Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk will be presenting a ‘Leadership for Resilience’ talk at Inverness College on the 5th of May

On Saturday 5th of May, Inverness College will be hosting a talk by research scientist Dr Suzanne Zeedyk. The subject of the talk will be ‘Leadership for Resilience – Putting ACE-Awareness into Action’. Tickets cost £15 and can be purchased on Eventbrite by clicking here.

A section of Dr Zeedy’s biography, taken from her website:

“Dr Suzanne Zeedyk is a research scientist fascinated by babies’ innate capacity to connect.  Since 1993, she has been based at the University of Dundee (Scotland), within the School of Psychology.  Her academic career began in the USA, where she completed her PhD at Yale University.”

“In 2011, Suzanne stepped away from a full-time academic post in order to establish an independent training enterprise.  Its aim is to help the public understand all that science has discovered about the importance of emotional connection for human health and happiness.  It’s working!  Approximately 40,000 people have now attended her speaking events, and she reaches over 50,000 people a week on social media.  She works internationally with organisations who are keen to think more deeply about fostering connection, compassion and resilience.”

Digital Parenting Magazine – 6th Edition

The 6th edition of ‘Digital Parenting’ magazine has been released. This edition features:

“Advice from teachers, parents and online safety experts on subjects ranging from Virtual Reality, to body image in the social media age, to live streaming. We have tips from online safety experts, parents and children and young people themselves.”

“We also have an updated guide to setting parental controls on apps and devices, and information on gaming and keeping kids safe while they play.”

You can read the online version of the magazine by clicking here, or order hard copies of the magazine by clicking here (minimum order of 50)

Upcoming free CALA Training: ‘Play and Learning into Practice’ – Inverness, Wick & Fort William

This is a FREE introductory two-day course for both new and inexperienced practitioners and experienced practitioners looking to refresh their skills and knowledge in the value of play and learning. Book your place by pressing the button below:

Course Details

Fort William – Moorings Hotel. Thursday 26th April and Thursday 3rd May  2018

Wick – Pultney Peoples Project. Thursday 10th May and Thursday 17th May 2018

Inverness – Culloden & Balloch Baptist Church. Thursday 24th  May and Thursday 31st May 2018

9.45 a.m – 4 p.m each day. Lunch will be provided.

Course Outline

This training is free to ELC practitioners working in Highland as part of Highland Councils CPD staff development programme

The course provides a unique opportunity to access a brand new condensed version of our 6-day course and provides a wide range of practical learning experiences, knowledge on child development and an understanding of how to provide an effective early learning and childcare environment.

  • Introduction to child development and health and defining and meeting children’s changing needs. Gain an insight to the key areas of the Curriculum for Excellence.
  • Explore the value of active learning, developmental milestones, and related current national guidance.
  • Consider principal factors affecting children’s development and how these may have a positive or negative impact
  • Gain understanding of the value of play, and types and stages of play development. Explore adult interaction which supports high-quality play and learning.
  • Consider environments and experiences in ELC including indoor and outdoor learning environment, layout, resources and the benefits of facilitating reasonable risk in play.
  • Our practical workshops provide fun play and learning and will help to inspire you and put theory into practice! These include: Paint; Dough and Clay; Music and Movement; Physical and Energetic Play; Drama, Puppets and Role Play.

What past students have said about PLiP

“Amazing, lots of active learning. I enjoyed and learned a lot and took things back to work.”

It has made me a more confident key worker. I feel I know what I am talking about with child’s development.”

Booking Information

To book your place at this training, please fill out our online booking form by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can book by telephoning our Inverness office on 01463 222569.

Child Protection Guidance and Toolkit for Third Sector Organisations in Highland

The Highland Child Protection Committee have made available ‘Child Protection Guidance and Toolkit for Third Sector Organisations in Highland‘.  Click the button below to download the toolkit.

This Guidance has been produced for larger Third Sector Organisations and those with a number of paid staff who should have robust child protection policies and procedures in place.

The guidance provides detailed advice on child protection issues, and tools to help support recruitment of staff and volunteers.

For smaller organisations primarily using volunteers to provide activities for children, young people and families in Highland you may wish to download the Highland Child Protection Guidance for Community Groups. This may include sports clubs, arts and crafts groups, religious organisations or any organised groups/activities which involve regular contact with children and young people.

