Today the prelims come to a close and I want to thank our excellent invigilation team for the superb way they have managed things. Feedback on the students from invigilators, as always, has been very positive. I have also spoken to many students to get feedback each day and they feel things have gone well. The S4 seem much more confident about the process now they have seen how things work in practice. I also want to thank our Support for Learning extended team for the extensive support they have provided in all manner of ways with scribing, reading and ICT. Many teaching staff have also volunteered to assist with this process. Practical assessments will now be taking place next week. Teachers are now marking the papers and I will soon be meeting all Subject Leaders to discuss how attainment targets align with the prelim data, and what actions we may be needed to ensure the best possible outcomes for all students.
Staying with the senior school, Mrs Urquhart has completed the University application process and offers are coming in by the day. A total of 95 applications were made. Please be aware that college applications are now open. Pupil Support leaders are co-ordinating support for interested students with Mr Kelman from Skills Development Scotland.
As a follow-up after evaluating the recent STEM event for S2, Ms Hickinson has drafted the following brief report set out below. We will be further emphasising the importance of learners having strong career awareness and support when making subject choices for the senior school. Please discuss whether your son/daughter is registered yet on the My World of Work Website and take a look at this with them. There is a lot of excellent advice on support with identifying areas of strength and the skills required by many employment fields. I look forward to meeting many of you at the S2 Parent Information Evening on Thursday 8th February. Mr Pye is leading on this and has put out information already.
S2 STEM Speed Networking event
Our S2 students took part in a speed networking event recently. They were able to talk to professionals from a wide range of jobs within and outwith the STEM sector.
Key messages for the day:
• Gain a greater understanding of the many different roles available that are linked to STEM.
• Highlight the Employability skills that are important in the World of Work
• Develop communication skills by speaking to lots of different people from the World of Work.
Some of the student comments about the day:
‘I’ve always hated maths, now I’m open to change’
‘It changed my mind about what I want to do when I leave school’
‘It made me think I should take a variety of subjects’
‘It made me have more confidence to do something I like’
Special thanks to our volunteers, and to the parents who supported the event.
the winners of the student evaluation and best question will be announced in the bulletin on Monday!
Ms Hickinson, CL Biology and Science
This week our S1-3 assemblies were led by the Chaplaincy team and on the theme of the power of words. The assemblies were thought-provoking and well received. There was also an opportunity for students to meet up with members of the team later at break to discuss any issues which the assemblies made them think about. Next week’s assemblies will be for S4-6 and follow up on prelim learning. Mrs Grocott will also be speaking about a tremendous wider achievement opportunity.
It’s also been a busy couple of weeks with extra-curricular events including:
– S6 involvement in Holocaust Memorial Day supported by Mrs Crosbie from the history department.
– The launch of the new partnership with YPI (Young Philanthropy Initiative) and our S3. The aim is to develop life and work skills working in teams with a local charity. The team who provide the strongest evidence of engagement and skills in a series of presentations is awarded £3000 for their chosen charity. Next week all the local charities involved will be in school to meet the students and set up links.
– Musical Theatre. Yesterday I really enjoyed seeing the second block of performances from this much-enjoyed S3 expressive arts elective in the drama studio. Every single student involved was really engaged and encouraging of others. They also developed their team-working and planning skills in recent weeks.
– UK Maths Challenge competition also took place yesterday with around 30 S3 students involved periods 4 and 5. Thanks to the maths team for facilitating this event at such a busy time in the school year. We await the results with interest.
– Finally, as part of the Edinburgh Libraries exhibition, ‘Harry Potter : A history of magic events’ , Edinburgh University and the Ogden group invited 30 of our S1 students to take part in a Potions Class in the school Library. During the Potion class, the students had the opportunity to do a few hands-on potions experiments , including making and taking home a slimy boggart. Thanks to Mr McKnight, CL in Physics/Chemistry for planning this event.
I can now also confirm that Ms Henderson was successful in her application for the permanent Geography post after interview recently. I have also appointed a Chemistry teacher, Ms Hunter, who will start after the February break. This means all permanent teaching positions in the school are filled for the rest of the session. Ms Herkes (Chemistry) will also be taking up an Acting Pupil Support Leader opportunity on Fridays from next week as Mrs Main will no longer be working on a Friday.
Next Friday will also be a Dress Down Day once again designated to raise funds for Teenage Cancer Trust. Our S6 Charities Committee will have details in next week’s bulletin. Have a good weekend.