Ever been to the Opera? Now’s your chance to experience it for FREE at Paisley Opera House (Seedhill playing fields) on Wednesday 25th July 2018 at 6pm. One of the themes of Pagliacci is the circus and in addition to wonderful singing and a full orchestra, there will be aerial displays as part of the show. The event is a unique promenade performance where the audience moves around different areas of the performance space, however, there are also specific areas for wheelchairs users.

Have a look at the info and the video here https://www.scottishopera.org.uk/shows/pagliacci/ and for FREE tickets please email  events@renfrewshire.gov.uk with your name, the name of your organisation, a contact  number and email, and the number of tickets you would like.

Bravo!

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Residents are set to see a change to their bin collection service later this year as part of a drive to improve recycling across Renfrewshire.

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With evidence showing 69% of rubbish being placed in the general waste bin could have been recycled, the new service aims to encourage people to be better recyclers and help Renfrewshire fulfil the national Household Recycling Charter objectives.

As part of the changes, residents will be provided with an additional bin to help separate out their recycling and reduce the amount of waste produced ahead of a ban on sending untreated biodegradable waste to landfill by 2021.

The changes to collections will include:

  • A new green wheelie bin, for plastics, cans and glass and will be collected on alternate fortnights with the blue bin
  • The blue bin will now be for paper and cardboard only and will be collected on alternate fortnights with the green bin
  • The grey general waste bin will be collected every three weeks
  • There is no change to the brown food and garden waste bin which is still collected fortnightly

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “The change to the bin collection service later this year will give residents the opportunity to reduce the amount of rubbish in their general waste bin and spread it out into an extra recycling bin.

“We recognise that that this is a change for residents but everyone will still receive a weekly collection and by recycling correctly they will be able to see a difference in the level of rubbish they are producing.

“Other local authorities who have moved to a similar service have seen a significant improvement in recycling, meaning there are less disposal costs and the money saved can be reinvested into other vital services including investing in our schools, our roads and caring for the most vulnerable in our communities.

“We will be launching a campaign in the next few months to ensure residents have all the correct information in advance of the changes and we will work closely with them to guide them through the new process to ensure the new service works efficiently.”

The new collection service delivery model will impact on the 90,000 properties across Renfrewshire which have a kerbside collection service and is set to be delivered in late 2018.

Approximately 30,000 Renfrewshire properties, which includes tenements, maisonettes and high flats, will see no change to their general waste collection but the service will be tailored to allow these properties access to the new service.

All residents affected by the changes will see receive detailed information in advance of the new service change on how to recycle correctly, what can be placed in each bin and the schedule of bin collections.

Information and updates will be provided via the Renfrewshire Council social media accounts and at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/mybins.

Schools may be out but the ever-popular Street Stuff activities don’t stop as the packed summer programme launches today (2 July).

Football, dance, gaming, DJ workshops and much more will be available for young people aged 8 to16 to take part in for free this summer.

With no school to look forward to each day, all young people are being invited to take part in the summer clubs at a range of venues across Renfrewshire.

Afternoon clubs will take place in Renfrew, Johnstone, Paisley and Linwood from 2 July until 11 August, with core evening sessions on each day except Sundays.

Young people attending an afternoon session will also receive a free healthy lunch as they’re sure to work up an appetite at whichever activity they take part in.

Those who attend will also get the chance to have their say on what they would like to see as part of the 10 year Street Stuff birthday celebration next year.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “With bundles of energy to spare with no schoolwork over the summer, Street Stuff provides the perfect opportunity to tire them out each day.

“Our brilliant team of coaches and volunteers will help engage them in different activities each day whether they’re a dancer, footballer or gamer.

“With the added addition of a healthy lunch to keep them going during the day, I’m sure it’ll be a struggle to get them home from each activity.

“All young people are free to come along, make friends and have a fantastic summer.”

Street Stuff is a diversionary project run in partnership between Renfrewshire Council, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Engage Renfrewshire and St Mirren Football Club.

The programme began in 2009 in Renfrewshire contributing to a reduction in youth disorder and anti-social behaviour by 75 per cent over the first five years with a sustained reduction of 65 per cent.

Find out exactly when each club is on at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/summerclubs.

Paisley Central Library will be moving to a temporary home in the town centre – ahead of a new state-of-the-art facility opening on the High Street.

The library has to leave its current home next to Paisley Museum in September when the building closes for a £42m revamp to turn the museum into an international-class destination based around the town’s unique textile heritage and collections.

