level journeys due for publication within the next few months

Journey to Excellence

NAR (National Assessment Resource)


Glow Science

Practitioners shared resources they also find useful such as Planet Science , I’m a Scientist, get me out of here and I’m an Engineer, get me out of here.

Resources and ideas now available!

If you visit our Early Years Saturday Conference Community you will see links, resources and information from delegates.

If you are developing new ideas using this inspiring information why not make a pledge and let the community know all about it? Other You may be able to join other members of the community in developing your idea.

Learning about Scotland in the Early Years

Saturday was a very inspirational day for the Early Years team at Education Scotland. Our Saturday Conference, Learning about Scotland in the Early Years was a great success. There was singing, poetry writing and even a competition!


If you would like to follow up on any interesting discussions from the day or revisit and reflect on the presentations then visit our Early Years CPD community. The presentations are within the Early Years Saturday Conference mini CPD site.

If you have not joined our community yet, then please do. We had a queue of enthusiastic delegates who couldn’t wait to join on Saturday and you can meet them (virtually!) when you do.

Well done to Sharon from South Lanarkshire who won the well deserved prize of two Scots books to share with her establishment.

Thank you

The Early Years Team

Creative Connections fife 2012 – An Early Years Gathering

Fife Council’s Cultural Partnerships Team, in partnership with Fife’s Childcare & Early Years Services and The Byre Theatre are delighted to announce their early years event ‘Creative Connections fife 2012’ on Wednesday 23 May 2012 at The Byre Theatre, St Andrews.

Bookings are still open, so if you are an early years practitioner or have a professional interest in this field, then this day will be of interest to you. Book today!

To book contact or telephone 01592 583255.

Find out more about Creative Connections 2012 – An Early Years Gathering. Also visit our Glow Group

If you are unable to attend in person please join us via Glow. All sessions will be live on Glow TV – sign up and register for all the events in Glow TV!

Creativity and You! Embedding Creativity Across Learning – National Event

25 May, Glasgow Science Centre, 10 am – 3.30 pm


This national event, organised by The Scottish Government, Education Scotland and Creative Scotland, will showcase innovation across teaching and learning in a range of subjects beyond the expressive arts.

It will highlight just how imaginatively schools and teachers are already embedding creativity into their daily work, often in partnership with external organisations.

Teachers and senior managers in schools and the education sector will be able to draw on a range of good practice in promoting creative learning and improving learners’ creative skills within all subjects.

The day is designed to:

  • Explore what is meant by ‘Creativity skills for learning, life and work’.
  • Experience new and exciting approaches to motivating children to learn.
  • Discover different approaches taken to working with professionals and partners in delivering creative learning experiences.
  • Find out about the many resources and networks available to support creative teaching and learning.

To book a place, please contact with your name, title, contact details and local authority and any special requirements.

Wise up Wednesday – Learning about Scotland in the Early Years

Last chance to sign up for our next Saturday Conference!

Early Years Saturday Conference

Learning about Scotland in the Early Years

Saturday 19 May, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

The study of Scotland is right at the heart of Curriculum for Excellence. This conference will provide an opportunity to develop practitioners’ understanding of a renewed emphasis on learning about Scotland and how we can enrich the learning experience for our youngest children.

Keynote speakers

  • Liz Niven – Liz is an award-winning poet who writes in English and Scots.
  • Juliet Robertson – Juliet is one of Scotland’s leading education consultants, specialising in learning and play outdoors.
  • Dr Donald Smith – Donald is the Director of the Scottish Storytelling Centre, as well as a novelist, poet, playwright and storyteller.

Vist here to find out more.

If you are already attending why not join our Early Years Saturday Conference community and meet other attendees before the event?

Visit and make a pledge today!

The Early Years Team

STEM Central and The James Hutton Institute’s Water Works

Earlier this year, we blogged about this exciting opportunity which can be used in many contexts, including to enrich the STEM Central water context.

A trickling burn, a flooded street, a horse’s trough or a grand Scottish loch – no matter what comes to mind when you think of water the Water Works competition wants your photographs. The James Hutton Institute has now announced the March winner of the competition,  John Smith, Age 8, from Orkney. His picture, shown above, is called “The Flood at the Pumping Station” and shows his local pumping station at North Stronsay, flooded due to the nearby loch overflowing.

The James Hutton Institute’s Facebook page has more information on the March entries and how you can take part in May’s competition.

Need some more inspiration on water? 

