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