Visit to Pinkie St Peters Nursery and Primary School
Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and young people visited Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School to see some Early Years Collaborative work in action. The Early Years Collaborative promotes quality improvements in early years services, enabling local practitioners such as nursery staff, primary school teachers and health visitors to test new ways of working to improve life chances for young children and their families.
During the visit, Ms Campbell saw how the nursery and school is helping children develop their communications skills to support learning and build their confidence and resilience. With help from Puppet Animation Scotland, teachers have been trained to use puppets to help children to vocalise their feelings and emotions.
This work is currently being tested using Early Years Collaborative improvement techniques and is already showing improved interactions from the children who have participated. During the visit, primary seven children from Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School took the opportunity to ask the Minister some questions about her work for a school podcast. Ms Campbell also met East Lothian’s Lead Officer for Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) to hear more about East Lothian’s work to put children firmly at the centre of service delivery in line with the Children and Young People Scotland Act.
Ms Campbell said:
“East Lothian has embraced our vision of making Scotland the best place to grow up and it’s always great to hear how the Early Years Collaborative is helping make the lives of children and families brighter and better. Every child deserves the best start in life and that includes having the very best early education and the right support when needed. The work that Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School is testing and implementing with puppets to help children vocalise and interact better is also a great example of GIRFEC – putting the best interests of children at the forefront. We want to ensure that professionals work together and with parents to ensure children get the right help, at the right time. This means bigger problems can be avoided in the future and that’s exactly why our focus is on tackling inequality and inequity through supporting children and families as early as possible.”
Early years matters
Fiona McLeod, Acting Minister for Children and Young People, reflects on quality improvement in early years services and beyond during her time in government.
Read Fiona McLeod's article on quality improvement in early years services
Take Time for a Story – improving literacy
Acting Minister for Children and Young People, Fiona McLeod, joined hundreds of parents and children in Glenrothes during Bookbug Week recently in an attempt to beat the Guinness World Record for the most parents reading to their children simultaneously. The record currently stands at 427 parents reading to their children at one time and Fife expect to hear soon whether they have broken the record.
This event was part of a campaign across Fife – Take Time for a Story – to encourage more parents to read and story tell with their children to improve literacy, attachment and brain development.
As part of the Early Years Collaborative and with support from the Early Years Change Fund, Fife used quality improvement methods to engage nurseries, libraries, parents and children across the local authority area and measure increased numbers of children having stories read to them.
Ms McLeod said:
“It was fantastic to see such an incredible turnout, especially as it took place during Bookbug Week. Taking the time to connect with your child through stories benefits both children and adults – it’s relaxing and fun and helps your child learn and grow.”
Read more about the Take Time to Read event