Category Archives: Uncategorized

ESOL Initial Assessment Pack

This guide was produced by the Scottish Government’s Lifelong Learning Directorate to support practitioners to undertake initial assessment with their learners. Its aim is to help standardise initial assessment approaches, so that the learner can be placed in the appropriate provision.

It is recommended that providers adopt the principles, approaches and ESOL levels within the guide, and adopt or adapt the assessment materials to suit initial assessment

Alternatively, the entire contents of the Pack (with the exception of the video clips) can be downloaded in Word (22Mb) or pdf (4.3Mb).

Metacognition, self-regulation and the Challenge

carol_wood_profile_picThis is one of a series of presentations from Carol Wood of the Scottish Attainment Challenge team at Education Scotland.




This presentation should be used in conjunction with the EEF Toolkit summary of metacognition and self-regulation. This opportunity can be used in several ways:


  • Study the research and the presentation.
  • There are 3 challenge questions towards the end. Take part in the online discussion on Glow Yammer below

With a group of colleagues

  • Study the research beforehand
  • At a meeting, work through the presentation together
  • Discuss the challenge questions and post summary answers online

Whichever way you choose, it would be really beneficial if you could post examples of metacognition and self-regulation in action in your learning setting.

This professional learning opportunity requires the use of Glow

Please see this link if you have any issues logging into Glow – How do I get a Glow login?


When we talk personalization, we tend to talk about targeting. You learn a certain set of things, you get tested, the personalization software finds knowledge gaps and runs you through the set of canned explanations that you need.


While not entirely useless, this conception doesn’t fit the bulk of my experience as either a teacher or a learner. In my experience, students often have very similar skill gaps, but the remedy for each student may be radically different.

from We Have Personalization Backwards

I though this was a brilliant post. To me it reinforces that the best online learning involves contact with real people in real ways (still #ds106). I’ve stuck with online learning when there is more conversation than automation. This may change if the ‘real personalisation’ comes to online systems.

Sounds of the City – is Scots more than a distinctive accent?

Is Scots really a language? Surely it’s just the way Scottish people pronounce (or mis-pronounce) English?
These are among the most frequently asked questions that the Scots Language Coordinators have encountered since beginning their secondments. How would you answer these questions – and can you identify any influences on your opinion?
Something that might give you some food for thought on this is the recently published Glasgow University research on the changing sounds of Glaswegian speech. Called Sounds of the City, this project has studied sound changes from the early 20th century to the present day. If you are familair with Glaswegian speech patterns it will be interesting to see if you agree with their findings (I’m not convinced, for example, about their arguments for ‘th’ being replaced with ‘f’ as I often hear ‘h’ being used for ‘hink’ and ‘hingmy’). Have a read – and let me know whit ye hink on the Glow Scots Blether at


Reading for pleasure – What difference does it make?


literacy logoThis is one of a series of thought pieces from the Literacy and English team at Education Scotland.  In this one, Helen Fairlie discusses some well-known research about reading for pleasure from the National Literacy Trust.

literacy trust reading for pleasure 2006The lead up to Book Week Scotland seems like a good time to consider how we motivate learners to read independently for their own enjoyment.  An equally important question for me, though, is why does the amount that we read for enjoyment make such a big difference to our learning?

This paper was published by the National Literacy Trust in 2006, however the research that it refers to still tells us a lot about the difference that reading for pleasure makes to our progress in literacy, as well as revealing a lot about how motivation to read works.

Get involved and join the conversation!

Please read the research, consider your own practice and what happens in your establishment.

Some questions to consider…

  • Do you recognise the benefits of reading for pleasure (p.8) in the learners that you work with?
  • Rewards and motivation – Do reward schemes have a positive or negative impact on young readers’ motivation?
  • Have cultural changes and technological advances changed children’s attitudes to reading? Are there ways to work with this?

Join the conversation on our Literacy community.

Find out how to get or update your Glow membership – How do I get a Glow login?


To find out more about Book Week Scotland (23rd to 29th November, 2015) go to the Scottish Book Trust website.

Book Week Scotland




When I grow up

Have you had a chat with children and young people about what they want to do when they grow up?


Reflective/challenge questions –

Why not continue the conversation here?

Learning for sustainability hitting home?

Profile 3The Scottish Household Survey is designed to provide reliable and up-to-date information on the composition, characteristics, attitudes and behaviour of private households and
individuals across the nation.

I’m really interested in the links between sustainability policy in education (i.e. every learner entitled to LfS) and some of the attitudes towards environment, climate change and access to outdoor space, as outlined in last year’s survey.

You can read Chapter 13 on the environment here (Scroll to Page 140)

SSH graph

Challenge Questions:

If “adults aged 16 to 24 and those aged 75 and over were least likely to consider climate change to be an urgent problem”, where are the opportunities to shift attitudes in our schools and communities?

If “households in flats are much more likely to dispose of their food waste mixed with their general waste (74 per cent)”, how can activities in schools help to bring about change?

What other behaviour can a 5p charge (as with plastic carrier bags) change?