24th September 2010 at 01:00

Orna Grant, a teacher at Fintry Primary in Dundee, died last month in a road accident, aged 34.

Glasgow-born Lorna attended Carleton Primary in Glenrothes and St Margaret's School in Edinburgh, finishing her secondary education at Dollar Academy, where she was particularly passionate about art and Spanish.

She completed her first year at Duncan of Jordanstone College in Dundee, but in order to continue Spanish, transferred to the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) and studied textile design and design management with Spanish for four years. Her degree at UMIST included a British Council Erasmus student exchange year, when she had a work placement at the Seat car company in Barcelona.

In the summer of 1995, Lorna joined a crew from around the world sailing on a replica of Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hinde, sleeping in hammocks and climbing high up in the rigging to the crow's nest.

She graduated with first class honours from UMIST and started working as a textile designer, but within a few months, Seat contacted her to offer her a permanent position in their interior design department near Barcelona. She was responsible for a significant part of the dashboard design of the Seat Ibiza and Leon, and completed a masters degree in car design at the University of Barcelona.

When her father became ill, Lorna returned to Scotland, a move which triggered a change in career. She volunteered in a local primary school and went on to obtain a postgraduate teaching qualification at Hope University in Liverpool.

She spent her probationary year in Wick, then worked as a supply teacher in Thornton and Coaltown of Balgonie primaries, in Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes respectively, before securing a permanent post at Fintry Primary in 2006.

Lorna did a great deal to enhance pupils' learning, not only at Fintry, but also within Dundee. She worked in a cluster group developing the teaching of French and, at authority level, developing the use of film for a literacy programme. She used her talent for languages in her Spanish after-school club, where pupils, parents and grandparents learnt Spanish together.

Lorna was incredibly creative and had great vision - talents which came together at the official opening of our new school where children performed "The Story of the Golden Thistles", which was based on her ideas for the story and music. Lorna was a great teacher - conscientious, innovative, creative, inspirational - and a joy to have on the staff.

Barbara Davie is headteacher of Fintry Primary, Dundee.

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