Jargon Buster

You'll come across lots of terms within schools that you may not be familiar with. Below we help you out with the jargon.

ANS: Additional Needs Support

Christian Focus Week (or day): the opportunity to explore the Christian faith through a theme such as charity or peace across mulitple curriculum areas for a day or a week

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE): the name for the school curriculum (see 'Get Started' for more details)

Curriculum Leaders: another name for a Head of Department, generally found in secondary schools

Depute: Senior member of teaching staff who is second in command to the head teacher

Education Scotland: The national body supporting quality and improvement in Scottish education

Enhanced Disclosure: A criminal record check for working with children obtained before 2011, now replaced by the PVG Scheme Record

E’s and O’s: Experiences and Outcomes (see the article on Curriculum for Excellence in Getting Started for details)

HMIe: School inspectorate, now under the umbrella of Education Scotland

LSA: Learning support assistant

PSD: Personal and social development

PVG: Membership of the “Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme” enables you to obtain a criminal record check and be recognised as someone who is not unsuitable to work with children or vulnerable adults

RME: Religious and Moral Education

RMPS:  Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies studied at secondary school

RO: Religious Observance events. Traditionally an assembly, but under the guidelines for RO there is scope for some genuine creativity. See article for more detail.

SMT: Senior management team

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) : They provide the formal qualifications gained by pupils in schools

Transitions: The move from P7 to S1

Can’t find the word or acronym that keeps tripping you up?  Either contact us or have a look at the SQA website

« Curriculum for Excellence (‘CfE’) | Main

"A Time to Reflect" or Religious Observance (RO)

You may think that RO is the latest way of saying ‘school assembly’ – it’s not actually that straightforward and, in some cases, may be very different from a traditional assembly. Religious observance is defined as:

Community acts which aim to promote the spiritual development of all members of the school community and express and celebrate the shared values of the school community.

Report of the Religious Observance Review Group, May 2004

RO might happen in an assembly hall when the timetable says, ‘assembly.’ However there are some key differences. Assemblies are often times for giving notices, awarding certificates and updating the pupils on what they should – and should not – be doing as well as reinforcing the school’s values and ethos. In contrast, RO ideally should not take place in the context of ‘school housekeeping’ but should be a stand alone event. Schools are required to enable pupils to participate in six acts of RO a year, not including any based on religious festivals

RO is not ‘an act of worship’. Schools are diverse places with a variety of faiths and views on religion among both staff and pupils. You can’t make someone worship a God they don’t believe in! Rather, RO is a time where pupils have the opportunity to engage with some of the big questions of life, and it is valid to do this from a faith perspective. It is intended to allow spiritual development in its broadest sense – through sensing mystery, values, a changed quality of awareness, otherness, challenge and meaningfulness.

This breadth gives real scope for creativity to develop RO outside of an assembly style context, which can have a greater impact on pupils as they don’t come with a mindset of being in a conventional assembly.

You’ll find some pointers in the grand ideas section. For more information on RO have a look at the Religious Observance Template or visit the SU Scotland website.