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Siblings show how to beat the big school blues

A probationer primary teacher from Fife has been selected as this year's winner of the George Gray award for the best BEd thesis by a final-year student.

Jane Harrison, a mature entrant to the profession, graduated with first class honours from Dundee University and is now in her induction year at Denbeath primary in Buckhaven, Fife.

She was presented with a pound;500 cheque by the General Teaching Council for Scotland on Wednesday. Ms Harrison wrote about the difficulties of transition from primary to secondary, under the title of Great Expectations. She concluded that children with slightly older siblings settled in more easily.

Ms Harrison has written a summary of her thesis which will appear in next week's TES Scotland, which supports the award named after George Gray, first registrar of the GTC and launched by Ethel Gray, his widow.

Ms Harrison said she was "thrilled and flattered" and added: "While providing every child with an older sibling in the two years preceding transition is not a viable option, I hope that some of the practical suggestions in my thesis may help vulnerable children settle into high school more easily, resulting in better academic performance."

The judging panel was Dr Ethel Gray; Matthew MacIver, GTC registrar; Ivor Sutherland, former GTC registrar; Ron Elder, former head of the education faculty at Dundee University; and Neil Munro, editor of The TES Scotland.

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