Page 1


the curriculum


RAISING THE BAR IN ABERDEEN SCHOOLS CITY SCHOOLS ON TRACK TO MEET PHYSICAL EDUCATION TARGET The Scottish Government recognises the positive impact Physical Education can have on a pupil's health, educational attainment and life chances and that it can form a key element of a school’s plan to deliver the broad health and wellbeing outcomes and experiences contained within Curriculum for Excellence. This includes a commitment that by June 2014, every school pupil in Scotland will benefit from at least two hours per week of Physical Education in P1 to P7 and two periods in S1 to S4. With regards to this target Aberdeen City Council is making significant progress especially within the primary sector. The figures from the 2013 Healthy Living Survey showed that only 66% of primary schools in Aberdeen were delivering the required two hours of Physical Education. Partnership working between schools and ACC Physical Education Lead Officers has boosted this figure to 90%.

On Monday 9th December Scottish Government announced additional funding of £5.8 million aimed at supporting local authorities to further improve the quality of Physical Education in schools. Two years of additional funding will allow Aberdeen City Council to build on the current work aimed at improving both the quality, as well as the quantity, of Physical Education on offer. This drive for ‘quality’ is already being

targeted through a structured programme of CPD aimed at supporting classroom teachers. Pupils will be encouraged to develop their learning within four key areas; physical competencies, physical fitness, cognitive skills and personal qualities. Transferrable skills such as problem solving, leadership, creativity, communication, determination and resilience will form a key focus of pupil learning.

Book your place at the Aberdeen Learning Festival 2014:

Reading Bus Interview with Storyteller Andy Wright What made you become a storyteller? My mother is blind and as a child although the written word was important in our family, it came second to the spoken word. My mother always told us wonderful stories that came to inspire me later in life. I also grew up in a largely Maori populated part of New Zealand, where part of our daily life was the oral based culture of the Maori people, I hope to tell some of these stories in Scotland. I guess I grew up surrounded by stories and storytelling it was only natural that as an adult I would tell stories. What is the best part about your job? The best part is seeing people, adults and children, take a journey through story. When you see hardened 15 year olds mesmerized by a medieval horror story, or 5 year olds laugh so much they wet their pants at the antics of an African hippopotamus, or adults taking a nostalgic trip into childhood. All these events bring me joy as I see people enjoy.

How would you describe your style? I guess most people would describe my style as theatrical and dynamic, and yet it is deeply rooted in traditional storytelling. I learnt my first stories from blind storytellers, so there is a lot of emphasis on voice and intonation, with little to no props. From the Maori culture I also developed a physicality about my storytelling, although the Haka is known as a war dance it also tells a story.

Where have you travelled to tell stories and where has been your favourite place? I have told stories throughout much of the world. Previously in Scotland and England, My current home Australia, and of course New Zealand. I have performed throughout much of South America which I visit most years to tell stories. I have told stories in China, Singapore and Hong Kong. Scotland is certainly in my top 3 of favourite places along with New Zealand and Argentina. Where do you get your inspiration from? Much of my inspiration comes from my childhood, and my favourite stories are those that are autobiographical in nature. I draw my stories from all cultures and places, and the key for me is finding characters that resonate with me. If the characters and the story resonate with me then I know I will tell it well.


What would like to do and see during your trip to Scotland? One of the best parts of travelling is meeting people, and I look forward to the friends I know I will make in Scotland. I will be visiting Loch Ness and of course would love to see the monster. For me this will also partly be about reconnecting with my past. My first names are Andrew Scott, and originally parts of my family came from Scotland. Like many New Zealanders I also grew up with much that was Scottish. Andy Wright will be taking his unique storytelling experience to Middleton Park and Danestone Primary schools on the 11th December and St Joseph’s on the 12th.

Literacy Hero Caroline Thain picked up her Literacy Hero award this week from the Duchess of Cornwall at a star studded ceremony at Clarence House. Caroline became one of the first winners of a competition by the National Literacy Trust to find Britain's top 10 literacy heroes. Each was picked because of the impact they had on a community's reading and writing skills, or because they have overcome literacy problems of their own. Others honoured included JK Rowling and Happy Days actor Henry Winkler, who is dyslexic and has written books about Hank Zipzer, a bright schoolboy with learning challenges.