Whether you are working with the STEM Central Flood Management learning journeys in the context of social sciences, technologies or maths, or planning learning and teaching around themes of sustainability for new National Qualifications, this article published in The Telegraph, by James Dyson “Engineering can save us from drought” might provide information or inspiration. Perhaps you could use this year’s Dyson Challenge as a basis for learning, maybe your learners hold the key to saving water for a more sustainable future?

If your learners are considering the current drought and flood situation in large parts of England, why not use it as an opportunity to explore the role of engineers in sustainability? We would love to hear your ideas on our STEM Central in Motion blog.

Or try using the mindmap tool in Glow Science to kickstart thinking for you or your learners.

The James Hutton Institute via the Centre of Expertise for Waters  are running a year long competition aimed at raising awareness of water and water-related issues across both primary and secondary ages. The competition, with monthly prizes, aims to encourage learners to think about the natural environment and make the link between CfE curriculum areas Sciences, Technologies and Expressive Arts. The competition page gives background on the competition and entry instructions.

SCCYP – Your RIGHT wee blether feedback

Once again join Tam Baillie and the Blether Bear live from Eyemouth Nursery and Primary in the Scottish Borders to hear about all the exciting things your children said in a RIGHT wee blether.

Tam will be saying thank you to everyone who took part and telling the story of a RIGHT wee blether.

It will be a chance for your children to find out what the Blether Bear has been doing and to ask Tam what he has been doing since our last Glow Meet.

Sign up and join us for fun and games on the day!

Wise up Wednesday – This Sucks!

Hello everyone!

Thank you for logging in for your Weekly Wednesday Wise Up! This week we are really excited to highlight the fantastic work created by Glasgow Film Theatre, Starcatchers, Platform and Toad’s Caravan. One of our team attended the premier at the Galsgow Film Theatre last week and had a great time! Lovely to see the stars of the show in their glamorous clothes on the red carpet!

This film presents a fantastic example of partnership working in the early years. What a great way to use the expertise of others to enhance children’s experiences.

As you watch you may get ideas for new experiences in your establishment. Your children will really enjoy this film, why not show it to them at story time?

Thank you and Enjoy the film!

The Early Years Team 🙂


Glasgow Film Theatre, Starcatchers, Platform and Toad’s Caravan have joined forces to produce This Sucks: The Movie, starring a talented cast of hundreds of nursery children from across Glasgow.

This Sucks: The Movie is a short film made by and starring children four-years-old and under from nurseries around the East-End of Glasgow. The film tells the story of Hetty the Hoover and the love of her life — Mike Dust.

The concept grew from a previous, highly successful Starcatchers project, This Workshop Sucks, which premiered at the Glasgow Youth Film Festival, a fun interactive workshop, telling the same story to pre-school children combining theatre, art and moving image.

Over two weeks in February 2012, hundreds of children from Glasgow nurseries participated in making the film with directors Matt Addicott and Katy Wilson from Starcatchers and the support of Toad’s Caravan.

This Sucks: The Movie! was made possible by Glasgow City Council’s Area Committee Grants.



Hetty the Hoover
Mike Dust
The Man and his family
The Doctor and Nurses
The Dancers


Barlanark Family Learning Centre
Helenslea Nursery School
Hullabaloo Children Centre
Sandaig Nursery School
Westercraigs Nursery


Matt Addicott
Katy Wilson


Matt Addicott


Toad’s Caravan


Joanna Susskind
Marissa Keating


Joanna Susskind
Bruce Cameron


Brian Sweeney


Stuart Brown


Paul Macgregor

Thanks to Numatic, James Dean and Rhona Matheson

© Glasgow Film Theatre / Starcatchers / Platform / Toad’s Caravan

For more info on Glasgow Film, visit

For more info on Starcatchers, visit

For more on Platform, visit

For more on Toad’s Caravan, visit

STEM Central Sounds Inspiring, Sounds Amazing!

As we progress the development of our new context on STEM Central “Sound”, some ideas to link to your learning and teaching. The Glasgow International Festival of Visual Arts, running from 23-28th April 2012, is showcasing the work of six diverse artists with an interest in sound, space and place. The works of the artists, audio based pieces responding to the Clyde’s tidal cycle will  be performed each day in public spaces in central Glasgow, and all will be performed on Saturday 28th in the circular, wood-panelled Trust Hall of Clydeport Authority Headquarters. Sounds inspiring? You can find out more on the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Arts website. What distinguishes music from noise? Why not view the Glow Science video “How do Musical Instruments work?” and explore this further?

