Primary One pupils at a Renfrewshire school are learning how to read and write from aptly named teachers – Mrs Reid and Mrs Wright.

Ms Reid and Wright at Brediland Primary School Renfrewshire 15.8.18

As Brediland Primary School in Paisley welcomes its latest intake, the teachers admit that their pairing has raised a chuckle among colleagues.

Maureen Reid, 48, who’s taught at the school for 14 years, said: “Neither of us actually realised at first, it was a colleague who made the connection and he certainly found it very funny.

“I don’t think the younger children will make the connection but I’m sure the older children and parents will.

“We will work very closely together with lots of interaction between the two classes so I’m sure there will be lots of comments.”

Her fellow teacher, Audrey Wright, 40, said: “I’ve been at the school for eight years and this is my first year teaching primary one. I’m really looking forward to it. I think our names will raise a smile from the parents.”

Depute Head Teacher Lisa Robertson said: “The new Primary One children that we welcome to Brediland this session have had a head start.  What better way to begin to learn at school than with a teacher called Mrs Reid and a teacher called Mrs Wright?

“Surely only good things can come from this.”

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.

One pioneering project between Renfrewshire Council and the University of Strathclyde has led to an improvement in children’s literacy attainment regardless of their background.

The Renfrewshire Literacy Approach, funded by the local authority and the Scottish Government, is a teacher and leadership training programme designed to enhance knowledge and skills in the teaching of reading.

There have been improvements made in pupils’ reading age scores across primary three to seven, while further analysis also indicates that the teaching programme may have had the greatest positive impact on children living in the most deprived areas.

It also shows a positive increase in pupil attainment at all stages, particularly for those children who have previously struggled with aspects of learning to read.

Thousands of people turned out in Johnstone on Saturday to see fire engines, past and present, showcased in the town centre.

The day kicked off with emergency vehicles from across the years parading from Johnstone Fire Station into Houston Square, where they remained for the afternoon, giving everyone the chance to climb on board and learn how firefighting has advanced through the years.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service undertook several demonstrations throughout the day, showing people what the impact can be when a chip pan bursts in to flames.

The event was hosted by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Heritage Trust.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “The Fire Engine Rally is always a highlight of our events calendar and a firm favourite for the people of Johnstone.

“Events like this really benefit the local communities as they bring visitors in to the town and increase footfall to local traders.

Renfrewshire’s packed events schedule continues for the rest of the year, so make sure you check out what’s coming up next!”

For upcoming events in Renfrewshire visit www.paisley.is or www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events.

SHOPPERS must have thought they had walked through the doors of the intu Braehead mall on Saturday and landed in a galaxy far, far away.

They were met with the sight of characters from all kinds of films, TV shows and comics having a look round the shops.

Thousands of sci-fi fans turned out for the Film and Comic Con event being held in The Arena at intu Braehead.

Many fans were dressed in the costumes of their favourite sci-fi characters and they certainly caught the attention of shoppers in and around the malls.

They also flocked to hundreds of stalls set up in The Arena to snap up movie memorabilia and sought-after rare comics.

The event continues tomorrow (Sunday) when even more fans are expected to come along.

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, David Lyon said: “Where else but intu Braehead would Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Spiderman and Superman come for a weekend’s shopping when they visit planet Earth?

“This Film and Comic Con is one of the most eye-catching events we have at intu Braehead and we look forward to it every year.

“Shoppers just love to see the fans dressed in their amazing costumes and you just never know who you’re going to bump into!”

Calling all Paisley fashionistas! Following the success of their huge Ripped Up Fashion Show in Paisley in March, ReMode Renfrewshire are delighted to announce the opening of their brand new shop in Storie Street, Paisley, at the UWS Sustainability Hub.

Selling cherry-picked vintage fashions, and clothing that has been redesigned or upcycled in their community workshop in the nearby village of Lochwinnoch, the ReMode Shop will also run practical workshops on upcycling, mending and adapting clothes, and offer practical advice on climate action and sustainability.

The shop launches with one of ReMode’s very popular Swish (or clothes swap) events on Friday 31 August – members of the public are invited to drop off their unwanted clothes in exchange for tokens, and come along for a fun evening where you can pick up a whole new wardrobe for free!

Part of ReMode’s mission is to raise awareness of the environmental impact of the fashion industry, and highlight simple, positive actions we can all take, through the clothing we choose, to ease that.

