Jotter - In for the high jump?

9th October 2009 at 01:00

Have education spending cuts gone too far? It looks as though they may have. Education publisher Leckie amp; Leckie reports having books stolen from its stand at the Scottish Learning Festival, for the first time.

Leckie's publishing director, Martin Redfern, tells us: "The most popular thefts were our PE Success Guides, closely followed by English and physics Practice Papers for SQA Exams. Sadly, I guess this must be a sign of the times." He adds wryly: "I've decided to take it as a compliment though - after all, it's almost flattering, isn't it?" But what if it's commercial espionage?

They ken noo

We are glad to hear from Ken Cunningham, general secretary of School Leaders Scotland, that the organisation formerly known as the Headteachers' Association of Scotland is finally recognised the length and breadth of the land. The days when it was mistaken for School Leavers Scotland are long gone, he writes in Scottish Leader, the SLS journal.

The time will come, however, when school leavers may have a closer association with them than SLS thinks - as heidies head out the door in their droves.

Scientific principles

It is a truism that not every primary teacher feels comfortable teaching science. But it can be fun.

The recent Edinburgh conference about young children as scientists heard from Martin Hendry, of Glasgow University's department of physics and astronomy, who remembered being told by one child that the earth was hit by a giant dinosaur 65 million years ago (scientists speculate that 65 million years ago an asteroid hit earth, wiping out dinosaurs).

In Portugal, teaching science has also proven to be entertaining. Nuno Seabra e Melo, professor of natural sciences at the Lisbon School of Education, told the same conference about his involvement in a project about the moon with pre-school children. After watching a film of the moon landing 40 years ago, one child commented: "Men were very happy to put a flag on the moon."

When their teacher asked why they thought the astronauts were happy, they said "because they were jumping up and down". Who needs gravity?

Talk of the steamie

Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop got into political hot water - could it be hotter? - for making a brief appearance in the Parliament chamber when MSPs were debating teacher numbers a couple of weeks ago. The reason for her failure to speak in the debate could have been that she was preparing for a big announcement the following day: launching a campaign to highlight the importance of talking.

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