At the time of writing, S4 pupils have already sat a significant number of their examinations and S5/6 are now on study leave since their examinations occur later in the SQA diet. We wish all candidates well for the rest of the examinations and for success when their results are announced in August.
As ever, I am immensely grateful to Mrs Booker for her meticulous preparation and organisation for this very important event in the school calendar. The logistics are formidable – to ensure departments are presenting all pupils for the right examination; to generate individual pupil timetables; to seat all pupils correctly; to make special arrangements for extra time, readers and scribes for a large number of candidates; to have the correct number of invigilators; to displace classes elsewhere in the school when we need to use rooms beyond the Assembly Hall; and many more things. She will be sorely missed when she retires this year for her attention to detail and her determination to ensure that none of our pupils are disadvantaged.
New National Qualifications
I mentioned in my last newsletter at the end of March that the SQA were due to release the final set of papers from National 2 to Higher at the end of April. They have kept their word and documents have now been published online on the SQA website. These documents are available for all to see – so parents, not just teachers, can see the papers too. There are a lot of documents for each subject area – 20 for English, for example – so staff will be spending time familiarising themselves with the new arrangements which we will start to use from Easter 2013 with the current S2 yeargroup.
I will be seeing each PT Subject before the end of June to discuss how the new qualifications mesh with the outcomes and experiences of a Broad General Education for S1-S3 pupils and what changes there are from the existing SQA subject arrangements. We want the transition from one set of examination arrangements to be as smooth as possible.
Having briefed parents on the arrangements for S1 and S2 in previous years, it is my intention to hold another briefing evening in September for S3 parents explaining what the year will hold, including our plans for the S3 profile and S3 report. The date will be announced in my next newsletter in June.
Ms Howie, after nearly 6 years in post in the History Department left last week to take up a new post in Edinburgh. We wish her well. I have advertised full-time permanent posts in History and in Music and temporary posts in English, Physics and Business Education.
On Wednesday 29th March, we held an event in collaboration with a number of other agencies for parents of our prospective P7 – over 100 people came to the meeting. Led by Mr O’Connor, one of our Guidance staff, the event was aimed at pointing out the opportunities and difficulties for young people in Musselburgh as they grow up over the next few years. PC Smith and Heather Fleming from Community Learning and Development were present along with representatives from the nursing service, the Parent Council, community wardens, ABEL, the police and the Integration Team. There was also a marketplace for providers to talk to visitors. We are pleased to have been able to run this in association with our colleagues – it helps the transition to secondary school and to being a responsible citizen in the community.
Parent Council Spring Newsletter
You should have received the Parent Council’s Spring newsletter from your child. It is also published on the MGS Parents section of the school website – http://www.mgsonline.org/.
Fostering Fortnight – 14th-28th May
We have been given a number of leaflets advertising the need for foster carers in East Lothian. There are times when a child can no longer stay with their parents or next of kin and it is far better for the child to stay in their local community rather than face the upheaval and challenges of a new school elsewhere. Ask for a leaflet at the school office if you are interested or phone 01620 827643 or visit www.eastlothian.gov.uk/fostering.
Youth Engagement Officer
PC Dougie Smith – a familiar face to many in Musselburgh over the last 7 years – is taking on a new role in the community, working with primary and secondary age children in the cluster. He is already a frequent formal visitor to the area’s schools, delivering talks on personal safety, Personal and Social Education and drug misuse. The purpose of his new role is to work closely with children at risk of being drawn into criminal behaviour into other more positive activities and we are delighted to see him spending more time with children in the community.
Dates for the remainder of the term
Thursday 17th May – S1 Reports issued
Friday 1st June – S3 reports issued
Monday 4th June – holiday for pupils and staff
Tuesday 5th June – now a holiday for pupils and staff
Wednesday 6th June – start of new timetable for all pupils S1-S5
Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th June – P7 visits
Thursday 21st June – Summer Concert
Wednesday 27th June – School Prizegiving
Friday 29th June – End of term for pupils and staff