Combined schools’ football coaching given the thumbs up

January 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Two school boys named Daniel, stepped into a lion’s den today unaware of the fact they were creating history.

Daniel McGreechin (12) in primary 7 at Tinto Primary and Daniel Ojonile (11) of the same class at neighbouring St Conval’s Primary were selected to be in a photograph which launched a new scheme of football coaching for both schools together in Tinto’s state of the art, all-weather pitches.

The line up for the historic photograph showing denominational and non-denominational schools - Tinto and St Conval's Primaries - about to start their joint football coaching sessions with Rangers and Celtic Youth Coaches and alongside Aberlour Child Care workers.  All engineered by local councillor, Bailie Josephine Docherty (centre in pink jacket)

The line up for the historic photograph showing denominational and non-denominational schools – Tinto and St Conval’s Primaries – about to start their joint football coaching sessions with Rangers and Celtic Youth Coaches and alongside Aberlour Child Care workers. All engineered by local councillor, Bailie Josephine Docherty (centre in pink jacket)

This is the first time a denominational and non-denominational school in the area has worked as closely together on such a project.

And, according to Bailie Josephine Docherty, the Newlands/Auldburn Councillor who engineered the coaching and the use of the Tinto facility: ‘It’s unbelievable we’ve actually achieved this.’

Bailie Josephine Docherty is delighted to see the two schools being coached in football together.

Bailie Josephine Docherty is delighted to see the two schools being coached in football together.

The sessions are being given by youth football coaches from Celtic and Rangers Clubs and both Club mascots attended for the photo shoot.

Celtic coach, James McCafferty, and Rangers coach, Brian Matthews, agreed it was a good venture. ‘If we can work together – and they see us doing that  – they can play together,’ summed up the Old Firm’s  amicable approach.  One half of each primary class will be paired with half of the other school’s class. The children get to know each other, learn to play football together and gain respect for each other.

Coaches James McCafferty and Brian Matthews regularly work together but it is the first time they've worked together on a joint schools' programme.

Coaches James McCafferty and Brian Matthews regularly work together but it is the first time they’ve worked together on a joint schools’ programme.

Aberlour Child Care Trust is also involved in the scheme which will run weekly for about three months.  Said Paul McNamara of Aberlour’s FACTS programme: ‘This programme stands for Football, Anti-sectarianism and Cyber-bullying Training in Schools. It is an ideal opportunity for us to discover if any of these issues are being experienced among these young people. We can concentrate on the words used and explain that words which are not even acceptable in banter today were commonplace a few years ago. Through this, sectarian attitudes can be addressed and defused.’

The combined football coaching idea came to Bailie Docherty when, on behalf of the City, she hosted a table at a Commonwealth Games banquet last autumn.  She said: ‘A Jamaican athletic delegate asked me why our footballers were so poor when we have all these parks. He was astounded to learn that almost every green space has a ‘No Football’ or ‘No Ball Games’ sign on it. That set me thinking and this combined football coaching session is the outcome.’

She added that she was particularly pleased that the all-weather pitch at Tinto Primary School was getting wider use. ‘It is a community facility created with public money but it is not easily available to the wider public.’  The St Conval’s school has no football pitches. All of their pupils who attended the first coaching session walked for 25 minutes to the Tinto School because the hire of school buses is ‘prohibitive’ said teacher Eileen Corr. ‘We took the healthy option,’ she said, smiling.

Tinto’s head teacher, Mrs Monique Kirkwood, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted at this opportunity to work with St Conval’s and for the children to work together. It will help break down barriers. We hope it will be the beginning of many more opportunities.’

Bailie Docherty said: ‘I couldn’t have done this without the help of Aberlour people. They are good at thinking out-the-box to achieve objectives. When this is seen to work, there is no reason it can’t be rolled out across the city.’

Added David Kelly of Aberlour: ‘It is exciting to be a part of this project. It is the first time the government has put serious cash behind sectarian problems in Scotland. The agenda is not set from the top. Our remit is to listen to what the young people themselves are saying; how they express their views and see if there is any trend that needs to be tackled. This way, we hope to make sectarianism a thing of the past.’

David Kelly of Aberlour couldn't resist having a kick-about himself.

David Kelly of Aberlour couldn’t resist having a kick-about himself.

Tinto School’s next door neighbour is the Netherauldhouse Evangelical Church. Pastor Don Palmer told this website: ‘We wanted to use the school’s pitches. But there was too much red tape and the cost was prohibitive – a minimum of £40 an hour. We run various kids’ clubs and would love to be able to use the pitches at the school as we’re cramped for space here.’  He said he hoped the combined schools’ football coaching programme was an indication that the Church’s prayers would be answered. ‘That facility should be used to its maximum capacity as it is a community facility. All kinds of church and community groups should be encouraged to use it. That would be a Win Win situation because this is a deprived community and there is no public space for children to play. And something as good as the all-weather pitches next door should be inclusive of people in the community not exclusive.’

Rain starts play for outdoor classroom

November 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It was appropriate that Hillpark Secondary School’s new outdoor class room should be christened in the rain.

The trees sheltered the photographers while the students posed for pictures.

The six 14 and 15 year olds who led the creation of the space, cut a ribbon to declare it open on Friday 8 November. Then everyone rushed back inside to drink tea and talk over the  story boards.

Head Teacher Mrs Jo Donnelly praised the six students who had ‘stuck to the project’ to plan and complete the work which was started after the school won £3000 in a competition.

The plans were so good that Lennie Duffy of Glasgow Wood Recycling was able to cost them and complete on working drawings for the installation very quickly. ‘The drawings were so good that 50% of the work was done,’  he said. They had been developed after consultation with the wider school.

The space now offers a wooden stage and wooden seating cubes in an amphitheatre  format which can be used in a variety of ways, formally and informally.

The intrepid six who managed the project: (from left) Dorsa, Hope, Fraser, Kirsty, Julie and Ross

Said Fraser McPhee, one of the six: ‘It took a lot of our time outside of school but I think we learned about leadership through doing this.’

Added Dorsa Ala Sheni: ‘This area can be used now for all kinds of things like drama productions.’ Kirsty Gouck considered the collaboration with everyone was especially useful. Hope Murray found the visit to the wood recycling  produced ‘loads of ideas.’ Julie Lee thought the research work was of great interest and Ross Nicol believed that putting it all together ‘into reality’ was best.

‘Now the whole school is working together and really into  outdoor learning and using the whole campus as a result of this,’ said Mrs Donnelly.


The real Goal is friendship

February 22, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Friday 22 February 2013

German and Scottish students enjoyed a friendly football match at Toryglen.

There was no real score kept of the football match today between students from Hollybrook Academy in Glasgow and counterparts from Maerkisches Berufskolleg in Unna, Germany.

But the friendly game – possibly 8 -8 – played at Toryglen indoor football centre, was great fun. It was followed by a visit to

Hampden Football Museum.

Said Mary Farrell Head Teacher of Hollybrook in Govanhill: ‘We have a jam-packed itinerary planned for our visitors, including trips to the Riverside Museum, Anniesland College, Xscape and orienteering in Mugdock Park.’

Some of the local students – aged up to 18 – and the German visitors – aged up to 23 – plan to hire kilts for their final fling – a ceilidh at the end of the two week visit. Said DJ NotNot alias Declan McNaughton (16): ‘We’ve sorted out the music for the night. There will be chart stuff, ceilidh music and music the German visitors want.’ Added DJ Barbie alias Stephen McLauchlan (17): ”All the equipment is organised as well as the lighting and the food.’

The two schools for young people with additional support needs, have been in touch through an initiative funded by the British Council supporting a bilingual Comenius Project.

Said Hollybrook teacher Silke Bryce, who is German and taught English before coming to live and work in Scotland: ‘This is a two year sports and leisure project. It allows an exchange of teachers and students and stimulates them to learn about each other’s country, culture, life style and language.’

The Glasgow students aim to travel to Germany next year but they haven’t worked out yet what they can do about kilts…

Last litter for long serving Councillor

May 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Team St Angela's shows pride in their school by cleaning up before the Inspectors arrive.

Alex Glass, who has been the Labour Party representative in Greater Pollok for 13 years, but is not standing again in the local government election this week, told this website: ‘I had the pleasure of joining some parents, children and teachers at St Angela’s RC Primary School in Darnley on Friday 27 April, to perform one of my very last duties as a councillor – a litter pick-up.’

In the near future, the school will receive an important visit from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education(HMIE). To ensure that the inspection team gets the best impression of the school, everyone, including outgoing Councillor Glass, was in the grounds picking up bags and bags of litter.  Head Teacher, Brendan Duffy said: ‘The School’s Council has been fighting hard over the past few years to show the pride they have in St Angela’s by encouraging other parents to join the clean-up of the school grounds. We have also involved the children. The long term message appears to be getting through to them about keeping the school and the wider community clean by putting litter in the bin and not dropping it in the school grounds or on the street.’

