Interim reports

Education Learning Log

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.”

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

Holocaust Memorial Day 2010

Plans are well underway for our Education Area’s Holocaust Memorial Day event on 27th January 2010. The  resource at http://www.hmd.org.uk/ gives ideas/resources/links which can be used to take this forward in schools. In Rutherglen and Cambuslang the event will be hosted by Trinity High School. Schools from each of the three learning communities in our area will be represented. Art work from local establishments will be displayed related to the theme  “The legacy of Hope”. The draft programme which has been devised by an area working group with the help of our cultural co-ordinator includes poetry written by children inspired by Ernest Levy, songs by various schools, prayers of hope, survivor monologues and reflections on a visit to Auschwitz Birkenau in September 09 by pupils from Trinity. Guests at the event will be asked to attach notes to our area’s tree of hope at the event, suggesting ways we can all make a difference in the future.

December 18, 2009 Posted by | education, learning, Making a Difference | , , | Leave a comment

More on Excellence

The recent Care Commission Report on Cathkin Community Nursery confirmed what we already knew – its an excellent establishment. But what are the key aspects about the establishment that make it so good? It would be difficult and not sensible to replicate what they do elsewhere as each establishment is set in a unique context, with its own uniques set of children, parents and staff but there are things which we can all learn from what takes place in Cathkin Community.

The leadership of the nursery is exceptional – improvement planning and talking about improvement is a way of being at Cathkin Comm Nursery. This striving for excellence,  for innovation, for better ways of doing things is evident as soon as you go in the door – the Nursery has an abundance of awards from a COSLA silver award, to SLC awards to certificates of staff CPD and children and parent achievement on display as soon as you go in and this sets the tone for everything else. The less formal achievement tree has little messages which are added to daily from stories from Mums about new babies, to wee ones who have leared something new at nursery or home to messages about how proud they are to have had a visitor. Everything is noticed, celebrated and the attention to this kind of small detail is very important.

As you walk through the nursery the wall displays have a tone which has evolved over time – there’s a balance between published and children’s work but work which is displayed is linked to CfE principles and outcomes for instance if there’s a display with photos of playing outdoors – it won’t say that John was splashing in the puddles but that John was splashing in the puddles and he was exploring and appreciating the wonder of nature – everything is about learning. There are colour coded displays  for each of the four capacities with photos/evidence to link to these. Floorbooks are displayed for the children and adults to look at with ones for different curricular areas, focus topics etc etc. Planning is up on the walls with tips for the week related to learning and teaching. Children’s learning stories/portfolios are accessed by the children all the time so they can update them/read them and staff have a purposeful well planned way of doing assessments, running records etc. But none of this ever stays still for instance the learning stories are now being made into multi media resources.

All staff have leaderhip roles of their own and most are involved in additional study such as PDAs BAs etc in their own time. Any innovative practices carried out have presentations written about them which other establishments can ask to see and use with their own staff.

Visitors pop in and out and are welcomed at any time, doors are opened and you can have a good old nose to find good practice and this is openly encouraged!

Self evaluation is circular and real. For instance questionnaires last session showed parents would like more courses etc, so the nursery applied for funding, got about £9000 and set up courses with a local college. I’m just off to see a fashion show shortly which parents are putting on after they’ve spent 10 weeks looking at their self esteem, how they present themselves/look after their health etc.

Volunteers are welcomed, community links are fostered with everyone you meet knowing something about the nursery or having some involvement in visiting.

Their vision and values are clear and embedded. They use the word ENABLE and their vision is linked to the word in a sort of acrostix. Then their aims are divided into parents, children, staff, community and management. These are then linked to the improvement plan.

They are making a real difference to the lives of the children and adults involved in their community, and those differences and little impacts are often immeasurable. Liz and her team will never know all the differences they have made or the impact they have had on our future’s children

August 12, 2009 Posted by | Creativity, glow, leadership, learning, Making a Difference | , | Leave a comment

Hong Kong Study visit

I’m going on a SCIPD (Scottish Continuing International Professional Development) study visit from 16th May for a week. Information on SCIPD can be found here. We will be writing a blog when out there which can be found here.  The group visiting Hong Kong met with Nick Morgan and Joanne McLaughlin last week to discuss the details of the visit. So why Hong Kong? From results of recent studies Scotland could be doing better at some things.  The aim  is to learn from other countries who feature  higher in these studies eg PISA/TMMS. While out there we’ll be visiting a range of establishments from early years to secondary wih a particular eye on teacher development and partnership working. The delegation going have a range of experience across authorities in Scotland and are all senior education officers within local authorities, so not only will we be learning from our hosts but we will be able to share our experiences and expertise with each other too.About a month after our  return we will meet again to share experiences after having  time to reflect.  At that point we’ll agree responsibilities for presenting our experiences in key themes to a larger group of SCIPD delegates in October. We’ll also meet with other  study visit groups around October and make formal presentations to others about what we have learned and how it has impacted on our/others practice.After about 9 months we’ll produce detailed reports for the LTS website. So the trip is a long term commitment for all of us to our personal CPD and also with an expectation that we will carry forward work on our return to impact in our own areas.

May 6, 2009 Posted by | education, Hong Kong, learning, Making a Difference | , , , | 2 Comments

Multi Agency Working

One of the joys of my job is being able to see how well we can do things together when all the right pieces are in play. I really enjoyed my evening at the cinema in Hamilton tonight where there was a first viewing of a new DVD called Make A Difference. 3rd year pupils from Cathkin High, Stonelaw High and Trinity High came together with volunteer teachers and police officers from Rutherglen Community Safety Deprtment over several weeks after school. The pupils were involved in producing the DVD – script writing, lighting, camera work, sound, editing and acting. FPS Media provided the techy help. The DVD includes dramas, documentaries and some out takes. It deals with a range of aspects related to anti social behaviour – racist incidents, weapons, loitering and drugs.

It was great to see how this multi agency approach with funding from various partners came together to produce such a worthwhile resource which will be used by schools and groups throughout South Lanarkshire.

 

June 17, 2008 Posted by | education, Making a Difference | , , , , , , | Leave a comment