Jotter - Prom and circumstance

26th June 2009 at 01:00
It took a lad from St Ninian's High in Giffnock to show that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well at the school's sixth-year prom. He hired an open-top bus to transport his pals to the event, sold the tickets to fellow pupils at a tenner each, and pocketed the profit. Brian Soutar look out.

It took a lad from St Ninian's High in Giffnock to show that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well at the school's sixth-year prom. He hired an open-top bus to transport his pals to the event, sold the tickets to fellow pupils at a tenner each, and pocketed the profit. Brian Soutar look out.

What's in a name?

Those who say the name of the new National 4 and 5 qualifications was simply plucked out of thin air are full of hot air. The title emerged from a "creative brainstorming session" by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, with all the panoply of flashcards and focus groups (five, no less) of 13-19 year olds.

A whole variety of stunning names were tested, and included such gems as Alba, Priority, General, Progress, Elementary - even Landmark and Milestone. So critics of the winning title should be appreciative of the narrow escape the new exams have had.

Mind you, how pleasing for ministers in an SNP Government that National was chosen. All it takes is for it to be prefixed by "Scottish" .

Flights of fancy

Glasgow teacher and EIS conference stalwart Alana Ross successfully led the fight at the union's AGM earlier this month against any moratorium on A Curriculum for Excellence.

As a serial magnet collector, she believed her fridge door sums it all up. One legend reads: "children are born with wings; teachers help them fly" (ACfE). As for 5-14, she said her friend, fellow conference fixture and GTC Scotland convener, May Ferries, believes there should be a magnet which reads: "children are born with wings; teachers pull them off".

Such behaviour could have teachers up before the GTCS.

Curriculair

Talking of the new curriculum and the EIS, we were pleased to see union general secretary Ronnie Smith in fine form - presumably, he would have known then that news of his OBE award in the Queen's Birthday Honours was about to burst on an unsuspecting world. But he gave us a grand image of the imminent curriculum: "To borrow a phrase from a fellow general secretary, it has to be said of A Curriculum for Excellence that it is a bit like many of Ryan-air's airports: they are a long way away from where we need to be."

Flushed with success

What should be expected of a chartered teacher? Education directors' leader David Cameron has a new definition of the required standard. Chairing this month's national conference for CTs at Glasgow's Hilton Hotel, he read out the usual housekeeping rules. "There are plenty of toilets outside," he told them. "If you can't find the toilets in this hotel, you don't deserve to be chartered teachers."

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