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Craigmount High School

Trust, Purpose, Aspiration, Awareness, Drive

Head Teacher Update Friday 5th October 2018

Dear Parents/Carers

I am pleased to report that thanks to the efforts of the S6 Charities Committee, almost £600 was raised today for Marie Curie. Well done to the organisers for planning and supporting this event, and to all who were able to contribute.

This week we have also been promoting National Poetry day with posters and other promotions around the school. Thanks to Mr Hume, our librarian, for raising awareness in this area.

It’s also been a busy week for events out of school. Thanks to the history team for nominating students and facilitating the annual visit to Auschwitz. It is good that once again, Craigmount students took part. Some comments from the Edinburgh students, and further information on this important educational visit, can be found using the link below.

On the debating front, I have received the report below from Mr McPake:

“Craigmount High School consolidated their status as one of the top debating schools in the UK by making the final of the Northern Junior Debating Championship on the 29th of September. The tournament, hosted by the Royal Grammar School of Newcastle, is the largest under-16s competition in the United Kingdom.

The last two finals have been contested by St. Paul’s Girls’ School (from London) and Craigmount High School from Edinburgh. A Potluru and K Bodasing have represented the school in both finals. They are ranked 2nd and 8th in the UK respectively, from 100 speakers. While Craigmount lost out in both finals, that does not detract from Craigmount’s remarkable success story.

Of the 50 teams present on Saturday, only a handful were from non-selective state schools. Debating, like all activities at the school, is open to all. In the end, only a handful of judges’ votes separated the St. Paul’s from Craigmount. Despite the advantages of the former, Craigmount closed the gap.

In reaching the final, our students demonstrated the drive that forms Craigmount’s core values. They are also team players, with both students demonstrating leadership by regularly helping younger debaters on a Tuesday lunchtime. Two of those debaters, S2s J Wilson and J Hunter made impressive UK-level debuts during the same tournament. “

Mr Russell has also shared details of an Active Schools event that took place yesterday.

“Four of our S3 girls took part in the Active Schools Girls Day Out Conference this week. The event promotes the positive effects of physical activity and encourages participants to stay healthy and stay involved. Over 100 young people from schools across the City took part in a range of activities throughout the day, with Clare Haughey, Minister for Mental Health also in attendance to witness the positive work that Active Schools is developing across the city to support young people in Edinburgh.”
Mr Russell

Mrs Batten in Mathematics was involved in organising an enterprising maths event for schools, at which Craigmount was strongly represented.

“Tuesday was a fantastic day, the pupils loved their time and the buzz from them at the end was amazing. There were a total of 32 teams competing in the event. We were lucky enough to put forward two teams this year both consisting of 2 S4 and 2 S3 students. Craigmount Team B won the poster round and each received a £15 Amazon voucher. Craigmount Team A came 3rd in the Speed round and joint 3rd in the Relay, which was a great achievement. We are hoping the Institute of Actuaries are able to sponsor us again next year as we aim to hold the event during Maths Week Scotland.”
Mrs Batten
Our Duke of Edinburgh activity has also been considerable in recent weeks. I have pasted below some lovely feedback from the assessor team working with the students going for the Gold Award. As you will see there is a lot going on and great commitment from staff and students. I want to thank Mrs Grocott for leading on all of this.

“Had a great expedition with your gold guys over the last 5 days. Congratulations and respect to Andrew, Callum. Jamie and Sean for completing a tough 50 miles in some pretty poor weather, Derek (assessor ) and myself enjoyed it, our roles made easy by the way the team worked together and behaved, Credit to them and everyone who has helped and supported them to get where they are.”

Bronze Success

18/20 of the Bronze participants have received their certificates, badges and hoodies. We had a celebration last week with the students and their families and they all received their awards form Fraser Robertson, the Awards officer for CEC.

Each group did a wee presentation about their expedition and showed a video of their expedition project.

A massive thank you to Joe Higgins for helping out with Bronze these last couple of years and we hope he finds his way to a DoE group across the water.
G MacArthur took on his new role of DoE leader with relish and has now stepped up to be the main leader for the new Bronze group (who started last night).
Thanks to C Beattie for assessing the expeditions. He made it fun for the participants…and the leaders!
Mr Al Rae remains a stalwart of the DoE team despite his retirement.
Many members of the music, art, PE and FCT departments acted as assessors for sections – it is very much appreciated!
And S Batten and S Raeburn for being part of last night’s celebration.”
Mrs Grocott

Finally, this week S1 took part in Venture at Benmore. As I write, the second group will be returning from Benmore. I really enjoyed participating with those attending from Monday to Wednesday. It’s a huge commitment in terms of staff being out of school, and in the planning of the event, but the way the trip offers better insights into student needs, and the way it promotes positive relationships with all, makes the trip really worthwhile. Moreover, this year, I managed not to fall off whilst mountain biking!

Have a good weekend.

T Rae
Head Teacher

Mr T Rae
Head Teacher
Craigmount HS
0131 339 6823