Tag Archives: Parental Involvement

Project STEM, Book of Insights 2014

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) is the Government department for economic growth.
It works with further and higher education providers to give students the skills they need to compete in a global employment market and supports the UK’s science and research industry, which is important to economic growth.

The organisation has produced Project STEM, Book of Insights 2014 which details young people’s attitudes, beliefs, motivations and behaviours that affect their decisions on subject choice and career paths to add depth to the current understanding of how they perceive STEM careers.

The book brings together four phases of research activity with young people; qualitative, social listening, co-creation and quantitative research activities that ran between February and March 2014.
To complement the qualitative research, the researchers listened to young people’s social media conversations to understand their sentiment towards STEM careers and subjects.

To access the research document Project STEM, Book of Insights 2014

Forest Kindergarten Training

The Forestry Commission Scotland offers training for early years’ staff in developing forest kindergartens. The training consists of a one day taster course for Heads and Managers of nurseries and a three day training course for nursery teachers and early years practitioners.

One Day Taster Course – The taster course gives promoted staff an introduction to the philosophy of Forest Kindergartens, an opportunity to consider controlled risk taking and discussion of the value of learning in nature using natural materials in woodlands or other green spaces. The content of the course consistently refers to the Early Years Framework and Curriculum for Excellence. This course gives promoted staff the opportunity to consider their role in supporting staff in developing forest kindergartens and sharing information with parents and the wider community. Part of the day is held indoors and the remainder outdoors.

Three Day Course – This course is designed to support staff in embedding forest kindergarten as part of their Pre-Birth to Three and Curriculum for Excellence practice. The course gives staff the opportunity to share their hopes and concerns, discuss controlled risk taking and understand how this approach embraces the Rights of The Child. Participants learn about the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, challenging outdoor experiences that can be offered and ways that the Curriculum for Excellence supports experiential outdoor learning. The course gives staff a theoretical overview and the opportunity to engage in practical outdoor activities. Staff also visit an established forest kindergarten and discuss practice with staff who have completed the course and are now experienced forest kindergarten leaders. Part of the course gives staff opportunities to consider responsive planning approaches and ways in which woodland experiences can impact on indoor practice and the nursery outdoor environment.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the past three days. All my inhibitions and fears about taking children off site are well and truly gone. The course was delivered to a very high standard and I know I’ve learned a lot”

“I was not really a fan of getting outdoors and getting dirty but now I understand the benefits it has for the children and I am motivated and excited to get started”

Forestry Commission Scotland Support – Forestry Commission Scotland offers this course to all staff delivering the curriculum for Excellence at the Early Level in nurseries and schools. Ongoing on-site support continues from FCS to assist staff in identifying suitable woodland or green space and involve staff teams, parents and carers and the local community. FCS can also participate alongside staff to support them in developing the quality of their session. Each participant receives a training pack and pen drive loaded with essential information. This  includes awareness raising materials and activities to engage children, staff, parents, carers, and the local community.

A new Training for Trainers course is being prepared so that existing forest kindergarten leaders can deliver training alongside forestry commission staff within their own local authorities. North Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire staff are currently co-presenting the 3 day course.

There is an opportunity for staff to continue developing their knowledge and skills through supplementary courses lasting one and a half days each to learn how to use ropes, fire and tools. In future a course on The Pedagogy of Forest Kindergartens will be offered

Forest Family Bags are also being created to support families using woodlands with their children and a Transition pilot programme is about to be developed to support the continuation of forest kindergarten into primary one.

For further information on any of the above please contact: Marian Cairns, Acting Central Scotland Education Officer, Central Scotland Conservancy Email: marian.cairns@forestry.gsi.gov.uk Tel: 01698 368553, Mob: 07747474790

Building the West Barns Primary School curriculum part 2

Developing the Life and Ethos of West Barns Primary School

Over the past 12 months at we have been working with pupils, families and the wider community to help us develop a clear rational for our curriculum based on shared values of respect, happiness, confidence, responsibility, safety and friendliness.  The school continues to develop open and supportive relationships with children and their families.  We are now beginning to see the impact of many months of hard work on the life and work of the school.

This year we have introduced Learning Journeys which will support pupils in reflecting on their learning and identify their next steps as well as recording their wider achievement.  We are sharing these with parents and families on a regular basis and encourage them to add their own comments, photos, certificates etc. and help their child set health and wellbeing targets.  This will provide parents with a great opportunity to become more involved in their child’s learning and achievements. By the end of this first term we are already seeing pupils engaging more in discussing their learning, identifying their strengths and next steps, thinking of strategies to help them move forward and evidencing their achievements.

Learning journeys

Parents and families also recently helped our Primary 4-7 pupils understand the importance that literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing skills will play in their adult lives.  Pupils interviewed adults as part of the Family Homework task (download parents survey). Pupils then worked together to process and present the information.  This gave our children a greater understanding of why it is important to master these basic skills during their school years.  Younger pupils have been thinking about what jobs they would like to do when they are older and which skills they will need.  Staff continue to make the links between the children’s learning and skills for learning, work and life.

Family homework task

This year we felt it was essential that we looked at how we could better promote emotional resilience in our pupils.  We are using a whole school approach to health and wellbeing through using Edinburgh City’s ‘Creating Confident Kids’ resources (http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20075/information_for_professionals/383/learning_publications ).  The Headteacher is working with all classes to develop a whole school approach through active learning and school assemblies.  The Playground Committee has also been looking at ways that we could better support pupils during break times through developing games and activities and have introduced their own Playground rules.

Playground rules

The whole school community are now working together to develop an ethos of positive behaviour to promote effective learning and wellbeing across the school.  This year, before choosing new House Captains, pupils were asked what attributes they valued most in a leader.  The results were unanimous – pupils wanted role models who showed respect, kindness and responsibility.  Candidates then used these findings to inform their election campaigns and now have a clear remit of what the school community expects from them in their new roles.