COMMENT

ReMode director Gillian Steel said:

“We’re really excited to be opening our new shop in Paisley after two years based in Lochwinnoch. It represents a big step forward for us, and we’re looking forward to getting our beautiful vintage clothes and brilliant re-made pieces into the hands of a much wider audience! What a lot of people don’t realise is that, after oil and gas, the textile and clothing manufacture is the biggest global polluter – and it’s cheap, disposable fashion that contributes to that.  Simple actions such as extending the life of clothing by altering or upcycling it, and reducing the quantity of brand-new clothes we buy in favour of vintage pieces, can help to reduce the environmental footprint of clothing by 20 – 30%”

LISTINGS

  • The ReMode Shop will be open at the Sustainability Hub, UWS, Storie Street in Paisley, Thursday – Friday 10-4pm and Saturday 11-4pm, from Saturday 1 September.

 

 

  • Launch event and Swish: Friday 31 August, 7pm.  Donations of clothes can be exchanged for Swish tokens at the Sustainability Hub in Storie Street, Paisley on Fridays from 10 – 4 or at ReMode’s MakeSpace in Lochwinnoch High Street (Saturdays 12 – 5) – or just bring them along with you on the night! Further details and free tickets for the launch event are available via www.facebook.com/remodeyouth/ or website https://remodeyouth.org/  

 

 

  • The ReMode MakeSpace is still open every Saturday, 12-5pm, at 39 High Street, Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire and also runs regular workshops in sustainability and fashion design, for young people and the wider community.

Hundreds of children across Renfrewshire have enjoyed a summer of fun attending Families First holiday clubs.

Families First Johnstone Campus
L-R Hayley McGuire, Newlyn Harris and Kai Lynch

Running at 10 school venues, children have taken part in sporting activities and arts and crafts, as well as being served a healthy, nutritious lunch.

Around 6,000 two course hot meals have been served over the six week programme.

Families First Johnstone Campus
Miaya Docherty

Pupils from primary one to primary four who are in receipt of a school clothing grant were invited to attend the free camp, while older siblings in primary five to seven at the same school were also welcomed when accompanied by their brother or sister.

Families First Johnstone Campus

Children enjoyed the three hour daily clubs the West Johnstone shared campus, St James, St Fergus, Gallowhill, Heriot, Langcraigs and Todholm Primary Schools and Paisley Grammar, Linwood and Castlehead High Schools.

The mobile library service, the Skoobmobile was also part of the programme, with four of the venues hosting a weekly visit to encourage children to sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge, while the remaining six venues enjoyed at least one visit.

Families First Johnstone Campus

The clubs ensure that as many kids as possible get physical activity and have a tasty and nutritious meal every day, as well as encouraging them to try a wider range of foods than they may not otherwise eat. They can also provide valuable social interaction for children.

Education and Children’s Services convener, Cllr Jim Paterson said: “It’s great to have had so many children coming along to socialise with their peers and enjoy sporting activities which can help them stay healthy and active.

“By providing free school meals outside of term time we can also take some of the pressure off the family food budget and ensure that all children can get a nutritious meal.

“We are committed to ensuring that every child in Renfrewshire is given the best chance in life to reach their full potential and supporting families is essential to raising attainment for all and closing the poverty-related attainment gap.”

The Families First holiday clubs started in 2013 and run across most school holidays.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has met with a local energy efficiency agency to find out more about the latest work they’re doing to help people in Renfrewshire who are living in fuel poverty.

Local Energy Action Plan (LEAP) operate across Renfrewshire and offer a range of services to local people to help them reduce their energy use and also to help lift them out of fuel poverty.

The Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire North also spoke to them about the hundreds of households in the constituency who were mis-sold energy efficiency measures by the discredited HELMS.

HELMS have now gone into liquidation. They were an approved Green Deal installer, with the Green Deal programme being the flagship policy of the UK Government.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“It was great to catch up with Scott from LEAP today to find out more about their latest work across Renfrewshire to help households reduce their energy use.

“LEAP plays an important role in helping to lift people out of fuel poverty, and they’re one of the reasons why the fuel poverty rating in Renfrewshire is lower than the national average.

