Child Protection Bulletin (February 2020)

The seventh edition of the Child Protection Bulletin (February 2020) is now available to download. It provides information about ‘Sowing Seeds – Trauma-Informed Practice for anyone working with children and young people and the ‘Upstream Project’.

 Click here to access


New guidance – Realising the Ambition: being me

Education Scotland has published the new guidance document ‘Realising the Ambition: Being me’

This guidance is for anyone who works with and for babies and young children in all areas of early learning and childcare and early primary school.

Education Scotland state:

“Realising the Ambition: Being Me builds upon the original principles and philosophy of Pre-Birth to 3 and Building the Ambition.

This refreshed early years national practice guidance for Scotland presents key information about the characteristics of child development based on research and evidence.

It explores the range of  interactions, experiences and spaces  we need to provide for babies and young children to help them learn and grow best from their earliest days through to being a young child in early primary school.

In essence, ‘Realising the Ambition: Being Me’ increases expectations of high quality but still provides the necessary support for all who work in the early years’ sector and beyond.”

The guidance covers:

Section 1: Introduction

Section 2: Being Me – Starting Strong

Section 3: What I need to grow and develop

Section 4: Child’s work: the importance of play

Section 5: Early childhood curriculum and pedagogical leadership

Section 6: Putting pedagogy into practice

Section 7: Ensuring quality through critically reflective practice

Section 8: Transitions matter; to me

Section 9: What we can learn from other curriculum approaches

Within each of the sections there is a depth and breadth of information including guidance on Schemas, play pedagogy, the role of the adult in supporting learning, responsive and intentional learning and suggestions for learning from other curriculum approaches.

Click here to access further information about the guidance including a PowerPoint presentation of ‘Challenge Questions’ to support our engagement with the guidance document.

Research Presentation – Exploring innovative models of ELC to sustain rural communities


Wednesday 11th March 2020 – 5pm – 7pm

Where: Inverness College UHI,

1 Inverness Campus, Inverness. IV2 5NA

About this event:

This is a presentation on the research findings from a 9-month study exploring innovative models of ELC and an opportunity for you to provide your views/feedback.

Exploring innovative models of ELC to sustain rural communities is a 9-month research project funded by the Scottish Government and EU Innovation Fund at a time of major changes in the funding and provision of ELC services. It has been led by Care and Learning Alliance (CALA) in partnership with The Shieling Project, University of Highland and Islands (UHI), University of Edinburgh, NHS Highland, Highland Council, Skills Development Scotland, Cantraybridge College and Connecting Communities.

The research is due to complete at the end of March 2020 and has been focused on 4 main strands of work:

  • A strong and sustainable workforce
  • Alternative places and times
  • Intergenerational partnerships
  • Transport, including mobile nurseries.

To book your place and further information visit:

Cyber Scotland Week

Cyber Scotland Week (CSW) 2020 takes place between 17th – 23rd February. This will be a weeklong festival of events on cyber awareness,  cyber careers and innovation in cybersecurity. During this time organisations large and small are being encouraged to join in. Examples of how we can get involved include:

Be part of the conversation online and support CSW2020. 

Host an event for your audience only. 

Host an event or activity for an external or larger audience


Alternatively, if you would simply like to raise your awareness or look for resources, you will find the following on their website:

  • Resources and Cyber Resilience Blogs – to raise awareness of simple measures everyone can take to be safer and more resilient online

To find out more CLICK HERE

Parental Involvement Act Consultation

The Scottish Government are consulting on the Parental Involvement Act – Statutory Guidance.

“The Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 sets out the role parents, schools (including nursery classes) and education authorities must play in ensuring all parents are fully involved in the life and work of the school and engaged in their children’s learning”.

The Scottish Government is seeking views to refine and update the statutory guidance on the Act.

