Tag Archives: Skills for Learning Life and Work

It’s a cook-off!

Eighteen youngsters from secondary schools across East Ayrshire recently competed in a hard-fought competition at The Cook School Scotland, in a bid to win a place in the all-Ayrshire final.

The cook-off was for S3 pupils studying Home Economics/Hospitality. In schools, budding chefs prepared a main course for two on a budget of no more than £5. Top two from each school were selected to compete in the East Ayrshire heat.

Click here to read more about this great example of partnership working.

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.

World of Work Online: Technologies

World of Work Online aims to enhance and support work placements by enabling you to step into different workplaces through a computer, whether in school or at home.

Within this resource you can discover and explore a variety of job roles, some of which will be familiar to you and others that you might not be aware of.

To find out about construction and engineering job roles click here.

Using Technologies for Learning

Today I had the opportunity to visit Bridgend Primary School in West Lothian to find out how they had used Technologies for Learning during  their Interdisciplinary Topic of Orkney.

To find out how the teacher used Technologies for Learning during their topic click here.

To listen to how the class used a blog to communicate with a school in Orkney click here.

Karlie and her pupils presented on this project at the Scottish Learning Festival 2011, to find out more click here.

STEM Central Electric Cars

If you’re using the STEM Central Electric Car context, some interesting materials to support learning around vehicle and road safety from the BBC: crash-proof cars, and a map of road deaths from 1999-2010 with information on accident cause, weather conditions, injuries and fatalities searchable by postcode or local authority area. Would be ideally accompanied by work with the Desktop Road Safety Reaction Timer, developed by a partnership between Fifex, Renfrewshire Council and SSERC.

A Healthy Lunch packs a Healthy Punch

Pupils at Auchinleck Academy are getting arty… and their talent is on display for all to see.

A group of third year pupils recently created a huge, colourful mural for the school dining hall as part of a health & wellbeing / art project.

“The mural has really helped to create a better environment for pupils who take packed lunches in Auchinleck Academy and has boosted the confidence of our art pupils who created the work”.

For more information click here

Head Teacher / Depute Head Teacher HWB Event, Tuesday 6th Dec, Radisson Hotel, Glasgow

The Health and Wellbeing Team are looking forward to spending a day with 100 Head Teachers and Depute Head Teachers from the Central Belt.  We have inputs from Head Teachers and HMIE around leadership, planning and assessment in health and wellbeing.

We are encouraging  participants to sign up to our hwb lead community which will also give members access to the hwb-cpd community

To add to the share area click here.

To add your intention about impact after the event click here.

Remember to use the hashtag #hwblead which you can also use to tweet about the event.

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

Entrepreneurial skills

This case study demonstrates how setting up and running a social enterprise through the medium of boatbuilding has broadened the horizons of a group of young people as well as providing a context for learning and relevance to the world of work.

To read more click here.

Entrepreneurial skills

A.G. Barr’s Food and Drink Challenge provides an insight into the entrepreneurial skills required to operate a successful business programme by encouraging young people to take responsibility and ownership of the challenge.

The project demonstrates the innovative and creative manner in which the pupils have developed a business plan that places teamwork, decision making, assessing risk, literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing, technologies and leadership at the very heart of its objectives. This successful business project has enabled the pupils to develop entrepreneurial skills in a relevant, challenging and enjoyable manner whilst raising their aspirations in the wider context of skills for learning, life and work.

To read the more about the project click here.

National Science and Engineering Week

Organised by the British Science Association, National Science and Engineering Week aims to inspire the next generation of scientists with a programme of fun activities. It will run from 9-18 March 2012 and will explore the theme ‘Our World in Motion’.

The event highlights how the sciences and engineering relate to our everyday lives. With over 4500 events and activities attended by 1.7 million people in 2011, it is one of the UK’s biggest celebrations of science, engineering and technology.

To take part in 2012, you can either plan your own event or ask a local organisation to take part.


STEM Central
High-quality resources, teaching ideas, videos and interactives to develop learning experiences relating to Scottish engineering.


British Science Association
Find out more about National Science and Engineering Week.


Glow event: BBC L.A.B. Radio Workshop: Make a Sport Podcast

Watch again and think about future sports podcasting


 Over two Mondays in November and December, we want you to work with us to make your own radio programme or podcast – on a sporting theme. We’ll be hosting two workshops in the L.A.B at BBC Scotland, and you can join in from your classroom. Click here to sign up.]

