Steve Munby recently spoke at our East Lothian Learning Festival and told a story about when he swapped roles with a teacher when he was Director of Education for Knowlsley Council, in Merseyside.  The idea appealed to me and I rashly offered a job swap on Twitter – never imagining that anyone would take up the offer.

You can imagine my dismay when my bluff was called and Pam Currie a Depute Headteacher from Law Primary School asked me if I’d like to come and teach her Primary One class of 25 five year olds. Hoist by my own petard I had no option but to agree and so we arranged for me to come to the school last Friday to teach for the morning.

We met the week before and Pam ran through the programme of work that I would be expected to cover: PE, Music, Numeracy, and Storytime.  As we chatted about the Autumn theme that the class are working on I suggested that the PE class could be a dance lesson using actual leaves, and that the numeracy lesson could make use of the same leaves in an outdoor context.

During the week prior to my visit my most important task was to collect enough dried leaves of sufficient variety to provide a stimulus for the lesson.

Now I hadn’t taught a dance lesson for something approaching 17 years – and hadn’t taught a primary class for closer to 30 years – but I suppose teaching is a bit like riding a bike.  It felt great to get back into the classroom and connecting with young people again. The kids responded brilliantly to the leaves and as I tipped the sack out onto the floor they loved the sounds, smells and colours.  We experimented with holding different leaves and letting them fall to the ground – and then trying it again with a different kind of leaf. Then we explored how we might copy the movement of the falling leaf with our own bodies.

Then we looked at how leaves are affected by the wind. Using a fan heater we blew a light breeze towards a pile of leaves and looked at how they rustled – a child came up with a great Scottish word when he said the leaves were “shoogling”. We then tried to copy the rustling leaves while I gently shook a tambourine.

The third stage was to ask the children to blow their own leaf as hard as the could across the floor. Once again we copied that movement with our bodies.

The final stage was to look at how leaves formed piles, where the leaves lay one on top of another in different shapes.  This was the riskiest part of the lesson where children could have been jumping on top of each other but they handled the task superbly and moved into the piles in a very convincing and safe manner.

The last part of the lesson was to put all of these movements together into a final performance.  I think the lesson was recorded so I’d hope to put a link here to youtube whenever it’s put up.

I’d gone into the jobswap with the intention of having fun – and without a doubt that key criterion was satisfied throughout the whole day. But what did I learn?

Firstly, teaching is an exhausting business.  The teacher is constantly having to be attentive – there are no points when you can switch off and let the children get on with things while you do your own work. This is reinforced when the range of needs is as varied as it was in my class.

Secondly, lesson preparation is crucial to engaging the children in the learning process – I’d put a fair bit of work into planning for the morning – but what must it be like planning for an entire week?

Thirdly, the school staff work as a team.  The staged assessment meeting I attended at 8.30, where six teachers talked about a single child’s needs, was hugely impressive and reassuring. The morning break showed that team spirit in a different way where pink cakes were on offer in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness and every member of staff wore pink.

Fourthly, I saw 100 children engaged in a break-time aerobics session being led by P7 pupils – a wonderful example of children being supported and encouraged to do it for themselves!

Fifthly, I saw teachers who cared about learning; who cared about young people; and who cared about each other.  A humbling and inspirational experience which will stay with me for a long time.

Law Primary School – thank you.




S3 Graduation Certificate?

TESS have published an excellent article by Danny Murphy entitled How should we measure improvement in the future?

In the article Danny explored the notion of establishing a Scottish Graduation Certificate.

This was a strange coincidence as I’ve recently been reviewing a number of posts I’ve previously written on the idea of an S3 Certificate. Perhaps the idea is worthy of resurrecting?

Here are some a link to these posts and a copy of an article published by TESS in 2008:

The recent OECD report on Scottish education contained a recommendation for a Scottish Certificate of Education for pupils in S4-6. While pondering the significance of this recommendation, I was challenged by a secondary teacher about how he was going to keep kids motivated for three years while they experienced a broad-based S1-3 curriculum. The teacher’s challenge was that if we could not motivate kids in two years, why would extending that by another year make a difference, especially if our entire secondary education is driven by the certification system?