Click here to access the current Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Statutory Guidance

Click here to access the updated Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Statutory Guidance

The consultation runs from 24th January 2020 – 30th April 2020. To access the consultation questionnaire, click here

Encourage and Support Early Years Skills for ASN (EASEYS)

Highland Psychological Services have produced new EASEYS (Encourage and Support Early Years Skills for Additional Support Needs) – supporting inclusion for Early Learning and Childcare Expansion.

Highland Psychological Services introduce the resources by asking us to consider “the impact of the expanded hours on children with Additional Support Needs (ASN)?” along with stating:

“Some of the questions in this EASEYS for ASN could apply to all children in your setting but may have more of an impact for children with ASN. What might be a minor inconvenience for some could have a dramatic impact on others. Adjusting your environment and approaches could make all the difference…”

This informative, easy to navigate resource contains a wealth of information including:

·         Together time

·         Communication with Home

·         Self-regulation

·         Quiet time

·         Intensive Interaction

·         Key Transitions

·         Meeting Additional Support Needs

·         Support Strategies Toolbox   

These resources and many more can be found clicking here. Why not keep up to date by signing up for the Highland Psychological Blog and receive notifications when new posts/resources are added.

Children’s Mental Health Week

This week is Children’s Mental Health week and this year the theme is ‘Find your Brave’. 

Place2Be, the children’s mental health charity has some useful tips for parents and carers to help encourage children and young people to ‘find their brave’ and overcome challenges. 

It seems that 1 in 8 children and young people could have a mental health problem so we probably all know someone who might benefit from some support. 

Check out their website  for more information and spread the word – Click here to access

Child Protection – policy and practice fit for purpose?

Are you involved in a Community Group or Third Sector Organisation and keen to ensure your Child Protection Policy is appropriate and robust to help keep children safe? Then the Highland Child Protection Committee’s Child Protection Policy and Toolkit for Community Groups and Third Sector Organisations is for you!

The toolkit contains a range of helpful guidance and templates including a Safeguarding self-evaluation tool. The policy and guidance are free to access and can be downloaded from or

CALA members can access the CALA Child Protection Policy and Safe Recruitment Policy via the CALA memberzone

Highland Council Guidance on Deferred and Early Entry to School

Highland Council shared reviewed guidance on deferred and early entry to school on their ‘elchighland blog’ Click here to access the post for full information and download the guidance.

Parentzone Scotland – I am an engineer!

A recent newsletter from the Northern Alliance highlighted the website Parentzone Scotland for supporting Family Engagement. This website is a tool to support parents  ‘be at the heart of their child’s learning’ by providing useful information on a broad range of topics including curriculum, schools, additional support needs and ideas for supporting their child’s learning at home.

Their ’Supporting science, technologies, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at home’ page provides information and ideas for parents to support their child in different areas of STEM at different stages of their learning journey.

An example of one of the tools is: ‘I am an engineer!’

Parentzone Scotland describes this as,

“a learning resource for families to engage in STEM activities using the world around them. The workbook is split into sections depending on the age and stage of children and families and supports them to learn about engineering in a fun and challenging way. You can find out more about the work of some real-life engineers and have fun trying some of the STEM activities and challenges as a family”

To explore this valuable resource and much more, visit Parentzone Scotland at:

It’s never too early to share a book!

We wanted to share a lovely example of how our Family Service workers are promoting early literacy and family learning through PEEP sessions which support parents and children to learn together. 

At a recent PEEP session, one of our FS practitioners was talking with parents about the benefits of sharing books with babies.  Parents of a 5-month-old baby were there and the Dad thought this a strange idea as his baby was far too little.  Staff encouraged him to try reading a story: he did so, and the little one was mesmerised!  When the story was finished he kept staring at his Dad until Dad read him another book!  Mum was so impressed with this she went out and bought some books for the little one and is now reading to him every day!

It’s never too early to share stories with a little one and there are a useful video and information for parents on the Parentzone website at  which also includes information about accessing libraries. You can find out about Bookbug bags available from the Scottish Book Trust here:


You can find out more about PEEP here:

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