Monthly Archives: March 2017

Young people in foster care have their say “Give me a chance”⤴

from @ Reach

Young champions from the Fostering Network Scotland have made an ace film called “Give me a Chance” about the positive role that foster care can have in young people’s lives. Here’s what they told Reach.Scot about why they did it….

“We made this film because we wanted to highlight the challenges children and young people can face in everyday life when placed into care, which is no fault of their own.  This film is the experiences of 9 people rolled into 1.

We chose the medium of film because we personally don’t usually pick up leaflets when out and about, but if something of interest is on Social Media we are more inclined to click on it and share it with our friends.

This film is for everyone, for those in care themselves and carers, teachers, social workers and for classmates of anyone who is in care.

We hope people discuss the positive impact a foster placement can have on the life of a child/young person and how when given the chance, any child can achieve their positive potential.”

If this film has raised any questions or issues for you, or if you’d like to find out more about the Fostering Network Scotland’s Young Champions, you can call the Fosterline Scotland on 0141 204 1400 or email fosterlinescotland@fostering.net

 

 

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Getting it right for all pupils⤴

from @ Reach

Here’s something that can make a big difference to pupils’ lives. Ever heard of GIRFEC? It’s short for Getting it Right for Every Child. GIRFEC helps the adults who support you to work together to make sure you are ok and that you get the support you need. Check out this GIRFEC wheel picture. Teachers and other people who support you might use this wheel when talking to you about what is going well in your life and where you need more help.

What does GIRFEC mean for you?

GIRFEC should make sure that:

  • You understand what is happening and why.
  • You have been listened to and your wishes have been heard, understood and taken into account.
  • You feel confident about the help you are getting.
  • You are involved in discussions and decisions that affect you.
  • You know you will get support that is right for you as soon as possible.
  • People that are supporting you work together to make sure you get the support you need

Check out Ryan’s story to get an idea of what GIRFEC looks like in real life.

GIRFEC isn’t that easy to get your head around. One council has made an app to help make sense of it, worth checking out. 

Here’s how some of the older pupils at Gourock Primary  have helped people understand what GIRFEC is about by setting up a social enterprise. If your secondary school have done any projects like this, would be great to hear from you.

“The Games Café began with an idea from our P6 pupils in the school. They wanted to make sure that the rest of the pupils in the school knew the 8 wellbeing indicators. They thought of a game board with the wellbeing wheel in the centre and some stops around the outside where the player would think about the indicators. The Girfec Gameboard with question cards was completed and printed a year later.

We entered a local Dragons’ Den style competition where we pitched an idea to spread the word of our Girfec Gameboard through a Games Café for the school and community. This was a Social Enterprise bid and all funds would go to our Partner school in Malawi.

The Games Café has been running since August 2016 and already we have had parents, pupils and members of the community coming along to the Games Café for a coffee or tea, home baking and a chance to play the game.”

A big thank you to the Girfec Group at Gourock for writing this – Jess, Adam ,Duncan, Ellie & Maya.

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Reflections on a little bit of open education (TL;DR: it works).⤴

from @ Sharing and learning

We are setting up a new honours degree programme which will involve use of online resources for work based blended learning. I was asked to demonstrate some the resources and approaches that might be useful. This is one of the quick examples that I was able to knock up(*) and some reflections on how Open Education helped me. By the way, I especially like the last bit about “open educational practice”. So if the rest bores you, just skip to the end.

(*Disclaimer: this really is a quickly-made example, it’s in no way representative of the depth of content we will aim for in the resources we use.)

Making the resource

I had decided that I wanted to show some resources that would be useful for our first year, first semester Praxis course. This course aims to introduce students to some of the skills they will need to study computer science, ranging from appreciating the range of topics they will study to being able to use our Linux systems, from applying study skills to understanding some requirements of academic writing. I was thinking that much of this would be fairly generic and must be covered by a hundred and one existing resources when  I saw this tweet:

That seemed to be in roughly the right area, so I took a look at the University of Nottingham’s HELM Open site and found an Introduction to Referencing. Bingo. The content seemed appropriate, but I wasn’t keen on a couple of things. First, breaking up the video in 20sec chunks I fear would mean the student spend more time ‘interacting’ with the Next-> button than thinking about the content. Second, it seems a little bit too delivery oriented, I would like the student to be a little more actively engaged.

