Monday, 15 December 2014

Gracemount Parent Bulletin Monday 15th December 2014

To All Parents and Carers

Head Teacher Update

As I write this many of our pupils are currently rehearsing for the Christmas Show which I am sure will be a great evening of entertainment. It is an ideal opportunity for our young people to showcase their skills and talents and I very much look forward to meeting you if you are able to attend.

Since I took up post on Monday 3 November I have spent a significant amount of my time out and about around the school engaging with staff and pupils and I have been very impressed with the majority of our learners who are working hard, dressing appropriately and behaving well. This enables teachers to really focus on the learning and teaching process and benefits all members of the school community. As we progress into a new year there will be an increased focus on respect across the school and this will link closely to a review of the current positive behaviour policy. I will update the Parent Council during our January meeting on our progress and I would welcome any input from members of our community. Please continue to read the Head Teacher blog which will keep you updated.

To date the winter weather has been very kind to us, however, we are well aware that Scotland can experience all seasons in one day and we do have procedures in place if the weather takes a turn for the worst. As always the safety of our staff and students is at the heart of all our decisions and we will keep parents and students fully informed about our ability to open during poor weather via Radio Forth, our website and text alerts. Please help us to keep in touch by ensuring we have up to date contact details, particularly mobile numbers and email addresses, so that we can contact you at all times.

It has been an exciting few weeks in the school. First, a film maker from London has been working with the school shooting a video highlighting the sector leading practice of our 1:1 policy (iPads). We hope that this video will be available for viewing early in 2015 and I will keep you posted. We are committed to continuing with this 1:1 policy and planning ahead to ensure our new S3 cohort are provided with iPads for the start of the new session. Secondly, Mrs Semple has secured £5,000 for an Access to Education fund from Education Scotland which will be used to develop and sustain wider access opportunities in the curriculum for a number of our pupils. This is a fantastic achievement and will go a long way to support the school in continuing to provide an engaging curriculum.

Our Senior Phase students are studying hard for their prelim examinations which start on Monday 12 January. All pupils will be issued with a generic prelim timetable before the end of term and a personalised timetable when they return after the Xmas break. These examinations are very important as an indicator of individual progress. It is vital that work in school is supported by a programme of study out of school. The staff commit considerably to this and our GASS programme of supported study is ongoing. I would very much encourage all our learners to engage with the opportunity that GASS provides so they can maximise their potential and perform to a high standard in their examinations.

End of term arrangements are almost concluded for Friday 19 December. The day will consist of:-

Registration and Period 1
:  All pupils in Tutor Groups for the Inter House challenge.

Period 2:  Normal timetabled class

10am - Optional Christmas Service:  With the Chaplaincy Team in the Drama Studio. Pupils have been asked to sign up for this if they wish to attend.

Break:  Normal time

Period 3 - Normal timetabled classes

Period 4:  Whole School Assembly.

School will finish at the normal time of 12.35 on Friday.

On a personal note it has been a delight to have joined the Gracemount High School community and I am thoroughly enjoying my time at the school. As each day and week passes I am feeling more at home and I am continuing to work hard to get to know the staff, young people, parents and partners. As a school we will be revisiting our vision, values and aims and will be engaging our pupils, parents/carers and partners in this process. It is an exciting time for the school as we continue our journey to excellence and I am keen to work with staff and our partner agencies to ensure the best outcomes for every young person that attends this school. It is a privilege to work at Gracemount High School and to serve the community. I very much look forward to building on the success of the school in the years to come.

Daily Dozen – The Pupil Voice

I have recently started the “Daily Dozen” which involves meeting with 12 pupils a day to discuss their views of the school. I am collating feedback and hope to meet with every pupil by the end of March. The pupil perspective is very important and plays a vital part in shaping school improvement. I will share the pupil feedback all year groups and ensure there is an opportunity for parents/carers to view this also.


I am delighted to say that Miss Lauren Flannigan will join us from Berwickshire High School and will start her post on 5th January.

Finally, I would like to wish you all Seasons Greetings and a Prosperous New Year. Please note school resumes for students on Tuesday 6 January.