“I also appreciated speaking to LEAP about HELMS’ mis-selling, this is an issue which I have been working on over the past couple of months. Hundreds of people from across Renfrewshire have been thrown into debt due to the scandalous behaviour of HELMS. HELMS may now be out of business, but they were an accredited Green Deal company, and as such, the UK Government has a responsibility for helping those in Renfrewshire who were exploited by this discredited company.

“However, in the meantime, LEAP can offer a range of excellent energy advice to households across Renfrewshire. They have a solid track record of being able to help people and I would encourage all local constituents to get in touch with them to find out how you can reduce your energy use and help save on your fuel bills.

Scott Duncan, Project Manager from LEAP, said:

“It was great to be able to catch-up with Gavin Newlands MP to highlight the important work that we’re doing in the area. Our staff and volunteers work hard to help lift people out of fuel poverty and to assist households to minimise their energy use. We work in a number of the towns and villages in Renfrewshire and happy to provide a range of energy advice to local households.”

As exam results were released across Scotland, Renfrewshire school pupils who attended a leadership programme have revealed how the skills they gained helped them achieve success.

Pupils from Linwood High School who attended an ‘Aspiration Course’ at the Outdoor Education Centre on the isle of Arran returned with an increased sense of self belief and improved problem-solving skills according to head teacher, Gillian Macartney.

One student even found the trip so motivating that it gave her the confidence to put herself forward to become the school’s Head Girl.

Hannah Sloan, who gained four Highers in English, Music, Biology and Chemistry, said: “I am really pleased with my exam results, especially in English where I’ve always lacked confidence and was full of self-doubt.

“Being on the course really helped with that and actually sitting in the exam hall this year I felt much more confident and knew I had the knowledge and skills to achieve what I did.”

The 17-year-old added: “It also gave me the confidence to apply and become Head Girl in S6.”

Fellow pupil Beth Compston, 15, said: “I got six National 5s this year and I’m proud of myself.  I learned how to be far more positive when I was in Arran and deal with things better. I definitely think it helped me to go to my exams believing that if I try my best and work hard, I can do well.”

The trip was funded by the Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge and 24 senior pupils were helped to develop their leadership skills and build resilience through a mix of classroom and outdoor tasks.

The course also aims to enable young adults to realise their own potential as well as raising attainment.

The head teacher said: “There’s a massive legacy from their time on Arran which can be seen in the school.

“Since we came back I’ve heard a number of pupils saying the course has actually changed their whole outlook.  Many of those who were on the course are the ones now vying for leadership roles within the school.

“If they were tackling something tricky in class they would now think about how they could achieve it.”

The young people, who were a mixture of fourth and fifth year pupils aged from 14-16, initially worked on ‘ice breaker’ tasks. They also worked in teams on problem solving tasks.

Many of the activities at the centre are designed to reinforce a positive mindset, with outdoor activities including an orienteering challenge, building tasks including a rope maze and paddling a canoe while blindfolded.

Another task during the trip last November was moving their team by using only oil drums and planks of wood on land they were told to believe was mine infested.

Gillian Macartney added: “Some got frustrated and some wanted to give up, but you’d be letting your team down so there was that element of responsibility.

“It’s about having the self-belief and the ability to work with others to problem solve and to ensure they are setting themselves aspirational goals.

“Many found the abseiling task the most challenging but some were so chuffed when they got the bottom they burst into tears at achieving something they thought they could never do.

“I’m very proud of them all and it was great to see how the experience helped spur them onto achieving their full potential with this week’s exam results.”

Renfrewshire is one of the nine Scottish Government Attainment Challenge authorities to share a £750m national pot for projects designed to help improve the results of pupils from less-affluent backgrounds.

Since becoming a challenge authority in June 2016, data gathered indicates that the gap between the most and least deprived pupils has been reducing in listening, talking, reading and writing, and numeracy measurements.

Johnstone Fire Engine Rally is set to attract huge crowds in the town centre when it returns on Saturday 11 August.

fire engine rally at jonstone12.8.17

Fire engines from throughout the years will parade from Johnstone Fire Station at 11am into the town centre, ending in Houston Square where there will be a host of activities on offer for all the family until 4pm.

The event is being hosted by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Heritage Trust.

Fire engine rally at johnstone 12.8.17

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will undertake a variety of dramatic demonstrations to give an insight to how they respond to emergencies.

fire engine rally at jonstone12.8.17

Visitors to the event will also benefit from free internet access, with free public wifi rolled out in Johnstone’s town centre earlier this year.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron will be in attendance and will welcome all to the event.

