First of all I want to thank those parents who supported our Business Breakfast with S2 students this week. The students were very positive about this when they returned to school. It has given them insights into the world of work, and contributed to the many events and activities aimed at increasing awareness of opportunities, and the key skills and qualities required to be successful in the world of work. This followed other activities run recently by the faculty which involved other partners including Lloyds Bank staff.
I have also received great feedback on the performance of our big band at St Augustine’s on Wednesday evening. They are a real strength of the school, and so much of this is a result of the excellence and commitment of the instrumental instruction team.
Our S3 Duke of Edinburgh expedition also went well recently and I am grateful to the staff who made things run smoothly.
We are now almost at the end of the SQA exams and it was good to hear from parents that our students have been talking about how nice and supportive our invigilation team is. I have shared this feedback with them. Overall, speaking with students, it’s my impression that the exams have been well received by the students this year, with most of them feeling they were pretty fair.
Please note that we will be welcoming back our S6 on Tuesday 5th June and S5 on Wednesday 6th June next week. Mrs Urquhart has already shared details on the website. The first morning will mostly be taken up with inductions delivered by senior team and guidance staff setting out expectations, and offering leadership opportunities for the year ahead.
Assemblies this week have been aimed at S2 and S4 where we set expectations, reflected on some themes from the current session and looked ahead to next session. Coursing changes are now almost complete and once again the new timetabler programme used has ensured a high percentage of students getting first choice subjects. We also showed a lovely film made by Thistle Foundation thanking the students for the funds raised through the recent Young Philanthropy Initiative. The YPI lead person also visited us this week to work on a joint evaluation and our feedback was excellent in our first year.
This morning, we also welcomed our P7 enhanced transition group for their second visit. I was unable to see them this today as I have been across in East Dunbartonshire sharing best practice with successful schools there.
On the staffing front, we heard about our probationer allocation for next session this week. We will have four probationers next session; in PE, Geography, Computing and Biology. Mr Webster, the new head of PE and Excursions also visited the school this week. He will start in August. In the meantime, following the departure of Mr Enwood, Mr Beattie is acting up as Curriculum Leader PE until then. I want to thank Mr Enwood for his leadership of the department over the past 18 months, and in particular his recent leadership of the WOW18 programme. We also appointed a new permanent maths teacher last week, who will start in August. This means we will be starting the new session with a full staffing complement, which, given recent national concerns over teacher recruitment, is a strong position to be in.
Finally, we welcomed a delegation of teachers from Iceland on Wednesday. We were able to share practice on pedagogical matters, and they visited a range of classrooms. I want to thank Ms Tomasdottir from drama for co-ordinating the programme ( it certainly helped that she comes from Iceland!) and all the other staff who gave presentations, and made the visitors welcome in their classrooms.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the Corstorphine Fair tomorrow and want to thank our committed parents for organising a fund-raising stall in support of the school.