Delivering critical skills on a road that goes on forever

Having read David Henderson's article on the critical skills programme ("Primaries try culture that is not a cult", TESS, August 16), I would like to express my appreciation for an interesting report on a programme which I have become involved in and has reinvigorated my career after 28 years of teaching.

My only concern is about the impression given that CSP is for the primary sector only. I realise the report focused on Anne Callan and Alison Fox, both involved in the primary sector; and within the article it became clear that CSP practice and principles are valid from pre-school through to staff in-service.

However, I would like to stress, not least to headteachers when asked to release staff for training in CSP, that the programme has just as much to offer to staff in the secondary and tertiary sectors.

My own involvement started in 1999 and I, along with Jacquie Ramsay, a colleague at Balerno Community High in Edinburgh, have recently become accredited assistant co-ordinators involved in training fellow teachers in the UK.

We can both demonstrate the effectiveness of CSP whether teaching mixed-ability S1, disaffected S3 or Advanced Higher. CSP is not age , stage or subject restricted. At Balerno we have staff, all with CSP in their repertoire, delivering history, modern languages, religious and moral education, guidance, English and science. It is fair to say that exposure to CSP is a road that goes forever on, with the transferable skills, self-discipline and confidence that all educators are striving to develop in their students, at whatever age or stage.

John A Kerr

Head of history

Balerno Community High


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