Independent Nursery, Junior and Senior School, Edinburgh

Head’s Blog

Early Morning Fire Alarms

Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in Head's Blog | Comments Off

In 1989, I was a Housemaster in a boarding Prep school in Ayrshire – sadly no longer in existence (not my fault…honestly). It was my responsibility to look after 20 boarding children from the end of the school day at 5.30 p.m. until assembly the following morning at 8.40 a.m. Fortunately, I was young and did not really take the responsibility too seriously. The great thing about being young is that you tend to have suffered fewer disasters than those older than you. I think it’s called...

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Scotland’s Shame

Posted by on Sep 27, 2012 in Head's Blog | Comments Off

Albeit old news, it is heartening to be reminded that the Government’s school-building programme is underway and on course to develop school buildings, fit for purpose. However, it should not be buildings’ refurbishment that is at the top of the Government’s agenda. The real disgrace within Scottish education is the attainment gap between our poorest and most affluent pupil base. Two local authority schools, separated by a mere 7 miles, in Glasgow and East Renfrewshire, illustrate this....

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Expect the Unexpected

Posted by on Sep 19, 2012 in Head's Blog | Comments Off

I’ve always secretly admired those teachers (and headteachers, in particular) who bounce out of beds in the morning, go for a cycle, a swim, a 3km run and appear at school by 7.30 a.m. full of energy and endless enthusiasm and optimism for the day ahead. I have a tendency to hit snooze repeatedly before falling out of bed and heading bleary-eyed towards school – a short 200 metre walk away from my front door – arriving slightly behind my start time of 7.45 a.m. Anyway, all of this by way...

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The Importance of Being Resilient

Posted by on Jun 27, 2012 in Head's Blog | Comments Off

I am becoming concerned by the nature of what we judge a successful education to be in Scotland. Currently, it seems based on the notion that by passing a series of examinations then schools have done their bit. I would really question that. For me, what defines us is the manner in which we succeed, the manner in which we fail and the manner in which we conduct ourselves in the world in which we live. The highest compliment we can ever receive is that we handle success and failure in precisely...

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Curriculum for Excellence 4: The Last Word

Posted by on Mar 21, 2012 in Head's Blog | Comments Off

Published as an interview, The Scotsman, 8th March, 2012 Quoted in Parliament, Cabinet Secretary for Education, 8th March, 2012   I am becoming increasingly concerned by the politicisation of educational debate in Scotland. The only effect such a situation creates is uncertainty for Scotland’s children and their parents and that is unacceptable. That is why today I am nailing my colours to the mast of Curriculum for Excellence, on the timetable set out by the Board responsible. It is...

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(Anti) Social Networking

Posted by on Nov 21, 2011 in Head's Blog | Comments Off

Published, The Scotsman, 15 October 2011 (as an abbreviated interview) Is it just me or are there others out there who believe that social networking sites are the most divisive, most abhorrent, least useful innovation of all time? I find myself worrying that I’m just becoming an old fogey who isn’t in touch with today’s ‘yoof’ and that ‘networking’ through various forms of social media is actually a vital cog in society’s wheel. Then I pinch myself and realise that I’m...

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