Most valued attributes in a leader

Our recent pupil survey showed us that our children wanted to contribute more to the life and work of the school.  We are now giving all our pupils the opportunity to exercise their responsibilities through playing an active part in one of our 4 school committees.  We have timetabled quality time and invested in resources to ensure that pupils have real opportunities to participate responsibly in decision-making, contribute as leaders and role models and offer support and service to others through meaningful projects that will benefit the school and our wider community.

Although we have an open door policy here at West Barns and welcome communication from parents, we were keen on trying to involve our parents more in the day to day running of the school.  Our Parent Council have recruited many volunteers through the West Barns Helping Hands scheme which involves parents, families or neighbours offering their help in a variety of different ways from creating resources, digging the garden, mending toys, making curtains and helping organise events.  We are seeing many more parents and families becoming involved in the school and we are making headway with many new projects thanks to their help.

Next month see how our curriculum rationale is being developed.

Future Learn – Basic Science: Understanding Experiments

Basic Science: Understanding Experiments

This practical, hands-on course is aimed at school aged learners to help them start thinking like a scientist by carrying out experiments at home and making scientific observations.

They will carry out simple experiments to extract the DNA from fruit or vegetables, observe osmosis in action and bake a potato to destruction! They’ll also investigate how different liquids behave when frozen and how much water an everyday food item contains.

As they carry out these experiments they will develop important science-based skills including observation, record-keeping, data analysis and how to control an experiment. After examining their results, they will share them with other learners and discuss their findings.

Building the West Barns Primary School curriculum part 1

Welcome to the first post from West Barns Primary School in East Lothian. The school community will be telling their story via monthly posts on the Primary section of the Learning Blog. They will be describing the process they are using to develop their curriculum together…

West Barns Primary School is a small village school situated on the outskirts of Dunbar.  We have 71 primary pupils split between 4 classes and 13 children in our Nursery.  The school is well supported by our families and the local community. Our pupils enjoy the wonderful school grounds and the opportunities offered by the outstanding local environment.

This year the school has been working with the whole school community to build a curriculum that provides our children with relevant, motivating and challenging experiences that meet the needs of all our learners.  Children and their families, staff and the wider community are helping us create a new vision for West Barns Primary School, identify what we need to do to get there and plan how we are going to bring this about.

Together staff, children and their families have begun to examine the different elements of the curriculum and have embarked on a journey to find out how we would like it to look in our school.

We used a button vote to find out the views of parents and carers.

Some of the questions and statements the children used with the parents included:

  • My child enjoys learning at school.
  • I feel encouraged to be actively involved in my child’s education.
  • I receive clear reports about my child’s learning and progress.

Download the full list of parent questions here.

The results gave us a clear picture of what we were doing well and the areas we needed to improve.

From the start we wanted to encourage our children to contribute more to the life and work of the school and exercise their responsibilities as members of our learning community.  We began by involving our children in a series of workshops designed to build a picture of how they saw our school. All pupils filled in an ’ How good is our school?’ survey.  Older pupils supported younger children by explaining the questions and helping them traffic light their answers.

Download the children’s survey here.

The children analysed the results and collated them so that everyone could see what was working well and what needed to be improved. We used this information to help us develop our School Improvement Plan.

Survey results

To help develop our next steps we also asked all our children some important questions, including:

  • What makes a good learner?
  • What makes a good teacher?
  • What makes a good school?

Download the template with all the questions here.

Pupils from across the school worked together to gather their ideas.

You can see what came out as important in the Wordles pupils created with the results.

We thought it was great that the words ‘good’, ‘helpful’ and ‘responsible’ came out as important for both our teachers and our learners.

Pupils, parents and staff then worked together by using a button vote to choose new values for our school.

It was interesting to see that respect, happiness, confidence, responsibility, safety and friendliness were our outstanding choices.  This has given us a clear direction for the future and has informed our health and wellbeing programme for this year.

Come back in October to see what the West Barns school community do next as they develop their curriculum together.

Education Scotland Science Conversation Days Summary

Following the publication of the updated Sciences 3-18 Curriculum Impact Report, Education Scotland hosted a series of conversation days to engage stakeholders in discussions around the findings of the report and to collectively identify priorities for action to secure improvements in science education nationally.

The first of four conversations took place in December 2012 in Denholm House, Livingstone, followed by a further two during June 2013 at Bishopbriggs Academy and Millburn Academy, with the final conversation taking place in Bucksburn Academy on 12th December 2013.

Education Scotland collated the responses from each event and produced blogs for our CfE Learning and Stem Central in Motion sites to disseminate the findings across Scotland and provide opportunity for those who were unable to attend to give their views.

We have now collated the responses from all four conversation days and produced a summary document, which highlights the key themes to emerge and details the views and suggestions of the delegates in attendance.

To download a copy : Education Scotland Science Conversation Days, Summary 

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views. Click on the title of this blog post to leave a comment.

The Royal Institute – fun, easy ways to do exciting science at home

 

ExpeRimental is a new series of free short films that make it fun, easy and cheap to do science at home with children aged four to ten. Ignite a child’s natural curiosity and explore, question and test some of the fundamentals of science with a variety of  hands-on exciting activities!

ExpeRimental Bringing Science Home

ASPIRES awarded further funding by the ESRC

The ASPIRES study, tracked the development of young people’s science and career
aspirations from age 10-14.
The first ASPIRES Project has now ended but the ESRC has awarded further funding to continue their research for the next five years.
ASPIRES 2 will continue this tracking over the crucial next five years of the young people’s lives, to understand the changing influences of the family, school, careers education and social identities and inequalities on young people’s science and career aspirations and, crucially, relate these to their actual subject choices and attainment in national examinations and their post-16 choices. This tracking of young people’s aspirations and educational outcomes comprises the crucial ‘final link’ in the longitudinal project,
and will have strong bearing on educational policy and practice.