Library provision will move to a new learning and cultural hub at 22 High Street by 2021, with a temporary library to be built next to the Lagoon leisure centre and due to open in January 2019.

The modular building will take over part of the facility’s south car park – currently used by council staff – and will house the most popular books and services, plus some public access PCs.

In the meantime, library users will be able to access the same services at Foxbar, Glenburn, Ferguslie and Ralston libraries, as well as a wide range of e-books.

A number of public-access PCs will be made available from September at 5 High Street to ensure jobseekers and others requiring internet access can continue to get online.

The hugely-popular Bookbug sessions will move to the main Lagoon building until the end of the year until the temporary library is ready.

The heritage centre – where the public can access family and local history records – is set to decamp to a new home in Mile End Mill in Seedhill Road over the winter and will stay for four years until moving back into the museum when it reopens in 2022.

The moves are part of Renfrewshire Council’s £100m investment in venues and infrastructure over the next few years, central to a wider plan to use the town’s unique heritage and cultural assets to transform its future.

The new learning and cultural hub will bring back into use a long-term vacant building on the High Street and create a modern library facility and educational resource for residents, pupils and students.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The £100m investment in Paisley’s venues and infrastructure over the next few years will preserve the future of some of our best-loved heritage buildings by turning them into modern community facilities, while helping us attract new events and visitors, and driving footfall to the town centre.

“When the new learning and cultural hub opens in 2021 it will be a flexible, fully-accessible and digitally-connected space for pupils, students and residents of all ages to use.

“At the same time, the space vacated by the current library will allow the museum to expand and showcase our unique history and collections to a much wider audience than we can at present.

“But to achieve that, there will be a period of disruption over the next couple of years – and we will be ready to work with businesses and residents to minimise the impact of that.

“The temporary library at the Lagoon will be smaller in size than the current one, but will be designed to allow the most popular items and services to be easily accessed there.

“And while there will be a gap of a few weeks between the current building shutting and the temporary one opening, there will be lots of ways to access library services in the interim – from our online catalogue, to our other libraries at Ralston, Ferguslie, Glenburn and Foxbar, to the extra public PCs we are putting in place.”

The council’s investment in Paisley’s cultural infrastructure aims to build on the momentum of the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 by making it a key destination for visitors and events and equipping it to host a planned expansion of activity over the next few years.

The £42m museum revamp will create an international-class destination showcasing the town’s unique heritage and collections, predicted to bring around 125,000 visitors a year to the town centre.

Other big projects as part of the same programme include a £22m transformation of the interior of Paisley Town Hall to create one of the West of Scotland’s key entertainment venues, an upgrade of Paisley Arts Centre, major investment in town centre outdoor spaces and transport links, and new sporting facilities and events space at St James Playing Fields.

The plans build on the investment already made in the publicly-accessible museum store Paisley: The Secret Collection, opened last year on the town’s High Street, and the launch of the new destination brand and website at www.paisley.is

The new learning and cultural hub is being delivered by the council in partnership with Hub West Scotland – part of a Scottish-wide Government initiative, led by the Scottish Futures Trust, which forms a public-private partnership to develop community infrastructure projects, providing value for money and community benefits, for public-sector bodies.

For more info on library services, visit www.renfrewshireleisure.com

Paisley will be transformed into a seaside escape in celebration of this year’s Weave Festival and Sma’ Shot Day celebrations taking place this weekend.

This year’s event, which will take place on Saturday 7 July, will celebrate the traditional weavers’ holiday by taking visitors on a trip ‘doon the watter’. Sma’ Shot Day, which is one of the world’s oldest worker festivals, will for the second year running, include the Weave Festival – offering an enhanced and diverse programme of cultural events and activities on the day.

The festival is part of an expanded programme of events which is part of Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bidding legacy and will reconnect the town’s weaving heritage and global connections via a programme boasting around 30 shows in Paisley’s historic town centre.

The popular Sma’ Shot parade will leave from 12 noon at Brodie Park and finish up at Abbey Close. This year’s parade is being co-ordinated by Bridgeman Arts in collaboration with a number of local community groups, performers and musicians. The parade will bring to life the theme of a trip ‘doon the watter’ topped off with a spectacular paddle steamer boat float.

Noel Bridegman, Artistic Director at Bridgeman Arts said: “The Bridgeman Arts Events team has been producing carnival events for over 15 years now and this is the first time that we will be producing the parade and the Burning of the Cork.

