Tag Archives: creativity

Creativity Posters for every Education Establishment in Scotland!⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Colourful posters, de-bunking creativity myths and exploring creativity skills for learners and staff, are currently being delivered to every school and early learning and childcare centre in Scotland as part of Education Scotland’s work on the national Creative Learning Plan.

The posters support learners, teachers and leaders in sharing a common understanding of creativity skills, and their place across all subjects and areas of school life.

You can find downloadable versions of posters and more on the National Improvement Hub: http://bit.ly/creativityinfographics

To learn more about creative teaching and learning you can speak to your local creative learning contacts http://bit.ly/creativitycontacts or email Stephen Bullock, Development Officer for Creativity Stephen.bullock@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk

EXCHANGE – Be Seen – Be Heard – Be Inspired: An event for young people interested in the music industry⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

This unique event provides an excellent opportunity for young people interested in a career in the music industry from production to performance and connect with key people in the sector!

Date:   Friday 2 June 2017 Venue: SWG3, Glasgow


Registration for the day and sign-up for performance opportunities is now open: www.mfy.org.uk/exchange 

The deadline for performance sign-ups is Monday, 1st May.

Aspiring young musicians from across Scotland will flock to SWG3, Glasgow on 2 June for Exchange 2017 – the unmissable event for young people looking to get ahead in the music industry.

Music for Youth’s Exchange is giving young performers from across Scotland the chance to learn from established artists and be inspired by industry professionals and their peers alike.  Hosted by BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway, Exchange is a whole day of keynote speakers, workshops, performances, advice, networking opportunities, a marketplace, and a line-up of music industry speakers covering a whole range of useful topics. Musicians also have the chance to be seen, and get their music heard by performing live for audiences throughout the day. Our professional Music for Youth Music Mentors will be on hand to offer each act feedback on their music and stage presence and highlight areas for development to take their music further. All groups that perform will also be considered for other opportunities such as the Music for Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2017.

We will be confirming panels, workshops and sessions to get involved with on the day shortly, so sign up and stay tuned!

Sign up for performance opportunities (deadline of 1st May 2017) or register for the day by visiting: www.mfy.org.uk/exchange

For more info call Tom Spurgin 020 7759 1838 DON’T MISS THIS UNIQUE EVENT.

EXCHANGE is supported by the Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative (YMI) which is administered by Creative Scotland, and the Viviendi Create Joy Fund.

David McDonald Creative Consultant Mobile: 07715 976 707

Website: www.davidmcdonald.org.uk

Learn @ BBC Scotland: How will you be living in 50 years’ time?⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

BBC Scotland Learning and the Glasgow Science Centre invite you to take part in a day of talks and activities to look at the future. There will be a live talk by Scotland’s leading scientists talking about robots, climate and health at the Science Centre on 8 May.

Dallas Campbell will host the event as he speaks to Prof Sethu Vijayakumar, Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics and a Judge on Robot Wars, Prof Lesley Yellowlees, who was the first ever female President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and geneticist Prof Kevin O’Dell from Glasgow University.

The talk will also be streamed live and you can talk to the expert panel online.

Find out more here.

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.

Fuji Festival – Calligraphy⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

What is Japanese calligraphy, what do you need to do it and how is it done? Discover the fun of writing in Japanese with Japanese teacher, Ms Emiko Abe plus staff from the Japanese Consulate and volunteers from Edinburgh University.

Ms Abe shows P3 students at Law Primary School that learners can practice Japanese calligraphy with basic materials found in every classroom.

Join us on Friday 10th March at 9.15am in Glow TV to find out more! Sign up to take part now – Fuji Festival – Calligraphy

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

Apps for Good Scottish Event⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog


Apps for Good is an education movement that is powering a generation to change their world with technology. We partner with teachers in schools and learning centres to deliver our course to young people from 8 -18 years of age. Students work together as teams to find real issues they care about and learn how to solve them using technology. Since 2010 Apps for Good has been delivered to over 75,000 students in more than 1,500 schools across the UK and internationally.

Join us to celebrate the next generation of Scotland’s tech entrepreneurs.