Nominations were sought from the public and chosen by a panel which included authors Joanna Trollope, Cressida Cowell and Dorothy Koomson, entrepreneur Levi Roots, actor, comedian and writer Miles Jupp, and columnist Lucy Mangan.

Oil: The Sticky Stuff This term ‘The Reading Bus’ has been working in collaboration with TAQA and Bramble Brae Primary to explore the Oil industry. This exciting project aims to promote functional literacy through the context of scientific enquiry.

Caroline was nominated by Kieran Boyne, a second year pupil at Kincorth Academy, who, despite struggling with dyslexia, has been attending Caroline’s Creative Writing club. Kieran so enjoyed the experience that he was moved to nominate Caroline as his Literacy hero in a moving letter.

During the learning experience the class interviewed geologists, visited TAQA’s Aberdeen headquarters, participated in a workshop at the Maritime Museum and visited Aberdeen’s Oil Chapel. In addition, the young people have learnt about the significant changes the industry implemented after Piper Alpha.

Director of the National Literacy Trust, Jonathan Douglas, said the winners had all "made inspiring and significant strides to improve their own literacy or create positive opportunities for others". "Literacy Heroes and reading role models have never been more important at a time when our research shows that children's reading performance is declining, children are reading less and are holding more negative attitudes towards reading," he said.

Throughout the process, The Reading Bus’ Grace Banks has been busy promoting literacy across the curriculum. The class are creating an animation about Oil’s journey, as well as creating a personal project .Grace has delivered sessions on primary and secondary sources, effective questioning and note-taking. The class have also created powerful poems about Oil using onomatopoeia and alliteration. The children have gained so much from the experience. One pupil said:

“This whole oil project has been extraordinary and I have learned more about oil than I have ever known.” The class are looking forward to sharing their animations during a film premier at Bramble Brae. 3

PSQM SUCCESS In the third year of the national scheme, 23 awards were achieved by Aberdeen schools. There was an awards

presentation on Monday 11th November, attended by most of the schools. The city gained 15 Bronze Awards, 8 Silver Awards and a Gold Award. So far, since its Aberdeen launch in 2011, 34 schools across Aberdeen have achieved an award. The Primary Science Quality Mark is a joint project led by led from the University of Hertfordshire in partnership with the Primary Science Teaching Trust. It is supported by the network of Science Learning Centres, the Association for Science Education and the Wellcome Trust. In Aberdeen, it is thanks to the generous sponsorship by BG Group that so many schools can participate.

Back row, L-R: Fiona Saunders, ACC; James Packham, Mile End School; Matthew Crowther, Hazlehead School; Carolyn Quirie, Sunnybank School; Diane Rough, Kaimhill School; MIDDLE ROW (STANDING): Sarah-Elaine Will, Abbotswell School; Lorna Shipley, ACC; Campbell Kerr, Forehill School; Lilian Shivas, Hanover Street School; Kay McAra, Kingswells School; Jeanette Strang, Ashley Road School; Katie Glass, Bramble Brae School; Amanda Kirk, Gilcomstoun School; Lizzie Sinclair, Tullos School; Tara Farren, St. Joseph’s School; Charlie Penman, Head of Education, Policy & Performance in Aberdeen; Geraldine Brown, Primary Science Teaching Trust. FRONT ROW (SEATING): Catherine McDougall, Muirfield School; Laura Cowie, Ferryhill School; Patricia Maley, Holy Family School; Sima Jadid and Claire MacDonald, St. Peter’s School; Margaret Fraser, Milltimber School; Deborah Parrott, Fernielea School; Claire Rasmussin, Stoneywood School.

S6 SCIENCE AMBASSADORS Once again, we have S6 Science pupils working with Primary teachers to help deliver science. The S6 Ambassadors can work towards a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award and runs until exam time.