Below you can find a video that provides more detail on what’s included in the Child Protection Toolkit. Click the thumbnail below to watch the video.

There is lots of other useful information and resources on the Highland Child Protection Committee website, such as:

  • Resources – where you can find  a copy of the Highland Child Protection Guidelines as well as a range of local and national resources which may be useful to you.
  • Training – here you can book on to training courses, access e-learning modules and find out what training you may need.
  • Help and Advice – An up-to-date list of contact details for advisors and professionals who can be contacted if you have a child protection concern.

‘Words Up’ Gaelic Posters

The ‘Words Up’ Early Key Message posters have now been published in Gaelic.

Head over to the Highland Literacy Blog to learn more and download the posters.

Launch of the ‘Child Protection Guidance and Toolkit’ for Community Groups and Third Sector Organisations

Many thanks to 60 representatives from Community Groups and Third Sector Organisations across Highland who attended the successful launch event yesterday.  The updated guidance and toolkit has been developed in partnership with the Highland Child Protection Committee and third sector through Keeping Children Safe and Highlife Highland.

The guidance and toolkit will be available to download from Monday 26th March from the Child Protection Committee’s dedicated website: www.hcpc.sot

Upcoming CALA Training in Inverurie – Nurturing Creativity Through Expressive Arts (19th May, 2018)

Course Details

Name: Nurturing Creativity Through Expressive Arts
Date and time: Saturday 19th May 2018, 10 am – 12.30 pm
Location: Kintore Arms, Inverurie, AB51 3QJ
Price: £25.00 per person.

How to Book

To book on to this course, please use our online booking form. Click here to be taken to the form.

Alternatively, you can book a place by phoning our Inverness office on 01463 222569.

If you are booking for multiple people, please note you will have to fill out the form for each person.

Course Outline

In this session we will:

  • Consider the meaning of ‘creativity’ in relation to experiences with expressive arts
  • Explore the new resource tool ‘Our Creative Journey’ and how we can use it to further develop environments and experiences in Expressive Arts, taking into account the interests, stage and needs of the children we work with.
  • Consider strategies to further develop our practice in promoting young children’s creativity through expressive arts.

Professionals Breaking the Silence: Supporting professionals dealing with children’s disclosures of abuse

The following update comes courtesy of Play Scotland:

The NSPCC is undertaking a UK-wide research project entitled “Professionals Breaking the Silence”.  The aim of this is to develop a practical resource that will support professionals working with children to confidently deal with disclosures of abuse and to improve children’s experiences of the disclosure process.

As a first step, NSPCC wish to hear directly from individuals about their experiences of dealing with disclosures and a survey has been created to gather the views and opinions of individuals who work both directly and indirectly with children and young people, for example: police officers, sports coaches, teachers, school counselors, school nurses or anyone else who works in a school, youth workers, social workers, GPs, health visitors, foster carers, adoptive parents or anyone involved with children through the family court system.

The survey can be accessed here: bit.ly/2rRWizK   and it closes on Friday 23rd March.

Outdoor Learning in Nature Fund

The following blog update comes from the Education Scotland digest: 

Scottish Natural Heritage has launched a two-year Outdoor Learning in Nature Fund, to support more young people to have regular, frequent, structured and progressive outdoor learning experiences. Applications are invited by midnight on 30 April 2018.


Upcoming FREE Training: An introduction to aspects of Play into Practice (Inverness)

We are offering an exciting opportunity for those working with children in Out of School Care and childminders in Highland! We invite you to attend our practical workshops adapted from our ‘Play into Practice’ course.

This course takes place over 4 sessions, over four consecutive weeks.


Course Details

Tuesday 1st May 2018, 6.30 – 9 pm
Session 1 – We will explore the benefits and features of quality play, consider how to meet children’s changing stages of development and explore use of the element of ‘Wind’ in our fun practical hands-on session.

Tuesday 8th May 2018, 6.30 – 9 pm
Session 2 – We will provide an introduction to Children’s Rights, Playwork Principles and consider the play environment then try out some hands-on learning through play with ‘Water’.

Tuesday 15th May 2018, 6.30 – 9 pm
Session 3 – Includes an introduction to the Play Cycle, the role of the adult, and 16 Types of Play. We’ll try out aspects of theory and get creative using large and small scale ‘Loose Parts.’

