Secondary primed for future education needs

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KIRKLAND High School is blending today’s technology with a collaborative approach in delivering 21st century education.

Schools still had some work to do to match the pace of change, but Kirkland head teacher Ronnie Ross said the biggest challenge was right now.

Mr Ross (right) offered members of Levenmouth community safety panel an insight into the Methil secondary’s methods at the group’s annual general meeting.

Staff and parents, he said, were aware of important changes in education during the 2000s but it was hard to predict exactly what might happen.

Fife was about the highest performing education authority in Scotland and today’s young people were much more closely involved in shaping the structure.

But, in effect, they were being trained for jobs that didn’t yet exist, said Mr Ross, and the question was how confidently these unknown challenges could be tackled.

Teachers were communciating with young people today via the internet, the web and virtual learning environments, he added, while huge numbers of students were on Facebook.

The Curriculum for Excellence represented today’s main challenge and ‘enjoyment’ of it was a major factor.

The proposed new single secondary school for Levenmouth, leading to a merger of Kirkland and Buckhaven Highs, would be going out to public consultation on January 15 and Mr Ross said he was “passionate” in his belief that “the young people of Levenmouth, and future generations, deserve that kind of facility on their doorstep”.

Pupils at Kirkland wanted effective, friendly teachers who would engage them in learning and help them become confident leavers and responsible citizens, which placed demands on staff and students alike, said Mr Ross.

Industry and employers were looking for team work, partnership, problem solving, creative approaches, organisational skills and good communication from modern young people, as well as qualifications and ability to follow instructions.

“We have tinkered at the edges of education for many years – some changes have had a big impact, others little,” said Mr Ross. “But the teaching profession is a very buoyant, resilient and creative one, with huge talent.”

Fife, he added, could continue to have one of the best education systems.