Setting the scene for an inclusive agenda for the sciences for all our children and young people were Education Scotland’s Ken Muir, Graham Norris and Marie McAdam. The It’s My Future song Believe , written and performed by children and young people from across Scotland about their hopes and expectations for the future, and what they want from education to help them achieve these reminded us of the purpose of the day and the impetus for change.
Without a doubt, we have a tremendous will and willingness in Scotland to ensure that our children and young people have access to the highest-quality sciences education. Curriculum for Excellence provides us with the ideal vehicle for doing so. A theme which came across throughout the day is that there is no magic answer, no “one size fits all” solution but that collectively we are in a far better position than working alone. Working together, we have a real opportunity for transformational change in sciences education 3-18.
We were delighted to be joined by children and young people, parents and practitioners from early years, primary, secondary and special schools, further and higher education, as well as a range of partners, and by the geographical spread represented at the day.
Kerry Edwards, from Strathallan Primary in Fife, shared with the delegates the Strathallan story of change in the sciences, from early years to primary 7, recognising the challenges experienced and the positive outcomes resulting from facing these challenges. Cara Jackson, Georgea Speedie, Fraser Foye, Scott Mitchell and Robyn Gardiner from Bellshill Academy told us about their experiences of sciences in the context of STEM – what inspires them, what motivates them and how these experiences have impacted on their views of science. Catherine Colvin, a former pupil from Monifieth High School who is now studying Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde shared her experiences and what inspired her to pursue engineering in higher education. Scott Harper, a former pupil from Kirkcaldy High School who is studying Maths at St Andrews, reflected on his learning in the sciences. He described the key motivators for him, drawing out issues such as opportunities for meaningful interdisciplinary learning, the motivation of succeeding in work which is challenging and the importance of quality opportunities to see relevance and opportunities beyond the classroom. Donna McMaster, Head Teacher at Inveralmond Community High School, closed this first segment by highlighting the very real opportunities presented to us as we move forward in sciences education.
The delegates participated in three discussion group sessions, broadly
– Where are we now? What does the evidence tell us? Using the Sciences 3-18 Curriculum Area Impact Project report as a tool for reflection to arrive at a shared understanding of Curriculum for Excellence in the Sciences
– Where are we going? What should the sciences 3-18 look like 3-5 years from now, getting it right for every child and young person?
– Moving forward. How can we work in partnership to increase the momentum for innovation, to achieve transformational change?
Sessions were structured using the “Implemento” tool for transformational change.
Over the next few posts, we will share with you the outcomes from the discussion sessions, and as we develop our business plans for 2013/14, details of how these discussions are impacting on our plans for moving forward.
Education Scotland has licensed the Transition Leadership tools and the Three Horizons toolkit for the specific and sole purpose of improving Scottish Education and the partner services that support it. We are delighted to have partnered the following people and organisations in this venture: Executive Arts Inc.; James R. Ewing, ForthRoad Ltd.; International Futures Forum and Graham Leicester.