Tag Archives: Outdoor Learning

Developing essential employability skills through outdoor education⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Exposing young people to the outdoors and engaging them in activities that challenge and inspire them has long been highlighted as an important component to support the development of skills for learning, life and work.  Resilience , team building, problem-solving as well as acquiring technical skills  all help when it come to preparing for the world of work.

This has been highlighted by the recent visit of Jamie Hepburn, Scottish Minister for Employability and Training,  to The Outward Bound Trust’s Loch Eil Centre to see for himself how the trust works with young people to help them develop skills which enable them to become workplace-ready.   In his interview to the Scotsman (7 July) he said: “It was fantastic to see The Outward Bound Trust’s work helping young people build their skills and confidence while enjoying the outdoors. This kind of practical training is benefitting Scotland’s workforce and enabling our economy to grow and flourish. That is why we are investing in 30,000 modern apprenticeship starts per year by 2020 and are increasing the number of graduate level and foundation apprenticeships.”

The trust has recently placed even more emphasis on the transition from education to the workplace and to tailoring our offerings to respond to the Developing the Young Workforce agenda. We work with employers to design, develop and deliver courses that address specific workplace needs, such as positive attitudes, communication skills and determination to stay motivated when faced with difficult situations.

Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/building-confidence-and-resilience-a-worthwhile-addition-to-workplace-skills-1-4497523#comments-area

Outward Bound Interesting Practice exemplar

“Children need to be more involved in talking about their own learning and progress”⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

By Jackie Maley, HM Inspector and Lead Officer for early learning and childcare

This is an exciting time in Early Learning and Childcare (ELC). Planning for the expansion programme is well underway as we look ahead to what this may mean for our future inspections.  There is much for practitioners to be reflecting on in their current practice to ensure this continues to improve and that they provide high-quality learning experiences for all children, including under-threes.

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 ELC inspections. You can read the ELC chapter from the QuISE report on our website.

Inspectors found that the quality of children’s learning experiences continues to be an area of strength. Staff continued to promote children’s engagement and motivation in their learning.  Strong relationships with children and their families were also identified as being a strength in many ELC settings.

A common aspect for development which was highlighted was the need for settings to improve their approaches to self-evaluation and, in particular, methods for  monitoring and tracking children’s progress.  When such approaches are robust and consistently applied by all staff,  we observe children making the best possible progress  while engaged in appropriately challenging learning experiences.

In the current academic year, we have inspected a number of ELC settings. It is pleasing to observe staff engaging well with ‘How Good is Our Early Learning and Childcare?’ to support them in reflecting on and improving their practice.  In the best examples, we also see staff making use of ‘Building the Ambition’ guidance to support their self-evaluation activities.  We know that staff engage well with the case studies included in this document to help them plan for future developments.

Over this session we have also found that staff continue to ensure that they foster strong relationships with children and their families. In a few of the settings we have visited, staff have developed their understanding of attachment to support children well.  We have also noted that staff are now making more positive attempts to improve outdoor learning experiences for children.  In the best examples, we see children with regular access to high-quality outdoor learning which promotes their skills in curiosity, investigation and creativity.

It is settings’ approaches to planning and assessment that still remain areas for improvement. Children need to be more involved in talking about their own learning and progress.  By doing this, children will have increased motivation and development of key skills to support them in making continuous progress in their learning and development.

While we see staff keen to capture and document children’s progress, it is not always done in a consistently effective way.  It is important that staff are skilled in making observations of children’s learning.  It is not necessary for everything to be recorded, only those parts of learning and development that are significant for individual children.

As practitioners become more confident in documenting children’s progress, they will find they are able to plan learning better for the differing needs of the children in their care.   This will also enable practitioners to provide appropriate challenge as necessary. We are now observing children engaging better with their learning profiles and, also, staff developing new approaches to involve parents more in their child’s learning.  Parents joining their children in the playrooms for shared learning sessions is becoming a regular feature in many settings.  We look forward to seeing how staff continue to take a creative approach to involving parents in their children’s learning as we complete this year’s ELC inspections.

