All in a good night’s sleep

An article on the BBC website today reports on something that I’ve found a hot topic for the last few years – sleep and how much do young people need?

I’ve run a number of sleep awareness workshops for parents in primaries in and they have been delighted to have the opportunity to discuss the basics in helping children and young people to develop healthy sleep habits.  The feedback I’ve received has been very positive.

The charity, Sleep Scotland, has also produced a secondary pack with lessons for all year groups.  This was purchased by the HWB Team and given to all secondaries last session.  I’d be more than happy to support the development of this resource in schools.  Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss either parent’s workshops or the secondary sleep pack further.

In the meantime, here’s what the BBC said today:

Young Enterprise, hard at work

Whilst at Mearns Castle High during the recent inservice, I came across these three lovely S5 students, busy washing staff cars in the car park.

They explained their early start back at school and car washing efforts were to raise funds for a trip.  As part of their work with the World Challenge initiative, the girls will join a larger group next summer and travel to India to help less fortunate children, whilst learning valuable life and leadership skills that will help them on their journey into adulthood and learning beyond school.

They need to raise £2000 to fund the trip and their car washing efforts over the two days had seen them net over £150.

Imagine giving up the final two days of your holiday to come back to school, get wet and dirty, all in the name of raising money to help those less fortunate.  A trip to India is a wonderful opportunity for anyone but I can’t help but admire their commitment and enterprising attitudes.

These students will go far – even further than India I would wager.

If you’re interested in World Challenge, check out their website.

Much more than just democracy

With Mrs Scott, the Head Teacher, casting almost the last vote, the elections for Head Boy and Girl have just taken place in St Luke’s High.  Now that the campaigning is done, the cakes, gifted to voters by candidates,  have been gratefully eaten and all the votes have been cast,  another, more important process begins.

One of the Head Girl candidates visited my office this morning with a tray of beautiful, freshly baked cupcakes.  I took the opportunity to chat to her, having read her manifesto beforehand.  She was a late entry to the race and I wondered why. 

She explained that she wants to study medicine but is naturally quite a shy girl and doesn’t like the limelight.  She understands that being accepted for medicine requires much more than straight As in her highers, which she has already achieved.  Even although she was very nervous about putting herself forward, she wanted to challenge herself to be more confident and assertive and to repay the school for everything they had supported her to achieve in the last five years.

Anyone who has had a hand in helping this young woman to get to where she is should be feeling very proud indeed.  To give her what she needs to step into the unknown,  in order to become more confident and responsible, so she can hopefully realise her goal of becoming a doctor, is what good teachers do every day.

Even if she doesn’t win the election, I’m pretty sure she will win in the long run.

This is happening in all of our secondaries and indeed, in secondary schools up and down the country.  It’s much more than just democracy and is a key part of learning for life.  And schools are at the very heart of it.  Isn’t it just wonderful to be making such a difference.


Who said Maths isn’t beautiful?

I was in Mearns Castle High for an inservice session on Teaching RSHPE (ofcourse you know this stands for Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood Education) and our venue was one of the Maths classes.

I thought I’d share this picture, taken from a wall display.  The teacher in question, who is now retired, is legendary for her inspirational, creative and inspiring classroom. 

Who said maths can’t be beautiful?

I wonder what an IDL project between Art and Maths would look like?  I’d love to see the results, wouldn’t you? 

And if you’re wondering what this has to do with HWB – how could you not be happy, inspired and ready to learn if your classroom looked like this?  Or if you had the opportunity to create your own version.

Isn’t everything about HWB…

Not just a pretty face…

Contrary to what many believe, Ashton Kutcher is not just a pretty face.  His recent acceptance speech at the Teen Choice Awards 2013 is something most teachers would have been proud of.  He shares 3 things that he thinks are the key to success

  1. opportunity
  2. being s*xy
  3. living life

Watch for yourself, it’s really rather good – if you can get over the screaming girls!

Wouldn’t it be great if more celebrities offered this type of advice?

If his career in movies doesn’t work out, I’m sure Ashton could become a great teacher.