“This year will see several new, giant puppet characters join the throng such as the Paddle-steamer captain and a new, friendly Cork character. The Burning of the Cork will have a colourful, theatrical element to it with a celebratory finale piece on the bridge area that includes more street theatre, live music and lots of fun.”

The parade will be followed by a performance by local dance group right2dance who will showcase a specially choreographed routine on Abbey Bridge and Forbes Place highlighting the town’s unique relationship with the White Cart. This section of the event is supported by the Paisley Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (TH.CARS2) funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council and is part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, said: “Weave Festival and Sma’ Shot Day is always a great event in the town’s calendar that attracts thousands of people into Paisley each year to celebrate our town’s important and rich history.

“There’s even more to keep the family entertained this year with the jam-packed programme and the seaside transformation of the area is sure to bring a real holiday-feeling to the town for all to enjoy!”

The event will feature performances from youth theatre school PACE who will re-enact the struggles of the Paisley weavers in their efforts for payment of the Sma’ Shot, the Makers’ Market will showcase a variety of innovative Scotland-based designers and makers.

There will also be a series of arts and craft workshops for all to enjoy as well as a number of weaving demonstrations which will take place at the Sma’ Shot Cottages, Threadmill Museum and Paisley Museum throughout the day.

One of the weaver’s in residence, Shielagh Tacey, said: “As part of our weaving residency in Paisley Heather Shields and I have been researching the term “Sma’ Shot”. It is such an important part of Paisley’s weaving heritage and yet not many people understand what it is or looks like.

“This Sma’ Shot Day and Weave Festival we will be based at the Sma’ Shot cottages, alongside their fantastic volunteers, demonstrating what a woven ‘Sma’ Shot’ is and what it looks like using various looms.”

Visitors can look forward to a raft of music, poetry and spoken word performances at the Dooslan Stane Stage which will this year see a Youth Poetry Slam take place to mark the Year of Young People 20218 and encourage young people to express themselves through language and culture.

In addition to the firm favourites visitors have come to expect from the event there will also be a new raft of activities to attract and entice the crowds. The town centre will be transformed into a seaside escape complete with sandy beach, ice cream, candyfloss for the kids.

Vibrant street brass band, Brass Aye, will add a carnival flavour to the event while That Swing Sensation & Boogie Box Jive – Scotland’s award winning big swing band – will perform a mix of big band swing classics and rock n roll, while dancers from Boogie Box Jive will perform demonstrations. In addition to this the popular Tea Dance will return to Paisley Town Hall.

Also, aerial performers from All or Nothing will amaze and dazzle visitors with their aerial acrobatics as they sail through the air to celebrate the Scottish summer holiday. There will also be ‘Watch, Fly, Come and Try’ aerial workshops where people will have the chance to try trapeze and other activities during the drop-in taster sessions.

It’s sure to be a great day not to be missed!

To find out more about the event please visit www.paisley.is.

A group of young buddies will join Paisley’s long tradition of radical poets at this year’s Sma’ Shot Weave Festival as part of a national campaign to engage young people in literature and culture.

The annual Weave Festival and Sma’ Shot Day event will take place on Saturday 7 July and will see the return of the popular Dooslan Stane stage. This year it will welcome a group of young people from Paisley and further afield who are keen to carry on the town’s long history of celebrating poetry and the spoken word.

The Dooslan Stane is an important aspect of the day’s events as it has close links with the textile industry. The stane or ‘stone’ was once a meeting place for the Weavers Union and was used as a ‘soapbox’ where the weavers could review the hot political topics of the time and air their grievances against the mill owners.

This year it will serve as the platform for a different kind of activism as young people share their experiences in their own words. The activity ties into the wider Year of Young People 2018 programme which aims to give young people a stronger voice on issues which affect their lives, showcase their ideas and talents, and ultimately, create a more positive perception of them in society.

The Youth Poetry Slam is part of a wider national project – the Scottish Youth Poetry Slam – the project deliberately targets educational and social disadvantage, crossing barriers by using fun, youth culture to nurture language and literacy and to engage young people in literature and culture and upskill them with creative ways to manage mental health.

A group of young people from Port Glasgow High School who won the title back in 2016 will work with young people at Create Paisley to produce work that will be performed on the day.

Emma from Port Glasgow High School, said: “Winning the title of Scottish Youth Poetry Slam Masters 2016 was amazing and since then we have gone on to teach poetry workshops to primary schools and performed for Prince Harry and Megan.

