A week in

8th April 2016 at 01:00

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, has criticised councils’ “short-term cost-cutting” approach to music tuition in schools. Professor Sharkey made the comments in a letter to The Herald, following an exclusive story in TESS revealing that there would be nearly £1 million of cuts to music tuition (“Facing the music: tuition ‘in danger of dying out’”, Insight, 25 March). The Conservatives have promised to reverse the cuts following the revelations. TESS also revealed that visiting music specialists in primary schools were being targeted in local cuts.

A new short film shows how early years staff can help educate children with a parent in prison. Early Years Scotland’s prison-based Learning Through Play Together programme is the subject of the film (bit.ly/PrisonPlay), which includes interviews with inmates at HMP Low Moss, near Glasgow, as well as Early Years Scotland and prison staff. The programme provides an early years practitioner who helps prisoners understand their children’s development and the importance of play.

Primary pupils have been learning about the science inside an egg, with help from 11 Easter chicks and the University of St Andrews. Researchers gave P1-P2s at Strathkinness Primary School the chance to look after quail eggs and help them hatch. Dr Karen Spencer, of the School of Psychology and Neuroscience, said that her team planned to repeat the project next year with more primary schools. For details, email karen.spencer@st-andrews.ac.uk.

A poetry competition has showcased the language skills of primary pupils who speak English as a second language. Entries to Mother Tongue Other Tongue were submitted in 36 languages. Winners included: Simon Paulicek, of St Paul’s Primary in Glasgow, who wrote in Czech; Daniel Homstol, Bishopton Primary, Renfrewshire (Norwegian); and Weronika Jargielo, Douglas Academy, East Dunbartonshire (Polish). There were also secondary winners who used British Sign Language and Mandarin. @Henry_Hepburn

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