Bookbug Shared Practice Event

Bookbug are inviting you to join them at their ‘Bookbug Shared Practice Event’ on Wed 4th March 2020, 10am – 2pm at Canal Park, Inverness: you can find out more about how Bookbug is being used by a whole range of practitioners in communities and family homes throughout your area and beyond.

For further information and to book you place, visit

Letters to our grandchildren

The following is a letter from Mollie Rawnsley sharing the details of her exciting project has come to us via ‘Generations Working Together’ – If you are interested in taking part, or feel like you might know someone who might like to write to you, please get in touch either via e-mail: [email protected] or by following the project on Instagram @letters_to_our_grandchildren,


Hello to everyone

My name is Mollie Rawnsley, and I have set up a unique project aimed at bringing together two very different, yet equally interesting generations. As part of a new initiative, entitled “Letters to Our Grandchildren”, I am asking those aged 65+ to write letters addressed to younger people in their lives aged 18-35. It is my goal to then compile these letters into a moving and thought-provoking book that will engage young people and connect them with an older generation.

Mollie Rawnsley, founder of Letters To Our Grandchildren

Letters To Our Grandchildren is directed at bringing together two generations that currently have been pulled apart by cultural stereotypes. It is my hope that by compiling a collection of letters written by those aged 65+, that young people may develop a better understanding of their older counterparts. This seems particularly important in present times when mistreatment of the elderly is rife in our society, a problem exasperated by the fact that the proportion of older people is growing at an increasing rate.

I launched the project last month and have since attracted the attention of a number of newspapers, as well as the BBC, who excitingly, is coming to film an interview with me about the project this week.  To give a few more details, the letters should include words of advice about a specific life topic (some suggestions are listed at the bottom of this article) and should be a maximum of 1 side of A4 paper (small to medium handwriting or size 12 font).

Rena Barker, one of the writers currently taking part in the project

The inspiration for this project came from frustration. I think we, the young, can often express such contemptuous and patronising behaviour towards the elderly which I find very sad and such a great shame. I believe that our generation has been brought up in a culture that doesn’t encourage us to always appreciate the wisdom that older people have to offer and we, therefore, take those older individuals around us for granted. I wanted to find a way of addressing this by making a more engaging and interesting way for young people to connect with this issue and to better understand their elderly friends and family. I am passionate in the belief that this project could really connect two very remarkable and passionate generations in a completely unique and exciting way.

If you are interested in taking part or feel like you might know someone who might like to write to you, please get in touch either via e-mail: [email protected] or by following the project on Instagram @letters_to_our_grandchildren.

Suggested topics for letters:

  • How to find happiness in life
  • The importance of family and/or friends
  • How to find lasting love
  • How to cope with loss
  • Hopes for a future world

Please note these are merely suggestions, writers are more than welcome to write about a topic of their choice.

Happy writing!

Mollie x


Highland Child Protection Committee – Seminar Event

Seminar – What does ‘mental health’ mean for children and families?

30th January 2020

Smithton-Culloden Free Church, 1 Murray Road, Inverness


This free one-day seminar being offered by Highland Child Protection Committee aims to bring together knowledge and experience in relation to mental health issues affecting adults and children/young people. The event aims to help practitioners better understand different mental health issues and disorders and the impact these can have on families and individuals. Practitioners will have an opportunity to consider their responses and how we can work most effectively in partnership with children, young people and parents/carers.

The event will be beneficial for:

  • Social Workers
  • Police
  • Health Visitors
  • Early Years Practitioners
  • Family Nurse Practitioners
  • Children’s Service Workers
  • Youth Action Team
  • Head Teachers/Deputes/Guidance Staff
  • Housing Staff
  • Third Sector

Click here for full details and how to apply

Closing date approaching – Scottish Government ELC Innovation Award

A quick reminder that the  ELC Innovation Awards are still open for applications but will close on Monday, 13th January 2020.

The awards celebrate and highlight innovative initiatives that improve children’s learning and provide funding and support to further develop them.
Any setting delivering funded ELC can apply for a grant of up to £5,000 to continue to develop their innovative practice.

Click here for further information and how to apply

CALA E Learning Zone – New module added!

SOSCN – Activity and Well-being

This module developed in partnership by Care and Learning Alliance (CALA) and the Scottish Out of School Network (SOSCN) and is available free of charge for everyone to access.

The module combines key aspects from two training programmes: Activity and Wellbeing – First Steps and Next Steps which have been delivered to out of school services by SOSCN over   a number of years and is designed to help practitioners to consider how they plan, deliver and review physical play opportunities for children in their settings.

Through interactive content, films, interviews, links to guidance and support materials and a few simple tasks to help consolidate your learning, this module will help all those working with children and young people to:

  • Explore and be more aware of three resources – ‘The British Heart Foundation Active Pack’, ‘The British Heart Foundation – Early Movers Resource Booklets’ and Education Scotland’s ‘Significant Aspects of Learning’.
  • Identify how to use the British Heart Foundation – Early Movers Resource Booklets and Significant Aspects of Learning in practice to support how we plan for and facilitate physical play for children of all ages and stages that is fun, active and inclusive.