Provost Cameron said: “The Fire Engine Rally is a family favourite in Johnstone and I can’t wait to take part again this year.

Fire engine rally at johnstone 12.8.17

“The fire engine parade is always a spectacular sight and I’m looking forward to seeing the wide range of historic vehicles as they drive through the town.

“This event provides a fantastic opportunity to see how far technology has advanced in the past few decades, as well as having an educational purpose with the safety demonstrations from The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

“It’s an enjoyable day out for all the family and I’d encourage everyone to come down and get involved.”

For further information visit www.paisley.is

Renfrewshire’s young people continue to achieve success in their exam results with around a fifth of S5 pupils gaining five or more Highers, an increase of two per cent on last year.

In S4, more than 90 per cent of pupils gained National 4s, with 63 per cent achieving three or more National 5s, an increase of one per cent on last year.

Almost half – 45 per cent – gained five or more National 5s.

Around a fifth of S6 pupils achieved three or more Highers this year and one or more Advanced Highers.

Across the board, Renfrewshire’s exam results are in line with last year’s, which was the most successful results so far.

Education and Children’s Services Convener for Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “I’d like to congratulate all of Renfrewshire’s young people on their exam results. Each of you have worked incredibly hard and should be proud of what you have achieved.

“I also thank all the teachers, school support staff and parents who supported our pupils through their exams.

“Renfrewshire is ambitious for all its children and young people to have the best start in life and reach their full potential. Our exam results are encouraging, and we remain committed to do more to help children and young people into positive destinations, regardless of their background or start in life.

“Exam results are a big deal, but it is also the work that young people put in across the year and in subsequent years that counts. No matter what your results are, there is no wrong path. There are always a number of paths you can take towards your goal.

“If you need support, get in touch with the Skills Development Scotland helpline or visit the UCAS website for advice on clearing.”

For the Skills Development Scotland helpline, call 0808 100 8000.

To get support with clearing, visit www.ucas.com.

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Gryffe High School pupils celebrate their exam results

Pupils from Gryffe High School in Houston, Renfrewshire, were excited to open their exam results.

One teenager whose results are taking him all the way to Oxford is S6 pupil Euan Huey.

Euan, who opened his results at the school, said: “I was sitting with a conditional offer to study History at Oxford this morning. Everything was resting on these results. It was terrifying and has been for a good couple of months. It’s such a relief to open them today and find out I’ve got three As at Advanced Higher.”

Keeping it in the family, Euan’s twin sister, Maisie, also gained three Advanced Highers. She said: “I got two As and a B at Advanced Higher. I had an unconditional offer to study English Literature at Glasgow University, so while I didn’t need these results to get in, it was a good year and I learned a lot.”

Colin Johnson, Headteacher at Gryffe High School, said: “Exam results day is nerve-wracking, and I’m pleased that so many young people in our school have achieved what they wanted. All pupils worked exceptionally hard and they have been supported by dedicated teachers, school support staff and their parents. It’s a joy to see their faces as they open their results and celebrate with their friends.”

Parents of children heading back to school are being urged to make sure they apply for school clothing grants.

Renfrewshire pupils are now entitled to £100 school clothing grant if they meet the criteria.

Clothing grant applications can be made whether parents have already bought their school uniform or have yet to buy one.

Parents who have received a clothing grant in the past won’t need to do anything and will automatically receive £100 per eligible child for the 2018/19 school term.

Anyone who has never applied for a school clothing grant, can visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/schools and download a clothing grant application under the Information for Parents section.

Education and Children’s Services Convener for Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Jim Paterson, welcomed the increase in the grant. He said: “Ensuring parents have the right resources to send their child to school is vital. Now that the school clothing grant has been increased to £100 per eligible child, this will help many parents as they prepare to send their child to school.

“We also offer parents on low incomes support through the Cost of the School Day fund, which is available through each child’s school. Speak to your headteacher to find out more about accessing this fund.”

Checklist

Parents are also advised to:

  • apply for free school meals (if child is in P4 and upwards)
  • apply for transport (if more than one mile from primary school or two miles from secondary school)
  • encourage teenagers aged 16 and above to apply for Education Maintenance Allowance if they are staying on at school
  • ask their school about breakfast clubs
  • seek further information from the school’s handbook or website
  • sign-up for the schools and nurseries e-alerts at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/e-alerts