Archive of: October, 2021

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Why do we have to learn Latin, sir?”

It has been an immensely rewarding first half of term and the weeks since the beginning of September have flown by. Everyone at Cargilfield, adults and pupils alike, has made me feel very welcome and could not have done more to help me find my feet, often quite literally as I have wheeled my trolley of text books and jotters through the corridors and up the stairs. I have been impressed, as I expected to be, by the standard of Latin and the enthusiasm of the pupils. The efforts that the Form 6s have made to grapple with a complex and highly inflected new language have been heroic. Inevitably this leads to questions about the language, some of which I can answer and some I cannot. What’s the point of deponent verbs? Good question. Is it important to know that the genitive plural of 3rd declension monosyllables whose genitive stem ends in two consonants is an exception to the rule? Possibly not, but I am keen to maintain the reputation of Classics at Cargilfield when its pupils reach senior schools. I want the Classics teachers at the prestigious schools that Cargilfield pupils move on to to know that its pupils have been well taught. What is the point of learning Latin? Ah, that is a very good question indeed.

The teaching of Latin in Britain is initially bound up with religion (the pun is intentional), and I was delighted to find out that the Form 6s were beginning their history of sacred music with Panis angelicus, Thomas Aquinas’s 13th century hymn. Originally missionaries led by Augustine were sent by Pope Gregory in 597 to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. Teaching Latin so that the Anglo-Saxons could read the bible was integral to this. The teaching of Latin flourished for several centuries but then declined. Alfred the Great played an important part in the resurgence of Latin in the late 9th century. We have a Latin grammar from c1000AD used to teach monks Latin. The clergy were also struggling with their Latin. In Renaissance times, Latin was still the common language used across Europe.

Renaissance humanism began In North Italy in the 13th century with the aim of promoting the study of classical antiquity and this movement spread across Western Europe in subsequent centuries. Classical authors such as Virgil, Horace and Ovid became popular. Other authors became known. The invention of the printing press meant that Latin texts became more readily available. Classical authors were widely admired and even imitated. Neoclassical writers in the 18th century such as Dryden with his translation of Virgil had a large influence. Latin influenced rules for English grammar. Split infinitives were frowned upon because the present infinitive in Latin is only ever one word. Dryden himself is said to have created that rule that sentences should not end with a preposition because in Latin the noun always follows the preposition. This is not a rule I am a fan of.

So why do we still invest so much time and effort into learning Latin? When I have interviewed scholarship candidates and the topic has cropped up, the arguments tend to be utilitarian: Latin is useful in that it helps you with English spelling and grammar; or it is useful because it helps you with Modern Languages. This may be true, but does Latin have no worth in its own right? My answer in a nutshell is that we learn Latin so that we can read its literature and, through it, explore its culture. No translation can capture the rhythm of Virgil’s hexameter, the intricate wordplay of Ovid or the audacity with which Tacitus manipulates the language.

So why do I not hear this argument put forward more often? The answer is simple. If I told the Form 6 pupils that they were learning Latin in order to read the literature, one of them might rightly ask how long they will have to study Latin for to know enough grammar to be able to read literature in the original. If I were to reply that they should be ready after five years, I can well imagine heads going down. It is much safer to fall back on more immediate arguments and focus upon the intrinsic satisfaction of translating accurately and how Latin is useful for English, French and other romance languages. But in my heart of hearts, I know that the reason why I love Latin is the same one that captivated Milton, Dryden, Pope and all those other historical figures in. Hang on in there, Form 6!

Andrew Shackleton

Head of Classics

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perch_introTextA few thoughts from Mr Shackleton
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Why do we have to learn Latin, sir?”

It has been an immensely rewarding first half of term and the weeks since the beginning of September have flown by. Everyone at Cargilfield, adults and pupils alike, has made me feel very welcome and could not have done more to help me find my feet, often quite literally as I have wheeled my trolley of text books and jotters through the corridors and up the stairs. I have been impressed, as I expected to be, by the standard of Latin and the enthusiasm of the pupils. The efforts that the Form 6s have made to grapple with a complex and highly inflected new language have been heroic. Inevitably this leads to questions about the language, some of which I can answer and some I cannot. What’s the point of deponent verbs? Good question. Is it important to know that the genitive plural of 3rd declension monosyllables whose genitive stem ends in two consonants is an exception to the rule? Possibly not, but I am keen to maintain the reputation of Classics at Cargilfield when its pupils reach senior schools. I want the Classics teachers at the prestigious schools that Cargilfield pupils move on to to know that its pupils have been well taught. What is the point of learning Latin? Ah, that is a very good question indeed.

