Morning Seminar Sessions

Seminar 1: Improving early learning in literacy
Input 1: North Lanarkshire Council North Lanarkshire Council will describe how they have used VIG (Video Interactive Guidance) and VERP (Video Enhanced Reflective Practice) in work with parents and practitioners particularly focussed on early learning. It has been used successfully to improve literacy interactions of staff in Early Years and in the Primary Sector. Parents have reported positive outcomes for children with a range of Additional Support needs.The success of these approaches has resulted in them becoming part of North Lanarkshire approach to closing the attainment gap.

Input 2: Aberdeen City Council Aberdeen City Council and NHS Grampian will share how they are working in partnership to implement targeted speech and language interventions aimed at children in the early stages with delayed language development. This is helping to boost their language skills to help narrow the gap between them and their peers.

Seminar 2. The impact of using data to improve learning and teaching in Fife
Fife has developed an authority wide approach to using performance and outcomes data to support effective self-evaluation and approaches to raising attainment. Integral to this approach is the work of the Fife Pedagogy Team. The team provide rich professional learning opportunities for practitioners in literacy, numeracy and nurture with the clear aim of building capacity and improving outcomes for children living in our most disadvantaged communities.

Seminar 3. Coaching and mentoring to raise attainment
Input: Inverclyde Council
Coaching and Modelling Officers for literacy and numeracy are turning the aspirations of the Scottish Attainment Challenge into a reality on the ground through their intensive work with practitioners in focus schools across Inverclyde. Learn about their work in supporting colleagues to deliver better outcomes for children.

Seminar 4. Developing Professional Learning and Leadership at all levels
Input 1: Glasgow City Council
Hear about Glasgow’s approach to planned professional learning for support for learning workers, practitioners and school leaders, to support Scottish Attainment Challenge in Glasgow.

Input 2: West Dunbartonshire Council
Take an in-depth look at the School Improvement Partnership model of practitioner enquiry used in West Dunbartonshire classrooms.

Seminar 5. Engaging with families and communities
Input 1: Renfrewshire Council
Renfrewshire have launched Families First, a programme for families that will help them to build a better future for their children. A range of existing council, health and voluntary services have been brought together under the Families First banner to make them easier to find and easier to use for those who need them most. Five multi-agency teams have been established to support families in their local communities. Children in P1 to P3 who are in receipt of a school clothing grant are invited to attend Families First Clubs during all school holiday periods where they take part in a programme of different activities.

Input 2: Dundee City Council
Lead officers from Health and Well-being and Culture and Communities (ASPIRE Dundee) will share their learning and initial evaluations of a recent programme of family learning and activities over the Easter Holiday. This was carried out as a pilot and the evaluation of the programmes will be used to inform future programmes over the summer holiday. School and family workers targeted families from the Attainment Challenge schools to attend various health related activities planned over the Easter Holiday. A variety of activities were on offer and were linked to addressing some of the Key Development Outcomes from the Dartington Well-being Survey from the recent Dartington Research, e.g. obesity levels, drug and alcohol abuse, engagement with school, early language and communication. All activities were open to children and families. As part of the programme, hot meals were provided every day for all. There were inputs from various partners on healthy eating and cooking, drugs and alcohol intake. Also at the end of the Dance School, all families were invited to attend a performance by their children.

Seminar 6. Promoting use of evidence and data to evaluate and improve closing the gap in educational outcomes
Input 1: North Ayrshire Council
Planned improvement is at the heart of North Ayrshire’s approach to data analysis and performance management. Working with teachers and schools to develop confidence in the use of a range of evidence, including standardised assessments. This range of evidence will be brought together in order to better inform teacher’s professional judgements on learners’ progress and build an informed understanding of “what works”.

Input 2: Glasgow City Council
Find out how Glasgow City Council has used data to carry out research on the impact of nurture groups/corners in early years, primary and secondary. This will include a description of the methodological considerations that need to be taken when carrying out research. It will then move onto exploring how this local authority gathers data that informs the impact of whole school nurturing approaches.