ASPIRES 2 aims to investigate:
1. How are student educational and occupational aspirations formed, and how do they change, over time?
2. How are subject choices and (GCSE) attainment related to aspirations, and how are these patterned over time?
3. How are aspirations shaped by families and schools (including experiences of school science and careers education)?
4. How are aspirations shaped by gender, class and ethnic identities?
5. How can findings be translated for stakeholder audiences, specifically for policy-makers/ intermediaries, teachers, students and parents/families

The final report of the ASPIRES Project is available online

July at the Royal Institute

The Royal Institute is holding a series of events and workshops for all ages throughout July.

Take a trip to Antartica

Chris Turney will present the initial findings of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-2014, and explore what’s happened since the trip to Antarctica this winter.

The Physics of Winning

Journey through the history of sporting inventions and ask ‘at what point is having better equipment cheating?’

The Domesticated Brain

Explore the neuroscience of our social behaviour and learn how our brains are adapted to living in close quarters.

For further information http://www.rigb.org/

Twitter chats with the Royal Institute

Ever wished you could attend an event at the Royal Institute but haven’t been able to get tickets? Or do you live too far away to make evening events?

The Ri are now offering more opportunities for you to hear from researchers and experts from the UK and beyond.

As well as filming many events, making talks and debates available online for free, the Ri are now running Twitter chats with speakers to give everyone at home the chance to ask their questions.

The Twitter chat series launches TOMORROW Thursday 21 May with astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell at 7.30pm BST and mathematician Jordan Ellenberg on 4 June at 7pm BST.

For more information about twitter chats and What’s On in May at the Royal Institute: http://www.rigb.org/whats-on

Primary practitioner information Glasgow Science Festival 5th – 15th June 2014

The Glasgow Science Festival is preparing to bring its exciting mix of science and innovative events to its biggest ever festival.

Primary practitioners can access a variety of events, activities and workshops which showcase the contribution Glasgow and Glasgow based researchers make to the worlds of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM).

From the intriguing Commonwealth Games Whodunnit, to the genetic investigation entitled Blame it on the Parents, to demonstrating energy and forces through the construction of a medieval castle there is something for every budding STEM learner.

For further information:  http://www.gla.ac.uk/events/sciencefestival/events/schools/

Glasgow Science Festival 5th – 15th June 2014

As Glasgow prepares for the Commonwealth Games the Glasgow Science Festival is preparing to bring its exciting mix of science and innovative events to its biggest ever festival.

The principle  aim of the Festival is to showcase the outstanding contribution Glasgow and Glasgow based researchers make to the worlds of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM).

From 5-15th June explore the frontiers of research through comedy, live shows, public debates and hands on exhibitions.

The science of sport will be uncovered and you can debate questions such as “If Usain Bolt was a bacterium, what would he be?”

For further information:  http://www.gla.ac.uk/events/sciencefestival/events/

New When and how to use Citizen Science guide

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Scotland’s Environment Web has a unique set of on-line guidance and digital tools to help people set up their own public environmental monitoring projects.

Public monitoring or ‘citizen science’ can be described as “scientific activities in which non-professional scientists volunteer to participate in data collection, analysis and dissemination of a scientific project…” It can be a great, fun way to gather information and get involved – scientists need your help!

On May 7th a best practice guide on When and how to use Citizen Science was published.

It will take anyone thinking about embarking on a project through the steps which will help decide when you should choose and how to use citizen science.

Whether you are a teacher keen to get your students outdoors, a member of the public wanting to get more involved in your local environment, or an organisation wanting to set up a project, here is support available in the Scotland’s Environment Web toolkit. The tools make it easier to start and run a project, using some of the new digital technology to help. 

Click on the link to access Scotland’s Environment Website: http://bit.ly/18JGXwU 

Education Scotland STEM Conversation Day, May 12th

STEM Conversation Day

09:30 – 15:00, Monday 12th May 2014    

Venue: Optima Building, 58 Robertson Street, Glasgow

Education Scotland would like to invite you to take part in the Stem  Conversation Day.

The day will commence with a presentation about STEM, followed by four discussion activities exploring STEM in education.

 If you wish to attend please contact Louise Morton, STEM Development Officer at Louise.Morton@educationscotland.gov.uk

 You may find it useful to familiarise yourself with some of the documentation relating to Science, Technologies and Mathematics, all online at Education Scotland.

Royal Institution Summer Schools

Running throughout July and August, The Royal Institution Summer Schools bring to life all areas of science, mathematics, computing and engineering.

With over 50 sessions to choose from, covering topics from climate change to acoustics, earthquakes to rocket science, forensics to 3D printing, crash-testing to ancient history, there is something for everyone.

The two week long Summer Schools, ‘Computer-based mathematics’ start on Monday 28th July and ‘Introduction to robotics’ starts on Monday 11th August.

Booking is now open and places can be booked online via the Ri’s What’s On calendar or by calling our Public Programmes team on 020 7409 2992.

Please read on for just a snapshot of the different activities on offer.

http://www.rigb.org/

Bucksburn Academy Conversation Day 4

Delegates attending our fourth conversation day at Bucksburn Academy identified three key themes for improving science education.

Discussions focussed on:

 Priorities for sciences education

Identifying partnerships that work

 What does great learning in the sciences look like?

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views regarding the third theme, addressing what great learning in the sciences looks like.

What does great learning in the sciences look like?

Science education is important for every child and not just for those who may be headed toward a scientific or technical career.

Great learning in the sciences encourages young people to make sense of the world around them, to be scientifically literate. It develops skills enabling them to analyse, evaluate, think critically, justify conclusions and be creative and innovative; skills required to thrive and succeed in an increasingly globalised and technological society.

Delegates identified factors contributing to great learning in the sciences:

  • relevant and purposeful (real life) teaching through engaging activities, which occur in and out of the classroom environment
  • learning environment has motivated and enthusiastic teachers and pupils
  • lessons have variety, depth, challenge and are interactive, delivered by inspirational teachers with a passion and enthusiasm for the subject and who convey a love of learning
  • consistent and firm discipline
  • learners are taught the skills they need through a variety of methodologies e.g. active, visual, audio and concepts are revisited in  different ways
  • progression is evident                                 
  • subjects are interlinked and connected
  • great learning is different in different schools and classes, and good teachers are still learning.

