As a wee boy I watched the classic BBC TV programme called Play School. Each day you had to choose a different window to enter. You were then treated to a short documentary style clip of a biscuit factory, children playing or watching fish in a fish tank.

As a teacher I love the sense of shared adventure and enquiry that teaching and learning can bring. Inspired by Calvin and Hobbes, ‘It’s a magical world, let’s go exploring…’


I also think that play is paramount in learning. Taking risks, getting messy, problem solving, taking your time, experimenting, inventing, creating, collaborating, sharing, day dreaming, thinking, discovering; all the good stuff.

So ‘through the windae’ could mean lots of things: a window to another world; a portal to the internet; different ways to connect; different ways to learn; different ideas to discuss; memories and experiences to share and future visions to dream up.

I have two big brothers. One of them, Neil, died of cancer at the age of 46 in 2010. He also used the catchphrase, ‘If I dinnae see you through the week, I’ll see you through the windae.’ I see him all the time in my thoughts. And miss him still. The last film we watched together was Withnail and I. To quote Withnail,


He’s never far away.

Two Christmases before he died, Neil edited and gifted a slowed down version of the colour 16mm footage of my Christening. You can see it here:

The last slide reads:

My name is Athole.

I had a short lived one previously here http://video-school.blogspot.co.uk

And a slightly better loved travel blog here http://furry-boots.blogspot.co.uk

Why is it called ‘through the windae’? (Through the window)

One of my favourite Scottish films is Gregory’s Girl, a beautifully observed and hilarious film about teenage awkwardness and football, set in the near-future vision of Cumbernauld in 1980. In one of the scenes, Billy, a school leaver who has returned to the school as a window cleaner, shouts out to his former teacher,

‘If I dinnae see you through the week, I’ll see you through the windae!’

Gregory’s girl

‘You’re not leaving me in here alone. Those are the kind of windows faces look in at.’

withnail and i

To Athole, Long life and happiness. Be aye true tae yourself.

Neil McLauchlan