Congratulations to Smithycroft Secondary School who have been nominated in Scots School o the Year sponsored by Itchy Coo and Black and White Publishing in the Scots Language Awards 2020. Vote now!
We asked Samuel Best of Smithycroft Secondary School the following questions.
Tell us aboot yersel or yer ootfit.
Smithycroft Secondary School is a six year comprehensive, non-denominational, co-educational school in the East End of Glasgow. Smithycroft has around 600 pupils with a teaching staff of 50.
The school is part of a wider Learning Community with six associated primaries, five nurseries, and two ASL schools. It serves the communities of Blackhill, Carntyne, Riddrie, Craigend, Garthamlock, Provanmill, Ruchazie, and Cranhill, with 71% of our pupils residing in SIMD 1 and 2. We run an Attainment Support Centre facility to help pupils engage more fully with the curriculum and school life.
Smithycroft works with a variety of partners in Higher and Further Education and is committed to building positive outcomes for all of our pupils.
Whit wis it got ye involvit wi the Scots leid?
Scots is the natural first language of many of our pupils and it has been a great reward to see the curriculum unlock for a class once they realise their knowledge of Scots is an asset. We have seen not only positive academic achievement, resulting in progress closing the attainment gap, but also an increase in our pupils’ confidence and enjoyment of learning and school. Furthermore, engaging with the vibrant Scots cultural scene in Glasgow and wider beyond has been extremely rewarding and exciting to play a part in.
Ony particlar career heighlichts?
Within the school we have worked hard to incorporate Scots into interdisciplinary projects, involving History, English, Science, Modern Languages, Music, and Drama, and the positive results of working collegiately across departments is seen in the enjoyment of the pupils. Outwith the school, we have worked with Hamish MacDonald, the former Scots Scriever, and writers Matthew Fitt and Chris McQueer, who was our Scottish Book Trust Writer in Residence for 2019. Chris’ work with the English department has resulted in a complete revamp of the BGE curriculum and an entirely new process for encouraging creative writing. Further to this, two of our staff have been involved in developing resources with University of Glasgow for Education Scotland.
Wha’s yer plans fir the days aheid?
We plan to continue developing Scots into the English curriculum, with particular focus on creative writing, to further build confidence in our pupils. Scots is a tool we plan to utilise when working to engage our pupils’ parents and carers, and build on our intergenerational learning strategies.
We are also seeking more opportunities to engage pupils with the cultural side of Scots, with visiting guests and school trips to further build on the energy and buzz around the language.
The Scots Language Awards 2020 will be online at www.scotslanguageawards.com. We will have a mixture of events on the 23rd / 24th October. Performing at the Award on Saturday 24th September will be Gerda Stevenson, Gary Robertson, Shona Donaldson and Jim Malcolm.
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