A week in
Pupils were evacuated from primary schools across Scotland last week after bomb threats were made by phone. Police and fire crews were called in Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Dumfries and the Lothians on Tuesday, 24 May, after phone calls were made to 13 primary and secondary schools. The scare came amid a wave of bomb threats made to schools across the UK; the US also had schools targeted.
A project that boosts primary pupils’ mental wellbeing has been celebrated at an awards ceremony in Renfrew’s Arkleston Primary School. The PATHS Plus (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) programme from Barnardo’s Scotland operates in Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire schools, helping children deal with conflict and improve their problem-solving skills. Children’s commissioner Tam Ballie said it could “play an important role in improving school ethos, the quality of relations in the school and, ultimately, maximising the development of our children”.
The latest Scottish centre for a world-renowned project that helps children from poor neighbourhoods to play in orchestras has opened in Dundee. Sistema Scotland’s new Big Noise Centre in the city will work with P1 and P2s from Claypotts Castle and St Pius primary schools. There are already Big Noise centres in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Stirling, all inspired by the original El Sistema project that began in Venezuela in the 1970s.
Children who enjoy bedtime stories with their parents most nights have a reading age at least three months ahead of those who do not, according to Scottish teachers in a survey. A UK-wide poll by education publisher Rising Stars found that more than 80 per cent of teachers estimated that reading at home most nights would put children at a significant advantage. Scottish teachers were particularly optimistic, with a greater proportion judging that these children would be ahead by between six months and a year.