I noticed there is a little download arrow on each page which let me download the video. So I downloaded them all and used OpenShot to string them together into one file. I exported this and used the h5p WordPress plugin to show how it could be combined with some interactive elements and hosted on a WordPress site with the hypothes.is annotation plugin, to get this:

The remixed resource: on the top left is the video, below that some questions to prompt the students to pay attention to the most significant points, and on the right the hypothes.is pop-out for discussion.

How openness helps

So that was easy enough, a demo of the type of resource we might produce, created in less than an afternoon. How did “openness” help make it easy.

Open licensing and the 5Rs

David Wiley’s famous 5Rs define open licences as those that let you  Reuse, Revise, Remix, Retain and Redistribute learning resources. The original resource was licensed as CC:BY-NC and so permitted all of these actions. How did they help?

Reuse: I couldn’t have produced the video from scratch without learning some new skills or having sizeable budget, and having much more time.

Revise: I wasn’t happy with the short video / many page turns approach, but was  able to revise the video to make it play all the way through in one go.

Remix: The video was then added to some formative exercises, and discussion facility added.

Retain: in order for us to rely on these resources when teaching we need to be sure that the resource remains available. That means taking responsibility keeping it available. Hence we’ll be hosting it on a site we control.

Redistribute: we will make our version available to other. This isn’t just about “paying forward”, it’s about the benefits that working in an open network being, see the discussion about nebulous open education below.

One point to make here: the licence has a Non-Commercial restriction. I understand why some people favour this, but imagine if I were an independent consultant brought in to do this work, and charged for it. Would I then be able to use the HELM material? The recent case about a commercial company charging to duplicate CC-licensed material for schools, which a US judge ruled within the terms of the licence might apply, but photocopying seems different to remixing. To my mind, the NC clause just complicates things too much.

Open standards, and open source

I hadn’t heard much about David Wiley’s ALMS framework for technical choices to facilitate openness (same page as before, just scroll a bit further) but it deals directly with issues I am very familiar with. Anyone who thinks about it will realise that a copy-protected PDF is not open no matter what the licence on it says. The ALMS framework breaks the reasoning for this down to four aspects: Access to editing tools, Level of expertise required, Meaningfully editable, Self sources. Hmmm. Maybe sometimes it’s clearer not to force category names into acronyms? Anyway, here’s how these helped.

Self-sourced, meaning the distribution format is the source code. This is especially relevant as the reason HELM sent the tweet that alerted me to their materials was that they are re-authoring material from Flash to HTML5. Aside from modern browser support, one big advantage of them doing this is that instead of having an impenetrable SWF package I had access to the assets that made the resource, notably the video clips.

Meaningfully editable: that access to the assets meant that I could edit the content, stringing the videos together, copying and pasting text from the transcript to use as questions.

Level of expertise required: I have found all the tools and services used (OpenShot, H5P, hypothes.is, WordPress) relatively easy to use, however some experience is required, for example to be familiar with various plugins available for WordPress and how to install them. Video editing in particular takes some expertise. It’s probably something that most people don’t do very often (I don’t).  Maybe the general level of digital literacy level we should now aim for is one where people are familiar with photo and video editing tools as well as text oriented word processing and presentation tools. However, I’m inclined to think that the details of using the H264 video codec and AAC audio codec, packaged in a MPEG-4 Part 14 container (compare and contrast with VP9 and ogg vorbis packaged in a profile of Matroska) should remain hidden from most people. Fortunately, standardisation means that the number of options is less than it would otherwise be, and it was possible to find many pages on the web with guidance on the browser compatibility of these options (MP4 and WebM respectively).

Access to editing tools, where access starts with low cost. All the tools used were free, most were open source, and all ran on Ubuntu (most can also run on other platforms).

It’s notable that all these ultimately involve open source software and open standards, and work especially well when then “open” for open standards includes free to implement. That complicated bit around MP4 & WebM video formats, that comes about because royalty requirements for those implementing MP4.

Open educational practice: nebulous but important.

Open education includes but is more than open education resources, open content, open licensing and open standards. It also means talking about what we do. It means that I found out about HELM because they were openly tweeting about their resources. I think that is how I learnt about nearly all the tools discussed here ina similar manner. Yes, “pimping your stuff” is importantly open. Open education also means asking questions and writing how-to articles that let non-experts like me deal with complexities like video encoding.

