Tag Archives: confident individuals

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.


Farewell to the class of 2013


I was delighted, on behalf of Pulse 984 Community Radio, to pay a visit to St Mark’s Primary as they said farewell to their class of 2013.  They had asked the radio station to record a feature that could be played on air and then shared with the school community.  Listen here as Head Teacher,  Gerard McLaughlin and Parent Council chair, Alan Kirkwood describe a class of willing, hard working, spiritual, confident, happy pupils who have been a credit to the whole school community.  And the pupils themselves have the last word – in song.

Up and down the country, children will be reflecting on the time they spent growing and learning in primary school and dreaming about their continued journey through secondary and beyond.

Probably with a tear in your eye as you say farewell to your young charges, don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back.  

How fortunate those of us who work in education are to have perhaps played a part in shaping their young minds and giving them the confidence and sense of wonder to enjoy learning as they embark on their next life stage.

Isn’t school just wonderful!  Have a great summer 🙂


Prison, punishment & morality with students from St Luke’s High

Senior students from St Luke’s, who are studying RMPS (religious, moral & philisophical studies), paid Pulse Community Radio a visit to share their experiences of a learning visit to Greenock Prison.  These very smart students talk about how RMPS prepares them for adult life, the different models of punishment, (including one mum who is stricter than prison!), what it feels like to share an exercise yard with lifers and what they would say to Kenny McAskill, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice,  if they had his ear.  It may challenge some of your views on prison.

Isn’t that what education is all about – giving young people the opportunity to learn, process and articulate their views about the world they live in and in which they will make a contribution.?

These students from St Luke’s do this rather well.  Click the link to listen for yourself.  You might want to use this as a learning resource with your own students.


Now look what they’ve done!


You’ll remember my post a few weeks ago about the group of boys I’m working with @ Pulse Community Radio as part of the Department’s Activity Agreement Programme.  We went to Eastwood Park Theatre Art Gallery to see the school’s SQA exhibition and they engaged with the artwork and told the group what they liked and why.  I thought I couldn’t be prouder of their achievements.  And then I was sent this!

Some of the boys have also been working @ Baby Grand Productions in East Renfrewshire and they’ve only gone and edited, produced and even starred in – their own short movie.

Confident, witty, resourceful and creative – that’s them all over.  See for yourself, you might recognise some of them.


Our young people don’t stop learning when they leave school.  For some, it’s when their learning journey really takes off.

All rise for the court stars of St Thomas’ Primary

St Thomas’ Primary P7s recently took part in a national “mock court case” competition.  It was the first time the school had entered the competition and they did exceptionally well.  From 66 national entrants, they were placed 3rd overall – a brilliant result for the rookie professionals. 

The team had to take on the roles of solicitor, witness, researcher, journalist, robe maker and court artist and had to present their case to a real judge, in a real court, in Edinburgh.   And they had to leave their residential trip to Castle Toward early and travel directly to the court in Edinburgh.  How’s that for dedication – no wonder they did such a great job.

I spent some time recording their story to air on Pulse Community Radio and here it is.  Take the time to listen to this impressive, motivated, bright young bunch and watch out for them.  They are surely the solicitors, journalists and teachers of the future!



If you’re interested in finding out more about the competition, get in touch with Marion Johnson @ St Thomas, who will happily give you more info.

Check out the link to a BBC news story about the competition.