Tag Archives: Parental Involvement

Team Update

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

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


…and on Glow…www.bit.ly/PB23Glow

In the meantime keep an eye out for:

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


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

The Doran Review

A message from Children in Scotland in relation to the Doran Review

Doran Review: Have Your Say on Complex Additional Support Needs

Children in Scotland is inviting interested parties to a series of free half-day consultation events for parents, carers and support groups and would very much appreciate it if you could pass the information on to any parents, carers or colleagues you know who would be interested in contributing their views.

On behalf of the Scottish Government, Peter Doran is currently chairing a review of how best to provide education for Scottish children and young people with the most complex learning needs. The Doran Review will be providing recommendations to the Scottish Government in June 2012 on how the system can be improved.

These consultation events are to gather the views of both families and parent support groups on the key issues, which will be submitted to the Review.

You will be asked for your views on:

● how satisfied you are with the processes to identify your child’s care, health and learning needs

● how well informed you feel about schools and services that could help your child

● how well your child’s nursery or school and other services such as health and Social Work are meeting his or her needs

● how well supported you and your child feel when he/she is preparing to leave and settling in to a new school or leaving school to go on to adult services.

Dates and locations
22nd March, 12 noon to 3pm
Aberdeen Thistle Altens Hotel

27th March, 9.30am to 1pm
Edinburgh Hilton Grosvenor Hotel

29th March. 9.30am to 1pm
Glasgow Hilton Grosvenor Hotel

The events are open to parents, carers and support groups from across Scotland who have an interest in the provision of education for children and young people with complex additional support needs.

You can book online at www.childreninscotland.org.uk or by phone on 0131 222 2446

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

Every Day’s a Learning Day 

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

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

 Both books are available in English and Gaelic language versions.


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

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

CfE & Glow News – February Issue

The CfE and Glow News update provides you with information about Curriculum for Excellence and support for practitioners, along with all the latest developments within Glow. Read it here.

To sign up for this newsletter, please click here.

CfE Films

New CfE – Impact and Benefits – How CfE is changing Scottish Education

In August 2010 Curriculum for Excellence was officially introduced in all public-funded Scottish schools. This was with the aim of making the curriculum more flexible, exciting, engaging and relevant, enabling Scotland’s children and young people to be better prepared for our ever-changing world, equipping them with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to help all learners get the best from their education, wherever they are on their learning journey.

One and a half years in and we are seeing more and more examples of how the flexibility of CfE is enabling our children to learn in different ways from the way past generations have, with far greater opportunity for more interesting and stimulating learning and teaching, more active participation and input from the learners themselves, raising engagement and subsequently their enthusiasm for learning. Following on from our earlier CfE in Action series, these videos are intended as a snapshot of where we are at the moment and a glimpse of the possibilities CfE has opened up so far.

They are intended for parents/carers and learners, as well as teachers and other education professionals, please feel free to share them widely via youtube.

Click here to view the films.

Wise Up Wednesday – Literacy in Action

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

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

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

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

Jean Carwood-Edwards, Programme Director, Education Scotland

Scotland’s Literacy Action Plan – everyone’s responsibility   

Alan Bissett, Author

Literacy in Action – promoting a reading culture in Scotland

National Updates

Education Scotland – Inspection Framework 

Louise Gaddi, Qualifications Manager Care Scotland, SQA

Catherine Agnew, Inspector Manager – Registration,Care Inspector

Nina Roberts, Education and Workforce Development Adviser, SSSC  

World Cafe Workshops

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

Irene Russell, Development Officer, Parental Involvement

Susan Doherty, Development Officer, Work with Young People

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Let your colleagues and parents know!!!

Community Café

On Wednesday (02/02/12) I had the opportunity to visit Kate O’Regan a Primary 7 teacher at Livingston Village Primary in West Lothian. The Primary 7 pupils were preparing for the opening of their Café the following day. They described the processes they went through to set up the Café and also explained the skills they developed.

To find out more about my visit view the video of Primary 7 on the Chalkface Blog.

To find out about  the opening of the Café visit their blog.