Click here for more info

Case study: How Preston Lodge is helping to spread the food and health message

The food and health strand of the new curriculum is an opportunity and a challenge to many schools, especially those primary schools where the topic may not have been tackled previously and where facilities and resources are limited.

In Prestonpans the primary and secondary schools in the area are addressing this by getting together to share expertise. The result has been a series of CPD ‘twilight sessions’ run by Preston Lodge High School for the benefit of its cluster of five primary schools. And it seems to be working.

Home economics teacher and health and well-being co-ordinator Liz Nichol explains that when teachers at Preston Lodge started examining what was needed for food and health from early years right the way through to age 18, they quickly realised they needed to work with their primary school colleagues.

“I thought: we already have the food and health specialists in secondary schools in the form of home economics and food technology teachers and this really lends itself well to a cluster approach with the secondary teachers helping the feeder primary teachers.”

Such an approach would also be mutually beneficial. “We could help ensure what was being delivered in the primary setting fitted with the secondary syllabus and vice-versa.”

Over a period of two weeks Liz and her colleagues held four CPD sessions on different topics in the food and health strand of the curriculum. Between 10 and 15 teachers from the feeder primary schools attended each session.

Three of those topics aligned with the main syllabus topics – nutrition, safe and hygienic practice and food and the consumer. The fourth was devoted to practical food skills and during the two-hour session teachers were shown how to create different recipes, ranging from a couscous salad to Caribbean fruit cake.

This session, which was very practically based, was extremely popular with the teachers, Liz reports. “We allowed staff to take over as much as possible. We also showed how different the approach would need to be if you were teaching primary year one compared to primary year six.”

The emphasis throughout was on a “can do” approach, she adds. So although teachers were told about the importance of an initial risk assessment, they were also assured that if done sensibly it should not run foul of health and safety and that the skills being imparted were sufficiently generic for any teacher to employ.

Teachers also started to realise this was about imparting particular skills rather than having to make a meal from start to finish, says Liz. One teacher found it particularly instructive to learn about some of the techniques for cutting vegetables, for instance. “She realised this could be used to make simple things like a dip or vegetable crudités. She’s now thinking: we can do this on a skills basis.”

Liz and her colleagues have followed up these initial sessions with two further refresher sessions and the evaluation has been positive. “They are saying we can do something here.”

Preston Lodge already encourages children from the feeder schools to work with secondary pupils on food and health topics and it is hoped the cross- fertilisation will continue.

This can sometimes be an eye-opener. For example, it is clear to Liz when she demonstrates cutting, coring and peeling an apple that many of the children – who are 10 or 11 – have never done this before, at school or at home.

She encourages them to take any chance they can to cut and peel fruit and vegetables when they are at home because that will help prepare them for what they will be expected to undertake once they are at high school.

She is delighted that food and health now play such a central part in the new curriculum. And she is optimistic that in time this can start to have an impact on the rising tide of obesity.

“I think children are becoming much more aware of health issues and their potential impact,” she says. “But although they often know what they should be doing, actually putting it into practice is a different story. But if everybody is approaching it in a similar way it will definitely have an impact in the long-term.”

Contact details: enicoll@prestonlodge.elcschool.org.uk

More information: practical food skills 

STEM Central and engineering careers

Wondering how engineering connects with your teaching in sciences, technologies, maths, or other curriculum areas? We will shortly be publishing a series of videos on STEM Central useful for practitioners and learners. Titles such as “Why Engineering?”, “Getting Started in Engineering” and “Inspiring Space Engineering”, all with a Scottish flavour, exploring routes in engineering, skills required for success in engineering and the future of engineering in Scotland and beyond.

STEM Central raising issues for debate and discussion

Perhaps your use of STEM Central contexts has raised debate around ethical issues – access to clean water, housing sustainability, energy through renewables? If so, the Speak Up Scotland! initiative might be of interest to you. Free workshops for teachers introduce different forms of debating, so you can encourage learners to explore the ethical and moral considerations around scientific developments. The programme also offers to arrange visits from or online discussions with university and industry STEM Ambassadors.

More details available on the SSERC website or by e-mailing science@esus.scotland.org.uk

What’s it really like to work in financial services?




What’s it really like to work in financial services?

The re:think website provides school leavers and college and university graduates with information on the financial services sector in Scotland.

Find out what it’s really like to work in financial services. The site contains a number of case studies, from real people, who work for some of Scotland’s key employers.  They provide more information on their jobs, their typical day and how they got into their current role.