And, it might sound like something from Dr Who but researchers at the University of Dundee have this week announced the invention of a “sonic screwdriver”, an ultrasonic device which has potential for developing new, more precise surgical techniques. Sounds amazing? More on this from the BBC. Unsure about ultrasound? Why not use the Glow Sciences videos Beyond the Range of Human Hearing, or Medical Marvels: Ultrasound for a bit of background?

STEM Central’s sound context will include learning journeys in sciences and technologies for early years, first, second and fourth level, incorporating work developed by the Engineering the Future project. The fourth level journey could be used to support your planning for learning and teaching for National 4 Physics.


Listen to an interesting talk by Carol Craig from the Centre for Confidence and Wellbeing on how materialism has undermined our wellbeing in scotland.

Wise up Wednesday – new online resource

Studying Scotland is a resource that will help build confidence in the learning and teaching of Scotland within the curriculum, making it a rewarding and valuable experience for both learner and practitioner.

The resource includes new and exciting learning and teaching ideas as well as resources for learning. There are ideas on how to teach about Scotland within the Early Level.

There is also a Glow page on the Early Years National site which has gathered together all early years relevant resources on this subject.

Visit today and be inspired!

Team Update

The Early Years team are busy preparing for our Pre Birth to Three conference taking place on Thursday 29th March at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. We are looking forward to hearing about ‘Creating Nurturing Environments’ and ‘Supporting Parents’ just to name a few of the presentations that will take place.

If you would like to learn more about Pre Birth to Three visit:

…and on Glow…

In the meantime keep an eye out for:

  • news of our Saturday Conference in May “Learning about Scotland in the Early Years” which will take place at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall 19 May 2012 – save the date!


  • Our latest issue of Early Years Matters focusing on involving parents, featuring articles on our new publication Every Day’s a Learning Day, examples of practice from nurseries on involving parents and research findings from the Early Development Instrument.

Literacy in Action

Literacy in Action: Supporting Colleges to Influence Early Years Practice

 The Literacy in Action: Supporting Colleges to Influence Early Years Practice Conference took place at Stirling Management Centre on Saturday 25 February 2012. This event was organised by Education Scotland to give Further Education lecturers an opportunity to hear about the Scottish Government’s Literacy Action Plan.

 View video of the keynote speakers here.


Wise up Wednesday – see our exciting new early years resources!

Every Day’s a Learning Day 

Two new books have been published by Education Scotland to help parents and carers of young children to make the most of the learning experiences that exist in everyday life.

 Every Day’s a Learning Day (Birth to 3 years)’ and ‘Every Day’s a Learning Day (3 to 6 years)’ aim to help parents support their child’s development in the crucial areas of health and wellbeing, literacy and numeracy.

 Both books are available in English and Gaelic language versions.  

There will be a copy of each of the books with the next issue of Education Scotland’s Early Years Matters.

The books will be distributed in the Scottish Booktrust’s Bookbug bags. The Birth to 3 book will go to parents when they visit their health visitor for their child’s first vaccination from March onwards. The 3-6 book will be in Bookbug bags for children when they turn 3 and join nursery.

Sustainability Event – Echt School share through GlowTV

Dual post from Glow Scotland Blog.

Echt School, Aberdeenshire, is holding a Sustainability Event on March 16th 2012 to share and showcase the learning the children have been engaged in this term around Sustainability and Global Citizenship.

From Nursery to P7, they have been involved in setting up a wormery, looking after chickens and hatching eggs, looking at our school’s Food and Waste Footprint, finding out about making paper to make their own compostable paper bags, Fairtrade and finding out about solar energy.

Go to Glow TV to find out more – click here (Glow log in required)

Wise Up Wednesday – did you know about…?

 Tracy’s Early Years Lowe-down

This weekly blog is the place Early Years Training Manager at the Scottish Book Trust Tracy Lowe (hence the pun-tastic title) shares new resources, interesting information and research relating to the early years.

NHS Health Scotland

NHS Health Scotland’s 2011 publications catalogue

Maternal and Early Years

This website is for everyone working in the early years workforce in Scotland. It covers a wide breadth of information relevant to practitioners at all levels. It brings together a wealth of up-to-date information, key resources and support.

