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