All posts by Staff Development Team

Professional Learning Newsletter – September 2020

Principal Teacher: Leadership of Learning

This online course, led by Dr Val Corry, is designed for individuals in both primary and secondary sectors to give an understanding of the key concepts and strategies for leading and managing the processes of learning, teaching and assessment within a department/faculty.

The focus will be on the role of the middle leader in building professional capacity to drive forward the improvement agenda and bring about change within the context for Curriculum for Excellence, and with the current focus of raising young people’s attainment and achievement.

The course is split into 2 morning sessions:
• Friday 6th November
• Wednesday 11th November

Course fee for both sessions: £139

You can find further information and book a place by clicking here.

Introduction to Effective Timetabling

This is an intensive 3-day online course led by Grant Whytock, former headteacher of Buckhaven High School. This course is aimed at staff involved in the construction of a secondary school timetable for the first time or in need of an overview of the basics of the theory and practice of timetabling, particularly with a focus on Curriculum for Excellence. The course will be made up of live sessions, group discussions, practical exercises, independent study and a final personalised Q&A session.

We are offering 3 sessions, in November, December 2020 and January 2021:

• Wednesday 4 November – Friday 6 November, 2020
• Wednesday 2 December – Friday 4 December, 2020
• Wednesday 20 January – Friday 22 January, 2021

The cost for each 3-day session is: £550

You can find further information and book a place by clicking here.

Returning to Teaching

This 10-week online course is aimed at fully qualified teachers who have been away from teaching for some time or qualified abroad and would like to get back into teaching. Participants will get up to date with Scottish education’s policies and national priorities as well as develop their knowledge of the Curriculum for Excellence, social justice and equality and inclusion.

Our next course will run 15 January – 3 April 2020

The course fee is £450

Deadline for booking and payment is Friday 18 December.

You can find further information and book a place by clicking here.

Making Connections through Learning for Sustainability online course

Aligned with Scotland’s education priorities and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, this fully funded online professional learning will support you to think about, plan for, and implement Learning for Sustainability in your own practice and in your teaching context.

You will make connections at individual, institutional and global levels, inspiring you and your students to develop the confidence, skills, knowledge, values and attitudes we all need to thrive and create positive change in our increasingly interconnected world.

The programme lasts 10 weeks and involves participation in online discussions and activities in five course modules, which will be released fortnightly.

The course starts on 30 October 2020.

Find out more and register here.

David Raffe Memorial Lecture – What happened to excellence?

Please join us for the Annual Memorial Lecture in honour of Professor David Raffe, given by the Rt Hon Lord Jack McConnell.

Lord Jack McConnell will give the 3rd annual memorial lecture in honour of the late David Raffe, Professor of Sociology of Education and Director of the Centre for Educational Sociology at the University of Edinburgh. David’s work was underpinned by a concern with issues of inequality in education and how policy change and educational reforms might impact on inequalities. This theme is reflected in this third memorial lecture to be given by Lord McConnell, 20 years after he became Minister for Education in 2000.

This free online event will take place on 19 November 2020, 5.30 – 7.00pm.

Register here.


Professional learning

The link below provides a schedule of professional learning courses on offer this term.

National Offer Menu 2021

Connecting Classrooms

Scotdec is a delivery partner for the British Council programme, Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning. This is a fantastic opportunity for schools to build links with schools locally and around the world, and develop whole-setting approaches to Learning for Sustainability. If you would like to find out more about this programme or would like Scotdec to run an information webinar on the programme for schools then please get in touch.  For an idea of what the programme is about and what a school can gain from joining, have a look at this short video of a Scottish-Ghanaian school partnership.

For those schools and teachers who have already started on their partnership journey, the next online Equitable and Sustainable International Schools Partnership training is starting on 24 September. Register here

Wee flags for Change

September is Global Citizenship Month and a time to consider the actions we can take to contribute to a fairer and more sustainable future for everyone, and to celebrate our role as active global citizens. We are inviting people from across the country to commit to one positive action on a global issue and to share this on a ‘wee flag for change’. For more info on how to create and share your own bunting flag, see here.

To see the September 2020 newsletter, click the link below.

Scotdec September 2020 Newsletter

Dyslexia Scotland Education Conference – Saturday 3 October

This year’s Dyslexia Scotland Education Conference will take place online on Saturday 3 October 2020 (9:00am – 2:15pm).

