Saltoun Primary School

Head Teacher’s Blog

3rd March 2013
Thanks to all of you who returned parents’ questionnaires. I will collate the responses and discuss them with staff. The exercise is part of our self-evaluation process and will be included in our audit of the year and our planning for the following year- this usually takes place on the in-service day in May.
A couple of parents commented on Curriculum for Excellence with regard to teaching of basic writing, spelling and numeracy skills. There may be some uncertainty about content and priorities of the school curriculum. Although CfE offers a broad spectrum of study, the core of the programme remains in Literacy, Numeracy and Health and Wellbeing.
On most days in school, children will spend the morning working on maths and literacy. The two main reasons for this being that children (and particularly the younger ones) are more receptive in the morning and that we have most support in classes then too. We try to have two adults in each class in the mornings for this purpose- we could not manage this without the help of our parent volunteers.
Some of the learning around literacy skills or maths concepts may be done in the context of other curricular areas- social studies, science or religious education. A child may be learning skills in functional writing by compiling a report about a science experiment. Data handling may be learned and practised by collating information about preferences (e.g. favourite snacks), tallying these, producing graphs and interpreting results for a specific purpose- this could be part of a health topic, money unit in maths, research for an enterprise…..
I am sure you have noticed in the children’s profiles that maths and literacy come first and contain the most detailed breakdown of learning outcomes. This reflects the importance and priority we give to these subjects. They are after all the essential tools we need to begin to craft the rest of our knowledge and learning.
Similarly with Health and Wellbeing. Many of the outcomes here are related to school ethos and are visited daily in the course of classroom life. They are very hard to distinguish from the simple rules we need to get along with each other.
In 35 years of teaching I have experienced many curriculum changes. However, in all that time, the basic necessity to be able to read, write and count has not really altered in any way. Methods of learning to do so have changed and evolved, teaching practice has been subject to much scrutiny and debate, the content of courses of study has changed- sometimes radically. I have found many different ways to teach 8×7, but the answer and the need to recall it quickly remains the same. I hear tables being chanted in all classrooms and am glad of it. I hear teachers ranting about capital letters and full stops and applaud. I see red pen being used to underline errors in commonly used and learned words and I am happy that happens.
Some things never change and indeed have no need to do so. We will go on spending a sizeable proportion of the school day teaching your children basic skills to equip them for life.
Feel free to check my spelling.
Have a good week,
Lindy Lynn

One Response to “Head Teacher’s Blog”

  1. 10/10 Mrs Lynn.