Interim reports

Education Learning Log

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

Best Nursery in Scotland!

The most recent HMIe reports for primaries in the  Cambuslang and Rutherglen Area of South Lanarkshire are those for:  St Anthony’s Primary, St Bride’s and also Calderwood Primary with the follow through on Loch also recently published, all showing the fantastic quality of schools in the area. Fabulous work going on and we are all ever so proud of the children, parents and staff in the area. All of these establishments are well on their journey to excellence.

The latest nursery publication in the area, is the HMIe report on Cathkin Community Nursery which came out today. The nursery has been evaluated as excellent in all the QIs in the report. I’m not ashamed to admit that I bubbled all the way through the feedback dialogue session the other week. It was just fantastic to hear the hard work of the team being praised to the hilt. Every word was deserved.  Last year the nursery was graded across the board at 6 by the care commission. As far as I am aware this is the first Scottish nursery to have achieved all 6’s from care commission then have all excellents the next year from a joint HMIe/Care Commission Inspection. Pretty special! The start the children are given in their educational journey at the nursery is outstanding. Well done to everyone involved with the nursery. I mustn’t forget to mention Liz and Karen – two very special leaders who are providing something immeasurable for the children in their care. Something which is making a difference not only to the children there now but as Patrick Duignan talks about – to future children in ways we will never know.

Southlanarkshire is now on twitter you can follow the LA @SouthLanCouncil

May 26, 2010 Posted by | education, leadership, learning, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


I’ve taken a week off next week. It’s the one year milestone since my husband died. Strangely in many ways the year has passed very quickly. I made a decision last year that my best route to coping would be to get busy to get over the worst times at the start. Loss is something we all deal with at some time or another, its a leveller which puts everything in perspective. So looking back, for anyone else with loss like this to deal with, what helped me? Probably for me its been about having a positive outlook more than anything else. Look for what’s good in your life and hold onto that.

From day one do things your own way, offers of assistance from  friends and family are always made with the best intentions, but deal with things in the way that you find comfortable, don’t make decisions or do anything because its the way everyone else does it

Don’t be surprised that the friends who you now have most rapport with are different from previously, you’ll become closer to different people, sometimes thats to do with  mutual life experiences

Don’t let how others behave around death upset you, everyone finds death difficult and some people won’t be themselves around you, thats ok

Start with the basics – remember to eat, sleep etc, that gets you through the first few days

Keep busy, to begin with tasks and chores  help your mind. I went back to work very quickly and it was my saving grace. Get into new routines, you can loosen these up as time goes on but its important to have some kind of schedule going so you don’t just stop functioning.

If things like sleeping are hard, then just rearrange your sleep routines. It doesn’t matter how long you stay up and guess what you can get lots of stuff done in the middle of the night!

Keep time just to be by yourself. Take time to be alone and just be, think and order your thoughts. I try to get half an hour or so every day to clear my mind, a bit of breathing

Live life to the full. Life is too short to worry about minutiae, do the things you want to do, remind yourself of what your dreams are and go for them.

Possessions and things are best to be dealt with quickly. When you lose someone their memories are with you, deal with clearing clothes etc quickly, it becomes increasingly hard as time goes on

Force yourself to go out. I often don’t want to go out but if I’m invited to things I make an effort to go. It gets easier every day. Don’t worry about doing things on your own, who cares? Go to the pub, go for your lunch, there won’t always be someone around who wants to do things at the same time as you, just do them.

Realise how important your children are. You can see every day in them how you and your partner have worked together.

Tackle firsts (Christmas, birthdays etc) head on – they won’t go away by worrying about them. Shoulders back, deep breath – things are always a bit easier than you think they will be.

Organise holidays, breaks etc. You’re the only person who is going to organise this, so do it.

When you’re feeling off, admit it to yourself, no-one is infallible, there’ll be good and bad days, with time there are fewer bad days. The most important thing you can do for yourself is be really aware of when to stop and when to remove yourself from situations

Be really thankful for your own coping strategies and resilience, they are I think pretty much linked to how your marriage was within itself, if you coped well with things together, then you’ll find coping with grief easier.

And last but not least I’m  keeping  trying to listen to music – and sometimes its not just a chore but because I want to…

October 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Learn to Learn

I’m not at all sure what my oldest son does at his work. He’s twenty two and it has something to do with money. Anyway this evening he said its time I sorted out what people learn at schools. I think he overestimates my actual role and abilities….Also understand here that he’s had a lifetime of switching off when I go into school chat mode….