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



1st March 2012

Getting it Right for Every Child – the Journey So Far

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

If you would like to participate through webcast, email : Lynn.Soutar@nhs.net

Find out more at the following links:


Maternal and Early Years Website for Early Years Professionals


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


Information for parents


Adolescent Health and Risk Behaviours Symposium

Adolescent Health and Risk Behaviours Symposium
Policy, Research and Practice

 Wednesday 29th February 2012

Royal Society of Edinburgh, George Street, Edinburgh

9:30am – 3:30pm

If you would like to register for a place, please complete and return this form to Renee Ingram (renee.ingram@scphrp.ac.uk).

Wise up Wednesday…..for parents!

Health and Wellbeing Event for Parents – Saturday 25 February 2012

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

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

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

New weblinks in the parents section of Glow


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All about ME!

 Are you able to help children and young people to have their say about Scotland’s Children’s Hearings system?

Events: 14 March – Dundee; 21 March – Aviemore; 28 March – Glasgow

The Scottish Government will be holding a series of free engagement events, in age appropriate workshop format, targeting children and young people from 5 years upwards (no upper age limit). The Scottish Government wants to hear what children and young people – who have been through the hearings system – think about its plans for reform of the Children’s Hearings system and whether they think the Government’s proposals would improve their experience of attending hearings. If you can help children and young people to come along to one of these events please express interest on behalf of the child. All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult who should stay at the venue for the duration of the event. Each event will run from 10.45 am – 3.30 pm and lunch will be provided.

The closing date for registrations is 1 March. Register the child’s interest at: childrens.hearings@scotland.gsi.gov.uk  Please indicate which event the child or young person will attend as well as their name, age and contact details. If the child is under 16 please provide your own contact details too. For more information see Scottish Government – Children’s Hearings System website http://www.chscotland.gov.uk/

All about me! Carers and professionals flyer

All about me! Carers and professionals invite

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.

Using blogs to share the learning

On Wednesday, I visited West Lothian’s Learning and Teaching Development Team to investigate some of the ways they have been using Glow to help with communication across the Local Authority.

One of the ways they did this was to change the West Lothian Glow Community. Instead of having a focus on Glow Groups, this area now has a focus on two blogs: Sharing our Learning and Staff CPD Share.

The Sharing our Learning blog is a public blog where teachers and the senior management team can share what is happening in their school, from awards to assemblies, events to an exciting lesson. The purpose of this blog is that as an authority West Lothian can share what is happening between practitioners, pupils and parents.

To view the Sharing our Learning blog click here. You can also find out how to create a blog similar to this one by visiting this Glow Cookbook.

Staff CPD Share is a Glow only blog for staff. In this blog CPD co-ordinators can advertise CPD events, staff can share Glow Groups, resources and tips, Network leaders and CfE co-ordinators can post updates, etc.

To find out more about by visit and the impact of using Glow to improve communication click here .

To find out about other ways West Lothian are using Glow to communicate click here.

Driving Learning with Mario Kart

Cross post from Consolarium Blog.

Derek Robertson (Consolarium Team) was contacted by Wilma Leaburn, a QIO from Renfrewshire and invited to a Mario Kart CPD evening at a school in Paisley. A number of teachers had taken this practice forward and a CPD session to share their experiences had been organised. The evening itself was a fantastic example of how creative teachers can be and how, when give the chance, their own idiosyncrasies can lead to wonderful learning experiences that meet the needs of their learners. At this event he met a teacher called Julie Paterson who invited me to Mario Kart open afternoon for parents and carers at her school, Bargarran PS in Erskine.

This series of posts will feature Derek’s observations at this event:

1/4 Driving Learning with Mario Kart: What’s in the box?

2/4 Driving Learning with Mario Kart: The buzz of learning

3/4 Driving learning with Mario Kart: The parents’ perspective

4/4 Driving Learning with Mario Kart: Healthy Eating and Grannie changes her mind

Mario Kart Leaderboards

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.

NQT Health and wellbeing Event, Hampden, Sat 3rd December

The Health and Wellbeing Team are looking forward to spending a day with 150 NQT’s.  We have presentations from two Head Teachers about how they lead health and wellbeing in their schools and much more.

We will be launching our hwb-cpd community and are encouraging all participants to sign up throughout the day.

Anyone can sign up for a priority place for more Health and wellbeing events happening in early 2012.

To add to the share area click here

To set an intention click here

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:


Find Bloom’s Higher Order Thinking fans here:


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!

Very interesting research about parental involvement in the early years

“Children whose parents frequently read with them in their first year of school are still showing the benefit when they are 15, says an international OECD study.”

(BBC News 8 November 2011)


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.