The final part of this discussion addressed the question, how do we get it right for every child and young person?  Delegates’ suggestions included:

  • good communication between primary and secondary
  • establish where the “starting point” for every child is and identify children who need to extend their knowledge
  • ensure learners feel safe enough to ask for help/guidance
  • quality provision must be evident all the time
  • teaching should be delivered in different order/style depending on the needs of the learner.

National Science Engineering Week 14th–23rd March 2014

National Science & Engineering Week (NSEW) is a ten-day national programme of science, technology, engineering and maths events and activities across the UK aimed at people of all ages.

Anyone can organise an event or activity and the British Science Association supports organisers by providing:

Activity packs

National school poster competition

Mass participation in Flusurvey project

Case studies

How to guides

Our new activity packs include: 

Explore the future– for primary schools

Community garden challenge – for secondary schools 

Get engineering II – in partnership with Engineering UK (coming up)

Cracking chemistry, in partnership with Royal Society of Chemistry

This year organisers can celebrate anything related to science, technology, engineering and maths. The sky is the limit!

However, for schools, Explore the Future will be the common theme across competitions, new resources and online projects, to encourage teachers and other educators to look forward to the world their students will lead.

For further information :

http://www.britishscienceassociation.org/national-science-engineering-week

Bucksburn Conversation Day

Delegates attending our fourth conversation day at Bucksburn Academy identified three key themes for improving science education.

Discussions focussed on:

  1.  Priorities for sciences education
  2. Identifying partnerships that work
  3. What does great learning in the sciences look like?

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views regarding the second theme which addressed identifying partnerships that work.

Identifying partnerships that work

Delegates identified various partner organisations that they were engaging with including subsea 7, forest rangers, ABC, mentoring John Lewis, STEM ambassadors, car safety, BP renewable, Forvie Nature reserve, university medical students, Zoo lab, forensic scientists, “curious about chemistry”. Learners at Bucksburn Academy had also set up a programme of advanced level lunchtime lectures in relation to STEM.

Delegates put forward suggestions for successful partnership working. It was agreed that this had to be mutually beneficial, providing support, resources and expertise for the school, whilst meeting the business needs of the organisation. In addition delegates highlighted the following:

  • organisation must provide support in the classroom and visit the school (not the other way)
  • partnerships should be innovative, curriculum led, embedded in the curriculum
  • personnel involved are enthusiastic individuals with a willingness to commit extra time to establish short/long term working relationship
  • investment and funding through the partnership provides opportunities for all

Delegates identified areas of partnership working which they regarded as requiring further development:

  • not enough organisations/partnerships to support early years
  • more visiting scientists lecturing at a high level – aspirations needed to be raised
  • speakers need to be able to pitch talk at right level for young people
  • mixture of input needed for different levels of interest required

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views. Click on the title of this blog post to leave a comment

Sciences Conversation Day 4

Following the publication of the updated 3-18 Curriculum Impact Report for Sciences in October 2013, Education Scotland hosted a series of conversation days to engage stakeholders in discussions around the findings of the report and to collectively identify priorities for action to secure improvements in science education nationally.

The fourth conversation day took place in Bucksburn Academy, Aberdeen, on 12th December 2013 and brought together around 40 participants from the local authority, Satrosphere Science Centre, Aberdeen University and representatives from industry, universities and schools. Delegates heard presentations from Kittybrewster Primary School, Bucksburn Academy, Glaxo Smith Kline and the University of Aberdeen.

Following the welcome presentation participants split into small discussion groups to identify the key priorities for improving science education. Discussions focussed on three themes:

  1. Priorities for sciences education
  2. Identifying partnerships that work
  3. What does great learning in the sciences look like?

 Priorities for sciences education

Attainment

Delegates recognised:

  • initiatives have been undertaken to address the gap in attainment however more was required to ensure those from the most deprived backgrounds are not disadvantaged further by their educational experience
  • the importance of support at home which had to be encouraged through good communication between parents and staff
  • developing good numeracy and literacy skills in primary helped access the sciences curriculum. This did not appear to be continuing at secondary, why?

Support

Delegates suggested:

  • local authorities should lead and coordinate science in all sectors. They should be providing early years and primary teachers with high quality, sustained science CPD opportunities
  • every primary school should have a science coordinator/nominated teacher with responsibility for science.

Confidence

  • Delegates highlighted the lack of confidence in science knowledge and expertise which can affect learning and teaching in the primary sector.
  • Practitioners are fully aware of the  importance of  bringing the real world into the classroom to motivate and engage learners and believe this can be achieved if they have access to relevant,  high quality CPD and are given time to commit to CPD.
  • Authorities should provide financial support to assist practitioners in accessing resources to facilitate and support their teaching.
  • In the primary sector qualified teachers in the STEM subjects would be advantageous

Cluster working

  • Delegates viewed that early years, primary and secondary colleagues should work as a team and there should be greater use of cross – sector links e.g. primary pupils should be invited to the secondary science club

Learners attending the conversation day highlighted the areas they regarded as being the key priorities in sciences education:

  • key to accessing the sciences curriculum is the relationship between learner and teacher and good communication ­– they needed to feel confident about asking for help
  • active learning in the sciences should be a priority
  • Practical activities helped engage learners and develop higher order thinking skills
  • homework should be relevant to the learning at the time and coordinated better between departments to avoid overloading learners
  • learning through real life contexts is extremely important
  • practitioners had to address the variety of learning styles and offer a variety of teaching experiences to engage and motivate pupils.

SECONDARY

Delegates highlighted a number of concerns relating to the secondary sector which they viewed as being key priorities in teaching the sciences:

  •  inadequate amount of time to deliver content within the new CfE qualifications – the issue of pace in learning and teaching has to be addressed to avoid putting learners under pressure
  • sequencing of teaching is a concern
  • Timescales for publishing of guidance documentation, support materials and resources has to be brought forward
  • Examples of assessments and tracking for the broad general education would be helpful
  • Difficulties of teaching N4 and N5 in the same class
  • Clarification is still required with regards to some aspects of assessment within the new national qualifications
  • Can universities help with the added value units?
  • Address gender bias within subjects – must address the image of  women in the sciences to get more girls to take physics.

