On the 5th September 2013 the Vine Trust will be running its next ‘Global Student Forum’ for secondary students in Perth Concert Hall. This year the theme will be ‘Education beats Poverty’, getting pupils to engage with the issue through presentations, discussions and interactive sessions.
In previous years the GSF conferences have explored issues such as the Millennium Development Goal related to Maternal Health. At these events students get to grips with complex issues and increase their understanding of how they can make a personal contribution to the development of a better world as global citizens.
Full details are available on the GSF2013 webpages and a downloadable flyer includes the registration information.
Scotland’s Environment Website seeks to inspire young people to get more involved in their environment and talking about what they think is important. Information will be provided to schools that will support classroom and online discussions on different environmental topics, a competition will be held with tempting prizes for individuals, classes, teams and groups, and an ambitious closing event will report back on the issues raised throughoutScotlandand recognise the valued efforts of all those got involved.
These youth discussion activities have all been designed to support learning and teaching so teachers, youth workers and young people are all invited to take part. For more information visit Scotland’s Environment Web
New activity-based materials will be online from August and will cover topics such as water for life, the water cycle, water and waste water treatment, engineering, science, health, water efficiency, water safety, innovation, climate change, careers and WaterAid.
Working with STEMNET and Eco-Schools, the new materials can be used in and outside the classroom.
Clearer, fresher learning – available to download from August at www.scottishwater.co.uk/education
Join pupils around the world for the first ever Commonwealth Class debate.
How it works
In class, watch the film on the Commonwealth Class website about the ‘women behind the fastest man alive’. Talk about this in class and gather some opinions, examples and comments to share with pupils around the world.
We’ll publish pupils’ opinions right here, allowing schools to respond and converse in real time.
We aim to include as many contributions as possible.
The BBC, the British Council and the Commonwealth Secretariat have joined forces to bring you Commonwealth Class, an exciting new opportunity for schools.
Commonwealth Class is a special initiative that provides teaching resources, online debates and interactive activities for schools to mark the run-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It celebrates the values of the Commonwealth and connects schools and young people as they learn about how to be active, responsible global citizens as part of the Commonwealth family.
The Commonwealth Class education pack is an exciting resource designed to teach young people about Commonwealth values such as rights and responsibilities, protection of the environment, respect for others and what people need to lead healthy lives free from poverty.
Produced by the British Council, the resource pack contains cross-curricular activities, short films and discussion guides with learning outcomes that link to key skills, curriculum subjects and Commonwealth values. Activities include what qualities you need to be a successful Commonwealth athlete, and an exploration of the route of the Queen’s Baton Relay which will visit all 71 countries and territories taking part in the 2014 games.
Get set for 2014 and download the British Council Commonwealth Class education pack today.
BBC online debates
Commonwealth Class partner, the BBC, is hosting a series of monthly online debates commencing this summer. The debates are intended to create a platform for schools in the UK and Commonwealth countries to teach and learn together.
The first debate in the series will take place on Thursday 13 June.
Visit Schools Online and sign up to Commonwealth Class for more resources and interactive activities that support lesson planning and teaching across the curriculum
And a week before the first debate you can visit the BBC’s Commonwealth Class website to find out how you can take part!
- May 24th, 2013
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Our annual educational conference and exhibition, the Scottish Learning Festival 2013, will be held in Glasgow on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th September 2013. Each year this event offers a great range of keynote speakers, workshop presenters, and professional discussions. The exhibition side of the show, including the Cultural Village, offers further opportunity for stimulating new ideas. This year the theme of the show is “Raising the bar in Scotland – transforming lives through learning“.
The event is free to attend, and now the full programme is ‘live’ on the web and also available for download. Search for seminars, and then complete your registration. Many keynotes and seminars fill up quickly, so get your registrations started !
This year’s programme includes some very good opportunities for teachers interested in global citizenship education and international perspectives. There are seminars on approaches to rights-based education, global citizenship in a primary school, political literacy, the Game On Scotland education programme, outdoor learning, challenging sectarianism, and changing children’s attitudes towards the world we live in. One of the keynote sessions will consider ‘what Scotland can learn from educational change in Finland’ and one of the seminars will describe Quality and equity in education and the PISA international survey outcomes.
We attract thousands of educators to SLF each year to learn from the research, policies and practice of others and to share their experience. This large audience includes hundreds of international delegates, from all over Europe and also Australasia and North America.
Come and join us in Glasgow in September.
As part of a programme of national commemorative activity to mark the centenary anniversaries of key events in World War One, and the war’s impacts on the lives of people in Scotland, the Scottish Government has announced funding for a scheme to subsidise secondary school group visits to the battlefields of western Europe.
