STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland has now been published
A STEM (Sciences Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics) Education and Training Strategy was launched in the Scottish Parliament last week by Ms Shirley-Anne Somerville, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science. The Strategy, together with a STEM Evidence Base Report, is now available to download from: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/10/1386/downloads
A central focus on the strategy is to enable everyone to develop STEM skills for learning, for life and for work. It provides a new emphasis on career pathways within STEM sectors and to grow successful partnerships between schools and employers through the Developing the Young Workforce Programme. The strategy also includes a commitment to expand Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeship Programmes to enable many to pursue jobs and careers in STEM through these pathways. This strong focus on skills and careers will further enhance national efforts to Develop the Young Workforce (DYW) and embed employment and career management skills in the curriculum through the Career Education Standard.
A wide variety and resources including exemplars around DYW and STEM can be accessed on the National Improvement Hub here.
The following four good practice exemplars have been published on the National Improvement Hub to highlight initiatives that help learners requiring additional support to develop skills and find employment.
This innovative employability programme offers comprehensive support for young people aged 14 to 19 who have learning disabilities which takes participants from an initial investigation of the world of work, through a process of discovery and planning for their future, to engagement with employers in real workplace settings. Find out more here.
Exemplar 2: ‘Thinking Digitally’ – a new resource
This credit rate module by Lead Scotland allows candidates to develop relevant digital skills and build confidence operating in online environments. More on this here.
Exemplar 3: ‘TOPs’ – training opportunities for young parents
This programme run by Rathbone Training, a UK-wide voluntary youth sector organisation which supports young people aged 16 to 24 who have disengaged from society, aims to help young parents in their personal development. More here.
Exemplar 4: ‘Community Action and Leadership Award
This is a course created by the charity Lead Scotland so that more people can learn how to influence change and make a difference within their communities. More information here.
The Institute for Engineering and Technology (ITE) has launched a campaign entitled ‘Engineering Work Experience for All’ in order to raise awareness of the value of high quality, practical work placements in helping to develop future engineers with the practical skills they need for the workplace.
According to the IET 2016 Skills and Demand in Industry report, 62 per cent of engineering employers say graduates don’t have the right skills for today’s workplace, while 68 per cent are concerned that the education system will struggle to keep up with the skills required for technological change. To address these growing concerns over skills gaps in the engineering workforce, particularly among graduates and school leavers, 91 per cent of companies agreed that more employers need to provide work experience for those in education or training.
In response to these statistics, the IET has launched the Engineering Work Experience for All campaign to champion the need for more employers and universities to collaborate to offer quality work experience to engineering students. The campaign is designed to rally employers, universities, Government and students to make a range of different, quality work experience opportunities more widespread.
Last September schools in Midlothian undertook an innovative and exciting new project which would allow them to transform the way that they learnt in their classrooms. Through consultations with local architects, extensive research and planning in their classrooms the schools created their own inspirational learning spaces!
Throught the year the classes had the opportunity to undertake various projects which would help develop and enhance by their new learning spaces. The first project was a STEM eco-classroom project. This is a project created by the Engineering Development Trust to help the pupils to develop their science, technology, engineering and maths skills. During this project, the pupils were challenged to build an eco-friendly classroom. They needed to research eco-friendly classrooms that have already been designed in schools and then use this research to create their classroom in a way that helps the environment.
In an exciting opportunity for the schools, teachers were invited to a training session with VEX Robotics. During the session the teachers got to use programmeable robots, making them move, make sounds and flash their lights! This wasn’t just for the teachers as they went back to school and used the robots with the pupils who could programme them straight from their iPads. In March pupils from two Midlothian primary schools – Loanhead and St David’s – travelled to the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham to take part in the VEX Robotics UK Challenge. The VEX Challenge requires teams to program robots to carry out a series of complex tasks while competing against 40 other teams from all over the UK. Both schools won awards for high level of competancy in programming their robots!
The final project that the schools undertook was a CSI inspired activity where the pupils had to solve the Mayberry Mystery Crime. They visited the Mining Museum in Newtongrange which was the scene of a terrible crime and using their skills they had to solve the mystery and name the culprit. To help keep the pupils working together they used a Yammer group to keep their investiagtions up to date!
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:
Gaelic language assistants
Health and Social Care
Sustainable Resource Management
Sport and health
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.”
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.
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.
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
Progressive Interdisciplinary Learning
Learning for Sustainability
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 freetwilight 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.
The 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.