All posts by Staff Development Team

Scotdec Newsletter October 2021


New collaborative partner project to promote youth voices and climate action across the UK 
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As the UK and Italy jointly host the United Nations (UN) Climate Conference COP26,  young people across the UK are being given the opportunity to feed into a climate resolution that will be taken to COP26 through the new Connecting the UK Schools Project 2021.

Scotdec is working with schools in Edinburgh (James Gillespie’s High School, Portobello High School, Holy Rood High School) and Midlothian (Penicuik High School, Newbattle High School) to engage young people to think critically about climate change.

The project is led by Size of Wales, a charity working with people in Wales and beyond to help protect four million hectares of tropical forests. Scotdec ar collaborating on the project along with the Centre for Global Education (Northern Ireland), InterClimate Network (England), and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (Wales).

Take a Rights-based approach to climate justice with young people
Take a look
This new resource doesn’t tell young people what to think and do about the Climate Emergency, but provides stimuli for critical thinking, debate and discussion to guide informed action and combat eco-anxiety.

Through the resource, young people can explore the current human rights impact of the Climate Emergency on people’s lives in Scotland and Somaliland; make connections with the universal quests for equitable access to food, water, healthcare, education, gender justice and racial justice. take action to have your voice heard before, during and after the 2021 COP; and measure attitudinal change towards these issues.

NEW COP26 curated climate change resources
Take a look
This new sheet brings together the very best global citizenship resources on climate change, supporting learners to explore issues around climate change and take action, in the run up to COP26 in Glasgow. The sheet contains our top recommendations for essential background reading for Scottish teachers, along with links to comprehensive climate curricula, STEM resources, social subjects and literacy resources and resources to support taking action.


COUNTDOWN TO COP 13th September – 1st November

We’re featured in Countdown to COP on Education Scotland’s National Improvement Hub 
Take a look
Check out this outline of the support, resources and programmes being organised by Education Scotland to support engagement with the United Nations COP26 Climate Summit which will be taking place in Glasgow from 01 to 12 November 2021 – you can find our resources on the curated COP26 Wakelet!


New Scotdec project launched
The future we want: active global citizenship and maths

Take a look
It’s Maths Week Scotland – so what better time to share our exciting new project linking global learning and maths, currently rolling out across three local authorities in Scotland! Building on work developed through our EU project Global issues, Global subjects, this new project seeks to determine the role maths can play in understanding and addressing global issues young people care about – with the aim of enabling better engagement with BGE and increased participation in maths in the post compulsory phase.
Issue to action maths : secondary level resources
Take a look
Secondary teachers looking to tie global learning and current issues to their maths lessons can now download our new Issue to action secondary resources free from the Scotdec website. All activities are mapped to CfE benchmarks and reference relevant Sustainable Development Goals.

Scotdec partner project strengthens link between Global Citizenship and Healthcare in Scotland
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IDEAS and Scotdec, in partnership with the Global Health Coordination Unit at the National Health Service Scotland has developed a suite of Active Global Citizenship resources and training for NHS staff which will be launched to coincide with COP26.


East Lothian Teacher’s Reading Group

Do you want to develop children’s pleasure in reading?

Then join us to enrich your knowledge and practice!

There will be 5 informal twilight sessions between October and April 2022 held on Google Meet and hopefully in person.

Facilitated by

Agnès Guyon -Senior Librarian, Schools and Young People’s Services for East Lothian.

Lynsey Martin, primary teacher in Sanderson’s Wynd Primary School, Tranent.


Wednesday6thOctober (informal virtual meeting)   

Wednesday3rdNovember (venue TBC)            

Wednesday19thJanuary     (venue TBC)  

Wednesday3rdMarch             (venue TBC) 

 Wednesday6thApril               (venue TBC)

East Lothian RfP (Reading for Pleasure) Group invites anyone committed to developing children’s desire, delight and engagement as readers to join our online OU/UKLA Reading Group. Informal, friendly and supportive, we welcome teachers, librarians, student teachers and support staff to join us and commit to attending all five virtual CPD sessions.

We will be developing evidence-informed practice, widening our knowledge of children’s literature and other texts, enriching our RfP pedagogy and documenting the impact on the young people as readers. If you want to develop/share your practice and inspire children into becoming life-long readers, this is for you!

Please email for more information and to register.

