Tag Archives: Implementation

Chalk Face CfE Blog

The LTS Area Advisor Team have begun putting together a blog aimed at practitioners in primary, ASN and early years settings.

Practitioners like to talk to other practitioners and they do this with increased confidence when what they are discussing is based on successful real life experience. To this end, a new blog is now available to support CfE in primary, ASN and early years settings. It has been set up for people who are working at the ‘chalk face’. Visit the blog to hear what other practitioners have been doing and see the links to other related support and guidance on the LTS website. The blog will be looking at ‘what could I do now and how might I do it’ in a range of areas.

Some East Lothian Schools have already been involved in sharing their practice…

Stoneyhill Primary School: Driving consistency of practice in CfE

Dunbar Primary School: Planning teaching with colleagues

Pencaitland Primary School: Building Confidence in Assessment and Moderation

Well done to those who’ve been involved. Check out the blog for more videos.

Class Blogging

I noticed that the Primary 1 Blog at Gullane Primary School was very active at the minute so I decided to get in touch with their teacher Mr Dagger to find out why they blogged…

What have you been doing?
I’ve been writing a class blog about things we’ve been up to in Primary 1.

In what ways does this relate to Curriculum for Excellence?
I think that the blog allows the children to share their success in school at home. Also I feel it covers ‘I enjoy exploring and using technologies to communicate with others within and beyond my place of learning’ (TCH 0-04a) quite nicely!

What were the reasons for doing this?
It’s a way to communicate to parents what their children have been doing in school. By looking at the blog with their parents the children are able to talk about what they have been learning about in school. Sometimes I write the posts with the children, so they are keen to look at the pictures at home. The blog also links to the children’s learning logs, which they take home every Friday. I often comment that a piece of learning a child has written about can be found on the blog.

What has happened as a result?
I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from parents. They enjoy using the blog to stimulate discussion at home about what their children have been doing. The comments left are brilliant to share with the class, and allow me to assess what the children have remembered about activities we have undertaken. This encourages them to ask their parents to look at the blog again and leave more comments!

What would you do differently next time?
I think it’s an ongoing, evolving process. Last year I had a separate page called Onion’s Patch which I had big plans for, but never got round to getting it up and running properly. I think I am going to try again this session. Also the class have been writing notes for my dog to read ever since I posted a picture of him in the snow. I was thinking about posting pictures of him with their work – to encourage independent, spontaneous writing in class, and engage more reluctant writers.

Thanks to Mr Dagger for sharing!

If you haven’t got a blog going with your class, perhaps it’s something to think about? You can sign up to eduBuzz here.

If you’d like to share your interesting practice go ahead and download the form

Inspiring CPD

We all know that CPD doesn’t have to equal courses. We can learn a lot through dialogue with our fellow professionals, however the nature of our working week often prevents us from doing enough of this. This is were blogs can come in. When teachers share what they’re doing online it can give the rest of us an insight into their world which can in turn inform our practice also.

I’ve recently discovered Wright’sRoom, which is an excellent example of this. Shelley Wright is a Biology teacher in Canada who has decided to radically change her approaches to learning and teaching and is sharing everything on her blog. These changes are very much inline with Curriculum for Excellence and are very inspiring. If you’ve not seen it yet, have a look…


Finland: Strong Performer and Successful Reformer in Education

Following the publication of the PISA results yesterday (you can see Scotland’s summary here) the OECD has published a number of videos giving an insight into the education systems of the top performers. We’re hearing a lot about education in Finland these days, but few of us have been there to see for ourselves which is why I thought it was worth sharing this video.

You can see more here.

How do we plan with Curriculum for Excellence?

Many teachers and other practitioners involved in the education of young people in Scotland are currently giving a lot of thought to how best to plan their lessons. It is important to stress that Curriculum for Excellence does not intend to dramatically increase the volume or complexity of planning learning. As can be seen from the ‘Wordle’ of Building the Curriculum 3 above, the focus of the curriculum is on young people’s learning.

Although there is no set planning format as such associated with Curriculum for Excellence, there are a number of principles which one would expect to see applied in classrooms and should therefore be evident in the planning.

The questions you could therefore ask of your current approach to planning learning and teaching include:

  • Which specific experiences and outcomes, or parts of experiences and outcomes, will the young people be learning? These could be bundles of curricular and literacy, numeracy and/or health & wellbeing.
  • What content will be learnt?
  • What skills will be developed?
  • How will you and the young people know what that they have learned and how well they have learned it?
  • What opportunities are there for interdisciplinary learning?
  • What is the relevance? How does this relate to life?
  • What opportunities will the young people have in shaping what they learn, how they learn and how they will be assessed?

Much of this is not new. However, some of this is not common practice. The final bullet point in particular may pose a particular challenge to some practitioners. Curriculum for Excellence places a strong emphasis on the need for young people to play a greater role in their own learning. A quote from the recent Summary of Building the Curriculum 5 makes this point strongly [emphasis added]:

“At its most basic, learner engagement requires teachers to share learning intentions and indicate what would constitute good measures of success. Learners also need to receive early and accurate feedback and should be given the opportunity to discuss the teacher’s assessments and their implications for future progress.

However, learner engagement should move beyond these basic requirements. Sound approaches to assessment will help learners to demonstrate what they can do. Therefore, it is appropriate to involve them in choosing and developing assessment approaches and in selecting and summarising the evidence that emerges.

So perhaps it is worth considering the extent to which your current planning allows for genuine pupil involvement in the processes of learning, teaching and assessment and when they make the learning relevant to their lives.

You can download this post as a word document by clicking here.