Good practice

19th February 2010 at 00:00

Free trade

A pre-vocational lunchtime and after-school club at Strathaven Academy, South Lanarkshire, has drawn plaudits from HMIE. The school's technical department wanted to motivate young people entering Standard grade courses, and applied for additional funding from the authority to buy materials. A series of workshop areas were set up, where plumbing, tiling, roofing, joinery and electrical skills were taught. Plastering is also being introduced. Local businesses and college staff were involved, and pupils were given certificates. They said the clubs improved confidence, self-esteem and overall attitude to learning.

Aiming higher

Pupils at All Saints Secondary in Glasgow are setting their sights higher, following a push to prepare them for college or university. Over three years to 2009, the number of school leavers going to higher and further education rose by 8 and 7 per cent respectively. The school has developed a close relationship with HE institutions, and prepared a programme for learners aspiring to attend them. Initiatives include a Primary Access Project with the universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde, the West of Scotland and Glasgow Caledonian. S5-6s get work experience customised for courses to which they are applying. Pupils are supported in UCAS applications and told of possible scholarships.

Added value

"Values in Action" is an optional programme for sixth-years at Notre Dame High in Glasgow. Three strands cover community involvement (mentoring S1, peer-tutoring, event organising and fundraising); enterprise (book fair, Young Enterprise and a school yearbook); and personal development (such as sports leadership awards, and volunteering). These offer personal challenges and encourage awareness of potential. A range of approaches leads to accreditation through Higher Personal Development, Millennium Volunteer and Young Enterprise awards. All pupils gain a portfolio celebrating their wider achievement.

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