Category Archives: Early Years

Big Schools’ Birdwatch

Join the RSPB from 16-30th January 2012 and you’ll not only be taking part in the world’s biggest birdwatch, but also helping us monitor UK bird numbers.

Run every year, the Birdwatch is a free activity for all UK schools and youth groups. Little Schools’ Birdwatch is for 3-5 year olds, Big Schools’ Birdwatch is for 6-11 year olds and Really Big Schools’ Birdwatch is for 12-14 year olds.

To find out more about this competition click here.

Heart to Heart

The British Heart Foundation Scotland is committed to educating young people about the importance of making healthy choices, at every stage of life from nursery school through into adulthood. This includes diet and physical activity, as well as smoking awareness and wider community involvement through initiatives like our Heartstart programme.

 There is a  whole section of their website dedicated to resources that are available to schools, including  a kids’ and schools’ catalogue.

Click  here to find out about loads of helpful resources from the British Heart Foundation.

Getting it Right for every child in Lanarkshire

Getting it Right for Every Child is a national policy and programme. The following link to the GIRFEC in Lanarkshire website developed jointly by North and South Lanarkshire provides information on their programme and includes training materials and their Parenting Support Strategy.

Supporting Learners information leaflet

A new downloadable leaflet relating to the entitlement to (personal) support is now available to download from the Supporting Learners area of the Education Scotland website.
This downloadable leaflet provides an overview of the entitlement
It has three main sections looking at:
• who is entitled to support?
• what does this mean for my practice?
• where can I find the key facts?

The Creativity Portal Update: “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.”

The Creativity Portal is now a little over a year old and users are visiting the Creativity Portal for its offer of creative partnerships, resources and inspiration, as well as engaging with the Creativity Portal Glow Group behind the scenes in new and exciting ways.

Creativity News Feeds

Nearly 700 partnership opportunities and examples of creativity in the curriculum have already been shared through the Creativity Blog – many of which are free for teachers and community learning groups.

That’s more than four pieces of inspiration and creative opportunities each school day.

You can receive the Creativity Blog in the way that suits you best:

You can also subscribe to specialist Creativity Feeds such as Creativity and LiteracyCreativity and SciencesCreativity and HeritageCreativity and DramaCreativity and DanceCreativity and MusicCreativity and Art & DesignCreativity and ASL, Creativity and Early YearsCreativity and CLD and Creativity and Social Studies.

Creativity Portal website

Nearly 15000 unique users have visited the Creativity Portal already making use of:

  • 74 quality assured creative partners responding to and investing in Curriculum for Excellence
  • 29 quality assured case studies of creative partnerships in action across all ages and areas of the curriculum
  • easy access to 106 creative resources, learning and teaching tools and sources of inspiration
  • listings of 32 national Glow Groups with creativity at their heart to inform your teaching

Creativity Portal Glow Group

Various associated Glow Groups and tools have been developed alongside the public facing Creativity Portal to engage educationalists, teachers and youth workers in sharing, discussion and celebration of creativity’s role in teaching and learning.

Creativity Forum – a national forum for all Glow users to contribute to the debate and seek answers

Creativity Archive – a national repository of creative projects and lessons that any Glow user can add to, ensuring that all our creative learning is shared and no learning is ever lost

Creativity online newspaper – a simple newspaper style newsfeed giving you at-a-glance news from across Scotland in creative learning

Glow TV’s Creativity Channel – featuring an increasing number of creative Glow Meets with authors, theatre directors, artists and creative partners

This is an exciting phase for the Creativity Portal and with changes happening all the time your feedback is as powerful as ever. You can access the Creativity Portal Evaluation tool here – http://glo.li/mrNuJE, leave a comment on the Creativity Forum – http://glo.li/ieF6fA, or email me direct on stephen.bullock@educationscotland.gov.uk

If you have any questions or suggestions then please do not hesitate to ask. You can also find resources to help you promote and share the Creativity Portal’s resources with colleagues in the Creativity Portal Glow Group.

Creativity in the Classroom – a call out to share what works

Consider yourself creative?

The Creativity Portal is looking for examples of simple, short creative exercises that teachers and youth workers like yourself have used in the classroom and youth group settings.

