Blog

Read Between the Lines (TESS article)

Recent comments from Nicola Sturgeon suggest that national testing might be about to return to Scotland. I do support our forward-thinking curriculum, but I also feel there are bits of it where we could do better. We cannot ignore the uncomfortable truth that, when it comes to literacy, we are in a worse place now than […]

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Dear Ms Constance: An Open Letter

Dear Ms Constance I wrote to you in March 2015, although I realise that you probably don’t actually get to read every email you receive, given the demands of your job. I also wrote to my MSP Alasdair Allan back in January 2015 regarding my concerns about the attainment gap and the teaching of reading […]

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Identifying Reading Problems: How will I know?

I’ve just finished an interesting article in TESS: ‘When will literacy get its fairy tale ending?’ by Emma Seith. It has a great graphic showing the depressing SSLN results compared with two years ago, and there’s some super stats about the brilliant Bookbug scheme. There’s also some advice as to what teachers could do in […]

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Closing the Gap: Get a New Plan, Stan

It has been a busy few weeks in the education world in Scotland, with what has felt like hunners of literacy reports and results being published. Having read them all, I am disappointed to find a lack of specific advice as to what schools could actually do right now, to address the attainment gap problem we […]

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It’s time to wake up and smell the /k/ /o/ /f/ /ee/

On 29th April the latest SSLN results were published, revealing the performance of our children in reading, writing, talking and listening. You would hope, that given the fact that almost all of our teachers now feel confident in delivering the Experiences and Outcomes of Curriculum for Excellence, that we would see an improvement in performance […]

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3-18 Literacy and English Review: THE BIT THEY MISSED OUT

I have just finished reading the lengthy and repetitive report from Education Scotland: 3-18 Literacy and English Review. It’s a cross between an extended inspection report and a reminder of the content of the Experiences and Outcomes; as such it’s difficult to get to the ‘meat’ of the document. The very first thing that struck […]

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Raising Attainment for All or just for 85%?

Over the last couple of days I’ve been following tweets from the Raising Attainment for All National Learning Session 2 in Glasgow with great interest. Even from the tweets it’s clear that there is a real buzz and feeling of purpose surrounding this event. Schools and colleagues from across Scotland are sharing super stories of improvement and how […]

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Why Everyone Needs an Assessment Giraffe

What does a giraffe have to do with assessment? Well, Jeffrey the giraffe, as well as being extremely intelligent, handsome, and good at telling jokes, actually performs a very important function in the classroom: he encourages formative assessment – reminding children to reflect on their reading and learning, and reminding teachers to do a plenary and […]

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We’re Too Hot (Hot Damn)*

Nicola Sturgeon recently announced that a new Attainment Scotland Fund, worth over £100 million over four years, is to be introduced as part of a support package to improve educational outcomes for children in the most disadvantaged communities. This is good news. The story however, seemed to turn sour on Twitter, when teachers read the […]

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It’s a busy day today!

Bonjour mes amis! Just a quick one today – to wish you all Happy International Book Giving Day – but more importantly – to wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you have had lots of nice deliveries so far! Anne has also asked me to announce that our big competition winner is […]

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