CITY SCIENCE This year 1419 pupils are undertaking the P6/7 Science Champions award. The award involves primary 6/7 pupils working with nursery and Primary 1 or 2 classes in their own school for one term and focuses on science. The award has two levels: Discoverer and Challenger. Dates for pupil training days are Monday 2nd December, Thursday 16th January, Friday 17th January, Friday 24th January (morning and afternoon) and Tuesday 28th January (morning only). November saw the launch of a middle stages homework booklet with a fantastic 1856 pupils engaging in it. The booklet aims to promote child & parent discussion around the scientific concept of an investigation along with increasing skills in science. We will be looking for feedback following the completion of the homework activities with which honest comments would be greatly appreciated. Watch this space for PSA playground science cards coming……………………

SENSATIONAL SATROSPHERE! You are invited to Satrosphere’s newest exhibition: Mission Possible! Mission Possible explores the complex issues of the bioeconomy through the use of interactive exhibits & workshops and is heavily integrated into the curriculum for excellence outcomes. The exhibition is designed to be suitable for all ages, addressing the complex issues of the bioeconomy through the use of touch-screens, interactive workshops, tours, a cinematic area and talks. This will be available for a six month period from November 2013 - April 2014. The exhibition has three main areas of interest: agriculture & fisheries, food & well-being and biotechnology & life sciences.

RESOURCES Don’t forget Satrosphere have a wide range of hands-on materials for exploring science and are happy to loan materials out to teachers that wish to explore topics in their classrooms before or after visiting Satrosphere with their class. They have designed loan boxes related to popular topics such as ‘energy,’ ‘colour and light,’ and ‘kitchen chemistry.’ Each loan box comes complete with teacher guides and activity ideas. They also have a variety of equipment such as microscopes, model skeletons and maths puzzles that are also available to borrow. There are still some free tickets available, to take your class. Contact: Education Team on 640340

REMINDER! NHC —> ABC The Aberdeen University Natural History Centre has changed its name and was re-launched as the Aberdeen Biodiversity Centre on 11th October.


ASSESSMENT AND REPORTING HEALTH AND WELLBEING – PRIMARY A recent audit on assessment and reporting for H&WB confirmed the views of the authority and those gathered at H&WB Network meetings. As a result of this consensus of opinion it has been decided that the authority will no longer be requesting specific details of Developing, Consolidating and Secure for the area of Health and Wellbeing.

There is also no longer a request for schools to report on these stages, only the levels being mandatory. A working party for Health and Wellbeing with a focus on assessment has been formed (volunteers indicated from the audit). The first meeting for this group will take place in December and will focus on assessment and providing support for the city .

P7 PUPIL PROFILE The first P7 Pupil Profile Working Group Meeting took place in November. It gave the group a chance us a to have a look at the collated evaluations that were sent out at the end of the academic session. An updated P7 Profile will be available and will be showcased at the P7 Pupil Profile CPD event in January.


Anna Royle presents to the Inter-Authority CPD audience

BUILDING CAPACITY IN MODERATION Congratulations to the Hazlehead ASG who were successful with their moderation bid. They have been awarded £3,000 by Education Scotland to support their project which showed manageable and sustainable approaches to moderation. The authority would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the ASG’s who showed an interest in applying and to remind them that support is available. A decision is still to be made on the Inter-authority Moderation bid.

Aberdeen City Assessment Team will be continuing to work closely with their Aberdeenshire counterparts. The Inset Day on 11 November brought the 2 together where the work of Paul Black on Dialogic Teaching and Moderation was showcased. There was also a focus on TACLAN. The object of the day was achieved to reinforce planning for learning, teaching, moderation and assessment. It is hoped that there will be an opportunity for more Inter-Authority projects in the future.

PROFILING Profiling CPD sessions have been arranged for all Probationer teachers. Any schools who would like CPD for staff should contact the Assessment team. A brief guide to Profiling, outlining the main principles and practices will become available soon.

port and development package. Given the many current and upcoming initiatives and changes, ASGs were reluctant to commit to further development at this time. We continue to explore potential electronic solutions and will keep schools informed.

