Sunday, 16 December 2018

Friday 14 December

  1. Many thanks to those who supported the Cheese and Wine fundraiser last weekend; £1020 was raised, Funds raised will be used to bring students across to Edinburgh in June 2019
  2. We continue to encourage pupils and staff to walk, run or cycle to school. I am delighted to observe that most cyclists are now using strong ‘D’ locks.
  3. Well done to our Logo Team who finished third overall in the robot games competition, and won the award for the best research project/presentation in last week’s schools’ competition.
  4. Best wishes to pupils in our rearranged tennis match against George Watson’s College in the Scottish Cup on Tuesday 18 December. The pupils involved are -
    1. Robbie Galloway S5
    2. William Belkebir S5
    3. John Dabos-Doukas S5
    4. Sean Gallacher S3
  5. Congratulations to:
    1. Mollaidh Nicholson (S3) who has been selected by East Lothian to compete in USA in February 2019. This trip will involve practice rounds at the world renowned Pinehurst Gold Course.
    2. Fergus Jajdelski, is in S3. He just won a place as Principal second violin in the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland (junior) for 2019.
    3. Liam McLaughlin (S5) who won an incredible 5 Junior Champion gold medals for 100m, 200m, 400m, 1500m freestyle and for the relay 4x100m freestyleat the Scottish National Short Course Championships.
  6. Sincere thanks to all who have contributed to our Christmas appeal for Children First. The coordinator, Mrs Fallon, describes the response as overwhelming!
  7. A reminder that the Christmas Concert is on the evening of Tuesday 18 December at 7 Pm. Tickets are available from the Usher Hall Box Office.
  8. This term will finish at midday on Friday 21 December; Pupils resume on Wednesday 9 January 2019.
  9. Staffing:
    1. Congratulations to Mrs Emma Sturm who was appointed to the vacancy in the English department.
    2. Mr Robin Andrews who was appointed to the vacancy on the Support for Learning Department
    3. We look forward to Ms Julie Francis starting in our Modern Languages Faculty on Monday 17 December.
    4. Welcome to Mr Seonaidh Charity who started with us as Head of Gaelic on Wednesday 12 December.

And finally, a safe weekend to you all as wintry snow showers are forecast over the weekend.