The First Minister made this announcement on a visit to Turriff Academy in Aberdeenshire, which has a group of third year students leaving soon to complete a battlefield tour. World War One had a major impact in communities such as Turriff, with many local men killed and wounded in the various campaigns on land and at sea.
Educational visits usually cover the battlefields, military cemeteries, memorials and interpretation centres in areas of France such as the Somme. Many thousands of Scottish soldiers were killed and injured on the Western Front during the war, and student groups can research the personal stories of some of those soldiers and reflect on the sacrifices the soldiers made. The visits enhance the learning of students about the history of this period and increase their understanding of the war, its causes and consequences.
The subsidy scheme will be administered by Historic Scotland, with details available from their website.
The Euroquiz competition for Scottish primary schools has just completed its annual cycle. Congratulations to the team from Cradlehall Primary school in Inverness, the 2013 winners. A Highland Council news story reports on their success. Well done to all the teams that took part in the finals, and to all the schools that participated in the contest in the earlier stages.
Euroquiz is a competition which encourages the development of knowledge about Europe and the European Union among young people in primary education across Scotland. After winning the heat in their own local authority area, the top teams go forward to compete in the national finals, which this year took place in the Scottish Parliament debating chamber. The whole final event was broadcast on the Parliament’s TV channel, so that pupils back in their home schools could watch their team-mates in action, and the video is available for viewing.
Note: Image © Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body – 2013. Licensed under the Open Scottish Parliament Licence v1.0.
World War One was the first global conflict, with military action in Europe but also in other continents and oceans. Millions of citizens were actively participating in some aspect of the military effort on one side or another, and millions more were affected in their home and society. The war started in 1914, and in the period 2014-2019 many nations will mark the anniversaries of key events, and also the impacts in their own country. Learning opportunities will form a key part of commemorations.
The UK and Scottish Governments have already announced work to commemorate WW1 anniversaries and impacts, through agencies such as the Imperial War Museum, and the next five years are likely to feature many new projects and resources. The Commemorations Panel set up by Scottish Government has started its work, and many teachers are already planning activities which will increase learning. Education Scotland will be involved in work with schools, local authorities, heritage and cultural organisations, and with other interested contributors. We already have an online resource to support Higher History, on the ‘Impact of the Great War’.
Students will often get involved in learning about some aspect of WW1, not just its history at international and national level but in other subjects too; and also researching the changes that took place in their own local community. For example a study of the War Memorial in their village or town, the names of the individuals inscribed on it, the stories behind those names and battles, and the post-war changes in the area.
Today the Heritage Lottery Fund launched its first dedicated funding programme to help communities mark the WW1 centenaries. Titled ‘Then and Now’, this funding offers small grants for communities and groups, including young people, to research their heritage, deepen their understanding, and share their knowledge. This scheme will complement other work already underway with lottery funding. The HLF website ‘Then and Now’ pages give details about the scheme and examples of the kinds of heritage investigation work it will support.
The Education Scotland website will be featuring a new area focused on WW1, and will highlight key resources, opportunities, events and assets that can increase learning in curricular and informal settings.
For teachers, there are opportunities in so many subject areas to use a European dimension to enhance curriculum activity. The most frequent examples are in social studies, modern languages, science, and health and well-being, but connections can be found in every area if the teacher is keen. Students appreciate learning about real-world contexts, and enjoy the chance to think about what it actually means to be a young citizen of Europe.
For older citizens of Europe, the study visits and professional development opportunities through the Comenius and Transversal strands of the Lifelong Learning Programme have improved the worklife and practice of many education professionals in Scotland. Comenius International School Partnerships have connected Scottish schools and students with their EU counterparts for thoughtful and innovative collaborative projects. And the eTwinning programme has enabled hundreds of Scottish schools to collaborate with partners in countries such as Finland and run exciting work which our pupils enjoy.
Next week the annual ‘EuroQuiz’ competition for primary schools will hold its Finals Round in the Scottish Parliament chamber, a great way for pupils to find out more about the democratic process in Scotland and in Europe.
For many teachers (including the author), Europe Day is also a chance to celebrate the friendships made over the years with teachers in Romania, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Spain and so on, friendships which lead to further projects and school links.
There are many resources for teachers to help them embed a European dimension in their teaching, such as these examples made available from the European Parliament and the European Commission. Analysis and discussion of Media coverage is also much used by teachers; for example, this recent piece in the Guardian.
The EU keeps on changing, and the recent economic problems across most member states have stimulated wide-scale discussion about the future of the Union. But still more countries apply to join, as this BBC story “EU enlargement: the next eight” summarises.
Celebrations for Europe Day 2013 in Scotland are now nearly over. Let’s look ahead to future years and further celebrations.