Archive for January 2012

THE MP’s SECRET Respect Your Ancestors – But Don’t Always Believe Them

In the early twentieth century, Sir George McCrae was one of Edinburgh’s elite.  Born in Aberdeen, he moved as a child to Edinburgh where he was raised by his uncle, John Buchan.  He left school aged ten to work as a message boy but shortly afterwards was […]

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MILITARY RECORDS AS GENEALOGICAL EVIDENCE: Robert Taylor, MM and Bar – a Soldier’s Tale

A student in my genealogy class brought me a set of military papers relating to her great-uncle.  She was keen to decipher the story they told. She knew Robert Taylor had served with the Gordon Highlanders in World War II, had been decorated and been killed in […]

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THE ENGLISH PATIENT Key subject is ailing as exams fail to address grammar and vocabulary failings

THE ENGLISH PATIENT  Key subject is ailing as exams fail to address grammar and vocabulary failings

The debate on the quality of English teaching has raged since English became a school subject.  Is the balance between the traditional canon and contemporary  literature wrong?  Have formal language skills been jettisoned for creativity?  Is English being ‘dumbed down’? As a retired English teacher and school […]

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Keeping discipline: behaviour management in schools

Keeping discipline: behaviour management in schools

KEEPING DISCIPLINE By Alex Wood Published in Holyrood Magazine, 16 January 2012 The Scottish Secondary Teachers Association’s statement on school exclusions is inflammatory.  “Senior managers in a small number of schools across Scotland are refusing to deal with pupils whose indiscipline is both detrimental to learning and […]

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Alexander Marr in Pittengullies, Fornicator

Alexander Marr in Pittengullies, Fornicator

Genealogy confirms Grassic Gibbon’s crie de coeur, “ … daft the journey, but the journeying good”.  We often start our researches with a clear target in view.  Months (even years) later, after meandering hesitatingly towards the knowledge we sought, we have gone down a host of byways […]

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Review: Dick Gaughan at Glasgow City Halls

Review: Dick Gaughan at Glasgow City Halls

Dick Gaughan’s Glasgow’s City Halls set started with his now standard introductory number, Si Kahn’s What You Do With What You’ve Got, as close to individualism as Gaughan gets.  The Leith troubador remains the champion of solidarity but his interpretation of Kahn also challenges individuals.  The whole […]

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TAKING THE LEAD Many educators are suspicious of an emphasis on leadership but are the best school leaders born to the job or can they be trained?

Leadership is at the core of contemporary discussion about education.  The final quality indicator in How Good Is Our School – the handbook by which Scottish schools are measured – is Management, Leadership and Quality Assurance.  Leadership training is championed by everyone from education minister Fiona Hyslop […]

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Schools must stay flexible

Fiona Hyslop’s recent curricular announcement hit the headlines because of the proposed abolition of Standard Grades.  But the education secretary’s statement included other debatable proposals.  instant payday loans reviews For 20 years most Scottish students followed a broad based course in first and second years and then […]

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IT’S TIME TO RETURN SELF-CONFIDENCE TO THE TEACHING PROFESSION We need a a culture change, not window-dressing, to tackle the headteacher crisis

Fiona Hyslop recently announced a major research programme into the recruitment and retention of headteachers. The first baby boom teachers, born in the late 40s and early 50s, were recruited in the late 60s and early 70s.  They taught the last of the baby boom pupils.  Now […]

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THERE’S GREATNESS IN EVERY CHILD. HERE’S WHERE TO FIND IT. A visit to the Columba 1400 leadership centre on Skye leaves headteacher Alex Wood hailing a jewel in Scotland’s educational crown

THERE’S GREATNESS IN EVERY CHILD.  HERE’S WHERE TO FIND IT.  A visit to the Columba 1400 leadership centre on Skye leaves headteacher Alex Wood hailing a jewel in Scotland’s educational crown

One of our third year girls, AbbieJo, knows exactly what she got out of a visit to the Columba 1400 centre at Staffin. “The best thing in Skye was knowing that you earned other people’s trust and we all grew together.” Thirteen of our S2 and S3 […]

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