We’ve had a hoot over the past few days with Derren Brown’s exploits and for years we’ve watched repeats of many of his shows over again, working out the minutiae of what he does. Both of us enjoyed his book with memory training stuff in it – all the visualising stuff etc, but the bold boy puts it into practice. So at the moment he’s been studying for some investment type exams – really dull stuff (to my mind at least) and he’s been waxing lyrical about how helpful these techniques have been to his studying. The point he made was to do with practising any such technique (which he’s been doing and I haven’t), and he referred me to Gladwell’s Outliers (which I reminded I’d bought him!). He asked why he hadn’t learned this stuff at school. Now I think his schools did a great job of developing his ability to learn, but I also think we’re getting even better at it now. What he suggested we need to do is help people learn how to learn and really push that! Is that not CfE in a nutshell? And does it maybe not also remind us that what we’re trying to do is build on the great practice out there, becuase they did a pretty good job with him before CfE? When quizzed further on this he said that they had done stuff similar to this at school but the thing was they never got to try it out – so maybe in primary he’d been taught some mnemonics but they never got to make up their own and he reckons that’d have made a difference. Active learning maybe?

Meanwhile I’m feeling busy at the moment lots of HMIe follow through activity, training, improvement plan visits and the like. But finding, thanks to a wee push from Jaye Richards and Ollie Bray that I’m loving twitter. It’s really helping my job and helping develop my personal learning network further. I don’t think you have to use such things to develop your pln and learning but I do think (and this becomes an even more embedded thought as time goes on) that the technology itself is not just a tool, or add on to what we do as teachers. The act of using the technology develops something quite different and important in our learning and gets us right to the core of what our key purpose is. Have a look at J Connell’s recent article, his way with words is ever so much better than mine. But also his article talks about the “creepy treehouse” syndrome and I do think we need to consider that really carefully. When the younger son spies me cavorting around on my laptop – he and his pals snort and say – aha “Momma Reid on twitter, Momma Reid on myspace..Momma Reid playing with i google” and they see my efforts as the worst kind of that syndrome, because for them anything I am catching up to understand is for them already past tense….

September 18, 2009 Posted by | education, ICT, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment


Had a very busy week, but hopefully worthwhile, catching up with Improvement Plan visits, staff development reviews etc and held an HMIe prep session for HTs, Ollie came along to do ICT talk with Jaye and held an area forum for Early Years, also went to various meetings, area committee re a recent HMIe and pottered about looking at STACs and 5-14 attainment, writing reports on these for some establishments. My job is very varied which is why I enjoy it so much, every day is different with new challenges. At the EY Area Forum Karen, depute at Cathkin Comm Nursery did some really helpful input on 0-3 curriculum, Pam McDaid QIO curriculum provided helpful workshop material for use back in establishments for CfE work and we had a look at just some of the CfE work already being completed to assist with planning by establishments – as always the quantity and quality of this is pretty remarkable. Sharing this over the next few months should help everyone in the area working in early years – we saw backdrop planners from Oakwood, individual CfE profile booklets, observation sheets from Glenburgh, Cathkin Primary Nursery Class had a whole variety of planners, overview sheets from the comm  nursery, individual CfE record booklets from Yvonne Barr etc etc and that was just skimming the surface. We hope to put together a folder of examples which people can use to kickstart/assist their own work.

Movies of choice this week have been zombie ones… Thirty Days of Night and Diary of the Dead… When busy these are my favourite films, sad but true, I do love a bit of zombie action.

August 29, 2009 Posted by | education, Uncategorized | 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

John Millar

A friend wrote these words about Fraser which summed him up. Particularly the guitar caper. He bought a new guitar the other week which also cost lots of pennies and a similar tale was told..

October 16, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


I normally don’t write anything about personal circumstances, but felt the need to write a few words tonight. Yesterday type 1 diabetes took its toll on my husband who passed away after fighting hard to survive over the past few weeks, in intensive care with pneumonia. Diabetes is much misunderstood and sometimes many don’t realise the increasing difficulties it causes as you live with it over time. Fraser was 42 and had been becoming increasingly poorly over the past ten  to 15 years and over the past 4 – 5 years  became house bound most of the time, due to autonomic neuropathy caused by the effects of the diabetes – “bad luck” was the Dr’s diagnosis, the diabetic consultant used to say he was a clinic all to himself. Depression is also a natural part of living with continuous pain and made life unbearable at times for Fraser. A quality of life is something many of us take for granted, for Fraser it seeped away. I know he will be peaceful now, but its hard to be ok when your best friend is no longer around.

October 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments


Jaye getting a mention in the TESS

September 12, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 2 Comments

Lacking sun sea and sand

Summer fun. So having booked up my three weeks leave, I fell down stairs on the first day and sprained my ankle…I’ve also to do jury duty during my break.

Never mind, I’m enjoying daytime tv instead of sun sea and sand. Hallmark channel is full of the joys of judges, various cops and csi types which are keeping me occupied along with my bag of summer books. I’ve passed my management coaching and mentoring diploma so I’m pleased about that and hopeful that this will be something I can use at work.

July 11, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment