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A week at Inverkeithing High School

Inverkeithing High School reminds me of my own school, Firrhill High School. It's a large school and takes quite a bit of navigating. The students there have big personalities and they like to self-express but they are nonetheless, impressive. Each visit that we made this week, we were escorted by two school pupils through a maze of corridors to a purpose built lecture theatre in the heart of the science department, a little bit dated but doubtless the envy of many when the school was built. The bell rings and hundreds of school pupils are immediately on the move in one direction - the school operates a one way system that works and within minutes what could result in chaos results in the desired outcome. Everyone is exactly where should be and ready for the next lesson. It is akin to organised chaos and we were swept along.

Our founder Ann Maxwell was speaking to 4th form PSE students, in total presenting to 9 classes in the course of the week. That is easily over 200 pupils all around 15 - 16 years of age. A daunting prospect but extremely gratifying nonetheless. As an outside speaker, pupils were encouraged by teachers to leave me with a good impression and they did. You could barely hear a pin drop during the sessions, some of them lasting as long as 50 minutes. Questions were sometimes thin on the ground but perhaps the pupils were shy. Epilepsy is a complex subject and inevitably it gives rise to many questions. Where the primary school pupils don't hesitate to satisfy their curiosity, teenagers are a little more self-conscious.

We were particular impressed by the last group who were preoccupied with Muir and reasons why he could not be cured and would always be profoundly learning disabled. Ann Maxwell said 'Oh, but we could one day wave that magic wand. I often dream about it but sadly it will never be. The fact that this year group are concerned for him struck a chord with me and I thank them for it.'

Our heartfelt thanks to Val Kennedy, head of PSE at Inverkeithing High School. This was a great opportunity for us to engage with young people about epilepsy and we left inspired.

'The pupils really enjoyed learning more about epilepsy. They were fully engaged for the whole talk and thoroughly enjoyed the experience'.
Mrs Kennedy, Curriculum Leader, Inverkeithing High

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