Interim reports

Education Learning Log


The schools are now off on holiday, so it’ll be very quiet over the next few weeks in my office as much of the team are away. It’s me and the three support services staff who are now left . However the plus is the amount you can whizz through in preparation for the next session! Today’s list was a presentation for a  children’s services self evaluation workshop session, a vision and values CPD session on Inset Day1 with a school and a preparing for HMIe workshop for HTs at the start of the session. Got them all done and dusted plus finished off a Head’s professional development targets with her pm. So its been a great day, but it won’t take me long before I’ll wish the phone was ringing and I could be out and about in establishments. Luckily many of the early years establishments are 52 week places, so this time of year also gives me time to catch up more with them. The one thing I’m not doing yet is the establishment improvement plans which are already piling in for me to look through, this is a job which is a bit like when I had the forward plans set in at school, its ok when I start but at the moment its that thing you do when putting off studying – I’m making ticky checklists etc to avoid the graft of actually reading through and commenting on them. Heads and staff put such a lot of work into these that they deserve my spending quality time on them so I’m waiting till next week to start on them and getting bits and bobs out the way first.

June 29, 2009 Posted by | education | , , | Leave a comment


I was at a “secret” show the other day at Calderwood Primary. The staff, pupils and friends had managed to keep quiet a little show they had developed to pay tribute to their HT Ann Kerr who retires today after being Head at Calderwood for 28 years. They sneaked into the hall with a big audience whilst Ann was waylaid elsewhere. This is your life tributes provided by her sister were fab. The children sang their hearts out and the staff got themselves together as a Queen tribute choir for the event with a treat being the Janny “Eddie” Mercury. Fantastic. A few tears were shed and it was clear just how many lives Ann has touched over the years. She’ll be sorely missed but I know she is really looking forward to the next phase in her life.

Cathkin Community Nursery were involved in some filming yesterday for the EY DVD being produced by LTS to assist with CfE. They do some wonderful work there, so I’m sure they would have provided useful material to LTS.

June 26, 2009 Posted by | education, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Stonelaw Awards

Although in our Education Area, Stonelaw High isn’t one of my quality link schools, so I don’t often get the chance to visit, so it was great to get along to their awards ceremony last night and further add to my clapping repetitive strain syndrome at this time of year! The Depute Margaret Jack is THE master of award ceremony organisation, it was really slick. Enjoyed reading their leaflet “year of achievements” and really enjoyed the whole thing. Janice in the office even made meringues and lots of other nibbles were on offer after the ceremony for us guests too, marvellous.

Lots of highlights from this one – fabulous music from their award winning senior girls vocal ensemble who recently beamed live to Russia and other countries around the world from Glasgow Cathedral. The elements soul singers are in this ensemble and they won the evening’s special George Sherlaw Memorial Prize. Other musical highlights included Rachael Johnston on piano playing Le Onde and Kevin Sturgeon playing Tides – all really talented musicians. I was really impressed by the community links developed by Brian Cooklin and his team with local businesses  sponsoring many of the prizes for this evening’s events, and of course hearing about their, as always, sterling fundraising work with orphans in Africa. But best of all were the young people themselves who were celebrated for all sorts of achievements from academic to sporting with everything else in between, just a delight to watch. A special mention has to go to their Scottish Cup Winner S1 team who won yesterday and who were fit to burst with pride as were all the other young people, parents, carers and satff who were there last night.

June 19, 2009 Posted by | education | , | Leave a comment

ASDAN awards

Tis the season for…. awards ceremonies. Despite attending so many awards ceremonies at this point in the year I do really enjoy them, none more so than the ASDAN ones the other night. The folks at Universal Connections and the active break workers held this in the Townhouse in Hamilton. The best thing? Some of the young people who I remembered from previous jobs who were only  in p1 who were achieving bronze awards etc, a fantastic couple of dance groups, Britain’s Got Talent eat your heart out. It was a pretty special event.

This weather I have mostly been watching cooking programmes on tv… Supersizers in the eighties, a programme of wonder! Catch up tv if you haven’t seen it.

June 17, 2009 Posted by | education | Leave a comment

Official Opening

Was at the official opening of Cathkin Community Nursery’s new building today. Its situated in a Campus with Rutherglen High and Cathkin High and its just a great place to visit. The children were marvellous, singing, dancing and smiling and the staff were pretty great at all of that too! Inspiring is the word to describe the nursery. One of the parents who is also the nursery’s chaplain gave a vote of thanks and summed up all our thoughts about what a great place it is. He made me grin when he said he didn’t know what Karen and Liz the Depute and Head would have done with their lives if they hadn’t worked there, because they just fit the place so well. And isn’t that when real magic happens, when appointments and establishments just fit? Councillor David Bailley unveiled the plaque and he was full of praise too and emphasised the importance a good nursery start has on a young person’s future chances. A conference I was at recently showed some interesting stats which showed that pound for pound the biggest value we get and the biggest difference we can make is when we spend the money in the early years. If we look at how we spend money in education do we ask the question often enough about how much we spend and how much importance we put on early years education in comparison to other sectors? Certainly here the resourcing and importance put on Cathkin Community Nursery will be affecting the children, parents and carers in ways we will never be able to fully measure in the future, but I know the team are making a real difference to real people’s lives.

Its been a hard few couple of weeks but getting in about the children today made it worthwhile. And as I always do when I leave this nursery I had a little sniffle. If I could bottle what they do here I’d make a fortune.

June 11, 2009 Posted by | education | 1 Comment

SLC 2009 Achievement Awards

Thoroughly enjoyed this morning’s achievement award ceremony in Hamilton Townhouse. Nursery, primary and secondary pupils recieved awards for a variety of achievements from fundraising to musical achievement to eco work. Particularly pleased to see so many of the Cambuslang and Rutherglen Area establishments represented there, a wee tiny from one of our standalone nurseries met me in the corridor and told me very proudly she’d done just great, and she had! Trinity High won one of the special awards as a follow up to their COSLA gold award and Hallside Primary also won a special award. Well done them, and well done the team who put this event together.

June 8, 2009 Posted by | education | Leave a comment

Hong Kong Blog

Still trying to update and write up bits and bobs about the SCIPD visit to Hong Kong, this is not helped by a temperamental computer. However some more things appearing on the blog slowly but surely

June 5, 2009 Posted by | education, Hong Kong | Leave a comment

West Coats Art

Visited a great art exhibition at West Coats Primary. This is a school where they have really used CCC time to their advantage. A member of staff has an art room and takes the pupils at CCC time. She does all sorts of super work and is a great example of teaching enterprise through art and also teaching literacy within art – really stretching the children’s language. The staff had worked really hard to pull together the children’s work which took up the entire hall. One really neat idea was the use of plastic crates, tied together with plastic ties to make long shelf type units, each srate with an individual piece of pottery in it – it looked stunning.

June 3, 2009 Posted by | Creativity, education | , , , , | Leave a comment