Author Archives: Lisa McCabe

Transforming Lives: Succeeding Against the Odds Transitions as a Tool for Change Conference⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

transforming lives flyer


We are excited to let you know that you can now book your place for the Scottish Government Funded event: Transforming Lives: Succeeding Against the Odds. Transitions as a Tool for Change.

The event is to take place on Saturday, 14th May 2016: 9.30-16.00 McCance Lecture Theatre, Richmond Street, Glasgow

To book your place email Caroline Marley

In Scotland there is a policy focus on the early years, particularly as government express concern about the educational achievements of their children, the number of children living in poverty and the long term economic and social consequences of children’s engagement in education. Young children form a rallying point, and few issues are more capable of uniting people across cultural, professional, political, religious and financial divides than those relating to young children (Bernard van Leer, 2011). Starting Strong III (OECD, 2012) emphasises the importance of early years transitions as a focus for professional development. The workforce in Scotland is seen as central to achieving policy ambitions and the current proposal links strongly to a number of recommendations recently outlined in the Independent Review. In policy, research and practice arenas there is recognition of the importance of a positive start to school and policy and practice rhetoric around building effective approaches to transition. It is with this background that we consider Transitions as a Tool for Change.


Aims for the research, policy and practices events are :

* To look at the opportunities, expectations and aspirations of early educators and families at times of transition
* To understand children’s and young people’s learning journeys, attainment and learning outcomes and the contribution of positive transitions
* To consider children’s entitlements at times of transition
* To analyse early educators beliefs and practices around transitions and the contributions they make to children’s transition experiences
* To interrogate the extent to which early years transitions and later school transitions provide new opportunities for family engagement in education.
* To work with the Early Years Collaborative, particularly on the Transitions & Continuity Theme
* To ensure dissemination and impact

Our speakers will include:
– Professor Iram Siraj “Learners’ life-course trajectories over time” (Professor of Education, Department of Learning & Leadership. UCL Institute of Education University College London).

– Dr Hronn Palmadottir “Communities in play: Young children’s perspectives on relationships, values and roles in their play” (University of Iceland)

Don’t miss out.



from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

We thought we’d let you know of an event hosted by Inspiring Scotland and Children in Need and supported by Jeely Piece to look at lots of different ways to facilitate play.

The event is designed to showcase the raft of playful activities that can be delivered for disadvantaged children and young people across Scotland, playful opportunities that require little or no equipment, and that can be utilised in family’s homes, in their communities and in schools. Play can make a massive difference in the lives of children and young people and not just at an early age. This event will demonstrate how play activities can be delivered in different ways with all age groups.

The event will also look at how funding is available to charitable organisations to kick start and support playful opportunities that enhance the lives of Scotland’s children and young people.

The event is practical and will be both indoors and outdoors, so please come dressed appropriately for the weather on the day and wear outdoor shoes.

During the day workshops will be on offer:
o Inclusive Play – Capability Scotland
o Play Rangers and Street Play – Possibilities for Each and Every Kid
o Active Play – Agile, Healthy Valleys and Jeely Piece Club
o Risky Play – Play Scotland and Care Commission
o Cooking Outdoors and Fire Play – Broxburn Family Centre
o Mini Play Rangers – Parent Action for Safe Play and Youth Scotland

You can register here.

Join the discussion on Early Learning and Childcare⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog


The Scottish Government has published a discussion paper and online survey on Early Learning and Childcare.

A series of trials testing different models of Early Learning and Childcare are being planned, and the aim of the discussion paper is to enable all stakeholders and delivery partners to contribute to the scope and design of these trials.

For more information on the discussion paper and survey, click here.

Starcatchers – Inspiration Days⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog


You might be interested to know that Starcatchers is hosting Inspiration Days in Dundee on 12th March and Edinburgh on 23rd April. These events are open to all Early Learning and Childcare Practitioners.

The days will include practical training and discussion about the role of ELC practitioners in helping close the equity gap using a creative, playful approach to the arts. Content of the session will include looking at playful ways to explore language and support language development with children aged 0-3 using stories and storytelling. The Dundee session will offer ideas about enjoying puppetry and object led play with younger children in Dundee. At Edinburgh, participants will explore the role music and the arts have in child development in Edinburgh.

Sign-up here for Dundee. Here for Edinburgh.

Have you seen Arts from the Start blog

Contact Starcatchers


from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog


Midlothian-based author Simon Puttock, who lives in Newtongrange won the Bookbug Reader’s (3-7 yrs) category for his picture book Mouse’s First Night at Moonlight School, illustrated by Ali Pye. Published by Nosy Crow, the book follows Mouse on her first day at Miss Moon’s Moonlight School for all the small creatures of the night, but she is very shy, too shy to even say hello. Luckily, with help from Miss Moon and her new friends Bat, Cat and Owl, a game of hide-and-seek makes Mouse feel right at home.