Donald j Macdonald

Friday, 7 December 2018

Friday 7 December 2018

1.       Well done to:
a.       The S6 involved in the recent Bag packing fundraiser for the South Africa project where £700 was raised.
b.       Elena Santoyo-Brown for finishing the season with premier league team, Spartans, as their top goal scorer and coaches' Player of the Year. It's a huge achievement for any player, but for a 17-year--old, it's amazing!
c.       Henry Millar (S1) who has just passed his Grade 5 Piano exam. This is the level we would expect S6 pupils studying for Advanced Higher to achieve!
d.       Theia Donnelly (S3) who, as part of her Pentland Team and representing Scotland, won Gold at last weekend’s national Rhythmic gymnastics event.
e.       Kirsty Johnson (3S1) who won the silver medal in the under 16 girls Scottish National Madison Championships at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome on Saturday 1 December. On the following Sunday she won bronze in the under 16 girls Scottish National Cyclocross Championships in the mud of Fife College.
                                                               i.      The JGHS team who swam incredibly well in the Edinburgh and Midlothian Schools Swimming Championship; they came back with an impressive 3 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals.
                                                             ii.      Anna Green - two Bronze  (100m and 200m backstroke)
                                                           iii.      David Kernohan - two gold (100m backstroke and 200 IM)
                                                           iv.      Ross Kerr - silver (200m breaststroke) and bronze (100m breaststroke)
                                                             v.      Liam McLaughlin - gold (400m freestyle) and silver (200m backstroke)
2.       Around 150 S6s are currently busily completing their UCAS applications. Thanks to all who support them in this.
3.       A reminder that there will be a staff/parent BBQ on Friday 26 April 2019 – save the date!
4.       Please remember to use ‘Easyfundraising’ for online purchases. A percentage of the spend Is contributed to school funds.
5.       A large number of S5/6 are involved in a Higher/Advanced Higher immersion event at Napier University (Craiglockhart Campus) this afternoon from 1:30pm
6.       A reminder to all to drive with great caution in the vicinity of the school. We have had some concerns expressed in recent weeks.
7.       I would request  that those who are collecting pupils by car at the end of the day, park in nearby streets rather than directly opposite a school exit/entrance. This will help in reducing congestion and increasing visibility for pedestrians.
8.       A group of pupils from S1-6 will be out of school all day on Wednesday 12 December to attend the First LEGO League Challenge event. Those involved are part of the school’s Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) group which was formed to promote and stimulate interest in applying multidisciplinary approaches to everyday challenges and experiences.
9.       Due to our ‘Sleep out’ being the largest and highest earning in Scotland, Esther Silverton, Anna Mantle, Phoebe Burke and Louis Mackintosh have been awarded “creative star” awards and have been invited to appear on stage at Edinburgh’s ‘Sleep in the Park’ on Saturday 8 December to introduce the concept of the Wee Sleep Out to all of the Sleep In The Park participants. They will introduce a video about it (some of which was filmed at our sleep out) and then participate in a Q&A session. They will also be presenting Alice from social bite with the notes of encouragement, origami and mural that were made at our sleep out on the evening of Friday 16 November. Well done and thanks to Mrs Sturm (English Faculty) for coordinating our school’s efforts.
10.   Following the success of the No Knives Better Lives play, “Balisong”, which was performed to several assemblies, plans are afoot to stage new play at assemblies in the Spring of 2019 that looks at and  raises awareness of issues related to youth gambling
11.   During this past week, a group of less confident pupils in S1-3 were accompanied by S6 pupils (Katie Haley; Emily Deng; Rishikaa Ravi; Sheena MacGregor; Nadya Clarkson; Shiisa Booth and Maeve MacLullich) and a member of staff to the National Museum. So pleasing to see our accomplished senior pupils involved in this nurturing role.
12.   On the afternoon of Tuesday 4 December a number of our senior pupils took part in a free careers event at Edinburgh’s Central Hall, Tollcross.
13.   On the morning of Tuesday 18 December a large number of our Gaelic pupils will take part in the Christmas service at Greyfriar’s kirk.
14.   Our senior Drama Production takes place this evening at 7 Pm in the Muriel Spark Building. Tickets at the door.
15.   A final reminder that a South Africa Fundraiser is this Sunday evening at Spoons café Bistro on Nicolson Street 6-8pm for £10 a ticket. It is a wine and cheese tasting evening. All of the money raised will go towards the South African projects 2019.
16.   We are currently revising our school’s Vision Statement and Values. An opportunity to contribute views on these will be made available to all parents/carers next week.
17.   Our school website is currently being redesigned and refreshed. We will let you know when the new website is operation in 2019.
18.   Allied to the development of our website we are currently working with an ‘App’ provider to develop an App that will allow for easy access to key parts of our school website. Launch will be in early 2019.

And finally, how wonderful it was earlier today to hear about a group of 50+ S1 pupils who, independently, arranged their very own ‘secret Santa’ event. Gifts were exchanged amidst polite and respectful applause at break time today.

I wish all a lovely weekend.

