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  Replying to Holyrood 90210: Glasgow Reality Tv
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Last 10 Posts [ In reverse order ]
*Andy Bogan* Posted 23rd Mar 2012, 02:11pm
  There has been far too much sneering about Holyrood. Why is that? Too often this originates from people who support the elitism and privilege of private schools.

I have 2 sons and 2 nieces as well as many friends with kids at the school and ours has been generally a positive experience.

The Scotsman article is very condescending and misunderstands that when money is sent as aid to countries like Malawi it very often gets caught up in red tape and does NOT reach the people who need it. The Holyrood Project and Mary's Meals ensures that the new schools and food reach the people not the administrators. It is also a valuable life changing experience for the young people involved - is that not what education is supposed to be about?

The TV programme has given a very positive experience of the school together with some of the issues that have to be dealt with in any big secondary. It maybe does not represent the kids that don't fit the system so well but I think the portrayal is a fairly accurate one.

Too often comprehensive education is slagged off. "I cant send my kids there! What about the neds! Its not very good academically is it? Look a the league tables!"

Well here is a good example of a multi-cultural multi-racial comprehensive school that offers success to pupils who want to work for it and teaches respect for others without the elitism, division and cost of private schooling.

Well done Holyrood!
GG Posted 20th Mar 2012, 08:08pm
  Good reader reply to the above article in the Scotsman:

An excellent article. The documentary is a portrait of a school where teaching and learning are secondary (sic) concerns.

GG Posted 20th Mar 2012, 01:27am
  I don't think I'll be watching the short series – a couple clips were enough to show how much of a let-down the series is – however, here's an ex-teacher's illuminating perspective:

As someone who once taught in Glasgow’s Holyrood Secondary school (1993-1999), I watched the first episode of High School, the fly-on-the-wall documentary series, through trembling fingers. I feared that the television company, maker of The Scheme, would produce the kind of warts-and-all programme that catapults low-lifers to celebrity stardom. ...

To my great relief, High School is as edgy as a repeat showing of Homes Under The Hammer. Tears flowed as I watched a clearly emotional deputy headteacher take an early retirement package and walk straight into the post of education co-ordinator for Mary’s Meals – that’ll teach me never to cut onions while watching telly. The school, we learned, has close links with Malawi, and last year a group of 30 senior pupils visited the stricken country. While I sincerely applaud the good intention behind the trip, it seems to me that the cash outlay on flights would be better spent helping hungry children. The cost of return air fares from Glasgow leaves little change out of 1,000, and according to the Mary’s Meals website, 7 feeds a child for a year. Just a thought. ...

Full article here:

Second episode available on BBC iPlayer soon, go here.

Scotsman Posted 14th Mar 2012, 05:36pm
  Watched it and thought that it was slower than 2 hours in detention.... will watch it next week but it better get better fast!!
Isobel Posted 14th Mar 2012, 02:56am
  Unfortunately I am unable to view this in my area. I guess I will have to wait till it comes to Canada.
Heather Posted 13th Mar 2012, 02:17pm
  I did not see anything that would annoy a Teacher, Parent or Pupil.
It seemed to centre more on deciding who would be the next Head Girl/ Boy.

There was also the naughty wee boy who seems to be late for everything including serving Mass, but the Priest seemed to be more amused with his excuse's than annoyed with them.
stratson Posted 13th Mar 2012, 11:02am
  I watched this program last night as it is my old ALMA MATER.Since opening in 1937, the youngest 6 of my siblings were pupils. Then it was known as a Senior Secondary School. My daughter was also educated at Holyrood.
My G/G/SON Jordan also did his final here in 2009.
Watching the documentary was nostalgic for me, however it is much more relaxed than it was in my day. It was very strict and a definitive no nonsense approach. Uniforms have always been a must for Holyrood. My first year I recall being scared of the teachers who all wore their black cloaks,
Was in 1a, form teacher Miss MacArthur. Our main subjects were French and Latin, Recall B classes did French & German. C did commercial subjects ie, Shorthand typing, Book-keeping.

Must get my brother in OZ, to watch your clip Martin, hopefully he can view via Glasgow Guide.
Thank you for posting. smile.gif
GG Posted 13th Mar 2012, 07:28am
  The first episode aired last night, and can be viewed from the UK using the BBC iPlayer here: .

If you are outside the UK, you can still access iPlayer, but you will have to use a proxy server to 'fool' iPlayer that you are accessing from the UK. See discussions here and here about how to do this. Or search Google.

GG Posted 12th Mar 2012, 08:24am
  Just a reminder that the first episode of this three-part real-life documentary starts tonight at 9pm on BBC One Scotland.

GG Posted 10th Mar 2012, 12:42pm
  Commenting on the decision to allow filming in the Catholic secondary school, head teacher Tom McDonald said:

"I didn't know they [the producers] had made that programme [The Scheme] before I met them.

I had developed a relationship and an understanding with them and I knew who they were.

We had a lot of dialogue with them to be absolutely reassured the portrayal that programme was given in the media would not be repeated with High School. I never thought it would be.

My feeling was that, as someone who grew up on a scheme myself, you could not deny that within areas there are social issues and there is no harm in exposing real social issues, but I did say to Michelle [Friel] and Jules [Kean] that in The Scheme I don't think the balance came across."

Following concerns raised by parents, a pilot of the programme was viewed by Parent-Teacher Council before extended filming began. Mr McDonald claims the pilot was well-received.

The head teacher added:
"Obviously they were a bit apprehensive. While we might not hit the top of league tables, we have a very successful student body so I reassured parents this would be a very positive experience."

Any pupil or teacher who had concerns about being filmed was allowed to opt out, with many subsequently doing so.

During the year spent filming, pupil exam pass rates at Holyrood fell by 11% (5+ standard grades) and by 40% (5 highers).

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