Category Archives: Professional

Western Isles Council – extensive apprenticeship offer⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and partners will publish an extensive list of over 40 apprenticeships which will see posts created from the Butt to Barra, across a wide range of sectors and departments including:

  • Business Administration
  • Business Management
  • Community Development
  • Child Care
  • Education Attainment
  • Gaelic language assistants
  • Health and Social Care
  • Heritage
  • Human Resource
  • Multi-Media
  • Outdoor/Indoor Education
  • Roads maintenance
  • Sustainable Resource Management
  • Sport and health
  • Motor Mechanics

The Comhairle will be hosting community meetings throughout the Western Isles to provide full information on the above apprentices. Dates have yet to be confirmed but these meetings will take place the week commencing Monday 5th June 2017 and further details will be publicised closer to the time.

Cllr Angus McCormack, Chairman of Education, Sport and Children’s Services, said:       “This is a fantastic opportunity for people from the Butt to Barra to earn whilst they learn, and very importantly – to do so in their own areas. This ties in very well indeed to the Comhairle’s aims to reverse depopulation, provide our people with the opportunity to remain in their communities, whilst also contributing to the economy. I would encourage those who speak Gaelic and also those who have a particular interest in land management and crofting to keep express their interest in these apprenticeships. I would reiterate once again that the apprenticeships are open to anyone, not just young people, and anyone who feels that they may be interested should register at www.myjobscotland.gov.uk and setup an alert for the job category “Modern Apprenticeships/Trainee” where they will receive notifications by e-mail as soon as the Comhairle’s Apprenticeships posts go live.

“The Comhairle is committed to workforce planning and having a sustainable platform for the future, to help our communities and our islands to flourish and we will continue to work hard to ensure that we achieve these aims.”

The Scottish Attainment Challenge within overall school improvement⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

By Graeme Logan, Strategic Director, Education Scotland

We have a once in a career opportunity to make a significant breakthrough for children living in poverty in Scotland through the Scottish Attainment Challenge (SAC). The areas for improvement highlighted in our recent report ‘Quality and improvement in Scottish education 2012-2016’ (QuISE) report are all very relevant to our national mission to close the poverty-related attainment gap and to strive for excellence and equity for every child in Scotland.

SAC, including the Pupil Equity Fund (PEF), gives us the additional resources to transform children’s progress and attainment. I know that many headteachers I speak to are excited about the possibilities. They are also keen to make sure we make the best use of these resources.

At Education Scotland we aim to provide you with the best possible advice on what works. In addition to the inspection evidence in QuISE, our advice includes access to a Scottish version of the Education Endowment Foundation’s Learning and Teaching Toolkit, and also our own Interventions for Equity, which shares a range of interesting examples and approaches from Scottish schools which have been involved with the SAC programmes.

Other significant changes we have introduced this year will also help. These include clarity on the model of assessment for the broad general education, which is teacher judgement of children’s achievement of Curriculum for Excellence levels, informed by a range of evidence and high quality moderation.  This demonstrates the value and trust placed in our teachers to make overall judgements about children’s progress. In doing this, teachers helped us to create the new Benchmarks for literacy and numeracy, which clarify the national standard for the achievement of each level.

We are taking a broad definition of the attainment gap and are not just considering statistics on overall attainment in isolation. If we are to achieve the vision of Curriculum for Excellence we need to think about achievement in a range of areas too. Earlier this year I spoke to around 2,000 headteachers from every part of the country in a series of events. We encouraged them to think about the attainment gap in the context of five key areas:

  • Attendance
  • Attainment
  • Exclusion
  • Engagement
  • Participation

The first three may seem more obvious and in some respects easier to measure. However, engagement and participation are equally as important for children’s progress and development. Some schools have started to track all five areas, for example, observing the extent of children’s active engagement in learning through use of tools such as the Leuven Scale of Engagement.  They have also started to track the extent to which children participate in the school’s wider curriculum and wider offer.

Schools will not be able to make the breakthrough we want to see for children living in poverty on their own. Many third sector and partner organisations are making a major contribution to improving children’s progress and engagement, and there are examples on the National Improvement Hub; type ‘Scottish Attainment Challenge’ into the search box to see all our resources.

