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Jargon Buster

You'll come across lots of terms within schools that you may not be familiar with. Below we help you out with the jargon.

ANS: Additional Needs Support

Christian Focus Week (or day): the opportunity to explore the Christian faith through a theme such as charity or peace across mulitple curriculum areas for a day or a week

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE): the name for the school curriculum (see 'Get Started' for more details)

Curriculum Leaders: another name for a Head of Department, generally found in secondary schools

Depute: Senior member of teaching staff who is second in command to the head teacher

Education Scotland: The national body supporting quality and improvement in Scottish education

Enhanced Disclosure: A criminal record check for working with children obtained before 2011, now replaced by the PVG Scheme Record

E’s and O’s: Experiences and Outcomes (see the article on Curriculum for Excellence in Getting Started for details)

HMIe: School inspectorate, now under the umbrella of Education Scotland

LSA: Learning support assistant

PSD: Personal and social development

PVG: Membership of the “Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme” enables you to obtain a criminal record check and be recognised as someone who is not unsuitable to work with children or vulnerable adults

RME: Religious and Moral Education

RMPS:  Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies studied at secondary school

RO: Religious Observance events. Traditionally an assembly, but under the guidelines for RO there is scope for some genuine creativity. See article for more detail.

SMT: Senior management team

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) : They provide the formal qualifications gained by pupils in schools

Transitions: The move from P7 to S1

Can’t find the word or acronym that keeps tripping you up?  Either contact us or have a look at the SQA website

Get Started

Are you new to school’s work or just unsure of where to begin? We talk you through why and how to approach a school, give you guidance on the do’s and don’ts of schools work and suggest using our “Church Audit Tool” to help your church identify its gifts. We also introduce you to the topics of child protection and the Curriculum for Excellence.

We’re encouraging people to go into schools to be a blessing, not to evangelise. This is because we think it’s really important that the church is a body that serves those who are not in it; being salt and light, if you will! Churches and Christians have a legitimate role to play by learning together, linking with, and loving the school community.

 

Friday
Jul192013

We call it serving, schools call it partnership

One of the key features of the Curriculum for Excellence is partnership working. Partnerships facilitate the resourcing of schools and help a school to be embedded in the community.

“Community partners can make significant contributions across all aspects of Curriculum for Excellence. Overall, we find most learning communities are active and vibrant, with community and voluntary groups making important contributions to community life.” 

Learning in Scotland’s communities

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Friday
Jul192013

How to approach a school

It can feel intimidating to try and build a link with a school when the church has little previous connection. Here is a guide to some of pathways you can explore.

Be mindful that when you approach a school you are representing your church; so ensure that you are acting with the knowledge and support of your church leadership before you do so.

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Friday
Jul192013

School Chaplains

Every non denominational school has a theoretical link to a local Church of Scotland, and a minister who is ‘School Chaplain'. In reality, this can vary enormously. Some Head Teachers prefer not to have a Chaplain; some ministers feel that working in schools is not their gifting. Chaplaincy can just involve leading an occasional act of RO, or it can become much more developed.

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Friday
Jul192013

Do’s and Don’ts of schools work

DO

  • Be reliable; do what you say you will when you say you will do it.
  • Be present and consistent; building relationship takes time.
  • Be flexible: allow the school to shape what you offer on the basis of their need.
  • Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul192013

A Church Audit

This is a short questionnaire aimed at Churches that are looking to start working in partnership with their local school, or looking to develop the existing links with the school.  Although it can be completed by just one person there is great benefit in a small group using it as a discussion document. This will enable you not just to realise the potential within your Church, but also to start to take ideas off paper and into action! Download the Church Audit here.

Friday
Jul192013

Child Protection / PVG

Parents need to be confident that when their child goes off to school in the morning, they will be properly cared for in a safe environment. This means that the school needs to check that everyone who volunteers in a school is a suitable person to be in contact with children. Furthermore, volunteers need to know what to do and who to speak to if they have concerns about the well-being of a child in the school. 

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Friday
Jul192013

Curriculum for Excellence (‘CfE’)

’Curriculum’ has always referred to classroom based learning in schools. The Curriculum for Excellence (‘CfE’) goes beyond this understanding, recognising that children and young people don’t just learn through the formal curriculum (lessons) but also through the informal curriculum (everything else in life!).

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Friday
Jul192013

"A Time to Reflect" or Religious Observance (RO)

You may think that RO is the latest way of saying ‘school assembly’ – it’s not actually that straightforward and, in some cases, may be very different from a traditional assembly. Religious observance is defined as:

Community acts which aim to promote the spiritual development of all members of the school community and express and celebrate the shared values of the school community.

Report of the Religious Observance Review Group, May 2004

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