Category Archives: Parents

Literacy Development Brochure

The Head Teacher of Wallyford Primary School kindly agreed to share their Literacy Development Brochure on the blog. Here’s where it came from…

As a result of the school’s recent HMIe inspection, an agreed action is that the school will continue to work to involve parents and carers more in their children’s learning. Agreement was reached to focus on literacy, numeracy and health and well being.

Developments include hosting an Open Evening where the parents/carers participate in activities and experiences linked to their child’s learning and stage of development/workshops for parents on reading, writing, numeracy etc.

Staff wanted to inform parents/carers of the steps in the development of early literacy skills in more detail and a core group of staff worked on the publication of this literacy booklet, which includes ways in which parents/carers can support their child at home.

A focus group of parents/carers from early years will be invited into school next term to discuss the booklet’s usefulness and also to have the opportunity to raise any queries and ask any questions. It is anticipated that this focus group will identify a next step in this piece of work.

Click on the image below to download the booklet:

Click here to download

Education Secretary reveals 10 point plan

teacherA ten point plan to drive forward the delivery of Curriculum for Excellence was unveiled by Education Secretary Michael Russell today.  Mr Russell confirmed that the Scottish Government will put a package of support in place – including an additional £3 million – to help make sure every school is ready to implement the new curriculum in the autumn term.  The package will put in place:

  • Tailored support for any secondary school which needs additional help to be ready for the autumn term. Heads have been invited to tell local authorities and the Scottish Government what help they need. This could include help with CPD, additional materials, expert advice or drawing on the experience of teachers from neighbouring schools who have already fully prepared for the new curriculum
  • Additional practical materials for teachers to support implementation and ensure clarity on what is expected
  • £3 million funding for councils to help support quality assurance and moderation of assessment. This will see a system of checks to ensure that the assessment of pupils is being applied consistently and in line with national standards
  • A proposal for literacy and numeracy units to be built into English and maths qualifications to simplify the system for formally recognising these skills which will be developed across the curriculum
  • ‘Excellence Groups’ bringing subject teachers and experts in individual fields – such as the sciences – together to support excellence in education in their subject area and across the curriculum
  • HMIE work with education authorities and schools to support their implementation of Curriculum for Excellence with effective innovation promoted through inspections
  • A series of events to allow headteachers to share experience and best practice
  • A greater role for parents in managing the new curriculum with the National Parent Forum Scotland invited to nominate a member to sit on the management board
  • Additional materials for pupils and parents explaining the new curriculum. Mr Russell will also invite the National Parent Forum Scotland and pupil councils to play a leading role in improving communication
  • A group, convened by Mr Russell, made up of stakeholders and those with an interest in education to advise on future development of Curriculum for Excellence

Mr Russell said:

“I have been listening to the concerns that have been expressed recently around the new curriculum. I have also taken into account the advice of the Curriculum for Excellence Management Board on the additional support which is required. I have acknowledged those concerns and that advice and today I am acting to address them.

“Schools across Scotland, such as St Mungo’s Academy that I’ve visited today, are well underway with their preparations for Curriculum for Excellence.

“They are responding to the challenges of educating their pupils for a modern world requiring new ways of learning, new skills, creativity and innovation. Many good examples of this are already happening in our schools and change is well underway.

“I want to make sure we harness and drive forward this momentum to deliver the best possible education for our young people. That’s why I am announcing a comprehensive action plan to build confidence, provide support and make sure every school in Scotland is ready to deliver the new curriculum in August.

“I have asked each local authority and school to let me know if they will be ready for implementation in August, for those who are not we will offer support. We will work with HMIE and experienced teachers and headteachers to make sure no school is left struggling.

“We will focus our additional expert support and help where it is needed – for schools and teachers who want a bit more but who also know how important these changes are. This could include practical, teacher-led support to ensure every school is fully prepared.

“I believe it is important that literacy and numeracy are formally recognised, however I also understand concerns about the practicality of having a separate portfolio-based qualification.

“To simplify the system we propose that literacy and numeracy units be built into English and maths courses at SCQF levels 3 to 5 – units that adult learners will be able to take as free standing units to boost their skills. This means employers and others have a clear indication of attainment in literacy and numeracy, whilst making the system clearer and easier to understand.

“I recently announced the new Assessment Framework, and said that would be backed up by resources, today I am confirming an additional £3 million for Local Authorities to help fund the quality assurance and moderation system that underpins the Framework.

“This will all be backed up with further support for schools. We have listened to teachers’ concerns that they need more support and more clarity around exactly what will be expected under the new curriculum. We will provide that clarity and provide additional support, including seminars to enable headteachers to share their experiences and best practice and work with experts to make sure all our curriculum areas are the gold standard in that area.

“What’s more we will give parents a greater say in overseeing the curriculum by inviting the National Parent Forum Scotland to nominate a member of the management board and to work with us to ensure the information we send to parents is as clear as it can be.

“I believe this comprehensive package of measures will make sure Curriculum for Excellence delivers on its full potential and makes sure every child in Scotland benefits from the improved education it offers.”

Mr Russell will discuss the ten point action plan with the Curriculum for Excellence management board when he meets them on April 22, 2010.

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2010/03/30100515

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 www.curriculumforexcellencescotland.gov.uk 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 www.LTScotland.orq.uk/parentzone 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.

