Friday, 6 September 2019

Friday 6 September


  1. A warm welcome to both South African staff and the four pupils from our partner schools (Dloko HS and Zwelibanzi HS), who arrived this week. They are with us for the next few days to gain experience of JGHS and Scottish culture. Thanks  to all for being so kind and welcoming.
  2. The Maths revision club run by S6 pupils is up and running on Tuesdays in room M2.15 after school.
  3. On Wednesday of this week pupils in S4,5 and 6 attended an event run by the Edinburgh International Film Festival where they had opportunity to speak to industry professionals and hear about what goes on behind the scenes.
  4. Earlier this week, as a result
    of the current unrest in Hong Kong, we took the decision to cancel the trip that was scheduled to depart in 2 weeks’ time. We will keep the situation under review and reschedule when it is safe to do so.
  5. Classes will be taught in the new temporary accommodation from Monday 9 September. It is mainly staff from Modern Studies, RME and Psychology who will be relocating into the temporary classrooms.
  6. A reminder that all pupils have been issued with a paper copy of the personal details (email addresses, emergency contact details etc.)  we have on record. Some of these are probably feeling ignored and lonely in schoolbags! It is essential that these forms are updated and returned to us asap. Returns with ‘no changes needed’ written clearly on the form will confirm that the form has reached you.



Dates:

  1. On Monday 9 September, senior pupils from our AS and A Level classes out on Monday 9th September in the afternoon to visit the exhibition:- Cut and Paste: 400 Years of Collage is the first survey exhibition of collage ever to take place anywhere in the world. Collage is often described as a twentieth-century invention, but this show spans a period of more than 400 years and includes more than 250 works.
  2. The JGHS Parent Council would like to invite everyone from our school community to the first PC meeting of the new school year.  We look forward to seeing parents and carers from across the year groups, and hope to meet some of our new S1 parents and carers too. Bob Shankland, DHT, will be giving a summary of SQA results and we will have updates on Wifi, capacity and rising rolls, social events and fundraising.  Everyone is very welcome to join us on Tues 10 September at 7pm in the Library in the Malala building.
  3. Our annual P7 Open evening takes place on Thursday 12 September from 6 – 8 Pm.
  4. On the 17 of September the RME department are hosting a charities fair in the theatre to allow for Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) candidates to meet with charities representatives
  5. We are arranging a Bike breakfast for the morning of Wednesday 18 September. Details to follow but this event will include bike marking to deter thieves. In the interim, high quality (discounted) D-locks locks are available for £10 rather than the retail price of £30/40. Please email Deborah.dickinson@jamesgillespies.edin.sch.uk if you wish to purchase a D-lock.
  6. The next pupil protest related to Climate Change is scheduled to take place on Friday 20 September. Pupils taking part should have authorisation from a parent/carer by submitting an email/letter to the school. (Addressed to the school office - Admin@jamesgillespies.edin.sch.uk - preferably before midday on Wednesday 18 September).  
  7. We will have a social gathering for our new S1 parents on Thursday 26 September between 7-9pm.  There will be some light entertainment, refreshments and a chance to mingle informally.



Well done to:

  1. Kirsty Johnson (S4) who, last weekend, won gold at the Scottish Cycling National Youth Road Championship 2019 (U16 girls).
  2. All S4 pupils have the exciting opportunity to take part in this year's German Exchange. The exchange is open to anyone who is interested in experiencing a new culture and making new friends - even if they don't study German at present! Pupils who are interested are to collect a letter from Miss Hand in the Languages Department. The deadline to express interest is Friday 13 September.
  3. We are looking for donations of bulbs which our eager team of gardeners (led by Ms Aulich) will be planting in the next few weeks. This will ensure we have a good splash of colour and are more bee friendly around our campus in Spring. Please hand in to reception and mark clearly what type/colour they are.



My quote for the week: "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." (Chinese proverb)



Wishing all a lovely weekend.