The teaching of Latin in Britain is initially bound up with religion (the pun is intentional), and I was delighted to find out that the Form 6s were beginning their history of sacred music with Panis angelicus, Thomas Aquinas’s 13th century hymn. Originally missionaries led by Augustine were sent by Pope Gregory in 597 to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. Teaching Latin so that the Anglo-Saxons could read the bible was integral to this. The teaching of Latin flourished for several centuries but then declined. Alfred the Great played an important part in the resurgence of Latin in the late 9th century. We have a Latin grammar from c1000AD used to teach monks Latin. The clergy were also struggling with their Latin. In Renaissance times, Latin was still the common language used across Europe.

Renaissance humanism began In North Italy in the 13th century with the aim of promoting the study of classical antiquity and this movement spread across Western Europe in subsequent centuries. Classical authors such as Virgil, Horace and Ovid became popular. Other authors became known. The invention of the printing press meant that Latin texts became more readily available. Classical authors were widely admired and even imitated. Neoclassical writers in the 18th century such as Dryden with his translation of Virgil had a large influence. Latin influenced rules for English grammar. Split infinitives were frowned upon because the present infinitive in Latin is only ever one word. Dryden himself is said to have created that rule that sentences should not end with a preposition because in Latin the noun always follows the preposition. This is not a rule I am a fan of.

So why do we still invest so much time and effort into learning Latin? When I have interviewed scholarship candidates and the topic has cropped up, the arguments tend to be utilitarian: Latin is useful in that it helps you with English spelling and grammar; or it is useful because it helps you with Modern Languages. This may be true, but does Latin have no worth in its own right? My answer in a nutshell is that we learn Latin so that we can read its literature and, through it, explore its culture. No translation can capture the rhythm of Virgil’s hexameter, the intricate wordplay of Ovid or the audacity with which Tacitus manipulates the language.

So why do I not hear this argument put forward more often? The answer is simple. If I told the Form 6 pupils that they were learning Latin in order to read the literature, one of them might rightly ask how long they will have to study Latin for to know enough grammar to be able to read literature in the original. If I were to reply that they should be ready after five years, I can well imagine heads going down. It is much safer to fall back on more immediate arguments and focus upon the intrinsic satisfaction of translating accurately and how Latin is useful for English, French and other romance languages. But in my heart of hearts, I know that the reason why I love Latin is the same one that captivated Milton, Dryden, Pope and all those other historical figures in. Hang on in there, Form 6!

Andrew Shackleton

Head of Classics

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Cargilfield

Why do we have to learn Latin, Sir?

A few thoughts from Mr Shackleton

Read More


Posted on

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Evaluative Practice in Early Years

Evaluative practice is about stepping back from what you're doing and taking a global view of the learning that is occurring with a critical eye. It involves taking stock of our current methods of learning and teaching, assessing how it compares with where we want to be and then taking action to move towards that goal.

In the nursery here at Cargilfield, the things we consider are; where each of the children are with their learning and development, what is the level of emotional care being offered and how high is the quality of the learning environment? Underpinning all of these is the quality of teaching in supporting the children on their learning journey.

Why is it important for us to embed evaluative practice in what we do?

  • A necessary part of high-quality provision for the children
  • Provides qualitative and quantitative information to help improve outcomes for children
  • Builds reflection in to our daily practice
  • Allows staff to make informed judgements on how best to support the children in their learning and development

There are a number of evaluative tools available to staff which we employ in the nursery as part of our evaluative practice. A range of observation techniques are used by staff including; narrative observations, time samples, environment maps, tracking a child throughout a session and peer on peer observation to inform staff discussions. Cohort tracking is also a tool which we employ as part of our evaluative practice in nursery. Collecting data in terms of developmental and learning milestones allows nursery staff to highlights trends, gaps and children who need additional support or those who need extending.

Assessment then plays a crucial role, as shown in the ‘Planning for Learning Cycle’ below.

FB3837BC 5F10 4103 940D 33E06706990C

As a result, a strong relationship exists between assessment and evaluation in Early Years. Assessment documents the learning and the acquisition of skills and evaluation then uses this information to take the learning further; considering the quality of environment and teaching as a result of the completed assessment.

When all these elements of evaluation are knitted together it enables us to take a global view of the learning that is occurring and empowers all those involved to ensure high quality provision for all of the children in our care.

Jan Harber, Head of Nursery

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Evaluative Practice in Early Years

Evaluative practice is about stepping back from what you're doing and taking a global view of the learning that is occurring with a critical eye. It involves taking stock of our current methods of learning and teaching, assessing how it compares with where we want to be and then taking action to move towards that goal.

In the nursery here at Cargilfield, the things we consider are; where each of the children are with their learning and development, what is the level of emotional care being offered and how high is the quality of the learning environment? Underpinning all of these is the quality of teaching in supporting the children on their learning journey.

Why is it important for us to embed evaluative practice in what we do?