R Hunter
Head Teacher

Monday, 24 November 2014

Gracemount Parent Bulletin Monday 24th November 2014

To All Parents and Carers

Head Teacher Update

Senior Leadership Team (SLT) Remits

Week beginning Monday 24 November will see a re-launch of Senior Leadership Team remits. The main focus for strategic areas will generally remain the same. However, Mrs Sinclair will become Year Head for all S1-3 pupils and Mr Hutchison will be Year Head for all S4-6 pupils. This is a significant move away from the previous House links assigned to each Depute Head Teacher and I hope this will facilitate greater focus on year group issues. Special assemblies were held on Monday 24 November with all year groups to ensure that all pupils were made aware of these changes. Please note there has been no change to guidance links for pupils. 


We extend our congratulations to Mr Knight who has been appointed to a temporary position as a Support for Pupils teacher at Portobello High School. We are delighted for Mr Knight and he will be a huge loss to the school. This is an opportunity he very much deserves. In light of this Mrs Thomson will assume more hours in the Science faculty to cover classes. 

Interviews for an English vacancy to replace Mrs Barker will take place on Tuesday 25 November and we look forward to making an early appointment.

We also wish to extend a warm welcome to Miss Naivasha MacMillan who started with us on Monday 24 November in the Social Subjects faculty.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank Mr Marshall who has been helping us on a supply basis in Social Subjects.

Proud to be Gracemount

Since I took up post of Head Teacher I have regularly spoken with all young people about how proud I am to be part of the Gracemount High School community. I want all of our young people to identify with the school and to feel the same sense of pride that I do. This can be reflected in a number of ways.

The standard of dress amongst the significant majority of our young people is outstanding. I welcome all young people into school every day and have been in every classroom. This experience has given me an ideal opportunity to get a sense of the standard of dress and I want to take this opportunity to thank all our parents and carers for their continued efforts in supporting the Gracemount High School dress code. Where it is not possible to meet the requirements of our dress code, parents/carers are encouraged to contact the school to make us aware of this so that we can work together to find a solution. 

There has been a significant push on litter in the school this week and a zero tolerance policy has been adopted. All pupils have been asked to take responsibility for this. I am delighted to say that litter in the school has been significantly reduced and we will aim to continue to push Proud to be Gracemount. In the few instances where a pupil deliberately drops litter in the school, they will be encouraged to pick it up. Where we have ongoing concerns, we will contact parents/carers and access to the dining hall may be restricted.

Respect Week 

This was held last week and provided a number of opportunities to discuss the theme of respect with pupils. Respect for ourselves and each other will continue to be a key focus and all pupils have been made aware that instances of lack of respect towards any member of the Gracemount High School community will not be tolerated. We are working hard to ensure that Gracemount continues to be a safe, happy, inclusive, nurturing and respectful environment.

S3 Tracking and Full Reports
These were issued to pupils on Thursday 23 November and all parents/carers should have received a copy. 

Race Night

Congratulations to all the staff, pupils and parents who were involved in the Race Night at Liberton Rugby Club. It was a pleasure to attend and due to your generosity substantial money was raised to support our forthcoming Water Sports and Ogwini trips next year.

S6 Update
I would like to remind all parents and carers that no S6 pupil has a “free” period. From Tuesday 25 November all S6 pupils should report to the library whenever they are not in class. The library offers a productive working environment for pupils to engage in study as well as providing additional ICT access. At no time should any S6 pupil arrange an appointment during a study period unless permission has been sought and granted from the school. 

For S6 pupils Mr Hutchison will be the first point of contact for this. Equally, no S6 pupil has permission to come in late if they have a study period during the first period of the day. On a Wednesday afternoon period 5 will now become an additional supervised study period for all S6 pupils and will be supervised by either myself, Mr Hutchison or Mrs Sinclair. We will focus on good study habits, target setting, support for post school destinations as well as providing supported study. All S6 pupils are expected to attend and there will be no exceptions to this. On period 6 every Wednesday S6 pupils can either choose to stay in school and access the library or go home. Negotiated timetables will be introduced for all pupils who do not have a full timetable and these will support access to study and wider achievement activities.


