Friday 30 March 2007

IHS Web Site

I have Just uploaded a load of revision materials to the IHS website.

Some are zip filles with loads powerpoints and word files inside them

Some are web pages such as Ray Husthwaite's excellent Biology note's

Some are PDF's

I hope they are useful

Wednesday 28 March 2007

Interview over

Well that was relatively painless.

I had a 10min presentation to do and then questions from the panel of 3.

The questions were suppose to last 20mins but they were so interested in what we were doing that it lasted nearly 50mns

I will hear in fullness of time

Scottish Qualification for Headship - SQH

I am sitting here about 20mins before my interview for the SQH.

Why am I even thinking of doing this????

I know my strengths but I also very aware of limitations. My  biggest limitation is Academic.

I am so much a practical, lets get it done sort of person that the recording and writing up gets forgotten. I suppose when I first showed interest the alternative route was a possibility, but A&B didn't get on the pilot for what am I doing sitting here?


Tuesday 27 March 2007

A Curriculum for Excellence - ACfE

Today I was at the ACfE roadshow.

I love the concept of ACfE.

From Blog Pics


The idea of stating what you want your whole education system to do in such a clear way is inspirational. Its almost a mission statement for Scottish Education.


This has some major problems challenges before it will work.

The biggest challenge was exemplified within the group I worked with this morning.

They were a full range from a Pre 5 worker to  2 secondary Head Teachers. The pre 5 and primary colleague's were extremely thoughtful, enthusiastic, and positive. They looked at all the interesting and exciting approaches and activities they could do.

The secondary reaction, myself included, was ' how do we measure it?' or ' what about my subject?'

The material we looked at was the only material which has fully gone through the quality assurance process. It was 'Science', but was it the subject science? Parts of it would be covered by Geography, PE, Technology, RME, any number of places.

Their are 2 major problems that I see. One is cultural the other is practical.

The cultural one is Departmental protectionism. Each specialist will look from their area and say I should be teaching 'that' part in this 'way'. Another specialist will say that they need to teach it with another emphasis. Therefore no declutering just lots justifying of subjects within the framework.

The practical one is the way that secondary teachers are finally judged. The Exam results.

The SQA need to be fully behind this. We were told today that were. Maybe they are. I don't know.I wish I did and I wish I knew what they are thinking


Off Island life

This week has been an example of a hectic life.

My wife, Caroline, has started a Post Grad in Primary PE Teaching. This means she has to go to Inverary every 6 weeks for tutorials. I decided to join her, at least for the Friday night in the hotel.

I then traveled onto Glasgow on Saturday morning to help some friends move from a tenement flat (2nd Floor) in Govan to a lovely place called Phantassie Estate but getting the contents of the flat taken down the stairs was fun(Sarcasm really doesn't work on here). Fortunately I messed the turn off for East Linton and missed most of the unloading.

Good luck to my friends Lizz and David with the new job and new life.

Sunday morning we did the final clearing the flat and then I had a massive shopping list for ASDA.......... I hate shopping.

Leaving Glasgow at 2-30pm I collected Caroline from Inverary and hit the 6pm ferry. We actually got home at 9. We still had to empty the car and I had to repack.

The reason for the repack was that I was off on the evening plane on Monday with 2 primary and 1 pre five colleagues. We picked up a hire car and headed south to Kilmarnock.

We were heading to Kilmarnock for A Curriculum for Excellence (ACfE) along with educators from North South and East Ayrshire, East Renfreshire and Argyll & Bute. More about this an a later post

I popped into my previous school, St Michael's Academy, Kilwinning to see old friends. I dropped off the others at Glasgow Airport and headed to Inverary.

I am sitting here now in my hotel having prepared a presentation for my SQH interview in the morning.

I have setup a meeting with the corporate IT manager. Then its back to the airport for the evening flight home.................. and people thought that I would get bored with a small, island school.

Roll on the Easter Holiday's ............... oh yes. I am clearing the land to build the house then.

Good job I love it all


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Thursday 15 March 2007


That quite a collection letters in the title isn't it? For those outside Scotland I should explain.

HMIe - Her Majesties Inspectors of Education are the body charged with setting and maintaining standards in Scottish Education.

They are publishing a document tomorrow on the state of ICT in Scotland.

It is being launched via the Anderson High School website.

Their is a very interesting video right now which gives a snap shot of the report.

I will be checking the report myself early tomorrow morning.

Tuesday 6 March 2007

BarCampScotland - Chaos theory in action

Its taken me a few days to digest this and reflect on it.

Last weekend I was in Edinburgh for Scotland's first BarCamp.

Its a very interesting concept. Get lots of people together and let them go for it. Survival of the fittest. Loudest voices get heard. Please feel free to add other cliche's.

As a naturally reticent person (Yes I am! and stop laughing) its not a position I am fully comfortable with. Having said that I really enjoyed the events.

I say events because really their were 2 events running. One was a Techy one. This had lots of people speaking a fluent language. This is a language which I know the pigeon version of... I speak pigeon Geek. The other event was based around teaching & Learning. This firmly where I placed my talk. I should also apologise to DigitalKatie for over running my part of our shared slot.

The presentation seemed to go down well. Here are my slides

These 2 events did over lap at times. I witnessed this first of all with Robert Jones neatly switching the emphasis of his talk on Scotedublogs to the full language of Geek on Rails.

Another place I witnessed this crossover happen was in Tess Watson's presentation on Glow. Afterwards we got talk with some guy's (Sorry I can't locate them in the Wiki) who are developing access for youths in Glasgow. They instantly saw that Glow could provide that space for them.

One of the most interesting talk was by Dr. Hazel Hall. She was talking about the use of Wiki's in her course's. I enjoyed David Colarusso's idea of using YouTube to share physics films (Phylim!)

One I wish I had seen was Morna Findlay's. On how to interest pupils in Computer Science.

The biggest crossover was in the Bar (Surprise, Surprise).

Talking to lots of individual's and seeing how what we are all doing can crossover. I can see so may uses for Textensor in education.

BarCamp really is chaos in action. Frustrating and exhilarating.