The Missing Part

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 the white stuff we must remember those who struggle with moments of significant disruption like this.

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Optimism of the action

“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 take it.  Failure is then accepted as ‘worth it’ and something to be learned from.   Preaching this message in a CPD session with teachers or in front of 30 P4’s is easy for me.  As a practitioner I know I have to put myself in situations that scare me and expose my vulnerability.  This belief has contributed to the decision made by myself and partner to leave Scotland for two months to live and work in a small town in Chile called Frutillar.

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The Hidden Curriculum

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 sharing:

  1. The role of questions in the classroom
  2. Finding the hidden curriculum

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Will this be in the test?

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 class for a day to bring their set text (Cherry Orchard) to life.  After 45 minutes into the workshop it was clear the pupils seemed disinterested.  The director intervened and asked if everything was alright.  One pupil simply said “how will this help us pass the exam?”  The workshop continued but the comment stayed with me.

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Why do I dig holes in the sand?

Ever since I was a young boy I recall digging holes in the sand.  Any beach, any country, and any time of the year – I would dig holes.  Sometimes they were no deeper than my wrist.  Others could fit my entire body. I once dug a hole so deep that both my brother and sister could fit in it standing up.  I love digging holes but until recently I’d never stop to wonder why – why do I dig holes in the sand? Continue reading

Creative and Employability Skills: Auchterarder

It is predicted by 2030 global youth unemployment will hit 60%.  This is coupled with 47% of jobs being automated.  The shift away from mass industry to a culture of freelance employment is unarguable.  The world of work is changing unlike anything ever experienced and with these monumental changes comes a new set of challenges for the next generations.  A future world full of uncertainty demands learners must be equipped with higher-order creativity skills that, as Education Scotland suggests:  will help children and young people not just understand the world, but be sufficiently equipped to influence its shape.
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