It could be:

  • A creative chemistry experiment
  • The school’s fastest paper aeroplane contest
  • The imaginative alphabet
  • A 30 second dramatic warm-up

We would love to hear what’s worked for you. Get a mention on the national Creativity Portal and an invitation to future creative CPD. A wee bit of text is all it takes.

Add to the Creativity Archive here within Glow.

Or email Stephen.bullock@educationscotland.gov.uk

Santa Glow Meet

The Santa Glow Meet is back again for another year. This time, our good friend Santa will be coming to Glow users LIVE from the infant department at Fallin Primary near Stirling and he will be answering your questions LIVE through Glow TV. This was a hugely popular and successful event last year and Santa got lots of tricky questions from Glow viewers, as well as those in the school.

Sign up, prepare some questions and get ready to see Santa LIVE through Glow.

To find out more about the Glow Meet and to sign up click here. (Glow log in required)
To visit the Glow Group click here. (Glow log in required)

Scots Language in the Early Years

Do you know what ‘cow’,  ‘dog’ or ‘vest’ is in Scots? If not tune in and watch again on Early Years Glow TV. We had a fantastic session with Matthew Fitt this morning, lots of establishments tuned in and took part by burlin’ roon  and shoutin’ oot!

If you would like to know more visit the Glow TV ‘discussion’ section of our Early Years National Glow site and download the hints and tips on how to explore Scots more in your classroom/playroom.

Here are some useful links too:

Scotland’s Songs for Early Years

Scotland’s Stories

Itchycoo

Thank you for tuning in!

Come and meet Debi Gliori!

Debi Gliori lives in Scotland. Debi is well known for both her picture books and her novels for children and has been shortlisted for all the major prizes, including the Kate Greenaway Award (twice) and the Scottish Arts Council Award. Debi was the Shetland Islands’ first Children’s Writer-in-Residence. She published her first book in 1990 and since then has published so many successful books that she has lost count. She has written and illustrated No Matter What, The Trouble With Dragons, Stormy Weather and, most recently, The Scariest Thing of All for Bloomsbury.
In this session she will work with pupils from Primary 2 at Haddington Infant School – why don’t you join her?
Yes I would love to join her! (29.11.11 @ 1.30pm)
Can’t join in at the time? Remember to watch again!

Enterprising Science & Technologies

The aim of these materials is to support teachers who wish to undertake interdisciplinary learning for children and young people from pre-school to age 15, by providing high quality guidelines for planning.

Making connections across learning 3-15

The principal focus is on science and technology, while making appropriate, relevant and purposeful links to other areas of the curriculum. The project has been developed as a partnership between the Association for Science Education and the Technology Teachers’ Association, led by HMIE and with professional support from Learning and Teaching Scotland.

Ideas maps

‘Ideas maps’ are used as the basis for developing related activities and experiences for the sciences and technologies. The approach offers choice, flexibility and stimulus for teachers to develop their own ideas. The ideas maps provide a good start for interdisciplinary teaching and can contribute to connected, meaningful learning for children and young people.

The project provides many opportunities for cross-subject working in secondary schools, and for collaboration between primary and secondary establishments. The potential for involving parents, employers, entrepreneurs and community organisations as partners is significant – each topic highlights these opportunities and suggests where this would be of benefit.

To find out more about the resource click here.

To visit the Glow Group and access the resources click here. (Glow log in required)

The latest Early Years Glow meet

Our Glow meet, “Towards the Vision: Developing Literacy in the Early Years” was a great success.

Join in the interesting discussions here.

Grant Gillies, Literacy Development Officer at Education Scotland spoke about Bloom’s Higher Order Thinking fans. Find out about the Kilmalcolm case study here:

http://caledonianblogs.net/nilfs/2010/02/25/questioning-kilmacolms-innovative-blooming-blooms-approach/

Find Bloom’s Higher Order Thinking fans here:

https://portal.glowscotland.org.uk/establishments/nationalsite/Literacy%20and%20English/AAA%20Hidden%20Pages/CL%20-%20Resources.aspx

A RIGHT wee blether – What Did You Do?

Have you and your class been taking part in a RIGHT Wee Blether? If so why not join our Glow Meet and share with us what you have been doing?

We all hope you have enjoyed blethering with your 2 to 5 year olds. In this Glow Meet you will see Tam Baillie, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People in Broxburn Primary and Nursery talking to staff and children about how they took part, join us to show us your wee books about him and tell us your stories!!