The keynote speeches and workshops will be pre-recorded, but you will have the opportunity to take part in a live Q&A session with the morning keynote speakers on the day. You can see the programme for the day here.

The cost of this virtual conference is £60. There is a £10 discount for Dyslexia Scotland Members.

The morning keynote speakers will be:

  • Neil Mackay (Freelance Consultant and Trainer at Action Dyslexia)
  • Yasmine and Suzette Clarke (Dyslexia Scotland Young Ambassador and her Mum)
  • Charlie Martin (Partnership Manager at The Wise Group).

From 1:00pm until 2:15pm: you’ll have the opportunity to put questions to the morning speakers and to join a Covid-19 forum led by Fran Foreman from Education Scotland. Fran is also Chair of the Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit Working Group.

In the afternoon (or in your own time), you will be able to access five pre-recorded workshops:

  1. Assistive Technology and Dyslexia: Do I need an App? (Shirley Lawson, CALL Scotland)
  2. Multi-sensory Activities in the Classroom (Blair Minchin, Victoria Primary School in Edinburgh)
  3. SQA Assessments Arrangements and Beyond… (Dawn Roberts, Fife Council)
  4. Writing Skills for Reluctant Writers (Neil Mackay, Action Dyslexia)
  5. Inclusive Reading Approaches (Neil Mackay, Action Dyslexia)

This Education Conference provides an ideal opportunity for delegates to gain insights into the innovative approaches being developed across Scotland to support dyslexic individuals, families and professionals. This conference is suitable for teaching and other educational staff in Scottish schools and local authorities.

Please register for this event online – tickets are on sale now.

If you have any questions about this year’s conference, please email

Professional Learning Webinars

Closing the gap in extraordinary times: a fresh perspective.

Only a few places left!

Why not join us to reflect on important issues related to the attainment gap. You will hear from education experts and will also have opportunities to share your ideas and concerns with colleagues from various schools and educational background through group discussions.

The series will take place over 3 interrelated sessions on the following days from 3.30 – 5.00pm:

• Thursday 10 September
• Thursday 24 September
• Thursday 8 October

Session 1 – Thursday 10th of September: Closing the gap: pause and reflect

This session will reintroduce us to the whole issue of closing the gap

  • What does this term actually mean?
  • What does it mean in the current economic, social and political climate?
  •  Is ‘closing the gap’ still the right term or are there other and better ways of looking at this fundamental issue – while still achieving at least as positive an outcome for our learners?
  •  We will look closely at national advice and how this might be likely to develop and evolve
  • What do we know from research, innovation and practice about where the gap has been successfully ‘closed’?

Find out about key messages from the recent Scottish Government-funded research ‘Reconceptualising attainment through shared learning spaces which promote achievement, health and wellbeing (June 2020)’

Session 2 – Thursday 24th of September: Supported reflection on your own experiences in closing the gap

Session 2 will allow you to start to zoom in on the specifics of your own experiences. Importantly, we will introduce a self-evaluation ‘toolkit’ which we will explain and explore. We will touch on key questions, including:

  •  How successful have you been in closing the gap?
  • How do you know?
  •  Is your success short-term or sustainable?
  • Could you have achieved more?
  • How has the period of lockdown changed the situation in your school: positively, negatively, somewhere in between?

We will then ask you to undertake some real-time self-evaluation of where your school stands in terms of closing the gap, using the toolkit provided. This will be undertaken between session 2 and session 3.

Session 3 – Thursday 8 October: Closing the gap: building for the future

Session 3 will build on the self-evaluation you have completed between session 2 and session 3. Building on your findings, we will explore the key issues and themes emerging. In collaboration with course leaders and other participants, we will pick out emerging themes and start to look at what we might do to address issues arising. The final element of this learning experience will look at the crucial areas of how we measure impact and capture progress in all of this: never easy, but always possible. Having completed all three sessions, you will now be in a confident position to address or re-address your school’s approaches to closing the attainment gap.

The cost is £60 if attending all three sessions, or £25 per individual session.

Book your place here.

Webinar Recordings

You can still access the recordings of our previous webinars on our website.

The webinars focused on:

  • Leadership in a Time of Change
  • Self-Evaluation for Self-Improvement: More Important than Ever?
  • The Primary Curriculum: Getting the Right Experiences for a Changing World
  • Getting the Most from Blended Learning: continuity and coherence in challenging times
  • Learning from the pandemic: moving forward with confidence

Watch the recorded sessions here.


