Professional learning

Professional Learning Partnerships

Previous Professional Learning Partnerships (PLPs)

PLPs offer a collaborative and enquiring means of challenging thinking, considering practice and bringing about improvement. Schools, clusters and local authorities work with a SCILT Professional Development Officer over a period of time to improve an aspect of learning and teaching that schools have identified as requiring development. Examining evidence together, engaging in professional discussion and exploring practical ways forward, the partnership aims to effect positive change that impacts on learners.

This project aimed to support the learning and teaching of French in Early Years settings. Together all partners developed their understanding of and practice in using creative puppetry alongside play pedagogy with children in Early Years establishments and Primary 1 classrooms.

Early Years practitioners and P1 teachers developed their practice in creative approach to play-based pedagogy with embedded opportunities to learn and use French, as a context for supporting children’s social and emotional wellbeing. Read the Early Years Creative Puppetry case study on our website.

Over two years, teachers in several West Lothian primary schools chose to focus on strengthening literacy skills across languages. They were supported variously by local authority development officers with responsibility for Literacy, PEF and 1+2 Languages, as well as by SCILT and a bilingual theatre practitioner. In year 1, eight schools considered the needs of their learners and the demands of their school improvement plan before settling on a particular pedagogical approach and/or a selection of resources that they were interested in transferring to the context of teaching additional languages. In year 2, three schools collaborated to produce interdisciplinary learning materials and pupil-led drama activities to support reading and performance in L2. Read the West Lothian PLP Case Study on our website.

Modern Languages and Design & Technology teachers in five secondary schools across three challenge authorities collaborated with staff and students of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Strathclyde. The result was a highly competitive design challenge for sustainable homes in Latin America.

A Case Study of the project has been produced and is available for schools. Moderation templates were created using the Benchmarks and these have been included in the Case Study, together with resources from the project

Modern Languages departments in four secondary schools in West Lothian engaged in a journey of self-evaluation which looked closely at curriculum, pedagogy and learners’ experiences in the broad general education. A coaching approach was employed, with examples of current practice from other local authorities. Middle and senior leaders from schools in these authorities shared how they are currently meeting learner entitlement to languages in the BGE curriculum. Case study coming soon.

Together, the Lead Officer for Family Learning and the 1+2 Development Officer in North Ayrshire and one of the SCILT Primary PDO Team developed a seven-week project focusing on parental engagement and family learning. This project saw parents, grandparents and siblings and cousins learn about the culture and language of France together, complete with treats to win and to eat. 

Subsequently a Spanish version called ‘Arriba Familia’ was developed and the concept was taken up by other local authorities.  Read all about the original Wee Famille PLP.

Involved local authority representatives in Aberdeenshire, Perth & Kinross, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian working together and/or with a SCILT Professional Development Officer for between 6 and 18 months. 

Listen to a podcast about the West Lothian enquiry into learner experience of learning two languages in P7 and S1.

Read more about the Aberdeenshire and South Lanarkshire enquiry into teaching languages in multicomposite primary classes in Issue 33 of the Scottish Languages Review

Learners’ and teachers’ experience of progression in language learning in schools in Perth & Kinross was shared at the LanguageStrathclyde knowledge exchange event in June 2018.  Check out the posters about this enquiry.  

Coming soon

There are other PLPs currently underway and case studies will follow. 

If you have an idea for a collaborative project of this type, please email SCILT.

University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages