SELMAS forum 2018

Our forum this year did not disappoint: keeping alive the bold discussions about things that really matter to educators and to our system.  Like, for example, how do we manage provision for marginalised, young people? What can we learn about supporting them from some of the practices that are  taking place in non-mainstream (Newlands Junior College) settings? What valuable work is going on in alternative organisations who support young people, but not through schooling (like Wildfire Theatre, for example)?
Here are some of the very impressive young people from Newlands Junior College, Giancarlo and Eadan, confidently sharing their experiences at the forum: SELMAS 2018
Award winning actor and theatre maker, Pauline Lockhart of Wildfire Theatre also spoke about ways of engaging young people outwith traditional schooling structures.
Pauline is interviewing students and educators about their experiences of the education system for a new theatre piece.  “Behind School Doors”, is being developed for the Traverse Theatre with support from Edinburgh University and aims to shine a spotlight on our education system.
If you or your students would like to take part in the development of this new piece of theatre, please email Pauline at theatrewildfire@gmail.com.
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Finally, John Loughton, CEO of Dare2Lead and founder of the Scran Academy and Outstanding Youth of the Year 2013, inspired, challenged and energised us all with his passionate  account of how badly, sometimes, things can come across in the classroom from the other side of the desk. Relationships really matter.20180517_193606 (1).jpg

Brainstrust: Leading in time of significant change- a worm’s eye view

 

We are delighted that the Fife Pedagogy team shared their account of their first Brainstrust experience with us – read how they got on in the account below. Thanks to Ross for sending this in.download.jpg

 

Four members of the Fife Pedagogy Team attended the SELMAS Brainstrust event centred on ‘Leading Change in Changing Times’.  Peter McNaughton, Head of Education and Children’s Services in Fife spoke passionately about what he believes are the key attributes and qualities of effective leadership in times of significant change.

Key messages which particularly resonated with us were those of building strong relationships with pupils, staff and parents and empowering leaders at all levels in order to create a shared vision.
‘Releasing Energy’ in such a way throughout our learning communities, involving all stakeholders and their skillsets, can drive improvements and deliver effective and sustainable change.

We also recognise that in a continually changing world, schools/leaders must be ready to evaluate existing practices within their setting, using data, first of all to support collaborative planning of models and then throughout to ensure that any change in approach has a positive impact on our learners.

Our team were delighted to have the opportunity to discuss the key challenges in relation to the changing educational landscape. As various discussions generated a number of key reflection points to consider moving forward.

The team look forward to learning more about future SELMAS events to connect with our partners to effectively support young people.  

Fife Pedagogy Team

Risk and Change Conference – presentations

We don’t like you to miss out so, in case you missed it,  here is the full programme from our recent conference with presentations embedded, where possible in the presenter’s name. Here are some SELMAS members and speakers working hard on the day!

SELMAS Conference: 6th February 2018

Risk and Change: The Challenge of Leadership

Jay Helbert Head teacher Glassary Primary School and Tayvallich Pre-school                and Primary School

 Lesley Riddoch Commentator, broadcaster and author

 Practitioner session: Gillian Hunt:  Independent Educational Consultant

Janice Macinnes Senior Education Manager (Early Years), Schools and Lifelong             Learning, City of Edinburgh Counci

Fiona MacDonald  Head teacher, Cross Arthurlie Primary

Kate_ROBINSON_ Head of Strategic Operations, HundrED

Anthony Dunn  Working with schools to transform internal and extended communities

 

Louis Moore – Louis’ Eggs. Student entrepreneur

Practitioner session 2: Gillian Hunt,  Stephen Ross Head teacher Craigroyston High School, John Davis    Professor of Childhood Inclusion, University of Edinburgh

John Swinney  Deputy First Minister

Conversation – DFM and Keir Bloomer

Reflections : Keir Bloomer Independent Educational Consultant

 

SELMAS Brains Trust: A free seminar open to all

Worlde SJ2

22 March 2018, 4.00-6.00pm:

Inverkeithing Primary School, Hillend Road, Inverkeithing, KY11 1PL

Leading in  time of significant change

Come and discuss  with Peter McNaughton, Head of Service, Fife Council.

