8.30-9.45am AHTS meeting with Donald McGillivary and David Scott. First oops of the job! The 360 degree feedback system which I had presented to the nursery/primary executive and secondary heads and had been well received has caused come concern now it has gone out to schools. On reflection I’ve pushed ahead too quickly but wanted to pick up on concerns about the quality of the SD and R process which I had identified last year when interviewing nearly 30 HTs. Donald and David don't have a problem with the concept of 360 feedback – in fact they welcome it – it’s just that they don't like the way it’s set out in the council system. I’m going to write to all HTs and inform them that they don't need to complete the forms unless they want to. We will set up a working group to sharpen up the questions/statements on the forms and make them more relevant to the HT role. Apologies – the exhuberance of youth!!
10.00 Out to Ross High for and evaluation visit. Really taken by the work done by Dorothy Bartholemew and the Learning and Teaching Committee at Ross High School. They have produced some excellent materials for teachers to promote formative assessment along the lines I described yesterday – I hope to share this with other schools but if you are interested just contact Dorothy directly.
12.00 – 2.00 Back to John Muir House for a meeting with the S6 forum. This is a group made up of all the Head Girlas and Boys in our six secondary schools. I had invited Tom Brock, Chief Executive Scottish Seabird Centre, along to the meeting to discuss how we could make the centre more attractive and appealling to their age group. I was incredibly impressed by our students – they were real credit to our schools. We looked at how the curriculum could link with the Seabird Centre -Dance – using bird movements as a theme; CDT – using bird movement and structure as a theme for design; art – using birds; geography – global warming; history – Bass Rock (former covananters jail); Maths – links between numbers of birds and food supply; physics – flight and diving; chemistry – pollution; english – Robert Louis Stevenson link (he used to holiday in North Berwick) – As they went on we explored how the S1 curriculum could be linked together overe an 8 week period by focussing on the Seabird Centre with a focus on an environmental and ecologoical theme – they semed to really like this idea. Other ideas incuded an S6 conference at the centre; changing the name of the centre; don't use worksheets at the centre but set problems for groups; film club for young people. That's about all I can recall but the list seemed to go on and on. We have agreed to take a day on the 23rd of January to tour East Lothian visiting all of their schools along with 2 S3 pupils and 2 S1 pupils from each school. We will have lunch at the Seabird Centre – the purpose of the day will be to build links between schools and to share good practice.
3.3-4.40 Met Robert Swift Resources Manager for Children's Services – Robert explained his role which is to manage all the following resources: two residential homes; fostering in East Lothian; child disability supprt; Adoption in EL; family support; and a wide variety of other resources which are combined to support very vulnerable children.. we explored the challenge facing anyone who has to manage budgets which are demand led – i.e. you have no control over the inputs or demands on your service. I look froward to more in-depth dsicussions with Robert over the next few months.
4.45 – quick chat with Helen McMillan who is putting together a briefing paper for Councillor John Ross on our childcare strategy.
Before leaving at 6.10 managed to grab a chat with Alison Wishart our new Education officer. She seemed to have really enjoyed her first day and appreciated the induction programme which we have put together. Thanks to all concerned – particularly Richard Parker and usan McNaught.