6 Mar 2009

Whit, Nae History? - Dinna mess wi the Falkirk Bairns !

From Today's Scotsman

HISTORY is to be dropped from a school's curriculum for two years, after poor results and falling interest in the subject.Pupils at St Mungo's High in Falkirk will not be able to take history at Standard grade next year or Higher the following year.

Professor Tom Devine, a historian, said the move was "scandalous" and St Mungo's experience bucked the national trend. He said: "The evidence from the Scottish Association of Teachers of History, suggests of the three social subjects – modern studies, history and geography – the most popular in growth of pupil numbers and examinations over the past five years, has been history. "Would they ever think about doing this with maths, English or physical education?

I SAY

Here here, prof Devine

This is most concerning and simply must be reversed, must not be allowed to happen in a large mainstream Scottish comprehensive - a stones throw from the Antonine Wall, the site of the Battle of Falkirk ( 1298, monument to it pictured above), The Forth and Clyde Canal, The Carron Iron Works, The Bonnybridge Riots, and Dennis Canavan, May 1999! And lots more

If you can't interest the bairns of Falkirk in history with this rich tapestry you are teaching it wrong marketing it wrong - you are a bureaucrat no a teacher, Mr McPhee headie at StMungo, or whoever is the Education Convener at Falkirk Council - Go homeward and think again.

Let's not rush to specific judgment - unionist conspiracy, nationalist conspiracy, poor teachers, bad marketing, bad luck, hidden agendas? ( I know how schools work, there's probably a promotion in this for somebody) Let's find out and let's put this right before May 2009 when the pupils will have made their near irreversible subject choices. - but they have no history choice there to make. A disgrace!

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Education, down the road in Linlithgow, whit are you doing? Keith Brown, my MSP for Ochil, right across the Kincardine bridge from Falkirk, and new Schools minister ?- you first job, pall.

How can this happen? What aboot these single outcome agreements you have wi cooncil? Is this the real cost of your populist council tax freeze? Wake up. Intervene. I thought we lived in a democracy, with accountable schools, accountable to our councils, government. our parliament

I know this school, traditionally anyway, one of the best in Scotland, the best in the town. And they are in the process of constructing a brand new building on the current site. The notion that with these resources, they can't offer history at standard or soon higher level is just incomprehensible. You isn’t doing your job Mr McPhee - to innovate, to solve problems, not list them

Sort out or ship out. And the same applies to you history department teachers - if you cannae attract the enough bairns to make one class viable then you ain't up to it. You should have four, be turning folks away!

And Falkirk Council - Labour/Tory controlled, but SNP biggest group and a few indies - just what are you doing?

I worked briefly at that "Community" football stadium you own, and have seen you pour hundred of thousand down the drain year on year, subsiding ineptitude. But you cannse find the resources, the wit, to teach history in one of your town's biggest schools?

"Need to train more history teachers! - there are dozens of them out there looking for work wi dozens more still come this summer. Go out recruit the best of them - visit Jordahill, St Andrews and Moray House now, offer a pay supplement if need be - but you won't, St Mungo is a fine school. great location - right next to Falkirk Grahamston Station - another story to tell your pupils, the area where you school stands, Grahamstoun, named after Sir John de Graham, Wallace's right hand man slain at Falkirk in 1298, buried in your local Kirk by his own men in risk of English retaliation - but they secured an amnesty such was his standing, even amongst the enemy.

Bring these stories and many more back to life, Involve these veteran Polish airman who helped win the Battle of Britain for us , and then settled in the town ; that Chippy owner. Michael Lemetti from Barga who has developed the National Tartan of Italy - his brother Joe's on the cooncil!

Nae teachers? Whit planet you on Falkirk Council? Planet mince, pure mince. It's you lot that needs retraining - or another vocation. In fact, you should personally all be made to enroll in a standard grade history class, se how its done well - you sound like you need it.
Try Wallace High, Stirling! You'll get a warm welcome.

2 comments:

subrosa Friday, March 06, 2009  

Three Glasgow schools have stopped the sciences for the same or similar reasons. I blogged on that at the time.

What the hell are teachers training colleges (or wherever they go these days) doing? They're the people who are responsible for training a good range of basic subjects to these wanna be teachers or are the wanna be teachers quite happy just learning English or IT?

I'm sure Fiona Hyslop will be looking into this asap. It's nothing to do with the council tax freeze, it's to do with poor school management and poor training of teachers - to me anyway.

Andy Stewart Monday, March 09, 2009  

Been reading this blog here and was abit suprised to tell you the truth as im a "Falkirk Bairn" and live in the same street as St Mungo high school with a good few friends who went there and they all come out on good grades and St Mungo is classed as one of the best schools in falkirk. and the new site as you state that the school is being built on ( looks near complete tae me).

Imo living in falkirk all my life it looks as thought the Gov dusnae care anymore ( just my thoughts) and Falkirk Council is as helpfull as a sqaure wheel tbh.

Nice blogs btw, been a good read this morning

Cheers Andy

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