Take action on #LiteracyDay – 8th of September 2020 

International Literacy Day, celebrated annually on September 8th, is an opportunity for society to highlight improvements in world literacy rates, and reflect on the world’s remaining literacy challenges. Secondary English teachers looking to tie global learning and current issues to their lessons can now download our new Issue to action resources free from the Scotdec website.

Poetry, stories and biographies connect young people to the lived experiences of climate change and migration in this collection of English lessons. The first activity introduces the need to hear multiple stories of the world and our place in it. Then follows three units with a focus on climate change, refugees and how we engage with the ‘other’.

All materials were created by Scottish teachers, for Scottish teachers. To make it easy to embed the learning into your classroom learning, the activities are also mapped to benchmarks and reference the relevant Sustainable Development Goal.

Click here for the new resource.

School Partnerships: British Council online professional learning

When? 6pm – 7.30pm on the 24th September, 1st of October and 8th of October.

Equitable and Sustainable International School Partnerships is a free course from the British Council designed to help you make the most of school partnership – whether you’re thinking about getting involved or making the most of your existing ties!

Online dates facilitated by Scotland’s Development Education Centres for the new term have just been added. Find out everything you need to know and book your spot via the link below.

Click here to Register via Eventbrite.

Small actions for a BIG impact with #WeeFlagsForChange

September is Global Citizenship Month and to celebrate, Scotland’s Development Education Centres are spreading the news about the Wee Flags For Change campaign – a chance to join with others across Scotland, taking small actions that can contribute to BIG change on important issues.

Wee Flags For Change is inviting people from across Scotland to commit to one positive action on a global issue and to share this on a ‘wee flag for change’.

You can download the free pack on the HOWDEC website to use in your classroom. It’s split into four actions – Learn, Create Think and Share – and comes with a printable flag template so your class can create their own unique wee flag bunting!

Share your picture/video on social media using the hashtag #weeflagsforchange and post your wee flag bunting by 25 September so it can be included in a giant public display with schools from across the country!

Click here to find out more.

A Global Citizenship Approach To Primary Teaching: Online professional learning from Scotland’s Development Education Centres

When? 5.30pm – 7.30pm, 22nd of September 2020. 

What is Global Citizenship? Why does it matter? How can you introduce the idea of Global Citizenship to primary age learners in a sensitive and engaging way?

This short online professional learning webinar delivered by Scotland’s Development Education Centres is designed to help primary teachers understand the place of Global Citizenship within Scottish education’s Learning for Sustainability (LfS) agenda.

Attendees will receive a resource list to take away, along with plenty of new ideas around how to weave key Global Citizenship themes like climate change, gender equality, migration and the UN SDGs into lessons in a way that is accessible to primary age learners.

Click here to register via Eventbrite.

Global Goals Week 2020: Turn Your Learners Into Factivists! 

Along with Global Citizenship MonthGlobal Goals Week is also taking place in September!

September marks the 5th anniversary of the #GlobalGoals – the to-do list for a better and more sustainable future for all. From taking #ClimateAction to speaking out against injustice, we all have a role to play in transforming our world.

The global event will take place virtually this year, focusing on making this a turning point to recover better for people and planet. It is designed to bring together people from leaders to citizens to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This year the theme is factivism – using data and information to shape our approach to changing the world for the better. Sign up with your class or school to become factivists!

For more information including how to participate in Global Goals Week, visit Join the conversation and showcase your action to #TurnItAround for the #GlobalGoals.

Scotdec Newsletter: #backtoschool 2020

Digital and Home-based Global Learning for Teachers and Young People. 


Hello from the Scotdec team!

We hope the first few days of the new academic year have gone smoothly for you, your colleagues and the young people in your setting.

In the first few weeks of the new term, The Scottish Government recommends that learning and teaching should have a focus on Health and Wellbeing/Nurture, Literacy and Numeracy. With this is mind, we have a selection of brand new classroom resources to share!

Whether you’re a secondary teacher looking for subject-specific tools and activities, a primary teacher looking for classroom learning that embeds pupil voice and children’s rights, or a teacher working at any level with an interest in Global Citizenship Education – we are here to support you.

This newsletter is packed with Global Citizenship/LfS themed digital professional learning opportunities and education events. You can register for all of these professional learning opportunities and events online – take a look at the range of free opportunities below and join us on a learning journey for 2020/21.