SSSC Workforce Solutions

Practice Simulation for Childhood Practice and Practitioner Research

Wanted! Creative teachers and CLD staff

Are you creative in the classroom? Do you empower creativity in your young people?
Education Scotland is looking for teachers and CLD staff who use creativity in their work to speak up and share their creative learning and teaching approaches with the rest of Scotland through a series of very short online film clips.

Creativity in its purest sense involves generating original ideas that have value and crosses ALL areas of the curriculum (not just the arts) and we are looking for examples from subjects as diverse as PE, Languages and Maths. It could be the young people learning creative skills or an approach to lesson planning that is particularly creative. What creativity might involve can be found here:

Here are the questions we would like to put to you:

• What is creativity (to you)?

• Why be creative in your teaching?

• What happens when the young learners are engaged in a creative activity?

• What did you and your young learners do that was creative?
You might explain an example of what creativity looks like in your classroom or group.
You might detail day-to-day creative approaches or else explain a specific project, topic or development.
How did this specifically benefit you and the young people?

You will be filmed by a professional film company (they really put you at your ease) who will come to you, fit around your timetable, and the whole process of setting up and filming will take less than half an hour. Ultimately we are capturing just 3 minutes of glorious quality footage from you that will be shared through the Creativity Portal. This is a great opportunity to showcase your creativity to a national audience.

The filming will be arranged to suit you some time in the next three weeks.

It takes moments to offer your experience or suggest a colleague who you think would fit the bill:
Go to:
Phone: 0141 282 5194

Glow Meet – Employability Skills in the Early Years


We would like to say a big thank  you to all who tuned in to our Glow Meet yesterday it was one of the most successful Glow Meets we have ever had, with all attendees sharing their enthusiastic comments and questions, particularly in relation to assessment and tracking. Also thank you to Lorraine Munro from Dens Road Primary School in Dundee who shared her expertise in the early years.

Due to the success of this Glow Meet we are really keen to organise another to follow on from yesterday’s discussion so watch this space!

In the mean time, to continue the discussion and share your thoughts, ideas, suggestions and questions click here and join our discussion forum.

To Watch Again Click Here

We look forward to hearing from you.

Wise Up Wednesday – Literacy in Action

On Saturday the early years team at Education Scotland hosted a conference at Stirling Management Centre – 

Literacy in Action: Supporting Colleges to Support Early Years Practice.

Aileen Campbell MSP, Minister for Children andYoung People launched our new resource for parents every day’s a learning day. This resource highlights the learning opportunities present in every day situations from sorting the washing to preparing meals. Watch this space for more information

The conference was very successful with delegates sharing their enthusiasm about the workshops and the speakers which included:

Jean Carwood-Edwards, Programme Director, Education Scotland

Scotland’s Literacy Action Plan – everyone’s responsibility   

Alan Bissett, Author

Literacy in Action – promoting a reading culture in Scotland

National Updates

Education Scotland – Inspection Framework 

Louise Gaddi, Qualifications Manager Care Scotland, SQA

Catherine Agnew, Inspector Manager – Registration,Care Inspector

Nina Roberts, Education and Workforce Development Adviser, SSSC  

World Cafe Workshops

Development Officers provided an overview of how their own area of work supports the Literacy Action Plan and lead discussions on how the resources available could be used with students of early education and childcare.

Irene Russell, Development Officer, Parental Involvement

Susan Doherty, Development Officer, Work with Young People

Hilary Bombart, Team Leader (Acting), Literacy and English

Anna Cartlidge, Development Officer, Early Years/Responsibility of All

Visit Scotland’s Colleges Blog to see a video of the key messages from the day.

Wise up Wednesday: CfE Impact and Benefits – Focus On: Early Years

 The Scottish Government have published new short films on Curriculum for Excellence for parents on the Engage for Education web site at:

The films illustrate, in nursery/primary/secondary learners’, parents’ and teachers’ own words, the kind of impact and benefits that Curriculum for Excellence is having across Scotland. 

The films contribute towards the Cabinet Secretary’s CfE Action Plan 2011/12 commitment to develop new materials for parents which illustrate the benefits of CfE, following specific calls for such resources from parents. 

They have been developed in co-operation with the National Parent Forum of Scotland.

Let your colleagues and parents know!!!

What are friends for?

The presence of friends mitigates negative experiences, study proves

“Stand by me” is a common refrain when it comes to friendship; however, new research from Concordia University proves that the concept goes beyond pop music: keeping friends close has real physiological and psychological benefits. 

