It’s been another busy and productive week at Craigmount. At the Parent Council on Monday night, we spent time looking at some key questions on the Governance consultation that is currently taking place. I also shared some core messages on our School Improvement Plan and highlights from our attainment report. I will post details on the website next week.
One aspect of the school improvement plan I want to emphasize is the current government drive to “Close the Attainment Gap”. Basically, this tasks schools with the need to ensure students of all socio-economic backgrounds, are reaching their potential. In April, Scottish Government funding will be made available to all schools to target this area. However, we have not been waiting for this funding to arrive, and already have an active staff improvement group taking action. They will hold the third meeting on this next Friday afternoon. We are also tracking and monitoring all students closely to ensure that no matter the barriers, all students should be achieving at least five National qualifications, including Literacy and Numeracy. Next week, I will be posting details on how to access Free School Meals, and other supports. This is important, not just in terms of supporting struggling families, but also because the funding for Craigmount next April will very likely be connected to this. Access to this will in turn help us to improve the life chances of young people.
We also ran a successful S1 parent session last night which shared key messages on how to support young people with literacy and numeracy. Our performance in S4 in these areas is already excellent against all comparators, but we want to improve further and see parental engagement in these areas as very important. The materials will be posted on the Family Learning section of the Parent section on the website. I want to thank the six faculty staff who prepared the materials and delivered the sessions. ( Literacy, Mr Jardine, Curricular Leader English, Ms Todd and Ms Bradley, Literacy coordinator; Numeracy Mrs Blair, Curricular Leader Maths, Ms Mattocks and Mrs Durie). Parent feedback on the evening was excellent. I also shared with parents that there is a free drop-in session at The University of Edinburgh on Saturday 3rd December ( 1.00 – 3.00 pm) run by the Edinburgh maths circle. I know this is short notice, but it might look attractive to those inclined to avoid the Christmas shopping! It takes place in the King’s Buildings and you can just turn up.
Still connected with supporting learning, Mr Pye set up another visit from LiveNLearn this week. His summary is posted below.
LiveNLearn Mindset Workshops
All of our S4 students were involved in a series of workshops delivered by ‘Live-n-Learn’ this week. Mindset, Resilience, Assessment Preparation and Life Skills sessions gave very clear messages to support students as they prepare for SQA assessments and, when the time comes, in further education and work. As well as work in PSE, and a follow up session in January, there are a series of lessons and resources available to our students through Live-n-Learn. Tutors will be giving their groups a demonstration as well as password to access the resources. http://craigmounthighschool.co.uk/publication/resource-for-growth-mindset-and-exam-success/ The ‘Time to Get Organised’ Study Plan is one that we would recommend all students engage with as they balance their busy lives.
At the end of the sessions, students were asked to reflect on the workshops, here are some of the responses:
“ I learned how to fit 10hrs of study into my weekly routine – it can be done!”
“I learned I need to take opportunities when they present themselves and to revise on my school work. To help my future I need to do things I want.”
“ I learned that it does not matter if you fail as long as you keep trying.”
“I learned some practical ways to revise.”
“I learned that no matter how hard things are, just go for it and never give up on your dream, no matter how long it will take.”
On the extra-curricular front, I met with the S6 Charities group, who are looking at some options for supporting charities for the rest of the session. Next week is also our Community Action Week, so please send in any foodbank donations, and pre-loved books for young people if you are able to do so. The student assemblies on this were received warmly by the students and we are looking forward to improving on last year’s excellent collection. Next week our assemblies will be part of our Time for Reflection programme, and be exploring the theme of “Light”.
Tickets for the Christmas Concert on 12th December also continue to sell well, so please get your tickets as soon as possible or you may be disappointed.
Next week I will also be meeting with some architects and our Facility Managers, AMEY, with a view to improving accessibility at the school entrance and office.