Interim reports

Education Learning Log

Trinity High

So I went back for another visit to Trinity High today. P Bollen the HT had offered a tour/visit round some of the 2nd year classes to get a flavour of their cross curricular topic work. Spanish, Home Economics,Science, Library skills etc. It was really impressive. The young people are a credit to the work going on within the school. It’s a funny thing as you visit schools and those who do this as their job would probably say the same thing, but you can feel the ethos almost from the moment you go in the door. And it oozes out of Trinity – the SMT know their kids and even more important like them and do the best they can for them. Lots of laughter and also lots of respect amongst the youngsters for each other and the adults.

He’s one of those heads with nae shoe leather (due to walking fast round the corridors) and I had little left after running round after him at high speed for a couple of hours. Loads of things to see and take in – talks in one class being given after a few days work on famous Scottish Scientists, powerpoints on the go in the library where they were writing about inspiring Scots from Mary Slessor to Jinky Johnstone and even King David “Cos that’s my name too!”, boys jumping up to demonstrate the Salsa they’d learned the day before in their Spanish class and fantastic personal topics they’d completed looking at life here and in Spain, and some haggis, neeps and tatties in the HE department being cooked, work going on about obesity in Scotland and how to combat it etc etc. Anyway after talking to a lot of the children the consensus was that the week hadn’t seemed like work but actually they’d done more than normal and loads of extra homework! They’d particularly enjoyed the way they’d been able to work much more in groups and felt they’d collaborated really well with each other, they’d learned more than normal because it was more fun and best of all maths had been really good because they’d been doing stuff about Napier rods and planning trips to Scottish places looking at how long to get their, using timetables, costing etc – and a few said it had been good because they knew they could use what they’d done in maths because they could use it in real life later. Did they want more like this – YES!

The biggest compliment I could give would be I’d have loved my own boys to go to this school, I’d have been happy and confident that they’d be doing the best they could there. And do you know what I quite fancied working there myself.

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February 26, 2009 Posted by | Creativity, education | , , , , , | Leave a comment

JTE in action

There are some days it just hits me between the eyes that I’ve got the best job in the world. Today was a hard one getting up, Wednesday, feeling kind of sleepy mid week and then I get to work and I see why I come to work every day. I was doing a PDR today in a nursery and didn’t expect either of the sniffly, happy, weepy moments that hit me. Cathkin Community Nursery showed me their ongoing planning whiteboard where they are reviewing their vision, values and aims. Using the word ENABLE to write their vision they are then colour coding the related CfE links and the aims (written as outcomes) which they are developing ready to work out actions to put in their improvement plan. They also told me about the 200 places parents in the area have applied for with their awards for all grant for parental courses at SLC college. On the playroom walls they are colour coding photograph backgrounds with a specific colour for CfE principles. They had rewritten the AIFL triangle for their own establishment so all staff felt ownership of what they were doing. Then in pops Rachel with her individualised learning story media show – with all the photos and evidence for one child showing their learning progression. WOW! I could write much more but go see it! Then off for a surprise treat at Trinity High, where they are currently in the midst of a cross curricular week with all departments involved. The theme is The Scottish Nation. Starting with an assembly on the Monday, pupils made choice to study within curricular areas, went off with a fabulous quiz to complete over the week, where they were getting input in departments but also having to do study research in their own time. They also have to complete ongoing research material as the topic is worked through. The planning and thought going into this was wonderful. What was coming out straight away was the additional element of engagement and enjoyment which was being tackled in looking at the curriculum in this way. They too are delving deep into their vision and values. One impressive piece of work is how they are evaluating the school using the charter for catholic schools. The evaluation looks at the distinctive features in Trinity High and signposts areas for further development. For anyone in any school whether denominational or non-denominational this piece of work is a great example of excellent practice in self evaluation. And what comes across in both establishments is the commitment of the staff, the joy of improving things for the young people and the understanding of how much of a difference they can make in the life of these youngsters – sparking that golden nugget in them of lifelong learning. The other thing which is clear in both is the desire to build capacity in all those involved within their school – the good school in the good society. And the best thing about my job? I get to see stuff like this every day!

February 25, 2009 Posted by | Creativity, education, teaching | , , , | 2 Comments

Herald on Glow

Glow is getting lots of write ups, including this piece in the Glasgow Herald.

May 3, 2008 Posted by | glow, ICT | , , , | Leave a comment

Qualification review

Full text of Fiona Hyslop’s statement

April 24, 2008 Posted by | learning | , , | Leave a comment