Tag Archives: school leavers

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 🙂


The Art of Happiness

As part of a short development course @ Pulse Community Radio, with a couple of colleagues, I am working with a small group of school leavers, as part of the Department’s Activity Agreement Programme.  The group are all boys and they are an interesting bunch.  A few of them have plenty to say and some say virtually nothing.  I’ve been using techniques I’ve learned from my more experienced colleagues in schools and social work (and even from my boss Alison) to help me engage with these young men.  I want to see and hear evidence that they are thinkers and can articulate how they feel about experiences they might not necessarily have chosen for themselves.

Our most recent experience was to visit the fantastic SQA art exhibition @ Eastwood Park Theatre, where students from our secondaries exhibit their exam portfolio work.

We’d tried this before on a visit to GoMA in Glasgow and it went down like a lead balloon.  With fingers crossed, we set them free in the exhibition space and asked them all to choose a favourite piece and be prepared to tell everyone else in the group why they liked it.

Now I get why you stick with teaching despite the difficulties.  Each and every one of them chose a piece and spoke, some @ length, about why they liked it.  They talked about how the art made them feel, how they liked the colours, what they thought inspired the artists and how it made them think about space.  I was bowled over.  And so were some of them I think…

Art makes me happy and I suspect that, on that day, it made them happy too.

If you haven’t already, go along to the exhibition.  It’s inspirational and we should be rightly proud of our young artists.

Here is a selection of the boys’ favourite work.