Friday, 17 October 2008


At morning break today, I thanked staff for their support and loyalty throughout the past term and chose this poem to draw attention to the wonderful work we do and to emphasise the importance of teamwork when working with children.


I dreamed I stood in a studio
And watched two sculptors there,
The clay they used was a young child’s mind
And they fashioned it with care.

One was a teacher:
the tools she used were books and music and art;
One was a parent
With a guiding hand and gentle loving heart.

And when at last their work was done,
They were proud of what they had wrought.
For the things they had worked into the child
Could never be sold or bought!

And each agreed she would have failed
if she had worked alone.
For behind the parent stood the school,
and behind the teacher stood the home!

By Cleo V. Swarat

Does anyone else have examples of poetry they have used with staff or pupils in this way?

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Other learning logs

When the kids are safely (and quietly!) tucked away in bed, and I've done my homework for the following day, I enjoy having a look round some of the other Learning Logs in the education world. Don Ledingham's is a really interesting and thought provoking log. So also is the Learning Log by Mark Walker, a school Principal from Australia. I really liked the material on 'Walkthroughs' - the name speaks for itself. I'm going to take some of his points on board and try them out in my own school in the next few weeks. Here is a sample clip (wait a few moments for loading) about 'Walkthroughs' in secondary schools.

I see no reason why 'walkthroughs' can not become an integral part of our school's self-evaluation process. Why should 'walkthroughs' be restricted to senior staff? Why not encourage all staff to get involved; particularly in the dialogue with colleagues about what we've seen? Watch this space!

Last week of term

The last week of term is very busy as usual. Throughout this week we have our Book Week. Yesterday, Tuesday, we had an enterprise day for all pupils in S1. Today we had assemblies, taken by jointly by police and the fire service, to educate our younger pupils about the safe and legal handling of fireworks. Tomorrow evening, we have the second of our 50 anniversary events, our very own 'L' factor. We can no longer call it 'X' factor for commercial reasons.

Book week was organised by Sharron Brown, our tireless librarian. A range of activities are taking place throughout the week involving all of our pupils on the theme of our 50 anniversary. A poetry tree, visits from authors and senior pupils dressed as their favourite characters are examples of the activities on offer.

Our enterprise day was organised by Ms Mathie, our enterprise coordinator. All S1 pupils were involved at some point during the day. Pupils were divided into teams and tasked with writing and producing a book. Each team was 'supported' by an adviser. We are grateful to staff from Lothian and Borders police and Standard Life who spent the day with us, offering their experience and expertise to highly motivated and enthusiastic pupils. The standard of books produced was outstanding!

On Tuesday of this week I met with our School's senior Quality Improvement Officer, Sheena Liddell. We had a very full and in-depth discussion about our continuing progress in regard to exam results as a school. For some unknown reason, the boys at Liberton High School buck the trend across the country as far as Writing and Maths is concerned. Over the past three years, our boys have performed much better than girls in both Maths and Writing. At present I do not know why this is but, over the coming weeks, I intend to look further into this. When Friday afternoon arrives, all of our pupils and staff will begin a well deserved holiday. For my part, I'm off on a family holiday to enjoy some sun, before we settle in for, what I hope will be a short winter.