Interim reports

Education Learning Log

Out and About Conference

We’re organising an Out and About Conference in South Lanarkshire. This invite contains all the information on how to apply to come along Out and about conference invite




July 30, 2011 Posted by | education | Leave a comment

National Recognition for Stonelaw High School Achievements

The Social Enterprise Awards, the nationwide competition that celebrates the work and achievements of the UK’s most inspiring and successful social enterprises took place last night in the 02 venue in London.

Stonelaw High School, Rutherglen won the Young Person’s Social Enterprise of the Year Award for the excellent work undertaken by the school’s Fair Trade group.

Ed Miliband, presented the Award to pupils, David, Carys and, Radika and teacher I Gilchrist who represented the school at the award ceremony.

The Stonelaw Fairtraders group has raised the amazing sum of £120,000 selling Fair Trade products this year which has been used to help support over 300 young people in other countries with Aids

Fantastic to see recognition for all the work undertaken at Stonelaw. Its a great school with lots of exciting things going on. Brain Cooklin HT and the whole school community must feel so proud!

Its sometimes easy to take for granted the work that goes on in our schools on a daily basis. Stonelaw is one of those places where work like this is so embedded that we sometimes need reminded about just how remarkable our young people and those working with them are.

Congratulations to everyone at Stonelaw!


March 31, 2011 Posted by | education | , , , | Leave a comment

ICT Futures

Thinking about ICT future development a lot just now….

Loving this video which someone showed me from RM. The future of glass – may not sound relevant to learning and teaching but have a look and its great for starting discussions around possible future developments.

If you haven’t already read it look at the 2011 Horizons report – lots of food for thought.

And one of my favourite augmented reality type learning and teaching sites which Doug Dickinson directed me towards – zooburst

I’ve really enjoyed seeing Doug in action recently along with Richard Crossland – delivering some training in SLC – moments of magic where you see people in the audience nodding and answering the “so what” question in their heads about using technologies. For too many years its been about the how to work the stuff and not the “so what can this do for learning?” What Doug does looks simple from the audience but is anything but….

March 30, 2011 Posted by | education, ICT | 2 Comments

Stonelaw High

Great article in TESS this week about P.E teacher at Stonelaw High.  Good to see Alan Byrne’s work recognised.

January 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Lots going on just now. I’m currently doing quite a bit re ICT at the moment. Within our service there is a glow team who develop that side of ICT while I work on strategic ICT developments with the IT business team etc. We have a lot of really interesting developments in the pipeline not least the development of an Early Years ICT Strategy – I’m particularly keen to see this through. Our starting point has been an audit of just what equipment is in place in our various classes and standalones, we currently have a kit from RM out being piloted on a rotation as well. Our big step last week was to get the ball rolling with a group writing up a strategy which will be the start of moving this forward. Exciting things to follow.

Also pinning down materials for pupils, teachers and parents on responsible use of internet, which we will be launching soon.

Hoping to visit Aberdeen’s H2L2 room to see how we could possiblythink about taking forward a demonstration/learning facility similar to this in SLC in future.

We’ve been thinking a lot about the new trenche of primary new builds too in terms of ICT provision, so it was good to have Ollie Bray along recently to add his thoughts on this. Great to see our school modernisation programme moving full steam ahead in SLC. Working with the school modernisation team really is one of the joys of my job.

The other developments I’m involved in at the moment include Teaching Learning communities, teaching for understanding etc and I’m looking forward to a conference (EDU_Real_Learning_Invite) we’ve been organising. Not many places remain so if interested, people need to apply soon.

In terms of RME, which I have picked up the remit for we are currently developing professional networks which we hope will be led by practitioners, taking a much less centrally directed format in future.

The biggie at the moment for me however is my primary staffing remit, new ways of collating this from now as schools enrol pupils will make my life easier! Really delighted we now have P1 sizes of 25 in legislation. A staffing group will be working  this month to look at some of the changes being introduced by the government this session. The thing I enjoy about this particularly is that this part of my work lets me really get in amongst the cogs of the machinery – you see the big picture of how things work within such a big organisation.