The “reality” is that in many teachers’ – and students’ – minds the S1 and S2 curriculum is only given value by its link to the certificated curriculum. In fact, such is the power of this “value through certification” that some schools in Scotland have introduced the certificated curriculum even earlier. The logic of this step is quite compelling, and it certainly demonstrates that a school is doing something to address these allegedly fallow early years of secondary school.

So if, in reality, most secondary school curriculum models are driven by a “trickle down” effect of certification, why not recognise the power of such a driver and seek instead to build a different engine.

That would be to create a Scottish Certificate of Education, for which students would be eligible at the end of S3. In the OECD proposal, such a certificate was to be for the 3-18 curriculum. But I believe that there must be some means of capturing a young person’s achievements between the ages of three and 15 before they start to engage with the world of formal qualifications. This would form a junior Scottish Baccalaureate.

What if we could create a Scottish Certificate of Education which was more akin to the Duke of Edinburgh Award, or the John Muir Award, where it is more about accumulating achievements as opposed to any external exam? Such a curriculum would give schools the freedom to create the content within their SCE course, using the headings set out in Curriculum for Excellence, for example, skills for learning; skills for work; skills for life; curricular achievements across a broad spectrum; health and well-being; numeracy and literacy.

The only externally-assessed element would be numeracy and literacy, leading to the proposed Scottish Certificate for Numeracy and the Scottish Certificate for Literacy. A school’s S1-3 course could be submitted for external moderation to ensure it met national standards but, within that framework, there could be considerable freedom.

In my “imagined” curriculum, the focus in S1-3 would be on an “achievement port-folio” where employability would be a key component. I know that, for some, the idea of employability as a focus for education is a step too far. But we can flesh out a definition of employability which would be compelling, inclusive and, above all, easily understood by young people, parents and the wider community.

I know this proposal seems to run counter to the concept of non- certification before S3, but if we seek to change our practice we need to recognise the reality in our schools and build from where they are.

The Secondary School Curriculum – “we can know more than we can tell”

Why are Scottish schools finding it so difficult to break free from the dominant (and simplistic) 2+2+2 secondary school curriculum design model?

There’s a lot of chaff flying about at the moment that doesn’t help the debate but I wonder if the answer lies in what Michael Polanyi (1967) termed as “tacit knowledge”, i.e. knowledge where “we can know more than we can tell”. For I would suggest that there exist deeply embedded unspoken and implicit assumptions – which if not exposed to rigorous analysis – will continue to reinforce the current curricular inertia.

From a personal perspective the 2+2+2 model shaped my own curriculum options back in 1970, 1972 and 1974, mmm, that’s 42, 40, and 38 years respectively – not exactly cutting edge design!

So what are the undeclared forces acting upon the secondary school curriculum that have made it so difficult for schools to change?

We should perhaps begin by exploring the possibility that the 2+2+2 model just happens to be the best, or, as it has been described by some, “the most sensible” for young people and that it has led to effective and successful teaching and learning, which has resulted in Scotland being one of the highest performing school systems in the world – unfortunately that’s just not the case.

So if it’s not a system which is delivering then what forces could be in action?

Recurring national curricular guidance has complied with the dominant model, e.g. 5 -14 (first 2 years of secondary), Munn and Dunning (years 3 and 4); Higher Still (years 5 and 6), and to these could be added a number of other curricular guidance papers and reports which following the 2+2+2 scaffolding.

I’d actually argue that the 2+2+2 model has evolved without any rationale other than it gives every subject a “fair chance” to have access to students – their lifeblood in maintaining their place in the curriculum. For without students taking your subject, your subject is history (and, history teachers, I don’t mean this literally!).

I write this from two perspectives – firstly as a former principal teacher of a subject – who saw my subject’s place on the curriculum (measured purely by student choice) improve dramatically over a ten-year period. The outcome of this increase was clear to see – it led to an increase in the number of teachers, increased per capita allocation, and an increase in capital spend to develop new facilities to meet the increasing demand. Now imagine what might have happened if we had not seen an increase in students choosing our subject i.e., an exact reverse. Who in their right mind wouldn’t take action to seek to avoid students not taking their subject? (Apologies for the double negative here)

Of course, there is a higher and more altruistic reason for ensuring your subject’s place on the curriculum and that is that you believe that a young person’s education and life experience are dramatically compromised by not having sufficient access to and knowledge of your subject.