A reminder to all parents/carers that I will be available every Tuesday after school from 4-7pm. If you wish to meet me informally, please contact Yvonne Jardine in the School Office on 664 7440 to make an appointment. If Tuesday is not suitable, we will try to find an alternative time. (Please note I will not be available on Tuesday 25 November).

R Hunter
Head Teacher 
24th November 2014

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Gracemount Parent Bulletin Thursday 13th November 2014

To All Parents and Carers
I am delighted to be writing my first blog as Head Teacher of Gracemount High School. It is a privilege and an honour to have been appointed and I very much look forward to building on existing best practice in the school so that we continue our own journey to becoming an excellent school. At the heart of this is ensuring that we continue to improve the education and life chances for all our young people and this is something I feel very passionately about. As an educator I am unashamedly child-centred and my key priorities will be to meet the needs of all our pupils, deliver a first class education and secure positive and sustained destinations for all young people.
On my first day I met with all year groups and I used this opportunity to highlight what I feel can make a difference to their learning and development – my presentation can be viewed here.
During the presentation I made reference to what I call the “GHS Factor and used this to highlight the importance of:-
Growth Mindsets – based on the work of Carol Dweck, a prominent psychologist at Stanford University.  A growth mindset is when people believe that their intelligence and ability can be developed through dedication, hard work and perseverance. Quite simply the harder a person works the more successful they become. People with a growth mindset believe that effort is important and they embrace challenge. They persist in the face of setbacks, learn from criticism and feedback and find inspiration in the successes of others. My aim is to ensure that all members of the Gracemount High School community are aware of and develop a growth mindset to facilitate their own development both as an individual and as a learner.
High Expectations – refers to the belief that all pupils can be successful regardless of background or personal circumstances. If, as educators, we truly have high expectations of ourselves and of the young people we teach, then we can have a significant and positive impact on their lives.  Our expectations in relation to learning and teaching in and out of class, behaviour in school and in the wider community and dress code will need to be clearly established and reinforced. Some of our young people will need support in reaching these expectations and it is our job as teachers to ensure this support is in place and in collaboration with our young people, parents, carers and partners we will do all we can to get it right for every child.
Self-efficacy – is the belief in the ability of individuals to make positive things happen in their lives. This can play a critical role in how we think, feel and behave. In many ways this comes down to how confident our young people feel about facing challenges and performing tasks. I do believe that if we wish to develop high educational attainment and achievement among our young people, we must develop a spirit of strong self-efficacy.
I have spent the majority of my first two weeks getting to know the young people, visiting classes and meeting the staff. It has been a real pleasure to be able to spend my time doing this and I have been very encouraged by many aspects of the school. There are a number of features of a successful school and in many ways Gracemount High School is already a successful school. Nevertheless, our focus will remain on rigorous self-evaluation so we can be clear about our strengths and our priorities for improvement. I fully believe that parents and carers should play a pivotal role in the evaluation and development of the school and I look forward to meeting you over the days, months and years ahead. It is important that all parents and carers feel they belong to their school community and I am keen to hear your views and thoughts on the school. I intend to engage with the parent community in a number of ways and have already met with the Parent Council. To facilitate this process and to give you an opportunity to meet me, I will be available to meet parents every Tuesday after school from 4pm to 7pm starting on Tuesday 18 November. Should you wish to meet with me in person, please contact Yvonne Jardine in the School Office on 664 7440 to make an appointment.  If Tuesday is not suitable, we will try to find an alternative time. (Please note I will not be available on Tuesday 25 November).
A few final thoughts……
As well as focusing on the academic progress of all our young people, I will not neglect the importance of building a positive ethos where respect and responsibility are key values in our school community. Martin Luther King once said that “Intelligence plus character – that is goal of true education” and I could not agree more and believe this is well reflected in our current school motto, “Committed to Care and Excellence”.
It is important to me that all young people know and understand that the type of person they are is equally as important as their academic success. To realise this all pupils must feel valued and respected and I fully intend to make Gracemount High School a “Rights Respecting School” within the next 3 years. I am delighted to say that work on this has already begun and Mr Rodger in the Support for Pupils Team is leading an initiative on this. I will keep you updated on our progress. More information on the Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA) can be found at
Finally, I am delighted to welcome two new members of staff who have been appointed into temporary posts in the Social Subjects faculty. Naviahsa McMillan will start with us on Monday 24 November as a full time member of staff and will be in post until October 2015. Adam McGaughland who is already with us as a supply teacher has been appointed as a 0.7 teacher of Social Subjects and will be with us until at least June 2015.
Please continue to keep up to date with all school matters via our excellent website and I very much look forward to meeting you over the weeks and months ahead.
R Hunter
Head Teacher