My World of Work

I heard about this great website at SLF from Skills Development Scotland and thought that the materials on it would be very useful for EY establishments to use with or direct parents to when supporting them in their endeavours to return to work.  Really good interactive materials.


Schools Global Footprint – refreshed resource now live

Education Scotland’s new-look Schools Global Footprint Calculator is now live and can be viewed at: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/schoolsglobalfootprint

This key online resource has had a significant make-over and now features:

  • a user-friendly interactive calculator
  • streamlined navigation
  • a comprehensive teacher handbook
  • tutorial videos for practitioners
  • inspiring examples of how schools have used the resource to reduce their footprint.

The school estate is responsible for an estimated 50% of greenhouse gas emissions from local authorities. The online calculator allows learners to measure the ecological footprint of their school in relation to six topic areas: food, water, energy, buildings, transport and waste. Learners are also encouraged to develop innovative approaches to reducing their impact on the environment and promoting sustainable lifestyles in the wider community – from tackling the school run to growing and eating their own produce to reduce food miles.

In addition to providing an exciting real life context for delivering the experiences and outcomes, the resource greatly supports Eco-Schools activities and provides learners with skills for learning, life and work as Scotland move towards a low-carbon future.

View the Schools Global Footprint resource or find out more about Education Scotland’s sustainable development education resources.

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.


Does skipping breakfast help you lose weight?

There is a large amount of research evidence relating weight status in children and adolescents to eating breakfast. In 2005, a review of the literature found that although breakfast eaters tend to consume more daily calories, they are less likely to be overweight.

A follow-up review in 2009 found that most cross-sectional studies reported that eating breakfast was associated with a reduced risk for overweight or obesity. Routinely eating breakfast is associated with more regular eating habits and exercise patterns, healthy food choices and consistent energy intake in children and adolescents.  Children and adolescents who skip breakfast miss the opportunity to consume a nutrient-rich meal.  In addition, evidence suggests that eating breakfast as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle is associated with children’s health and well-being.

A number of studies show that:

  • overweight or obese children and adolescents eat breakfast less frequently
  • girls tend to skip breakfast more than boys
  • skipping breakfast increases as children age into adolescence
  • parental eating and living in two parent families are positively associated with adolescent breakfast consumption, whilst families are positively associated with adolescent breakfast consumption, whilst socioeconomic deprivation is inversely associated with eating breakfast

 To read the some more from the National Obesity Observatory click here

SLF 2011: Technologies: Curriculum for Excellence: Learning, Teaching and Assessment, Making the Connections

During the Technologies Seminar at the Scottish Learning Festival 2011, Claire Kane and Carla Watson from St. Nicholas RC Primary in West Lothian, joined by their pupils Olivia, Anna, Ewan and Jack presented an interesting and inspiring account of how Technologies for Learning were embedded in their Social Enterprise Project – Food for Thought Community Cafe.

You can view the presentation here. (Glow log in required)

You can also follow the project on Twitter @fftcc or visit their blog.

SLF 2011: Education Showcase – Technologies

Using Glow/Technologies to support Learning, Teaching and Assessment

Karlie Robinson and Jack, Becky and Kieran from Bridgend Primary in West Lothian presented at the Scottish Learning Festival about how they have been using Glow and other Technologies to help with learning, teaching and assessment across the curriculum.

They presented on a number of topics including:

  • how Glow can be used to connect with other schools across Scotland and collaborate through topic work
  • why Glow is important in the delivery of lessons
  • the impact of using technology in lessons on pupils through their own words as they discuss their learning experiences
  • challenges and successes experienced by class teachers in delivering these types of experiences

To view their inspiring presentation click here (Glow login required).

You can investigate how Bridgend Primary have been using Glow and other Technologies by visiting the West Lothian Sharing our Learning Blog.

You can also get the pupils thoughts on their first visit to the Learning Festival here.

Alarm bells and whistles:Toddler book apps

Melissa McClements article in yesterday’s Guardian:
Interactive versions of books for very young children are becoming mainstream. Are they enhancing early reading experience – or diminishing it?


Curriculum for Excellence Action Plan – details announced at #SLF11

This Scottish Government Action Plan details the priorities for the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence for 2011-2012. Details of the plan were announced in the keynote speech by Michael Russell, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, at the Scottish Learning Festival on 21 September, 2011.

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:


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.