Food for Thought Education Fund⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Food for Thought Education Fund

Food for Thought Phase 5 application

The Food for Thought Education Fund gives financial support to develop Food and Health as a context for learning. The fund aims to improve practitioner confidence in providing progressive, high quality learning experiences which help to embed food education into the ethos of the establishment. It also provides an opportunity to plan and implement learning experiences which build sustainability and capacity for future development.

Now in its fifth year, the Fund allows Local Authority Schools and Early Learning and Childcare settings to apply for grants of up to £3000 to develop projects that support the aims of the Fund. (Note – ASN establishments in the independent sector are also eligible to apply). Establishments may apply individually or as part of a cluster of schools from their education authority.

It is essential that food based projects include a business or community link . Business in the Community Scotland is a partner in the Food for Thought Fund and can help establishments to find a business/community link if help is required.

What Are We Looking for This Year?

Scottish Government’s aspiration that Scotland is a Good Food Nation, means a country where people from every walk of life take pride and pleasure in, and benefit from, the food they buy, serve, and eat day by day. It also means that :

  • It is the norm for Scots to take a keen interest in their food, knowing what constitutes good food, valuing  it and seeking it out whenever they can.
  • People who serve and sell food (including schools) are committed to serving and selling good food.
  • Everyone in Scotland has ready access to the healthy, nutritious food they need.
  • Dietary-related diseases are in decline, as is the environmental impact of our food consumption.
  • Scottish producers ensure that what they produce is increasingly healthy and environmentally sound
  • Food companies are a thriving feature of the economy and places where people want to work.
  • Other countries look to Scotland to learn how to become a Good Food Nation.’

This year, we are particularly interested in bids which will to contribute to this vision by:

  • ensuring learners have gained understanding about food education and can apply that knowledge and understanding, including a knowledge of the wide range of careers that are available in the Food and Drinks industry;
  • improving outcomes for learners in ways which seek to eliminate the inequity that currently exists amongst learners from different backgrounds and from particular vulnerable groups;
  • demonstrate an impact on learners, with learners being able to reflect on their knowledge of food and associated issues;

In this phase, we also ask that projects incorporate some or all of the following themes:

  • Developing the Young Workforce
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)
  • Inequity / Attainment Gap
  • Digital Learning
  • Progressive Interdisciplinary Learning
  • Learning for Sustainability
  • Outdoor Learning
  • Working with Parents/Community

Projects may also relate to national events and/or Government initiatives including :

Fund PartnersEducation Scotland is building on its strong partnership with Scottish Government with a continued commitment to high quality learning in health and wellbeing, including food education, across educational establishments in Scotland.

Business in the Community Scotland (BiTCS) brings together businesses and partner organisations across sectors to more effectively play their role in a stronger, fairer, wealthier, healthier, and greener Scotland.

In order to enhance skills for learning, life and work it is essential that you work in partnership with a business for this funding. BiTCS’s role in the Food for Thought Fund will be to help schools to link to a business or community organisation that can fulfil this role for the fund. These partners are not required to be a food based business/community organisation. Schools can also work with existing partners or create their own new partnerships. Securing a financial contribution from this partner is not mandatory; however it may be beneficial to your project if you were able to find additional income or ‘in kind’ funding to develop your project.

The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring all schools in Scotland embed food education through the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence, and the Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Act 2007. The Government supports good quality learning and teaching around food through funding a number of stakeholders to engage and work with schools.

Application Details

Food for Thought Phase 5 application

 To apply for Food for Thought Phase 5 funding, please complete the attached application form to arrive by 14.00 on Wednesday 31st May 2017.   Examples of completed application forms from earlier phases are housed in the ‘Resources’ section of the Food for Thought Glow Newsfeed . (Glow log-in required)

Practitioners from previous phases have also shared photographs, stories and information about their projects through the newsfeed conversation.

A Glow Meet has been organised for Tuesday 25th April at 3.45pm and this will be an opportunity to ask questions about the application process or the project you are planning. If you would like to join me, Sign up here.

