Tag Archives: curriculum for excellence

The impact of our work in HWB

Education Scotland has produced a short video report on their recent HWB curriculum impact visits across the country.  They visited East Renfrewshire and spent time with schools in the St Luke’s cluster and wider learning neighbourhood, including Isobel Mair School.   And they liked what they saw and heard very much.

Producing a report in audio/video is a great idea.  You might find it easier to access in this format.



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.


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.

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.


Woodfarm High’s Ambassadors for Sport – & pretty impressive young people in their own right.


Marie Baxter, Active School’s Co-ordinator in the Woodfarm cluster, recently brought her student sporting ambassadors to Pulse Community Radio to tell the listeners about the role they play in promoting sport and physical activity in their school.  It wasn’t long before we realised they are really impressive young people in their own right and are doing a brilliant job of supporting the school’s efforts but also preparing themselves for university and the world of work.  

If you know Amy and Grant, you’ll already know what I mean.  They are sure to make a great job of whatever they do.  Click the soundcloud link below to listen for yourself – they are a successful product of a great education.  Well done Marie, Amy & Grant!


Confident individuals – a fine example from Eastwood High

Eastwood High and Pulse Community Radio recently played host to a very famous former student, who’s now a BBC Radio 1 DJ!  Ally McCrae, who comes from Neilston, spent an afternoon chatting with and passing on advice to students and budding radio broadcasters.

Eastwood High Depute Head Teacher, Margaret McCartney, was delighted to welcome Ally back to school to spend a period with senior students, who are keen to follow in his footsteps with a career in media.  Ally didn’t even blush when Margaret read from his yearbook.

Ally then passed on advice and inspiration to young volunteer presenters at Pulse Community Radio, many of whom are students in East Renfrewshire Secondaries.

I was lucky enough to record a show with Ally where he talked about his experience of school,  growing up in a musical house and how the skills he learned from home, school and University helped him to carve a niche in the music industry that lead to the holy grail – a job at BBC Radio 1!

Anyone who taught Ally should be proud of the part they played in what he has gone on to achieve. 

Everyone who teaches should be proud of what Ally has to say about education.  You all make a difference.  You never know, one of your students right now might be the next Ally McCrae..

Listen to this inspirational, infectious young man right here.  Why not share with your students – you might inspire them too.


A whole school celebration of HWB @ Mearns Primary


Many schools organise whole school events to celebrate aspects of the curriculum like Eco Schools, Citizenship or HWB.  These are great ways to showcase all the great work that goes on in school, engage with parents and invite other members of the school community to share in community learning. 

I recently attended Mearns Primary’s HWB & Eco Event, with my recorder, and managed to catch some very busy staff and pupils to have a quick chat and get a sense of how they have embedded HWB into their learning; how they’ve motivated pupils to get involved in organising the event and how they’ve encouraged enterprising pupils to develop a wonderful project that raised money for the school.  

Listen for yourself

P6 pupils make and sell a fitness DVD 


PT Jo Macgregor on how to make the process as simple as possible http://soundcloud.com/pulse-healthy-radio/teacher-jo-macgregor-tells-us

Our good chum Barry Cook – more children, more active, more often! http://soundcloud.com/pulse-healthy-radio/barry-cook-promoting-health