Book your place on eventbrite now – don’t delay!

 

The biggest challenge we face as educators in 2018 is to deliver on the promise of Curriculum for Excellence. It can be argued that we are too far into what is inaccurately known as the ‘new’ curriculum, to cite its ‘newness’ as the reason the anticipated improvement in achievement and attainment for children across the board has yet to materialise, or to explain why international comparisons fail to show that Scottish education is once again moving towards its rightful status as a world leader.

Peter is Head of Service in the Education and Children’s Services Directorate in Fife Council. As a former HMI and with a wealth of experience in school improvement, Peter will give his honest and unequivocal assessment of the successes and failures along the way, as teachers have worked to implement Curriculum for Excellence. He will suggest where we go from here in addressing the issues and realising the ambitions we have for all our young people.

Come along and hear what Peter has to say, then engage with him and with colleagues in discussing how we can Make Scottish Education Great for every single child and young person.

We are grateful to Inverkeithing Primary School for hosting this SELMAS Brains Trust, which is a FREE event, open to ALL with an interest in this important issue. Inverkeithing is readily accessible from the Queensferry Crossing and by train. Support us as we try to move more SELMAS events outwith Edinburgh

 

 SAVE THE DATEpptxSELMAS Forum: Coming soon

17 May 2018, 6.00 – 9.00pm

St Georges School, Edinburgh

More details soon on https://welcometoselmas.wordpress.com/

Our BIG Ideas from Changing Futures 2017

Flickr Photo: Big Idea by moore.owen38 – CC BY

Participants at our annual conference were treated to a range of talks, discussions and challenges around equity and education of young people on the margins of our system. Over the course of the day, everyone was invited to share a ‘Big Idea’ describing a reflection, action, or intention that was generated at the conference, and here they all are!

Our Big Ideas

o Every child in school needs a mentor with whom they feel connected

o Would changing the school holiday system help to support the most vulnerable, with emphasis on the development of a more holistic approach to education?

o Key components of success:

– notice and be noticed

– hope

– kindness

– breaking the cycle

– resilience

– empathy

– compassion

– local action

o How do we upskill teachers to practically and effectively support behaviour management?

o Recruitment drive to place well qualified , motivated staff in schools

o End the private school system

o John Swinney didn’t mention the responsibilities and contribution that parents/carers must assume at the earliest stages of a child’s life to get success. Is it conceivable that in years to come these vital people will be equipped to make that vital contribution?

o Regardless of SIMD or free school meal entitlement, there are more emotionally vulnerable pupils in our schools. We need counsellors to support these individuals and the budget to do it

o A one year “Working with Families” element of every undergraduate course where police, Social Workers, Education, Health, the Voluntary sector, Leisure, etc all learn together!! We train professionas separately then expect them to be holistic

o Relationships make a difference – small acts of kindness like smiling, welcoming families at school gate, asking, “How are you?”

o Restructuring of education – a move away from age and stage towards what young people need/want to be taught at a time that suits them.

o Upskilling parents to support their child

o Resilience

o Building trust

o Holistic support from birth

o Mental health practitioner in schools

o Has anyone closed the gap? How did they do it?

o How can we be creative and strategic in Edinburgh with attainment funds?

We need more family support workers in our schools and be as focused on how children/young people experience school and not just what they learn. Are they included, cared for and believed in?

o More training on mental health awareness and the impact it has on children and young people

o Does the Government see/feel that increased pressure on schools in terms of publishing standardised test results could conflict with the opportunities to be creative and courageous with pupil equity funding?

o If no more money, then adults spending time, building relationships. Fewer leading lessons – class sizes?

o Most adults who have had adverse childhood experiences say that they need 1:1 support from a trusted adult in school. As a teacher it frustrates me that specialised supports are not readily available and are usually services that are first to be cut when saving budgets,

o Too much/too little time testing? S4-s6 spend one third of their time doing exams, but literacy/numeracy declining?

o Scottish pilots – Pilrig or others? Starting school aged 7, more nursery instead?