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Gracemount Parent Bulletin Friday 31 October 2014


We look forward to welcoming our new Head Teacher, Mr Ross Hunter, who joins us on Monday 3 November.  Assemblies have been arranged for him to meet all the young people in school. 

As a result of his arrival there are a number of staffing changes to be made with staff returning to substantive posts.  I will resume my role as Depute Head Teacher and would like to thank you all for your support during my time as Acting Head Teacher.  Ms Pretswell will resume her role as Pupil Support Leader for Skye pupils and Mr Knight will return to the Science faculty but will retain some input with the Support for Pupils team. They have both done a tremendous job in supporting your youngsters and their efforts are very much appreciated.  These moves have a knock on effect in Science with Dr Fiona Scott leaving us and I thank her for all her work to date.

Our congratulations go to Ms Barker who has secured an English teaching post at Denny High School.  We are in negotiation with her new school to agree her start date and are currently advertising her post.

We will be interviewing next week to fill vacancies in our Social Subjects Department and in the meantime supply staff are covering these posts.  We also have supply staff covering in English for Mr Patterson’s absence.

This week we welcomed 25 ESOL student teachers on a visit from Edinburgh University
Moray House.   They were very impressed with the good classroom practice they observed throughout the school.

The Parent Council

The next Parent Council meeting will be held in the library on Monday 03 November at 7pm. Please note that any parent/carer can come along to these meetings and will be made very welcome.  It is a great forum to hear what is happening and make a contribution.

Dance for Mr Drain

Well done and thank you to Kirsty Farmer and the Charities Committee for organising this fundraising event on Friday 24 October.  Staff and pupils danced the afternoon away and raised £144 for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of Mr Drain.  A great time was had by all.

Applications for Outward Bound 2015 Trip - Closes Monday!

I am pleased to report that we have yet again had a good response from pupils wanting to go on the Outward Bound trip next May.  Just to let you know however there are still a few places available, so it is not yet too late to sign up.  Pupils who are still interested should see Mr Wyllie or Mrs Towers for further information and an application letter. To secure a place return the tear off slip from the letter plus a £28 deposit to the School Office. The deadline for this has been extended very slightly to the end of school on Monday 03 November.  Thanks to a generous donation the cost of the trip will be highly discounted for all participants and costs £158 for the week or less for any of our pupils eligible for free school meals.  

GRACIE Focus Fortnight

The current Focus Fortnight has been ‘C’ – Calm, Considerate and Co-operative.

I am pleased to tell you that lots of our pupils were awarded raffle tickets as a result of their good efforts and the lucky winners are:-

Bradley Bryce 2L3, Chris McKellar 6L2, Jay Watson 2L2 and Richard Nye 3S9

October WOW class IS Mr Gregor’s Wednesday period 6 S4 core PE class.
Well done to all and keep up the good work.

The next FOCUS FORTNIGHT is from Thursday 30/10/14 to Wed 12/11/14
‘I’Instructions – “follow them first time, without argument, to enable learning and teaching”.  

We will be focusing on rewarding those who do.

L Sinclair
Acting Head Teacher

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Gracemount Parent Bulletin Friday 24 October 2014


Our new Head teacher, Mr Ross Hunter, twill take up his appointment on Monday 3 November. 
We are currently advertising to fill vacancies in our Social Subjects department and in the meantime have supply staff covering the posts.

We have welcomed 2 student teachers on a 6 week placement in the English department. We are also very pleased to welcome Clare Marshall, an Art Therapy student from QMCU, who will be working with our some of our young people 2 days a week over the next few months. 

