It’s difficult not to start with some of the excellent S3 events that took place this week. Yesterday we had the fantastic YPI final. The quality of the presentations was very high, especially as it’s the first time we have offered the initiative in S3. The judges found it very difficult to single out a winner but in the end opted for the presentation on the Thistle Foundation, who will now benefit from £3000 as a result. I hope you have had a chance to see the many tweets and photos. The 5 judges included former pupils, Mrs Coull ( DHT), Councillor Dickie ( Education Vice Convener), and the Rev. MacDonald from the school Chaplaincy team. I want to thank them, and all the staff who made this successful curricular project possible, in particular Ms Woodhouse and Mr McCluskey. A representative from YPI commented on how well we had embedded activities into the formal curriculum. The key thing is that it promotes life and work skills, and that the students enjoy activities that help to promote confidence and responsibility.
We also had a final S3 assembly today where we shared some individual student stories. Well done to those who spoke, or allowed themselves to be filmed speaking about their S1-3 experiences. These were well received by the students. Once again we emphasized that as well as knowledge the Broad General Education has been about providing a range of experiences to develop key skills.
This was the second assembly of the day for S3, as earlier they had listened to a presentation from The Samaritans on Mental Health Awareness and how to seek help when required. This was part of a range of activities delivered to all S1-3 students this morning when they were all off timetable. The programme involved a range of partners, and those staff with special skills. Going around the school this morning I saw Tai Chi, Yoga, Mindfulness, and wellbeing assessments taking place, as well as a range of talks. The idea is to help students better understand mental health, and is very much in line with current government priorities. I am grateful to Mr Sansom for organising this massive event. We will now evaluate it and refine activities for next session as it makes a great lead-in to Week of Wellbeing. On that note I wish everyone well for the rich programme of trips and activities in school and out next week. Mr Enwood leads on this. Mrs Jack has also taken a very active roll this session in working with him to ensure activities are also available to those students in difficult circumstances financially. Mrs Jack and I also met with staff in the Community Wing this morning where we will soon be establishing our new breakfast club. Lots of staff have volunteered to get involved in supporting this.
This week we also welcomed high numbers of students from our associate primaries who took part in an excellent debating event organised by Mr McPake, and supported by Craigmount S1-3 debaters. They all seemed to have a good time and we are confident that Craigmount’s illustrious debating history is secure with such emerging talent joining us in August.
Of course we also had the SQA exams taking place this week and once again, feedback from students has been that papers have been fair. Please continue to encourage them to attend the subject immersion days, which are available on the website. Exams this week included: English, Physics, Modern Studies, Media, Music Technology, Graphic Communication and Statistics. Next week will include: English (N5), Biology, History, French, Business Management and Design and Manufacture. Our May Programme students have been supporting events in classes this week and working towards gaining Saltire and other Achievement Awards.
Have a good weekend.