Category Archives: Parents

“The gift to see oursels’ as others see us” Robert Burns

The thought provoking quote from the famous Scottish bard was used to set the scene for an important lesson in self awareness. Whether the boys move on to college or into employment it is our aim to provide them with the essential skills to get them where they want to go.

As part of our skills for work training the pupils were introduced to the concept of employment references’. The course explained how these are used by employers to make decisions about who would be best suited to the position.

The boys were then tasked to complete a standard reference form about themselves. While the teachers were tasked with writing a reference for the boys. This simple exercise allowed the boys to gain an understanding of not only the purpose of a reference but also how to write one.

At the end of the lesson the two references were compared which allowed for the boys to see areas where they needed to develop. From this information activities have been designed for each pupil to strengthen their employment skills.

Burns Day

The boys celebrated Burns day in style after the dining room was decorated with saltire bunting and the tables covered with tartan napkins.


A full Scottish breakfast was served up including potato scones, black pudding and of course haggis. The rest of the day was spent playing games.


To top it all off a traditional taster buffet was put out for lunchtime made up of scotch eggs, tablet, clootie dumpling and scotch pies.

Pupils Complete Titanic Project

This term the junior class has been learning about the RMS Titanic, including about the tragic sinking of the liner and what life was like in Britain at the beginning of the 20th Century. Pupils also built an impressive 3D model of the vessel and Mr Bryson used the Titanic example to teach the boys about water displacement – the Archimedes principle – and set up experiments using mini icebergs and a model island made of clay.

Having completed the cross-curriculum project, the class now have a large Titanic wall display in their classroom and the 3D model built by the pupils is proudly on show at the school entrance.

ADHD awareness month aims to end misconceptions

As published by the Edinburgh Evening News on 8 October 2014.

October marks ADHD awareness month as campaigners globally try to raise awareness and understanding about this commonly misunderstood condition which affects so many people.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – or ADHD – is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that affects attention, concentration and impulsivity. Someone with ADHD might have significant attention problems, appear restless, fidgety, overactive and impulsive. They can act before thinking and often speak before thinking by blurting out and interrupting others. Studies show that ADHD may affect certain areas of the brain that allow us to solve problems, plan ahead, understand other people’s actions, and control our impulses.

The exact causes of ADHD are still not fully known. It is believed to be caused by poor transmission of messages in the brain, and in particular by low levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, which carry messages from one neuron to another. These neurotransmitters are particularly associated with attention, organisation and managing emotions.

Public perceptions of ADHD are often made up of misinformation about the disorder. A popular misconception is that ADHD is not a disorder or at least, is a benign one that is over-diagnosed. However, studies over the past 100 years show ADHD is a chronic disorder which has a negative impact on virtually every aspect of daily social, emotional, academic and work functions.

Another myth is that most sufferers will grow out of the condition, however it is now acknowledged that between 1.5 and two per cent of the adult population will continue to display symptoms. Approximately two out of five children with ADHD continue to have difficulties at age 18. The main symptoms, such as attention difficulties, may improve as children get older, but behavioural problems such as disobedience or aggression may become worse. In particular, boys who are hyperactive and aggressive tend to become unpopular with other children. It is therefore very important for children to receive help as early as possible, to prevent them from getting socially isolated and from developing other emotional and behaviour problems.

So while work is being done to raise awareness of the disorder there is still a lot of uncertainty and misinformation. That is why the awareness raising events taking place this month are such an important resource for anybody who is affected by ADHD and their families and friends. So, please take advantage of the events on offer.

Stuart Jacob is director of Falkland House School in Fife, one of Scotland’s top providers of education for children with additional support needs.

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