Education Scotland Transformative Change (TC): Impact review –
Lochend Community High School Glasgow City
Purpose of visit:
The purpose of the visit is to consider the impact of Transformational Change
approaches in learning using eTwinning at Lochend Community High School
in Glasgow. The approaches used for this work are the Three Horizons kit and
the change tool ‘Implemento’, both published by Education Scotland in
partnership with the International Futures Forum. This project is part of our
work to support continuous improvement for Scottish education and learners.
Background:
The British Council (BC) eTwinning programme leader for links for European
schools programmes, requested a pilot project, to be completed in partnership
with Education Scotland. Five Glasgow schools selected by their Executive
Director of Education, Maureen McKenna, have been working with a linked
eTwinning Ambassador, funded by the BC, since November 2013. They are
developing innovation in teaching and learning through the use of eTwinning
and other aspects of international education. They used the Three Horizons
toolkit and Implemento as a means of preparing for and planning for strategic
change through eTwinning. At the beginning and during the project the school
benefitted from a few helpful support visits from the international education
officer for Glasgow City Council. After this visit they were better able to make
good use of the toolkit. Lochend staff and learners are now ready to become
ambassadors and to share their learning with a new partnered school in
Glasgow from August 2015.
Lochend Community High School is demonstrating positive progress on
increasing their understanding of the benefits of eTwinning as an international
education teaching and learning resource. Their learners, many of whom have
very little previous experience of international development, are gaining a lot
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from working on this project. Indeed since the commencement of the
eTwinning work the school has gone on to complete other very successful
international work which is still ongoing.
From the beginning of the task work, learners have been involved in the
decisions on what information would be shared and which skills they wished
to develop and then share with their partner school. This included expanding
the use of research information, working as a team, enhancing their digital
technology skills and delivering presentations. These are all skills for life and
work that the learners will be able to use in other areas of their learning.
Review process:
The eTwinning activities and the subsequent other international work
completed have enhanced young people’s knowledge and skills in developing
the capabilities and attributes of the four capacities of Curriculum for
Excellence.
Two members of staff from the school attended the initial training session in
September 2013 with Glasgow City Council, British Council and other
partners. Thereafter, a working group was set up in the school which
comprised of four staff who participated in the same training. This training
supported the staff to plan the implementation of eTwinning to support
learning and teaching of pupils in the Social Subjects department. Staff also
participated in further training with their ambassador which improved their
understanding and improved confidence in the use of eTwinning and setting
up a twin space.
The review process was designed to ensure an independent review of impact
based on affirmation of the school’s self-evaluation. Independence was
assured through the composition of the review team. This comprised of the
HMI on the project team and an Education Scotland Associate Assessor
inspector with great experience of developing and leading work in the
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secondary sector of another local authority. The success of the project was
achieved through a range of activities, including producing a video and writing
diary entries and newspaper articles. It also included young people offering
very confident explanations on all their learning to the two visiting school
inspectors.
The HMI team confirmed the quality of the work through a morning visit that
included meetings with senior managers, staff and learners. The young
people demonstrated great confidence and enjoyed sharing their knowledge
and work from completing the project.
1. Findings of the review
The review team found strong evidence which supports the school’s
self-evaluation account. As a result, we are confident in affirming their
content as accurate.
Evaluation findings:
The senior management of Lochend Community High School submitted a
detailed self-evaluation account which describes the learning and
developments put in place as intended outcomes and objectives of their work.
During the evaluation morning the headteacher, depute headteacher and
other participating staff gave a detailed report of their progress using the
approaches, as well as describing how they are continuing to take forward
eTwinning and their subsequent international work this session. These
priorities were analysed and confirmed during the visit.
We found that good progress has been made in eTwinning. The school had
initially had a few issues to resolve before the evaluation took place and as a
result the evaluation was slightly delayed from its original date. This has
proved to be a very positive decision taken by the school as it has enabled
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them to complete better outcomes to be evaluated. The school has a clear
plan for developing the work they have begun and they aim to make a greater
impact over the future. Staff on the project have led the learners well and
have benefitted greatly from the leadership opportunities offered to them
through participation in this work. The senior management has encouraged
and supported their staff to take full ownership of the project and the
successes achieved with the learners. Staff have shown increased enjoyment
in their work and were proud to share their successes along with the learners.