For more information, please visit

Pedagogical Pop-In

Great news!  The East Lothian Pedagogy Pop-ins are coming your way this month.  These sessions are informal opportunities to share practice around pedagogy aligned to the East Lothian Pedagogy sails.  They are led by practitioners for practitioners from the classroom. 


The sessions are scheduled on the last Thursday of each month starting on 30th September.  Sessions will begin at 4.15 pm and will last anything from 30 minutes to 1 hour.  You don’t need to sign up, just schedule them in your diary and access them through a Google link in the session advert.


All session adverts can be viewed using the QR code in our flyer, which can be accessed using the following link: 


We are looking for more teachers and support staff to share practice in our Pedagogy Pop-ins from January onwards.  It is easy to lead a session, just complete one of the blank Google forms using the ‘sign up’ QR code in the flyer using the same link.  Your session will then be advertised along with the others.


We hope these sessions will support us all to create a culture of sharing practice in East Lothian where we value the opportunities to learn from each other. 


Just turn up, click the link, bring a cuppa and be prepared engage in dialogue with colleagues from across our schools.




Orientation Sessions for new Interactive Whiteboards

Available Dates: 

31st August 2021

28th October 2021

18th January 2022


Time: 16.00 – 17.00

Venue: Google Meet
Designed for: Teachers and staff using Interactive Whiteboards in school.
Tutor: Janice Prandstatter (Promethean)


Programme Rationale

Many classrooms across East Lothian have or will be having a new Interactive White board installed. With the new Nickel Panel comes many new features that can enhance the way lessons can be delivered.

This session will start at the very basics, and explore the new features built into this board with references to how these can be applied to everyday teaching across Primary and Secondary sectors.


An understanding of:

  • Basic Nickel Panel hardware features – connectivity, control buttons on panel, interacting with the display.
  • Using with your computer – mention of AI and some of the Maths classroom specific tools the software has, other tools like Jamboard, Google Meet.
  • Unified Menu.
  • Promethean Classroom Essential Apps.
  • Connecting other devices i.e. Chromebook.

To book, please click here or paste the following link in your browser:

SEIC Promethean Board Training

Promethean ActivInspire in thPrimary Classroom  

Wed 1st September 3.30-4.30pm

This session is relevant for any teaching and support staff who would like to develop their skills using ActivInspire and Classflow for lesson delivery and learner interactivity. 

Sign up here. 

Promethean ActivInspire in the Secondary Classroom

Wed 8th September 4-5pm

This session is relevant for any teaching and support staff who would like to develop their skills using ActivInspire and Classflow for lesson delivery and learner interactivity.

Sign up here.

Using Promethean in the Early Years (Wed 15th Sept 4-5pm)

This session is relevant for any teaching and support staff who work with children in Early Years environment.

Sign up here.

ActivPanel Essentials

Wed 21st September 4-5pm

This session is open to all teaching staff in early years, primary and secondary learning environments.

Your ActivPanel has some hidden classroom gems that you may not yet be aware of! Join this session to find out about the Promethean Classroom Essential Apps that are available to use on the panel without even having to connect your computer. 

Sign up here.

CALL Scotland

Professional Learning 2021-2022

Online Learning Workshops   4.00-5.30pm     £40 per person

02/09/21   How to effectively support autistic learners using technology

09/09/21    Technology to support learners with Visual Impairment

23/09/21      Communication and learning activities for pupils with Complex Needs

30/09/21      Inclusive Practice through technology: An overview for Pupil Support Assistants 

07/10/21      Technology in SQA and digital assessments:  What can I do to support my learners?

28/10/21            Creating accessible materials including subtitling

04/11/21        Sharing information with others through Personal Communication Passports

11/11/21    Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology

25/11/21       Using Communication Technology in the classroom: Best practice and top resources

02/12/21 Developing numeracy skills for learners with Complex Needs

Professional Learning 2021-2022

Wednesday Webinars 4.00-4.30pm Free!

