Position statement on literacy development in children and young people

Over the past few years, the Psychological Service has been working with Highland’s Literacy Development Officer to develop ‘Literacy for All in a World of Diversity.’ Grounded in current research and government recommendations, ‘Literacy for All in a World of Diversity’ sets out a pathway for supporting the learning and teaching of literacy for all children, built around The ‘Three Wave Model’ for assessment and differentiated teaching. 

For more information please read our updated position paper.

Gathering children and young people’s views on their ideal service

Highland Council Psychological Service regularly gathers feedback from stakeholders as part of their self-evaluation processes. Pupil focus groups were facilitated by members of the Psychological Service, to gather primary and secondary school children and young people’s views – to help inform and shape future service delivery. Eight focus groups were carried out face-to-face in schools and a youth group setting.

Children and Young People Infographics

Secondary School

Primary School

Click here to find out more about the project, summary, key questions, and to access the full report.

Understanding Children from Armed Forces Families: EARLY YEARS

What is it like being a young child from an Armed Forces family? One where your mum or dad, or an older brother or sister, might be serving, a reservist or a veteran? You’ve certainly learned a lot of things already in life – how to manage what seem like sudden partings, long times without them, wondering how they are. Or moving from place to place, each one fine but slightly different to the last. What might you want from your Early Learning and Childcare setting? Of course, it is the small things that make the difference, the listening and understanding, working with families and children. This new resource for early years will tell you what it is like and how to help, as well as the wealth of learning armed forces families can bring to a setting. It is one in ten families in the country so well worth finding out.

Dr James McTaggart, Early Years Educational Psychologist, Highland Council

A resource that provides an overview for Managers, Educators and Practitioners – to access visit the Learning and Knowledge Hub on the Armed Forces Families Highland website or click the image below to view the interactive book.


Launch of NEW ARMED FORCES FAMILIES HIGHLAND WEBSITE along with a quick and fast access QR code for mobile users.

This website aims to provide easy navigation, key information, helpful resources and learning materials all at the click of a button for our Armed Forces Families, their Children and Young People and the Education Practitioners who work with them. We’ve had some great feedback already, “It is well laid out, easy to navigate and provides all the information required” ….  “This is a brilliant resource – intuitive and engaging” … “The website is fantastic – what an amazing resource”.

The Military Liaison Group (Education) is a Highland partnership that is committed to ensure that all Children and Young People from Armed Forces families thrive in Highland and suffer no disadvantage in their education due to being from a military family whether Serving, Reservist or Veteran.

We hope you enjoy exploring the website and there is an option to ‘subscribe’ – a great way to keep up to date with new information and resources that we post.



SAVE THIS QR CODE for mobile users:

Please PRINT, SHARE and DISPLAY this FLYER to support the launch

Universal toolkit for listening to children

This practical resource pack was collated by a multi-agency group working in Highland, to help elicit children and young people’s views and participation in the things that matter most to them. Participants in the group included: Highland Council Psychological Service, Early Years Education Support Officer, Allied Health Professionals, NHS, Social Work, and linking with third sector partners. Within the context of children’s rights legislation, this toolkit provides guidance on how best to elicit and include children’s views in their plans.

Listening to children – a universal toolkit

Highland Council Psychological Service involvement with care experienced young people

We have been working with partners to update our policy and practice in relation to care experienced young people. We think that this now better reflects the current context of The Promise and the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), as well as helping us think about our language of care in practice. Key principles of engagement are outlined along with clarification of service roles and responsibilities at the levels of casework and strategic support.

Stramash Fort William improves accessibility in their outdoor setting

“For the last 18 months we have been reflecting on accessibility for all children to our site.  The benefits of outdoor learning are clear, but we realised that our space wasn’t necessarily accessible for every child in a way that catered to their specific needs. We needed to lay an infrastructure that catered for all and set out to find solutions that would work within our context and desire to be sustainable and as low impact as possible.  For that to be possible, any future developments we undertake will now include the additional steps of reflecting on the design choices we make to ensure they lend themselves to all children regardless of need. 

In the past we have trialled different materials such as Geotextile with type 2 quartz on top, pallet walkways, Easylock path systems, and finally decided that the best solution to meet all of our needs would be the use of EcoGrid.  EcoGrid is made from recycled plastics and can be laid directly onto the ground with dressing material laid over the top.  Using Google Earth we made an accessibility plan for the site and calculated that we needed 700 running metres of pathways.  Our Psychological Service Home Visiting Teacher forwarded on information about grants from the Raddery Trust, from which we were successful in receiving funding of £5000.  This enabled us to buy 250 metres of EcoGrid as well as the material needed to dress the pathways.  Last Saturday we organised a work party through our nursery community which enabled us to lay all of the EcoGrid. We also managed to spread material on top of about 180 metres. 

We are overwhelmed not only with what our community was able to accomplish on Saturday, but also with the end result.  The bottom portion of our site has been transformed and has made us more energised to keep seeking funding so that we can proudly say that our site is accessible to all regardless of any need they may have.”  

Cameron Sprague – Team Leader – Stramash Social Enterprise

Towards self-regulation: a refresh of our resources

As adults we learn how to self-regulate but children need to learn their own strategies and we can help them by labelling the ones they have and trying out others to see which ones work best for them.

We have refreshed our resources within EASEYS for ASN Towards self-regulation. These now include some samples and templates as well as a refreshed set of self-regulation cards to help you personalise the support you provide for individual children.

A Wellbeing Evaluation Tool… the next chapter

As a follow up to our infographic detailing our journey so far in ‘Co-producing a Mental Health and Wellbeing Evaluation Tool with Children & Young People’ we thought you may be interested to find out more. Today we are sharing a short video detailing some of what our C&YP across Highland have told us about what SHANARRI really looks, sounds and feels like to them, and also what they think it should look like in their schools.

This video is part of a suite of resources that will sit alongside our completed wellbeing self-evaluation tool, and it can be used to introduce the survey to the C&YP before they complete it. If you are in a school and are interested in getting involved, or using the self-evaluation tool please get in touch with jo.chamberlain@highland.gov.uk

Your ‘SHANARRI’ School video link