My second perspective is that of having been a headteacher and school timetabler. For it was as a headteacher that I saw the same pressures being played out on all Principal Teachers.

It was from this toxic mix that the market place economy model of the curriculum became embedded. By market place economy I mean a model that enables each subject an equal chance to display their wares and have access to the consumer (the student). I’d argue that this was the key driver for the first two years where subject teachers go to great extremes to ensure and demand equivalent time allocation. But it also explains why there is such resistance to any change to the middle years through a narrowing of certificated choice – see the reaction to any shift from choosing 8 subjects at the end of S2 to fewer certificated subjects at the end of S4.

The unfortunate reality has been that many subjects have seen their curriculum only really taking off in S3 once young people have “selected their subject” – the fact that time has been so evenly spread and hence limited for each subject means that the students’ experience is often compromised to meet the needs of the market. The fear for many subject teachers is that the broad curriculum unnecessarily extends the thinly spread model for three years – as opposed to the current two, before students’ get down to the real job of “studying” their subject.

Imagine the consequences then for any subject which previously had it’s guaranteed place on the curriculum in S1 and 2 – regardless of how useful that time was; guaranteed time in S3 and S4 – even if pupil numbers were low; and at least a good chance that some of the students who had studied the subject in S3 and 4 would take the subject in S5 and 6. Anyone can see why this is attractive for teachers of a subject about which they are passionate and have studied themselves in great depth. The opportunity to teach interested, motivated and able students a more complex and demanding level of content is appealing and understandable – as so is any objection to any change to the system which preserves this “entitlement”.

The pressure on any headteacher to change a curriculum model which challenges these “entitlements” to students is extreme and cannot be underestimated, so it’s perhaps no surprise when the TESS reports that 50% of schools are sticking with the traditional model in the meantime. However, curricular inertia is a powerful force and it will take continued commitment and courageous leadership from leaders at all levels in Scottish education if we are to see a curricular model that doesn’t reflect what I experienced 40 years ago!

Curriculum for Excellence – refocusing on purpose

Some 2,372 years ago Plato suggested that necessity was the mother of invention. To be more precise Plato was actually quoting Socrates, whose actual words were “A State, I said, arises, as I conceive, out of the needs of mankind”. . .”let us begin and create in idea a State; and yet the true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention.”

Up until the “invention” of Curriculum for Excellence Scotland did not have anything that resembled a national curriculum that covered the school age range from 3 – 18. Instead it had disconnected blocks of curricular, assessment, and design guidance, which included: The Munn and Dunning Reports (1977) 16-18 Action Plan (1983); Standard Grade (1984); 5-14 Programme (1993); Higher Still Programme (1994) Curriculum Design for the Secondary Stages (1999), and Review of Higher Still (2001).

To use a good Scots word the curriculum was a complete “guddle”, a mish-mash of well intentioned programmes and projects which layered sedimentary systems one upon the other. It was no wonder then that in 2002 the Scottish Executive undertook the most extensive consultation ever on the state of school education through the National Debate on Education. This was followed in 2004 by the publication of the first single, connected curriculum for young people aged 3-18 in the form of a Curriculum for Excellence.

Throughout the intervening years I’ve observed, led, written about, and engaged with the implementation of the curriculum. What is particularly interesting at this point in time is how  it is target for criticism from all sides – it was ever thus – as any historical analysis of correspondence and professional response to any of the aforementioned curricular programmes would attest.

In reality I’m relaxed about the on-going debate about the assessment and certification arrangements- in fact I’d have been surprised if such a healthy debate had not ensued. Assessment and certification are integral elements of any education system. But the bottom line here is that these are matters in which we have proven skilled at resolving over the years – and they will be resolved again.

No, my concern is not so much about that debate but that we collectively seem to have lost sight of the bigger opportunity presented by Curriculum for Excellence. I refer here to its over-arching purpose and aspirations.

And before you despair again as someone tries to mix and match together the adjectives and nouns of the four capacities, e.g. confident learners; responsible contributors; successful individuals and effective citizens, I’d like to stop you there.  For over the last few months I’ve been worrying about the uncertainty and adversity facing our young people.  I recently wrote about my fears for a generation of young people who are in danger of “learned hopelessness”, where their destiny is marked out in front of them – but to this group I would also include here those who leave school with a clutch of qualifications.