  • A necessary part of high-quality provision for the children
  • Provides qualitative and quantitative information to help improve outcomes for children
  • Builds reflection in to our daily practice
  • Allows staff to make informed judgements on how best to support the children in their learning and development

There are a number of evaluative tools available to staff which we employ in the nursery as part of our evaluative practice. A range of observation techniques are used by staff including; narrative observations, time samples, environment maps, tracking a child throughout a session and peer on peer observation to inform staff discussions. Cohort tracking is also a tool which we employ as part of our evaluative practice in nursery. Collecting data in terms of developmental and learning milestones allows nursery staff to highlights trends, gaps and children who need additional support or those who need extending.

Assessment then plays a crucial role, as shown in the ‘Planning for Learning Cycle’ below.

FB3837BC 5F10 4103 940D 33E06706990C

As a result, a strong relationship exists between assessment and evaluation in Early Years. Assessment documents the learning and the acquisition of skills and evaluation then uses this information to take the learning further; considering the quality of environment and teaching as a result of the completed assessment.

When all these elements of evaluation are knitted together it enables us to take a global view of the learning that is occurring and empowers all those involved to ensure high quality provision for all of the children in our care.

Jan Harber, Head of Nursery

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Cargilfield

Evaluative Practice in Early Years

Looking at learning with a critical eye

Read More


Posted on

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REVISION - how can I best support my child? 

Revision is, put simply, the process of reviewing learning. It is something we do every day in all different contexts at school but right now many of you with children in the final few years of the Upper School will be thinking about this in relation to the upcoming November exams.

We like to see revision as a dynamic and engaging process. It can even be fun, as it gives children the opportunity to celebrate their successes. Where things do not go so well, we hope that we are able to support them to grow and learn from their experiences so that the next set of exams are more positive for them.

Here are some GOLDEN RULES for successful revision:

1. It is a process; it is not linear. Like everything else sometimes exams go well and sometimes they don’t. We spend a lot of time in the Upper School teaching children how to be more resilient and it helps if we can all encourage them to see that exam success is not the be all and end all, nor is “failure” the end of the world. Wewill work together to improve, as we do with everything else.

2. The staff already have a very good idea of who is working well and what children need to do to improve. They will be working with them in class and will be talking to you if they feel there are specific areas that you could support at home.

3. Find out what your child will be tested on. Ask your child and if you need further clarification, then have a look at the website. There is specific guidance for each class and each subject there.


Click here to access our Revision pages. 

4. Understand that every child approaches revision in a different way. You will probably be aware of the different learning styles and probably have your views on what type of learner your child is. For example, kinaesthetic learners usually learn by doing. In that case,making PowerPoints might be something they enjoy. Visual leaners might opt for mind maps. Often a combination of several techniques is most effective.

5. We can help. There is information on the website and all the teachers are happy to talk to you about what works. Our learning support teachers coordinate the revision process in the school and spend time helping the children with it. They have lots of experience in different revision techniques and will be able to guide you if you get in touch.

6. Allow your child (with your support) to take ownership of the process. Agree on a revision timetable. Little and often is more effective, as is chunking- breaking down large topics into smaller more manageable areas which can be tackled in about 20 minutes.

7. Relax- pressure from home doesn’t always help. Take cues from the teachers if you are unsure.

8. Remember that hopefully things have moved on since we all took exams. Your experience (either good or bad) is not your child’s. They can do this and they will (even if it takes a few attempts) succeed.


Anjali Dholakia

Director of Studies and Deputy Head

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perch_introTextHow can I best support my child?
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REVISION - how can I best support my child? 

Revision is, put simply, the process of reviewing learning. It is something we do every day in all different contexts at school but right now many of you with children in the final few years of the Upper School will be thinking about this in relation to the upcoming November exams.

We like to see revision as a dynamic and engaging process. It can even be fun, as it gives children the opportunity to celebrate their successes. Where things do not go so well, we hope that we are able to support them to grow and learn from their experiences so that the next set of exams are more positive for them.

Here are some GOLDEN RULES for successful revision:

1. It is a process; it is not linear. Like everything else sometimes exams go well and sometimes they don’t. We spend a lot of time in the Upper School teaching children how to be more resilient and it helps if we can all encourage them to see that exam success is not the be all and end all, nor is “failure” the end of the world. Wewill work together to improve, as we do with everything else.

2. The staff already have a very good idea of who is working well and what children need to do to improve. They will be working with them in class and will be talking to you if they feel there are specific areas that you could support at home.

3. Find out what your child will be tested on. Ask your child and if you need further clarification, then have a look at the website. There is specific guidance for each class and each subject there.


Click here to access our Revision pages. 

4. Understand that every child approaches revision in a different way. You will probably be aware of the different learning styles and probably have your views on what type of learner your child is. For example, kinaesthetic learners usually learn by doing. In that case,making PowerPoints might be something they enjoy. Visual leaners might opt for mind maps. Often a combination of several techniques is most effective.

5. We can help. There is information on the website and all the teachers are happy to talk to you about what works. Our learning support teachers coordinate the revision process in the school and spend time helping the children with it. They have lots of experience in different revision techniques and will be able to guide you if you get in touch.

6. Allow your child (with your support) to take ownership of the process. Agree on a revision timetable. Little and often is more effective, as is chunking- breaking down large topics into smaller more manageable areas which can be tackled in about 20 minutes.

7. Relax- pressure from home doesn’t always help. Take cues from the teachers if you are unsure.

8. Remember that hopefully things have moved on since we all took exams. Your experience (either good or bad) is not your child’s. They can do this and they will (even if it takes a few attempts) succeed.


Anjali Dholakia

Director of Studies and Deputy Head

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Cargilfield

How to Revise?

How can I best support my child?

Read More


Posted on

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image/cms/resources/cargilfield-preparatory-school-7o7a2616-photograph-by-angus-bremnerc.jpg
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introTextNow more than ever we should be kind
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“Be kind, be kind, be kind”

As you know, the Cargilfield’s golden rule is ‘be kind, be kind, be kind’. As well as offering a full curriculum covering a wealth of subjects, alongside an extra-curricular programme that is bursting, teaching children to be kind is part of the everyday essence at Cargilfield. Even small acts of kindness create feelings of self-worth and belonging. I find a smile, and a child rushing to hold a door open for me saying “good morning” makes me start of the day with a spring in my step. This in turn creates better concentration and improved results. Kindness is a key ingredient that helps children feel good. Patty O'Grady, an expert in emotional learning reports that “kindness changes the brain by the experience of kindness. Children and adolescents do not learn kindness by only thinking about it and talking about it. Kindness is best learned by feeling it so that they can reproduce it.”

There are a number of physical and mental health benefits that can be achieved by being kind. Altruistic actions trigger a release of the hormone oxytocin, which can significantly increase a person’s level of happiness and reduce stress levels. Kindness is a key ingredient that enhances positivity and helps children feel good about themselves as it increases serotonin levels. This important chemical affects learning, memory, mood, sleep, health, and digestion.

It’s become quite clear that modern education ought to encompass more than just academics, and that matters of the heart must be taken seriously and nurtured as a matter of priority, which is exactly the ethos we foster at Cargilfield.

What are you doing today to be kind to someone? Perhaps writing a small note for a friend, helping an older relative with their shopping or simply smiling at someone as they walk past. These small gestures can make a huge difference to someone’s day.

Laura Webber

Form 4 teacher

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“Be kind, be kind, be kind”

As you know, the Cargilfield’s golden rule is ‘be kind, be kind, be kind’. As well as offering a full curriculum covering a wealth of subjects, alongside an extra-curricular programme that is bursting, teaching children to be kind is part of the everyday essence at Cargilfield. Even small acts of kindness create feelings of self-worth and belonging. I find a smile, and a child rushing to hold a door open for me saying “good morning” makes me start of the day with a spring in my step. This in turn creates better concentration and improved results. Kindness is a key ingredient that helps children feel good. Patty O'Grady, an expert in emotional learning reports that “kindness changes the brain by the experience of kindness. Children and adolescents do not learn kindness by only thinking about it and talking about it. Kindness is best learned by feeling it so that they can reproduce it.”

There are a number of physical and mental health benefits that can be achieved by being kind. Altruistic actions trigger a release of the hormone oxytocin, which can significantly increase a person’s level of happiness and reduce stress levels. Kindness is a key ingredient that enhances positivity and helps children feel good about themselves as it increases serotonin levels. This important chemical affects learning, memory, mood, sleep, health, and digestion.

It’s become quite clear that modern education ought to encompass more than just academics, and that matters of the heart must be taken seriously and nurtured as a matter of priority, which is exactly the ethos we foster at Cargilfield.

What are you doing today to be kind to someone? Perhaps writing a small note for a friend, helping an older relative with their shopping or simply smiling at someone as they walk past. These small gestures can make a huge difference to someone’s day.

Laura Webber

Form 4 teacher

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Cargilfield

Importance of Kindness

Now more than ever we should be kind

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Cargilfield where everyday is an adventure

Welcome to Cargilfield! We hope this short film gives you a glimpse of what life is like for the girls and boys at our school. We would love to welcome you in person to tour Cargilfield and explain more fully exactly what makes a Cargilfield education so special and so different. Please get in touch with Fiona Craig, our Registrar if you would like to find out more; her email address is [email protected] or you can telephone her on 0131 336 2207.

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