A week in primary: 18 May 2018

18th May 2018 at 00:00

The long summer holiday should be scrapped, a child-poverty expert has said. Lindsay Graham told MSPs that the extended break allowed poor children to become disengaged from “social support and the will to learn”. The Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee, which is conducting an inquiry into child poverty and its impact on attainment, has previously heard evidence from members of the primary sector saying that some pupils have never seen the sea or visited a farm.

The Daily Mile health initiative offers a range of benefits and should be introduced around the world, researchers claim in the journal BMC Medicine. The University of Stirling report on the scheme – which was started by a primary headteacher in Scotland and involves pupils walking or doing other physical activity for 15 minutes every day – finds improved levels of fitness, body composition and activity among participants.

Career changers are being targeted in a campaign to recruit more early years and childcare staff. Provision for families at the early years stage is set to almost double by 2020, which has led to concern that the sector does not have enough staff to cope. This week, the Scottish government announced 2,000 more training places to help meet demand. It also pledged to support a big increase in relevant modern apprenticeships.

P6 pupils displaced MSPs in the Scottish Parliament chamber on Monday, for a contest designed to improve their understanding of Europe. A team from St Mary’s Primary School in Clydebank won the top Euroquiz prize, after 470 schools entered. The quiz is run by the Scottish European Educational Trust.

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