Simon Puttock

Simon is no stranger to the Scottish Children’s Book Awards, having won a 2006 Award for Little Lost Cowboy, and appearing on both the 2008 and 2010 shortlists. Born in New Zealand, he travelled all over the world with his family as a child. He wanted to be a vet when he was little, but grew up to become a bookseller. He was particularly interested in children’s books and was chosen to be a Children’s Whitbread judge. He has since become a full-time writer, creating over 30 children’s books.

Commenting on his win, Simon said:

“What does it mean to me to win the award? Apart from it meaning me being enormously (but happily) surprised, it means being able to take huge pleasure in the fact that Ali’s and my book is out there, having an unpredictable but entirely satisfactory life of its own. What more could we wish for?”

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Have you read the story to children? What interests them in the story? How do you make the story come alive? Tell via Twitter or share your ideas via Glow Early Learn

Scottish Book Trust Announces 2016/17 Bookbug Bag Books⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog


Scottish Book Trust is pleased to announce the books chosen for the 2016/17 Bookbug Bags.

The books to be distributed free to every baby, toddler and 3-year-old in Scotland between Spring 2016 and Spring 2017, are as follows:

Bookbug Baby Bag
• One, two, three…Run! by Carol Thomson (Child’s Play)
• Happy Baby Playtime by Toby Reynolds and Paul Calver (Hachette)
• Peekaboo Farm by Emily Bolam (MacMillan)

Bookbug Toddler Bag
• Pants! by Giles Andreae and Nick Sharratt (Random House)
• Say Hello Like This! by Mary Murphy (Walker Books)
• Flip and Find Builders by Samantha Meredith (Campbell Books – MacMillan)

In 2015, Scottish Book Trust and Live Music Now Scotland came together to provide 10 weekly music sessions at an Early Years Centre in Edinburgh and have created a new CD of music, songs and rhymes. This CD and an egg shaker will now be distributed in the Bookbug Toddler Bag. You can read more about this here.

Reading stories

Bookbug Explorer Bag
• Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson (Walker Books)
• The Disgusting Sandwich by Gareth Edwards and Hannah Shaw (Scholastic, UK)
• Goodnight Tractor by Michelle Robinson and Nick East (Penguin)

The bags gifted to 3-year-olds at nursery, formerly Pirate themed, are now called Explorer bags. This change will come into effect in March 2016.

Catriona Wallace, Head of Early Years at Scottish Book Trust said:
We are very excited to announce the new titles for this year’s Bookbug Bags. Our expert panel has carefully selected books by fantastic authors and illustrators and we hope that mums, dads and carers will enjoy sharing these stories with their children. Bookbug bags are a fun way to introduce your babies and toddlers to stories, songs and rhymes, and boost their language and listening skills.”

Bookbug is Scotland’s national book gifting programme, gifting books to every baby, toddler, 3 and 5-year-old in Scotland in four free Bookbug bags:
• Baby Bag (gifted by a health visitor to every baby)
• Toddler Bag (gifted by a health visitor to every toddler)
• Explorer Bag (gifted at nursery to every 3-year-old)
• Primary 1 Family Bag (gifted at school to every P1 pupil)

The Bookbug Primary 1 Family Bag for 2016/17 will include free copies of the three shortlisted books from the Bookbug category of the Scottish Children’s Book Awards, which will be announced in September 2016. These bags will be distributed to Primary 1 children during Book Week Scotland in late November.

Greenlees 4

For more information go to the Scottish Book Trust website.

SCEL Fellowship Programme – help us build Scotland’s community of champions for educational leadership⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog


The Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL) tells us how pleased they are to be able to announce details of a further opportunity for experienced, serving Head Teachers and Heads of early learning and childcare establishments to become SCEL Fellows through participation in the Fellowship Programme.

SCEL is in the process of recruiting participants for Cohort 3 and is keen to ensure that this opportunity is shared widely among ELC professionals.

We know that SCEL Fellows are an active community of champions for leadership and teaching in Scotland, and SCEL is really keen to find the right people to join the third cohort of the Fellowship Programme.

Application is open to Head Teachers and Heads of Establishment who normally have a minimum of five years successful experience and a proven track record of strategic leadership in and beyond the school/establishment setting.

The Fellowship Programme aims to provide stretching development opportunities for experienced leaders to support their capacity to contribute to system level leadership and to have a positive impact on outcomes for children and young people across the country.

Upon successful completion of the programme, participants become SCEL Fellows supporting system developments including within their own authority area. Feedback from previous participants has been very positive:
“The Fellowship Programme has been the best professional learning for me ever! The access to such high-level professional dialogue, educational expertise and learning opportunities has been second to none. I feel that it has enhanced my performance as a leader and my learning and involvement with SCEL has not only benefitted me but my staff too and my HT colleagues in the Local Authority as I take on more strategic roles. I think differently now, more as a system level leader and feel ‘my eyes have been opened’ to the bigger educational picture both nationally and internationally.”