Please send completed application forms to :

Foodforthought@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk

Enter the Better Energy School Awards 2017⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

besa-imageThe Better Energy School Awards, organised by the Young People’s Trust for the Environment (YPTE) and sponsored by Total invite young people aged 5 to 11 to upload or send in projects showing the environmental learning that is taking place at their school. If you have been doing any work with the environment as its focus at Total E & P UK Ltd since the start of the Summer Term 2016, then it can be entered into the Better Energy School Awards.

With a prize of £5,000 for the UK Champions and a total of over 50 cash Awards available, there are great incentives for schools to get involved. Representatives from a school in Scotland will be selected as Scottish Champions and will join winners from schools in England and Wales at an Awards Ceremony in London, at which they will receive their Awards from celebrity guests (who at last year’s Awards included YPTE Presidents Dermot O’Leary, Naomi Wilkinson and Adrian Cale) and find out which of the Regional Champions will be crowned UK Champions for 2017.

Peter Littlewood, Director of the Young People’s Trust for the Environment (YPTE) and representatives from Total were joined by pupils from Hanover Street’s primary 2/3 class who proudly presented their project idea for this year’s awards to a packed school assembly. Shortly afterwards Peter Littlewood, teacher Elizabeth Elrick and three pupils took part in a ‘live’ Glow TV broadcast telling other schools in Scotland about the competition and the reasons why Hanover have so enjoyed taking part.

Peter Littlewood, Director of YPTE said “It’s really exciting to be able to catch up with Hanover Street primary again and to have the opportunity through Glow TV. Enter the Better Energy School Awards 2017 to let as many schools in Scotland know about the Better Energy School Awards. I hope there will be lots of Scottish schools taking part, so that we can add massively to the 230,000 young people who have taken part since the Awards began in 2006. We know that schools in Scotland spend a lot of time working on environmental issues and to take part in BESA, all they have to do is tell us about it. We’re not trying to create lots of extra work for teachers, but rather to give them the opportunity to showcase the great work they and their students are doing already!”

It is great to see this level of interest and engagement particularly among the younger pupils. We hope this sparks the curiosity of other schools to find out more and go on to achieve similar success” added Sandra McLennan, Total’s Corporate Social Responsibility Leader.

Closing date for the awards is 8 May 2017. To find out more log onto betterenergyschoolawards.org or watch a recorded webcast filmed at Hanover Street primary via the Glow TV network https://meet.glowscotland.org.uk/p53m62cpgwn/

For further information please contact: Peter Littlewood, Director, YPTE Tel: 01935 315025 for further information on the Better Energy School Awards.

The Big Pedal 20th – 31st March 2017⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

The Big Pedal is our UK wide inter-school scooting and cycling challenge, where schools compete to try to get the largest percentage of pupils, staff and parents travelling to school by two wheels.

the-big-pedal

 

Details:

This year’s challenge will be running from March 20th – 31st. It is open to primary and secondary schools who register and then log their data each day.  Schools with the highest participation win great prizes.

Schools can choose to enter a 1 or 5 day challenge where their best day or best 5 days out of the two weeks count. On the final day of the challenge we encourage schools to run a Superhero Day, where pupils dress themselves and their bikes as superheroes.

This year’s theme is Around the World in 10 Days and schools will track their progress on a wall chart – register using the link below –  learning about the countries and cities they pass through along the way.

Information and registration is at http://bigpedal.org.uk/.

The value:

We see the challenge as a great way to get whole school communities excited about active travel and to impact school traffic issues.

 

Ski lessons for those in GME and GLE⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

The Gaelic organisation, Comunn na Gàidhlig (CNAG) aims to give children and young people opportunities to use and apply their Gaelic skills in situations beyond school. CNAG are currently offering ski lessons through the medium of Gaelic at Nevis Range, Glenshee, The Lecht, Glen Coe and Cairn Gorm. For more information, please contact fios@spors.scot or phone 01463-234138.

Tha CNAG a’ tabhann leasanan sgithidh do dh’òigridh. Tha iad ri fhaighinn aig gach ionad sgithidh ann an Alba (Monadh Nibheis, Gleann Sìth, An Leac, Gleann Comhann agus An Càrn Gorm).

