An Comann Gaidhealach’s newsletter has a summary of the dates for local Mods across Scotland. Education Scotland’s Advice on Gaelic Education refers to such opportunities for personal achievements as an important context for applying language, building confidence and developing a range of skills for learning life and work.
Primary schools are invited to sign up to receive the new free online safety resource developed by Google with ParentZone for children aged 7-11. This new “Be Internet Legends” curriculum is a free internet safety educational resource for pupils aged 7-11 years-old, created by Google along with Parent Zone, and includes lesson plans and activities, stickers and poster delivering important internet safety messages. It’s all free to order, one per teacher, from this link: https://parentzone.org.uk/be-internet-legends
Google and ParentZone are also offering free “Be Internet Legends” visits from their team to present at school assemblies across the country. If your school would like to have their team visit to deliver a “Be Internet Legends” assembly then simply indicate on the pack order at this link: https://parentzone.org.uk/be-internet-legends
The go-to presentation-creation tool for many teachers and pupils is PowerPoint. So as your pupils are already familiar with using Microsoft PowerPoint then consider using Microsoft PowerPoint Online available to all Glow users in Scottish schools as part of Microsoft Office 365. PowerPoint Online is available anytime, anywhere with online access so can be accessed at home or at school.
You can upload an existing PowerPoint presentation from your computer or other device to your OneDrive in Office 365 in Glow (and then edit online from then onwards) or you can simply log into your OneDrive and create a new PowerPoint presentation completely online. You can choose to keep the presentation private to you in your own OneDrive (the online cloud storage with massive capacity available to every Glow user in Scottish schools). Or you can, at any time, choose to make a PowerPoint Online presentation visible to other users of your choice – and you can choose whether to allow them to just be able to view it or show it without being able to make changes, or you can give other users the access rights to be able to jointly edit the presentation with you, either at exactly the same time as you or at different times to suit each user.
So are your pupils are already familiar with using Microsoft Word? Then why not consider using Microsoft Word Online available to all Glow users in Scottish schools as part of Microsoft Office 365. Word Online is available anytime, anywhere with online access so can be accessed at home or at school.
Word Online can be used to create document from the beginning (or you can upload an existing Word document from your computer to make it available to edit online thereafter). You can keep it private to you in your own OneDrive (the online cloud storage with massive capacity available to every Glow user in Scottish schools). Or you can, at any time, choose to make a Word Online document visible to other users of your choice – and you can choose whether to allow them to just be able to read it without being able to make changes, or you can give other users the access rights to be able to jointly edit the document with you.
Learning Tools with Immersive Reader provide users of Microsoft Office 365 (including Word and OneNote) with a range of tools to support learners with varying needs, making reading and writing more accessible for any learner. This is available to all Glow users in Scottish schools.
Ziggy’s BIG competition is about helping children learn about road safety in a fun, creative way. This is part of a Scotland-wide movement to help young children be safe on roads and about traffic. The competition is open until the end of April 2018.
To celebrate the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, Education Scotland organised a Scots language creative writing competition inviting pupils to write a poem or short story in Scots.
We received a great selection of entries from across Scotland and we’re delighted to announce the winners:
Tris Davidson – Comely Park Primary School, Falkirk
Eliot Wearden – Biggar High School, South Lanarkshire
Mackenzie Reilly – Airdrie Academy, North Lanarkshire
Sarah Green – Keith Grammar School, Moray
The winning entries were all chosen for their excellent use of Scots vocabulary as well as demonstrating the skills and commitment required to write in Scots. They also showed creativity through the range of subject matters, from space fiction to the Loch Ness Monster and the adventures of Pickles the cat.
Having received such a high standard of entries, four runners-up have also been selected for their creativity and dedication to writing in Scots. The runners-up are:
Euan Hendry – Comely Park Primary School, Falkirk
Eilidh McAllan – Biggar High School, South Lanarkshire
Eilidh Currie, Eilidh McDermid and Rachel Thom – Airdrie Academy, North Lanarkshire
Lewis Rodgers and Kirsty Duncan – Keith Grammar School, Moray
The winner and runners-up will receive a great selection of Scots language books for their schools.
A special commendation for creativity and imagination has also been awarded to Eva Kerr from Airdrie Academy. Eva not only wrote a poem about the Kelpies but she also created a great animation
Thank you to everyone who took part in the competition. For more information about Scots language visit the Scots Blether on Glow.
A blog by Jamie Farquhar Deputy Head Teacher of Dumfries Academy
I am a QAMSO.