Learning for the SDGs: 
New dates for British Council online professional learning

When? 2nd, 9th and 16th of September 2020.

Learning for the Sustainable Development Goals is a free course from the British Council designed to bring the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) alive in your classroom, whether you are primary level, secondary level or an early years practitioner and no matter what subject you teach!

Online dates facilitated by Scotland’s Development Education Centres for the new term have just been added. Find out everything you need to know and book your spot for the new year.

Click here to Register via Eventbrite.

Our NEW primary level activities booklet:
Explore pupil rights with Inscool!

The Inscool Activities Booklet is a jam-packed full of creative and innovative resources designed to get primary age learners thinking about Children’s Rights both locally and globally.

The activities are designed to guide you flexibly, in ways that suit your primary school, through the start of a journey towards including more pupils in learning and life at school. Young people are supported and encouraged to learn around diversity and equity, by providing activities to explore their own values.

The activities can also support you as a practitioner to reflect on how decisions are made in school. Working together, you and your learners can plan positive steps to a more inclusive school community

Click Here to Access the Activities Booklet.

NEW Online resource looking at racism & apartheid

The activities in this new resource from our friends at WOSDEC support second and third level learners to explore Scotland’s connection with Nelson Mandela and feel empowered to take action on issues of importance to them today.

Lessons are linked to related Sustainable Development Goals and articles from the UNCRC, to help build learners real world understanding of these.

Click Here to get this new resource.

Issue to action:
New classroom resources for English and Science teachers.

Are you a secondary teacher looking for relevant, subject-specific tools to allow you to teach your specialism in a real-world context? Our new Issue to action resources for English and Science teachers are now available to download.

All materials were created by Scottish teachers, for Scottish teachers. To make it easy to embed the learning into your classroom learning, the activities are also mapped to benchmarks and reference the relevant Sustainable Development Goal.

Click Here for the English Resource

Click Here for the Science Resource

Start reading with the Global Citizenship Fiction List 

Stories and picture books are a great way into exploring global issues. Signposts has selected some titles which we think make some Global Citizenship topics accessible to learners of all ages to get you started.

Have a look at the Signposts all new fiction list and start reading!

Creative Activism Academy from HOWDEC

Our friends at Highland One World are running new expert-led sessions around knowledge and understanding of Climate change/SDGs and their links to migration.

Creative Activism Academy is open to 15 – 24 year olds, with priority for young people in the North of Scotland.

As a result of attending the Academy, young people will be equipped with the necessary Global Citizenship knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to take informed and creative action on global issues related to climate change and migration in the run-up to COP 26.

For more information Click Here

CALL Online Workshops 2020

CALL Scotland’s Professional Learning will be delivered as 90 minute Online Learning workshops between August to December 2020.

The cost of each course will be £40 per participant and there will be a maximum of 20 participants per course which will enable everyone to have an interactive collegiate learning experience.

The CALL Scotland team has a wide range of expertise working with children and young people with additional support needs. Each workshop will have a Workshop Leader who will facilitate the session and there will be another member of the CALL team as a fellow moderator to answer questions and to host breakout sessions.

We will be using a web conference platform where participants click on a URL link to enter the room with no requirement to download any software or apps.

Online learning – £40
from 4:00pm – 5:30pm

What you will get:

  • 90 minutes of quality Professional Learning which can be linked directly into Professional Enquiry and your exploration of assistive technology to improve the outcomes for your pupils with additional support needs.
  • A recording of the 90 minutes training session which you can refer back to whenever you want (for personal use only).
  • An Open Badge to evidence your participation in the course.
  • A CLPL certificate which can be directly uploaded to myGTCS Professional Update.

Information on the various workshops available, as well as key dates, can be found in the link attached.

CALL Online Workshop Information

Education Scotland Digital Learning Community Team

The Digi Learn Blog offers support to teachers across Scotland. 

Previous webinar recordings can be found here.

Upcoming webinars can be found here (still to be updated for the new academic year)

The sharing learning/practitioner voice can be found here:

Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning

There are a host of learning opportunities and support on offer through the Connecting Classrooms programme. Whether you want to collaborate with other schools locally and internationally, or you’re looking for personal development opportunities, you can tailor your journey to suit your needs and priorities, thanks to the programme’s flexible range of elements. It’s completely adaptable to your needs no matter what your role, the subjects you teach, or your whole-school priorities.


Co-funded by the British Council and the Department for International Development (DfID), the programme offers: