Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

New Dundee head teacher was ‘hooked’ by Glebelands Primary to move from Fife

Michelle MacLeod has strong ties to the city and says Glebie kids are "absolutely brilliant".

New Head Teacher of Glebelands Primary School in Dundee, Mrs Michelle Macleod.
Michelle is looking to the future for Glebelands Primary School. Image: Steve Brown/DC Thomson.

When Glebelands Primary School’s new head teacher Michelle MacLeod arrived she had to settle into her new role at “fast and furious” pace.

Luckily it’s not been difficult for the Fifer to make herself at home in the city.

She said: “I’ve already got strong connections with Dundee.

“When I came to visit Glebelands I was instantly hooked.

“I’m really, really pleased to be part of the team; the kids and the community are absolutely brilliant.”

Michelle loves Glebelands’ Edwardian building, both inside and out, but says it brings its challenges. Image: Steve Brown/DC Thomson.

She arrived in October and among her first priorities was overseeing maintenance and improvements to the Edwardian building.

She said: “This is a listed building, which brings its own challenges.

“We’ve just had 21 holes in our roof repaired and now we’re moving onto our interior decoration and increasing that overall calming environment.

“We’re looking to the future to make sure we look after this beautiful building.”

Improving attendance is also among her priorities – that and lateness she described as “quite a challenge”.

As is creating a curriculum unique to Glebelands and suitable for all, and making better use of what she says is already a strong pupil voice.

Tackling seagulls and dog-fouling

She said: “All children, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, what kind of support needs you have, you’re a Glebie learner and we’ll make sure our environment and curriculum is fit for every single child.”

Already the school is listening to what pupils want, and that has led them consider how they can prevent seagulls scavenging in the school grounds and encourage healthy eating.

Michelle said: “They are looking at how we might improve this.

“Some of the change ideas they would like to see are bringing eating inside and making it a social experience, healthy tuck shops, removing barriers to accessing healthy snacks.”

She also hopes to foster greater involvement in the community, and this could include helping to tackle issues such as dog fouling and littering in the streets around the school.

Glebelands Primary School.
Glebelands Primary School. Image: Kim Cessford.

Michelle says the drive and the talents to make all these improvements at Glebelands are already there.

She said: “We have a really big team here who are very motivated and determined to improve outcomes for our learners and our families.

“There’s a lot of work to do as there always is when you take over a school.”

But she added: “We have the drive and the skills and the will within the team, and it’s about winning the hearts and minds of that team.”

Michelle came to Glebelands from Denbeath Primary School, in Buckhaven, Fife, where she was acting head teacher for two years.

Teaching in her childhood school

Her first teaching post 22 years ago was at Tanshall Primary School, in her home town of Glenrothes. She then went to Kennoway Primary School before becoming principal teacher at Warout Primary School in Glenrothes, which she attended as a child.

Pupils included children of friends she had grown up with and even her own relatives.

“You don’t lose those links and it’s really nice to work in your own community,” she said.

Michelle considered applying for the Glebelands vacancy when it was first advertised but was “really invested” in her role at Denbeath.

But when it was advertised again, the pull was too strong to resist.

Gran worked in the jute mills in Dundee

She said: “I had a good look into the school and I really loved it, really loved the community.

“The community feel, the community vibe, the activism in the community. It was the kind of catchment I wanted to work in and it was also what I could bring to the post here.

“My husband (Mark) is from Dundee, my father-in-law was a Glebie pupil, my daughter lives in Dundee; I’m really connected to Dundee already.

“My grandmother lived here and worked in the jute mills, my great-grandmother as well.”

Michelle has also been a student twice in Dundee, first at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design then when when she did her post-graduate degree in teaching.

While Glebelands pupils have been quick to quiz her about her family and pets – she has two daughters, Mya, 19, and Mirren, 15, a “highly-strung” collie called Ralph and two kittens – they might be surprised to learn their head teacher is a talented artist.

I always wanted to be a teacher and I always knew I’d be a teacher. I absolutely love it.”

– Michelle MacLeod

Her demanding job gives her little time to indulge her love of art during term time.

But she said: “In the holidays I tend to draw and get back into it. I draw things that inspire me then I will gift them to people.

“I frame them and knock on someone’s door and give it to them.”

Pencil work and detailed landscapes are her current media but she studied print and textiles – “big patterns” – at college and said: “One day I will go back to that in the free time I will have at some point!”

Although she went to art college before training as a teacher, the classroom was always where Michelle was destined.

She comes from a large family and said: “Hence why I love kids, I’ve been literally surrounded by them my whole life!”

“I always wanted to be a teacher and I always knew I’d be a teacher.

“I absolutely love it.”