All posts in the ‘europe’ 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.
- 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.
- February 27th, 2013
- Comments: none Tags: Tags: european union
: Categories creativity, europe, expressive arts, international, social studies, technologies
At this time of year many Scottish primary schools will have pupil teams involved in local heats for the annual EuroQuiz competition organised by the Scottish European Educational Trust. Teachers make use of a great variety of print and online resources as they prepare their classes for the contest. The European Parliament has provided funding support for Euroquiz in 2013.
Now the European Commission has produced a new resource called “The Mystery of the Golden Stars“, available in print form and for download from their website in PDF form. The resource aims to introduce upper primary pupils to some aspects of the European Union in a cross-curricular, fun and informative way. It has two components: a story book for each pupil, and an activity guide for the teacher. Any school wanting to order print copies can do so through the online form.
For teachers, there is also “EU explained“, a very useful guide produced by the Hansard Society. This teaching resource has more of a focus on the democratic and political aspects of the EU and its decision-making, to give students a great awareness of how to influence the decisions that affect their lives.
Finally, the ‘Our Europe’ video competition for secondary pupils. This contest asked pupil teams to create a short film to raise awareness of the impacts of the EU on young people’s lives. Pupils researched the issues as preparation for the creative period, and learnt a lot about the European Union in the process. The winning entries will be available online later in the year.
- January 7th, 2013
- Comments: none Tags: : Categories citizenship, europe, expressive arts, international, religious and moral education, social studies
In the UK we mark Holocaust Memorial Day each year on 27th January, the anniversary of the day on which the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was liberated by Soviet armed forces. Many teachers will address the themes of genocide, prejudice and discrimination through educational activities during January. This work will not be solely contained in History lessons, spreading across many areas of the curriculum and school life.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust selects a theme each year as a focus for commemorative activities in the UK. In 2013 the theme is ‘Communities together: Build a Bridge’, aiming to remember the victims and to encourage today’s citizens to challenge hatred and prejudice and promote rights. Their 2013 campaign website provides background information, links to local events, and resources to help local organisers run appropriate programmes. The HMDT approach includes coverage of the Holocaust of World War Two and also more recent genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and the Sudan.
Here in Scotland each year a different Local Authority takes the lead for Holocaust Memorial Day. Glasgow City Council will lead national commemorations, with events in the City Chambers and in schools in the weeks before and after the 27th. Education Scotland will use the national education intranet service Glow to extend some of this Glasgow activity to a wider audience in other Scottish schools; for example, a one hour online session on the 23rd in which school pupils interpret ‘Communities together: Build a Bridge’ through the arts in film, drama, song and more.
The Education Scotland Online Service has a collection of resources and links that will be helpful for teachers who are planning lessons around this issue.More
- December 10th, 2012
- Comments: none Tags: Tags: human rights, nobel prize, peace
: Categories citizenship, europe, international, social studies
Today, on international Human Rights Day 2012, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the European Union in recognition of its work over the years to make Europe a “continent of peace”. The member states of the EU successfully created a community which has embraced peace and the benefits of cooperation when appropriate.
The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded annually by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and the three Presidents of the major EU institutions accepted the Prize at a ceremony in Oslo. Reports on the awards ceremony in the Guardian and BBC News provide background and commentary.
The European Parliament showed the Oslo ceremony live on its Europarl TV, and will hold a special ceremony in Strasbourg tomorrow to symbolically hand over the Prize to citizens of the EU. The Parliament also made a special video clip “Europe, from war to peace” to celebrate the award.
- November 28th, 2012
- Comments: none Tags: Tags: european citizenship, european parliament
: Categories europe, ICT, international, learner voice
The competition invites schools “to offer students the chance to work on an engaging interdisciplinary project, combining Modern Languages with Modern Studies and Media/ICT”. Each team will consist of two S3 and two S6 pupils, and in the first round they will work together to produce “a storyboard and an audio or video pitch describing what makes you a European and how the European Parliament affects you”. The best teams from the first round will then get the opportunity to make their film, working with media professionals from Radio Lingua. The final round participants will pitch their film to experts in Brussels.
- September 26th, 2012
- Comments: none Tags: : Categories curriculum areas, europe, ICT, international, languages, modern languages
Today is European Day of Languages 2012, and schools and organisations across the European Union will be running special activities to celebrate the excitement and value of foreign languages. Here in Scotland, SCILT is running a competition for schools to recognise their achievements in organising EDL activities which demonstrate four criteria: creativity and innovation; pupil voice and responsibility; interdisciplinary learning; and partnership working or parental involvement.
Education Scotland has launched ‘Passeport pour la Francophonie‘, a new resource for primary school practitioners which offers an introduction to the French-speaking world and resources for learners. It has a particular focus on France, Gabon, Egypt, Madagascar and Polynesia.
The European Commission has published a report on foreign language learning which indicates that children start their learning at an increasingly early age in European nations.
Scottish Government recently announced increased support for the teaching of modern languages in Scottish schools.More