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Showing posts from June, 2016

Another year, but different.

As I write this, we are rapidly heading towards the end of the school year in Scotland. In my own two schools we have one full week and three days to go to the end of the current session. Of course, as anyone who works in a school knows only too well, there is no sense of 'winding down' as there is still much to do and to achieve before we all head off to our summer break. In my own case, there are two school sports days, one parents' evening, one music competition, one end-of-year celebration, one end of term service, one P7 Swansong and one school trip over the next eight working days. So, plenty to do, and this list does not even include some of my other tasks to be completed in that time. The submission of School Improvement Plan, School Improvement Report, trying to finalise staffing for next session, and a social event to thank, and mark the moving on, of several members of staff, all still to be completed, especially as I am heading off to Australia the day after ou…

Collaboration, or a cosy chat?

For many years now we have talked about the power of collaboration for school and professional development. We hear a lot of talk about this and professional dialogue and conversations. But, should collaboration be viewed as more than this? My contention is that it should be, after all you know what they say about talk and its value? It's cheap. There is no doubt that talk is crucial to social cohesion and communication, but it is my belief that collaboration needs to be more than this.
Collaboration is a crucial aspect of human and professional development and learning. In my view, talk only becomes truly collaborative when it is focused on a common purpose, otherwise it's just a chat. True collaboration should be about the desire to work together to achieve improved outcomes, that would be impossible to deliver whilst working alone. Collaboration should challenge the status quo and provide the vehicle for innovation and development at all levels. Collaboration needs to be an …

Here's a thought, or two, or three

Well, this week in Scottish education, and political point-scoring, has been dominated by the latest results regarding numeracy from the Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN). Media, politicians, and everybody and their dog, have pronounced on the state of Scottish education based on what has been widely reported, and misreported, this week from the SSLN. One of the things that concerns me most about a lot of the pronouncements made is that it is fairly obvious that most of the people giving opinions and soundbites have not bothered to read the entire report, and have completely failed to think critically about the data presented or the interpretations being put on it.
The SSLN reports annually on either numeracy or literacy, they alternate each year. The report is based on a random sample of four pupils in each school at P4, P7 and S2. Pupils in my own schools have just been completing this year's survey of literacy and these will be sent off to be marked and pored over …