Welcome to the final newsletter of 2019. Looking back, this has been a pivotal year for the SCILT and CISS teams as we have made the move to our new location at The Ramshorn building in the heart of Glasgow’s innovation district.
Together with our partners and stakeholders, we’ve wished a long and happy retirement to Dr Hannah Doughty and Janette Kelso and said adieu to Louise Whyte who has returned to her post in school after a very successful 23 month secondment. Similarly, Angela de Britos and Clare Mouat have moved to pastures new as teaching fellows in the school of education here at Strathclyde and Eòghan Stewart has taken up a post of development officer at Bòrd na Gàidhlig. We’ve now welcomed a brand new team of professional development officers who join with our existing colleagues, bringing a wide range of expertise and “straight from the classroom” skills and knowledge. Paul Hare will lead on school-FE/HE liaison, Karen Faulds on parental engagement, Lisa Hanna on heritage languages and support for Advanced Higher, Sheena Bell on learning for sustainability and Lynne Jones on our professional learning offer. Finally, Meryl James and Robert Burgess continue to lead on all things CISS.
With a new team we have started to develop some new strategic partnerships to enhance our established ones. The Qatar Foundation International and e-Sgoil are working with us to make the learning and teaching of Arabic a possibility in our primary and secondary schools next year. Keep Scotland Beautiful is collaborating with six Scottish schools and their partners in Tianjin to create Climate Ready Classrooms in both Scotland and China. Save the Children and Scotdec are collaborating with us on parental engagement and learning for sustainability and the National Museum of Scotland is about to launch new activities for youngsters that have been developed in collaboration with colleagues in the CISS team.
Furthermore, our development officers have set up several Professional Learning Partnerships (PLP) with groups of both primary and secondary schools. The focus for each depends on the learning needs of the participants themselves. In collaboration, SCILT steers the framework of each partnership, creating time and space for discussion and sharing, and brings in other national partners from our network who can enhance the learning experience with a rich variety of skills and ideas. The PLP experience enables practitioners to look carefully at aspects of their practice that they wish to change, empowers them through professional sharing and dialogue and helps them to share what they have learned with others.
If you or your colleagues are interested in developing a Professional Learning Partnership in your local authority, please contact the SCILT team.
In the new year, our gaze will turn towards planning our support for the final implementation of Scotland’s 1+2 policy. We will be looking at our professional learning offer and considering how best to meet the needs of schools and local authorities. We will reflect on the kind of activities and events that will provide the greatest benefit to our stakeholders. As ever, we wish to be agile and responsive to the demands of the profession, so please let us know how we can tailor our work so we can offer you a high-quality service that is of maximum benefit and represents best value. Your ideas and suggestions are invaluable to us and we look forward to engaging with you in the new term.
All that remains for me is to wish you a restful and peaceful Christmas break, full of all the good things that the festive season brings. Here’s to 2020 and lang may yer lum reek!
Fhiona Mackay, Director
Download SCILT 1 + newsletter - December 2019 as PDF.