Tag Archives: Scotland

The Secret of the Kelpie⤴

from @ Through The Windae

The Secret of the Kelpie by Lari Don My rating: 4 of 5 stars Stunning illustrations and a story that doesn’t shy away from the darker elements of the Scottish myth of water horses. Wee Flora is an inspired little character and reminded me of Small from Levi Penfold’s Black Dog. Secret of the Kelpie...Continue Reading "The Secret of the Kelpie"

The post The Secret of the Kelpie appeared first on Through The Windae.

How the NHS lost my man …⤴

from @ blethers

Here's a wee NHS story with a personal twist. I've been married to a non-person for the past 12 years - or is it 11? We did wonder, a month or so ago, when the man on the other end of the NHS24 line turned savage (or at least peremptory) and refused, "in the interests of security", to speak further with Mr B because, according to Mr NHS24, there was no-one with his details registered at our address. A tad Orwellian, huh? And strange, as we've lived here for over 40 years and Mr B has seen quite a few decades under the NHS. But we had other things on our mind, no-one was dying - he was only trying to make a physiotherapy appointment - and we let it go.

Until yesterday. Yesterday, in the hospital On The Other Side - in Gourock, not in Heaven - the discovery was made that Mr B had the Wrong Number. This is the CHI Number, defined thus:

Definition
The Community Health Index (CHI) is a population register, which is used in Scotland for health care purposes. The CHI number uniquely identifies a person on the index.

CHI is mandatory on all clinical communications.

- according to the NHS site. It is a 10 digit number, the first part of which is one's date of birth. And some sharp-eyed person in Inverclyde noticed that Mr B's number didn't tally with the DoB he'd just given. There was, apparently, a great flurry of concern. And this is why ...

Had Mr B been wheeled into A&E on a trolley after something horrid like a car crash, someone would presumably have retrieved his driving licence, found his name and DoB, and called up his medical records electronically. Only they might well not have been his records - or they would perhaps be unable to find them, because they'd be under another birth date. Luckily, he's not been in such a trauma, so the problem hasn't arisen, and yesterday he was perfectly compos mentis and able to speak up for himself. But don't forget the NHS24 man - he refused to speak to someone whose records didn't match what the person on the phone was telling him.

A bit of digging at the local GP surgery - where he's been a patient since the 70s - revealed that the error happened some 11 years ago, when handwritten records were digitised. Someone changed a 0 to a 1, and the real Mr B disappeared, replaced by an imposter 10 days younger. And we've only just found out.

I don't know what would have been the final outcome had this not been discovered. I hate to think. As it is, it's almost amusing - sufficiently so for me to blog with a relatively light heart. It might have been very different.  I've just checked my CHI number, and it seems to be correct.

Is yours?

How the NHS lost my man …⤴

from @ blethers

Here's a wee NHS story with a personal twist. I've been married to a non-person for the past 12 years - or is it 11? We did wonder, a month or so ago, when the man on the other end of the NHS24 line turned savage (or at least peremptory) and refused, "in the interests of security", to speak further with Mr B because, according to Mr NHS24, there was no-one with his details registered at our address. A tad Orwellian, huh? And strange, as we've lived here for over 40 years and Mr B has seen quite a few decades under the NHS. But we had other things on our mind, no-one was dying - he was only trying to make a physiotherapy appointment - and we let it go.

Until yesterday. Yesterday, in the hospital On The Other Side - in Gourock, not in Heaven - the discovery was made that Mr B had the Wrong Number. This is the CHI Number, defined thus:

Definition
The Community Health Index (CHI) is a population register, which is used in Scotland for health care purposes. The CHI number uniquely identifies a person on the index.

CHI is mandatory on all clinical communications.

- according to the NHS site. It is a 10 digit number, the first part of which is one's date of birth. And some sharp-eyed person in Inverclyde noticed that Mr B's number didn't tally with the DoB he'd just given. There was, apparently, a great flurry of concern. And this is why ...