The Three Horizons approach was used at the beginning of the project. This
was led by Lesley Atkins the International development officer for Glasgow
with assistance during the project from the British Council ambassador. Using
Transformational Change (TC) approaches is helping staff to develop and
broaden their thinking and change present mind-sets. The TC approach was
considered a little non-user friendly at first but after advice from the school
ambassador, staff felt the tool was better understood.
Lochend learners worked well and enjoyed engaging with the eTwinning tool
when it was available and running properly. The work completed has
increased pupil ambition in a school with one of the highest levels of
deprivation in Scotland. It has to be noted that in September 2014 the school
had 71.9 per cent of their pupils in SIMD 1, the fifth highest proportion of any
secondary in Scotland. This work has helped to broaden the horizons of the
group of S1 (now S2 pupils) participating in the project. The work has also
contributed to increased pupil motivation. Pupils’ awareness of different
countries and cultures has been enhanced through the participation in the
ongoing international links and projects.
The school has become more focussed on the development of international
education in general as a result of their initial involvement in the pilot. As part
of their improvement planning for 2014-15 the school also strengthened their
links with German partners through an Erasmus+ project. This project in
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Nuremberg enabled pupils to gain a new eTwinning partner school. This has
further enhanced their international links. As a result of a visit to Nuremberg,
where they shared good practice with other countries, the school has now
placed greater emphasis on School-Business Partnerships. Staff in the school
are demonstrating a greater understanding of educational systems beyond
Scotland. This is in turn helping them to self-evaluate better and recognise the
strengths and areas for development within their own school. Through
involvement in the eTwinning pilot the school is now a core partner with
Glasgow City Council’s Erasmus Plus project on developing young people’s
employability skills with Nuremberg and Maastricht. S2 pupils have uploaded
samples of pupil work on World War 1 to their Erasmus eTwinning partner
school, which was part of an agreed project, following a visit from staff from
their partner school in March 2015.
Pupils have been highly engaged in the learning opportunities from this work
and as a result their motivation is improved. This was demonstrated well by
the young people themselves during the HMI visit. The outcomes to be
overtaken during the work from the work have been written up in the school’s
‘Implemento’ which was written during the planning phase of the work.
The school have also engaged fully in a project in another international
partnership with Strathclyde University where some S2 pupils will undertake
the study of Chinese language and culture. They have been able to involve
and share work with a Chinese partner through the twin space. This allows
global school partners to join up, once a firm European partnership has been
established. The school also aims to develop and utilise the eTwinning tool to
share work and ideas with the established Chinese partner school. Staff have
planned a school trip to China for a group of S2 pupils in April 2016. Pupils
participating in this work shared their early learning in Mandarin
enthusiastically with the visiting team. The medium term goal for pupils is to
strengthen the partnership with the Chinese school via etwinning. Through the
pupils’ experiences and learning in the project the pupils will be given the
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opportunity to achieve a qualification related to Chinese language, culture,
literature and heritage either within SQA qualifications or the Hanban system.
The long term goal is for the pupils from the secondary school to spend a gap
year working/studying in China on exit here. During the visit young people
demonstrated well the skills they are developing as a result of participation in
this work. They explained how they are choosing to attend evening classes
where they experience a variety of learning linked to Chinese culture. Their
enjoyment and commitment is so strong they would like to carry on their work
during their school breaks.
Young people demonstrated to our team that sharing ideas and their thinking
with young people from other countries is extremely motivating and links in
well to the tenets of Curriculum for Excellence. These ongoing international
projects also demonstrate well the school’s distributed leadership model, with
the pupils and their teachers taking a key role in how the project continues to
develop. Staff and learners benefited a lot from using the ‘Implemento’ tool to
consider the best and worst case scenarios before commencing with the
work.
Areas for development:
During the pilot a number of technical issues surfaced around the use of
digital technology to support the eTwinning portal. Lesley Atkins, the
international development officer, has prepared a paper which has been
submitted to the British Council for action. To date there are still outstanding
issues to be overtaken to enable learners in Glasgow to use the tool easily
and these need to be addressed for any further work on eTwinning to be
successful next session. The linked ambassador to the school was very
supportive, and assisted well to resolve a few of the initial technical
challenges. At present the school is still unable to use the eTwinning portal in
the school as it is only available through the use of Google Chrome which
Glasgow is not yet using. This means all uploaded work needs to be
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completed by one of the participating members of staff which is not best
learning practice for the young people.