The module is beneficial for a wide range of learners, such as:

  • Managers, practitioners, community groups, support staff or volunteers who work with or for children and young people and their families delivering high quality play opportunities
  • Parent, carers and significant family adults in children’s families
  • Those considering a career in childcare

For further information and access to the module, visit CALA e-learning.

For information about CALA Training services click here

For information about SOSCN Training and Support click here


Merry Christmas from all at CALA

Seasons Greetings to everyone from all at CALA, this filled us with Christmas cheer – hope it does for you too!


Launch of Consultation on Early Learning and Childcare Statutory Guidance

The Scottish Government launched a consultation on the updated Early Learning and Childcare Statutory Guidance. The consultation will provide an opportunity for everyone involved in early learning and childcare to provide their views before the guidance is finalised.


Scottish Government state:

The Guidance will support local authorities in exercising their functions in relation to the delivery of early learning and childcare from 1 August 2020. It refreshes the Statutory Guidance published in 2014 and reflects the changes in the policy and legislative framework for the delivery of early learning and childcare. This includes the legislative changes, which were agreed by the Scottish Parliament in June 2019, to increase the statutory funded early learning and childcare entitlement for eligible children from 600 hours to 1140 hours from August 2020 and to support the implementation of the expanded entitlement”.

 Who should complete the consultation?

Everyone involved in early learning and childcare.

The consultation on the updated statutory guidance document can be found at:  

The consultation will run until 4 March 2020.

‘On-line Safety Awareness’ session

New computer games for Christmas? Kids playing games on-line? Are you feeling a little bit like it’s all an alien language and wish you knew more about it?

Useful for parents, carers, childminders and anyone working with or for children and young people, this free session will provide you with information and guidance to help you support your child or young person to stay safe on-line.

The workshop will be delivered by Robert Quigley, Digital Development/Online Safety Officer with Highland Council

This FREE training is available to everyone and bookings can be made via the CALA Inverness Office 01463 703033 or online by clicking here

Booking closes on 15th January 2020

The First Christmas – Lochinver ELC

The wonderful children at Lochinver wanted to share the story of ‘The First Christmas’ with us – here is the little film they have made. Words and scene-building by the children of Lochinver ELC!


Save the date – Rewarding Careers in ELC event!

On behalf of Skills Development Scotland, the Care and Learning Alliance are delighted to be coordinating an exciting partnership event aimed at encouraging and supporting those interested in a career in Early Learning and Childcare by providing them with focused and dedicated guidance on how they may embark on a rewarding career.

Book the date in your diary and keep a look (and listen!) out for the free Eventbright registration opening in the New Year –  and our MFR campaign in February!

Please feel free to share it as appropriate. 

If you have any questions or if you would like to attend as a provider or stallholder, please get in touch at [email protected]

Rothiemay & District Playgroup and Balhousie Care Home – Critter Keeper Visit

Rothiemay Playgroup and Balhousie Care Home in Huntly,  have enjoyed a close relationship for a number of years. This intergenerational link is maintained through monthly visits between children and residents which help to maintain the meaningful cross age relationships.

Since the visits began we have seen increased confidence, patience and understanding from the children who regularly attend. For some of the children it has filled a void for those who either do not have grandparents close by or available to them.

On Monday 18th November we all welcomed David Low the Critter Keeper to the Balhousie Care Home  with his menagerie of exotic and furry friends.

Here are some of our pictures from the day.

Discover more about the many benefits of intergenerational working across the ages in the ‘Bringing Generations Together’ document from the Care Inspectorate. Click here to access.

Rothiemay Playgroup is a registered charity. We are a small Playgroup and rely on a busy fundraising calendar and sponsorship events within the community so that we are able to offer a wide and varied approach to the Early Years. If you would like any more information or like to know how you can support us please get in touch at [email protected] 

Santa Loves STEM Video from the Institute of Engineering and Technology

As most of us are aware, there is huge demand for a workforce with STEM skills (Science, Engineering, Maths and Technology) and the IET (Institution for Engineering and Technology) has launched its annual ‘Santa Loves STEM’ video (IET) aiming to inspire the next generation.

In the animated story, we learn how Santa’s children, Sammy Science, Tommy Technology, Evie Engineer and Mollie Mathematician saved Christmas. We are shown the STEM toys they were given as children and the influence this had on their hobbies and future careers growing up.

The video aims to show young people and their influencers the importance of STEM throughout a variety of careers. It highlights how a hobby can lead to a job that you’re truly passionate about.

As well as the film, there is:

  • Further information about how the STEM toys influenced Santa’s children: click here to access.
  • Ideas of some fun things to make and do at home using items readily available, including a dissolving egg, magnetic slime, a kaleidoscope and even a smartphone projector: click here to access.