Examples bring new curriculum to life

27 Jan 2010 01:44 PM

A toolkit with case studies, film clips, images and a bank of slides designed to help teachers talk confidently to parents about the new curriculum, was launched today.

During a visit to Fossoway Primary, which features in the Birds on Loch Leven Project case study, Education Secretary Michael Russell urged teachers to take advantage of the new resource to update parents on the Curriculum for Excellence.

Mr Russell said:

"Bringing learning to life in new and innovative ways is what Curriculum for Excellence is all about. It has been designed to make learning more interesting and relevant and to better equip young people with the skills and knowledge they need for the future.

"Learning can take place in a variety of places - not just the classroom and The Birds on Loch Leven project is a great example of this. Pupils were studying local birds in the wild then drawing them in art, studying their migration routes in science, developing their literacy skills through poetry and using the internet to find out more about the birds.

"As changes to learning and teaching begin to take place in schools around Scotland, we know that parents want to hear more about what's going on. And our research shows that they want to hear from those who are teaching their children.

"That's why we've worked with parents and teachers to put together a flexible toolkit - containing film clips, case studies, and a bank of slides to make sure teachers can feel confident explaining the changes.

"I'd encourage headteachers and teachers to think about when is best to talk to their parents about these changes, perhaps at an upcoming parents evening, and use the parts of this toolkit they feel will work best for them.

"We've also produced a leaflet that can be given to parents to take away and look through at home.

"Parents told us it's important these changes are explained to them in a way that's real for them and relevant to their child's learning - this toolkit enables that to happen."

Gerry McTiernan, a member of the National Parent Forum, said:

"We are embracing exciting times in Scottish education. Parents need and want to be part of this welcome development and we look forward to Curriculum for Excellence giving all our children a better education and better opportunities. I hope the new Toolkit will encourage schools and parents to take Curriculum for Excellence forward together."

Bernard McLeary, Chief Executive of Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS), the education body that led on the production of the Parent Toolkit, said:

"The aim of this resource is to provide teachers with the confidence to engage with parents about Curriculum for Excellence and help them understand the positive impact that the new education system will have on their children. I'm confident that the Parent Toolkit will play a key role in ensuring that all Scotland's parents are fully up to speed with the implementation of the new curriculum."

The toolkit is primarily an on-line resource for headteachers and teachers. The elements in print are posters for school notice boards and leaflets for parents that explain each level - early years, primary and secondary.

The Toolkit has been worked up with the National Parental Involvement Coordinator, parents, headteachers, teachers, and council staff. It has been developed following research, which showed that parents want more information about Curriculum for Excellence and valued information from teachers and their child's school.

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