All posts in the ‘curriculum areas’ Category
- May 21st, 2013
- Comments: none Tags: Tags: battlefield visits, first world war, world war one
: Categories CPD, europe, international, secondary schools, social studies
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.
- May 16th, 2013
- Comments: none Tags: : Categories europe, international, languages, primary schools, social studies
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.
- May 16th, 2013
- Comments: none Tags: Tags: first world war, world war one
: Categories commonwealth, europe, international, social studies
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.
- May 9th, 2013
- Comments: none Tags: Tags: europe day, european union
: Categories CPD, europe, international, social studies
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.
- May 9th, 2013
- Comments: none Tags: Tags: refugees
: Categories citizenship, expressive arts, international, languages, religious and moral education, social studies
Refugee Week Scotland 2013 will be staged between 17th and 23rd June, and this year’s festival will celebrate the contributions that refugees and asylum-seekers have made in their Scottish communities and the welcome that they have received. There is a fascinating mix of heritages and cultures among people who have made new homes in Scotland, adding to the diversity and richness of everyday life in our communities. This annual celebration provides a focus for exploring and demonstrating that richness, and there will be events in many parts of the country. Details are available in the programme downloadable from the RWS webpages.
It is also an opportunity for educators. Many schools will run special activities during the week, bringing in members of the local community who came to Scotland as refugees to explain their situation and present aspects of their cultural, linguistic and religious background. Teachers will facilitate discussion and investigation of topics such as migration, citizenship and identity with students. Issues such as prejudice and discrimination, and the media coverage around subjects such as immigration, are discussed frequently. There are high-quality education materials and teacher resources, often produced by charities such as the British Red Cross, which assist teachers in planning activities on a Refugee theme.
- May 9th, 2013
- Comments: none Tags: : Categories citizenship, CPD, international, religious and moral education, secondary schools, social studies
Scottish Government has announced funding for a further two years of Scottish schools participation in the ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ programme managed by the Holocaust Education Trust. This programme has already enabled hundreds of Scottish high school students and teachers to learn more about the genocide of World War Two through preparatory seminars with Holocaust survivors, a visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland, and follow-up work back in Scotland. Students commit to sharing their learning from the experience, and this sharing takes many forms: school assemblies and presentations are most common, but a growing number of students have made videos to spread their message and some of these are now available on YouTube for a worldwide audience.
The extension of the programme will enable two large-scale groups each year in the autumn of 2013 and 2014, and HET will be recruiting participants from Scottish schools very soon. A BBC Scotland story reported on the extension of the programme.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust recently revealed that the theme for national commemoration events in January 2014 will be ‘Journeys‘. The campaign materials and resources produced by HMDT each year are well used by teachers and tutors to support learning about the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.
The need to challenge prejudice and discrimination in society, preparing our young people to be active and responsible citizens, continues to be a major impetus behind these kinds of educational programmes.
- May 3rd, 2013
- Comments: none Tags: Tags: CG2014, Glasgow 2014
: Categories commonwealth, curriculum areas, expressive arts, games and sport, health and wellbeing, international, social studies
Game On Scotland, the official education programme for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, launched this week with the first of many fresh activities for the months ahead. The programme is a partnership to ensure that learners benefit from the connections made possible by Glasgow hosting the Games, with partners including CG2014 organisers, Education Scotland, Glasgow City Council, and Scottish Government.
Organisers, funders, Ministers, school pupils and teachers gathered at Kelvingrove Art Gallery to kick-off an art competition which asks pupils to create posters to decorate the rooms in the new Athletes’ Village. The competition will engage the creative skills and imagination of young people, and generate wonderful artwork and designs for the visiting sportsmen and sportswomen to enjoy. Schools should register on the website to take part. News pieces from Glasgow City Council and the CG2014 Legacy team cover this initiative, and the ‘Evening Times’ article ‘Top tips as pupils bid for Games art honour’ gave it local newspaper attention.
The brand-new Game On Scotland education website provides essential information about the CG2014 Games and the nations and territories of the Commonwealth. It offers teachers a variety of resources and suggestions for actitivities to engage young learners through the curriculum. A Calendar assists teachers to plan work to link in with key developments. Its image and video library will grow as the start of the Games in July 2014 gets closer, and there will be further competitions and challenges to get young people involved. Schools can register and see their own goals included on the site’s interactive map.
School visits by official mascot ‘Clyde’ are already very popular, and the first closing date in the Mascot visit competition is very soon. Grab the opportunity to be among the lucky schools!
- April 15th, 2013
- Comments: none Tags: Tags: development education
: Categories CPD, expressive arts, international, learner voice, sharing practice, social studies
Scottish education professionals do a great deal of work in schools to promote global citizenship and support student learning about issues of International Development, aid, rights and diversity, etc. Many of our teachers benefit each year from the resources, training, and project opportunities offered by NGOs and charities. These offerings support professional learning and enhance classroom practice with pupils. Here are a few examples currently available and useful for motivated teachers.
The ‘Stride’ magazine is produced twice a year by the IDEAS network of organisations involved in development education. The new edition focuses on gender equality, and contains a mix of articles, news pieces, classroom activities, etc. It is available in print form by contacting IDEAS and can also be downloaded in PDF from their website.
NIDOS is a consortium of Scottish NGOs involved in International Development, and on 17th May it is running a one day free event titled ‘Scotland 2013 and beyond’, to be hosted in Edinburgh. The day will provide opportunities to discuss the values and principles that should underpin Scotland’s international development role now and in the future. Humza Yousaf, Scottish Government’s Minister for External Affairs and International Development, will be the keynote speaker. Some of the day’s content will be about education, and teachers would be welcome as participants.
The ‘Scotland Goes Global’ project, managed by NUS Scotland and funded by Scottish Government, has launched a Photo Competition for young people aged 14-18 years old. It invites them to create and submit a photo capturing the spirit of global citizenship, with a deadline of 7th June. The winner will be announced at a project celebratory event in Glasgow on 20th June. Full details on their website.
- April 10th, 2013
- Comments: none Tags: Tags: hate speech
: Categories citizenship, europe, ICT, international, languages, religious and moral education, social studies
In recent years the continuing development of the Internet, especially in the areas of mobile access and Social media applications, has enabled positive examples of free speech and ‘people’s voice’ but also many examples of Hate Speech. This form of Human Rights abuse “covers all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify racial hatred, xenophobia, antisemitism or other forms of hatred based on intolerance” (Council of Europe definition). One current example might be Romaphobia and the abuse of Roma people.
Now the Council of Europe has launched an online portal for its ‘No Hate Speech movement’, as part of its programme of work with young people in support of democratic citizenship and Human Rights. This European youth campaign aims to combat racism and discrimination “by equipping young people and youth organisations with the competences necessary to recognise and react against such human rights violations”. The project is achieving this through training cohorts of young activists, raising awareness, lobbying policy-makers, etc. The campaign website includes presentation slides for local use as a stimulus for discussion and participation, accompanied by use of social media and YouTube channels to disseminate material and encourage action.
Teachers and others working with young people may find this campaign useful for students and young people learning about cyber-bullying and behaviour online, and also for citizenship issues such as equality and diversity. Adult learners could equally explore these issues from a community concern perspective.
- April 10th, 2013
- Comments: none Tags: Tags: primary education
: Categories citizenship, health and wellbeing, international, social studies
Many Scottish schools already take part in the annual ‘Send My Friend to School’ campaign, part of a global effort to increase the availability of education in the developing world by lobbying world leaders and politicians to take action.
One of the UN Millennium Development Goals adopted by world nations is make primary education available to all children by 2015, recognising this right as being fundamental to development. But the reality is that many millions of children are missing out on an education, and that many more teachers are needed. The 2013 campaign focuses on those missing teachers. It aims to persuade governments to follow through on commitments to provide targeted aid and increase the number of children receiving a quality education.
The ‘Send My Friend to School’ organisation produces resources to help teachers support this campaign and raise key underlying issues with their students. There are Teacher guides, web resources, presentation slides, print materials and stickers, and suggestions for activities that will engage students. A DVD with video clips comes as part of the schools pack. Teachers can register on the site to request a copy of the pack in the post, and to get updates on campaign progress.