WITH the possibility writ large that all pupils will return to school in Scotland on August 11, there is, however, the threat of a second spike of the virus returning.

That prospect should concentrate the minds of those responsible for school education to focus on the essentials of education and to trim the surplus fat of the fripperies of the curriculum, which bog down the pace at which children learn.

Having lost nearly six months of education, youngsters will have to be reintroduced via revision to the essential elements to revitalise their knowledge before introducing the next rungs on the ladder of education to them.

Knowing that education could well be disrupted over the winter months by a resurgence of the virus, primary teachers should lay strong emphasis upon laying the solid foundations of literacy and numeracy or, in old-fashioned parlance, reading, writing and arithmetic, without which there cannot be any effective progress in any other discipline.

Secondary schools would be well advised to focus upon English, maths, sciences languages and IT, until such times as there is an effective vaccine to restore normality to everyday life.

Teachers outwith those five areas could be utilised, according to their proficiency in one or more of those areas at their lower levels, to release the specialists to impart their knowledge and expertise to those students who are preparing to face state exams..

As long as the threat of a second spike remains, there is a challenge to be faced in education.

Until that is resolved, it will be necessary to resile from the modern relaxed approach adopted in education today, which seems to have pupils spending their valuable time in reinventing the wheel..

Teacher-led instruction in a streamlined curriculum should take pole position in our straitened circumstances today to protect the future prospects of our youngsters.

Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.


I WAS a long-time caravamner and, up until a few years ago, a member of the Caravan and Camping Club. They had a listing of Certified Locations with basic amenities and a maximum of five caravans/motorhomes on-site at a time. Any ones we used were basically sheltered, fenced-off corners of a field, minus any beasty boys, with nearby access to water and a suitable discharge point for kitchen and chemical toilet waste. Yes, you had to be a member and the numbers allowed on site a bit restrictive, but surely the local authorities could arrange something similar to accommodate the mobile holidaymakers.

I must admit to being pleasantly surprised that Cameron McNeish (Letters, July 3) supported those visitors and their input to the local economies. He is a well-known outdoorsman who wholly supports taking care of Scotland's flora and fauna, so perhaps the moaners and groaners should take note and grasp the opportunities the visitors offer, as it`s going to be a long haul before our hospitality network gets back to normal.

George Dale, Beith.


I NOTE and interesting article by Professor Conchur O Giollagain on the future of the Gaelic language ("We must act or Gaelic risks becoming a dead language", The Herald, July 3).

Although Gaelic played no part in my early life in Orkney nor subsequently living in the eastern Highlands, I feel it would be desperately sad if it were allowed to die out. Although it is not my culture, it provides vital diversity in these increasingly homogeneous times and I value when I hear it spoken.

Do we deserve a future if we don’t value where we have come from, albeit for a minority of our people?

Willie Towers, Alford.