I'm just back from an extraordinary Christmas lunch at St Luke's High school in Barrhead. St Luke's is a fantastic school that works tirelessly at creating a culture where every learner thrives and flourishes.
I was blown away by what I saw today. Third-year pupils worked as a team to cook; prepare and deliver a restaurant-quality experience. The fantastic group of pupils, who have worked tirelessly with their two home economics teachers, Gail Patterson and Holly Smith created a tasty meal but an even more incredible learning experience for the pupils. I have been working with Gail and Holly as part of the OSIRIS OTI Programme that I deliver in school focusing on engagement, challenge and feedback. And boy, did they do all of that today!
The whole experience was pure St Luke's, at it's best! Teachers were modelling high expectations in their pupils, encouraging, motivating and supporting the learners - making it attainable, fun, and ensuring a beautiful result. The staff team had prepared the learning experience scaffolding to this point. All of the learners were secure and confident; they knew they could achieve this incredible task.
They bought in and thrived on the level of challenge. They wanted to do well for themselves and their teachers who had guided them so expertly through the experience. Learners understood with clarity what they had to do and when. Out of interest, how many of us could manage that on Christmas day?
Pupils learned the effort required; teamwork; communication; culinary and service skills - and prepared with excellence under pressure. They rose to the challenge and did so in a way that was a joy to watch - and then eat! Yummy!
The lessons for us? Take risks and invest in our learners - everyone has infinite potential. Model high expectations and plan the learning experiences accordingly. Use the right hooks to engage; enthuse and motivate and magic can happen in our classrooms.
Today was Inspirational! Gail and Holly and the rest of the staff - I salute you! I hope everyone enjoys the most amazing Christmas break and I can't wait to work with you in January - but I do now need to lie down after that fantastic feast!