Skip to main content Skip to main menu

Testimonial from a Headteacher

Lindsey Watt Headteacher, Castleview Primary School, Edinburgh

I graduated from Columba 1400’s Head Teacher Leadership Academy in 2003. The experience changed my career path in that I chose to leave my post as Headteacher of Sciennes, a highly effective primary school in the centre of Edinburgh City and apply for the post of Headteacher of Castleview Primary, Craigmillar, an area of regeneration and positive action. Although this was a difficult decision to make, I was aware that by implementing Columba 1400’s values that this was the right choice for me. Subsequently, the introduction of values based leadership at Castleview has focussed the teaching team on benefitting from my Columban experience.

Castleview developed from a school requiring a return HMIe visit in 2004 into a school, recognised as excellent in the HMIe inspection of 2013. Due to its position in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, Castleview was selected as one of the First Minister’s Attainment Challenge Schools and we can evidence our awareness and focus on creatively raising attainment and achievement. There is a strong sense of a positive future for all, in our school. We honour our past successes but there is shared purpose, ambition and optimism for all who are linked to our school family. The value and integrity of service, to our School, Local Community, City and Scotland is held as sacrosanct and our pupils lead award winning tours of our historic Craigmillar Castle, teaching other young people about Craigmillar’s rich cultural heritage. The Teaching Team’s leadership muscles, can access strengthening opportunities and it has been a privilege to develop and encourage Castleview leaders to take up Senior Leadership Posts across the Lothians.

I have accessed opportunities to be creative with my own career and have served on the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Life Long Learning’s Attainment Group as well as secondments to the Leadership Team at Children and Families, and to Castlebrae High School. My secondments allowed me to lead 32 Headteachers from City of Edinburgh through the HTLA experience which unified our approach as Headteachers to take responsibility for leadership tasks across our Local Authority.

My relationship with Columba 1400 has allowed me to become the leader I always wanted to be. I have faced many challenges in my life but I have the confidence, awareness and perseverance to continue to create an exciting, joyful life for myself and my home and school family.