As I reflect upon the four capacities I begin to wonder why it is that the words seem to be so inter-changeable and I’d like to suggest an answer. For on further analysis I believe there is a unifying purpose which connects and gives meaning to the four capacities – and that purpose is “resilience”.

My point is that if we didn’t have Curriculum for Excellence then we would have had to “invent” it. Curriculum for Excellence is not another initiative – it’s an imperative, a necessity, something which we as a society should be backing and demanding on behalf of our children and young people. I am continually sustained by the fact that there are so many people in Scotland who do “get it”. Despite the lone voices who claim to represent their profession and hark back to the good old days of curricular certainty (regardless of how disconnected it was) – there so many more teachers who believe passionately in the values and aspirations of a coherent and purposeful curriculum

Those teachers know that our young people face a complex and uncertain future. They know that young people will be faced with challenges and opportunities which will be quite different from previous generations. The kind of curriculum required to equip young people with the necessary personal and interpersonal skills and qualities to render them resilient is quite different from a one designed for a stable and unchanging world – regardless how much simpler that might have been for teachers.

I see teachers and school leaders struggling to come to terms with this reality on a day-to-day basis, professionals who have the respect and trust of  parents who understand that their children must have a more “rounded” education . Teachers understand that true change requires us to engage with and embrace complexity and uncertainty, and although this is an uncomfortable truth they are making immense strides to create an education system which has the potential to be the envy of the rest of the world.

So at a time when 14% of students are dropping out of university education surely it’s time for University Principals to begin to support the wider aspirations of Curriculum for Excellence and break free from their out-dated focus on achievement at Higher Grade at a single sitting. Perhaps if they took a more enlightened view of education there might be more chance for young people to have developed the necessary resilience to meet the demands of university life?

Such a statement would have incredible resonance throughout the Scottish education system and would give confidence to those who are so single-mindedly committed to preparing young people to succeed in an uncertain future.

Community Police- “the flying squad”

Stenton Primary School is a true community school, so it was no surprise yesterday when I popped in that they were working with PC Ross (an ex-pupil of mine) and PC Hughes.

The two officers are working with our schools in the Dunbar area and developing very positive relationships with all young people.

Here they are helping two pupils to put up a bird box. Thanks.

Shoe design

During my visit to West Barns Primary School (Dunbar) I encountered some incredible design work in a P2/3 class.

Each of the children had designed and made their own shoes – and before you ask the task had been completed in school (no parents!).

I’ve never seen such high quality work from such young children.

Helping young people to be resilient=Curriculum for Excellence=Resiliency









In one of my recent posts I explored the concept of “learned hopelessness” where young people are in danger of becoming conditioned by global economic circumstances to accept that their destiny is essentially hopeless.

I’ve had some positive feedback about that article and there has been general agreement that an education system which is purely aligned to churning out examination results is not adequately preparing young people for their future life where the only certainty is uncertainty.

Unfortunately it seems that every week I’m hearing stories of young people who left school with great examination results, went to university and either dropped out or are now struggling to make their way regardless of the quality of their degree.  That’s not to say that either of these outcomes is necessarily disastrous but it does throw the young person back onto their ability to overcome adversity.

If I then think back even five years and consider the secondary school curriculum I see something where such an ability didn’t even feature on the horizon.  As long as schools delivered the necessary percentage of examination results for their school then it was “job done”. What happened after that was nothing to do with us.  For their part parents conspired with such a system and through “helicoptering”, removing all obstacles, providing tutoring, and a maintaining a singular focus upon examination results assumed that the future would take care of itself – as it had done for them.

However, things have changed and that’s where – through amazing foresight – the Scottish education system is actually better prepared than other countries to adapt to our new reality.

For Curriculum for Excellence does recognise that young people need so much more than the certificates they hold in their hands upon leaving school.

That’s why I’d like to work with parents, young people, teachers, school leaders, employers and others over the next year to work out what we collectively understand by resiliency and consider how it could provide a purpose for everything we collectively do to prepare our children and young people to lead independent and successful lives beyond our influence and support.

re·sil·ience? ?[ri-zil-yuhns]  noun 1. the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity. 2. ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy. to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.

Learned Hopelessness: challenging the notion of destiny

“Children’s lives to be worse in the future”, so read a headline following a recent Ipsos Mori survey where almost two-thirds of people believed the current generation of children will have a lower standard of living than their parents.