Donald j Macdonald



Headteacher

Friday, 30 August 2019

Friday 30 August


  1. All visitors to the school are requested to sign in at school reception. Please do not go directly to classrooms or offices!
  2. Our S1 photos order forms and proofs are going to be handed out next week in PSE classes. We will send a follow up email how to order them.
  3. Dr Andrews, Ms Peters and S6 volunteers will be running a homework club for all pupils every Thursday after school for around an hour in the school library. All pupils welcome.
  4. Art Club for S1 pupils will start on Tuesday 3rd September at lunch time in 2.11 (Ms Molleson's room) There will be a limit of 20 pupils for the Art club. There will be a variety of different projects taught by S6 A' Level students. The Art Club runs up to the Christmas Break.
  5. It is anticipated that we will be able to start transferring into the new Temporary classrooms next week and used for learning and teaching week beginning 9 September.
  6. Well done to:
    1. Mollaidh Nicholson who won the Askernish Golf Open last weekend. Askernish is located on the west coast of the idyllic Island of South Uist.
    2. Aisha Rana and Rosaidh Macintosh (both S2) who helped a member of the public last week when he was having an epileptic fit at a nearby bus stop. The girls’ quick thinking in getting help led to an ambulance being called and the man getting the help he needed.
    3. Sarah Johnson (S2) who, continues to progress and impress with her excellent performances in national bike racing in UK competitions.

Calendar

  1. This afternoon, a number of staff will be meeting to consider the specifics of activities that will take place in the school on Wednesday 23 October to mark ‘Black History month’.
  2. ‘Social bite’ will be presenting at assemblies for S1  Monday 2 September to talk about this year’s fund raising ‘sleepout. More details to follow on what we will be doing later this year.
  3. Our SA visitors (4 Learners and 2 Educators) arrive this coming Wednesday and leave on Tuesday 10 September. The SA Learners will be shadowing their host counterparts in classes.
  4. The JGHS Parent Council would like to invite everyone from our school community to the first PC meeting of the new school year.  We look forward to seeing parents and carers from across the year groups, and hope to meet some of our new S1 parents and carers too.  Ian Porter, DHT, will be updating on Key Adult time, Bob Shankland, DHT, will be giving a summary of SQA results and we will have updates on Wifi, capacity and rising rolls, social events and fundraising.  Everyone is very welcome to join us on Tues 10th Sept @ 7pm in the Library in the Malala building. 
  5. Social events for parents and pupils: Parents are setting up a new group, to work with but separate to the Parent Council, to organise more social events for parents, carers and pupils and hopefully also raise a bit more money for our school.  If you have ideas and can help build our school community please come along to our first meeting on Monday 2nd Sept at the school library in the Malala Building @ 7pm.  Everyone is warmly welcomed.
  6. We are arranging a Bike breakfast for the morning of Wednesday 18 September. Details to follow but this event will include bike marking to deter thieves. In the interim, High quality (discounted) D-locks locks are available for £10 rather than the retail price of £30/40. Please email Deborah.dickinson@jamesgillespies.edin.sch.uk if you wish to purchase a D-lock.
  7. The JGHS P7 Open Evening is scheduled for Thursday 12 September 6-8pm. Details have been sent to our ‘feeder’ primary schools.





My quote of the week: ‘Be selective with your battles. Sometimes peace is better than being right’. (Source unknown)



Best wishes to all for a lovely weekend.



Donald j Macdonald

Headteacher

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Friday 16 August


It was lovely to welcome all pupils back on Wednesday. I’m hoping all had a restful break over the summer and are now ready and raring to go for the new session.