We will also be looking at some of Our Wee Stories which have been returned to the office and if we’re lucky the blether bear will be there too!

So sign up and join us in Glow TV on Thursday 24th November from 11-12pm.

Wise up Wednesday!

The Early Years team here at Education Scotland have so much to talk about! We have been very busy with our Early Years Saturday conference and the first of our new programme of glow meets.

Early Years Saturday Conference

The conference was a great success and this was greatly reflected in the delegates comments. The conference presentations from Ms Lean Mann, Scottish Government, Professor John Frank, Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy and Dr Margy Whalley, Director at Pen Green Research Development & Training Base and Leadership Centre are all in the ‘conferences’ section of the Early Years National Glow Group.

We have also provided useful links for you to follow in relation to the day.

Glow meet – Towards the Vision: Developing Literacy in the Early Years

We had a very successful Glow meet yesterday. Many people tuned in with their staff and took part in conversations. We will add a review of this onto our Glow discussion forum tomorrow. Thank you to everyone who took part and if you couldn’t make it, please click here to watch again.

Don’t forget to sign up to watch Matthew Fitt read stories and sing songs and rhymes in our next Glow meet on Tuesday 29th November at 10am.

Wise Up Wednesday!

Did you know that you can use Glow in your playroom or classroom? Here are some ideas:

  1. Add a video of them exploring an interest
  2. Add colourful pictures from the Early Years illustrations page
  3. Keep parents and carers up to date by creating a blog, they can access it without a Glow password and you can add videos and sound!

Interests this month might include: 

Children In Need

National Tree Week

St Andrew’s Day

Or, why not create a Christmas page? You will have more time to create it and you could have a Glow meet with Santa!

For more inspiration visit ‘Places to Go’ and see some excellent examples from Glow Cookbooks.

If you are unsure or want to discuss what you have created, share your thoughts on our Glow forum and other early years practitioners can give you ideas and use your ideas too!

Happy Glowing!

Only 7 days to go……

On Tuesday 22nd November the Early Years team here at Education Scotland are hosting a topical debate on Glow TV. We ask an expert panel:

  • Thinking about your own work and experience, what do you think is the best way to develop children’s literacy skills?
  • What do you believe that parents of young children can do to support their literacy development?

We will also discuss the latest findings from PISA:

 “the performance advantage among students whose parents read to them in their early school years is evident regardless of the family’s socio-economic background”

Visit the Early Years National Glow site today to find out more!

Bookbug – What the Ladybird Heard

During their first year at primary school, all children in Scotland will receive a free book with a message from Bookbug.

This year’s chosen book, ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ by Julia Donaldson, won in the 0-7 age category of the 2011 Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children’s Books. Thousands of children voted in this age group, so we are pleased to be gifting a book that really was their choice.

This Glow Meet will explore the book ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ including gifting ideas and fun activities that students and teachers can plan at school or in their classroom. The official gifting week is the week beginning November 21.

The session will be presented by Tracy Lowe from the Scottish Book Trust who is a regular Glow Meet presenter, her enthusiasm and love for books is clearly demonstrated in her presentations!

Sign up and join us on Friday 11th November at 10.45am.

Wise Up Wednesday!

Early Years Glow: Did you know?

There is a whole wealth of Early Years whiteboard activities in the Aardvarks storecupboard!

  1. Visit the National Early Years Glow site
  2. Click ‘places to go’
  3. Click on the Aardvarks storecupboard
  4. Click on a subject area and have fun!

Wise Up Wednesday!

 Early Years Glow: Did you know?

The Early Years team at Education Scotland have updated and ‘revamped’ the National Early Years Glow site!

It provides a wonderful wealth of Early Years information, including direct links to our blog, Early Years resources and other places to visit within Glow to help your learning and teaching.

There are also opportunities to take part in up to the minute discussions.

Please come and join us and tell us what you think. Will it enhance your learning and teaching? Is there anything else you would like us to add?

We are also creating an exciting programme of events for Glow TV so watch this space!

The Early Years team would love to hear from you!

Now that all Early Years establishments have the new issue of Education Scotland’s Early Years Matters we would love to hear your views on the literacy questions which were discussed at the Saturday conference in May. These are:

* Thinking about your own work and experience, what do you think is the best way to develop children’s literacy skills?
* What do you believe that parents of young children can do to support their literacy development?