“We are very excited to be meeting and collaborating with young people from Create Paisley to make a performance for the Weave Festival and Sma’ Shot Day celebration and can’t wait to get started.”

Renfrewshire’s Year of Young People Champion, Councillor Michelle Campbell, said: “Giving young people a constructive and creative outlet to allow them to express themselves is a great way to ensure good mental health and it’s great to see that young people from Port Glasgow and Renfrewshire coming together to share their ideas and talents.

“I’m sure they will produce some fantastic work and I look forward to seeing them perform at this year’s Weave Festival and Sma’ Shot Day celebrations.”

ConFAB arts company is responsible for delivering the national Scottish Youth Poetry Slam project and has been working with groups across Scotland.

Artistic Director for conFAB, Rachel Jury, said: “Poetry is all about what you want or need to say without the constraints of rhyme and meter that you learn in school. It’s a much freer medium for young people to communicate in their own way, express themselves and build confidence.

“It’s a great thing for these young people to have their views and experiences heard and will enable them to explore their own voices, manage their creativity and improve their mental wellbeing.”

The young people from Port Glasgow High School will meet with members of Create Paisley from 4 July to participate in a series of workshops where they will come up with the pieces they will perform on the day.

Create Paisley Project Manager, Alan Clark, said: “We’ve been doing a lot with young people in the community around writing and poetry in the last year or so. It gives young people a sense of encouragement to use poetry as a tool to express themselves.

“It’s particularly significant that that the young people participating in the Youth Poetry Slam will have a chance to perform on the Dooslan Stane stage and bring their own type or modern-day activism to the event.

CREATE Paisley have collaborated with PACE Theatre Group are producing Write Here Write Now, a Young Writers Festival as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, which will be open to young people aged 8 – 26 who will create and develop new writings, focusing on plays, songwriting and poetry.

To find out the full details and programme for this year’s Weave Festival and Sma’ Shot Day celebrations visit: www.paisley.is.

To find out more about Write Here Write Now visit: www.write18.com or to get more detail on the Scottish Youth Poetry Slam visit their Facebook page @sypslam

SNP MSP Derek Mackay is urging Renfrewshire’s dog owners not to leave their pets in hot cars this summer.

Mr Mackay is highlighting research undertaken by Dogs Trust which shows that almost people believe it is ok to leave a dog in a car if counter-measures are taken, such as leaving a window open or parking under a tree.

Under 20 minutes in a hot car can prove fatal to a dog, should its body exceed 41°C. Within a matter of minutes, as the temperature rises in your car, your dog’s suffering will become evident through excessive panting, whimpering or barking. This will then develop into a loss of muscle control and ultimately their kidneys will cease to function, the brain will become damaged and their heart will stop.

The Renfrewshire North & West MSP is warning constituents that on even wet or cooler days, leaving their pet in the car even for a few minutes can be dangerous.

Mr Mackay said:

“Many people don’t know that dogs take a lot longer than humans to cool down and with temperatures rising over the summer it is more important than ever that dog owners are warned of the dangers of leaving their pets unattended in cars. Even on cooler or very wet days, cars can become very hot, very quickly, and be fatal for dogs.

“You just need to touch the dashboard or seat of a car to see how hot it can get. And parking in the shade or leaving the window down will not make it any safer.

“If you are carrying your dog in the car over the summer carry plenty of drinking water for it, use sun blinds on the windows and do not leave the dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes.

“If you do see a dog in distress in a parked car call the police or the SSPCA immediately.”

Young people across Renfrewshire are having their say on school menus as part of an initiative to improve their mental and physical wellbeing.

Healthy eating at Johnstone High School 20.6.18

The health peer education project Hearty Lives is working with young people in secondary schools to identify their top health priorities.

Financed by Renfrewshire Council’s Tackling Poverty fund and operated in partnership with Active Communities, each school has a teacher coordinator who works with a group of pupils who promote issues students identify as important to them, such as healthy eating and make improvements for their fellow students.

School catering staff have met regularly with some of the groups and as new school menus were introduced just weeks ago across Johnstone, Gryffe, Castlehead, Trinity, Park Mains, Paisley Grammar and Renfrew High Schools and pupils and staff are already enjoying the positive benefits.

Renfrewshire’s Year of Young People Champion, Councillor Michelle Campbell dropped into Johnstone High to see what a difference the initiative has made.

