The Moderation Hub on Glow contains materials which will assist practitioners in GME to develop a shared understanding of standards and expectations in the BGE. They can also be used to support teacher professional judgements.
A login is required.
The Moderation Hub on Glow contains materials which will assist practitioners in GME to develop a shared understanding of standards and expectations in the BGE. They can also be used to support teacher professional judgements.
A login is required.
Schools across Scotland will be able to draw on a range of expertise through six newly established Regional Improvement Collaboratives.
Each one will be led by a Regional Improvement Lead and will work with schools, using all available evidence, to provide targeted advice and support to drive improvement.
The leads have been appointed by agreement of Local Authority Chief Executives in each regional collaborative, and the Scottish Government advised by the Interim Chief Inspector of Education.
The leads will be responsible for ensuring a detailed Improvement Plan in consultation with their schools and headteachers is in place for each area by 2018. Scottish Government officials, along with Education Scotland, will meet shortly with each collaborative to support this detailed planning process.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“This government’s overriding priority is to close the poverty-related attainment gap and raise standards for all.
“The new Regional Improvement Collaboratives will help achieve this by sharing evidence of what works and providing expert and practical support for teachers and schools. Having strong leadership is crucial to realising this aim, and I have written to each Regional Collaborative lead today congratulating them on their appointment to these crucial roles and inviting them to join the new Scottish Education Council. I am confident the six leads – working with Education Scotland – will bring focus and pace to the Collaboratives.”
Education Scotland has also assigned a regional lead officer to work with each improvement collaborative. They will work with regional improvement leads to identify staff from local authorities and Education Scotland to deliver the improved support for schools.
Graeme Logan, Interim Chief Inspector of Education said:
“The newly established Regional Improvement Collaboratives provide an opportunity to strengthen further and increase pace with the national endeavour to achieve excellence and equity for all children.
“Education Scotland looks forward to working together with the Regional Improvement Leads to improve the quality and consistency of support for schools and partners.”
Regional Improvement Collaborative
Regional Improvement Lead
|Forth Valley & West Lothian Collaborative
West Lothian Council
|Robert Naylor, Director of Education, Falkirk Council|
|The Northern Alliance
Aberdeen City Council
Argyll & Bute Council
Comhairle nan Eilean Sar
Orkney Islands Council
Shetland Islands Council
|Gayle Gorman, Director of Children’s Services, Aberdeen City Council|
|South East Collaborative
Edinburgh City Council
East Lothian Council
Scottish Borders Council
|Carrie Lindsey, Executive Director, Fife Council|
|South West Collaborative
East Ayrshire Council
North Ayrshire Council
South Ayrshire Council
Dumfries & Galloway Council
|Douglas Hutchison, Director of Education, South Ayrshire Council|
|The Tayside Collaborative
Dundee City Council
Perth & Kinross Council
|Sheena Devlin, Director of Children’s Services, Perth & Kinross Council|
|The West Partnership
East Dunbartonshire Council
East Renfrewshire Council
Glasgow City Council
North Lanarkshire Council
South Lanarkshire Council
West Dunbartonshire Council
|Mhairi Shaw, Director of Education, East Renfrewshire Council|
Tha na Slatan-tomhais airson litearrachd agus Beurla a nis ri fhaighinn ann an Gàidhlig aig:
The Gaelic version of the Benchmarks for literacy and English are now available at:
The 4th edition of Amazing Things – the guide to youth awards in Scotland has been launched by the Awards Network to coincide with the 2017 Scottish Learning Festival. Featuring 26 youth award providers and more than double the number of youth awards than the previous edition, it is packed with information that will help young people, educators and employers to learn more about youth awards and how they contribute to young people’s learning, life and work skills development.
Commenting on Amazing Things, Graeme Logan, Chief Inspector of Education, encourages ‘everyone who works with young people – in schools, youth work settings, further education or in the workplace to make best use of this excellent resource’.
In his Foreword to Amazing Things, John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, highlights the important contribution that youth awards make to raising attainment and to developing key skills valued by employers. Hugh Aitken CBE, CBI Scotland Director, echoes these remarks, commending youth awards for helping young people develop a ‘can do attitude – exactly what we (employers) want to see in the workforce’.
A keynote contribution from Jim Thewliss, General Secretary of School Leaders Scotland, notes how youth awards have developed ‘from curriculum enhancements to fundamental building blocks’.
And from young people themselves:
Graeme – “Gaining my award is an amazing achievement. I have learned so many new skills, met so many new friends and this has boosted my confidence”
Stephanie – “From self-management to making the most of new opportunities (my award) has given me the chance to grow as a person”
Amazing Things features 48 award programmes, many providing multiple levels of progression and almost half delivering formal qualifications. Find out about key award elements, age ranges, distinctive features, skills and competences and links to other awards.
Copies of Amazing Things 4 can be ordered by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or downloaded from the Awards Network website.
