Tag Archives: St Luke’s High

Welcome back!

 

I don’t know about you, but I was very happy to sit behind my desk today and get my to do-list written.  I’ve had a restful, happy festive break but I’ve been looking forward to getting back to work for the last couple of days.  For me, there’s something about working in a school that I’ve missed.  And I know what that something is too – the hustle and bustle of eager, enquiring young minds, desperate to drain every last idea and creative thought from each and every adult who helps them to learn.   Isn’t it great!

Here are a few of the things I’m excited about this term:

  • consulting with senior students in each of our secondaries as we pull together our ideas for revamping the RSHPE curriculum.  I am very keen to hear what they have to say about their experiences of learning in this important subject.
  • more planning with Barry Cook from Active Schools on our successful holiday programme.  Thanks to increased funding from the Council, we’ll be expanding the programme this year to include provision for S1 & S2 students and a programme for parents and carers, in partnership with our Adult Learning colleagues. 
  • delivering workshops on the importance of sleep at the St Ninian’s family HWB evening.  This is sure to be a busy and very worthwhile evening.  It will be great to see how the St Ninian’s community works together to give everyone the opportunity to look after their health.
  • working with the Youth Achievement Award group at Barrhead High to develop and facilitate a HWB event for the school’s S2 students.  With the ideas coming from the group themselves and full support from the HT and senior staff, their focus on raising awareness of self harm and where to go for support will be a first class piece of work.  I look forward to sharing it with you in due course.
  • taking part in a seminar at Isobel Mair School which is bringing together a whole host of partners and school staff who will share with the school community how we all work together to Get It Right For Every Child in Isobel Mair school.
  • working with the PT in Behaviour Support at Barrhead High  to facilitate sharing information, what works and how best to support young people’s mental health with the PSA team.  The first half of this work took place on the October inservice but we learned so much from each other there was a real keenness to continue.  It’s very exciting for us all.
  • developing a workshop for an Education Scotland event in planning for choices and changes.  I’m delighted to be invited to this as they’ve heard about some work I’ve been doing in secondary with small groups of students who struggle to cope with stress around exam time.  This is a pleasure to do and it’ll be a pleasure to share.

If you would like to chat with me about any of this work, I’d be happy to hear from you.  Perhaps I could be involved in something similar in your school..?  You can mail me on mckendryc1@ea.e-renfrew.sch.uk

I hope you’ve enjoyed your first day back as much as I have!

Do you come here often?

Each year at this time in St Luke’s, I co-faciltate an S6 alcohol/keeping safe session with the Campus Cop and Pupil Support staff.  I blogged about it last year – here is a reminder of their tips for how to keep themselves safe.

What keeps me safe when I’m out?

  • eat beforehand x7
  • buy your own drinks x2
  • don’t drink to keep up with the crowd
  • get a taxi home
  • keep your drink with you @ all times
  • stay with your pals x11
  • know your alcohol limits x7
  • tell someone what time you should be home x3
  • tell your parents the truth about where you are going x4
  • have a phone with you
  • have an ICE number in your phone (incase of emergency) x3
  • keep in contact with guardians
  • sort out a lift home
  • don’t walk home from parties
  • don’t go away with a stranger
  • know when enough is enough
  • don’t walk home yourself
  • know how you’re getting home
  • don’t mix your drinks
  • drink a litre of water when you get home so you’re not hungover
  • make sure your phone is charged
  • if you feel too drunk – stop!

The Drinkaware website has a wealth of information and advice, but this year they have also developed a free app, aimed at young people, to help them stay safe and connected, whilst they party.  Use the link below to download the app.

http://www.drinkaware.co.uk/good-times

Glasgow City Council also have a NiteZone initiative to help you get home safely after a night out in the City.  Use the link for further info and to follow them on Facebook.

http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3746

To get them in the mood, our lesson starter with the St Luke’s S6 group is to share their best and worst chat up lines.  Here are my favourites from this year.