Find out more at www.sds.co.uk/rethink

Presentation to practitioners and SMT from West Lothian Council

DO MCMC 16+ LC did a presentation to practitioners and SMT from West Lothian Council on Friday 28th October at Inveralmond Community School. DO participated in round table discussions re need for flexibility in the Senior Phase if we are to get 16+ Learning Choices right. It was heart-warming to see so many vocational programmes operating in many of the schools (mainstream and SEN) to develop skills for learning, life and work in our young people. I thoroughly enjoyed the session and I look forward to a follow up on December 9th at Deans Community School. Great to see such fantastic and innovative work being done – well done West Lothian!!

Scottish Career Fact Sheets

These fact sheets are a really useful resource for  learners to find out more about the different sectors of employment and help them to make informed decisions about future destinations beyond school.


They were produced by the Alliance Scotland with the Skills Sector Councils input as well as through funding as part of joint activity with Skills Development Scotland.

Each Scottish Fact Sheet focuses on a range of SSCs, from banking to butchery, engineering to healthcare, and fish farming to mining, to name but a few.

The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils Scotland Logo

World of Work Wednesdays is Back!!

Yes it is back! The popular fortnightly event that focuses on career opportunities for young people across Scotland returns to Glow TV after a break.

This WoWW event focuses on Working in the Theatre. Have you ever wondered what it is like being part of the magic of the theatre? How does a production begin and who is involved in bringing it to life on the stage?

Why not join assistant directors and associate artists in the Glow TV Studio and find out more?

Sign up and join us in Glow TV on Wednesday 2nd November at the usual time 2pm.

STEM Careers

New technology is being developed in Scotland as part of a multi-million pound international collaboration to enable safer and more efficient oil recovery from deeper water and harsher environments than ever before.

Global oil and gas solutions provider FMC Technologies is collaborating with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) to deliver a pioneering five-year research and development partnership within the subsea oil and gas industry.

The collaboration will combine expertise in electronics, optoelectronics, electrical power and instrumentation at GCU with that of subsea engineering and optoelectronics within FMC to deliver research and development projects for safe and efficient oil recovery and to enhance reliability and integrity in the monitoring of subsea installations.

It will also produce innovative new products and technologies for subsea hydrocarbon production applications along with student placement and research studentship opportunities.

Click here to find out more about the project.

Perhaps you could investigate STEM Careers with your pupils to find out which ones would be related to this new development.

Up for Hire on BBC!

 BBC Three and BBC Radio 1 tackle one of Britain’s biggest issues – youth unemployment. Over four nights, Richard Bacon and Tina Daheley talk to industry experts about the best ways to find work.

An interesting TV series with a supporting website including video resources and some useful links for teachers and learners. 


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.

Home Economics Good Practice : Young Chef of the Year

Published Monday 10th October 11

Pupils from five East Lothian secondary schools put their culinary skills to the test in front of distinguished judges – in the final of the East Lothian Young Chef of the Year 2011 competition on Friday.

The nail-biting event was held at Preston Lodge High School, Prestonpans, on 7 October and the ‘home team’ of Shelby Dalgliesh and Abby Douglas lifted the trophy.

A special award for the individual chef ‘most determined to succeed’ went to Rachal Cooper from Knox Academy.

The teams of two S4 pupils had 90 minutes to prepare a two-course meal based on local ingredients, working under the scrutiny of a team of judges. The main course and dessert was prepared from a selected menu, using locally-produced pork, chicken and salmon. Accompaniments for the main course were chosen by each team. The main ingredient of the dessert had to be a dairy product. All ingredients had to be predominantly fresh, East Lothian and/or Scottish and reflect current eating trends.

The competition has been developed to complement and promote East Lothian’s rich history of local produce by involving our young people in an exciting culinary challenge and also introducing them to the idea of a career in the hospitality industry. To read more click here.

Learning about food: down on the farm

One hundred and fifty Primary 6 pupils got their hands dirty down on the farm – but it was all in a good educational cause.
Children from Annanhill, Galston, Hurlford, Silverwood, Barshare and Ochiltree enjoyed a fun Food and Farming Day at Auchincruive Estate last week, to find out about the food they eat and where it comes from, courtesy of the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET).
Youngsters enjoyed a variety of activity sessions provided by local farmers and by lecturers from the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC). They made butter and ice cream, ground some grain and toured the farm to get a closer look at dairy cows and calves. The children also tried experimental ‘egg magic’ and had some tractor fun, which incorporated basic physics activities.
To read more click here.