Increasingly – in the second year of there being QAMSOs – colleagues know what that is. Good; it saves me unpacking the acronym to its full glory of Quality Assurance and Moderation Support Officer and it suggests we* are having an impact.
My role is to support colleagues in their understanding and application of Moderation in its widest sense through the lens of a particular Numeracy or Literacy level. In my case, this is Third Level Writing.
I am not an English Teacher. However, I am a passionate advocate for the Teaching Profession and of the Responsibilities of All as key priorities for our learners. I believe the Broad General Education (BGE) provides the platform for teachers to co-create a curriculum that meets the needs of individual learners, in individual schools.
To achieve this we need the confidence to spurn the false panacea of centrally distributed WAGOLLs (What a Good One Looks Like) and resist ‘mimetic isomorphism’. In other words; it’s not about teachers doing the same thing, in the same way, either through decree or by the copycatting of perceived eminence. Rather, we should aim for the contextualised consistency of quality; as a QAMSO I advocate achieving this through planning, professional dialogue, reflection, sharing, experimentation and evaluation i.e. through Moderation.
Moderation is about skilled professionals working together to plan, evaluate, feedback and feed forward learning to all learning partners. Moderation is groups of teachers subjecting the entire learning process to rigorous professional scrutiny and so trusting and being trusted in their judgements. Through collaboration we empower a move beyond consistency of practice to an increased confidence in individual judgements, planning and interventions.
The Moderation Cycle provides a framework through which to embark on this process. In my own school, we accessed the cycle through the Evaluation stage by leading engagement with the Literacy Benchmarks and developing professional confidence in making judgements of CfE-levels. This starting point was chosen due to a familiarity, within a secondary context, of judging work against set standards in the Senior Phase. The challenge is to move thinking and practice from summative evaluation of output to include moderated planning of input; to ensure we are teaching and supporting what we later assess.
We have begun. Our Literacy Strategy produced Evidence which, as well as debate over CfE-levels, led to dialogue about the evidence’s relevance and validity. This demanded we reflect on our Assessment tools; which asked questions about the effectiveness of our Learning and Teaching and learners’ understanding of what they were learning and how well they had learned it (Learning Intentions and Success Criteria).
Colleagues then began to revisit their planning (Es and Os) to reflect learning and the Learner more holistically. This provided a range of on-going and holistic Evidence which demonstrated strengths, successes and nextsteps which informed Feedback, Reporting and planning of the next learning experience and so on. The principles of the Moderation Cycle as applied to Literacy have started to impact on practice in other curriculum areas and beyond the BGE.
The Moderation Hub provides an incredible resource to support this work. I will use it extensively in my QAMSO role to support Professional Learning in schools. The Hub provides off-the-shelf material for Professional Learning Workshops and e-learning. I recommend it to all Literacy / Numeracy Leads and Professional Learning Coordinators. I also commend the Moderation Cycle and Hub to all school leaders as a means to lead and evidence genuine Quality Assurance of Learning and Teaching.
The workshops take a little time as they work through each stage of the cycle, asking colleagues to reflect on examples and craft improvements collaboratively. A commitment to mutual engagement and knowledge creation through the Moderation Cycle should lead to a sustained shift of culture and improvement in outcomes for learners that simply being ‘given the answers’ cannot hope to achieve.
The Moderation Cycle provides the framework to be autonomous, contextually-aware, professional leaders of learning.
This QAMSO’s advice: Follow the Cycle – Co-Create – Trust your Judgements.
*There are lots of us: Each Local Authority has a QAMSO for each CfE Level from Early to Fourth in Numeracy, Writing and Reading.
Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT) has published a case study which focuses on increasing the uptake for languages as young people move from the broad general education into the senior phase. It demonstrates how self-evaluation has been used to secure improvements.
Tha Comhairle nan Leabhraichean air bileag ùr a chruthachadh do phàrantan aig nach eil Gàidhlig, aig a bheil clann ann am foghlam tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig. Tha molaidhean agus fiosrachadh ann mu dheidhinn leabhraichean agus goireasan a tha rim faighinn airson diofar aoisean, bho phàistean gu inbhich òga. Cuiribh fios Shelagh is cuiridh iad pasgan dhan sgoil.
The Gaelic Books Council has produced a new leaflet for non-Gaelic speaking parents of children in Gaelic Medium Education. It contains information and advice about books and resources for all ages. Please contact Shelagh for more information.