Please visit our discussion forum on our Early Years Glow site and share your thoughts and ideas. We look forward to hearing from you.

Link to discussion forum:

https://forums.glowscotland.org.uk//forums/viewforum.php?f=3490&sid=542c87bd12ded5eb8d56b128e56a2dc8

Click the link on our Glow site to see Early Years Matters online:

https://portal.glowscotland.org.uk/establishments/nationalsite/Early%20Years/default.aspx

Children in Scotland – Parents as partners: a good practice seminar

In light of the development of a National Parenting Strategy in
Scotland, this one-day seminar will allow policy makers,
practitioners and experts from across the workforce to come
together, share ideas and knowledge and discuss new
strategies for tackling the issues encountered when supporting
all parents, carers and families in Scotland.

http://www.childreninscotland.org.uk/html/tra_tshow.php?ref=1584

New open day programme 2011/12

New global citizenship open day study visits!

We are pleased to announce a new series of the popular, inspiring and practical school open days from Education Scotland’s Developing Global Citizens team.

Sign up by contacting globalcitizens@educationscotland.gov.uk or call 0141 252 5000

There is increasing recognition that the rich contexts and learning approaches associated with global citizenship are a powerful means of engaging with Curriculum for Excellence.  In this initiative, selected schools are offering an open door to senior leaders and classroom practitioners to share how they have led a whole school approach to global citizenship. 

The schools selected for the open school programme have developed approaches that have successfully woven elements such as sustainable development education, education for citizenship, international education and games legacy into a wider coordinated whole-school approach to developing global citizens. The programme includes a number of award winning schools and schools whose achievements have been widely recognised.

What others have said about the study visits:

‘The best CPD I have ever had’

‘This was an inspirational CPD event and I found it all very useful and enjoyable, particularly the input from the HT/PT and children – fantastic’

‘My mind is going into overdrive – I plan to take everything you have given and use it!’

Date Time School Theme
Thursday 13th October 9.30am – 3pm Mearns Primary School, East Renfrewshire Global Citizenship – learner voice at the heart of the curriculum
Tuesday 25th October 9.30am – 3pm Calderglen High School, South Lanarkshire Leadership of Global Citizenship/ Games Legacy for Scotland
Friday 18th November 9.30am – 3pm Woodacre Nursery, Glasgow >>details International education and citizenship in the early years
Tuesday 22nd November 9.30am – 3pm Hamilton Grammar School, South Lanarkshire >>details Leadership of global citizenship
Tuesday 29th November 9.30am-3pm Garrowhill Primary School, Glasgow >>details Sustainable Development Education
Thursday 8th December 9:30am – 3pm Whitelees Primary School, North Lanarkshire >>details Sustainable Development Education
Tbc 9.30am – 3pm Gracemount Cluster (High School, Primary School, Nursery and Special School), Edinburgh A cluster approach to global citizenship

Further events will be added to the programme in the coming weeks so watch this blog entry for updates.

Places for these events are limited so it is advisable to book early to avoid disappointment.

Sign up by contacting globalcitizens@educationscotland.gov.uk or call 0141 252 5000

Find out more about using global citizenship to develop a whole school approach to Curriculum for Excellence

Download the new global citizenship calendar for 2011-12

School Open Day Event: Woodacre Nursery School, Glasgow City, 18 November 2011

Time:  9:30am – 3.00pm

Theme:  International and citizenship education within Early Years

Woodacre Nursery invites practitioners to visit the school and find out about their dynamic international education programme gaining them full International Schools Award, Green Flag status and the ‘Trades House Citizenship Award’. The nursery school has been involved in Global Citizenship Education for the last 6 years embedding many initiatives related to this theme into their curriculum. 

Key themes of the day will be a presentation on e-twinning programmes, the school’s transformative Comenius project involving 5 other European countries and the effective use of Glow to deepen international links.

The programme will also include: 

  • A live Glow meet with a nursery in Iceland
  • A visit of the garden and recycling projects
  • Latest information on international programmes by the British Council
  • A presentation by the ‘Glasgow City Council Community Action Team’
  • A presentation of partnership working with parents and local community groups as key drivers to advance the nursery’s eco schools programme.

Participants will also have an opportunity for professional dialogue and the exchange of ideas on the day.