One of the most important partnerships is that with families and communities. In the first year of the Challenge this was the area in which we saw least activity, and we’re actively looking at how we can change that. Our Review of Family Learning provides a good evidence base and recommendations for ways in which family learning can be developed within communities.

With inspection looking at attainment (QI 3.2) from August, including how schools are using PEF to close the gap, now is a good time to self-evaluate your approach to attainment. We will be particularly interested in the rationale and initial decision making for the use of PEF, as we believe that this will be key to ensuring that the most effective interventions are selected for each individual school and community context.

Online collaboration is also a key feature of the Scottish Attainment Challenge. Our Yammer group on Glow for headteachers has over 1,000 members! The largest ever online collaboration between Scottish headteachers. My keynote presentation from the pupil equity conferences is available on the Yammer group. Further key materials will be shared through the Yammer group too. I am currently preparing a keynote presentation for our September Curriculum for Excellence conferences for headteachers. During this presentation I will discuss ways in which curriculum flexibility and curriculum design can be used to close the gap. I will also share the most effective approaches attainment advisors have shared and also draw on the key strengths from schools where HM Inspectors have evaluated the new QI on raising attainment and achievement.

Closing the poverty-related attainment gap is a national endeavour and something which many teachers feel passionate about. For many the main reason they entered the profession was to make the biggest difference to children’s chances in life, particularly those who live in poverty. Reflecting on QuISE’s five priorities for improvement, as well as the specific focuses of SAC, will help ensure the success of our drive to remove the pattern between lower attainment and living in poverty.

QuISE’s five improvement priorities are an excellent place to start.

New release: Career Education Standard (3-18) – Implementation review⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Education Scotland has undertaken a national review on the implementation of the Career Education Standard (3-18) since its release in September 2015.  The review also incorporated reflections on the Work Placements Standard and School/Employer Partnership Guidance.

The standards and the guidance were published with the understanding that Education Scotland would evaluate the impact the documents were having, in light of experience and use.  In response a team from Education Scotland visited 29 secondary schools between December 2016 and March 2017. The evidence from nine secondary school inspections and 30 Career Information Advice and Guidance (CIAG) reviews also recorded evidence about the implementation of the standards in secondary schools.  An online survey was established to maximise the participation of as many people and organisations as possible for the review.  In addition, a bespoke survey for employers, delivered on behalf of Education Scotland by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), attracted further responses. Questions on the review of the standards and guidance were also included in the annual Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Headteachers survey.

In summary, the purpose of the review was to ascertain answers to the following questions:

  1. To what extent have the standards and guidance been implemented and has the pace of implementation been sufficient in order to direct the next stage of activity and focus? There was a particular focus on the CES and how it was being implemented in secondary schools, alongside the expansion of the SDS service offer.
  2. Are the standards and guidance ambitious enough to deliver the aspirations of the DYW strategy?

You can access the complete report here.

SDS news: National STEM event at South Lanarkshire Council⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Uddingston Grammar Head Teacher John McKay, Frank, SDS Careers Adviser Donna Robertson and SDS Acting Director of Operations James Russell.

Frank Devine, SDS Careers Adviser at Uddingston Grammar School, tells us more about a recent event supporting teachers to encourage young people to consider STEM careers.  ‘We understand the influential role teachers play in young people’s careers choices.

Part of our role as Scotland’s national careers service is to ensure we work closely with, and support teachers to, offer the support young people need to make informed career decisions.  That was the main driver behind our recent Career Gap event.   Working with South Lanarkshire Council’s Developing the Young Workforce co-ordinator as well as a group of local teachers, our aim was to give teachers across the area help to support pupils to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.

More than 50 attended, from 18 local area secondary schools.

By tapping in to the wealth of expertise and knowledge on offer across SDS, we were able to offer a full day programme looking at the subject from a variety of angles – equalities, career management skills and employer need.

Our National Training Programmes team supported the day to raise awareness of the ways unconscious bias could be stopping some pupils, especially young women, progressing in STEM.

They brought in Improving Gender Balance Scotland project officer Charlotte Govan to give some cold hard numbers on subject uptake, and the impact that has further down on employment, as well as practical ways of combatting unconscious bias.