A visit by a Didbook representative was well received. Didbook offers an electronic solution to many issues associated with profiling together with a comprehensive sup-



Anna Royle

Development Officers:

Lynda Blackwood Anne Bonsall

Shona Milne

Value Added

A small team has been set up to help schools make best use of value added data for improved outcomes for pupils. Training for schools can be tailored to suit and will focus on the interpretation and use of individual school data. Head Teachers have indicated their wishes, schools are now being contacted with a view to setting up tailored training sessions. Value Added Assessment Timetable PIPs



P3 & 5





P2,4 &6

Summer term (suggested)







Monitoring Project (VAMP)

TAPESTRY Two sessions have now been held for Year 2. With the last session focussing on Effective Questioning which not only tested our questioning skills but also put our maths skills to the test! I would like to extend a warm welcome to the schools that have just joined the Tapestry programme. Thank you to those who came along to Marischal College to have a chat about how things are going. The next step is to look at how the Tapestry principles and practices can continue after the end of the two year TLC programme – if you have any suggestions please let me know. Dates for your diary, next Tutor sessions are: Group A:

Tuesday 11th February – Harlaw Academy

Group B :

Thursday 13th February – Cults Academy

Group C and New Leaders: Thursday 13th February – Dyce Academy

USEFUL RESOURCES Assessment Resources available on the Education Scotland Website Go and click on Quality Assurance and Moderation which will take you to a one-stop-shop containing a range of resources to support quality assurance and moderation. 7

KIRKHILL PUPILS CELEBRATE SUCCESS Kirkhill Primary School pupils recently demonstrated their outstanding enterprising, organisational and entrepreneurial skills by hosting an excellent Business lunch at the Beach Ballroom. A large group of delegates from the education and business sectors heard from pupils about the range of enterprising projects happening in local schools.

The panel of speakers from the business world told the audience about the wide range of opportunities for young people in the Aberdeen area to become successful in the future. The afternoon finished off with a hands-on challenge set to test the mixed teams from the education and business worlds.

SCOTTISH ENGINEERING - SPECIAL LEADERS AWARD The Special Leaders Award is a challenge for Primary and Secondary school pupils in Scotland to research and interview inspiring engineers! Pupils are asked to research engineering and interview a practicing engineer to interpret the statement “lf you could be an engineer in Scotland – what would you do?”. Closing Date: 12th February—Find out more at:

CAREER ACADEMIES The Aberdeen City and Shire Career Academies programme was officially launched on the 1st October. Delegates at the event heard Wood Group Chief Executive, Bob Keiller, speak about the importance of taking opportunities and advice from mentors. During the afternoon students from the five pilot schools met their business mentors for the first time and are now looking forward to engaging with them on a regular basis. Early next year the students will learn about their 5 week Internship which is an opportunity for students to develop workplace skills whilst making a real contribution to their host organisation 8

Pupils and business leaders work together to meet the challenge

DO YOU KNOW THE NEXT RECRUIT? The Recruit programme continues to add value to young people by improving their skills for life and work. Running as part of the City Campus by Enterprise North East Trust , the programme takes The Recruits on a journey through enterprising challenges, industry visits and expert business talks. The programme is open to anyone in S4-6 in Aberdeen City schools. Previous participants have left the programme having secured employment, training places or chosen to return to study further academic qualifications.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alan Tullock Development Officer Enterprise and Applied Learning 01224 522849

NUMERACY BOARDS Numeracy Notice Boards are visible in many staffrooms across the city. The focus on Effective Questioning continues this term, with mathematical language the planned area of focus for Terms 3 & 4. Well done to all Numeracy Coordinators for their creativity in making the boards both attractive and informative.

STEERING GROUP NEWS The Numeracy Steering Group was invited to attend Aberdeen City’s Parent Council meeting in November. The group was happy to discuss how parents can support and develop their children’s numeracy skills. Representatives on the group from the Early Years Team, Family Learning and Primary and Secondary Schools gave a range of presen1. tations. The key message in all presentations was very much about “having a go” with an emphasis on identifying opportunities to practice and develop 2. numeracy skills in real life contexts. Parents heard that playing board games with children and even the well loved question “Are we there yet?” were opportu3. nities for numeracy fun! Parents were also invited to Spot the Maths in their daily routines and encouraged to be confident about sharing this with their children. Questions similar to these here were used to FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: stimulate discussion. Helen Cowie Quality Improvement Officer


Spot the Christmas Maths How much will you spend on stamps to post your Christmas cards? What weight of turkey will be needed to feed all your lunch guests? What time will you start cooking to ensure the lunch is ready on time?

Health Ambassadors Hazlehead Academy Northfield Academy and St.Machar Academy have appointed teams of pupil Health Ambassadors who attended a training day in Marischal College on 7th October. The Health Ambassadors are working with the Development Officer and NHS staff to identify health issues relevant to their school, then to produce an action plan to help tackle the problem. Pupils from S1 to S6 were involved and all showed eagerness and were well informed of the issues affecting their school and local community. If you want to take a look into what the Schools action plans were and how the schools are addressing their ideas then log on to to find out more.

Heartstart Heartstart is a programme which is sponsored by the British Heart Foundation, to train teachers to be able to teach life saving skills to secondary school pupils. Schools which affiliate are given training and support to implement the scheme, as well as Resusci-Anne dummies to use for the training. Five schools are already affiliated and three are showing interest. There is still time to sign up and get involved. heart-health/how-we-help/training/heartstart-uk.aspx

Outdoor Learning travel grant I am delighted to announce that CNPA, with support from Scottish Natural Heritage, has just launched a pilot grant scheme to support educational visits to the Park. Schools or voluntary groups who experience disadvantage can apply for up to £250 from the scheme. Priority will be given to schools and groups who have not visited the Park before and groups who support young people, those with disabilities, ethnic minorities and those who experience economic disadvantage or health inequality. If you know of any groups who may be eligible to apply, please forward this email to them. More details of the scheme are on our website (see link below), or contact me if you’d like paper copies of the application pack. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Development Officers: Stephen McPherson Tel No. 01224 522429 Rachel Thompson Tel No. 01224 551529 Elaine McConnachie


Bilateral Integration

Move-mber Scottish Government Challenge PE target

Bilateral Integration is a developmentally based movement and coordination programme that provides pupils with a greater opportunity to develop their physical literacy and repertoire of movement capacities such as those required in all aspects of learning throughout the school curriculum and beyond.

Schools in Aberdeen have been encouraged to be more active, more often as part of the city council’s Move-mber 2013 Initiative.

Two Aberdeen city council Physical Education lead officers recently attended a training course delivered by Education Scotland. The focus of this course was to exemplify the links between Bilateral movement and the CfE experiences and outcomes.

Pupils, parents and school staff have been increasing the amount of physical activity during the month of November. Pupils have been encouraged to keep physical activity diaries and to walk to school more often with their parents. Several head teachers have been cycling to work and back on a daily basis. Move-mber 2013 has even seen dance flash mobs breaking out in various locations around the city.

Schools looking to develop their use of Bilateral Integration to improve pupils physical literacy and concentration should contact either Gary Giles or Trish MacQueen.

Two lucky schools who have shown real commitment to Move-mber will receive Physical Education resources to the value of £3,000 from Fast Sports Ltd.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Development Officers: Gary Giles. Tel No. 01224 523914 Trish MacQueen Tel No. 01224 523592


Quality Physical Education can have a transformational impact on a pupil’s health, educational attainment and life chances and can form a key element of a school’s plan to deliver the broad health and wellbeing outcomes within Curriculum for Excellence. The Scottish Government recognises the positive impact Physical Education can have and as a result has made a commitment that by June 2014, every school pupil in Scotland will benefit from at least two hours per week of Physical Education in primary school, and two periods in S1 to S4. Figures from the Healthy Living survey 2013 showed that 67% of primary schools and 100% of secondary schools within Aberdeen were achieving this recommended target. With regards to this target, Aberdeen city council is making significant progress especially within the primary sector. The most accurate figure available at time of print was that approximately 90% of primary schools in Aberdeen were now delivering the required amount of Physical Education.

Improving learning opportunities to deliver better outcomes

Tuesday 18th February 2014 Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre

ACC Connecting the Curriculum - Issue 3  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you