Such a headline chimed with something Professor Graham Donaldson, former senior chief HMI for Scotland, recently identified when he referred to one of the greatest challenges facing Scottish education to be a young person’s perceived sense of ‘destiny’. It’s ironic that Graham should use such a word given its significance to Scottish History – to which, of course, I refer to our iconic ‘Stone of Destiny’. However, in Graham’s sense of the word it was not to be a hopeful, aspirational, or confident view of the future, but rather quite the opposite. In fact he was referring to a ‘hopeless’ view of the future, a future set out for you by dint of your socio-economic background, which – to our eternal shame – has more of an influence upon your educational outcomes and future than just about any other country in the developed world.

It was this notion of hopelessness that triggered for me a connection with what psychologist Martin Seligman termed to be ‘learned helplessness’. The idea refers to the phenomenon where a person’s sense of personal agency, to do and achieve things for themselves, is undermined by circumstances from which they cannot escape. Eventually the person gives up and accepts their situation regardless of the harm it may be causing them.

By linking Donaldson’s notion of a damaging destiny and Seligman’s concept of helplessness, I wonder if we are facing an even more pervasive limit to personal growth. I am referring here to the challenges facing all of our young people, regardless of socio-economic background, as a consequence of the global economic downturn. The concern here has to be that our next generation becomes so conditioned by circumstances to accept their “destiny” and in so doing fall victim to ‘learned hopelessness’.

Imagine the impact upon a generation of children and young people who come to accept that their future is hopeless and learn from their peers, their parents, the media, and society in general that their destiny is mapped out and that they cannot expect to experience the ‘happiness’ of previous generations.

Such an assumption might lead those of involved in education to conclude that whatever we do as teachers our young people are destined to have unhappy and unfulfilling lives, as their standard of living is going to be lower than our own generation.

However, such an assumption is based upon the premise that happiness is in direct proportion to one’s standard of living. If that was the case, it would have to follow that our parents were unhappier, than we are, and their parents, in turn, must have been unhappier than them and so and on, and so on.

In fact the evidence is quite the opposite with a 2009 OECD report showing that for most of the last 25 years, people born between the Great Depression and the end of World War II were more likely than early baby boomers to report being very happy.

It is surely the role of teachers then to challenge the orthodoxy that young people’s futures will be “worse”.   For what is teaching if not to plant a seed of hope in a future beyond our time? No successful teacher I have ever known has resigned themselves to believing that their efforts are not imbued by that sense of hope for the future. In fact that’s perhaps the single most defining factor between the teacher who goes through the motions of teaching, and the teacher who transforms the lives of young people by sharing their belief that anything is possible.

For it seems to me we have two choices. Firstly, we could sign up to the notions of despair and hopelessness, and accept that children’s lives will be worse, regardless of whatever action we take. Alternatively, we could believe, that our efforts will provide a foundation upon which a young person can find happiness from being absorbed in a personal interest; can be resilient and can cope with future challenges; lives a life of personal meaning by having a sense of belonging; and, has the wherewithal to accomplish their own personal goals. Above all we must recognise that a person’s happiness in the future will depend on their capacity to build and sustain social ties as part of a community, or even communities.

Surely such an inventory describes much of what we are attempting to achieve through Curriculum for Excellence. I know that most parents that I speak to, first and foremost want their children to have happy lives. At a time when we see students with five ‘A’ passes at Higher and First Class degrees struggling to make their way in the world it’s never been more important that we take a more rounded view of education in order to equip young people with the necessary skills and outlooks to face an uncertain future.

If then, we are to avoid “learned hopelessness” we need to ensure that we are not “teaching hopelessness”. In order to achieve that goal we would be well advised to learn from a small country such as Bhutan, whose strategy for promoting the national well being of their population is based upon their commitment to “Gross National Happiness”, or does such a notion fail to resonate with the Scottish psyche?


