This will be my final newsletter of this academic session. It feels like no time since last August but it has been a very significant year in Scottish education, as I will elaborate in my prizegiving speech – which I’ll post on the website in the final week.
A quick reminder of my meeting on Monday 20th June at 7pm for parents of new S2 pupils called “What now for S2?” to talk about the coming year.
Revised School Session Dates 2011/12
East Lothian has asked all schools to distribute this to parents before the end of this term. (This was given to all pupils – contact the school office if you need a copy of this.)
I took assemblies last week for all three Houses on the theme of responsibility. This is at both a simple and deeper level. I was explaining to the pupils that they have simple responsibilities like being in full uniform, arriving on time, bringing the correct materials, doing homework and having high attendance. Deeper responsibilities include engaging with their learning, being prepared to try hard on all tasks and persevering when the going gets tough, working with other people and achieving your potential. Successful pupils are in education for the long haul – you work hard all year not just when you have examinations coming up.
A paper copy of the school’s uniform policy was enclosed with this letter when it was issued to pupils. It should help parents know what pupils are expected to wear when they are purchasing items for the return in August. Fashionable items of clothing are not part of school uniform! (Contact the school office if you need a copy of the uniform policy.)
S5/6 Recoursing and Appeals
The senior pupils returned to school last week – in higher numbers than ever before which is good to see – and some changes took place with Mr Burns once pupils reflected on their SQA performance. We now await delivery of the SQA results and pupils often have to change course after this. Mr Burns will be in school on 10th and 11th August to help pupils make any changes. Pupils and parents need to realise that it may not be possible to place pupils in a new subject because the class is full and a fall-back position is advised.
We are making one further change to S6 this year because of the changing nature of the S6 group. In the past, it tended to be more academic pupils who returned and we allowed them one free column as they had to work independently for Advanced Higher Subjects. We now scrutinise a pupil’s previous attainment very closely and are insisting that a number of S6 pupils carry a full set of 5 courses – this is in their interest as they need to leave school with as full a set of qualifications as they can in the current economic climate.
Appeals are not an automatic process. We will note any request to the school that an appeal be considered in a subject for a pupil, but the final decision on whether to appeal to the SQA rests with the school as a matter of professional judgement.
Festivale Friday 24th June in Lewisvale Park
The Parent Council intend to have a stall at this community event on Friday 24th June. They would like to sell home baking to raise funds for the school as well as talk about their work. All parental donations welcome for this – and can be handed in to the office for Mrs Stewart the afternoon before or on the morning of the event.
School lunch costs
From August, the price of a cost of a school meal will rise to £2.10p. This is still very good value for money and I would encourage all parents to have their child eat in the Dining Hall rather than go down the street and choose expensive unhealthy options. I am recommending to new S1 parents that S1 children should stay in school. Parents can load up their child’s Smartcard electronically – details on the council website.
We have two members of staff who are retiring at the end of the term – Mrs Guerin in Home Economics and Mrs Miles in Support for Learning. Both have given long service to the school and I am sure there are many ex-Musselburgh Grammar pupils in the community who remember them with affection and admiration. We have valued them as friends and colleagues over the years and we wish them a long and happy retirement.
Several temporary members of staff also depart the school – Mr Robertson in the Chemistry Department, Mr Ashmore in the Biology Department and Ms Philp in the Mathematics Department.
We also have a group of much younger Newly Qualified Teachers who come to the end of their year with us. They have been a great addition to our staff and we welcomed their enthusiasm and commitment to our pupils. We wish them all the best for the future – Ms Addison in Biology, Mr Breeze in Mathematics, Ms Forster in English, Ms Hamilton in Chemistry, Ms Lockie in Music, Ms Stott in Social Subjects, Mr Tyler in Physics and Ms Walls in PE.
There will be several new members of staff and I will provide details in the August newsletter.
- Our Under-15 football team who performed very creditably in the British Tournament held in Wales, coming 3rd.
- All the pupils who took part in the CPR Marathon at Tesco last Monday
- All the S6 pupils who helped in the P7 Enterprise Event on Wednesday and Thursday last week
- Pupils on various Duke of Edinburgh expeditions at present
- And to Ashleigh Finlayson, our Head Girl, who won the ABEL Quaich this year for her services to the community
Parents of new S2 pupils – What Now in S2? – Monday 20th June at 7pm
Music Department Tour of Belgium w/b 20th June 2011
Potted Sports with P7 pupils – Friday 24th June a.m.
Annual School Prizegiving – Wednesday 29th June at 7pm
The school closes for the summer holiday for pupils and staff on Friday 1st July at 12.10. Staff resume on Monday 15th August and pupils resume on Wednesday 17th August.
I wish everyone connected with the school an enjoyable summer holiday.