On Wednesday 15th March, over 100 students from across Scotland will travel to Edinburgh’s Quincentenary Conference Centre to participate in Apps for Good’s first ever Scottish event.

The event will bring together the next generation of digital talent in Scotland under one roof in the heart of Edinburgh’s city centre for a day of networking and workshops. Teams of young people are working together and creating apps to tackle the problems & issues which matter most to them, and the event will provide them with the opportunity to engage directly with a range of invited guests, and the other participating Scottish schools.

We’re inviting you to join the Marketplace part of the event from 2pm – 4pm, giving you the opportunity to walk around the room and meet the young people who have been working on their app ideas. The students will be keen to practice their pitch and listen to any feedback and advice that you may have. You will also be able to cast your vote in our People’s Choice Award which will allow us to recognise the top three teams.

We would love to see you there to celebrate all of our students’ hard work!

Our first ever Scottish event has been made possible after being awarded a grant from Digital Xtra, funded by the Scottish Government Digital Skills Business Excellence Partnership, who have provided Apps for Good with support to help us grow our after-school activities in Scotland.

Sign up via Eventbrite here

I’m an Engineer, I can help here!⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Take part in SCDI’s flooding emergency project I’m an engineer I can help here, aimed at primary schools.  There are prizes of up to £300 available.  To enter return the entry-form-2017 by 30 April 2017.  Shortlisted schools will then be invited to present their project at the Celebration of engineering and Science at Glasgow Science Centre on 9 June.

Mission to Mars iPad Event⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog


Mission to Mars is an inspiring, one-day, iPad event for schools and school leaders to provide excellent CPD and practical ways to take teaching and learning forward with iPad. The event will showcase the latest and most exciting tools for schools.

Glasgow 08.03.17

Edinburgh 31.01.17

This event will be a chance for schools to be inspired with ideas and hands-on experience of innovative and powerful ways to enhance teaching and learning for the students of today’s technological world.

This event is suitable for school teachers and leaders from both primary and secondary stages and across all subjects. It is suitable for schools at all stages of their iPad journey.

Workshop type – Keynote & practical, hands-on activities

Click here to book:  http://mars.xma.co.uk/index.php

Tweet about this event! #M2M

International School Meals Day 2017⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

International School Meals Day


Thursday 9th March 2017



International School Meals Day encourages children and young people around the world to connect and talk to each other about the food they eat and the role that it plays in their lives.

In 2017 the theme is Food, Culture and Heritage

Share your food stories & be part of a global event

The way that food is cultivated, prepared and consumed is an expression of culture and heritage. This year’s theme provides an opportunity for pupils to express themselves through the food and associated traditions that form an important part of their identity.

In the run up to International School Meals Day we want pupils from around the world to share their food stories through whichever medium they wish

pictures / posters / videos / poems / stories / dance /drama

The approach that you take to getting pupils to think about their culture and heritage and its associated food traditions is up to each individual school and classroom. However, here are some quick ideas of how ISMD can be celebrated:

  1. Deliver one-minute talks or videos about favourite meals and national traditions
  2. Have an International Menu Day
  3. Have food tasting sessions or other fun food activities
  4. Fundraising activities for charities to support school feeding programmes in developing countries
  5. Incorporate global citizenship and food culture into classroom learning
  6. Have sessions on the theme of ‘food’, with extracts from favourite poems and stories
  7. Skype – teachers and students can skype with another school around the world to share their experience of food, culture and heritage.

Stories and pictures will be shared on the ISMD website and on Twitter so be sure and follow

@IntSchoolMeals and use the hashtag #ISMD2017.



Meeting Prof. Mitch Resnick the father of Scratch (@mres) #IntelVisionaries⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

Mitch Introduction

I met Mitch Resnick as part of the 2016 Intel Education Visionaries meet-up in Denver, Colorado in June 2016.

I was reminded of our conversation and also the main points of his keynote presentation as I read an article on the plane back from #BETT2017. The article was written by Professor Resnick in the new 'hello world' and was a tribute to his late mentor Seymour Papert (more about Seymour later).

Anyway, Mitch is a personal education hero of mine and most importantly he also likes cycling (he has even cycled in Scotland!).