Flyer and Programme:   Woodacre Nursery Open day, 18 Nov 11

How to book

To book, please email: globalcitizens@educationscotland.gov.uk  or Phone  0141 282 5172.

Places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. This is a free event!

This is one of a series of open day events organised by Education Scotland’s Developing Global Citizenship Team. View the full programme of open day events here>>

Online Global Citizenship Calendar now live!

Education Scotland has launched an online calendar version of the Global Citizenship calendar that allows practitioners to plan rich learning experiences across the curriculum.  The online version includes background information and resource ideas for each date in the calendar.

Access the online calendar here

Download a hard copy of the calendar.

If you wish to order multiple copies please email klaus.mayer@educationscotland.gov.uk

Need some Friday inspiration?

Myra and Diane from the Early Years team attended  TEACHMEET  at the University of Strathclyde on Wednesday evening. Very inspiring!

We learned about a number of interesting ideas including:

  • 7 things you didn’t know about wikipedia by Ollie Bray
  • Great places to find images by Andrew James
  • User Twitter to enhance CPD by Morven Skinnider
  • Using QR codes by David Muir
  • Digital literacy and moving image education by Jane Thomson
  • The Scottish Book Trust fabulous website by Chris Leslie

Lots of ideas there suitable for Early Years – start exploring!

Click here to find out more about the presentations.

A Guide to Faith Communities in Scotland

To advance public knowledge and understanding of the teachings, traditions and practices of the different faith communities in Scotland, SIFC has produced the above booklet. It has recently been reprinted in May 2011. It can be downloaded  here:

A Guide to Faith Communities in Scotland

Do you know about the work of Doctor Suzanne Zeedyk?

Suzanne Zeedyk is currently Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology at Dundee University. Suzanne’s work focuses on parent-infant relationships. She is frequently invited to speak to groups of parents and professionals on the importance of such relationships, and how babies’ early experiences influence the development of their brain, bodies and psyche.

Click the links below to find out more:

www.theconnectedbaby.org

http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/earlyyears/prebirthtothree/nationalguidance/conversations/suzannezeedyk.asp

International and Citizenship education within early years

Woodacre Nursery School invites practitioners to their newly built school on the South Side of Glasgow in Pollok to share their experiences in gaining full International Schools Award, Green flag status and the ‘Trades House Citizenship Award’. The nursery school has been involved in Global Citizenship Education for the last 6 years embedding many initiatives related to this theme into their curriculum. 

Click the link below to find out more!

https://portal.glowscotland.org.uk/establishments/nationalsite/Early%20Years/Lists/Pages/Sharing%20Practice.aspx

Glow Meet – Global citizenship DROP IN

Every month the DGC team will be available on our new Glow TV channel to answer your questions about global citizenship and to signpost you to resources and ideas to help you embed global citizenship in the curriculum.  This is an informal session open to any school leader or practitioner in Scotland – just drop into the Glow meet to pick our brains, find out what’s coming up or tell us what you’re up to.

The inaugural session will take place from 3.30-5.00pm on Wednesday 26th October.  The theme for the first 45 minutes of this session will be A Games Legacy for Scotland and will showcase how the London Olympics 2012 and Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 can be used to create exciting learning opportunities for global citizenship activities and interdisciplinary learning.  Find out how to get free tickets to the Olympics, hear about the Forest Pitch football strip design competition and how the organisers plan to Get Scotland Dancing. 

A general Q & A/open floor session will follow from 4.15pm to 5pm. Put the day in your diary and join us for all, or part of, this event to discuss and share or get help with a particular issue. Visit Glow TV to register and take part on the day: http://bit.ly/DGCdropin

If you can’t make this one then the following drop in session will be on Tuesday 6th December 2011 from 3:30pm – 5pm. The theme will be: Developing a whole school approach to global citizenship.

Parents urged to Play Talk Read

A national road-show launches this week to encourage parents and carers to play, talk and read more with their younger children.
Launched on 6 October by the Minister for Children and Young People, Angela Constance, the road-show will visit all of Scotland’s 32 local authorities as part of the next phase of the Scottish Government’s Play, Talk, Read campaign which focuses on the early years of children’s lives.
In partnership with Scottish Book Trust, the Play@Home scheme and other voluntary organisations, the roadshow kicks-off in key shopping centres across Scotland offering fun and free play and Bookbug stories, song and rhyme sessions in an engaging pop-up area. The Scottish Government’s new Play Talk Read Bus will then take to the streets, visiting towns and cities across the country.