The presence of a best friend directly affects children going through negative experiences, as reported in the recent Concordia-based study published in Developmental Psychology. The study was conducted with the collaboration of researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Feelings of self-worth and levels of cortisol, a hormone produced naturally by the adrenal gland in direct response to stress, are largely dependent on the social context of a negative experience.
“Having a best friend present during an unpleasant event has an immediate impact on a child’s body and mind,” says author William M. Bukowski, a psychology professor and director of the Concordia Centre for Research in Human Development. “If a child is alone when he or she gets in trouble with a teacher or has an argument with a classmate, we see a measurable increase in cortisol levels and decrease in feelings of self-worth.”
A total of 55 boys and 48 girls from grades 5 and 6 in local Montreal schools took part in the study. Participants kept journals on their feelings and experiences over the course of four days and submitted to regular saliva tests that monitored cortisol levels. 

Concordia psychology professor William M. Bukowski | Photo by Concordia University
Although previous studies have shown that friendships can protect against later adjustment difficulties, this study is the first to definitively demonstrate that the presence of a friend results in an immediate benefit for the child undergoing a negative experience.
These results have far-reaching implications. “Our physiological and psychological reactions to negative experiences as children impacts us later in life,” explains Bukowski. “Excessive secretion of cortisol can lead to significant physiological changes, including immune suppression and decreased bone formation. Increased stress can really slow down a child’s development.”

According to Bukowski, when it comes to feelings of self-worth, “What we learn about ourselves as children is how we form our adult identities. If we build up feelings of low self-worth during childhood, this will translate directly into how we see ourselves as adults.”

The study builds on previous research at Concordia that has shown multiple friendships inoculate against negative outcomes such as bullying, exclusion and other kinds of aggression.
About the study
 The paper, “The Presence of a Best Friend Buffers the Effects of Negative Experiences,” published in the journal Developmental Psychology, was authored by William M. Bukowski of Concordia University in Canada, Ryan E. Adams of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and John Bruce Santo of the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the United States.

Wise up Wednesday – Shrove Tuesday

Fantastic Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) books to read………..

  • “Curious George Makes Pancakes” by Margret Rey
  • “Pancakes, Pancakes!” by Eric Carle
  • “Mr Wolf’s Pancakes” by Jan Fearnley
  • “Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • “Pippi Longstocking” by Astrid Lindgren
  • “Moomintroll”  by Tove Jansson
  • “The Runaway Pancake” folktale


……and a quiz for afters, mmmmmmmmmmm!

Have fun!

The Review of the Community Learning and Development Strategy in Scotland

The Review of the Community Learning and Development Strategy in Scotland
The discussion on the review of the CLD Strategy has now been widened and anyone interested can view the discussion paper and engage in the discussions online by going to

This is the route for formal written responses to the discussion, and is an opportunity to drive forward essential aspects of key agendas including Curriculum for Excellence, the Literacy Action Plan, 16+ Learning Choices, regeneration and community empowerment. The Scottish Government also sees the discussion as a way of developing shared thinking on key issues including post-16 education, college regionalisation and the Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill.

Developing Learning in Early Number Conferences 16th & 17th March

The Numeracy team at Education Scotland is hosting events for practitioners on Friday 16 March in the Drumossie House Hotel, Inverness and again on Saturday 17 March in the AECC, Aberdeen. The aim of the event is to support effective teaching and learning of number in early years settings and primary schools. Throughout the day there will be opportunities to participate in workshops, network with colleagues, share good practice and hear key messages in numeracy. (Inverness) (Aberdeen)

 The event will be of particular interest to practitioners in early years settings and in primaries 1 to 3. If you are interested in attending this free event please email either (Inverness event) or (Aberdeen event).

Early Years Glow Meet – Building the Curriculum 4: skills in the early years

Wednesday 29th February
4.00pm – 4.30pm

This Glow Meet is appropriate for all early years practitioners.
Building the Curriculum 4 supports the planning, design and delivery of the curriculum in early years establishments, schools and colleges. It sets out skills for learning, life and work demonstrating how they are embedded in the experiences and outcomes.
Can we build employability skills in the early years? Should we be thinking about these within the early level? During the session we will speak to a practitioner who, in partnership with her colleagues, helps children develop the skills they need for their life now and in the future.
A key aim of this Glow Meet will be to promote discussion and to inspire practitioners to explore different approaches to skills development in the early years. Participants will have the chance to ask the panel questions and share ideas.
Hope to see you there!
Click here to sign up and find out more!