Tha na Slatan-tomhais airson Slàinte agus sunnd a nis ri fhaighinn ann an Gàidhlig aig:
The Gaelic version of the Benchmarks for Health and wellbeing are now available at:
Tha na Slatan-tomhais litearrachd is Gàidhlig a nis ri fhaighinn ann an Gàidhlig aig:
The Gaelic version of the Benchmarks for literacy and Gàidhlig are now available at:
A blog by Lorna Harvey, Acting Senior Education Officer
for Numeracy and Mathematics
Last year ( August 2016), we published draft Benchmarks for literacy and English and for numeracy and mathematics with the aim of providing clarity on the national standards expected at each level of the Broad General Education. We wanted to make clear what learners need to know and what they need to be able to do to progress through the levels, and to provide guidance that would support consistency in teachers’ and other practitioners’ professional judgements.
By publishing the Benchmarks in draft, we wanted to ensure we had time to consult with the very people who would be using the Benchmarks. We were committed to developing guidance that would hit the mark and achieve our aim of providing clarity.
From the outset we were keen to hear from as many practitioners as possible and we wanted to make sure anyone wishing to provide feedback felt confident that they could be as open and honest as they wished. To achieve that we set up an anonymous online consultation, but we also planned a number of face-to-face sessions allowing for more depth to our discussions and the opportunity for people to ask questions.
A number of National Network events provided opportunities for practitioners from across Scotland to contribute to this consultation process. This included the National Literacy Network, the National Numeracy Network and the Principal Teacher/Faculty Head Forum for Mathematics. Colleagues from SQA were involved in many of these discussions.
Some people decided to get together with colleagues and offer suggestions, while others wanted to provide their individual response. Whichever way people chose to provide feedback, it was extremely valuable. It was great to receive insight based on practitioners’ engagement with the Benchmarks in their education setting.
Together with my colleagues across Education Scotland , I worked on collating the results and analysing the feedback before making relevant changes to the Benchmarks. A number of stakeholders had offered to be involved in further consultation so we shared the updated Benchmarks and gathered more feedback as part of the process.
And then we had them. The final Benchmarks, shaped by practitioners and providing the clarity that we had been aiming for. A real collaborative effort.
We have now published the Benchmarks on our National Improvement Hub and would encourage practitioners to familiarise themselves with the documents before they begin using them in their setting. It’s also worth having a look at the ‘change’ documents we developed which clearly show where changes have been made from the drafts. There is also a frequently asked questions document.
We have uploaded a broadcast on the National Numeracy and Mathematics Hub which provides background information, advice and guidance on using the Benchmarks. The majority of this broadcast is relevant for all practitioners and there is a specific numeracy and mathematics input also. This broadcast could be used at an In-Service day in August to raise awareness of the Benchmarks and support professional discussion and planning.
We will be providing seminars at the Scottish Learning Festival in September as well as a Yamjam – where practitioners are invited to engage in an online discussion about the Benchmarks.
We would like to say a huge thank you to all the practitioners who supported the consultation process, working with us and engaging with the drafts to provide valuable feedback to help shape the final documents
By Joan Esson, HM Inspector and Lead Officer for inspection of Gaelic Medium Education
The recently published report, ‘Quality and Improvement in Scottish Education 2012-2016’ (QuISE) highlighted a number of key areas of strengths and aspects for improvement from 3-18 Gaelic Medium Education (GME) inspections. You can read the chapter relating to GME on our website.
It was a great privilege to review our inspection findings for GME and evidence how the sector is developing. The approaches that are used in GME are a very effective example of language learning in Scotland. Children learn the language to a high level of fluency which enables them to access learning through Gaelic, while achieving expected attainment levels in all areas of the curriculum.
Overall, inspectors found that most children and young people in GME were making good progress in developing their fluency. By the senior phase, attainment in Gàidhlig as a subject is strong. Interest in the role of Gaelic (Learners) as an additional language, and the development of GME in some areas of Scotland, is growing.
In this blog, I would like to consider three areas that should be given initial consideration in using the QuISE report as part of the improvement journey for GME.
Education Scotland aims to support practitioners as they build capacity for improvement. The QuISE report presents an important source for practitioners’ use in self-evaluation. The chapters for early learning and childcare, primary and secondary, should be used along with the one on GME. Education Scotland’s Advice on Gaelic Education gives a strategic guide to what constitutes high-quality national practice, some of which now forms statutory Guidance. Taken together with self-evaluation frameworks, practitioners have a rich resource to enable an in-depth focus on Gaelic. Senior leaders, along with other practitioners, should take time to use these resources for self-evaluation. In future inspections, we would like to evidence improved leadership of GME, with Gaelic being at the heart of strategic planning and part of continuous improvement.
2. Closing the attainment gap
An important outcome of GME is that children attain equally well, or better, than their peers in English medium education. This gives parents confidence in GME for which we need to have a relentless focus on high-quality attainment and progress. In our forthcoming inspections, we would like to see practitioners, and indeed the children and young people themselves, being clearer on their progress and how to improve further. To clarify expectations, teachers assisted us in designing Benchmarks for literacy and Gàidhlig. These need to be used in the joint planning of learning, teaching and assessment; for monitoring and tracking of progress and in the moderation of standards.
At all times, practitioners have an important role in interacting skilfully with children, while modelling good immersion techniques to help children acquire the language. Practitioners’ skill in doing this impacts on children’s fluency. Playroom experiences are threaded together and given direction with a curriculum framework that promotes continuity and progression.