25/08/21 Speech recognition for communication impairments 

Richard Cave, Project Euphonia 

01/09/21 Online resources to support literacy

Caroline Shepherd, ReadingWise

15/09/21 Low cost digital visual supports

Beth Poss, LessonPix

29/09/21 Teaching deaf children in a pandemic

Rachel O’Neill, University of Edinburgh

06/10/21 CALL Scotland Core Word Kit: creating communication opportunities, Claire Harrison, CALL Scotland
27/10/21 Finding and using accessible texts

Paul Nisbet, CALL Scotland

03/11/21 Google Action Blocks to support communication and physical impairments,

Charlie Danger, OT and AT Professional

10/11/21 iPad apps for learners with complex needs

David Stevens, Sensory Apps

24/11/21 Voice and message banking

Amy Hanschell and Lesley-Ann Henderson, NHS Tayside

08/12/21 Technology and Marginal gains – small changes make a big difference, Fil McIntyre, Natspec

Place2Be’s Mental Health Champions Foundation teacher training

Teachers play a crucial role in helping to normalise difficult feelings and promoting positive ways to look after our mental
health, as well spotting the signs when a child might be struggling and need professional help. There has never been a
more important time for teachers to feel equipped and confident in their roles.

Children’s mental health charity Place2Be is offering free online mental health training for UK teachers and school staff.
The Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme will build skills and capacity for supporting positive mental health
in school communities.

Upon completion of the programme, you will also join our alumni community in the Place2Be Staffroom. Here you will
have access to additional resources, join a network of mental health aware peers and help shape the support we can offer
to schools.

Over 50,000 teachers and school staff have signed up so far – don’t miss your chance! Learn more and sign up at

NQT/ RQT Numeracy & Mathematics CLPL Offer (2021/22)

Education Scotland are delighted to offer a programme of professional learning events aimed at supporting newly qualified and recently qualified teachers (NQT/ RQT) in the curriculum areas of numeracy and mathematics. Feedback from local authorities, teachers and ITE students has highlighted an increased demand for support within this area of the curriculum, particularly in light of interruptions in training as a result of COVID-19.

This programme will be offered from September 2021 to June 2022 and is intended to raise practitioner confidence and skills in delivering high quality teaching and learning in numeracy and mathematics.  It aims to build upon training received by NQT/ RQTs as part of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) partnerships and seeks to compliment local authority support as delivered through probationer teacher core programmes and experiences.

Two programmes will be available as part of this professional learning offer.  One will be offered to early years and primary teachers delivering learning at early, first and second levels of Curriculum for Excellence. The other will be offered to secondary mathematics teachers delivering learning at second, third and fourth levels. The secondary sessions will also highlight and bridge learning links from the BGE to the senior phase. Teachers who sign up and secure a space on the programme will be expected to attend each of the nine professional learning sessions available.

Practitioners will require a Glow account to access the programme and registration for this offer will open 23rd – 31st August 2020 through Eventbrite.

Please do not hesitate to contact should you have any further questions regarding this offer.

We look forward to working with you and your staff in the session ahead.

Barefoot Workshops

These sessions are always very informative and they look at how computational thinking can be discussed and taught without always needing a device.

Barefoot have provided a huge range of dates to support staff with making the most of these resources, just click on your preferred date for sign up links.

Supporting primary school teaching | Barefoot Computing

Barefoot Computational Thinking Workshop

This workshop is aimed at primary school teachers, teaching children 5 years to 11 years of age. Designed to boost subject knowledge and confidence, this interactive workshop will provide the perfect introduction to computational thinking and support you to get started with Barefoot. We’ll give you a tour of the Barefoot website and resources, and you will give some of Barefoot’s “unplugged” activities a try – proving you don’t need expensive kit to teach computing.

Below are the dates we have scheduled in for our Computational Thinking workshop throughout the autumn term. Simply click on a link to book a place on your most suitable date.

Programming with Scratch Workshop – Take your knowledge to the next level with this interactive CPD workshop.

Our follow-on workshop will help you get to grips with Scratch programming and the concepts of sequence, selection and repetition through a series of Scratch activities. This workshop is best placed for beginners and intermediate Scratch users and we recommend you complete the Computational Thinking workshop first, unless you are already familiar with computational thinking concepts and approaches.

How to join a Workshop?
Simply click on the link for which session you’d like to join, this will take you to the Computing at School website to book onto the workshop. If, when registering for the workshop, you are unable to find your school please use the compatible form at the bottom of the registration page. Closer to the time of the workshop when we have a list of attendees, we will send you an email with full joining details and video conference meeting link.

For both of our workshops you will need to make sure that you are registered as a teacher on the Barefoot website. If you’re joining our Programming Workshop you will also need to set yourself up with a free Scratch account and ensure that Vimeo is not blocked by your school’s network (you do not need a Vimeo account).

If you feel other teachers in your school would benefit from attending one of our free interactive online workshops, please forward this post.