“He’s only gone and done it”

When I posted my last blog Andy Murray was on the bring of becoming world number 1.  It is great to see he has made it.  If ever we needed someone to show us what it means to bounce back from disappointment, to work hard for success, to overcome challenges and face up to challengers we should look to Andy Murray.

Much of what he has achieved, possibly everything, is down to brilliant preparation and focussed hard work.  In a school context I sometimes feel we are too casual in our approach and I am continually challenging myself and everyone else to prepare even better and focus our efforts on the areas which will make the biggest difference.

With that in mind Mrs Rennie, some of our staff and the P7 teachers have been doing a lot of work around the P7 into S1 experience.  When I arrived at Harlaw around 4 years ago the transition consisted of one visit by me to each primary and two half days into Harlaw for the P7.  Mrs Rennie and her colleagues have worked really hard to do more than this as we believe we can better prepare P7s to really ‘hit the ground running’ when they start at Harlaw Academy.  This week therefore saw the P7s have their second half day visit to the school this time to focus on Health and Well being.  More such visits are planned before now and June when all our P7s will follow 3 days of a secondary timetable.

I hope that by doing this type of preparation and effort will help our new S1 to work extra hard through P7, if they do this then they will be achieving higher levels than they may have done if we had not put in the effort.  I also hope it will help us to take them from that improved level to somewhere even higher than we have been able to do in the past.

In a previous post I mentioned the National Improvement framework a National initiative aimed at increasing attainment for all our young people.  Whilst the National picture is important my main focus is on trying to do the very best for the children and young people who attend, or will soon attend, Harlaw Academy.  It will take a few years to see if all this extra preparation pays off.  What I will say is that the P7s have been really enthusiastic about the experience as have the Primary/Secondary staff who took part.