Archive for October 2012

McLeish fails to grasp the popular desire for small nations

McLeish fails to grasp  the popular desire  for small nations

Henry McLeish’s new book, ‘Scotland, the Growing Divide’, is already dated. McLeish’s primary appeal was for a second question, on devo-max, in Scotland’s 2012 referendum.

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The Brothers Grimm at the National Library of Scotland

The Brothers Grimm at the National Library of Scotland

The new exhibition at the National Library of Scotland celebrates the 200th anniversary of the first publication of the fairy tales of Jacob and Wilhelm, the Brothers Grimm, and runs until 18th November.

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Cockleroy and the Scottish Korean War Memorial

Cockleroy and the Scottish Korean War Memorial

West Lothian is too often dismissed as shale bings and industrial waste but its rolling, verdant countryside offers wonderful walking opportunities, nowhere more so than in the Beecraigs Country Park and the surrounding parts of the Bathgate Hills. A great start to exploring this piece of countryside […]

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A sense of community

A sense of community

A very personal first reaction to Denis Mongon and Charles Leadbetter’s School Leadership for Public Value (Institute of Education, £23.99), was relief that I work in education in Scotland and not England. They describe the drive in England, over the last two decades, towards increasing central control […]

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A second Tobago connection

A second Tobago connection

The story of Peter Tait and his ownership of the Concordia Estate in Tobago (D&GFHS Newsletter, July 2012) is in fact a second Dumfries and Galloway connection to Concordia. The Memorials of St Michaels (W McDowall, 1876, pp226-7)notes the gravestone of Deacon James McKill, although without a […]

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Father figures

Father figures

For me, the brightest highlights of this year’s Scottish Learning Festival were two separate but related seminars. Both dealt with families and both originated in South Lanarkshire. The first, ‘Engaging fathers in children’s learning’, described a South Lanarkshire Community Learning project initiated in 2007 and still going […]

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Drift and indecision are the worst part of school closures

Drift and indecision are the worst part of school closures

The City of Edinburgh Council has initiated the statutory consultation prior to the proposed closure of Craigmillar’s Castlebrae High. No other Edinburgh school closures are proposed. In August 2007, the newly elected Liberal-SNP coalition mooted plans to close 26 schools, three of them secondaries, one of which […]

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Children’s Book Review: Gobbolino, the Witch’s Cat

Children’s Book Review: Gobbolino, the Witch’s Cat

There’s a delightful irony in the publishers sending me Ursula Moray Williams’s Gobbolino, the Witch’s Cat, (MacMillan, RPP £9.99) to review.  Both as a teacher and a parent I enjoy children’s literature and I love animals.  Unfortunately, as all my best friends know, while I have no problem […]

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Postcards from the Line

Postcards from the Line

Postcards from the Line is the unique exhibition now running (until 4 November) at the Line Gallery in Linlithgow’s High Street.  The concept is simple: the pieces exhibited include nothing bigger than A6, nothing framed and no glass, may be in any medium or on any theme and […]

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Reasons for keeping God and truth at arm’s length

Reasons for keeping God and truth at arm’s length

The recent film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’, has generated violent reactions, including the killing of the US ambassador in Libya, from various groups in the Islamic world. Cultural critic Stanley Fish has written a piece in the New York Times, ‘Libya, Violence and Free Speech’ which lambasts both […]

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