Additions to the LTS Curriculum for Excellence website

We’ve received an update of all the recent additions to the LTS CfE Website from August to November 2009 in one document. We thought this was worth sharing here. It does not include Management Board minutes and papers that have been added to the site.

Assessment

Assessment for Curriculum for Excellence (September 2009)

Assessment is a key strand of work in implementing Curriculum for Excellence.
At the Scottish Learning Festival on 23 September the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong learning, Fiona Hyslop, announced the publication of the strategic vision and key principles for assessment in Curriculum for Excellence.

Now available on the Curriculum for Excellence website the Assessment for Curriculum for Excellence document sets out the Scottish Government’s strategy on how to build on our existing strong foundations of effective approaches to assessment.

Building the curriculum & Building your curriculum

Building the Curriculum 4: Skills for learning, life and work (November 2009)

Building the Curriculum 4 aims to help all those who are involved in planning and delivering young people’s learning across all sectors and settings. It sets out key messages about how children and young people develop and apply skills as part of Curriculum for Excellence, so as to bring about the transformational changes needed to improve the life chances of young people in Scotland.

Building your curriculum (August 2009)

A new area entitled ‘Building your curriculum’ was added to the Curriculum for Excellence website in August 2009. This section offers materials designed to help schools and other establishments in designing curriculum structures that reflect the features set out in ‘Building the Curriculum 3’ and meet their local contexts and priorities.

Early insights (August 2009)

This section shows the progress some schools have been making in developing their own curriculum structures around transition, the senior phase and a broad general education, and the totality of the curriculum.

Pupil Voice (August 2009)

Three new videos were added to the Curriculum for Excellence website exploring what pupils and students want from their education, including their answers to four questions related to putting ‘Building the Curriculum 3’ into practice.

Building your curriculum – an inter-authority approach (October 2009)

This study outlines how six education authorities worked collaboratively with LTS and the Scottish Government to plan and deliver a joint event which would support schools in developing their thinking on curriculum structures and reflect the framework set out in ‘Building the Curriculum 3’ (BtC3).

Exemplification and case studies

Support for staff – exemplification of Curriculum for Excellence

Exemplification of good practice used in implementing the experiences and outcomes was published on the Curriculum for Excellence website from October onwards. The case studies provide staff with exemplars of how some schools in Scotland have started to implement Curriculum for Excellence.

Early level

Supporting the Early Level resource (October 2009)

Children’s Minister Adam Ingram launched the Curriculum for Excellence ‘Supporting the Early Level’ resource in October 2009. Information about the resource is on Early Years Online. The new DVD resource will help early years practitioners and teachers to develop successful practices in areas such as active learning, self evaluation, additional support needs and the learning environment – including making the best use of outdoor opportunities.

The Early Years Framework – Putting the Vision into Action (October 2009)

Outcomes from the HMIE/LTS Good Practice conference for early years that was held in the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow, on 9 June 2009.

Modern Languages

Working together to develop cultural awareness and multilingualism (October 2009)

Clarifying the learning: Sharing the standard (October 2009)

Using collaborative learning and peer mentoring to improve transition (October 2009)

Partnership working in modern languages using collaborative learning and ICT (October 2009)

Sciences

Properties and uses of materials (October 2009)

Promoting science during primary to secondary transition (October 2009)

Social studies

Planning for the Scottish dimension (October 2009)

Improving engagement by developing literacy and numeracy in social studies (October 2009)

Scotland’s History Online (November 2009)

Technologies

B!te: Big Ideas – Technical Education (October 2009)

Computing for Excellence – HMIE-LTS Good Practice conference for computing and information systems. This joint conference was held in the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline on 3 June 2009 (October 2009)

Healthy Eating project – Dollar Academy (October 2009)

Blast from the Past – Scottish history project (October 2009)

Literacy

Growing up with Loch Leven – exploring literacy across learning (October 2009)

Social studies and literacy at third level (October 2009)

Numeracy

Co-operative learning activities: an active approach to teaching numeracy (October 2009)

Using numbers to count – pathways to numeracy (October 2009)

‘In the Doghouse’, a numeracy across learning project (October 2009)

Interdisciplinary

Planning an interdisciplinary study on China (November 2009)

Planning for a broad general education (November 2009)

16+ Learning Choices in action (November 2009)

More Choices, More Chances – Alva Academy (August 2009)

Other resources

CfE News (September 2009)

CfE News – a newspaper for practitioners – was developed to showcase and signpost practitioners to just some of the support, advice and online resources available on the CfE website. 96,000 copies were issued in September across the entire educational community

Keynote presentations and three workshops (September 2009)

The keynote presentation and the three workshops from the nationwide ‘Turning the experiences and outcomes into action’ events which took place last session were put up on the CfE website to offer support for the next stage of implementation of Curriculum for Excellence. These materials can provide the groundwork for further discussion within educational establishments, for example during in-service days.

Experiences and outcomes by level (November 2009)

The experiences and outcomes can now be downloaded by level as Word and PDF documents. These levels documents have been added to the ‘Getting started’ section of the website.

Parents

Trailer for Parent Toolkit (November 2009)

In January, a Curriculum for Excellence toolkit to support all practitioners as they engage with parents and carers will be launched. As implementation gets underway it will help all those who work with children and young people to deliver key information around Curriculum for Excellence and answer questions parents and carers may have about how it will affect their own child.