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Blog

For the past few weeks, I’ve been delivering online training with practitioners in Ireland. At the beginning of each session I’ve asked the question ‘what do you know for sure?’ It comes from Oprah Winfrey’s new book (my partner introduced it to me)! It turned out that everyone agreed on the same thing – uncertainty […]

One of the largest projects we have undertaken in 2020 (and potentially ever) was the Creative Bravery Festival.  We collaborated with inspiring people from Edinburgh College, Napier University, The Scottish Government, Education Scotland, and a freelance Architect/Design Educator to imagine and stage an online, global, learning festival.   It was held over a week in September […]

You’ll never amount to anything. My primary five teacher did not have high expectations of myself and my nine-year-old classmates. But it wasn’t our fault, he said. It was our primary two teacher to blame, he said. I don’t recall exactly what it was she had done to ruin the life chances of our entire […]

It’s interesting how life has turned upside down, but I feel like it’s all very peaceful. In these early stages, I am transported back to the two years I spent teaching in a rural boarding school in Southern Africa. Life was very much about living the school as a community – life amongst pupils, staff […]

This week we are excited to collaborate with two internationally recognised and outstanding Scottish cultural organisations: Room 13 from Fort William and Jupiter Artland on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Our event is part of the brilliant Firestarer festival curated by the Scottish Government. We will gather 30 people at Jupiter for an afternoon of brainwash […]

Recently Hidden Giants devoted a morning to work with the entire staff of a large primary school – a school the size of three, four or five primary schools. We asked the staff to place themselves into their teams – their own notion of who they worked with, in their perceived role(s) within the school. […]

Recently, we invited 29 educational professionals from an inner-city primary school, to go for a silent walk with us. The purpose of the walk was to facilitate a conversation around the curriculum, and teacher agency. But what actually happened was completely unexpected. As seasoned educational facilitators, practitioners and consultants, we knew it was something amazing.

Not knowing what to do can be uncomfortable – if left long enough it can be distressing. We like knowing what happens next; cliff hangers only work because they suspend time encouraging us to come back for more to discover what happens next. We love weather forecasts to discover if it will be sunny tomorrow. […]

Hidden Giants and West Lothian Creative Learning Network will dare to take an alternative approach to addressing the current big issues in education: curriculum design, raising attainment, and participation. We invite education professionals to join us, to collectively reposition our thinking and challenge our core beliefs. We propose meeting in everyday spaces on three different […]

My step-son, amongst a number of other conditions, is diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). He finds it difficult to deal with uncertainty and change. Hence, as I sit here and type this blog we are dealing with heightened confusion arising from school being cancelled due to the snow. As other children find fun in […]

“Optimism of the action, is better than the pessimism of the thought”  Greenpeace Engrained in our work is the belief we need to embrace failure and accept risk as part of the every day.  This mind-set can only be actioned from a position of strength and confidence.  We must believe in the risk before we […]

Hidden Giants has worked in partnership with Dunning primary in Perth & Kinross since January 2015.  The residency has generated incredible conversations in the classrooms, the staff room and further afield.  It has provoked my thinking and refined my approach.    Through our work there are two key strands which I thought it would be worth […]

A few years ago I was producing a theatre company in residence at a school in Inverclyde.  We had been working closely with the English department who suggested the 5th year pupils could do with a different approach to understanding Chekov.  In response we invited a highly regarded and experienced director to work with the […]

I recall wandering through the back streets of Barcelona in 2008 at 1am with a fellow traveler and her friend on one of my European adventures.  We were lost but didn’t want to admit it.  We were searching for somewhere to have a final drink.  The streets became tighter, darker and occupied by shadows intent […]

A mystery has lain dormant for centuries in the heart of Dunning.  As children play between the gravestones of the local church something far more revealing lies underneath its steeple.  Historians have always believed the markings on the Dupplin Cross connected Scotland to France but were unable to find the key that would unlock its […]

A man walks into morning assembly; he looks confused and has obviously been sleeping rough.  He stumbles to the front of the room. He begins to speak, his voice is slurred and words aren’t making sense.  He speaks of an experiment in the local hospital, something he signed up for but didn’t appreciate the consequences.  He has been trying to escape […]

Imagine a world without a regular power source: no hot water for your shower, no light to do your homework, and no electricity to play your new Xbox game.  This fictional nightmare will one day be reality if we don’t take action today. The area of Fossoway has been identified as an ideal location for […]

NASA has discovered a new planet in our solar system.  Initial probes have suggested the surface is rich in minerals, water and natural gases. With this detection comes the potential of colonization. NASA has suggested the first inhabitants will not reach the planet until the year 2030.  The Intergalactic Affairs department of NASA has decided the […]

In June Hidden Giants and West Lothian Creative Learning Network will host Scotland’s first ‘Failing in Education’ conference as part of the 2015 Emporium of Dangerous Ideas.   The daylong event will take place at Howden Park centre and contain voices of those who have failed or are failing in West Lothian schools and beyond.

Over the past couple of years I’ve introduced Isaac, my step-son, to gardening.   Despite not having a physical space which could be considered a recognisable garden we were undeterred and commandeered a small corner of the car park at the bottom of our flats.  My step-son has ASD and can become frustrated easily so gardening […]

Experimentation is only possible when you have encountered and reflected on similar experiences – leading to new moments of disruptions. It is therefore cyclical as each new experience should inspire a new experiment.  You should have the ability to hypothesise the outcomes whilst remaining curious enough to presume there will be other findings.    The experiment […]

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