  1. All pupils have been issued with a paper copy of the personal details (email addresses, emergency contact details etc.)  we have on record. It is essential that these forms are updated and returned to us asap. Returns with ‘no changes needed’ written clearly on the form will confirm that the form has reached you.
  2. Yesterday evening, 20 S3s attended a performance of Tchaikovsky's opera "Eugene Onegin" at the Festival Theatre. The trip was the second part of an outreach project delivered in partnership with the Edinburgh International Festival and followed an opera workshop that was delivered in school before the summer. This was a fantastic opportunity for our youngsters to engage with the biggest arts festival on the planet and to experience performances from some of the world's leading musicians!
  3. Well done to:
    1. Lucy Beeston (S2), who won a gold medal at the Aalborg international  youth games in tennis singles in Denmark this month and a bronze medal in the doubles. She also won the East of Scotland qualifiers of ‘Road to Wimbledon’ and is competing at Wimbledon this week in the county finals with players from all over the UK.
    2. Rhys Edwards (S2), who competed in the European Youth Tour in Assen, Netherlands.  Over six days of racing Rhys finished 21st overall out of 80 riders in the under 14 category taking the last spot on the podium.
    3. Kirsty Johnson (S3) who, at the British Cycling UK Youth Track Championships at Newport Velodrome last week, broke the Scottish record for Under 16 girls 500m.  At just under 38 seconds she took nearly a second off a record that has stood since 2007.
    4. Daniel Philp (S2) and Jasmine Tarsia (S3) who, on 8th August, performed for and met the Queen at her holiday home, Balmoral Castle.  The performance was the conclusion of a four day course held at Gordon Barracks in Aberdeen with the Cadet Forces Pipes and Drums. 
    5. Ali Shippey (S2), who, later this month, will attend an international Water Polo competition in Spain with the Caledonia Water Polo Cadet Team. Ali is the only player selected from his club, Warrender Water Polo, and the squad is drawn from across Scotland including boys from Aberdeen, Stirling and Renfrew.
  4. Social events for parents and pupils: Parents are setting up a new group, to work with but separate to the Parent Council, to organise more social events for parents, carers and pupils and hopefully also raise a bit more money for our school.  If you have ideas and can help build our school community please come along to our first meeting on Monday 2nd Sept at the school library in the Malala Building @ 7pm.  Everyone is warmly welcomed.
  5. I’m pleased that we are making good progress towards having the additional (temporary) 6 classrooms ready for pupils. I expect classes to moving in over the next 2 weeks.

And finally, I would like to wish everyone a lovely weekend.

Donald j Macdonald
Headteacher

Tuesday 13 August


Dear Parent/Carer,

  1. We look forward to welcoming all pupils back to school on the morning of Wednesday 14 August. An especially warm welcome to pupils who are new to the school.

  1. I am pleased to share that this year’s exam results were very good overall.  Many pupils did very well whilst some, as is always the case may be a bit disappointed. On returning to school pupils are encouraged to speak with last year’s teachers to find out their actual mark so that they may better prepare for the coming session. Pupils who, in the light of receiving their results, are considering changing courses should speak with their Pupil Support Leader in the first instance.

  1. Work on installing our new Temporary Accommodation (6 additional classrooms) is almost completed. Classes will be gradually transferred across to the new rooms after we have had time to familiarise ourselves with the operational details including evacuation procedures, computer connectivity etc.

  1. There have been a few staffing changes; I will share this with you in a later email. We have a full complement of teachers but will be advertising imminently for some additional support staff.

  1. Parents and carers are asked to assist in the smooth running of the school by ensuring that latecoming is kept to a minimum We would prefer that all pupils are on campus no later than 0830 each morning. Classes start promptly at 0840. It is acknowledged that the location of the school and the dependence on public transport can cause problems. It can be extremely disruptive to lessons when pupils arrive late. Where there is a genuine case of lateness, parents should provide a note of explanation which will be accepted by the school. Latecoming will be closely monitored and persistent latecomers will be interviewed by the relevant staff.  Parents may be contacted if improvement does not occur.

I look forward with enthusiasm to another busy and exciting session at James Gillespie’s High School and working in partnership with you to ensure that all of our pupils are fully supported and encouraged towards achieving their full potential in all of their many and varied endeavours.


Donald j Macdonald
Headteacher