“The opportunity to engage with experienced colleagues, leading thinkers and researchers has had a massive positive impact on me as a person and as a leader. I have found myself re-stimulated and reinvigorated in my role and I look forward to my continuing engagement with colleagues and the college.”

“The SCEL Fellowship Programme is answering the question that many HTs have been asking for some time – how can I work and collaborate with colleagues for the greater-good of the educational system and young people.”

So, if you are interested do not hesitate to complete an application form. The closing date for applications is 14 March 2016 . These can be obtained from SCEL administrator:

As part of the process, applicants are asked to complete a form giving a personal rationale for their participation in the programme and evidence of their engagement to date in system leadership. Applications should be accompanied by a letter from the Director of Education/Head of Service confirming experience at system level and support for participation. Applicants should also give consideration to an area of enquiry linked to local authority/national priorities with their Director of Education in advance of submitting the application.
The costs of the programme will be part funded by SCEL, with an additional cost per participant of £1000.

Applications will be assessed initially by a sifting panel with potential participants being invited for interview on 23/24 March 2016.

Further information about the Fellowship programme can be found here.

Scottish Book Trust: Every Toddler in Scotland to Receive Free Song and Rhyme CD⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

SBT logo

Bookbug, Scotland’s national book gifting programme, has today (24 February 2016) unveiled a brand new music CD which will be given out free to every toddler in Scotland.


Featuring a collection of traditional and contemporary songs and rhymes, including a special bonus track from Dolly Parton’s “I Believe in You” Imagination Library album, the CD will be gifted by health visitors directly to parents in the Bookbug Toddler Bag.

The collection of music was put together by a variety of talented musicians and singers and young children. Working in partnership with Live Music Now Scotland and with funding from Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative, Scottish Book Trust invited musician, Marianne Fraser to undertake a music residency at the Fort Early Years Centre in Leith. The findings of this residency were then used to inform the development of the new CD.

Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People said:
“Improving literacy in our children and young people is a key priority for this Government and we know that learning begins long before school. That’s why we are investing in initiatives like Bookbug which encourages parents to play a part in their child’s learning through fun activities like reading and singing. This helps a child’s development and can give them the skills and abilities that will make it easier for them to keep learning as they grow. These new CDs are a fantastic addition to the Bookbug pack and will be enjoyed by children and families across the country.”


57,500 copies of the Bookbug Toddler CD have been produced to include in the Bookbug Toddler Bag which will be gifted to every toddler in Scotland in March 2016.

For more information go to the Scottish Booktrust website

Starter kit for getting the best out of Glow Early Learn⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Great news. We’ve now made it easier for you to get into and get the best out of your Glow Early Learn community.

This series of short videos gives you step-by-step instructions for the four main tasks to undertake in becoming a new member.

You should make sure that you pass these videos around all of your colleagues and networks.

We look forward to chatting to you further in Glow Early Learn.

SLF 2016 – Got something to share about early learning and childcare?⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

slf 2016 (2)

SLF 2016 takes place on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 September in Glasgow. As you know already, SLF provides high quality continuing professional learning for educational professionals across all sectors of education. SLF provides a unique platform to engage with a diverse range of experts, colleagues and suppliers and offers both national and international perspectives on high quality educational experiences for children.

You may have seen already the announcement by Education Scotland for seminar proposals for the 2016 conference programme. Do you think you’ve got something exciting to share? Would you like to be one of the 100+ seminars that will be offered over the 2 days?


It is important that early learning and childcare (ELC) is adequately represented at SLF 2016. The community of ELC practitioners across Scotland has always had a strong identity. Glow Early Learn, our national professional learning community, continues to grow at pace. Have you joined yet? If not, what are you waiting for? If you have a Glow username and password, simply login to Glow and type ‘’ into the address bar. You will be taken into the Early Learn Community. Just ‘join this community’ and off you go. If you don’t yet have a username and password for Glow, you can request one here.

Dancers at Peek-a-boo
Dancers at Peek-a-boo

Although Glow is superb for building that virtual community, we know the benefits of coming together in the same space to debate and discuss issues relevant to the ELC sector. SLF 2016 provides a unique opportunity to do this.

We need you! Is there a project you have been working on that could be showcased? Or perhaps you are aware of establishments that demonstrate good practice?

The theme for SLF 2016 is Promoting excellence and equity for all through:
• school leadership and school improvement
• assessing children’s progress and parental engagement
• teacher professionalism.

Full details of the theme are available on the SLF website.

If you would like to submit a proposal for consideration please do so before Friday 19 February. Proposals received after this date will not be considered for inclusion in the conference programme. All proposals must be submitted online.


Last year we received in excess of 300 proposals which allowed Education Scotland to deliver a relevant and balanced conference programme covering all key areas of education. We had a good representation from the ELC sector but we need even more!

The 2016 conference programme and registration will be launched in May and will feature the sessions that have been submitted and selected for inclusion.

If you would like any further information about SLF 2016 please contact the SLF team by emailing