There’s a deeper open education at play here as well. See that resource from HELM that I started with? It started life in the RLO CETL, i.e. in a publicly funded initiative, now long gone. And the reason I and others in the UKHE know about Creative Commons and David Wiley’s analysis of open content, that largely comes down to #UKOER, again a publicly  funded initiative. UKOER and the stuff about open standards and open source was supported by Jisc, publicly funded. Alumni from these initiatives are to be found all over UKHE, through which these initiatives continue to be crucially important in building our capability and capacity to support learners in new and innovative settings.

 

The post Reflections on a little bit of open education (TL;DR: it works). appeared first on Sharing and learning.

DYW Interesting Practice – Craigroyston Community High School: Helping young people realise their aspirations⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

 

Craigroyston Community High School has fully embraced the DYW agenda and designed a curriculum that provides all leaners with the opportunity to develop relevant skills and explore career pathways in order progress towards a positive sustained  destination after leaving school .

Pre-apprenticeship Programme  (See SQA)

 

Steve Ross – Reflections of a HT (Craigroyston)

Young Enterprise Scotland celebrates award wining programmes!⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

From Geoff Leask (CEO – Young Enterprise Scotland):

When the Developing the Young Workforce Career Education Standard (3-18) was published in September 2015 it was a heartening  moment to see the following included:

Children and young people will be entitled to develop understanding of enterprise, entrepreneurship and self-employment as a career opportunity;

As the DYW impact has grown you can imagine my delight that two of our Programmes have already been awarded the DYW Quality Accreditation at Silver Level.

Firstly, a huge thanks to our Local Area Team Chair Neil Marchant for driving forward our Company Programme in the North East and ensuring that our programme and its impact is recognised for the outcomes that it achieves and how it develops young people for their future outside of school.

Secondly,  I would like to pay a huge tribute to our friends and delivery partners in the North East – Elevator UK.  Through the efforts of Karen Clark and Lucia Giuntoli of Elevator they have ensured that our Bridge 2 Business Programme is also awarded the DYW Quality Accreditation at Silver Level. ‘Bridge 2 Business’ is an interactive and engaging programme designed to inspire and prepare all young people aged 16-30 to learn and succeed through enterprise.

It is a fantastic achievement for Young Enterprise Scotland to achieve this position for two of our Scotland-wide programmes and helps to re-enforce our position as Scotland’s leading enterprise engagement organisation for young people across Scotland.

 

Young people will, as per the Developing the Young Workforce Career Education Standard (3-18), now be able to say:

“I can assess the opportunities and challenges that entrepreneurship/self-employment can provide as a career option including financial and legal aspects.” thanks in part to the work of Young Enterprise Scotland!

What helps young people feel included in school?⤴

from @ Reach

Hello, I’m Mark, I’m a 17-year-old pupil at school in Cumbernauld and I’m the Inclusion Ambassador for North Lanarkshire.

I went to Luxembourg to represent Scotland in a Europe-wide inclusive education conference. When we were there I got a good idea of what was important for pupils all over Europe – the key message is “Everything about us, with us”. We want to be heard and we want to have a say in anything that has to do with us. We are the experts in our own needs and we know what works and what doesn’t.

This is not just a message for politicians. It is the teachers that make the immediate difference to how inclusive a school is.

Take my school – before I moved up to high school my year head met with my parents and me. We worked out barriers for me in and around the school, spoke with teachers in private to make sure they understood my needs and made a clear plan for every type of situation at school. This might all seem quite a bit of work for one pupil, yet this only took three meetings and it was all made so much easier because of the talking and listening that went on between me and the teacher.

Sadly, some pupils do not have such a good experience as me, which is why I’m pleased to be one of the Inclusion Ambassadors for Education Scotland. We are a national group of young people who act as a ‘voice’ for pupils on inclusion. We share our views and experiences with Scottish Government Ministers, local authorities and schools. We are hoping to develop resources, a school pledge and a film in the coming months.

Here are three of our top priorities to make schools more inclusive:

  • Social Problems: being excluded at break times and not having enough chances to be included and make friends are big issues. My school found a way around this by setting up a club where pupils could play computer games and socialise. This helped pupils who were often quiet to come out of their shell.
  • Issues with Support staff: For some pupils (but not all), having support staff can sometimes feel like a barrier to their social life, and they might not need them as they get older.
  • Awareness: We feel that there isn’t enough done by schools to raise awareness of the issues that pupils face or the reasons they need support. The worst thing schools can do is to pick out a specific pupil – that’s just everyone’s worst nightmare – but what schools can do is to educate the year group that other people have different needs and promote the fact that you are a diverse and inclusive school so it’s great to have all types of pupils.

