All posts by Mrs Rees

Literacy across learning

Click on the image for a slideshow

P5 pupils from Longniddry Primary School have been getting to grips with rock-climbing at the Tranent Climbing Wall lately.  The pupils learnt different climbing techniques, how to tie onto the rope, how to belay and above all how to work well how together and trust their partners.  But it wasn’t all just a physical session. During one activity they had to combine both their bouldering ability and their literacy skills requiring them to write and draw whilst climbing.

An excellent example of literacy across learning – find out more and view their slide show on the East Lothian Outdoor Education Edubuzz site.

Social Subjects Seminar

Event details

Learning and Teaching Scotland are holding a seminar exploring the various themes of Developing Global Citizens such as Education for Citizenship, Sustainable Development and International Education within the context of social subjects. This seminar will focus on practical support through the sharing of innovative and effective practice between practitioners from across Scotland. There will be presentations, the opportunity to participate in workshops, and exhibits, where delegates will have time to view and discuss the work of colleagues.

Who should attend?

This event is suitable for practitioners from all sectors responsible for the delivery of Experiences and Outcomes in social subjects.

Why attend?

Many themes and issues relating to Developing Global Citizens are embedded in Experiences and Outcomes throughout Curriculum for Excellence. This event will look at Developing Global Citizens as an integral part of social subjects and at how all practitioners can contribute to the development of children and young people for life and work in a global society.

Date and venue


Monday 22 February 2010

Stirling Management Centre

9.30 am – 3.00 pm

How to book

To book a place, or for any queries, please email Natalie McLaughlin or contact her by phone on 0141 282 5134





Curriculum for Excellence – Parent Toolkit

Forward to Parent Toolkit by Michael Russell

The LTS Parent Toolkit is available online now, leaflets and information will follow to schools shortly.

Following the launch of Scotland’s new curriculum guidance and the experiences and outcomes in April last year, communications work was mainly centred around implementation, targeted at local authorities and practitioners. As we move forward with implementation, parents want to know what impact the changes will have on their children.

Parents require more information on the benefits and principles of the new guidance and research has shown that practitioners are seen as the most critical channel for information to parents, learners and other key partners and stakeholders. This toolkit will provide practitioners with the tools they need to talk to parents with confidence.

Letter from Cabinet Secretary – Michael Russell

Dear Colleague,

Curriculum for Excellence: Parent Toolkit

Speaking to parents with confidence

I am delighted to have the opportunity to introduce the new Curriculum for Excellence Parent Toolkit – an online and print resource provided as a support to staff who are delivering Curriculum for Excellence. This is designed to help you speak to parents with confidence.

Teachers and other practitioners are key to the success of Curriculum for Excellence. We have been communicating to you about the changes for many months now, in all manner of ways – at conferences and events, through policy documents and support for staff, in Curriculum for Excellence on the official website, via well-used professional journals and through News,our partners – LTS, SOA, HMIE and the unions.

The other key partners in the process are parents (we use this term as shorthand for all parents, carers and people working with children and families). We know from research carried out that parents want to keep up with any changes in their child’s learning. They recognise the need to prepare them for an ever-changing and more demanding world. They want to do whatever they can to support their education and many see Curriculum for Excellence as an opportunity to work more closely with schools and nurseries.

Parents have told us they want to hear about changes from the professional who is teaching their child. We know that good communication and relationships lead to more effective parental involvement and better outcomes for children. Some teachers have told us they haven’t felt well enough informed to talk confidently to parents – or the reverse, they almost know too much and so don’t know how to condense it. So we have produced this toolkit to help you speak to parents with confidence. We are providing the key points we would like you to share and you can add local context.

Research shows that parents have varying levels of knowledge and interest, both about the existing system and Curriculum for Excellence. This makes our job challenging, but parents’ main questions are:

  • “What’s happening to my child?”
  • “How are lessons different?”
  • “What’s the school doing about Curriculum for Excellence?”

The toolkit offers information to support you in answering these questions.

At there are PowerPoints: one to run as a presentation, one as a pick-and-mix bank of slides. There is a core script, parent questions, film clips and images, style guidelines and templates you can use and customise. In print, there is a quick guide for you and your colleagues to keep handy, posters for your school and leaflets that parents can take away from events or meetings. The leaflets and film clips take best practice examples from the Curriculum for Excellence website – one each in nursery, primary and secondary – and bring them to life for parents.

We have used the pupil voice to share the experience of learning. We have used the practitioner and parent voice to share their perspective.

At there is information on key elements of Curriculum for Excellence for parents too . We have consulted with parents and practitioners in producing this toolkit and this is just the start. We will keep building on it, so please, go online, download resources, use it, add your own story, let us know what else you need, and add to the bank of parent questions using the Parent Toolkit Glow Group.

As headteacher, you have a key role in considering with your team how best they can use the toolkit. We want our children to be successful, effective, responsible, confident citizens. The toolkit aims to help professionals involve parents to achieve that goal. It’s an exciting time for all of us in the sector and I am confident that together we can help Scotland’s children and young people excel.

Michael Rosen Live – World Book Day

Scottish Booktrust are launching this unique project on World Book Day (4th March) with two events (one for primary and one for secondary) with the hilarious children’s poet Michael Rosen.

Michael will be telling stories from his childhood as well as performing a selection of his catchy and funny poems.

You can watch a small teaser of Michael in action as well as him talking about the event here.

Event Details
Date: 4th March 2010 (World Book Day)
P3-P7 session (CfE Levels First and Second): Morning, time to be confirmed
S1-S3 session (CfE Levels Third and Fourth): Afternoon, time to be confirmed
Venue: your classroom! This event will be broadcast live over the internet.
Cost: Free

How to take part: Please register on the Scottish Book Trust website at these links and they will send you more details as soon as they are available:
Primary Session
Secondary Session

On the day of the event, all you need to do is click on the link Scottish Booktrust will send to you and Michael Rosen will appear in your classroom or assembly hall to entertain the pupils (and you). They will also provide a link to a Teacher Resource pack to accompany the event that ties in with CfE.

You will be able to test your connection before the event. Please note the quality of the broadcast will depend on your school’s/organisation’s available bandwidth.

Nursery/Primary CPD events – Planning

Following on from the Curriculum for Excellence sessions held in November the Nursery/Primary CPD events for this term will focus on Planning.

The sessions will provide an opportunity for staff across the authority to come along and hear about examples of planning being developed in schools, share examples of current planning formats, discuss ideas and/or concerns.

All sessions will run from 4.00-6.00pm


Wednesday 20th January @ Stoneyhill Primary School

Interdisciplinary Planning

Presentations from a range of school practitioners on current planning formats being developed and trialled across East Lothian.  Input from the East Lothian Museum Service on resources and services available to schools.  Opportunity for participants to share examples in discussions groups and discuss needs and wants from planning.


Wednesday 24th February @ St Mary’s RC Primary School

Language Planning

Presentations from a range of school practitioners on current planning formats being developed and trialled across East Lothian.  Input from the East Lothian Library Service on resources and services available to schools.  Opportunity for participants to share examples in discussions groups and discuss needs and wants from planning.


Monday 1st March @ Dunbar Primary

Maths Planning

Presentations from a range of school practitioners on current planning formats being developed and trialled across East Lothian.  Opportunity for participants to share examples in discussions groups and discuss needs and wants from planning.

These sessions are open to all nursery and primary staff.  Staff who are attending the sessions should bring along any examples of planning that they wish to discuss or share.

(Note a session is being planned specifically for nursery practitioners at a later date, but you are very welcome to attend and find out about what is currently happening within Primary as it is still relevant)

Please email if you wish to attend.