The school has also recognised the following areas for further development:
•
They will begin to expand the use of eTwinning to more pupils via a
dedicated staff working group next session. This etwinning working
group will be led by a principal teacher with good experience in
international education to expand the use of the tool and international
education across the school.
•
Staff will register all S1 pupils with an eTwinning account and continue
to roll out the learning approach to younger pupils as they arrive at
Lochend.
•
Learners will work with new partners from different backgrounds and
cultures on more projects and shared work further.
•
Staff will include the development of eTwinning across the school in
next year’s school improvement plan.
•
In the medium term the China project will move to encourage pupils to
strengthen their partnership with their partner Chinese school via
eTwinning
2. Impact on all stakeholders: raising ambition and expectations for
change.
We found that staff and young people are enjoying leading this project work.
Young people are able to take video and write newsletters to demonstrate
effectively the knowledge they have gained. The international partnership
work begun and completed this session using eTwinning, enables an
increased confidence in the staff and learners and has increased greatly the
understanding of international education within the curriculum. The ethos and
morale of the learners and staff in the school are enhanced well by this new
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international dimension to young people’s learning.
Staff and learners are keen to see the technical issues resolved and then
continue to use eTwinning further next session to support teaching and
learning further across the curriculum.
3. Impact on learners: improving skills for learning, life and work
Young people demonstrated through their conversations with us that they are
benefitting from studying and then teaching other learners about their own city
and sharing aspects of history. They were proud to demonstrate the words
they had learned in Mandarin and confident enough to use them in public.
They completed relevant pieces of written work to support the project on the
theme of ‘Scotland’. They learned to work as part of a team and sometimes by
working in pairs. Through their work, learners enhanced their knowledge of
media studies skills and built up their confidence in public speaking. Through
this project young people have shown a pride in their own country, its history
and its people.
Staff and children’s knowledge of the use of digital technology has increased.
As a result of their work in eTwinning young people have an awareness now
of how information can be shared through the twin space. They are
developing digital technology skills and how to perform well presenting new
information to other learners.
The knowledge, skills and experiences gained were exemplified well through
the research materials exemplified by the learners to the HMI team during the
visit.
4. Impact on leaders: empowering, facilitating and equipping leaders at
all levels.
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We are confident that the distributive leadership of the headteacher and DHT
and the teamwork of the principal teacher and other staff members, enables
all the learners to have freedom within a framework to lead an entire project to
completion. Being part of the project has helped young people at Lochend
Community High School develop a better awareness of their wider world.
These learners will continue to benefit from these international projects next
session as eTwinning continues to evolve at the school.
5. Conclusion
At the beginning of this partnership between the British Council and Education
Scotland, staff at Lochend Community High School used the Transformational
Change approaches to open their ideas to new ways of learning that are fit for
the 21st century. They developed an action point of developing an eTwinning
project, for a group of learners in S2, choosing this activity as part of a free
choice across learning. This work widened the children’s knowledge and
understanding of their world and in particular the world as seen in Glasgow
and in their partner school in Nuremberg. Further international work
completed demonstrates an enhanced understanding of learning with their
new partner and ongoing partner school in China.
The two approaches (Three Horizons and Implemento) are being used well by
staff and they are now rightly very proud of the early outcomes that have led
to exciting, creative and deep learning for the group of learners participating in
the project. These outcomes include enhanced skills in digital technology, the
development of e-Twinning to effect positive curriculum developments and a
better understanding of the history and geography of their own local area and
that of their partner schools in Nuremberg and now also in China.
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The next steps are to continue linking with the Nuremberg school when the
digital issues are resolved and to continue building on the other successful
international partnerships being built this session.
Staff demonstrate an increasing confidence and a desire to take forward
leadership through the use of eTwinning. They confirm they are now able to
demonstrate the use of Transformational Change approaches and how to
take forward eTwinning for new staff and for other interested staff within their
education authority and in other local authorities. We look forward to hearing
about their continuing developments next session.
Aileen Monaghan HMI
Audrey May AA
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Education Scotland Transformative Change (TC): Impact review –