Interim reports

Education Learning Log

Ministerial visit

Cathkin Community Nursery hosted a visit by Fiona Hyslop on Friday. They were celebrating St Andrew’s day witha variety of music, food, and activities. It involved children presenting a lovely framed print they had made to Fiona, a piper, singing and dancing. Liz the Head was delighted that the nursery was visited as it was a great boost for the children, the staff and the parents. As the Fiona Hyslop said “This visit made me proud to be Scottish but Scotland should be proud of all of you at Cathkin Community Nursery”. Liz was impressed to see the minister getting down and about things with the children and everyone had a great morning.

Just prior to the visit I’d popped in to say hello to Liz. As  I was leaving a parent said “It was nice to meet you Fiona”. For one scary moment I was sorely tempted in my new guise as Fiona Hyslop to announce a large injection of cash to education…… Ah the power…. But instead I just admitted I wisnae her.

December 1, 2008 Posted by | Scots | , , , | 1 Comment

Burns Supper

We’re always sneaky and wait for a week to have our Burns supper. It means the children have more time to learn their poem and it also means its easier to find a piper!

So this afternoon we had our Scots poetry recitation competition, a bit of haggis, accordian playing etc. It was a good way to spend a Friday afternoon. I did feel a bit teary though when the P1 teacher said, mid way through “Skyscraper Wean” clapping and singing by the children:

“You’ll miss all this.”

She’s dead right!

Next week is my last week as HT, next Friday I leave to take up my QIO post in Rutherglen/Cambuslang. I have still got mixed feelings about this. I am glad though that I’m not moving to be HT in another school, I think I would have found that even harder as where I am is just too special to me.

Our janny was very dapper this afternoon. Yesterday morning he was called away, so I did the gate wrapped up in a janny jacket with hood up. I was asked by several children later, and a support assistant why Mr McQueen was wearing a skirt at the gate in the morning… It was me honest! Today however he did wear his kilt and did a wee twirl for the children at our Burns Supper.

February 1, 2008 Posted by | Scots | Leave a comment

St Andrew’s Day



Above are some of the backpacks the children sent off to Mary’s Meals, who will take them to Malawi. In total 73 full back packs were collected which was tremendous. This is all part of the build up work that has been going on for the cluster rich task related to Malawi.

Our nursery and P1 children have been working together in our new little enclosed garden area and here are some of our pictures of what they’ve been up to.They are in their new outdoor gear and you can see the wormery which was being built. They were doing lots of numeracy related sorting etc when doing the gardening.


Today was our St Andrew’s Day event – in the afternoon we opened the doors for family time.

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This is very worthwhile but a bit scary for all the staff as we have to let go control slightly and leave the parents and children to move around and talk to each other!







November 30, 2007 Posted by | Scots | , , , | Leave a comment

Rich task update

We held our Learning Community’s Malawi rich task meeting tonight.

The outline of the Malawi rich task has been completed. The teachers used the handy blank publisher template from Argyll and Bute to write this up. Tonight, we all looked at how to set up a wordpress blog so fingers crossed we’ll soon have some blogging networks going on amongst our pupils in the eight different primaries. At the next meeting we will all agree how we are going to do the first mindmap/brainstorm piece of work in January with all the classes and agree the pre assessment format for the children. So far we’ve got a lot done (that’s the royal we..). What I should say is that this group of teachers have got a lot done!

Everyone has gone off tonight with some shared good ideas – thinking about sharing the criteria for the task, using various ways of doing this, peer and self assessment ideas etc. We’re looking forward to seeing materials Mossneuk are bringing back the next time related to sharing writing learning intentions.

If anyone is working on this too then just get in touch – the more sharing the better, is my motto! Sharing and learning from each other is the best way to learn! We’ve got on much faster because of what Argyll and Bute have shared on their website. It’s certainly made our task much easier to plan.

Prior to this meeting I had been at the lead officer network in the afternoon where we were sharing with each other what we are all doing and discussing action research. I met a visitor from New Zealand’s Education ministry who is over doing some research here for a couple of months. It turned out she is the New Zealand visitor coming to see us in a week with our HMIe district inspector to complete our HMIe process. This is to do the moderation of the Local Authority report on our action plan.