Had Mr B been wheeled into A&E on a trolley after something horrid like a car crash, someone would presumably have retrieved his driving licence, found his name and DoB, and called up his medical records electronically. Only they might well not have been his records - or they would perhaps be unable to find them, because they'd be under another birth date. Luckily, he's not been in such a trauma, so the problem hasn't arisen, and yesterday he was perfectly compos mentis and able to speak up for himself. But don't forget the NHS24 man - he refused to speak to someone whose records didn't match what the person on the phone was telling him.

A bit of digging at the local GP surgery - where he's been a patient since the 70s - revealed that the error happened some 11 years ago, when handwritten records were digitised. Someone changed a 0 to a 1, and the real Mr B disappeared, replaced by an imposter 10 days younger. And we've only just found out.

I don't know what would have been the final outcome had this not been discovered. I hate to think. As it is, it's almost amusing - sufficiently so for me to blog with a relatively light heart. It might have been very different.  I've just checked my CHI number, and it seems to be correct.

Is yours?

Scottish Parent Teacher Council 2016-08-23 09:40:00⤴

from @ Scottish Parent Teacher Council

Partnership Schools at Webster's High School in Angus

As some of you will know, SPTC is running Partnership Schools Scotland, a pilot project which aims to create and develop partnerships between schools, communities and families to improve outcomes for young people.

Partnership schools have an Action Team for Partnership (ATP) made up of parents and teachers who work together to plan a strategy, events and activities that will build their relationships with families and the local community.

The ATP at Webster’s High School in Kirriemuir, Angus, set a goal for their school to run a charity shop in partnership with pupils, families, school office staff and the local community, to raise funds for the school. Wendy Scott, chair of the ATP at Webster’s, tells us a little bit about how the event worked:

“As one of our Partnership goals we ran a pop up charity shop in one of the towns local to Webster’s. It was a tremendous success not only in the amount of money that we raised - £2360.00! - but it also brought the pupils family, school and community together.

The charity shop was a great way to get parents who would not usually be involved to come along and join in, as we were not asking for money, only items that they no longer needed or used and their time. Because of all the donations, the shop had a great choice of clothing, toys, games, kitchen utensils and books.

One parent commented that she hadn’t been involved with the school or parent council before because she thought they were quite exclusive, but being involved with the charity shop gave her the chance to get to know other parents and she really enjoyed herself.

The pupils enjoyed working with the community, collecting items, stocking the shop and clearing it out again once the week was up. This is something that we would repeat again as it was a great start to our Partnership Schools work.”

The pop-up charity shop is a fantastic example of how a school can make use of its social resources – pupils, families and community partners – to raise funds for the school whilst also building positive relationships.

If you have any examples from your school of great work with families and the community, please share your experience with us in the comments.

Partnership Schools is currently taking place in six local authority areas: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Angus, Perth and Kinross, Falkirk and West Lothian. To find out more, please click here.

Scottish Parent Teacher Council 2016-08-23 09:40:00⤴

from @ Scottish Parent Teacher Council

Partnership Schools at Webster's High School in Angus

As some of you will know, SPTC is running Partnership Schools Scotland, a pilot project which aims to create and develop partnerships between schools, communities and families to improve outcomes for young people.

Partnership schools have an Action Team for Partnership (ATP) made up of parents and teachers who work together to plan a strategy, events and activities that will build their relationships with families and the local community.

The ATP at Webster’s High School in Kirriemuir, Angus, set a goal for their school to run a charity shop in partnership with pupils, families, school office staff and the local community, to raise funds for the school. Wendy Scott, chair of the ATP at Webster’s, tells us a little bit about how the event worked:

“As one of our Partnership goals we ran a pop up charity shop in one of the towns local to Webster’s. It was a tremendous success not only in the amount of money that we raised - £2360.00! - but it also brought the pupils family, school and community together.

The charity shop was a great way to get parents who would not usually be involved to come along and join in, as we were not asking for money, only items that they no longer needed or used and their time. Because of all the donations, the shop had a great choice of clothing, toys, games, kitchen utensils and books.

One parent commented that she hadn’t been involved with the school or parent council before because she thought they were quite exclusive, but being involved with the charity shop gave her the chance to get to know other parents and she really enjoyed herself.

