I very much enjoyed the S5 drama performances last night. It was good to see the performances well supported by parents and friends. The overall standard was very high but there were also some very innovative and creative ideas in the three ensemble pieces. Well done to the students and staff involved for their hard work and commitment. Thanks to Ms Thomson and Ms Cunningham for ensuring this ran smoothly. Just before the drama event, there was also a debating session run by Oxford Debating. This involved lots of supported debating preparation for Craigmount students, and other students from a range of schools, who will be participating in the competition later this term. There was also an Oxford admissions talk. Mr McPake, who coordinated and supported the event, informed me that this is the first time this admissions talk has happened here.
Our trips to Cambridge and the Battlefields are also taking place this week, with the first S1 Venture trips starting next week, so there is a lot going on.
Members of staff ( Ms Hickinson, Ms Wallace) also attended the Scottish learning Festival this week, to gain further information on areas such as STEM, self-evaluation, ICT and Learning Innovation. I was at the first day of the conference and heard The Deputy First Minister’s announcement on the changes to the senior phase SQA assessments first hand. Reducing unnecessary assessment pressure on students and staff, in order to free up more time for learning, is indeed a welcome move. We now await further details of how these planned changes will be implemented. N5 unit assessments will stop next session, with Higher assessments affected the following year. Externally marked coursework will also be assessed, and there will be an enhanced final SQA exam.
This week the senior team, supported by a parent representative, also received a briefing from the company offering an online parent evening booking system. This was very impressive, and along with some other Edinburgh schools, we will be trialling the software this session. Further details will follow.