Tag Archives: Sector

Benchmarks – the value of collaboration⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

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

Gaelic Medium Education – self-improvement, attainment and leadership⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

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.

  1. Being a self-improving GME provision

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.

Aberdeenshire Council helps to prepare young people for the world of work⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Pupils from Ellon Academy took part in the launch a school employer partnership initiative designed to help prepare young people for the world of work.

As part of Aberdeenshire Council’s internal Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Strategy, the local authority has partnered with Ellon Academy in a first for the area.

Through the partnership, the Council intends to provide support to the academy in several ways. These include continuing to attend careers events, assisting curriculum delivery by giving specialist talks and providing employability skills training and internships to young people.

Ellon Academy Deputy Head Teacher, Kim Hall, said: “The key aim of this partnership is to support young people in Ellon Academy to gain the skills for learning, life and work they require for post school education and employment destinations.  We are delighted to have Aberdeenshire Council as our committed, ‘Flagship’ business partner to work with us jointly to achieve this aim.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Human Resources, Laura Simpson, said: “As a large employer, we are well positioned to help give young people inspiration, knowledge and skills as they transition through school and into employment.

“We offer a huge diversity of jobs and careers, and this partnership presents a great opportunity to promote Aberdeenshire Council to young people in the local area.

The Council’s Director of Business Services, Ritchie Johnson, said: “The Council is working on attracting more young people to work for it, placing itself as an employer of choice in the north-east, and this partnership is a significant milestone in that process.”

 

If you would like to get involved in the partnership, please contact peter.matthews@aberdeenshire.gov.uk for more information. ​

 

Gaelic Language Enrichment Course for teachers of Gaelic Learner and Medium Education (GLE and GME)⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

When: 2 – 7 July 2017 and 23 – 27 July 2017

Where: South Uist

Fee: £250

Language level: Beginner to Fluent

Brief: This Gaelic Enrichment Course is a career-long professional learning opportunity for teachers of GLE and GME. The course aims to support teachers use and develop their Gaelic language skills within a community setting. The course will be tailored to the specific needs of the teachers.  It includes: conversational skills, grammar, resources for the classroom, workshops and field trips.

For more information, please contact: Ceòlas Uibhist, Taigh Gleus, Dalabrog, Uibhist a Deas HS8 5SS Tel: 01878 700154 E-mail: info@ceolas.co.uk

www.ceolas .co.uk

Scottish Education Awards 2017: Nominations open now!⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Category:  Employability across Learning (Early Years/Primary and Secondary)scottish-education-awards-2017

The Scottish Education Awards recognise schools and centres that have developed a vibrant and progressive culture and climate of continuous innovation.

The culture and ethos should promote respect, ambition and achievement while improving outcomes for all learners in ways which eliminate inequity.

Nominations should include practical activities and projects that the school or centre has undertaken, detailing the impact these strategies have had on pupils, staff, parents and the community.

  • How is your school ensuring all young people have the opportunities to develop skills for learning, life and work?
  • How are these skills being developed across all curriculum areas within the school, in interdisciplinary studies and in all other contexts and settings where young people are learning?
  • How is your school ensuring young people, are aware of, and understand, the value of skills for learning, life and work that they are developing?
  • How is your school ensuring parents are aware of, and understand, the value of skills for learning, life and work skills that they are developing?
  • How is your school developing quality partnerships with employers?

What are the outcomes of these approaches in terms of impact on:

  • children and young people
  • the whole school community
  • the wider community

Nominations close at 12 noon on Wednesday 15 February 2017

Nominate an early years/ primary school here.

Secondary school nominations here please.

Download and share the scottish-education-awards-2017-prom-flyer!

How to join the Developing the Young Workforce Yammer group⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

yammer-2All educators in Scotland with an interest or remit around DYW are invited to join this community. Here you can:

  • take part in collegiate dialogue
  • share what is working (or not) in your learning setting
  • talk to the ES Skills Team and other staff working on this remit support team
  • get help for your improvement objectives.

To join the community, you need to be a member of Glow Yammer, so click here to request to join the community.

handy-guide-pic

More detailed help here!

If you need help on how to access Glow, please see this blog post – How do I get a Glow login?

Detailed help is available on Handy guide – join the Scottish Attainment

How to join the Developing the Young Workforce Yammer group⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

yammer-2All educators in Scotland with an interest or remit around DYW are invited to join this community. Here you can:

  • take part in collegiate dialogue
  • share what is working (or not) in your learning setting
  • talk to the ES Skills Team and other staff working on this remit support team
  • get help for your improvement objectives.

To join the community, you need to be a member of Glow Yammer, so click here to request to join the community.

handy-guide-pic

More detailed help here!

If you need help on how to access Glow, please see this blog post – How do I get a Glow login?

Detailed help is available on Handy guide – join the Scottish Attainment

Leadership Award: Gaelic Education, 11 and 12 November 2016⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

There are a few places available on this Leadership Award for practitioners of Gaelic Medium Education (GME). This is a professional learning opportunity which is tailored to GME and delivered through the medium of Gaelic.  It is organised by Social Enterprise Academy and Education Scotland, with accreditation by the Institute of Leadership and Management.  This award is endorsed by the Scottish College of Educational Leadership (SCEL).

If you wish to apply for this award or require more information, please contact kate@socialenterprise.academy. Education Scotland and Social Enterprise Academy acknowledge financial assistance from Bòrd na Gàidhlig towards the costs of running this award.

 

Temporary Disruption to Glow Broadcasting⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

The Glow Broadcasting service will be temporarily unavailable from 18:00 on Thursday 13th October until 18:00 on Monday 17th October when normal service will resume. This includes Glow Meets and the Watch Again service.
This is due to planned work to move the Glow Broadcasting service to a new supplier.
Please avoid scheduling any events during this time.

Temporary Disruption to Glow Broadcasting⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

The Glow Broadcasting service will be temporarily unavailable from 18:00 on Thursday 13th October until 18:00 on Monday 17th October when normal service will resume. This includes Glow Meets and the Watch Again service.
This is due to planned work to move the Glow Broadcasting service to a new supplier.
Please avoid scheduling any events during this time.