She said: “The message from the young people here has very much been how much they value having their voices heard and having an input into something as fundamental as the food on their plates.

“It’s not just that there’s a wider choice of menu options, but that young people are encouraged to sit down and eat with their friends in a social setting.

“They see lunch as a social situation, which is such a positive thing in terms of their health and wellbeing.

“Sharing a meal is something which unites us all and this is something that will develop going forward, for young people’s entire school careers.”

A healthier breakfast service has been introduced to phase out traditional filled rolls in favour of choices such as toast, poached eggs and fruit, as well as reducing the size and availability of home baking options.

Healthy food choices are now more prominently displayed at serving areas with catering staff encouraged to ‘nudge’ pupils to make healthier choices.

Young people have been invited to taster sessions, including primary seven pupils ahead of starting S1 after the summer

Second year pupil Thea Brady said: “I think the new menu is good as there are a lot of choices, especially for people who perhaps have food allergies to think about.”

Aidan Hepburn, 16, who is a fourth year pupil at the school, said: “Ever since it started I’ve really liked it as there’s a much better choice and it’s much healthier.

“There are also choices if you are vegan. I’ve been enjoying coming to the canteen.”

Head teacher Lynne Hollywood says that in the weeks since the new menu was introduced there have been positive changes across the school.

She said: “This for us is about so much more than the food that’s going into the children, it’s more about a lifestyle change.

“When we had our school health week, our home economics staff worked with catering staff to showcase the new menu to the pupils and to encourage staff to come down and eat alongside them.

“The buzz in here having everyone eating together from proper plates with cutlery was great. You can’t underestimate the impact of the social side of sharing a meal together, of talking and interacting.

“The pupils have had a huge impact on the menu. We’ve had tasting sessions where only the pupils were there as we found if the catering staff were offering different foods the pupils might be reluctant to try it, but if they were being offered it by the fifth and sixth year pupils they were much keener.

“Going forward, the pupils will very much continue to be involved and to have a voice.”

Pupils have also been able to undergo valuable work experience in the school kitchen alongside catering staff.

Lynne Hollywood added: “The benefits to the young people and the staff are enormous, it lets them feel they are connected to the school and makes everyone feel they are much more part of a team.

“The challenge has been to encourage our young people to stay in the school grounds at lunchtime and enjoy the environment here.”

The school’s Hearty Lives coordinator Ainsley Brown said: “The group of pupils worked with our catering manager to redo the school menus as along with young people across Renfrewshire, they were keen to see more healthy choices.

“The kids were able to give their feedback after taster sessions and it’s great to see the pupils eating more sociably.”

New school menus offer up social and health benefits for young people

By Renfrewshire Council Leader, Cllr Iain Nicolson

The good work going on at Johnstone High and other schools highlights how the food on our plate is about so much more than being mere fuel.

The Hearty Lives project, supported by our Tackling Poverty fund, now has 210 trained peer educators across Renfrewshire Secondary Schools.

They have worked with 5,000 pupils on a range of issues, including diet and nutrition and aims to help them lead their own activities to improve their health and wellbeing.

Youth mental health is a key priority and sharing a meal with family, friends or our peer group is a positive thing- whether it’s bonding through shared experiences, relaxing, or just having someone to talk to.

It’s clear to see that by encouraging our young people to eat better in school canteens where they find the choices attractive, then they’ll choose to spend time there with their friends in a safe and nurturing environment.

If young people are introduced this in their formative years of Secondary School then it’s something they can take with them through school and beyond.

It’s great to see young people’s voices shaping the way we deliver our services and we hope it encourages young people to have the confidence to get involved.

Valuable work experience in the kitchens allows pupils and staff to feel part of the school community.

As well as improving their health, sitting down to eat with their fellow pupils is also great for developing social and communication skills, which in turn will help their learning.

In the Year of Young People, it’s especially relevant to support projects such as this and we have committed £5 million over the next five years to the Tackling Poverty fund to continue key projects such as Hearty Lives which we know are making a real impact for young people and their families.

Youngsters are being encouraged to get up to all kinds of mischief…by taking part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Summer Reading Challenge at Paisley Library 26.10.18

The theme of this year’s Tesco Bank-sponsored Summer Reading Challenge is Mischief Makers and features characters, Dennis the Menace, Gnasher and their friends from the Beano comic.