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views. Click on the title of this blog post to leave a comment.

Calling all young Citizen Scientists!

                                                                                                                               

The British Science Association are delighted to be partnering with EDF Energy for year one of their five year citizen science programme, The Great EDF Energy Experiment. In collaboration with the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, we will be inviting schools and families to take part in the Big Bumblebee Discovery, to help scientists understand more about bumblebees across the UK.
This nationwide project will be a huge opportunity for kids to get hands-on experience of conducting scientific research, and we’ve linked up with the Pod to provide loads of free educational resources and activities.

Find out more

Let science into your heart with the Edinburgh International Science Festival

Edinburgh International Science Festival 2014 celebrates ‘Science at the Heart of Everything’, inviting audiences of all ages to discover the science all around us over two weeks from 5th – 20th April:

  • GastroFest – a mini-festival about the science of food and drink
  • Making It – a celebration of Maker culture and DIY Science
  • Scotland Decides – a series examining the political questions shaping our scientific future
  • Science at the HeART of Things – an exhibition and installation programme showcasing artists inspired by science
  • The Reading Experiment – a campaign celebrating science writing in all its forms
  • Summerhall announced as major new venue partner, hosting a brand new programme of events for all ages
  • Prof Mary Abukutsa-Onyango announced as recipient of the Edinburgh Medal 2014 
  • Last year’s Edinburgh Medal recipient and Nobel Prize winner Prof Peter Higgs to appear in discussion, one of many leading scientists and speakers visiting the Festival

Amanda Tyndall, Deputy Director of Edinburgh International Science Festival, said: “This year’s Science Festival will see hundreds of the best and brightest minds in science and technology gather in Edinburgh to debate and celebrate some of the biggest, and sometimes controversial ideas in science. For two weeks the city becomes the perfect melting pot for discussion, as we explore the ideas that place science smack-bang at the centre of all of our lives”.

The 2014 programme unlocks the many ways in which we are unquestionably connected to science and technology. With events examining the science in food and drink, politics, art and literature, and even DIY, audiences can discover science in new ways and surprising places, question the ever-increasing prominence of technology in our lives and how this shapes all aspects of our society.

The Edinburgh International Science Festival runs from Saturday 5 to Sunday 20 April 2014. Full details of the 2014 programme can be found at www.sciencefestival.co.uk. Tickets for all events can be booked online via the website or through the Box Office on 0844 557 2686 from 11am Thursday 13 February 2014.

Scotland’s Environment Web competition, closing date extended until 31st March 2014

The Youth Discussion competition is still open; why not enter this weekend for a chance to win a unique prize?

What is the competition about?

What needs to change in your local community that will make a difference to your environment and what role can you play in making it happen?

We want you to answer the question and tell us how you can make your environment better.

Gillian from Keep Scotland Beautiful explains the prize they are offering – with a little help from her furry friends!  vimeo.com/84878949.  

Who can enter?

The competition is open to all young people throughout Scotland between the ages of 5-18 whether through your school, as part of a group or as an individual. Prizes to be won include a backstage tour of the Hydro, tickets to the Irn Bru Carnival 2014/2015 and the Teen Drive electric car event at Knockhill and gadgets like tablets!

 Get your entry in soon and don’t miss out!

Safer Internet Day 2014

UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR PARENTS TO ASK THE QUESTIONS THAT MATTER TO THEM ABOUT KEEPING THEIR CHILDREN SAFE ONLINE!

If you could ask Facebook, Twitter, Xbox or BT a question, what would it be?

Do you want to know what Xbox game ratings mean? Not sure how to report abusive comments on Twitter? Do you know how to set parental controls in your home provided by your ISP?

Through Safer Internet Day TV you can now ask these questions directly of the people, who make these decisions. We have a panel of experts from Facebook, Twitter, Xbox & BT who will be answering questions about keeping children and families safe on the internet on 30 January in Belfast! The film will become part of our SIDtv programme on Safer Internet Day, 11 February 2014.

We are calling parents, carers and grandparents to send in their questions to be answered by these experts, who are involved directly in shaping privacy, safety and content rating features on Facebook, Twitter, Xbox & BT in the UK.

To see your questioned answered, just tune in to SIDtv on 11 February from 3 pm or 7 pm at www.saferinternetdaytv.com

To send your question email sidtv@saferinternet.org.uk BY 23 JANUARY! Just state your first name and how old your children/ grandchildren are and we will try and respond to as many questions as we can.

SIDtv will have special programmes for young children and young people aged 11 -16 too on the day, so encourage them to tune in too to find out more about being safe on the internet! www.saferinternet.org.uk

Join the Safer Internet Day supporters list
Join the Thunderclap – register now to join the tweet campaign on #SID2014

Scotland’s Environment Youth Discussion

Scotland’s Environment Web is running an exciting competition for young people, with fantastic prizes, and the closing date has been extended until 31st march 2014.

What is the competition about?

What needs to change in your local community that will make a difference to your environment and what role can you play in making it happen?

We want you to answer the question and tell us how you can make your environment better.

Who can enter?

The competition is open to all young people throughout Scotland between the ages of 5-18 whether through your school, as part of a group or as an individual. Prizes to be won, include a backstage tour of the Hydro, tickets to the Irn Bru Carnival 2014/2015 and the Teen Drive electric car event at Knockhill and gadgets like tablets!

For inspiration watch this video from pupils at St. David’s Primary, Dalkeith giving their opinions on environmental issues that matter to them https://vimeo.com/82376144

Scottish Education Awards – Sustainable School and Global Citizenship Categories

The Scottish Education Awards celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education. They recognise the achievements of people who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcase the valuable work and innovation in Scottish classrooms.

 The awards this year will once again feature a Sustainable School category and also a Global Citizenship category to recognise the achievements of schools that have developed effective whole school approaches in these areas. The awards also support the wider national strategy relating to the Learning for Sustainability Report.