Education Scotland’s Advice on Gaelic Education (particularly chapter 7), coupled with Building the Ambition, (particularly chapters 6 and 7), present practitioners with effective pedagogy for early learning in GME. Building the Curriculum 2 details children’s natural disposition “to wonder, to be curious, to pose questions, to experiment, to suggest, to invent and to explain”. In the immersion playroom, practitioners will engage in short periods of activities that they will lead as part of children’s intended learning. At other times, children will be choosing what they play which they may initiate as they follow their interests, or be an experience planned by practitioners.
If we are to close the attainment gap in GME, we need to recognise the early gains from a strong total immersion experience as part of early learning and childcare. For this, children need to hear and absorb very fluent Gaelic across a range of play contexts. Practitioners’ quality and frequent interactions are key drivers in helping children to acquire fluency as they foster learning which is creative, investigative and exploratory.
3. Improving the leadership of the GME curriculum
The QuISE report highlighted that our strong primary GME provisions are clear on the correlation between immersion, fluency and impact on attainment. At the secondary stages, there is still more to do to ensure young people have enough opportunities to learn through Gaelic. We recognise in the QuISE report that there are challenges from shortages of Gaelic-speaking practitioners. However, we ask for more of a solution-focused approach. Our Advice on Gaelic Education (particularly chapters 9-13) gives strategic direction to the development of the GME secondary curriculum.
In our forthcoming inspections, we would like to see much more prominence given to those learning in GME as a group for whom pathways need to be developed. It would be useful to continue to develop a shared understanding of how Curriculum for Excellence, with its emphasis on the totality of learning, may be maximised for GME. Speakers of Gaelic are a key driver in planning the curriculum. Could more of our Gaelic-speaking practitioners in schools be delivering some aspect of the curriculum in Gaelic? Could they, for example, be encouraged to deliver a subject, club, universal support or an opportunity for achievement through Gaelic? The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” chimes with the need to increase the role of partners in the GME curriculum. A good starting point would be for curriculum planners to know who their Gaelic-speaking partners are, and begin to ascertain how they can assist with planning and delivery of learning.
Finally, I would like to invite you to a seminar at the Scottish Learning Festival which focuses on how technology can increase learning through the medium of Gaelic. e-Sgoil presents a digital solution to delivering the curriculum. The headteacher of e-Sgoil will share an evaluation of some pilots that ran this year. Information on how to register for this seminar, and the festival programme, are available here.
1. Using food as a context to raise attainment & close the gap
Scottish Learning Festival Thursday 21st September 10.45am – 11.45am
Using exemplars from schools across Scotland, this workshop aims to empower practitioners to consider innovative and creative ways in using food as a context for promoting equity and excellence for our children and young people. Hear from teachers and partners who have implemented and measured positive change using food at the heart of learning.
2. Food & Health Benchmarks now published on the National Improvement Hub
3. Progression of skills exemplar Skills at the Heart of the Curriculum
These short videos demonstrate the progression of skills in one primary setting, looking at the experience from a range of key stakeholders.
4. BNF Health Eating Week 12 to 16 June 2017
Is your school registered for BNF Healthy Eating Week? To date, an incredible 8,038 nursery practitioners and primary/secondary teachers have registered for BNF Healthy Eating Week 2017.
Register now and you will receive a number free resources, as well as the opportunity to join in health challenges and cook-a-longs!
Guidance for schools and local authorities to demonstrate compliance with nutrient standards can be found on the National Improvement Hub.
Hospitality: Practical Cake Craft http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/56929.html
Hospitality: Practical Cookery http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/47439.html
Between April and September 2017, SQA are running a programme of subject specific webinars which focus on the requirements of the revised National 5 course assessments being introduced in 2017-18.
For some subjects, SQA are publishing audio presentations that cover the same content as webinars. These will be published between May and September 2017. http://www.understandingstandards.org.uk/Subjects/Hospitality
The Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS) is Scotland’s awarding body for a number qualifications in Food Safety, Food and Health, Control of Infection and Occupational Health and Safety. REHIS has worked in partnership with Food Standards Scotland for many years to make the Elementary Food Hygiene Course and Introduction to Food Hygiene Course available to secondary schools all over Scotland. For further information please contact email@example.com or 0131 229 2968.
Video resource looking at what the food industry is doing to reduce sugars in food.
Food Standards Scotland (FSS) is running a competition inviting P4-P7 pupils from Scottish primary schools to design and draw a healthy and balanced packed lunch based on the Eatwell Guide and using our Munch That Lunch Guidance. The full briefing and entry form can be accessed online via www.foodstandards.gov.scot/teachers
To receive regular updates about Let’s Get Cooking, we invite you to register as one of our friends Let’s Get Cooking
The College Development Network (CDN) Food and Drink Industry Expo is designed for education practitioners, pupils and students. This hands-on event showcases the opportunities available in a fast-growing sector. The Food and Drink Industry offers careers in:
Design and innovation
Product development and production.
The event takes place 1300 to 1800 Thursday 14 September at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh.
Questions or queries about food education?
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:
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.