Seminar 7. Tapestry Presentation
Schools Programme delegates only (1 per school)

Afternoon Seminar Sessions

Seminar 8. Promoting social and emotional wellbeing through nurture
Input 1: North Ayrshire
In order to achieve transformational change that will close the attainment gap, North Ayrshire aims to become a “Nurturing Authority” Work has begun on a three tiered approach within the authority. These comprise of; a universal nurturing approach in all establishments, targeted nurture groups in fifteen schools and the development of enhanced nurture bases. Early indications of feedback are very positive from staff, parents and young people. A second, and complimentary, component of North Ayrshire’s attainment challenge has been the launch of a Professional Learning Academy team. Excellent practitioners have been recruited to provide high quality training with a distinct focus on literacy, numeracy and pedagogy.

Input 2: Inverclyde
Focused on nurture, Inverclyde is building a sustainable programme which encompasses both targeted intervention for specific schools and children, and the adoption of nurturing principles into teaching practices across the local authority. Find out more about its approach to partnership working between the local authority, Education Scotland, educational psychologists, teachers and a range of external organisations.

Seminar 9. Promoting healthy lifestyles and tackling health inequalities
Input 1: North Lanarkshire
Thornlie Primary School in North Lanarkshire will share some of the ways in which they promote healthy lifestyles and ensure pupils are provided with equity of opportunity and experience. As well as very rich outdoor learning experiences pupils also benefit from regular yoga sessions and sports activities including a family fitness club.

Input 2: Clackmannanshire Council
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) arise from events which could potentially be traumatic in a child’s life. From growing research evidence on ACE and local data in Clackmannanshire Council, we will present on two targeted approaches, the Neuro-Sequential Model in Education (NME) (a classroom based approach) and a Therapeutic Service, for children who have experienced loss and trauma.

Seminar 10. Closing the gap in numeracy in West Dunbartonshire
The raising attainment maths team are working across West Dunbartonshire schools using a variety of research based approaches, to raise attainment and close the gap. They are finding what works well with a view to developing a numeracy strategy across the authority. This is resulting in highly effective collaborative working between practitioners and greater engagement of children.

Seminar 11. Improving learning in literacy
Input 1: South Lanarkshire Council
This presentation will highlight one school’s journey in improving Literacy through using active literacy approaches to build on current practice. Raising attainment in Literacy is a core target for ten of the twelve schools in the Scottish Attainment Challenge in South Lanarkshire and active literacy is central to their approach. Beckford Primary School had identified a dip in attainment at P3 and chose active literacy as a methodology to improve teacher practice and pupil learning and motivation. Observational evidence indicates that this is happening. Beckford is also using data gathered from this new approach to inform improvement.

Input 2: Highland Council
Emerging literacy, created in partnership with Education, Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Psychology and Occupational Therapy, identifies the early developmental stages in Literacy which are often missing in children experiencing socio-economic deprivation. Since August 2015 the Primary 1 teachers at Hilton and Crown Primary Schools in Inverness have used and developed both Emerging Literacy and POLAAR resources to identify and address gaps in these essential foundation skills. The Highland Attainment Challenge Schools have been following in Hilton and Crown’s footsteps in developing Emerging Literacy in their schools. From August 2016 Emerging Literacy will be introduced to Highland’s Northern Alliance neighbours; Western Isles, Moray, Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City and Orkney.

Seminar 12. Partnership working to tackle inequity
Input 1: Dundee
Focused on early speech, language communication, partnerships have been developed with NHS, Allied Professionals to take an innovative approach to the deployment of Speech and Language Therapists in Early Years’ settings. This work will also been ‘written up’ as a piece of Action Research to inform future practice.
Speech & Language Therapists are working in our Attainment Challenge nurseries leading 4 well researched and evidence based programmes to develop early literacy, listening skills and vocabulary development. They are supporting parents and carers to help them to understand how they support their children’s learning and they are building capacity in the nursery staff.
Find out more about this approach to partnership working between the local authority, NHS, Allied Professionals Service and parents and families.

Input 2: Edinburgh
One Edinburgh primary school has established a Dance Academy with a focus on developing literacy through dance. Hear about how the positive outcomes this project is having children’s literacy, confidence and engagement.

Seminar 13. An international perspective on raising attainment

This interactive session led by Chris Chapman and Hannah Chestnutt from The Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change will outline some of the strategies being adopted in other systems to raise attainment and close the gap and consider what the implications and lessons might be for Scotland. 

Attainment Challenge Event Team


Tel: 01738 828524