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2011/10/06103646

A RIGHT Wee Blether – Live in a Nursery

Are you involved in the Wee Blether? It started on the 12th September and nurseries and Primary 1 classes across Scotland are taking part.

Following on from the very successful RIGHT blether, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Tam Baillie would like children between the ages of 2 and 5 to have their very own creative conversation using their own forms of expression. It’s important to get involved as it is a chance for young children to inform the Commissioner’s work, to celebrate the variety and diversity of the ways in which children might choose to participate and to encourage their active engagement and involvement.

Find out more about the Wee Blether and how you can be involved on the SCCYP website.

Why not join us live in Glow TV in a nursery setting in North Lanarkshire to see how the children there are getting on with their wee books and talking to staff? You too can join us to share your experiences of a RIGHT Wee Blether and take part in some interactive activities during the Glow Meet.

Why not sign up and join us in Glow TV on Tuesday 4th October from 11-12pm.
We look forward to seeing you then!

SERA Early Years Network Conference

The Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA) is holding an early years network conference on Friday 7 October at the University of Strathclyde’s Jordanhill Campus. The theme of the event is ‘Unravelling concepts of educator, pedagogue and early years teacher specialist’.

Please visit our website for more information:

http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/newsandevents/educationnews/2011/educational/august/news_tcm4671926.asp

Scottish Government news release – early years investment

Over 20 charities are set to receive a share of a £6.8 million funding boost for vulnerable young children and families.

The Early Years Action Fund delivered by Inspiring Scotland in partnership with the Scottish Government will invest in a total of 28 projects delivered by 24 charities across Scotland.

Please visit the link below for more information:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2011/09/22150602

A busy week ahead for the Early Years Team

The Early Years team here at Education Scotland are excited about the Scottish Learning Festival. On Wednesday Jacque Fee from our team will be delivering a seminar: Policy to Pavement. Also on Wednesday come and join us at our Early Years spotlight session at 12 where you can ask us questions and meet the team. We will also be at the Education Scotland stand throughout both days.

We look forward to seeing you there!

STEM Central – developments sound good

DOs in Sciences and Technologies were working with practitioners yesterday to progress development of new resources for STEM Central which will be shared during this school year. One of the contexts will incorporate E&Os around sound. The Sound context will demonstrate how a concept can be developed from early years through to fourth level, incorporating work with SSERC, making it an ideal way of working within clusters to enhance transition. If you can’t wait and want to find some existing resources to enhance your teaching of sound – try this set of animations from LTS Science of Sound Animations.

The Land of Me pilot project

The past 6 months or so has seen the team from the Consolarium working within Early Years and Early Primary settings in Dundee, West Lothian and Argyll & Bute in order to explore the educational potential of a piece of software called The Land of Me. A number of posts have been made on the Consolarium blog (content soon to move over to this blog) about the work that some teachers have been doing with this resource. This post gathers all realted posts together so that they are easily accessible:

Posts from Argyll & Bute

Land of Me Initiative kicks off in Argyll & Bute

1/5 Land of Me at Port Ellen PS: Planning for Good Learning

2/5 Land of Me at Port Ellen PS: A Visit from the King of the Land of Me

3/5 Land of Me at Port Ellen PS: Gleeful Children Lost in the Learning Space

4/5 Land of Me at Port Ellen PS: Parental Involvement

5/5 Land of Me at Port Ellen PS: Encouraging Outdoor Adventure

Posts from Dundee and West Lothian

Land of Me pilot: Dundee teachers’ and EYPs’ early feedback

The Land of Me in Dundee: Building Dens in Templeton Woods

West Lothian Land of Me pilot concludes

Feedback or comment on any of these posts are most welcome. If you are using this resource or any other digital world in an early years or early primary setting then please do let us know.

Have You Heard About the Wee Blether?

Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Tam Baillie would like children between the ages of 2 and 5 to have their very own creative conversation using their own forms of expression.

This creative conversation, which runs from 12th September – 31st October 2011, is called a RIGHT wee blether.

It is a chance for young children to inform the Commissioner’s work, to celebrate the variety and diversity of the ways in which children might choose to participate and to encourage their active engagement and involvement.

This conversation builds on the Commissioner’s 2010 national consultation with Scotland’s school aged children called a RIGHT blether. Over 74,000 children and young people took part in a RIGHT blether through creative projects, educational workshops, Tam’s Tour and a national vote. The outcomes influenced the Commissioner’s work plan directly in four key areas: Where I Live, Where I Learn, My Community and, The Country I live in – Scotland.

Join us for this Glow Meet to find out how you and your nursery/Primary 1 class can join in with this exciting National initiative.

Sign up with Glow TV and come and have a RIGHT wee blether with Tam on Tuesday 30th August at 3.45pm and find out more in Glow TV.

Early Years

The new Early Years team are excited to be part of Education Scotland’s Learning Blog. We will keep you up to date with the most exciting news from our team. At the moment we are finalising the September issue of Early Years Matters (Early Years twice yearly magazine). This issue includes an interview with Bill Maxwell our transitional Chief Executive. We are also looking forward to the Scottish Learning Festival where Jacqué Fee from the Early Years team will be speaking about “Policy to Pavement: ensuring the best start for Scotland’s Children”.

The Creativity Portal Update: “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.”

 

The Creativity Portal is now eleven months old and is playing its part in promoting creativity across learning and teaching. Users are visiting the Creativity Portal for its offer of creative partnerships, resources and inspiration, as well as engaging with the Creativity Portal Glow Group behind the scenes in new and exciting ways. Here are a few of the successes so far.

  • Nearly 12000 unique users have visited the Creativity Portal already, well over a thousand a month.
  • Users have viewed nearly 50,000 pages.
  • 100% of users surveyed say that they will be recommending the Creativity Portal to others.
  • Nearly 500 partnership opportunities and examples of good practice have already been shared through the Creativity Blog – many of which are free for teachers and community groups. Many of these are being re-tweeted and shared with an even wider audience through the @CreativPortal Twitter feed and Facebook page. A direct feed by email is now available (including special feeds relating to individual subject areas including Literacy, Dance and Heritage) and will be rolled out this academic year.
  • New creative partners are joining the Creativity Portal all the time, with Fèisean nan Gàidheal, Eden Court Theatre and Dance House amongst the most recent. By using the search tools users can find extremely local and relevant resources, Glow Groups, Creative Partners and opportunities all in the one place – and stumble across plenty of inspiration they didn’t know they were looking for.
  • 92% of users say that the Creativity Portal will make their search for Creative Partnerships easier, quicker or more successful.
  • Many of these partners are going on to develop their own Glow Groups, offering more for schools and community groups than ever before and embedding the use of Glow into their core activities. There are already 32 creative Glow Groups and communities listed on the Creativity Portal with more developing each week.

Various associated Glow Groups and tools have been developed alongside the public facing Creativity Portal including a Creativity Forum, Creativity Archive of projects and lessons, Creativity Portal online newspaper, listing of Creative Glow Meets and Glow TV’s Creativity Channel.

The Creativity Portal and Creative Learning Networks (CLNs) recently held a week long online discussion around creativity and the Glow Group is still open for business – Is It Creative?. Glow Meets and the Creativity Forum were used to engage CLN and creative organisation staff building a model for future use of Glow Meet technology. For almost all users it was the first time they had used web conferencing technology and the learning curve was impressive. The use of Glow Meet by the creative partners and CLNs will no doubt prove to be a major asset over the next year in their delivery of tailored CPD and creative experiences for young people.

This is an exciting phase for the Creativity Portal and with changes happening all the time your feedback is as powerful as ever. You can access the Creativity Portal Evaluation tool here – http://glo.li/mrNuJE, leave a comment on the Creativity Forum – http://glo.li/ieF6fA, or email me direct on stephen.bullock@educationscotland.gov.uk

If you have any questions or suggestions then please do not hesitate to ask. You can also find resources to help you promote and share the Creativity Portal’s resources with colleagues in the Creativity Portal Glow Group.

One Parent Families Scotland

One Parent Families Scotland has recently updated the Young Parents Survival Guide jointly with NHS Health Scotland and has FREE copies available for distribution (postage costs only). The Guide can be viewed and downloaded here.

The Guide provides key information and useful advice for young parents covering a whole range of topics from when young people first suspect they are pregnant to coping with raising children.

OPFS is also working to link up services electronically across Scotland working with parents to share information on what has worked and on any difficulties faced through a dedicated section of their website.