The S6 Christmas Ball last night was an excellent evening, and I must commend the team of S6 students who led on this. Planning was first class, and all the staff and students present had a great evening. This week we have also been having final rehearsals for the sell-out Christmas Concert on Monday 12th December. I look forward to seeing many of you there.
Thanks also for your generous contributions to the preloved books and foodbank donation initiative. Your response has been fantastic and the collection this year once again surpassed the previous year. I commend all the staff and students involved in the assemblies, and in organising the collection. We also delivered the second of our Time for Reflection assemblies and appreciate the input of our emerging chaplaincy team, who prepared assemblies on the theme of “Light” with support from some S2 science students. The chaplaincy team also donated glow-sticks to students as a symbolic reminder of the key messages.
Other extra activities this week included the Invent a Device finals involving S2. The shortlisted teams made presentations to the year-group last Tuesday afternoon, and these were imaginative and confidently delivered. The overall winning team of this event was made up of R Fieldhouse and C Marks Lewin. The team had to work together to analyse information and present their findings to a panel of judges and fellow students. Their invention was called Life Guard. Mrs Hendrie will be putting a copy of their presentation on the school website soon and will send out a link. It was also Hour of Code week, and senior students enjoyed success (they were second) at a national Business and Accounting competition. The students were: E Page, A Thomson and S Thompson, all in S6.
As we approach the end of term. our staffing remains stable, with very few vacancies this year. The new science teacher covering a maternity leave will start in January. We are also very pleased to have Mrs Scott with us as an experienced permanent appointment in Business Education, which is another shortage subject nationally. Unfortunately, we will once again be re-advertising our temporary computing vacancy as once again there were no applicants. This is a shortage subject across the country, a point made clear to the Education Secretary at the November Head Teacher Conference organised by School Leaders Scotland. The most important piece of staffing news though is my nomination to the Director of Mrs C Inglis as our new Support for Learning Leader. Mrs Inglis has been in an acting position this past year and has delivered the remit with great assurance, even during difficult situations such as the decant last session.
This afternoon, staff are working in cross-faculty school improvement teams on key areas such as Literacy, Numeracy, Health & Wellbeing, Curriculum, Learning and Teaching, STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths), Attainment and Rights Respecting Schools. In relation to Rights Respecting Schools, the recent meeting of the Student Council further developed thinking in relation to updating our school values and mission statement. We are on track for a launch of this, and a new school logo in the summer term.
I have also been observing our four probationer teachers in recent weeks and want to finish by commending them on the first rate learning they are delivering, in classrooms, and in their wider contributions to school life in many areas. It’s always a great pleasure and privilege to visit classes, and we are indeed fortunate to have such great probationer teachers this session.
You can read more about developments this term in the soon to be published Christmas newsletter. I look forward to seeing many of you at the Christmas Concert on Monday.