  • Do you want to come back to mine and do all the things I’m going to tell my mate we did anyway..?
  • If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put you and I together..  🙂

I know which one would be more likely to work on me..  Have a safe, sensible festive season.

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.

http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/resources/c/curriculumimpactreporthealthandwellbeing.asp

 

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.

 

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.

http://soundcloud.com/pulse98-4-talkforscotland/prison-punishment-morality

St Luke’s show us how to do Anything

St Luke’s High in Barrhead hosts an I Can Do Anything day each year for their S2 students. A bunch of professionals are invited to spend the morning with the students, telling them about their profession and what they need to succeed. The professionals at the most recent event included a pilot; a nurse; a social worker; an IT specialist; a rock band; a police officer and a welfare rights officer, to name but a few. A lot of what the students learn from each professional is different – but a lot of what they hear throughout the morning is the same…  Adele Simpson, Principal Teacher of Enterprise & Creativity explains. Click the soundcloud link below.

http://soundcloud.com/pulse-healthy-radio/st-lukes-high-show-us-how-to

The student evaluation also shows how worthwhile an event of this nature is in helping them to get to grips with the transferable skills involved in the world of work.  And they thought it was great fun.  

SLH I Can Do Anything Pupil Eval Collated 2013

Finally – the all important slide that focussed the group discussions and kept the students on track.

I’m sure there are a whole host of examples of similar work going on in other secondaries.  Why don’t you get in touch with me so I can share your good practice too.

You dropped something…..

Along with pupil support staff and the campus cop, Gordon Sweeney, I’ve just done an alcohol awareness session with S6 @ St Luke’s High.  Given the students will have done many years of alcohol lessons in school, my premise for this session was to facilitate a sharing of knowledge, fill in the blanks and correct any myths.  Do I sound like a teacher yet…..?

With around 45 students, we ran the session as a big group, keeping it  informal and discussion based and using post-it notes and flipchart as our resources.  Here’s how it went:

Things you know about alcohol – good and bad (on separate flipcharts)

Good 🙂

  • you can have a good time because you don’t care
  • it turns me into a DJ
  • jagermiester tastes awesome
  • it’s easier to fall in love
  • it makes you sociable x3
  • it makes you more confident x8
  • it makes you funny
  • it relaxes you
  • it makes you a great dancer

Bad 🙁

  • it can make you vulnerable to sexual assualt
  • you take risks you usually wouldn’t
  • hangover!  x5
  • it makes you more vulnerable x2
  • you get angry/sad easily
  • it makes you sick
  • it makes you do stupid things
  • you can take a whitey x3
  • it makes you put on weight
  • you could end up with kids x2
  • it can be dangerous & make you do things you may regret later
  • more likely to fall to peer pressure
  • its bad for your health
  • it costs money
  • it can ruin your life
  • it can make you cringe @ what you said and did
  • you don’t remember kissing that girl

What keeps me safe when I’m out?

  • eat beforehand x7
  • buy your own drinks x2
  • don’t drink to keep up with the crowd
  • get a taxi home
  • keep your drink with you @ all times
  • stay with your pals x11
  • know your alcohol limits x7
  • tell someone what time you should be home x3
  • tell your parents the truth about where you are going x4
  • have a phone with you
  • have an ICE number  in your phone (incase of emergency) x3
  • keep in contact with guardians
  • sort out a lift home
  • don’t walk home from parties
  • don’t go away with a stranger
  • know when enough is enough
  • don’t walk home yourself
  • know how you’re getting home
  • don’t mix your drinks
  • drink a litre of water when you get home so you’re not hungover
  • make sure your phone is charged
  • if you feel too drunk – stop!

I always find this methodology works well.  It allows me to check where the students are with the subject matter and my job is merely to fill in the blanks – agreeing with what they got right and challenging their misconceptions.  As I suspected, they  know plenty about alcohol and safety but this served as a reminder @ a really important time.

In order to set the scene, our icebreaker asked the question “what are the best & worst chat up lines you’ve ever used – or heard?”  This one is my favourite. 

We can always learn from each other – be careful out there!