If your school has a good story to tell in relation to global citizenship, sustainability, outdoor learning and play and/or children’s rights then we’d like to encourage you to apply so we can help celebrate your achievements and share your good practice with others. Find out more about the awards and how to apply by visiting  http://www.scottisheducationawards.org.uk/nominate/categories/index.asp

The deadline for submitting nominations is Friday 21 February 2014.

The Royal Institute Public Events Programme January to April 2014

The Royal Institute’s public events programme will provide something for everyone!

Events spanning a wide range of fascinating and cutting edge topics will include crystallography, Einstein and quantum theory, mathematics and the cosmos, surgical technology, evolution and a light-hearted series that pits Art against Science.

This year the Institute will celebrate the achievements of women in science with its first ever women-only line up for the Friday Evening Discourses.

This year’s Life Fantastic theme will raise many more questions beyond the lecture titles: Where do I come from? Could I live forever? Am I a mutant?

The Ri are teaming up with the online science engagement event, I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here, to extend the CHRISTMAS LECTURES discussion, by giving everyone all over the world the opportunity to have their questions on Life Fantastic answered by developmental biologists, online.

The site has been open for questions from the very first broadcast of the CHRISTMAS LECTURES on the 28th December and will run throughout January. Everyone can ask questions, and teachers can book their classes into half hour Live Chats with the scientists.

Find out how to ask your questions on Life Fantastic at xmaslectures.imascientist.org.uk.

Also, the Life Fantastic Family Fun Day on Saturday 15th February will provide an opportunity to meet University of Oxford lecturer, Alison Woollard

For further information click on the link below.

http://www.rigb.org/

Scotland’s Environment Web Competition – extended entry

Scotland’s Environment Web is running an exciting competition for young people, with fantastic prizes, and the closing date for entries has now been extended until 31st March 2014.

What is the competition about?

What needs to change in your local community that will make a difference to your environment and what role can you play in making it happen?

We want you to answer the question above. Tell us how you could make your environment better. Planet Earth faces tough environmental challenges which will directly impact your future. Everyone can be a part of the solution to these challenges and Scotland’s young people have a key role to play.

During our recent Glow Meet, which you can access through Watch Again T.V. at http://bit.ly/SEWeb , you told us how you are already getting involved in caring for and improving Scotland’s environment. 

The extended closing date of 31st March 2014 will provide more opportunity for young people to participate. The awards ceremony will be held in June.

Who can enter?

This competition is open to all young people throughout Scotland between the ages of 5-18, whether through your school, as part of a group or as an individual.

You can also enter the Young Reporters for the Environment competition if you are eligible.

For more information, visit www.environment.scotland.gov.uk/yd

 

 

 

 

 

Further links:

Scotland’s Environment website http://www.environment.scotland.gov.uk/

Scottish environment youth discussion http://bit.ly/19dnExK

iSpot, You Spot, We all Spot Together!

www.ispot.org.uk is the place to learn more about wildlife and to share your interest in a friendly community.  iSpot, developed by The Open University, allows you to upload photos of your observations and get help identifying what you have seen.

It’s perfect for those plants, fungi or mini-beasts that you’ve seen whilst outdoors whether it be in the playground or on a school trip, but are not sure what they are.  iSpot can be used as an aid to educating children and adults alike.  Just make sure you have a camera with you and then at home, the office or school, the photos can be uploaded on to iSpot. 

The website also has handy keys to help aid identification, once you register gain points as your reputation grows, and use the forums for discussions.  iSpot is your place to share nature. What have you spotted today?

iSpot is part of The OpenScience Laboratory. Follow us on twitter @ispot_uk

Junior Saltire Prize 2014

Schools across Scotland are invited to make a splash by entering the Junior Saltire 2014 marine renewables competition.

Last year over 130 primary and secondary teams rose to the challenge.  For 2014, the brief is to design a simple hydrokinetic generator – a turbine to produce electricity when submerged in flowing water.

Great prizes of up to £750 as well as Junior Saltire medals are up for grabs and the competition is open to teams of four in three age groups – P5/7, S1/S3 and S4/S6.

Click here for further information and links to the brief and registration form.  NB The closing date for team registrations is Friday 20 December 2013.  Multiple entries per school welcome!

More play for Scotland’s children – Play Strategy Implementation Fund

In response to the newly launched Play Strategy Action Plan, Inspiring Scotland has launched a Play Strategy implementation fund to support Scottish charities bring the strategy to life for Scotland’s children.

Inspiring Scotland has played a key role in supporting the development of the Play Strategy for Scotland and will continue to support the sector through this small focused implementation fund which will become available in 2014.

Speaking at the launch of the Play Strategy Action Plan, the Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell, MSP said:

“Children need to be active and playing regularly sets the foundations for a healthier lifestyle as they grow older and contributes to brain development. Research has also shown how vital play is in encouraging imagination, coordination and confidence to get youngsters ready for nursery and school and the new experiences that holds.

“I have been lucky enough to have visited many events supported by Inspiring Scotland and its partners and it is wonderful to see parents and children, ranging from the very young to teenagers, really having fun together. What comes across so strongly is that often time and a little imagination are all you need to have an excellent time together and get active.”

The Play Strategy Action Plan highlights the long term physical, social and educational benefits of inspiring youngsters to play. In launching the Plan, the Minister committed to the establishment of the £90,000 implementation fund to help charities deliver play opportunities.

Speaking following the launch event, Head of Funds at Inspiring Scotland, Celia Tennant, said: “The Go2Play Play Strategy Implementation Fund builds on our commitment to support the Play Sector, helping to develop and nurture play opportunities and ideas which will ultimately help to deliver the Play Strategy Action Plan.  We are delighted to be able to build upon the success of our Go2Play capacity building fund and respond to the needs of the play sector.  £90,000 will be available in 2014 from this fund which we are confident can lead to significant social impact when supported by our unique venture philanthropy model.”

Inspiring Scotland will launch the process for applications at end of 2013 which will consist of three funding rounds during 2014.

