Our new curriculum together with our new school week started on Monday 29 May. It is progressing very well and feedback from pupils has so far been very positive. Pupils particularly like the 50 minute periods and the earlier break at 10.20am has also been received well.
We are all still adapting to the 7 period day and our focus in the forthcoming session will be to embed our structure across all year groups. We are also mindful that the new S4 will be the first year group to be sitting up to 7 national examinations.
We are in the process of consulting pupils over changes to registration which may take place in August. As you might be aware, pupils overwhelmingly voted to keep registration as part of the school day and for it to remain at the start of the school day. We are now considering a move to an “horizontal” system where pupils will register in their own year groups. We would envisage placing S6 with S1 in order to retain and further develop our approach to mentoring/buddying. Year groups 2-5 would remain separate. Consultations are taking place this month.
I am delighted to note that the SQA examination process went very smoothly. Results will be sent to pupils on Tuesday 8 August. Pupils who have signed up to https://www.mysqa.org.uk/ will get their results at 8am on that day.
SQA Update – Changes to National Qualifications
We are continuing to liaise with colleagues in the SQA over proposed changes to national qualifications. On Monday 5 June our leadership team met with an SQA Liaison Officer to discuss the implications of the pending changes and we are currently finalising our SQA policy which we will make available to all parents.
You can keep up to date with the proposed SQA changes to by visiting www.sqa.org.uk/nqchanges
Post Results Process
Where a candidate’s grade is significantly different from that expected, based on the evidence the school holds about the candidate’s performance throughout the course, a school may request a clerical check and/or an SQA marking review. The candidate must, however, give permission for this in writing.
· A clerical check is a check that all questions have been marked and all marks totalled correctly
· A marking review is where an SQA senior examiner will review the marks awarded to each question to ensure that the original marking was in line with national standards: the work will not be re-marked. The decision to ask for a marking review rests solely with the school, and no alternative evidence will be sent to the SQA. The only evidence checked is the candidate’s 2017 examination script.
PRS (marking review) requests must come from the school itself.
· Any requests made must be based on a change in letter grade and not only a change in band.
· The school can only consider making a PRS request where there is evidence of consistent performance throughout the year and over a full range of assessable elements.
· The school will always consider a PRS request where strong evidence exists to support it.
By agreeing to a PRS request, pupils and parents acknowledge that the grade may go down as well as up.
Pupil Achievements Section
On Wednesday 7 June our junior dancers attended the Edinburgh Schools Dance Competition at Broughton High School. Three groups performed, one in level 1, one in level 3 and one in the Pupil Choreography Section. Both group pieces were based on books, with the girls choosing ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ themes. The pupils’ choreography was based on Drug Abuse and its effects on close family members.
Category: Pupil Choreography
Gracemount placed 3rd with a piece about Drug Abuse and its effects on close family members.
Category: Group Level 3
Gracemount placed 2nd with a piece about the fight between good and evil in the form of Jekyll and Hyde.
Gracemount also won ‘Best Costume’ within level 3 for Jekyll and Hyde.
Well done to the following pupils who took part in the City of Edinburgh Council’s Resonate Concert series on Friday 31 March in the Queens Hall.
· Maia Robinson
· Esme Page
· Sneha Joseph
· Abbi McBeath
· Connor Inglis
· Michelle Bahat
The following pupils were also involved in the Edinburgh Schools Wind Ensemble
· Thomas Jamieson
· Esme Page
· Maia Robinson
The Virgin Atlantic Scholarship Trip
Congratulations to Richard Nye who has been selected for the Virgin Atlantic Scholarship trip to India. Richard will travel with 30 young people aged 12-18 to a villagecommunity in Rajasthan, India where he will get his hands dirty working on a volunteer project. Experiencing life alongside community members, and engaging in vibrant discussions of complex social issues which affect the country will help him to come to understand how it can connect to his life at home.
Duke of Edinburgh
We have 9 pupils completing their Silver or Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards this session as follows: -
Julia Sanderson, Gregor McRae, Esme Page, Iliana Ortiz and Lauryn Anderson have successfully completed their qualifying expedition and Ellie Tollet has completed her practice expedition.
Lucy Hunter, Jessica Simpson and Miriam Castano Viera have successfully completed their practice expedition which involved canoeing along the Union Canal and they will be taking part in their qualifying expedition on Tuesday 13 to Thursday 15 June.Good luck to all involved.
S3 German Success – Scottish National Galleries
On Thursday 18 May the S3 German pupils showcased their presentations on how to encourage young foreign visitors to engage with artwork on display at the National Galleries. Despite some nerves, the pupils did a sterling job and the Galleries and Council were both delighted and moved by the work of our pupils. Their suggestions on engagement with the art work included edible chocolate artwork, making food at night in the Gallery Café for the homeless and sophisticated Virtual Reality displays! Well done to all of them!
Ramadan has begun and many pupils in the school are fasting. In line with the philosophy of Islam all pupils are encouraged to continue to work hard and give of their best efforts.
Muslim pupils are able to access Ms Fleming’s room at lunchtime and an adjacent room has been set aside for prayer. There is a strict no food and no water rule in these rooms at this time.
· Monday 12 June – Senior Phase Induction Day
· Thursday 15 June – Family Learning – iPad event
· Tuesday 20 June – P7 Visit/School Sport Awards Ceremony
· Wednesday 21 June – P7 Visit
· Thursday 22 June P7 Visit
· Friday 23 June – Sports Day
· Thursday 29 June – Awards Ceremony
· Friday 30 June – last day of term (school finishes at 12 noon)