Interested in the curriculumshare development in relation to Journey to Excellence with a way now available for schools to upload three minute reflective videos, which share good practice. Available on glow also facebook, twitter and youtube.

Hallside Primary School, which I’m quality link officer for, have recently had their HMIe report published and its a super report which reflects the work going on in this large, busy school. The headteacher here is a great role model who really understands collegiate working and develops leadership at every level.

In terms of reflection, I’ve been spending a lot less time talking at meetings! I had one of those revelation moments the other day when all the things I’ve been involved in recently suddenly brought me up short. I realised how much I had learned lately, and that the learning is changing my way of working. Sometimes my job is so pacey I miss what I’m learning! I had a bit of a moment where I realised I’m sitting back more at meetings and discussions, and instead of having to stop myself talking I’m now doing that (a bit) more naturally. That’s a big step for me! Despite doing a lot of coaching work I still often want to tell rather work with others to get their solutions and ideas. Listening and watching is becoming something I’m increasingly enjoying – you see how other people’s thought processes work, how people are developing etc. Must be my age…



January 15, 2011 Posted by | education | | Leave a comment

Educating for the Unknown


SLC are hosting a conference on Feb 23rd in Hamilton. The key note speaker is David Perkins of Harvard University. The above link gives the cost and joining instructions for the conference. Look forward to seeing some of you there. it’s going to be an interesting event.

December 8, 2010 Posted by | education | Leave a comment


I had a really interesting day today at a seminar run by the International Futures Forum. This technologies for learning workshop was focused on the potential development of a Scottish Government Technologies for Learning Strategy. The three inter-related themes were:

experience – what have we learned from previous investments in technologies?

Pedagogy – how is the development of technology influencing pedagogy?

Capability – what do we know about existing and emergent technological capability etc

There was a lot of interesting discussion and I particularly enjoyed the input from Pat Kane which was really thought provoking. He’ll be posting about what he said on  the play ethic site soon.

This was the start of a conversation about the future. It struck me that a theme coming out was the theme of trust – trusting teachers to use technologies without lockdowns, trusting senior school managers with budgets to invest in technologies, trusting young people to give their thoughts on the debate and that the majority will use technology safely, trusting that if something does go awry we’ll be able to deal with it at that point. This is a theme which is coming up increasingly in my daily work. Maybe the current climate of austerity is making us question much more what we need in local authorities, schools, classrooms to make a real difference and why we do things the way we do them. Why do we find it so hard to really trust professionals to get on with their job? How much of what we do on a daily basis in our jobs has disempowered people? When will we really shift into coaching and mentoring at all levels in education so that young people and adults feel empowered to make their own decisions, mistakes and take on accountability for how things move forward?

It reminded me of a week at Castle Toward years ago. I was with a group of P7s and part of their group getting over a high wooden wall, with no footholds ( about 12 feet). It was one of those team efforts where everyone had to get to a platform on the top, and I promptly interfered and gave advice. One boy took himself out of the group and wandered off to the side – completely adamant he wasn’t getting involved. Eventually he came over and said to me – “Look when you stop helping us I’ll get involved.” Point duly taken I backed off and he worked with the others to get everyone over in a really fast time. His leadership and collaboration with the others was outstanding. At feedback later his comment to me was ” When you learn to trust us to solve our own problems, you’ll find we can do it and even if we can’t we’ll have tried our best”. Clever boy, who had been really hard going in class previously – disengaged and hard work.Big lesson for me…

October 15, 2010 Posted by | education | | 7 Comments


Had a couple of weeks off and feeling half human again. Don’t quite know how I got to July  without having taken any annual leave….Last term was a bit hectic  but one of the more motivating times I’ve had in a while with lots of new things to learn. NQTs all finally placed for their year’s probation – we welcomed them all in the last week of June – after nagging at them all about making sure they use social media and develop a digital presence to help with their work, I felt bad that I don’t use facebook – love twitter for CPD but never gotten round to the facebook thing, so got myself in gear and organised with that. Mostly motivated to join up  so I can see my big boy’s photos of his two year trip to the Far East! Was indebted to Ollie Bray for help with presentation for the NQTs.