Inspiring Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Government, have been developing the capacity of the Play Sector since 2009 and significantly increased free play opportunities for vulnerable children across Scotland.

If interested in this fund, please contact Julia Abel Julia@inspiringscotland.org.uk or Paul Dickson paul@inspiringscotland.org.uk to register your interest in the fund.

Developing school play times to support the curriculum and nurture happy, healthy children: new Free CPD Resource launched

In recent years, a number of Scottish primary schools have developed innovative approaches to enabling child-led outdoor play in morning and lunchtime breaks.

This new training resource has been created with support from Education Scotland to share the learning from these schools. Its aim is to demonstrate how outdoor play in schools can support the curriculum and nurture happy, healthy children and to share practical, tested ideas and approaches to providing richer play experiences in primary schools.

This resource has 11 sections, each of which is based around a short film with accompanying discussion questions and links to useful online resources. It’s designed for anyone who is interested in pupil health and wellbeing but will be of particular relevance to playground support staff. In each film clip you’ll hear from support staff about why they have developed these new approaches and how they deal with the various practical issues that arise.

The films are on the Education Scotland website while further support is available at www.ltl.org.uk/playtimerevolution.

Remember, remember the 6th of November!! SEWeb Glow Meet

Scotland’s Environment – Glow Meet

11am – 12pm, Wednesday 6th November 2013

Calling all citizen scientists!!!

Trying to change, protect and improve your local environment for the better? Collecting information to contribute to our knowledge of the natural environment?  Ready to share your research, data and ideas with us?

Scotland’s environment is world-famous and draws tourists and visitors from across the globe. It needs to be protected but many of the challenges facing our environment are complex, and can only be solved in partnership; a partnership which involves children, young people and adults working together as citizen scientists.

This Glow meet will explain how you can get involved and to better understand, care for and improve Scotland’s environment. We want to hear about:

  • All the ways you have been collecting, measuring, observing and recording information about your local environment
  • Your views and ideas on what needs to change to improve our environment and what role you are playing making it happen.

You will be able to question and share you information and ideas with our panel of experts and the school which most impresses the judges will win a superb prize!

The session will be led by:

  • Debbie Bassett, Head of the Biodiversity Team in Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Martin Marsden, Head of Environmental Quality in the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. 
  • Nick Wright, Scottish Wildife Trust

Visit http://bit.ly/SEWeb to register and join the Glow meet on the day.

Further links:

Scotland’s Environment website  http://www.environment.scotland.gov.uk/

Scottish environment youth discussion  http://bit.ly/19dnExK

Competition details :http://www.environment.scotland.gov.uk/get_involved/young_people/youth_discussion.aspx

Resource Guide for the Sciences

Following on from the STEM programme of events at the Scottish Learning Festival Education Scotland has produced a resource guide for the sciences.

The guide provides links to useful websites, relevant documentation, on line resources and methods of communicating about the sciences.

For example:

access the updated 3-18 sciences impact report

visit STEM Central to explore a wide variety of activities and learning experiences

keep up to date with STEM news through our twitter feed

To access and download a copy of the science resource guide click  Education Scotland Sciences Resource Guide

Sciences 3-18 curriculum impact report 2013 update

This week Education Scotland published an update of the 3-18 Sciences Impact Report. The updated report evaluates current practice, supplements the good practice exemplars, reports on progress made regarding aspects of development in the 2012 report and highlights important areas for discussion and further development.

The evidence presented in this report tells us that children and young people are developing a range of knowledge, understanding and skills in the sciences and achievement is strong and improving.

The report is intended to continue to help practitioners reflect on how well they are developing these capacities, how much more needs to be done and act as a hub for ongoing professional dialogue and development.

There is a summary of the report written specifically for children and young people and, in response to practitioner feedback, there is now a separate document outlining the examples of good practice.

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views about the report and its findings. Visit the Talk with us blog http://bit.ly/GCHeZw   to share your thoughts on how best we can improve sciences education for all learners in Scotland. 

To download the report and associated documentation visit: The Sciences 3-18


Royal Horticultural Society – The Edible School Garden

Royal Horticultural Society

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

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

Angela Smith
angelasmith@rhs.org.uk

RHS Development Officer for Scotland

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

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

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

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

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

To find out more and to register your school, visit www.storybird.com/scottishpower


STEM at the Scottish Learning Festival

Raising the Bar in Scotland – transforming lives through learning.

Science, technology, engineering and maths are key priorities within Curriculum for Excellence.

The Scottish Learning Festival 2013 provides numerous opportunities for practitioners to engage in meaningful discussions and attend seminars and workshops relating to STEM.

 A select showcase of innovative practice will demonstrate how STEM skills are being developed in creative, exciting and thought provoking ways.

Come along and watch learners from Hamilton College demonstrate how Lego Mindstorm robots helped develop their problem solving skills, take the I-pad journey with Bellshill Academy pupils and find out how to bring science into your school community through Citizen Science activities.

Download the STEM programme of workshops and seminars detailing dates and times:

STEM at the Scottish Learning Festival 2013

To book and register for the Scottish Learning Festival follow the link below:

http://bit.ly/1eqaimD  

Gone – An interactive, cross curricular alcohol education resource

Join Forth Valley health Professionals for a one day train the trainers’ course.

Gone is an interactive, cross curricular alcohol education resource which has been developed by NHS Forth Valley in conjunction with its partner education authorities.

The resource examines four characters journeys as the move from primary school to secondary school and follows them through the broad general education. A range of vehicles are used to capture pupils. Each lesson involves pupils viewing some short video sequence, completing tasks designed in a computer gaming format and participating in debate and discussion lead by the teacher. The pupils are asked, through a series of votes to predict which character will be ‘gone’ as a result of a decision involving alcohol by the end of S3. The resource is supported by a series of powerpoints and a detailed teacher guide.

This session aims to introduce practitioners to an innovative resource which explores a range health and wellbeing issues.

Registration Form

Schools to give sleep lessons as late nights exhaust pupils

PARENTS regularly face a battle to make their children switch off their games consoles and computers and go to bed at night.