Our employer team helped to put us in touch with employers and apprentices to tell teachers their stories, offer ideas on support that could be helpful to pupils now, and talk about what it’s really like to work in STEM industries. BT, BAE and Scotland Energy and Utility Skills all attended on the day.

My colleague Donna Robertson and I were able to give more information on career management skills, career long professional learning modules we offer, the support resources available to teachers via My World of Work and more detail on SDS careers services in schools.

All the teachers who attended took away packs with more information on the support SDS offers, and we’ll be creating further lesson plans and resources to share with all the teachers who attended.

This wasn’t just a chance at CPD for teachers, but offered us the chance to develop the skills of young people from the area too. Recent graduate Stephen Benedetti lent his sound engineer skills for the podium and round table mics, and sixth year Uddingston pupil Adam McKibben snapped pictures for us on the day which were used on the SDS website and social media.

Partnership working was key to the success of the event, as it is to all the work SDS is involved in.

Donna and I are really proud of the strength of the partnerships we have here in South Lanarkshire.  We work closely with all members of the school staff, including subject teachers, pastoral care teachers and the senior management team, the local authority and with partner organisations working within education and with our customers across the area.

It’s those strong partnerships that allow us to stage not just major one-off events like this, but to ensure day-to-day we are offering the best service we can to our customers.

Our recent Education Scotland review shows our hard work is paying off.

If you want to find out more about the support SDS can offer teachers, speak to your school careers adviser for latest information and events and find out about support resources we offer at My World of Work here.

You can also access CLPL modules on the Career Education Standard, labour market information, career management skills and My World of Work at this page.

Lyla: “If I wasn’t dyslexic I wouldn’t be me, I am what you see”⤴

from @ Reach

Did you know that 1 in 10 people are thought to be dyslexic in some way? That means that over half a million people in Scotland have dyslexia. The word ‘dyslexia’ is a tricky one to spell. The word comes from the Greek and it means ‘difficulty with words’. Dyslexia effects everyone in different ways, but basically it means that you may need help with reading, writing, spelling and sometimes speaking too. People with dyslexia have amazing talents. You only have to look at lists of famous people with dyslexia to realise how the right support can help people with dyslexia achieve incredible things: the actress Keira Knightley, the chef Jamie Oliver, the businessman Sir Richard Branson…. the list goes on.

Another talented person with dyslexia is Lyla, a pupil from Mearns Castle High School who won the Scottish Youth Poetry Slam for this awesome poem. Read it below, or check out Lyla perform the poem in this Facebook video.  

My name is Lyla

I love lots of drama, and everyday I am curious

But when I was seven I was diagnosed with something more serious

It sometimes muddles up my words when I write

I can’t read small writing

I don’t really care if people find out… I’m dyslexic.

I find Math and English a wee bit hard

My mum’s dyslexic but she mastered her dream in spite of it.

Being dyslexic can really suck, but if I really try that little bit harder I will master my dream so never give up

Memory is the worst for me I can’t remember much but if I really try like in this poem I really can succeed with a bit of luck

I’m dyslexic as I said before

I don’t care if people find out

If I wasn’t dyslexic I wouldn’t be me I am what you see.

 

A big thank you to Lyla for letting us share her poem. 

If you’ve got dyslexia, Dyslexia Scotland are there for you to help and listen to you. 

And of course, you can contact us if you want to find out about your rights to support at school. 

 

The post Lyla: “If I wasn’t dyslexic I wouldn’t be me, I am what you see” appeared first on Reach.

The Push and Pull of the Broad General Education⤴

from @ Just Trying to be Better Than Yesterday

(The original text of my article in TES Scotland 19th May 2017)

Speaking at Glasgow University recently, Graham Donaldson suggested that the reasons for Scotland’s disappointing performance in the PISA rankings might lie in the delivery of the Broad General Education, Not that it is not broad enough or general enough; he suggested the problems might be in the lack of depth. Revisiting the experiences and outcomes, along with curricular areas, might help to see where he is coming from. For could it be the case that, in our attempts to provide a P1 to S3 curriculum, we are attempting too much?

Indeed, staring at the huge posters of Es and Os issued to schools might be akin to a hard-nosed FBI agent, scanning a series of connected photos in a seemingly impossible homicide case. What seemed so simple – an eight-word manifesto – has become so complicated.