The clean-up was organised by Tom Buik, Chair of the School’s Council who said: ‘We have a good community spirit in the school now. We want the inspectors from HMIE to see the pride we take in St Angela’s  by noticing how tidy the school grounds are as they arrive to carry out their inspection.’

The school has not been without its problems as Councillor Glass knows. He said: ‘Recently, teachers were having to place buckets under the constant drips of water coming from the roof. Fortunately, I was able to draw attention to the urgent nature of the repairs and work was completed relatively quickly.’

St Angela’s has been in the news over the past couple of years due to the change in the catchment area for St Ninian’s which is outside Glasgow but has had a long standing arrangement to take children from the Darnley area.

Recently, too, the school expanded to accommodate the growing number of children wishing to attend St Angela’s. Two additional classrooms are now located in portacabins in the playground. Commented Tom: ‘Hopefully the inspection will go well for everyone at St Angela’s. With this level of support from parents, children and teachers as well as our local councillor, it looks like the school is taking on all the challenges that it faces by getting everyone involved.’

Fairtrade kids head for the park

March 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Glasgow’s largest primary school’s first ever Fairtrade Fortnight Parade will set off for Kelvingrove Park on Friday 9 March from their Otago Street base.

More than 700 pupils, staff and parents from Hillhead Primary School, including Kelvin Park Early Years Centre, will demonstrate their support for the ideals of Fairtrade with the march and rally.

Said Head Teacher Francis Donaghy: ‘It’s a big event for us and everyone involved is really excited and looking forward to it. It’s going to look fantastic. We have Fair Trade status as a school. On the parade the children will be carrying banners, holding placards, wearing tabards, waving flags, singing songs and generally making a lot of noise.

The rally will leave the West End school at 2pm. Three different routes will be used by different groups of children and they will all meet up about 45 minutes later at a central point in the park.

The new school has been green from the start with a unique turf roof to show its good ecology credentials.

Centenary glitz for Govan High Oscars night

October 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

img-alex-salmond-with-student2A showbiz styled centenary Oscars at Govan High School had it all – posh frocks and dinner suits, VIPs, excitement, red carpet and music all the way. Guest speakers were none other than First Minister Alex Salmond and songwriter Bill Martin who coached students to devise a new school song. Written by Tiree McDonald, Jennifer Baird, Jamie Lee Mckenzie and Shannon Foley, it was sung with gusto, by the Govan High Vocal Group. The theme echoed the school motto: ‘nothing without work’ and says: ‘we believe in working hard.’
In the school’s 100th year, ‘Headie’ Iain White was ushered in to the tune ‘I did it my way’ which was reflected in his comprehensive report. He said it had been a great year with centenary highlights including former pupil Sir Alex Ferguson coming to give a motivational talk to the school; a civic dinner hosted by the Lord Provost in Glasgow City Chambers; the Enterprise through Music first commercial CD being parachuted into the sports ground; double the anticipated number of 1949-1950 pupils turning up for a reunio; a ‘fantastic’ sports day now firmly re-established on the school calendar; Bill Martin, a former pupil who is renowned in the music world for songwriting which has won him three Ivor Novello awards, helping devise the new school song; a former pupils’ night held last month attracting 270 people and a major finale event scheduled for December.
A full account of the night will be put onto the LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW website asap.
Head Teacher Iain White pictured with guest speaker, Alex Salmond, First Minister and school Dux and Dysart Trophy and Whitelaw Prize recipient: Leigh Probert.

Bakers rise to a minibus for special needs school

June 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Hollybrook School's very happy pupils and staff beside their new minibus donated by Greggs the bakers.

Hollybrook School's very happy pupils and staff beside their new minibus donated by Greggs the bakers.

Kind hearted staff from Greggs the bakers, handed over a minibus to Hollybrook School in Govanhill for children with special needs.
Over the years, the school and the bakers have built up an excellent working relationship, which resulted in the pupils going on valuable work experience programmes to the company.
Mary Farrell, head teacher at Hollybrook said: ‘This mini-bus will enable us to make educational visits on a more regular basis. We cannot thank Greggs enough for this wonderful gift and look forward to continuing a strong friendship.’