Annual Conference 2017: Jamie’s reflections

 

The first in a series of reflections from some participants at our annual conference, Changing Futures, on Thursday 2nd February 2017. More to come! Jamie is a youth and community worker with the Spartans Community Football Academy – a new type of school that’s about a whole lot more than football! Find out more on this link, or contact Spartans directly – details below.

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The day kicked off with a review of the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Study, which looked at the impact of ACE experiences on the child and how this impacts in later life. Some examples of this are:

–       Children who suffer ACE’s but have someone to talk to are

less likely to suffer substance abuse and/or crime issues.

–       Children who suffer ACE’S are likely to suffer the consequences of these later in life.

–       Children with 4 or more ACE’s are 32 times more likely to have difficulties with learning.

 

We heard the stories of two volunteers, who have both had ACE’s, who have now turned their lives around – one who spent significant time in a mental health institute and the other who is a recovered heroin addict. These young people are now volunteers from the Turn Your Life Around.

 

The woman who had previously been in a mental institute (amongst several other issues) has now set up her own social enterprise called Real Talk: Storytelling for Mental Wellbeing.

The second volunteer is also now working with a charity called Aid and Abet.

It was particularly interesting to hear the story of Tracy Berry from Forthview Primary School, who is the Family Support Teacher. Her sole job is to engage and build rp1040336elationships with the parents of pupils at the school. Eileen Littlewood, headteacher at Forthview, says Tracy’s success has “literally saved lives”. She spoke a lot about the importance of helping the parents and the evidence that points towards this directly helping young people in education.

 

I particularly enjoyed about hearing from two Care Experienced Campaigners from Who Cares? They described their experiences of living in the care system and how they believe it  can be improved.

 

John Carnochan – an “interested bystander” spoke at length about how he believes the education system can be improved – in particular proposed that children shouldn’t start school until they are 7.

 

 

Jamie Tomkinson

Youth and Community Worker

 

The Spartans Community Football Academy

94 Pilton Drive, Edinburgh EH5 2HF

0131 552 7854

www.spartanscfa.com

@Spartans_CFA

#hereforgood

Annual Conference: “Changing Futures: Believing in our young people.”

BOOKING NOW OPEN

Following last year’s highly successful conference in the Caves, on the theme of “Equity and Aspiration in Education”, booking is now open for this year’s event.

The theme will be “Changing Futures: Believing in our young people” chosen by the SELMAS Committee to continue the focus on issues related to the educational experiences of those young people whose needs are not being met by our current system. As always we have signed up a number of spirited and challenging speakers to stimulate discussion and reflection.

These will include:
John Swinney MSP, our Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills who will outline current Government strategies designed to “Close the Gap.”
Mairi Breen, headteacher of Braehead Primary School who will describe how her teachers are making a real and lasting difference to children in their school who are living in poverty.
John Carnochan who as a senior police officer worked for many years in some of the most deprived communities in Scotland where the levels of poverty and deprivation were usually matched by a sense of hopelessness and disconnection from society.
Cathy McCulloch, Co-Director of the Children’s Parliament which works with children in the context of family, school and community. The Parliament connects children with each other, with adults, with their communities and allows them to influence the development of better services for children.
Sarah-Jane Linton and some of the young people from Who Cares? Scotland which is a national voluntary organisation, working with care experienced young people and care leavers across Scotland.
As always the Conference aims to offer stimulating and creative thinking around this key issue for all educators, and an opportunity to engage with others in thought-provoking discussion.

The venue is the Radisson Blu Hotel, 80 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1TH and the date is February 2nd 2017

Book via eventbrite: http://bit.ly/SELMAS020217
This conference is supported by and in partnership with SCEL, the Scottish College for educational Leadership
SCEL