Looking forward to next week when I’m off the the Summer leadership school in Glasgow. Last attended this in Edinburgh for the first leadership school which was a great event.

South Lanarkshire is through to the lottery award finals with Sportworx – great to see this fab programme getting well deserved recognition.

But the best thing over the past few weeks is we are now all settled into a new office space – for the past few months I’ve been a bit of a bag lady – dragging a mobile office of ICT paperwork, primary staffing files,quality assurance etc around in a big trolley. Often to be found in car parks trying to work out the intricacies of a school’s staffing over the phone with folders all over the car, I’ve really enjoyed being able to base myself in different offices with support services, school mod etc, but it is pretty good to have my own desk and workspace with the rest of the team now!

August 1, 2010 Posted by | education | | Leave a comment

Great teaching at Stonelaw High

Great to see Alan Byrne at Stonelaw High in the Cambuslang Rutherglen area of SLC recognised in the TES awards. The full article about the awards  is here

The following quote from the TESS explains about Alan

“A South Lanarkshire teacher has won the top honour for a lifetime’s achievement in the first UK-wide TES Schools Awards, presented yesterday at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Alan Byrne is no stranger to Scottish teachers and pupils, having worked with thousands of them in his 40 years as a PE teacher. For 27 of them, he has taught at Stonelaw High, putting the school firmly on the national map with countless sporting victories.

In the past year alone, Stonelaw produced four Scottish Cup-winning teams in volleyball (two), cross-country and football, and seven internationalists from six sports. Three of the current Scottish volleyball team come from the school.

Mr Byrne’s pioneering approach to setting sport in S2 won media recognition four years ago for boosting the achievement of the best athletes while increasing the fitness of the young citizens of Rutherglen, who sported pedometers with enthusiasm as they strived to raise their exercise levels and enjoyed sessions on the trampoline or running through the local heritage park.

School inspectors have praised his PE department’s “new and creative approach to improving the health and well-being of young people”, recommending it as an example of good practice. And Stonelaw has won bronze, silver and gold awards for being a health-promoting school.

His Higher course materials are used by more than 100 schools and he leads national and local authority inservice training. He has also, through “caring counsel and motivation to students who struggled elsewhere”, produced some of the best PE exam results in Scotland.

On top of that, Mr Byrne, whose teenage daughter died 15 years ago after years of 24-hour care, has helped other similarly-afflicted families and managed to fundraise over £80,000 for charity.”

The school’s nomination drew a vast range of testimonials from colleagues past and present, which reflected their admiration and affection for him. The words “inspiration”, “energy”, “commitment”, “passion” and “enthusiasm” ran through them, as did “respect” and “regard”.

Uddingston teacher Jean McLeod said: “He epitomises the phrase ‘Deeds, not words’, leading by example in teaching, managing his department, moderating for SQA or taking extra-curricular activities. He shares knowledge and experiences.”

Another teacher, Lisa Polombo, said: “In leading the curriculum, Alan is informed and his opinion valued. Revered across Scotland, he comes into lives and makes big differences, whether you’re a pupil, colleague or friend.”

His headteacher, Brian Cooklin, simply added: “I know of no other colleague who deserves this award more. Alan is unique.”

The TES judges were overwhelmed by Mr Byrne’s achievements, saying: “The sheer range of sport that he’s taught is impressive – but it’s even more impressive when you see so many of his teams have succeeded at such a high level. And on top of this, he has done unstinting work for charities. He’s done it all.”

June 18, 2010 Posted by | Creativity, education, learning, Making a Difference | , | 1 Comment

Inspiring teacher

Great to see Caroline Gibson on a CPD short talking about her future CPD plans, her work in Malawi etc. I know what an inspiring teacher she is. Go watch!

May 28, 2010 Posted by | education, leadership | , , , | Leave a comment