The pupils enjoyed working with the community, collecting items, stocking the shop and clearing it out again once the week was up. This is something that we would repeat again as it was a great start to our Partnership Schools work.”

The pop-up charity shop is a fantastic example of how a school can make use of its social resources – pupils, families and community partners – to raise funds for the school whilst also building positive relationships.

If you have any examples from your school of great work with families and the community, please share your experience with us in the comments.

Partnership Schools is currently taking place in six local authority areas: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Angus, Perth and Kinross, Falkirk and West Lothian. To find out more, please click here.

The Education debate – a builder’s take⤴

from @ blethers

I was chatting to our builder yesterday about schools. It seemed to me that this successful tradesman, running the building firm that he inherited from his father, had the secret of attainment in school well sussed. He attended the same school as my children, at the same time, and he told us a story.

He was in a science class - about S3/4 level - who were being taught by a supply teacher. She was pleasant, but deadly boring. He and his pals began to amuse themselves; the lesson was doomed. So, it seemed, was the supply teacher - for all knew well that she'd never regain the control necessary for learning to take place. Ah well.

A week later his father called him over for a quiet word. The essence of it was this: You were in a class being taught by Mrs. Bloggs? And you misbehaved and upset her? Right. Mrs Bloggs is a good customer of ours - in fact, I'm working on her house right now. If I ever hear that you've stepped out of line in her class again, I'll f******g well do you. Right?

Crude but effective. But it contains the seeds of success in many a small town school, where no-one is unknown and where the strangest connections emerge with remarkable rapidity. Pupils, teachers, Head Teacher and parents are linked in a symbiotic relationship in which all have to play their part or be found out. It makes for a relatively enjoyable existence for all - and that is where I taught for over 20 years without any of the negative fall-out which newcomers to a small town tend to fear.

But what else can we learn from this story? Nothing new, actually. The seeds of underachievement are to be found on both sides of the garden: boring teachers who wouldn't inspire the most docile of students, and uninterested or incapable parents. And then there's the growing sub-group of hostile and resentful parents as well, the ones who encourage their children not to let the teacher "get away" with any attempt to prevent their precious weans from walking all over everyone. Any one of these on its own will spoil the business of learning; more than one and we might as well all go home.

So what do you do to ensure that none of these weeds enter the Eden of education? No amount of pupil testing is going to help Mr Tedious to become a glowing enthusiast; no closing of the attainment gap is going to happen without somehow involving the parents in the enterprise. And no political manifesto is going to make a scrap of difference unless a whole generation of teachers and parents are somehow unified in one glowing, aspirational whole where the excitement of maths and the joy of literature and the joy of finding out become more important than a tidy record of work or where the next meal is coming from, or the next boyfriend, or the next fix.

I wouldn't have Nicola Sturgeon's job for anything. But those who advise her, who tell her that National Testing is the way to ensure that every child can have the same chances that she did, these advisors should perhaps begin by pointing at the Sturgeon family. They were the bedrock of the First Minister's success.

And she maybe managed to avoid the boring teachers ...

The Education debate – a builder’s take⤴

from @ blethers

I was chatting to our builder yesterday about schools. It seemed to me that this successful tradesman, running the building firm that he inherited from his father, had the secret of attainment in school well sussed. He attended the same school as my children, at the same time, and he told us a story.

He was in a science class - about S3/4 level - who were being taught by a supply teacher. She was pleasant, but deadly boring. He and his pals began to amuse themselves; the lesson was doomed. So, it seemed, was the supply teacher - for all knew well that she'd never regain the control necessary for learning to take place. Ah well.

A week later his father called him over for a quiet word. The essence of it was this: You were in a class being taught by Mrs. Bloggs? And you misbehaved and upset her? Right. Mrs Bloggs is a good customer of ours - in fact, I'm working on her house right now. If I ever hear that you've stepped out of line in her class again, I'll f******g well do you. Right?