For me, talking and listening are the key to true inclusion because without this everything you might be doing could be entirely irrelevant to the pupil. After all, how can you include someone who isn’t involved in the conversation?

 

 

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New Road Safety Resources⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Road Safety Scotland have developed a suite of free road safety learning resources for specific age groups from 3-18 years, with a view to developing responsible road use among young people. All their resources link to Curriculum for Excellence, incorporating experiences and outcomes in health and wellbeing; literacy and English; maths and numeracy, and many other subject areas.

The resources offer different learning styles to engage teachers and learners, and make the learning appropriate, relevant and challenging at every level, and may also help maintain the important link between school and home, allowing key road safety messages to be shared throughout the wider community. You can now access the online resources through the App Library available in Glow.

DYW Interesting Practice – Busby Primary School: Skills development at the core of the curriculum⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Busby Primary School (East Renfrewshire) has developed a highly dynamic initiative that focuses on enhancing skills  for learning, life and work from early years to P7.  Based on a master-class concept, headteacher Sharon Hunter has inspired the Skills Academy programme bringing together staff, employers, parents and community organisations to provide inspirational, progressive learning experiences for all children and young people that foster far-reaching employability and career management skills.   The timetabled programme is organised in CfE levels and built around five cross-cutting themes which learners access on a rotational basis:

  • Food Technology
  • Community,
  • Design & Manufacture
  • Creativity
  • Lifeskills

Throughout the academy programme pupils collaborating with each other across Early, First and Second Level.  Its successful implementation is based on the strategic planning and support provided by the school’s leadership team, enabling all staff to engage according to their interests and strengths as well as to enhance their own skills portfolios by accessing relevant CLPL opportunities.

Learners excel in skills development

As a result learners are progressively developing a wide range of employability and career management skills throughout their primary education.  The spectrum of the programme provided contextualised learning experiences as varied as hosting a vernissage (early years), creating an outdoor learning space (eg. building a stage and planting a scented garden), designing apps, first hand experience in the catering industry and as a result collaboratively creating a 3 course meals catering for large audiences (eg. Burns Supper), working with a professional film maker and much more.

Leaners are fully aware of the skills they develop through the academy programme,  how these relate to world of work and the value these hold for their future pathways.

The following document contains an overview of the Skills Academy programme: Interesting Practice in Skills DYW – Busby PS

 

Scotland’s Enterprising Schools: Supporting career education from 3 – 18⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Are you looking for creative ways to develop children and young people’s learning about the world of work?

To inspire you have a look at our Interesting Practice area that highlights the many creative ways schools like Broxburn Academy are providing opportunities for young people around entrepreneurship and enterprise.

 Interesting practice exemplars from Fife Council

The Raytheon Quadcopter Challenge is a partnership between the Council and Raytheon UK. The programme brings STEM Ambassadors from Raytheon UK to deliver lessons in classrooms to second year pupils, on a variety of engineering topics, bringing contextualised learning to young people.  Another great example from Fife is The Enterprise Game. The game is a developmental tool helping pupils to learn about business.  Initially created as a board game, it allows young people to use their entrepreneurial skills to make, sell and deliver products to customers around the board.  It has been customised to incorporate the names of many major employers throughout Fife which helps players to increase their understanding not just of enterprise, but of the wider Fife economy.

You can also learn about the great opportunities offered to young people by Glasgow City Council and Renfrewshire Council.   If you have interesting practice to share please contact us.

Looking for support?

If you would like support to embed enterprise within your school’s curriculum Scotland’s Enterprising Schools can help.  Have a look at our resource area for ideas or contact us to arrange for a member of our team to get in touch with you. You can also expand your knowledge around enterprise and get support to embed the Developing the Young Workforce strategy by attending one of the free twilight professional learning sessions we are delivering across Scotland.  You should hear about these opportunities from your Local Authority shortly.  The next sessions will be held as follows:

Fife Twilight Session (venues and times tbc):

  • 26th April 2017 – West Fife
  • 2nd May 2017 – Central Fife
  • 8th May 2017 – North East Fife

Aberdeen City Twilight Session (venue and time tbc):                         10th May 2017

Inverness All Day event (for senior leaders) at Smithton-Culloden Free Church   –  1st June 2017

If you would like more information about these sessions or opportunities in your area please contact us.