PPS on The Glebe.

Three Pencaet Schools….

PPS – A Brief History

Excerpt from “Village Schools”, Ralph Barker
From Headmaster John Archer 1962 – 1979
“To deal adequately with the great changes in educational philsophy and practices in the 1960s would require a book.
In the course of these changes, Pencaitland Primary School was regarded by the Scottish Education Department Inspectorate and by the various Teacher Training Colleges to be at the forefront of the advance. 
Briefly, in 1962 teaching was on a whole class basis, the teacher imparting information for the pupils to assimilate and try to remember. This method took no account of the vast differences in intelligence, intellect and interests to be found within the range of pupils in a normal class. To change to a system whereby account was to be taken of individual abilities required a resolution in classroom practices. Henceforth the main function of the teacher was not to teach, but to create situations and opportunities to teach a child to learn for himself. In Pencaitland this took several years to evolve. Although there were still occasions when class teaching was possible, the emphasis was to swing more and more to group and individual work. 
Prior to the 1960s parental involvement in the running of the school was non-existent. In 1963 the Mothers’ Club was formed in the school. Parents also helped teachers prepare all the materials which were necessary for the new methods. With so much parental involvement, discipline slowly improved and the use of the belt was no longer necessary. 
Another innovation made in the 1960s was the formation of Children’s Clubs, covering a wide varieties, again greatly helped by the talents of parents. 
Being in the forefront of progressive education during this period, it was inevitable that the school became the focus of much attention in the educational world. Many visitors came to school from all over the world – U.S.A., Canada, Africa, Europe, Ceylon, Malaysia, Singapore. Details of these visits can be gleaned from the Log book. 
For several years in succession I was invited to lecture during the summer courses at Moray House College of Education, Edinburgh and Dundee College of Education, so that the educational philosophy and practices which were developed in Pencaitland School were dispersed widely and accepted throughout Scotland. 
This was recognised by the award of an M.B.E. in 1969, and a further M.R.E. to the Infant Teacher, Mrs. Helen Raine, some years later. It would be surprising if any other school in Scotland (Primary of Secondary) could boast of such a double honour.
More Historical Information can be found here: 

Historical Accounts of Pencaitland, Schools and East Lothian.