National Early Years Conference: Getting it Right for Every Child – The Journey so Far…



1st March 2012

Getting it Right for Every Child – the Journey So Far

This event is now oversubscribed but you can still sign up to participate through webcast.

If you would like to participate through webcast, email :

Find out more at the following links:

Maternal and Early Years Website for Early Years Professionals

Sign up for the National Early Years Network and receive the monthly e-newsletter 

Information for parents

National Galleries of Scotland – The Tesco Bank Art Competition

 The Tesco Bank Art Competition for Schools hopes to inspire children across the country with the National Galleries of Scotland’s superb collection of artworks.

This year’s winning works will be proudly displayed at the newly refurbished Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

The closing date is 4th May 2012.

See below for more details……Good Luck!!!

Nursery Theme – How Does Your Garden Grow?

Wise up Wednesday…..for parents!

Health and Wellbeing Event for Parents – Saturday 25 February 2012

 The Health and Wellbeing team at Education Scotland is hosting an event for parents on 25 February at Stirling Management Centre. The event will start at 10 am and finish at 1 pm and is free to attend. The aim of this event is to outline the health and wellbeing entitlements for Curriculum for Excellence.

 There will be lots of opportunities for discussion about the different aspects of the health and wellbeing curriculum and how parents can support their children with this. Partner agencies will also be attending to facilitate some group discussions. This event will be of interest to any parent with children in the early years, primary and secondary settings.

 If you are interested in attending this event please register with Anne-Marie Lamont.

A Right Wee Blether

A RIGHT wee blether, a creative conversation led by Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People ran from 12th September – 31st October 2011. 

The Commissioner, Tam Baillie, has a responsibility to promote and safeguard the rights of children and young people in Scotland.  A RIGHT wee blether encouraged children to creatively express how they feel by answering five key questions:

  • How are you feeling today?
  • What makes you smile?
  • Who is special to you?
  • You are given a special star, where will you put it? 
  •  What would you like to change?

The views and experiences of children have been captured and summarised. These responses, in addition to the consultation with school age children a RIGHT blether, will inform the Commissioner’s work over the next four years.

  • To find out more about the work of Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People and a RIGHT wee blether please visit
  • You can also see an example of  how this was put into practice by visiting St Joseph’s Nursery website.

Health and Wellbeing Profiles 2010, Scotland Overview Report

Click here to access the 2010 health profiles, along with complementary profiles focussing on children and young people. These profiles highlight the considerable variation in health between areas and help identify priorities for health improvement. The profiles give a snapshot overview of health for each area using spine charts (which show how the area compares to the Scottish average), and allow further understanding of the results via rank charts and trend charts.

Global citizenship online community – now LIVE

Do you have an interest in, or remit for, global citizenship? Need some advice or want to share ideas with like-minded practitioners?

If so, then you’ll probably want to have a peek at the shiny new online community for global citizenship on CPD Central. Join now so you can brag to colleagues about how you were one of the pioneering members .

Why have we set it up? Well, there’s always a buzz of ideas and sharing at our face-to-face CPD events and we thought it’d be amazing if we could find a way of bringing people together again and again to keep the discussion and buzz going. Well we’ve found a way!  Here’s your bit:

Step 1 – Visit and add your picture (Glow log in required)

Step 2 – Share an idea or ask the audience

Welcome gift! If you join before Friday 17th February 2012 we’ll be happy to offer you a special gift to welcome you to the community – one of our highly-prized global citizenship wall calendars (these have been flying off our shelves!).

New weblinks in the parents section of Glow


We would like to draw your attention to new links which have been added to the parents section of our Glow group. These include:

  • Education Scotland’s Learning Blog
  • Engage for Education – the Scottish Government’s blog

Both of these can be accessed by parents outwith Glow and without a Glow password. They give parents a chance to see up to date information related to the curriculum, learn about events and also offer an opportunity to share their opinions and views.

New briefing from Enquire – Extra Support at School: The rights of looked after children

New Briefing from Enquire – Extra Support at School: The Rights of Looked After Children
The law says that all looked after children should have the extra support they need to get the most out of their education and achieve their full potential. Enquire has published a new briefing paper that explains the rights of looked after children under the Additional Support for Learning Act. The briefing identifies different reasons why looked after children may need extra support to get the most out of their learning, and gives examples of different ways that support can be provided. It looks at the responsibilities that education authorities have towards looked after children’s education, including their legal duty to consider whether a looked after child requires a co-ordinated support plan to ensure that agencies work together to plan what help the child needs to learn effectively. It also considers issues around school attendance and school exclusion, and the processes by which disputes about support for learning can be resolved.

