Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Exam results and new building


You may be aware that the Scottish Government published exam results last Friday (27 March) for all Scottish schools.  These results are now in the public domain and will likely be used by the media to ‘comment’ on Schools’ performances in the coming weeks.

The information can be accessed at  They are not in the form of a league table but it is, nevertheless, possible to compare results.  Each school is measured against the results expected from a “virtual school” composed of pupils from comparable socio-economic catchment areas (created by the use of postcodes) across a number of criteria.  Gillespie's does particularly well across a range of measures.  

You simply enter the name of the school in the box at the top of the page, select it from the list which then appears (although, of course, there is only one James Gillespie’s HS!) and then go to the “View Current Data” section. You can then see how the school performs against its virtual comparator in the form of bar charts.  You can carry out the exercise for every local authority school in Scotland.  The private schools are not included.  In the categories I have looked at, JGHS consistently outperforms or matches its comparator except in Numeracy, which is being worked on across the school as it is now the responsibility of all.

I am especially pleased to see that, compared with our virtual comparator, our less affluent children do particularly well. This area of our school was identified as a concern when HMIe visited in 2010 but I'm pleased to see that sustained efforts across the entire school have borne fruit. Enormous credit is due to all staff, parents and pupils as they have worked hard at ensuring that we meet all learners' needs at Gillespie's. The James Gillespie’s Trust has also helped us in meeting the needs of our less affluent pupils.

After Easter we move into a wonderful new teaching block.  I have no doubt that our school will continue to go from strength to strength as we take advantage of the enhanced opportunities that this new world class building will offer. By keeping to our School values, viz.

  • 1.      High Expectations
  • 2.      Respect
  • 3.      Equality
  • 4.      Honesty and
  • 5.      Inclusion

 and valuing the diversity that exists with our entire School Community we will continue to ensure that all of our students aspire to be the best that they can be. Remember, we are all dream makers.

Have a wonderful Easter break.

Donald j Macdonald (Headteacher)
James Gillespie’s High School

( Phone:  0131 447 1900

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