Dance for Mr Drain

One of our senior pupils, Kirsty Farmer, aided by the charities committee, has organised a fundraising event which takes place this afternoon the 24 October.  Staff and Pupils have been invited to dance the afternoon away to raise funds for the Marie Curie Hospice in memory of Mr Drain.  Mr Drain’s Daughter Caitlin has been invited to join in the fun and will also be joined by some former pupils I am sure it will be a great success.

Career Academies

This morning (Friday 24th October) we are launching Careers Academies, with parents and mentors of our pupils attending the School.  The mentors are from a variety of businesses across Edinburgh and we are looking forward to building close links with them.  Mr Gregor is our link teacher for this initiative and has organised the event.  Part of the morning will involve our pupils taking their visitors on a tour of the school.  This is the start of a very exciting initiative which should lead to positive outcomes for all involved.

Outward Bound Trip 2015 

One week to go for Outward Bound applications !!!

Just a reminder that the deadline for returning applications and the £28 deposit for the Outward Bound trip is one week from now - Friday 31st October. Dates for trip are the week 18th-22nd May 2015, cost is either £158 (or £48 if you qualify for free school meals). Further details and application slips are available from Mr Wyllie in Social Subjects or Mrs Towers in Modern Languages.  This trip comes highly recommended.

Senior Pupil Geography Field Trip

Despite high winds forecast the weather was kind and the second group of senior students completed their trip on Tuesday 21 October. Armed with their iPads, clipboards, questionnaires and survey sheets Mr Wyllie led our National 4 & 5 Geography students out on a full day of Geography fieldwork collecting a wide range of data to help them in their assignments. 


On Monday 27 October all S2 pupils will experience a drama production and workshop entitled TOAST.  This has been delivered to pupils in previous years and is always well received.  It is aimed to raise awareness of the risks associated with fireworks and improve our young people’s personal safety.  Very relevant at this time of year and I would encourage you to discuss this topic with your child.

Health promoting school 

One of our Partner Agencies the Health Opportunities Team who work in the Liberton/Gilmerton area has asked us to promote their new project to support young people (age 12-25 years) affected by their own or another person’s Substance Misuse.  For more information contact them on 0131 468 4600 or email A copy of their poster can be viewed on our website.

L Sinclair 
Acting Head Teacher

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Gracemount Parental Bulletin Friday 10th October

Congratulations to Mrs J Wilson- Martin our dance teacher whose baby girl arrived safely on 7.10.14.  Katie June Wilson–Martin weighed in at 7lbs.  Our best wishes go to the happy family.

Ms A Kennedy has been appointed as Support for Learning Leader for the next year. This is to fill the vacant post as Ms M Dickie leaves us on Friday taking a career break.  A replacement teacher for History will be advertised after the holiday.  We are pleased to see Ms Muir return.

In memory
The House assemblies led by Mr Rodger and some S3 pupils were a very fitting tribute to Robbie McDonald who died earlier this term.

Today, Friday 10 October, is our dress down day and assembly to pay tribute to Mr Drain.  It would have been Mr Drain’s birthday last Sunday and we all fondly remember him wearing his shorts so the theme of the dress down day is of course shorts and T shirts! My thanks to all the staff and pupils who have worked hard to make this event happen.

Open Evening Thursday 9th October 
There was a fabulous buzz about the school as we showcased the great work that goes on in and around the school.   Staff had made a tremendous effort to display the work and involve pupils in demonstrations, performances etc. A large number of pupils volunteered to help and welcome the visitors to the school.  We were particularly pleased to welcome the parents of our neighbouring primary pupils and look forward to welcoming them when they join us in S1.  

Outward Bound Trip 2015 
A quick reminder that our school camp trip to Loch Eil, near Fort William is taking place from 18th-22nd May. This trip is open to all S1-S3 pupils as well as senior pupils not sitting exams during that week of May. Cost is just £158 for 5 days, 4 nights and includes transport, meals and full instruction. Additional funding is available for up to 12 pupils who are on the free school meals register. If interested you need to act quickly. First see the office staff or Mr Wyllie in Social Subjects for a letter. Then complete the tear off slip on the second page of the letter and return a £28 deposit to the school office no later than Friday 31st October. This is a fantastic opportunity for youngsters to develop new skills and build their confidence 

Inter House Cake Competition
Not only did this week see the final of the ‘Great British Bake Off’ but our own budding bakers took part in a close run competition.  The senior phase Cake Decorating class produced a cake for each house and I was invited to choose the winning cake.  The pupils have developed their skills to a very professional level so I called in support from our Librarian Mrs Brown and Business Manager Mr Mackenzie to help decide.  The winning cake was made by pupils in Tiree house in the shape of a bee hive complete with handcrafted busy bees! Well done to all who took part. One day soon we may see some of our pupils take part in the TV series!

