In 2015, STEP established a self-sustaining Roma community group, led by women for women. The women identified language as the greatest barriers to accessing services, engaging in school life, and supporting their children’s learning. So the women suggested that they create a bilingual app with useful words and phrases relevant to their everyday lives. As part of STEP’s BASC project (Blogs and apps to support mobility and social change), this strand of work involves a collaboration with eight Roma mothers in a primary school in Glasgow who meet with a software designer to co-create an interactive bilingual mobile phone app. The app will initially be in Romanian and English then developed into other languages such as Slovak, Hungarian and Urdu. Find out more on our research pages and look out for updates on Twitter @mobileandlearn.
Originally a pilot programme in STEP’s family literacy project (2015), the craft club (named by the mums) begins its second successful year- thanks to the ongoing commitment of the school and parents.
Held in a Glasgow Primary school, the staff, parents and children benefit from the engaging and interactive group focused on developing literacy, supporting home-school links and strengthening partnerships.
From January to March the group will be working alongside STEP and our digital media practitioner @ to extend language through digital technology and app design.
Welcome to the new STEP website. We’ve been working with teachers, the Traveller Educators network (TENET) and parents over the past 6 months to create a new look and feel. Although STEP is hosting the site we are keen that it represents a wide range of views, ideas, opinions and imaginations. For years many mobile and travelling communities have had difficult relationships with education and vice versa. At STEP we feel there is no longer a reason for this. Our discussions and research tell us that parents and children are enthusiastic about learning and the Scottish curriculum is well-positioned to offer learning experiences that can be relevant to all young people’s lives. Not only that, all learning can now be flexible – young people can learn in different places, use a range of learning tools such as digital technology and learn in ways that suit their personal needs and interests.
With all this in mind STEP’s approach is to embrace all possibilities for bringing education and communities together. We have some basic principles that help us in our work:
- no rules- anything can count as learning
- small steps – we believe in the ripple effect
- no hierarchies – we’re all learning together – every day we learn something new about learning!
- difference is to be celebrated
- creating is at the heart of learning – and we can all create
We were invited to speak at a PINS (Pupil Inclusion Network Scotland) event last week. The talk was about inclusion, digital media and Gypsy/Traveller learners. A few gasps accompanied the opening slides showing that that some Gypsy/Traveller families don’t want their children to be included in mainstream schools, particularly at the secondary stage. The very fact that this is how families feel is evidence in itself that our schools are not inclusive for all families and children. Perhaps now is the time to enter into real dialogue with families to understand how services can be improved.
The image above has been used to provoke discussion in training sessions. The school’s speech bubble is usually left blank and students/delegates are asked to consider what the school should be saying to mobile learners. A final year teaching student completed the version in this post – providing lots to think about!
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Two of the ‘STEPettes’ were delighted to get a ‘hairdo’ on the River City set recently. We were working honestly!
Being ‘on location’ was one of the perks when we consulted for the BBC scriptwriting team on the development of the recent storyline involving a Gypsy/Traveller family. Mary Hendry advised on a range of issues relating to Gypsy/Traveller culture and STEP was keen to ensure the ethical representation of contemporary Gypsy/Travellers in the media.
We felt the filming had huge potential to have a positive influence on a broad range of audiences and we have subsequently gained permissions to use the films as the focus of an educational resource. We hope to begin work on these in January with a team of young scriptwriters from the settled and Gypsy/Traveller communities. The resources will support Curriculum for Excellence Expressive Arts, Literacy and Health and Wellbeing experiences and outcomes. Watch this space for more news!