Monday, 19 December 2016

Headteacher Update 10 - Monday 19th December 2016

Dear Parent/Carer,

It’s been another incredibly busy and rewarding term at Gracemount High School. It is almost impossible to keep track of all the activities/events in school and our twitter account remains as active as ever. If you can, please keep up to date with all our school events via twitter @GracemountHigh or via our school website

Changes to Scottish Education are coming thick and fast and I will share key information with you in my first blog of the new year.

Formal Assessments
Our senior pupils completed their first set of formal assessments and teachers are using these to ensure that pupils are receiving high quality feedback to support learning. Our next set of formal assessments begin on the 22 February and will further support our senior pupils in ensuring they are ready for the final set of examinations in April/May of 2017.

Winter Weather
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.

Key Dates
·         Monday 19 December – S1 reports issued
·         Thursday 22 December – last day of term (finish 12 noon)
·         Monday January 9 – Inset day training for staff
·         Tuesday 10 January pupils return to school
·         Wednesday 18 January – Options Evening
·         Monday 23 January Senior reports issued
·         Thursday 26 January S3 Parent Consultation Evening

Option Evening – S2-5 Pupils and Parents
After a very successful evening last year, we have arranged to hold another one on Wednesday 18 January. This is an excellent opportunity to meet with teachers and partners of the school to discuss next steps for your son/daughter.

We very much look forward to welcoming you to the school and further details will follow after the Christmas break.

At the end of this term we will be saying goodbye to Mr Gribben and Ms Corrigan from the Maths department. We wish them every success in their new posts.

I am delighted to say that Mr Hamish Gordon, currently working at St Thomas of Aquins, has been appointed to one of the vacancies in the Maths Dept and will take up post on 9 January. I am also interviewing next week for a Maths Development Officer on Tuesday 20 December. I hope to have a successful candidate in place who will take up post very shortly after the start of the new term.

Miss Kennedy, a long serving member of staff, has successfully been appointed as Curriculum Leader in Social Subjects at James Gillespie’s High School and will take up post in January. We are currently advertising for a replacement for Miss Kennedy and hope to appoint very soon. We wish Miss Kennedy every success in her new role.

Miss Morven Boyd has been appointed as teacher of Learning, Inclusion and Achievement and will work 2 days per week in that role as well as continuing in her role as a Pupil Support Assistant.

Miss Lauren Flannigan, English Teacher,  has successfully been appointed as Pupil Support Leader for 1 day a week (Friday) at Forrester High School. Congratulations to Miss Flannigan. We are currently looking at how we fill this vacancy and more information will follow.

We are currently advertising for a temporary teacher of Music as Ms Kirsty Hirst will begin her maternity leave very shortly.

We are looking forward to welcoming Mrs Yvonne Gerrie who will join our school support assistant team. We are also currently looking for 2 additional Pupil Support Assistants to join the Support for Learning team.

Last Day of Term – Thursday 22 December
Please note pupils will be dismissed from school at 12 noon.

Finally…...since taking up post 2 years ago I have always felt very privileged to work in your community and serve your children. Gracemount High School is a wonderful school full of talented and ambitious young people and the overwhelming support we receive from our parents and carers makes a huge difference to what we do each day in the school.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy, safe and peaceful holiday.

Kind Regards

Ross Hunter
Head Teacher