Senior Pupil Geography Field Trip

Armed with their iPads, clipboards, questionnaires and survey sheets Mr Wyllie led our National 4 & 5 Geography students out on a full day of Geography fieldwork on Tuesday this week. Luckily the sun was shining and school provided students with bus tokens to save everyone from too much walking! The trip involved students visiting 7 survey sites starting from Gilmerton village in the morning and ending up at Princes Street by mid-afternoon. The field work has allowed students to collect a wide range of data which will help them in their added value assignments, an important part of their coursework. 

This year students have chosen a wide range of assignment topics such as shopping quality, crime, environmental quality and how land use/residential value change as you move from the city centre out to the city suburbs. A second group of senior students are scheduled to go out on Tuesday 21 October. Fingers crossed they get such good weather!

iPad Damages
Mr Whyte our Curricular Leader of Technologies wanted to add this note about our iPad project:
Over the last few weeks, three iPad mini’s have been seriously damaged.  The screens have either been smashed or cracked.  It is quite clear that these iPads have been out of their full body protective cases even though students were told to never to take them out.
It costs the school £75 to fix an iPad.  Students are reminded that it is very important that their iPads are kept in the case at all times.  If more iPads become damaged, it could be that we have to take all the iPads in and stop the project altogether. 

Parental support for the success of this initiative is strongly encouraged and appreciated. 

Gracemount Great Whites Basketball played a friendly match against Newbattle High school on Wednesday 8 October.  The game generated great excitement from the audience and was a close match.  Sadly this time the girls did not win but it was very valuable experience and they are well supported by their coaches, senior pupil Sean Adams and former pupil Kirsty Young.

Health promoting school 
The final Workshops “Raising Teens with Confidence” took place this week 
Feedback from parents who have attended has been very positive with comments such as

“I found the course great. I loved the inventive ideas which have really worked for me. The clips were great too and a good resource - I've used it to look into strategies to deal with homework.”

“Really enjoyed the course. I found it very helpful and have gained lots from it. Would highly recommend to other parents to attend.” 

“This has helped me to stop and think about how I handle a situation. Stopped me from trying to solve problems and allow my child to make their own decisions”. 

“Having a better understanding of where my children are coming from e.g. Door slamming may just be their way of needing attention”

We hope that we can offer the course again later in the session so if you didn’t manage to go this time look out for future courses.

Finally may I remind you that school resumes for pupils after the autumn break on Tuesday 21 October at 8.30 am.  I hope everyone has a well-earned and relaxing holiday.

L Sinclair 
Acting Head Teacher

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Gracemount Parental Bulletin Friday 3 October 2014

Although Mr Hunter our new head teacher to be will not be officially in post next week he  hopes to attend our Open Evening on Thursday 9 October so please come along and welcome him to our community.

Ms Muir Teacher of behaviour and pupil support continues to be absent and as we have still not been able to source appropriate supply staff there has been reduced provision in our Inspire support base. We are hopeful she will return next week.

Donna Lawrie our Youth support worker from Caledonia Youth starts her maternity leave from 10 October. I would like to thank her for her support to our young people here at Gracemount and wish her all the best in the coming months. Carol Traynor will be covering Donna’s responsibilities at Gracemount High School and has already been in to meet with staff and pupils.

Pupils are invited to nominate a teacher as teacher of the month and this month Miss Barker from the English department is our star.

In memory
Next week our House assemblies will be led by Mr Rodger and some S3 pupils as we pay  tribute to Robbie McDonald who died earlier this term. We will welcome back his sister Caitlin who will also take part in the event.

