Pupils enjoyed the mid term break with having Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off.  Staff on the other hand were able to get a well deserved break on the Monday but were hard at work on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Parents, and possibly pupils, may wonder what staff actually do during in-service days and the purpose of this blog is to share with you some of what we have being doing.

Firstly it is a chance for staff to collaborate in their departments/faculties – this is particularly important as we are bringing forward significant revisions to the the National 5 qualifications this session as well as looking at proposed revisions to the Higher qualifications.  The in-service days gave departments/faculties much needed time to meet together in order to take stock and to plan ahead for these significant changes.

Secondly it is an opportunity for me to meet with staff as a whole and to meet with sub groups of staff.  In our whole school sessions this year we have been looking at how we can improve the learning experiences for pupils.  staff have been trying out a range of new approaches and I was keen to get them to share with each other what had worked well and why.  There is a lot of research which indicates that the best schools are those which encourage teachers to learn from each other.

Thirdly is the opportunity for staff to develop their skills in a range of new areas eg how to work with youngsters with particular difficulties, how to more effectively use google classrooms, how to use our ICT systems to produce clear reports, how to develop numeracy/literacy across the school, opening up new business links for pupils.  Each teacher identifies where they need to develop and the in-service days offers a chance to groups to work together to learn new things.  We need our teachers to be innovative and to make learning inspiring to young people.  This requires teachers to constantly learn new skills and look for new approaches.

The in-service days are a much needed chance to ensure our teachers take forward their career long development, to look beyond the immediate priorities and to ensure we are doing all we can to help the young people to “be the best they can be”.

I hope the young people took the opportunity over the long weekend to enjoy their rights to:

  • meet other people (article 15)
  • relax, play and taken part in activities (article 31)

I also hope they are back refreshed and ready to enjoy their rights to:

  • an education (article 28)
  • develop their talents to the full (article 29)