Teachers are then faced with exhausted pupils in the classroom each morning because they have not had enough sleep.

Now the Scottish Government is to spend £200,000 on sleep lessons for secondary school pupils who will be taught how to achieve at least nine hours’ sleep a night in a bid to boost academic performance.

Contextual targeting label:
Education

The cash – £100,000 a year for two years – will be handed to a charity who will give parents, teachers and sixth-formers sleep lessons in a move welcomed by teaching unions.

Recent research at a Scottish high school found one in six pupils falls asleep at their desk every day.

The public money will be given to Sleep Scotland, which has successfully piloted sleep lessons at West Calder High, West Lothian.

Schools in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Lothians, Grampian and the Highlands will now receive sleep lessons, delivered by teachers and sixth-form mentors.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Ensuring children and young people sleep properly and get the correct amount of sleep each night is important to their development.

“We expect Sleep Scotland to use a proportion of their funding to work in schools to promote children’s Health and Wellbeing, an integral part of Curriculum for Excellence.”

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/schools-to-give-sleep-lessons-as-late-nights-exhaust-pupils.21215983

Horrible Histories

Horrible Histories is coming to the Edinburgh Bookshop on Saturday 15th June to celebrate 20 years of brilliant books along the publication of Horrible Histories Cruel Crimes!

The event starts at 2:30pm and is free although they do ask that people book their tickets to ensure a place. They can do this by calling the shop on 0131 447 1917, or emailing Cat Anderson on cat@edinburghbookshop.com or by calling into the shop – they’re at 219 Bruntsfield Place. The actual event itself will be held in the Christ Church hall across the road from the shop.

It promises to be a fun-filled couple of hours with songs, storytelling and book signing and are suggesting an age of 6+ for this event, just as guidance.

Free CPD with the Royal Horticultural Society

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening aims to encourage and support schools to develop and actively use a school garden. As part of the Campaign they provide teachers with resources through this website and an extensive programme of CPD days.  Fabulous edible garden and playground ideas, like the recycled pallet pictured here.

Why get involved?

Join the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and reap the benefits for your school:

  • Free start-up kit following registration on this website.
  • Rewards and certificates for your progress on the new benchmarking scheme.
  • Access to useful information and advice that will help you use your school’s garden to greater effect.
  • Regular news and items of interest sent to you by e-mail.
  • Access to a national programme of RHS CPD daysPlaces still available for June 6th!

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening/default.aspa

Contact your Scottish Regional Advisor for course information.

Angela Smith

Development Officer for Scotland

Education, Funding and Communities

angelasmith@rhs.org.uk

07714560008

Afasic Scotland

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

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

For more details please download the attached flyer –AFASIC SCOTLAND Training Flyer.
and the AFASIC TRAINING BOOKING FORM MAY2013.

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

The National Play Strategy – Consultation with Children & Young People

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

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

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

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

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

Learning for Sustainability – report published

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

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

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

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

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

The report can be downloaded from:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Education/Schools/curriculum/ACE/OnePlanetSchools 

See the associated Engage in Education blog from Professor Pete Higgins, Chair of the One Planet Schools Working Group: http://engageforeducation.org/news/learning-for-sustainability/

Launch of The Sciences 3-18 Curriculum Impact Project report

Education Scotland today launches The Sciences 3-18 Curriculum Impact Project report. The sciences and social studies reports are the first two reports in a Curriculum Impact series designed to present a subject-by-subject picture of how children and young people are experiencing learning in different areas of the 3-18 curriculum across the country.

Providing subject-specific analysis and evaluation of current practice, based on a range of independent inspection activities, the report identifies emerging innovative and thought-provoking practice, while highlighting important areas for development. Published on the web, the report will be refreshed from time to time with links to newly-identified, practice and evidence, a dynamic approach that will keep the reviews contemporary on an on-going basis, and relevant to developing needs.

A summary for children and young people has also been published, along with a summary of key strengths and aspects for development.

The publication is intended to provide a focus engagement by children and young people, parents, practitioners and the wider sciences community in Scotland.

Through our Sciences 3-18 Impact Project blog, we want to engage all those involved in the sciences 3-18 to talk together  about how we can work together to take forward the key messages of the report.

This outward facing, public blog is a mechanism to allow engagement by all.

 

 

 

 

Talk with us on bit.ly/sciences3-18.

The STEM Professional Learning Community will also act as a focus for professional dialogue and learning around the Sciences 3-18 Impact Project. Join us, using your Glow login in, on bit.ly/stemhome.

Wise Up Wednesday: New Parent Resource

The Scottish Government’s play, talk, read campaign encourages parents and carers to incorporate playing, talking and reading within their daily routines. By playing, talking and reading with their children more often, parents and carers can lay firm foundations for children’s long-term learning, behaviour and life chances.

The play, talk, read website offers a fun, one-stop resource that is easy for parents to use, with lots of handy tips and advice. Digital books, an online community, interactive videos, games and promotions are available for use on the site. Parents can also watch TV advertisements from the campaign and gain top tips and advice from other parents.

Registering with the site allows parents to access a new interactive mobile phone app for parents and children to play together wherever they are. During the game parents are given prompts such as to take turns, and count the bubbles with their child. Having played the game parents are then invited to visit the play, talk, read website for more play ideas.

The app is available for both android and iphones.

Be at the heart of your child’s learning

 

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

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

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

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

Get involved today by visiting www.educationscotland.gov.uk/parentzone.

 

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 ec.committee@scottish.parliament.uk if you are interested in hosting one of these visits.

Deadline for written evidence: 28 August 2012

Website

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

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:

www.ipetitions.com/petition/plans-for-new-children-and-young-people-bill/signatures

Thank you

The Early Years Team

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:
http://www.muddyfaces.co.uk/

Play Scotland’s site with lots of play ideas:
http://www.playscotland.org/playday

15 ideas for play outdoors (and more mud!)
http://www.playscotland.org/assets/GET-OUT-AND-PLAY.pdf

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.

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.