Hospitality and Tourism Academy

East Lothian Council’s  Education and Children’s Services Department, Jewel And Esk College, and Queen Margaret University have been jointly exploring the possibility of establishing a Hospitality and Tourism Academy for young people aged 14 – 18.
The concept is based upon the Engineers of the Future, which was a college, university, employer partnership with a view to promoting engineering as a career and  engineering qualifications ranging from vocational to higher academic levels.
Hospitality and Tourism are key growth industries within East Lothian and are currently  two of the most likely destinations for young people leaving school. Jewel and Esk College and Queen Margaret University specialise in offering Higher National Qualifications and under graduate and post graduate courses in specific and associated fields of study.
The Scottish Government and the Scottish Funding Council have prioritised the need for links to be established between schools and the Further Education and Higher Education sectors. The Scottish Curriculum for Excellence guidelines require all schools to make positive changes to their curriculum at all levels, with a particular focus upon making the senior phase more related to employability and lifelong learning. Those priorities, together with the More Choices More Chances agenda for promoting positive destinations for all school leavers, combine to provide a unique alignment of circumstances for partners in our respective fields to collaborate in finding new ways of delivering and connecting learning experiences for young people.
Our plan is to combine three elements for the Academy: vocational, business, and academic. These aspects are not hierarchical but are rather inter-related, i.e. a person can be working on a single aspect, work through from one aspect to another, or combine two or three of the aspects at any one time.
The Academy will have 45 students in a single cohort, made up of 15 students from each of the three schools serving the areas of highest levels of multiple deprivation in East Lothian. Within each cohort one third will be focusing upon vocational routes, one third on business, and one third on academic.
The Academy will have three year group cohorts :Year 1 equivalent to S4 (15/16 year olds); Year 2 – S5 (16/17 year olds); and Year 3 (17/18 year olds). Graduation from the Academy can occur at the conclusion of any one year.
Access to the Academy will be open to any student attending any of the three schools within the prototype programme. Students and their parents will be introduced to the Academy at the end of S2 and invited to apply to join the application year programme. This programme will involve students attending three evening sessions over the course of the coming year, one at a hub school; one at the college and one at the university. In addition they will have their commitment to personal study, academic progress and any work experience monitored throughout the year. A final interview at the end of S3 will select the 15 students from each school, with the proportions following the previously explained vocational, business, and academic criteria. The most important selection criterion will be evidence of personal commitment, e.g. attendance, timekeeping, dedication to a personal interest.
The Academy curriculum will be a combination of existing school-based courses which can be related to hospitality and tourism, and some compulsory and elective units which will be delivered in the evening at nominated schools, the college, or university. We have considered the possibility of offering some courses before the start of the school day, thereby reflecting some of the realities of working in the industry and also maximising the assets in our schools.
As students progress through the Academy we will seek to enhance their school curriculum with college, or university based courses/modules, with a greater proportion of their time being spent outside school as they progress.
Of course, one of the vital elements missing from this description relates to the role of employers and the world of work. Our intention is to form strategic partnerships with a number of prestige companies involved in the hospitality and tourism industry. Through linking with their training divisions and drawing upon their expertise we would intend to create a very high quality learning experience which will be worthwhile in it’s own right, regardless of a student’s eventual employment destination, but also one which is eventually seen to be a of high regard by future employers in the industry.
We would see work experience to be a fundamental part of the Academy programme with the hope that some students will eventually graduate into full time employment with some of the placement employers.
Our next steps are to continue with our deliberations and seek to establish partnerships with employers to involve them in the design phase. In addition we will work with the Funding Council, the Scottish Government and local individuals. Our strategic steering team will be complemented by an operational group who will work out the details of the programme, consult with young people, parents and employers, and prepare for the first cohort to commence in September 2012.
We see the benefit of this project to extend beyond those who might participate. By establishing strong links between schools, the college and university, and employers we begin to create a new form of learning experience for young people and explore new forms of collaborative delivery which blurs the distinctions between providers and employers. By creating a motivated group of students, who have a strong commitment to personal learning within and beyond school, we shall create a group who will influence others by their behaviour.
Finally, the Academy concept has the potential to be replicated in other schools and in other fields of study and industry, which may reflect local opportunities and connections.

Youth workers – part of the team in schools?

I could only get along to the evening reception for the National Youth Work Summit, organised by YouthLink Scotland

Chief Executive Jim Sweeney summarised the day. He said something which I’m sure is a common phrase for youth workers but hearing it fresh sounded like a great challenge for schools to bear in mind when designing their senior phase curriculum:

“We need to engage with young people on their own territory and on their own terms” (or at least that what it sounded like to me)

Easier said than done!