We are also having 5 visitors from Norway’s education service a few days after that. We are inundated with visitors since we moved to our brand new building and you’d think by now that we would be accustomed to working in our new environment. But I have to say that I pinch myself everyday as I still can’t beleive we work in such a beautiful building! So I’d show it off to people every day given the chance as we’re all so proud of it!

Tomorrow we are celebrating St Andrew’s day with various activities in class. In the afternoon parents and carers are invited to “family time” where they can wander and discuss with the children the work they have been doing on Scots Language. The books we have used for these book studies are , Katy’s Coo, Katy Morag and the Birthday, Scots FairyTales, Planet Perjink, Planet Fankle, Hercules Bampots and Heroes and Kidnappit. Some of our after school Scots singing group performed with other schools at Cathkin High last week and they will be singing to our visitors.

And somewhere as if by magic, Christmas has suddenly come upon us. We’ve been getting all glittery and sparkly, singing the nativity songs, sticking things together, making crafts for our fair  – the usual things that make Christmas so Christmasy in our school. I admit though that the nativity scenery making was weighing heavily on me until I went to the local craft shop and discovered these fab 50 foot long polythene sheets with stars and nativity back drops on them! Fantastic and then as the best plan in a while we recycled last week’s Anderson shelter into a stable! A roll of brown corrugated card and recycled oil drums can go a long way in our school!

November 29, 2007 Posted by | learning, Malawi, Rich tasks, Scots | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family time

Last session we introduced “Tea with the teacher” in p1. This is a weekly drop in and chat session every Friday with the P1 teacher. This session P2 have taken this on to weekly maths family time when a group of parents come to watch maths in P2 weekly. Next week we have our second P3-7 family time of the session. Parents/carers will come in during the afternoon on Friday to visit classes, watch teaching and see what the children have done for their Scots Book Studies. It’s also St Andrew’s day so we’ll be doing related activities when we have our visitors.

This is breaking down barriers between home and school. A real community of learning has to be open and welcome visitors/carers in to see what’s happening. It’s always interesting to see how work like this pans out overtime. I’ll be keeping an eye on how this develops and impacts on relationships.

The children are collecting backpacks and the contents for Malawi at the moment. The contents of these are always very touching, children often give up very treasured possessions for others less fortunate. Last time we had favourite teddies and books sent in because they were so special to the child. We have a gran who collected over 60 shoeboxes of donations last time. This is real citizenship in action. A favourite thought of mine at the moment is service and duty and how  this is about a state of mind where we aim to be selfless and to give/serve unconditionally. Sometimes in schools we can learn so much about this from little things our children and others around us do.

November 24, 2007 Posted by | learning, Parent Consultations, Scots, teaching, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Ma Granny

My granny used to talk about lukewarm food seeming like it had been barely warmed under someone’s oxters! Yuk… Today’s unknown Scots word in P6 was oxters, clearly today’s grannies don’t talk like mine did!

Today I have mostly been filing evidence…. Our HMIe2 report is due, so our Head of Community will be in tomorrow to look at progress. Our school has worked hard to continue to improve, I hope that what we have gathered will show what we have manged to achieve as a team.

October 9, 2007 Posted by | Scots | , | Leave a comment

Scots Lang

It sometimes takes a while before you notice something dying out before you. We’re in the middle of introducing Scots Lang book studies. I had an interesting conversation with Primary 6 today who felt Scots was something spoken elsewhere in Scotland – maybe on the Islands or in the middle of Glasgow. Few had relatives or knew anyone who talked using Scots words. We were reading Hercules in pretty easy to understand Scots. They felt it was a bit like those poems they learn around January for our Burns afternoon. After discussing this for a while we also discovered no one knew what a caber was, which was used to describe Hercules’ arms.

I’m saddened that something so important to our history and culture is disappearing as a normal part of every day life. I’m glad we’re doing these book studies though!

October 8, 2007 Posted by | Scots | Leave a comment