Tuesday 22nd May 2018, 6.30 – 9 pm
Session 4 – Exploring the importance of effective communication, strategies and benefits of meaningful consultation with children. Our final practical play opportunity includes a large scale ‘art attack,’ puppet play and creating your own games which we will link to the Types of Play and SHANARRI indicators.

The sessions will take place at Culloden and Balloch Baptist Church Wellside Road, Balloch, Inverness IV2 7GS. 

These sessions are suitable for those who may be new to working with children in OOSC , those who want to develop their knowledge and practice or simply a refresher and a little inspiration! Content is linked to the National guidance “Building the Ambition” 2014. This training is free to all practitioners working in Highland as part of the Highland Council’s CPD staff development programme.


Or book over the phone by contacting our Inverness office – 01463 222569.

Out of School Club Easter Holiday Planners – North Kessock, Drakies & Junior World

With Easter Holidays fast approaching, you might be looking into your options for out of school care. Care and Learning Alliance manage a number of clubs offering out of school provision around the Highlands, where your children will be kept busy and stimulated. Below you will find the planners and booking forms for North Kessock Red Kites, Drakies Out of School Club, and Drakies Out of School Club:

North Kessock Red Kites

Download Holiday Planner

Download Booking Form

For more information, please contact Emma MacRae (Manager, North Kessock OSC).

Tel:  07522227354  Email: [email protected]

Drakies of Out of School Club

Download Holiday Planner

Download Booking Form

Tel: 07876542621, Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Or visit them at Drakies Primary School

Junior World Out of School Care (Nairn)

Download Holiday Planner

Download Booking Form

Please call 01667 455696

If you require any further information, please use the contact numbers above. Or you can call our Inverness office on 01463 222569.

Lochinver ELC – Glitter Campaign News Update

As part of Forest School, the older children recently completed another beach clean, this time at Badnaban. We had to work very hard and removed a large quantity of rope, net, plastic and 6 bin bags of smaller plastic rubbish from this very small stretch of beach. We would like to thank Susan Templeton for volunteering to help us on our mission to “Save the World!

Talks with Highland Council, to try and persuade Lochinver harbour to join KIMO fishing for litter initiative, have hit funding barriers. The KIMO scheme brings litter recovered from the sea back to shore and pays for it to be recycled. The skip at the pier is always full of cardboard, plastic, rope and net which goes to landfill. Some conscientious skippers sort their rubbish and this is then tipped into one skip! Surely there has to be a better way? We shall continue to badger officials.

We have also been taking our Glitter Campaign further. The poster designed by the children last autumn was distributed to schools across Highland. This asked schools to stop using plastic glitter and change to biodegradable glitter made of cellulose. Our poster depicted a goldfish bowl full of sea creatures and a hand sprinkling glitter on to the surface of the water saying “Would you feed glitter to your goldfish?” Our new slogan, “Glitter is just litter with a G”, (courtesy of our Chief Executive, Jaci Douglas), has been used in letters written to our MSP’s. We have asked the Scottish Government to consider 3 points:

  • Officially recognise glitter as a micro-bead.
  • Include glitter in the micro-bead ban, which came into force in January, thus stopping the sale and manufacture of plastic glitter.
  • Encourage everyone to use biodegradable alternatives for craft, cosmetics, paper etc

We received a reply from Kate Forbes MSP who has said she is going to write to Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, and ask her to consider our three actions to help save our world. You can read Kate Forbes reply below:

Dear everyone,

Thank you very much for writing to me to explain about your campaign to highlight the damaging effects of glitter on our environment. 

The poster that you sent me is very colourful and gave a very strong message to everyone just how damaging flitter can be. I was very impressed with your slogan “After all, glitter is just litter with a ‘G'”, and your neat handwriting. 

I will write to the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, to ask her to consider your three actions to help save our world. I will write to you with the response she provides. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me.

Yours sincerely, 

Kate Forbes MSP
Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch. 

Watch this space as Kate Forbes is going to let us know what Roseanna’s response is.

Our children want to change the habits of adults, Council and Government to ensure a healthy environment. We would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone in our local community who took part in our surveys and if anyone would like to get involved in our mission, please contact staff at Lochinver ELC on 01571 844067 ([email protected]).

Written by Jane, Amy, Michele and the children of Lochinver Early Learning and Childcare Centre.