Now, if you have not heard about Mitch you should know that he is a LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research (how cool a title is that) and head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab which explores how new technologies can engage people (particularly children) in creative learning experiences.

Professor Resnick's research group developed the "programmable brick" technology that inspired the LEGO Mindstorms robotics kit. He co-founded the Computer Clubhouse project, a worldwide network of after-school centers where youth from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies. His team also developed Scratch, an online community where children program and share interactive stories, games, and animations.

Mitch’s achievements speak for themselves but the thing I want to stress here is the fact that he was a thoroughly nice guy. For all he has done there was no ego or arrogance. Just deep and unquestionable enthusiasm to make a difference. I loved chatting to him over Ice cream as we talked about the development of Scratch and other MIT projects. We even had a great chat about the Picocricket (which was just years ahead of its time in STEAM related maker activities).

Mitch gave the opening Keynote on the first morning of the 2016 Intel Education Visionaries  conference and he didn’t disappoint.

He started talking about some of the very early ‘maker’ projects he was involved in with young people such as the construction of gerbil traps, roller balde speedometers and diary security cameras. He emphasised the importance of these projects. Not because they were necessarily important you society or the economy but because they were so important (passionately important) to the young people who had designed and constructed them. He stressed that, “education needs to build on interests and by doing this develop deep ideas,”  that, “Making and coding a great way to share with others,” and that, “sharing is the best way to develop creative thinking”.

Next Mitch went on to explain the four Ps of Creative Learning Projects, Passion, Peers and Play.

Mitch and the four Ps

On Projects

Mitch quoted Dale Dougherty the founder of make Magazine who said, The Project is the basic unit of making’. I quite agree. Far too many ‘maker’ activities are about following a set of instructions to make product that may or may not solve a problem. Rather than students finding a problem and then deciding on who they will solve that problem through the trial and error of a project based approach.

A good example might be code.org where students follow the turotial to make the sprite move rather than working out how to move them themsleves or better still allowing creativity to flow and allowing the learning to decide how they want the sprite to move or dance or spin around?


On Passion

When Mitch talked about passion he warned the audience of the dangers of badges rewards and points. Rightly he described this as extrinsic motivation which the research shows can make you more efficient (because you want to get a short term reward) but it won’t make you more creative.

This is further illustrated in Daniel Pink's work within his 2011 book Drive and in his TED Talk, “The Puzzle of Motivation”.

Referring back to Scratch Mitch suggested that the diversity of the projects in the Scratch community which include games, drawings, animations and videos demonstrate that many of the people within the Scratch community are indeed following their passions. The ability for people to be able to follow their passions in return is one of the things that makes the community a success.

One of the most well know Scratch users is Ipzy and she is a great example of someone who is following their passions.

On Peers

Peer based learning is still one of the most powerful ways for everyone to learn.

On of the reasons that Scratch is special is because it is a programming language and an online community. The two have always co-existed and shouldn’t be separated.


On Play

Everything Mitch said on Play resonated with me. I dropped the term Games Based Learning years ago, instead preferring the term ‘playful learning’.

Seymour Papert (one of Professor Resnick’s mentors and author of the book Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas) uses the term ’hard fun’ and the challenge that Mitch set was ‘how do you create hard fun?’. He also encouraged us to explore tinkering suggesting that in his experience there wasn’t many things better to help you discover and create a playful spirit. One of my favorite books ‘The Art of Tinkering’ also got a mention.

The Art of Tinkering

In the Question and Answer Session that followed the presentation lots of good questions came up. Including the need to also teach knowledge and how you can then build on this knowledge through the use of projects and discovery. Tony Wagner supports this idea in his own research on transforming education and creating innovators.


Other links mentioned:

  • Brightworks School, San Francisco - A school that uses real tools, real materials, and real problems to encourage students’ love of learning and curiosity about the world.
  • ScratchED - the Creative Computing Curriculum Guide
  • Build in Progress - A website that lets you share what you build as you build it.

Ollie and Mitch


BTW - I'm slowly moving all my content over to a new server and a new version of olliebray.com (watch this space...).