Forfar Academy represented Angus Council in the Local Authority learning village at the Scottish Learning Festival 2014 at the SECC in Glasgow on Wednesday and Thursday.
The festival welcomed over 6,500 educational professionals from all over the globe. It is the pivotal event in the Scottish education calendar, inspiring better teaching and learning and helping to create a confident teaching profession for the 21st century.
The key theme this year was raising achievement and attainment for all and focused on maximising educational outcomes through early intervention and prevention for children, young people and adult learners in order to maximise educational outcomes and employability skills to secure a highly educated, well prepared and well-motivated young workforce able to compete in a global market.
Forfar Academy 6th year citizenship pupils showcased work from two initiatives from the school’s technical department to address these themes.
The first initiative was ‘Purple Castle Products’, an enterprise group specialising in bespoke handcrafted products, which was held up by HMIe and Education Scotland as a model of good practice for its innovation and creativity.
The second was Angus Young Engineers (AYE) - an after-school initiative started to develop ideas to tackle the Curriculum for Excellence.
This group has gone from strength to strength and was acknowledged by Education Scotland by winning the prestigious ‘Learning through Technologies award’ at the Thistle Hotel in Glasgow earlier this year.
Both schemes are funded in part by the Angus Community Grant Scheme and contributions from local businesses and trusts.
SLF14 Keynote address speakers Mike Russel (Scottish Education Minister) and Sir Ian Wood (Chair of the Wood Commission on ‘Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce’) both spent time at the Angus Council stall speaking to the pupils about their work.
They were commended on their approach to addressing youth employability and the use of innovation towards inspiring people into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) based careers.
Over the two days the pupils went on to demonstrate STEM based activities to the festival visitors including 3D printing, laser cutting, robotics, wood turning and raspberry pi programming.