Every August, as part of the Baillie Gifford Schools Programme, experts and enthusiasts share their innovative ideas for use across the sector, giving you inspiring new ideas to try out in the classroom.

This year we consider innovative ways of teaching pupils about the natural world and human rights; explore how to introduce young ones to art; and discuss the gifts and challenges of dyslexia. We also prescribe some practical poetry for teachers and librarians to help improve happiness and wellbeing.

Browse the full list of events below, or see page 6 of the schools brochure.

The Dyslexia Question
Wednesday 15 August
7.00pm — 8.00pm | Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre
Author-illustrator Lucy Volpin describes herself as ‘wildly dyslexic’ and never imagined she could be a published writer. Edinburgh-based publisher Barrington Stoke specialises in publishing books that break down the barriers to children getting into reading. Today, they take a frank look at the gifts and challenges of dyslexia. Afterwards, drop into the Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab to chat informally with the panel and seek one-to-one advice and reading ideas.

Building Resilience in Children
Thursday 16 August
7.30pm — 9.00pm | Garden Theatre
Neuroscience tells us that babies are born primed for social connection. Shown through the love of the primary caregiver, this connection shapes a baby’s brain to develop the resilience needed to thrive, while adverse childhood experiences have been described as ‘the single greatest health threat facing our nation’. Join Michelle Jones and Kara Whelan from Craigmillar Books for Babies, in conversation with research scientist Suzanne Zeedyk, author Carol Craig and picture book writer Debi Gliori to explore the implications for individuals, communities and Scotland as a nation.

Hearing the Voice
Friday 17 August
5.00pm — 7.00pm | The Bookshop on George Street
Discover how to inspire creative writing and reading through charting the voices of characters in books. Working with Durham University’s Hearing the Voice project members, Mary Robson and David Napthine, create a map of your reading experience through a series of playful exercises and prompts. Leave the event armed with your map and lots of creative writing ideas you can use to inspire pupils of all ages. Limited to 20 places.

Teaching the Natural World
Monday 20 August
6.45pm — 7.45pm | Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab
Novelist, science writer and former biology teacher Gill Arbuthnott and teacher Jennie Hargreaves explore how to use science books to bridge the gap between the classroom and the natural world. Using examples from the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize, they demonstrate how complex environmental issues can be made accessible to even the youngest primary pupils. Fun, informative and relevant.

Words That Burn
Monday 20 August
7.30pm — 9.00pm | Garden Theatre
Amnesty International’s Words That Burn is a cross-arts partnership offering a contemporary poetry resource on the subject of human rights, providing opportunities to get students writing and performing poetry, as well as exploring issues around rights and freedoms. Award-winning author and Words That Burn contributor Sarah Crossan introduces you to this powerful resource, together with Rowena Seabrook and Alice Sims from the Amnesty International UK Human Rights Education Team.

Picture Books: Introducing Art
Thursday 23 August
7.00pm — 8.00pm | Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre
A picture book can be a young child’s first experience of art and can be the ideal way to start looking at detailed images. Join award-winning illustrator James Mayhew, in discussion with Linda McClelland from the Scottish National Gallery and author Vivian French from Picture Hooks, for a fascinating discussion on supporting children to become strong readers and art devotees.

Tools of the Trade
Friday 24 August
7.00pm — 8.00pm | Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre
As the new school year begins, let us help you keep that holiday enthusiasm and energy! Using poems from the Scottish Poetry Library’s new anthology for teachers, editors Kate Hendry and Jane Cooper, together with psychotherapist Peter Kravitz, discuss how poems can be a practical part of every teacher’s wellbeing and happiness. After the event, drop into the Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab for your poetry prescription.

For more ideas to use in the classroom, have a browse of our Learning Resources page.


How to Book – CPL Events

Tickets £8.00 (£6.00 concessions – over 60s, students, Young Scot cardholders, Jobseekers and disabled visitors)

Book online here

Alternatively, use the CPL event booking form on page 40 of the brochure.

You can also call our Box Office on 0345 373 5888 from Tuesday 26 June (credit/debit card payments only).

We ask that you arrive in good time for all events as we do not admit latecomers or give refunds.