Gheibhear tuilleadh fiosrachaidh bho fios@spors.scot no 01463 234138. 

John Muir Award activity with schools 2015-2016⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

john_muir_way_scotland_10-12-2006The John Muir Award is used to help deliver Curriculum for Excellence outcomes and demonstrates Learning for Sustainability in action. It involves pupils taking responsibility for nature (in school grounds and communities), helps establish aspirations for healthy behaviour, and improves wellbeing in line with Scottish Government SHANARRI indicators. Such activity helps foster a culture of achievement in schools – building essential skills for life, learning and work, and raising attainment for all.

During 2015-2016:

  •  445 schools were involved in delivering the John Muir Award in Scotland (this includes 45% of Secondary Schools, 12% of Primary Schools and 13% of Special Schools)
  •  15,858 Awards were achieved by pupils and staff (15% increase on 2014-15)
  •  3,362 Awards (21%) were achieved by pupils who experience some form of disadvantage

For full report with breakdown of each local authority  see here

Community resilience resources for schools⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Want to find out how to prepare for emergencies and keep yourself and other safe? Keep reading and find out how this key message can be used as an exciting approach to teaching and learning.

Download this flyer for exciting ways to integrate flooding, severe weather and other resilience issues into CfE.

CaptureRead these case studies to see what this looks like in practice.

 

 

See at a glance how you can take this forward in the classroom:

Health and Wellbeing – responsibility of all

Are you ready for severe weather, utility failure, flooding or pandemics? Make sure you know whatwhin-park-flooding-sepa to do.  Stay informed, pack a kit, make a plan.

Literacy

Our climate is changing and communities across Scotland are becoming increasingly affected by extreme weather events and flooding which can block roads, destroy homes and lead to loss of power for thousands of people. This can be used as an exciting context for:

  • report writing on the impact of severe weather on daily life in Scotland
  • talk/presentation at assembly and to the whole class
  • debating local issues like flood protection schemes and staying safe in emergencies
  • creating new written texts like an information leaflet or a safety brochure.

Social studies/geography

Are you doing work around natural disasters, weather, land use, map work?

Use community resilience as an exciting approach to cover these topics. By working with local authority resilience professionals you could gain access to information about flood plains, flood protection schemes and other areas of interest in the local area. Local authorities can share data and images from sensors, such as from traffic monitoring, to bring the learning to life in the classroom.  Contact your local authority to discover what may be available to help your school learn about community resilience.

Science

Scotland’s climate is changing as a result of climate change, so we are getting colder and wetter winters and hotter and wetter summers. Use community resilience as an exciting context to explore these issues.

  • explain some of the processes which contribute to climate change
  • consider how climate change influences changes in the atmosphere and then how this impacts on living things
  • investigate how severe weather can affect daily life in short, medium and long term, considering impact on social, economic and cultural life
  • create and use rain gauges as part of a project monitoring and analysing the weather in the local area
  • create anemometers to measure wind speed.

Technology

Use community resilience as an exciting context to:

  • design rain gardens, green roofs, identify ways to harvest rainwater
  • identify the impact, contribution, and relationship of technologies on the environment through flood protection schemes14677863_678528988971564_410767113_o-1
  • design and construct models to illustrate how sustainable urban drainage systems work
  • explore uses of materials
  • create and present weather forecasts based on personal research
  • investigate the impact of severe weather on people, place and the economy, on a local, national or international level.

 Numeracy and mathematics

Community resilience can be used as an exciting context to solve problems using a range of methods, sharing approaches and solutions with others e.g. money, measurement, data and analysis, chance and uncertainty:

  • use digital mapping and other information sources to work out how much salt is required to help clear a surface covered with snow
  • compare and contrast the contracts and cost plans offered by a range of utility companies, and consider how this may be affected by an emergency
  • use outcomes linked to chance and uncertainty to consider the likelihood of another utilities failure happening
  • consider how this may affect insurance premiums.