STEM Central and Education Scotland newsletter

If you haven’t seen the first edition of the new Education Scotland newletter you can find it using this link http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/Images/ESNewsletter_tcm4-674651.pdf. The front page highlights the new STEM Central resource, and the importance of sciences, technologies, engineering and maths for the future of Scotland’s economy. The newsletter also announces the role of Education Scotland in supporting practitioners with the delivery of the new qualifications, with learning resources to be published in spring 2012.

Iceberg Glow Meet – Responsbility of All


This Glow meet took place on Wednesday 28 September 16.15-17.00 – to watch again click here.

This Glow Meet demonstrated a way to provide CPD support to deliver the aspects of Health and Wellbeing that are the Responsibility of All. It was a poplar Glow meet with  an very encouraging 78 people joining in.

They heard about and discussed the Iceberg Model for shared understanding of Responsibility of All.   The Iceberg model helps to mark crucial learning experiences with added activities.    This may support teachers identify the appropriate starting points based on a learner’s prior knowledge.  This potential pathway can help teachers to consider the gathering of evidence of ‘how much and how well’ a learner has learned, when considering assessment in aspects of HWB.   For more information contact Suzanne Hargreaves.

Health and Wellbeing Network

We recently met with our HWB National Network where strategic leads from across all 32 Education Authorities as well as our NHS and Scottish Government colleagues. We had inputs around Responsibility of All aspects of HWB and skills development.  There was a very enthusiastic response to our proposal to fund staff across a range of authorities to work with us on developing exemplar materials for HWB potentially on areas around assessment, profiling and Responsibility of All.   It was a very productive and positive day as reflected in the evaluations. 

We are going to be out and about meeting with our contact authorities seeking out emerging practice and offering support.

Are You Using BLT: The Big Book of Literacies Training?

 The Youth Literacies Network with the support of YouthLink Scotland and Education Scotland produced BLT – a non-prescriptive resource bank to assist youth workers and others embrace literacies work with young people in a variety of contexts and settings earlier this year.

The purpose of the resource is to assist you to better meet the literacies needs of the young people you work with. We are keen to know who is using BLT and in what way. Please get in touch with a brief description of how you are using them and if you have added to them or adapted the original materials.

The Big Book of Literacies Training is available to down load from here.

Contact: Heather McVey at YouthLink Scotland, phone: 0131 313 2488 [ e-mail ]

Micro – Tyco Glow Meet

Lots of schools are asking about what they are going to do over enterprise month this year. 

Tune in to the Glow Meet on Thursday at 12.30,1.30 or 3.30 to hear social entrepreneur Mick Jackson talk about the popular WildHearts Micro-Tyco Challenge and how it can engage whole communities in enterprise education and at the same time raise awareness and tackle social injustice.

Click here to visit the Aberdeen City Glow Group for more information. (Glow log in required)

Or better still join the Glow Meet Briefing Room on Thursday 6th October at 12.30,1.30 or 3.30 by clicking here. During the Glow Meet teachers and pupils will have an opportunity to engage with Mick about the Challenge and to ask him any questions you might have about enterprise in general or the challenge specifically.

#SLF11 Learning, Teaching & Assessment in Sciences – Making the Connections

Joanna McGillivray, Head of Science and Computing at Forth Valley College shared with delegates at #SLF11 on Thursday a number of exciting and innovative programmes of work which the college offers, in partnership with schools in a number of local authorities, employers and industry. Learners studying for the Science Baccalaureate have celebrated tremendous success; delegates were able to view work produced by learners as part of the interdisciplinay project element of the Bacc. The value of connecting learning, teaching and assessment to real world applications to support learners in making the transition to sustainable post school destinations, whether FE, HE, further training or employment cannot be underestimated. Read about learners’ opportunities to find out about effective science communication within the Bacc programme and see the Journey to Excellence website to hear from staff and students, the benefits of “hands on” education.

Skills for Learning, Life and Work

Developing skills for learning, life and work

 Six filmed case studies, from a variety of primary and secondary settings around Scotland, have been published, demonstrating evidence of progression in the development of skills for learning, life and work as outlined in Building the Curriculum 4, including:

  • literacy and numeracy
  • personal and learning skills (including leadership skills)
  • confidence building and other skills linked to the health and wellbeing agenda
  • employability
  • working with others.

The material can be used to support the development of skills and measurement of progression at the specified levels by practitioners within particular contexts, as well as by children and young people, parents and employers.