Application for Free Professional Storyteller Visit – Scottish International Storytelling Festival

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival’s Community and Family Programme (Mon 12 Oct – Mon 30 Nov) is offering schools and community groups free storytelling sessions delivered by a professional teller.   

Perfectly positioned within Scotland’s ‘Year of Coasts and Waters 2020’, the SISF Community and Family Programme invites you to join The Big Scottish Story Ripple and to make use of financial support in order to do so. 

The Big Scottish Story Ripple  

Register to hold a storytelling event led by a professional storyteller from Scotland’s Storytelling Directory any time between 12 Oct – 30 Nov and the SISF will cover the cost of the storyteller’s fees for a 1 hr session.  

In return, successful applicants must offer a good deed back to their local community on or before St Andrew’s Day – continuing the ripple of kindness. 

  • Events can be held digitally or in small live local gathering that adheres to Covid-19 guidelines suggested at the time of the event.  
  • An applicant can make a maximum of two registrations per organisation 
  • Registrations close 5 October 2020 

Please note: SISF aim to offer financial support to all those that apply. However, if there is an over subscription, SISF will offer support on a first come, first served basis, so please get your application in as soon as possible. 

Community groups, libraries and organisations can apply here: 

Schools can apply here: 

CPL Opportunity – Play Pedagogy in P1

Education Scotland in their Transitions 2020 guidance, and in Realising the Ambition, call for an increased use of play pedagogies in P1 both because it is effective in itself and because it will help ease the transition back to school for young children.  The Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) Reopening Schools Guide sets out how play can be used in class while maintaining public health requirements.

A number of schools in Highland have been using play pedagogies successfully in P1 and composite classes for several years.  Some of these teachers have been gathering resources and “how to” guides to help other schools get started, based on what they have found to work.  During this session they will share those resources and lead discussions on implementation and problem solving, including issues around social distancing and working with families.

There will be follow up throughout the school session with regular monthly opportunities to network and build a community of practice as we all learn to implement play pedagogies and adapt to changing circumstances.

The session is primarily for Head Teachers and those teaching or working with P1 children.  Those already experienced in using play approaches in Early Level are also very welcome to share ideas and solutions.

Session is on Friday 26th June 10-11am, and repeated on Monday 29th June 10-11am, access via the Digital Calendar or

This session is only available to Highland Council staff.

Any questions in advance welcome to James McTaggart, Annika Jansson or May Beaton.

Literacy Frameworks – June 2020

In collaboration with PTs, HTs and Development Officers, key skills have been identified that the majority of children should be able to achieve by the end of each year group in Literacy. The skills have been mapped against Es and Os and National Benchmarks. This document will support teachers to identify quickly gaps in learning and next steps as pupils return to school.

Gaelic Medium Teachers will need to be aware and recognise that it is important that children and young people maintain, as best they can, their fluency in Gaelic by thinking, listening and talking in Gaelic every day. Key skills for talking and listening in Gaelic have been mapped against Experiences and Outcomes and National Benchmarks. 

Please click link below for Literacy Frameworks

Education Scotland English in the Senior Phase Webinar

ES Senior Phase English Webinar

Join this practioner webinar to share and discuss approaches, as we progress from learning at home into a more blended model for Session 2020/21.

What are the key considerations for Senior Phase English and what supports do you need?


Tue, 9 Jun 15:30

ES Senior Phase Sciences Webinar



Wed, 10 Jun 14:00

ES Senior Phase Social Subjects Webinar

Emerging Literacy Training – Beginning June 2020

James Mctaggart, our team of Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists, will be running online training in Emerging Literacy, beginning on Tuesday 9th of June. This training is recommended for all teachers of Primary One and Primary Two, who had not been on the Emerging Literacy training before, or who would value a refresher course.

Each week there will be two options for training and you are asked to watch the training videos before attending the training.

Training dates:

Emerging Literacy: Tuesday 09/06/2020 Wednesday 10/06/2020 (repeat)

Phonological Awareness: Tuesday 16/06/2020 Wednesday 17/06/2020 (repeat)

Oral Language: Tuesday 23/06/2020 Wednesday 24/06/2020 (repeat)

Pre-Handwriting Skills: Tuesday 30/06/2020 Wednesday 01/07/2020 (repeat)

For further information, and to register, please go to the Highland Council Digital Learning Hub or CPD calendar.

Play Based Approach to Learning Book Club

For staff interested in learning more about a play based approach to learning, we are starting a Book Club every second Thursday from 3pm to 4pm starting on Thursday 21st of May.  We will be working through Realising the Ambition.  On Thursday, James Mctaggart will be giving us a short introduction and we will talk about how our book club will work.  If you would like to join us, you can access the book club via Google meet on: Join with Google Meet

Lockdown Unlocked – Covid Poetry and Prose

Poetry and Prose reflections on Covid-19

Writing can be a cathartic experience for people who have gone through a worrying time. Our children will need to talk about it and share their experiences and feelings, so that they can make sense of what has happened.

We hope to put a book together of poems and prose from children and adults in our Highland Schools, as a reminder of the history that is in the making.

If you have pieces of written texts of any genre, which you wish to share over the next few months, please send them to: or and we will include it in our Google book.

Please edit the work before submitting it.

If you class enjoy a competition, why not submit your entry to this competition?

Literacy Lockdown Update – Training Links

It’s been a while since we last posted here!

Google Classroom has become to the bread and butter of our teaching day (for just now!) and we know that there are a plethora of resources already being shared so we have decided to gather all the resources from our daily 1pm training in one space! All literacy resources to accompany the training can be accessed by clicking the links below

If you don’t already know, the Literacy team is running daily training sessions at 1pm via Google Meet. The schedule for the week ahead can be accessed at

All school staff are welcome! Look forward to seeing you there!

Literacy Challenge 2020 for Families During School Closures

We have created some 2020 Literacy Challenge grids for pupils (and families) to complete at home.

Feel free to use these as they are or edit to suit you class. We hope you find them useful!

There are three challenge grids – Learning Around the House (Early), First and Second Level.

In addition, please see links below for learning at home ideas at both Primary and Secondary level.

Building a Reading Culture in your Secondary School Webinar – 9th March 2020 at 4.30pm

If you want to get your whole school reading, sign up for the ‘Building a Reading Culture in your Secondary School’ webinar! This session will outline the features of a reading culture, the programmes delivered by Scottish Book Trust to help you foster this culture in your school and practical examples to inspire you to get started, wherever you are on your reading journey.

In feedback from previous webinar attendees, 100% said they would recommend Scottish Book Trust webinars to a colleague!

All staff working in a secondary school setting in Highland are welcome.

The webinar is free to access!

The webinar will take place on the 9th March 2020 at 4.30pm.

Sign up here –

On completion of the course, participants will:

·          Be familiar with the elements which contribute to building a reading culture in school

·          Have practical ideas to implement in their own school to create a reading culture

·         Know about Scottish Book Trust programmes which they can get involved in to encourage reading for pleasure

·         Know about the range of learning resources available to help them and where to find these

Outline Programme

·       What is a reading culture

·       Ideas to help build a reading culture

·       How programmes run by Scottish Book Trust can help build a reading culture

·      Time for questions