An education which is broad is all very commendable but should we be worried that our young people are dipping their toe in lots of water but not getting particularly wet? We pride ourselves on the ‘lad o’ pairts’ approach to education but, with BGE, we really need to get that right.

The concept of an ‘aged 3 to end of S3’ education is complicated by the change from primary to secondary. The structures are different and secondaries are finding that transformation a challenge. The timetabling structures are a constraint; the pressure for good exam results are a constraint. That we, very often, rush to setting even in S1 is a constraint. Indeed, setting more or less negates the aims of a Broad General Education. For how can our young people be getting similar experiences when the system is telling some of them from an early age that they are no good?

That perceived lack of depth is certainly having its effect in the upper school. Teachers are increasingly commenting that learners are not properly prepared for National 5 courses and, while that might set off alarm bells, it highlights an all too familiar problem of exam results becoming the Holy Grail of school success; some things never change.

When our schools are still judged on those exam results – and they are- it is understandable that they begin to focus on those as early as possible. And if the BGE is not preparing them well enough? Houston, we have a problem.

Perhaps this is why HMi inspections appear to be focusing on the delivery of BGE more than anything else. The success of Cfe depends upon it. The best thing we can provide for our young people is a strong set of qualifications as they move on to the next stage of their lives. Getting the Broad General Education right needs to be our priority in order to achieve that.


Gaelic Translation Competition Winners!⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Education Scotland and SCILT are delighted to announce the winners of the Scientist biography translation competition.

They are: 

Hannah Wood, Gairloch High School-Gaelic (Learners);

Donald Morrison, Millburn Academy-Literacy and Gàidhlig

Congratulations and well done! Mealaibh ur naidheachd is gur math a rinn sibh!

Thank you to all who took part.

These winning entries are now available on the National Improvement Hub alongside the other biographies. This work will support learners of Gaelic across Scotland.

Scottish Textiles Skills Partnership: ‘Materials World’ – a resource for secondary schools⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Material World is a resource that has been developed for secondary schools, designed to use textiles as a medium for delivering learning outcomes related to the STEM, Circular Economy & Sustainability and Developing the Young Workforce agendas. The resource uses case studies of Scottish textile, leather and fashion companies to provide young people with a deeper understanding of the processes used, and products made in Scotland today. Themed activities are linked to the case studies to deepen their learning and skills analysis sheets link the learning through activities, to jobs in the sector.

The evaluation of a pilot with four Scottish Schools as well as resources, case studies and toolkits are contained within the  Materials World resource pilot report ES

For more information and contact details please access the Interesting Practice in Skills DYW Textiles May 2017 summary sheet.

 

DYW Interesting Practice – Sanderson High School: Tailored learning pathways to meet the needs of all⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

The whole school approach to DYW offers learners at Sanderson High School in South Lanarkshire a wide variety of career related and work-based learning opportunities that aims to inspire the exploration of future pathways.  The learning experiences within and beyond the curriculum not only provide learners with a significantly enhanced skills portfolio, tracked and referenced through profiling, but also ensure meaningful connections with the world of work and accreditation in the senior phase. As part of this approach the school created the subject ‘Education for Work’ which now forms part of the core curriculum at all levels. 

The school has also developed a Position Statement which states that “all young people will learn about the world of work; and where appropriate all young people will participate in suitable work experience; and all young people will have a clearly defined and individualised pathway from S1-S6, resulting in sustainable, meaningful post-school destinations.”

Staff use the entitlements from Career Education Standard 3-18 (CES) to ensure these aims are put into practice and audit the skills the young people are developing. For example, staff in each subject area match their curriculum and teaching and learning approaches to the relevant entitlements from the CES and the appropriate skills . The school has a good range of work placements for young people in the senior phase, which provides them with an excellent experience of the world of work and which links well to the curriculum.

There is also a close partnership with Calderglen High School on the implementation of DYW with learners taking up  volunteering opportunities at Sanderson HS.   Video clip: Volunteering at Sanderson HS

Find out more about the schools DYW approach by accessing the Interesting Practice in Skills DYW – Sanderson High School summary information.