Donald j Macdonald

Friday, 30 November 2018

Friday 30 November

1.       Work continues apace on upgrading our school website. Thanks to all who have contributed suggestions on what changes we should make.  We are also looking at how we can utilise the evolving technologies available to us to improve communications with parents and carers.
2.       A number of  S4-S6 pupils attended Edinburgh College Open Days during this past week.  The Edinburgh College comprised of Jewel and Esk, Telford, and Stevenson colleges was formed on 1 October 2012 as part of the merger of Edinburgh's. This Further and Higher education institution has 4 campuses across Edinburgh and Midlothian.
3.       Our Gardening club held a plant sale today in the forum at break time.
4.       A group of pupils involved in studying Business are attending an event at Lloyds Banking Group today.
5.       Congratulations to Rabi Jha (S2) who was awarded a distinction in his Grade 4 ABRSM piano exam.
6.       Congratulations to the following S2 pupils on their recent Tae-kwon Do grading
a.       Catlin Buckley -  blue red stripe
b.       Chirag Shetty - yellow green stripe
c.       Cole Turnbull - yellow green stripe
d.       Eric Marshall - green blue stripe
e.       Jonty Pask - blue red stripe
f.        Josh Tough - blue red stripe
g.       Ryan Buckley - blue red stripe
·         Further congratulations to Cole, Eric and Jonty who are into the Scottish Squad, aiming for the British Championships next year.
7.       Congratulations to: Milenka Zadora, Angus Crawford, Toby Mackintosh, Torin Storkey and Kieran Storkey for ongoing national recognition in Fencing
8.       Well done to Beatrice Lauckner who was selected to join the ORBIT Youth Council. Beatrice is one of eighteen young people aged 16-18 to represent communities from across Scotland. ORBIT is dedicated to amplifying the voice of Scotland’s youth.
9.       This year’s annual (SWIRE sponsored) Mandarin conference will take place at JGHS on Wednesday 4 December. We are expecting around 300 pupils from 7 different schools, including around 50 from JGHS, to attend the event. The development of Mandarin in this part of the City, gathered pace when JGHS became involved in a SWIRE sponsored collaborative project with both Boroughmuir HS and George Watson’s College in 2016.  Generous funding from SWIRE provides staffing to teach Mandarin and exchange opportunities for pupils across the Lothians over a 10 year period.
10.   Best wishes to the following who will represent JGHS in the next round tennis match against George Watson’s College in the Scottish Cup on Tuesday 4th December in the afternoon.
a.       Robbie Galloway S5
b.       William Belkebir S5
c.       John Dabos-Doukas S5
d.       Sean Gallacher S3

11.   Best wishes to all (50 +) pupils who are participating in this evening’s City – Wide annual fanfare concert in Central Halls.
12.   There is a coursing event for Parents of pupils in S2, S4 and S5 on the evening of Tuesday 4 December.
13.   A group of S5/6 students will be attending a Psychology and Pseudoscience conference at the Assembly Rooms on Wednesday 5 December. In a varied programme, experts in Psychology will share research findings on areas including: the psychology of magic, sleep & dreams, and hypnosis.
14.   The online booking system is now open for the S3 Parents’ evening on 12 December.
15.   Our senior Drama production takes place on the evening of Friday 7 December in the Muriel Spark Theatre. Tickets are available from our music faculty or at the door.
16.   Our annual Christmas concert takes place on the evening of Tuesday 18 December. Tickets are available from the Usher Hall Box office. .
17.   We are currently asking for pupils, staff and parents to donate a selection box, children’s winter woollies or a small toy.   All items must be new. These items will then be given to Children 1st who will distribute them to children in Edinburgh and the Lothians. Pupils can hand in their donations to their key adult teacher, the office or to Mrs Fallon in SFL (B7, Bruntsfield House).
18.   Thanks to all who continue to support our fundraising efforts towards helping learners in our partner schools in South Africa.  The next related fund raising event will be  a Wine and Cheese tasting  at  Spoon café bistro 6A Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9DH on Sunday 9 of December from 6pm -  8pm. Tickets priced at £10pp. must be bought in advance from Mrs Sinclair (Bruntsfield House, JGHS) by either cash or cheque
19.   Thanks to all who have so generously supported fundraising towards eradicating homelessness in Scotland. The opportunity to contribute will remain open until 24 December. Thus far, following our ‘Sleepout’ on 16 November, we have raised a staggering £12,200+
20.   In addition to supporting ‘external charities our Parent Council also works hard to ensure that as wide and enriching experiences are open to all pupils at JGHS. Recent examples of projects supported by your donations to the Parent Council include: sports strips, extracurricular travel, the breakfast club, the nurture group, photography equipment and the school book club. Anyone wishing to donate to our Parent Council funds can do so by accessing the JGHS ‘ParentPay’ facility.
And finally, a very happy St Andrew’s day to all.

Donald j Macdonald