The A to Z of educational needs

8th May 2009 at 01:00
From early years to further education, or wherever you are in your career, this year's Scottish Learning Festival has much to offer

A time-lapse camera poised above an entrance door points into an enormous hall. As thousands of people swarm around a mass of exhibition stands, its Big Brother eye snaps this computer stall, that puppet display, a group of teachers chatting over coffee, a trio of children interviewing visitors for their radio broadcast. Over two days in September, the face of Scottish education will be captured in time. Welcome to the Scottish Learning Festival 2009.

If the lens could turn back over the past 10 years, it would reveal a lot - about the show and about education: from the technology exhibition and IT gurus which spawned it, through the changes of name as it struggled for a clear identity, to the all-embracing festive banner that says it like it is; from the early days of Higher Still to A Curriculum for Excellence.

Nowadays, its identity is crystal clear. More than 7,000 teachers from all over the country converge on the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow to hear and see the latest developments in education, from curriculum policy to good practice in the classroom to resources for its implementation.

International speakers fly in to contribute to the wider picture. This year, Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, will talk on leadership in the United States. Ferre Laevers, director of the Research Centre for Experiential Education at Leuven University in Belgium, will look at early years education. And Andreas Schleicher, head of education analysis with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, will provide a perspective on Scotland's performance.

If teachers are seeking motivation, who better to give it to them than Olympic coach Frank Dick, former director of coaching for the British Athletics Federation? And for those who are more academically than athletically inclined, perhaps Fiona Hyslop, the Education and Lifelong Learning Secretary, will do the trick.

With 170 sessions, there is something for everyone. Whether you teach in early years, primary, secondary or further education, the organisers at LTS, together with the officials at the Scottish Government, are trying to tailor this event to your needs. It is, as they say, pure CPD - and, what's more, it's free.

With the new curriculum taking off in August, the show could not be better timed to help teachers with answers on how to implement it or classroom ideas from colleagues around the country. For those who would like to keep in touch afterwards, they can continue their conversations on Glow, the national schools intranet. There will be several sessions on how it can help schools and how it works. Other spotlights will focus on assessment, HMIE's Journey to Excellence, ICT and the Confucius classrooms.

Topic surgeries were introduced last year to offer 10-minute conversations with conference speakers and presenters, a bit like speed-dating. People voted for longer, one-hour roundtable sessions this year. These will relate to the ACfE, but will be hosted by various organisations. So if you want to talk to The TESS about your ideas for new curriculum or hear other teachers' views, come to our "igloo"; if you're interested in youth issues, try the Young Scot slot. Then there's early years, health and well-being, science, parents .

The main features remain the same as 2008, with 200 exhibitors. There will be special areas for the Education Showcase (very visual, with plenty of drama and games for all sectors); central stands where you can talk to LTS, HMIE and SQA representatives; "villages" for local education authorities, early years, youth work and - especially for 2009 - the Homecoming.

Old favourites will be back by popular demand, like the Food Bus which was bustling with gourmets, gourmands and aspiring cooks of all ages last year. And new features including a Dragon's Den and a treasure hunt around the exhibition will join them in the mix.

Whatever your tastes, wherever you're at in your career, it should be a veritable festival of delights.

www.scottishlearningfestival.com

T: 0870 421 1938

The Scottish Learning Festival (SECC, Glasgow, September 23-24) is sponsored by The TESS.

The exhibition is organised by emap connect.

Scottish School Magazine awards

The TESS is delighted to announce the shortlist for the Scottish School Magazine Competition 2009, run by PPA Scotland, the Periodical Publishers Association

Best Magazine Cover

Boclair Academy, East Dunbartonshire - Bac Talk

Brae High, Shetland - Borealis

Coatbridge High, North Lanarkshire - Rare Beast

Dunbar Grammar, East Lothian - The Proper Gander

St George's School for Girls, Edinburgh - Independent Women

Best Overall Editorial Content

Coatbridge High, North Lanarkshire - Rare Beast

Dollar Academy, Clackmannanshire - The Galley

Paible School, Western Isles - Paible in Print

Paisley Grammar, Renfrewshire - Grammarian 2009

St George's School for Girls, Edinburgh - Independent Women

Best Feature Article

Balfron High, Stirling - Balfron Banter

Dollar Academy, Clackmannanshire - The Galley

Hamilton College, South Lanarkshire - The HC Journal

Paisley Grammar, Renfrewshire - Grammarian 2009

Sanquhar Academy, Dumfries and Galloway - News Attack

Best Overall Design and Layout

Boclair Academy, East Dunbartonshire - Bac Talk

Coatbridge High, North Lanarkshire - Rare Beast

St George's School for Girls, Edinburgh - Independent Women

St Margaret's School, Edinburgh - Viva Vox

Best Original Artwork or Photography

Boclair Academy, East Dunbartonshire - Bac Talk

Brae High, Shetland - Borealis

St George's School for Girls, Edinburgh - Independent Women

Stewart's Melville College, Edinburgh - Stem 2

Best Online Presence

Currie Community High, Edinburgh - Contact

Shawlands Academy, Glasgow - Royal Magazine

St Paul's RC Academy, Dundee - Breakout

Stewart's Melville College, Edinburgh - Stem 2

Best Commercial Strategy

Banff Academy, Aberdeenshire - Vivat

Boclair Academy, East Dunbartonshire - Bac Talk

Brae High, Shetland - Borealis

Currie Community High, Edinburgh - Contact

St Margaret's School, Edinburgh - Viva Vox

Most Inspirational Teacher

Boclair Academy, East Dunbartonshire - Bac Talk, Helen Greig

Dunbar Grammar, East Lothian - The Proper Gander, Andrew Thomson

Paible School, Western Isles - Paible in Print, Fiona Campbell

Paisley Grammar, Renfrewshire - Grammarian 2009, Martin Gallacher

Outstanding Individual

Boclair Academy, East Dunbartonshire - Bac Talk, Erin McBride

Brae High, Shetland - Borealis, Rowan Johnson

Calderglen High, South Lanarkshire - Calderglen Times, Jordan Duncan

Coatbridge High, North Lanarkshire - Rare Beast, Daniel Glendinning

Shawlands Academy, Glasgow - Royal Magazine, Jack Paton

Scottish School Magazine of the Year 2009

Boclair Academy, East Dunbartonshire - Bac Talk

Brae High, Shetland - Borealis

Coatbridge High, North Lanarkshire - Rare Beast

Paible School, Western Isles - Paible in Print

Shawlands Academy, Glasgow - Royal Magazine

St George's School for Girls, Edinburgh - Independent Women

St Margaret's School, Edinburgh - Viva Vox

Winners will be announced on June 12 at Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh.

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