The briefing will help professionals in education, social work and health in relation to GIRFEC and the corporate parent role, and will be useful for parents and carers in knowing how to ensure their child is getting help when they need it most.

To download a free copy of Enquire’s briefing, visit here

Literacy in Action: Supporting Colleges to Influence Early Years Practice


This Education Scotland conference will support lecturers who deliver Early Education and Childcare training programmes.

The one-day event will build on the success of our previous conferences by:

  • supporting reflection on the key messages from the Literacy Action Plan;
  • providing a valuable opportunity to engage with colleagues from other colleges;
  • facilitating the sharing of ideas and practice on working together with partner agencies and parents to support literacy in learning.

Education Scotland is delighted that Alan Bissett, one of Scotland’s leading authors, will deliver the keynote address. Interactive workshop sessions led by practitioners will explore a range of approaches to support you in your work. There will also be national updates from regulatory bodies.

The programme includes the following keynote presentations:

  • Scotland’s Literacy Action Plan – everyone’s responsibility: Jean Carwood-Edwards, Programme Director, Education Scotland
  • Literacy in Action – promoting a reading culture in Scotland: Allan Bissett, author.

For more details click here

Wise up Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday to all!

The Early Years Team have added new examples from Glow Cookbooks to the ‘Places to Go’ section of the Glow Group.

 The newest example to be added to Cookbooks is “Jessie Porter nursery: sharing and collaborating through Glow“.

In this example of using Glow in a nursery you will find ideas on creating a glow group which performs many functions including improving transitions through Glow Meets, sharing evidence in videos and photos and shared planning exemplars. You can also   request to be part of the Glow group to allow you to see what methods Jessie Porter Nursery use.

Wise Up Wednesday!

Robert Burns – Lets Celebrate

Happy New Year from the Early Years Team at Education Scotland!

Its time to celebrate the life of Robert Burns on Burns’ Day 25th January.

To give you some ideas on where to get started we have provided you with some links to good practice and some interesting resources which will enable you to explore Burns’ birthday as well as Scotland itself including the languages of Gaelic and Scots particularly within the early years.

  • Why not explore the stories of Katie Morag by Mairi Hedderwick? Katie lives on a Scottish Island.

What is it like to live on an island?

What Islands are around Scotland?

Sing and speak the Scots language by tuning into our Glow meet on ‘watch again’.

Matthew Fitt, author of many stories in Scots for young children including “Katie’s Coo” and “A Wee Book O’ Fairytales in Scots” sings, tells stories and will have you ‘burlin roon’ before you know it!

Have a wee sing song

Visit the Education Scotland Knowledge of Language site and listen to auld favourites such as ‘Coulter’s Candy’ and ‘Ye Cannie Shuv Yer Grannie’. Also visit ‘Scotland’s Songs’ and see songs for the early years and songs in Gaelic too!

Celebrate Robert Burns’ birthday in a nursery setting

You could make a book all about things relating to Scotland. This would also encourage reflection and recall. You could add various pictures of Scottish food, tartan, animals, landmarks, places etc. The children may also want to add the Scots word that they like to use in conversation!

The Early Years team at Education Scotland hope you have a fabulous time during you Burns’ celebrations.

Global Citizenship – JOIN our Glow drop in session

Developing Global Citizens through sustainable development education

Time:  3.45pm – 4.45pm, Thursday 26th January

Where: The shiny new Glow community for global citizenship

 2012 is a big year for Sustainable Development Education (SDE):

  • World leaders will gather in Rio to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and decide on further action
  • 2012 is the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All
  • We only have three years until the end of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development Education and there is a buzz of activity happening in schools and local authorities across Scotland.

If you’d like to tune into all that’s happening and are looking for inspiration and ideas to kick start 2012 then this is the Glow meet for you. The Developing Global Citizenship Team will be hosting this informal session open to any practitioner or school leader – just drop into the Glow meet to pick our brains, find out what’s coming up or tell us what you’re up to. If you missed the previous sessions then click here to see how they work.

Note: if you join us with a headset or webcam then it means we can have a good blether. However, if you prefer to type fast with wonky spellng then that’s good too!

One click (then another small one) to take part >>