Job Opportunity

I’m on the steering group of the Dynamic Earth/ Scottish Seabird Centre Outreach Programme

Krista McKinsey, the current schools communicator, has done a wonderful job but is leaving us in September to take up a job at Durham University.

At the steering group meeting on Friday we explored how we might go about replacing her.

One of the options we came up with was a four day a week secondment for an East Lothian Teacher for a six month period on the first instance but hopefully extending to 18 months.

This could form an important part of our Curriculum for Excellence Strategy – links with science and environment – and would also give the person some very worthwhile management experience – which would be in line with our Leadership Network Programme.

Information will be coming out to schools this week but for those who might be interested here’s a sneak preview of the job outline.


4 thoughts on “Job Opportunity

  1. Sorry to hear Krista is leaving, with her blend of knowledge and enthusiasm she’ll be a hard act to follow.

    The project aims on the outline, perhaps understandably in what must be quite a competitive market, don’t say much about the intended educational benefits for students. The job description, too, says more about delivery (of activities) than about learning. It almost sounds like there’s a possibility of it drifting more into marketing than Krysta’s strongly education-oriented role…

    Hopefully involving a teacher who can see the opportunity to keep the strategy focussed on learning, using current approaches, will help build the support of schools and parents by providing continually increasing educational value.

  2. Hi David,

    Thanks for your kind words re. my time as Schools Communicator. I am going to miss working with such a wonderful group of people, as well as the schools & children who have taken part over the past year and a half…although I’m sure they will be in great hands with my successor!

    I’m quite excited about the prospect of a teacher taking on my role over the next 6 months, especially given the changing science curriculum and all of the opportunities that this will bring to the Outreach Programme. I’ve been striving to help bring new ways of learning to the children I’ve worked with, and the key has been to excite them/open their eyes to see that science is all around them in the natural world, and what a fascintating place it is! The highlight has been observing that, even with complicated topics such as climate change, children can build their own opinions once grounded in the basic scientific principles, and find their own ways of becoming increasingly confident learners and responsible citizens (I sincerely use the Curriculum for Excellence lingo here! 🙂 I saw this in action at a ‘Science Showcase’ that I organised for one of my West Lothian schools and it was absolutely amazing (the children had a massive turnout of family and from P1 to P7, the children taught their elders about climate and landscape change in Scotland!) I hope that whomever comes after me will will carry this work on just as wholeheartedly.

    I’d also just like to reiterate my thanks to those from across both the Scottish Seabird Centre and Our Dynamic Earth, as well as those at East Lothian Council, the HMIe and the Scottish Executive, who have worked so hard to initiate this Programme and for allowing me to bring it to life. It’s been an absolute pleasure and all of my very best to everyone.

  3. Our Dynamic Earth is part of the Scottish Science Centres Network, a Scottish Executive supported network of 4 centres across Scotland. This network includes Glasgow Science Centre, Sensation Science Cente in Dundee and Satrosphere Science Centre in Aberdeen. The network aims to extend our collective reach by working collaboratively with like minded partners and also to encourage lifelong learning by providing fun,engaging and entertaining experiences. At Our Dynamic Earth of course our subject area is Earth and environmental sceinces and this is presented in a a public engagement context and also seeks to promote Earth and environmental learning. Our formal education product offers schools an opportunity to complement their class work with a range of workshops delivered by a team of experienced science communicators specialists in their area.

    We are thrilled to be working in collaboration with the Scottish Seabird Centre in the delivery of ‘The Closer2Nature’ outreach project. Indeed our key values of fun, engaging and entertaining experiences translate into our outreach and inreach education work. With this in mind, this role of Schools Communicater is not intended as a substitue for class teaching but seeks to complement in quite a different way the activities in the clasroom.

    Integral to this post is advocacy for and the promotion of the education offer that is availabe at Dynamic Earth and the Seabird Centre. Moreover I would stress to those interested in this role that the job specification attached to this site is the same specification to which the current post holder works.

    In response to David, above, there is a marketing dimension to the post. Some of the key performance indicators that will be used to measure the success of this project are rightly market focused. This is to be encouraged as such measures are key to the rationale behind the instigation of the project. Such a focus is in no way detrimental to the quality of the learning being delivered.

    This post is being advertised through other external networks.

    The project aims to:

     Increase the number of schools (school children participating) in Our Dynamic Earth and the Scottish Seabird Centre education programmes, specifically through outreach activity
     Expand the geographical coverage of the centres’ education programmes
     Reach rural and economically disadvantaged areas
     Increase the total number of school visits to both centres
     Increase the capacity of the centres to support the upper primary and secondary school curricula
     Provide teachers/schools with a range of pre and post visit teaching resources to support the outreach programme
     Provide teachers with the opportunity for Continuous Professional Development
     Increase the capacity of teachers to engage with the centres’ education programmes (outreach and in-reach familiarisation sessions)
     Encourage long term active engagement with individual schools (high level of repeat outreach and in-reach visits)
     Encourage children to visit both centres with their families

    I hope this encourages a wide range of applicants.

Comments are closed.