Renfrewshire Libraries are encouraging youngsters to pay them a visit and take part in the Summer Reading Challenge by borrowing and reading six books of their choice and be given stickers and rewards the more books they read.

Summer Reading Challenge at Paisley Library 26.10.18

Local author, Lindsay Littleson was at Paisley’s Central Library to encourage kids to take part and tell them about her latest book, A Pattern of Secrets.

It’s free to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge and youngsters can also take part in a hunt for buried treasure by exploring their map of Beanotown.

Youngsters who complete the Summer Reading Challenge will also be entered into a prize draw to win cinema tickets. All of Renfrewshire Leisure’s 12 libraries and its Skoobmobile each have a pair of tickets to the movies as prizes, which have been donated by Paisley-based facilities maintenance company, Consilium Contracting Services.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure’s board of trustees, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is an exciting way to encourage young people to read books.

“I hope parents and carers will encourage children to pay their local library a visit and as well as borrowing books they want to read, they can have some fun as well.”

Schools across Renfrewshire are recording improvements in pupil’s reading, writing and numeracy skills thanks to the innovative projects introduced as part of the Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge.

Renfrewshire is one of nine areas chosen to receive a share of a £750 million pot to help close the gap in results between the most and least affluent pupils.

Since it became an Attainment Challenge authority in 2016, there have been improvements in pupils’ reading age scores across primary three to seven.

Data gathered also indicates that the gap in attainment between the most and least deprived pupils has been reducing in listening, talking, reading and writing, and numeracy measurements.

The number of children in Renfrewshire schools achieving the expected levels in these disciplines is also above the national average according to statistics gathered from schools.

Head teacher of St Catherine’s Primary School in Paisley, Emma Henry, said: “We looked at additional staff to support early intervention for primary one and two and to deliver targeted support for individuals and groups, which has resulted in increased attainment across the school.”

She added: “We’re always looking for all children to be moving forward as we have high expectations for all of our pupils.”

The school also set up nurture drop in sessions which allowed children time to talk through their feelings.

Emma Henry added: “It’s not just the improvements in literacy and numeracy which gives the children confidence and self-esteem and allows them to access all of the curriculum, it’s also about their health and wellbeing. “

St Catherine’s is one of the primary schools to have adopted the Renfrewshire Literacy Approach, an innovative programme to develop literacy skills in partnership with the University of Strathclyde.

The school has set up reading cafes and invited parents to create positive relationships with teachers.

The head teacher added: “We’re definitely in a great place and the attainment challenge allows us to improve year on year and think outside the box.”

Head Teacher of Auchenlodment Primary School in Johnstone, Gerry Carlton, said: “Two of our staff have been involved in Renfrewshire’s Classroom Assistants’ training and it’s been mind-blowing the knowledge and skills they’ve developed.  After training, their confidence has grown and they’re now leading a lunchtime story club and an afterschool numeracy club.”

The school has also taken part in training of teaching methods of primary one pupils with Strathclyde University, which means that children now learn through play.

The head teacher added: “It encourages children to be more independent and to be leaders of their own learning. We’ve noticed a positive impact on primary one attainment and in staff confidence.”

The school also run family learning sessions where parents are invited in to improve their knowledge of reading strategies and are then given the opportunity to read with their children.

Castlehead High School in Paisley introduced measures to improve attendance , including individual attendance plans and a reward scheme for second years.

Head teacher Martin MacDonald said: “It has worked very well and attendance has increased with pupils this session attending an extra 5,800 periods. The more you attend, the better the qualifications you get, it’s as simple as that.”

The school also appointed a Principal teacher of wellbeing who has led a system of ‘peer champions’, where sixth year pupils work with first years across literacy, numeracy and wellbeing, as well as ‘forest schools’, where pupils learn how to build fires and shelters.

One of the areas being worked on is the impact of children’s learning as they move from primary to secondary schools.

Renfrewshire now has 10 transition teachers in place, while almost 250 teachers and support staff have taken part in professional learning so they can better support children and young people making the move.

Councillor Jim Paterson, Renfrewshire’s Education and Children’s Service Convener said: “One of our key aims is to close the attainment gap between the least and the most deprived children, as well as raising attainment for all.

“Early indications show that the initiatives developed in our schools as part of the attainment challenge are making a real difference and children and young people are making significant progress.

“We are committed to ensuring every child reaches their full potential no matter what their background or start in life is, and the attainment challenge is clearly helping give children and young people the same opportunity to succeed.”