It was great speaking to so many S1 parents last night at the consultation evening. It was particularly gratifying to note the enthusiasm of the new JASS Ambassadors who were promoting this project, as well as the efforts of the senior students involved in fund-raising activities for a range of science, international and charitable ventures. Thanks for all the positive comments on the S1 experience shared with the staff. We are proud of this but already Mrs Coull is working with cluster Head Teachers to further develop the transition experience. Most recently, this involved a very successful visit by all P7s taking part in the Maths Challenge. We are also about to share all the details and costs of next session’s S1 Benmore Venture trip with P7 parents in order to allow maximum time to save and plan for this in line with our awareness of City of Edinburgh 1 in 5 poverty strategies. I want to thank the cluster parent who requested this support.
A number of S1 parents also commented on the healthy discussion at home being generated by the recent assemblies and PSE lessons on Equalities. These assemblies and PSE lessons have been designed to coincide with National Anti-bullying Week. Thank you for supporting such discussions at home if you have done so. As well as supporting with academic progress, having conversations around attitudes and behaviours is also important. We will be sharing some materials from partners soon which are designed to help parents support such constructive discussions around gender issues. The young people who delivered the assemblies have been involved in our student Equalities Group, and they made the point well that harbouring negative attitudes on gender, and displaying these attitudes through words or actions is now challenged by our legal protections. We feel it is important all our young people are aware of these expectations. I am very grateful for the lead given to our equalities work this session by Ms Walker, Mr Valentine, and Mr McCluskey. Next week our assemblies will be for all year-groups and reflect on the theme of Fear, and the impact it can have. I am thankful to our Chaplaincy team, and Ms Franks, who lead on this, as well as the contribution made from our Religious & Moral Education staff.
You will also have received an emailed letter from City of Edinburgh today ( this is also on the website) outlining proposals for school catchment review in West Edinburgh. There are a number of proposals in the letter, including changes to the Craigmount feeder schools. Further consultation on these proposals is planned by City of Edinburgh and I will share details as soon as I receive them. I have already briefed the Chair of our Parent Council on the proposals.
On the achievement front it has been another successful few weeks. On Wednesday this week I attended the Scottish Youth Film Awards with four students and their parents. Spy High, a film which had already won a local award was shortlisted but unfortunately did not win the prize. It was a really enjoyable evening though and to be nominated as a national finalist is an achievement in itself. I look forward to seeing the next production of this talented team.
Some of our science students also won an animated film competition in Birmingham last week. This involved designing an animation that clearly communicated complex scientific concepts. Mr Gullen worked with the students and facilitated this project.
Mr Cheyne also took a group of S2 students to the annual engineering challenge (CABEC) earlier this week.
Have a good weekend. I am hearing reports of snow in some areas as I write, so please be aware of local radio reports, and details on the City of Edinburgh website now that we are moving into the inclement weather period.