On Friday 10 October we will have a dress down day and assembly to pay tribute to Mr Drain. It would have been Mr Drain’s birthday during the week and we all fondly remember him wearing his shorts so the theme of the dress down day is of course shorts and T shirts!

The assembly will be joined by some of Mr Drain’s family and is being led by pupils and staff. Any parent or friend who remembers Mr Drain and is able to join us will be very welcome. We hope to start the assembly shortly before noon on Friday.

S1 Settling-in parents evening
It was great to welcome so many S1 parents to the parents’ evening last night. Parents/carers are the single biggest influence in a young person’s life and by working together we will be able to help all our young people fulfil their potential. Those parents who were unable to attend will receive their youngster’s tracking report early next week.  

Open Evening Thursday 9th October
Doors will open at 6pm to allow parents into the Dining hall to look around a marketplace.

The evening will then begin with a brief welcome and introduction in the drama studio at 6.30pm, tours starting at 6.40.

As the evening draws to a close at 8.30pm there will be an opportunity to ask questions which the Senior Leadership Team, including Mr Hunter, will be happy to answer.

This year we would like to open this event to all parents and carers and hope that you will save the date and come along. The evening will be a great opportunity for us to showcase the life of the school and for you to see some of your child’s work.

Focus Fortnight
Pupils have been rewarded and entered into a prize draw for the second GRACIE Focus Fortnight with the focus on R - The 3 Rs: 
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Reflection

I was delighted so many pupils were nominated by staff and the lucky winners were Amy Darling, Jamie Goldie, Leanne Selkirk and Hafsah Hussain.

The WOW class was 1LY in Science with Dr Burt. Congratulations to all winners the next focus is A - Actions: be prepared, have full uniform, participate in class so please encourage your youngster to be prepared for school.

Pupil News
Tutor group L9 had the opportunity to go on an excursion on Tuesday afternoon. Mrs Gillan took her group out as a team building exercise and a great time was had by all.

Teen Titles
Teen Titles is a magazine published to promote Reading and Literacy and improve reading within Edinburgh and beyond. The most recent issue has articles from four Gracemount pupils. Well done to Jane Collins, Millie Lawrie, Morrigan Millar and Lauryn Whyte. This could be the start of their literary career.

Career Academy
Our 11 pupils involved in the programme will attend the launch event for this at RBS Gogarburn today (Friday).

They will meet with their mentors and take part in workshops, as well as getting a chance to hear from previous pupils about their experiences of the course.

Friday 3rd October is Active Girls Day. To mark this occasion, the PE department are inviting all S1 – 3 girls to come down to the PE department and take part in a fun fitness session in the Games Hall.

As part of the core PE programme they are offering our S4/5 pupils ‘taster’ activities. The first activity is American Football and will run on Friday 3rd Oct.

Macmillan Coffee Morning
Mrs Gillan and members of the Charities Committee made some wonderful goodies for the staff at break last Friday. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the total raised of over £130 (not to mention the few centimetres which were added to waistlines including my own!)

Bin It
Concerns have been raised on a number of occasions recently about the amount of litter in our neighbourhood. This is the responsibility of all and in an effort to raise awareness Mr King our ECO warrior has arranged for a presentation in school.  Wrigley’s Bin It team will be coming into school on Thursday the 9th of October to give a one hour presentation to all first year pupils.

The Wrigley team aim to influence and change students' attitude and behaviour towards gum litter and make a long-term positive

Further information can be obtained from:

A wee reminder
Aerosol cans should not be brought into school by pupils. This ban was put in place some time ago as they have proved to be a fire hazard in the past. Pupils are advised to bring roll-on or stick deodorants for their personal use. I would ask for your support with this.

Health promoting school
Workshops “Raising Teens with Confidence” continue to take place each week and are well received. Attendance at every session is not compulsory and if the topic is of interest to you then please feel free to come along. Next week’s session is the last for the time being at Gracemount High School and is on Wednesday 8 October 2014, at 6.30pm – 8.30pm and is: Looking After Your Own Wellbeing: Coping with the Changes.

Feedback from parents who have attended has been very positive and we would be pleased to welcome you along as I am sure this will be an interesting and useful topic.

L Sinclair
Acting Head Teacher