Literacy & Numeracy, 03 February, Edinburgh

Literacy and Numeracy main.jpg

Literacy and Numeracy Main

Holyrood Magazine’s Literacy and Numeracy Event

Improving our pupils’ skills for further learning

Reading standards among eight and nine-year-olds in Scotland have fallen by 5% since 2012, according to the Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN) results revealed in April 2015. Regarding numeracy, more than a third of S2 pupils were “not yet working within the level” expected. Cabinet Secretary Angela Constance admitted that “these results are not as good as they should be. They demonstrate the need to re-double efforts to ensure that every child can succeed in school and so gain the skills they need for life.”

Holyrood Magazine’s Literacy and Numeracy Event will explore what we can do in Scotland’s schools and beyond to improve our pupils’ ability to write, read, talk and deal with numbers. Through plenary presentations and different discussion formats delegates will:

  • Learn from educational research and good practice about effective approaches and methods to improve literacy and numeracy skills
  • Explore how external partners can help fostering literacy and numeracy skills of pupils and thus support the work of teachers in the classroom
  • Exchange knowledge and experience with peers and discuss how they can improve their practice


09:15     Registration and refreshments

10:00     Introduction from the chair

             Keith Aitken, Journalist and Broadcaster 

Session 1: Where are we now and how can research help us improve?

10:05     Literacy and numeracy levels of Scotland’s pupils – Where are we now and why is it crucial to improve?

             Prof Sue Ellis, Professor of Education at the University of Strathclyde

10:25     Evidence-based approaches to raising attainment in literacy and numeracy

  • crucial strategies identified from key aspects of this research and inspection evidence, including up to date evaluation of literacy strategies by the National Literacy Trust and of the development of early numeracy in East Lothian Council
  • no single “magic bullet” but need for consistent use of a complex of learning and teaching activities involving all pupils in thinking about practical applications of language and numbers
  • exemplifying practical ways in which these key strategies can be implemented across the curriculum in both early and later stages of school learning

            Ernest Spencer, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Research and Teaching Group for Curriculum, Assessment and Pedagogy School of Education, University of Glasgow

11:00     Questions and discussion

11:20     Refreshment break

Session 2: Fostering literacy and numeracy inside and outside the classroom

This session will include a number of case studies and examples of approaches and methods to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of Scotland’s pupils inside and outside the classroom. Afterwards, delegates will have the opportunity to discuss what they can learn from these examples for their own work and organisation and exchange experiences.

11:40     Understanding the mathematical reasoning of pupils to help them improve their numeracy skills

 Helen Martin, Lecturer in Mathematics Education, University of Aberdeen

12:10     Read on Get on – Get children reading well to give them a better future

12:30     Case study: Mixed-ability teaching and other methods to raise numeracy standards

             Stuart Welsh, Head of Mathematics, The High School of Glasgow

12:50     Adapting Big Writing and Reflective Reading to support children of all abilities

             Caroline Petrie, Head of Upper Primary, Edinburgh Academy Junior School

13:10     Questions, answers and group discussions 

13:40    Summary by the chair

13:45    Lunch and networking

14:30     Close of the event

* The agenda is subject to change without prior notice.

Who should attend

The event is aimed at everyone who is involved in managing and leading primary and secondary schools, teaching staff and others who are planning and delivering education for school children in Scotland.  

Venue and costs

Event location:  Novotel Edinburgh City Centre, 80 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9DE

Delegate rates:

  • Discounted rate: £149 + VAT (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: £199 + VAT (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: £299 + VAT (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please contact Svea Miesch, by email or phone 0131 285 1692.