Crude but effective. But it contains the seeds of success in many a small town school, where no-one is unknown and where the strangest connections emerge with remarkable rapidity. Pupils, teachers, Head Teacher and parents are linked in a symbiotic relationship in which all have to play their part or be found out. It makes for a relatively enjoyable existence for all - and that is where I taught for over 20 years without any of the negative fall-out which newcomers to a small town tend to fear.

But what else can we learn from this story? Nothing new, actually. The seeds of underachievement are to be found on both sides of the garden: boring teachers who wouldn't inspire the most docile of students, and uninterested or incapable parents. And then there's the growing sub-group of hostile and resentful parents as well, the ones who encourage their children not to let the teacher "get away" with any attempt to prevent their precious weans from walking all over everyone. Any one of these on its own will spoil the business of learning; more than one and we might as well all go home.

So what do you do to ensure that none of these weeds enter the Eden of education? No amount of pupil testing is going to help Mr Tedious to become a glowing enthusiast; no closing of the attainment gap is going to happen without somehow involving the parents in the enterprise. And no political manifesto is going to make a scrap of difference unless a whole generation of teachers and parents are somehow unified in one glowing, aspirational whole where the excitement of maths and the joy of literature and the joy of finding out become more important than a tidy record of work or where the next meal is coming from, or the next boyfriend, or the next fix.

I wouldn't have Nicola Sturgeon's job for anything. But those who advise her, who tell her that National Testing is the way to ensure that every child can have the same chances that she did, these advisors should perhaps begin by pointing at the Sturgeon family. They were the bedrock of the First Minister's success.

And she maybe managed to avoid the boring teachers ...

The Education debate – a builder’s take⤴

from @ blethers

I was chatting to our builder yesterday about schools. It seemed to me that this successful tradesman, running the building firm that he inherited from his father, had the secret of attainment in school well sussed. He attended the same school as my children, at the same time, and he told us a story.

He was in a science class - about S3/4 level - who were being taught by a supply teacher. She was pleasant, but deadly boring. He and his pals began to amuse themselves; the lesson was doomed. So, it seemed, was the supply teacher - for all knew well that she'd never regain the control necessary for learning to take place. Ah well.

A week later his father called him over for a quiet word. The essence of it was this: You were in a class being taught by Mrs. Bloggs? And you misbehaved and upset her? Right. Mrs Bloggs is a good customer of ours - in fact, I'm working on her house right now. If I ever hear that you've stepped out of line in her class again, I'll f******g well do you. Right?

Crude but effective. But it contains the seeds of success in many a small town school, where no-one is unknown and where the strangest connections emerge with remarkable rapidity. Pupils, teachers, Head Teacher and parents are linked in a symbiotic relationship in which all have to play their part or be found out. It makes for a relatively enjoyable existence for all - and that is where I taught for over 20 years without any of the negative fall-out which newcomers to a small town tend to fear.

But what else can we learn from this story? Nothing new, actually. The seeds of underachievement are to be found on both sides of the garden: boring teachers who wouldn't inspire the most docile of students, and uninterested or incapable parents. And then there's the growing sub-group of hostile and resentful parents as well, the ones who encourage their children not to let the teacher "get away" with any attempt to prevent their precious weans from walking all over everyone. Any one of these on its own will spoil the business of learning; more than one and we might as well all go home.

So what do you do to ensure that none of these weeds enter the Eden of education? No amount of pupil testing is going to help Mr Tedious to become a glowing enthusiast; no closing of the attainment gap is going to happen without somehow involving the parents in the enterprise. And no political manifesto is going to make a scrap of difference unless a whole generation of teachers and parents are somehow unified in one glowing, aspirational whole where the excitement of maths and the joy of literature and the joy of finding out become more important than a tidy record of work or where the next meal is coming from, or the next boyfriend, or the next fix.

I wouldn't have Nicola Sturgeon's job for anything. But those who advise her, who tell her that National Testing is the way to ensure that every child can have the same chances that she did, these advisors should perhaps begin by pointing at the Sturgeon family. They were the bedrock of the First Minister's success.

And she maybe managed to avoid the boring teachers ...