Parent Newsletter Archive
Start of term
The start of term was hectic with 210 first year pupils and a total school roll of 1175. First year pupils did not take long to settle into their new classes and quickly became able to find their way round. They should be happy here now, but if any parent has concerns, please see Anti-bullying Hotline details below.
Unfortunately I have to state that a very small number of pupils were involved in what can be described as inter towns rivalry against each other on the first day or two back after the summer break. The pupils involved were excluded on the highest level of exclusion available (Authority Exclusion) and referred to the Police. Please ensure that you discourage your child or children from becoming involved in any such nonsense, since it will lead them into serious trouble with the Police, Education Authority and the School. Any further incidents of this type will be dealt with in a similar fashion.
I am pleased to say that since the above pupils were excluded, things have been very much quieter, allowing well-behaved pupils, which the overwhelming majority of our pupils are, to get on with their school lives in a normal manner.
This year's Scottish Qualification Award certificates were issued to pupils on time on the 14th August. I am very pleased to say that there were very few problems this year, compared to last session's uniquely difficult situation nationally.
Results at both Standard Grade and Higher Grade were on a par with the best we have produced in the past, with the quality of the Higher Grades being particularly noticeable. There were many "A"s and "B"s in Higher, which is very pleasing and encouraging for future prospects of the pupils involved. All staff hope that the students who have now left us with many good grades continue to be successful in their Higher Education courses.
Appropriate school wear
When pupils returned after the summer break, it was very pleasing to see most pupils following the school dress code. The school certainly appreciates parental support on this issue. It was clear from the recent parental survey, which was issued to more than five hundred parents in May, that parents overwhelmingly support the school dress code and would like to see it extended. Most parents would like to see this code enforced more enthusiastically than at present.
Staff will be discussing school dress code issues with older pupils to see if acceptable alterations to the dress code can be found which would make it more attractive to seniors.
Picking up pupils at 3.35pm
The school buspark is very busy at the end of the school day. With over seven hundred pupils anxious to get on the correct bus home, and twelve buses waiting in the buspark, supervising staff have to be very alert to safeguard the welfare and safety of pupils. This task is not helped by parents picking up pupils in the buspark and trying to weave their way through pupils to get out before the buses: this practice is positively dangerous. It would also be impossible if every parent decided to do this. For the safety of all pupils and staff, I strongly request that parents do not pick pupils up in the school grounds between 3.30pm and 3.50pm. If it is necessary to pick up pupils at this time, please make arrangements to do so outside the school grounds.
New Dining hall layout
The layout of the dining halls was altered over the summer to allow quicker serving times and to serve more pupils at lunchtimes. A system which has six cafeteria serving points has been set up in dining rooms D2 and D3. All pupils are served in these two areas, although pupils still use D1 and D4 to eat in, as well as in D2 and D3. Dining Area D4 is particularly for pupils with packed lunches, and can seat over 175 pupils at tables.
The system seems to be working well, and seems to be preferred by pupils.
As in previous sessions, an anti-bullying hotline will operate for three weeks from Monday 24th September. A separate letter describing this facility should accompany this newsletter.
Calendar of Important Dates
The dates shown were included in the June newsletter, but some parents have requested that they should be included again in this issue. They are repeated here:
School Board Elections
You should have already received a letter indicating that there are three parent vacancies to be filled in the current round of school board elections. If you would like to join the school board, nomination papers can be obtained from the school office any time the school is open. Please note however that all completed nomination forms must be returned to the school office by 3.00pm on Thursday 27th September. If there are more than three parent nominations, an election will be held as required. All parents will be entitled to vote in this. Information we hold with regard to parents was issued two weeks ago via pupils, to all parents, for checking. If there are any changes to the information provided, please ensure that this is returned to the school office so that our records can be updated.
Sex Education Guidelines
In keeping with a directive from the Scottish Executive, every school pupil will soon be issued with a copy of a booklet called "Sex Education in Scottish Schools - A Guide for Parents and Carers." Please bear in mind that if you have any concerns about this or any other matter concerning your child and the school, please feel free to contact your child's Guidance teacher in the first instance.
Calendar for Session 01/02
20 August, 2001 Monday New
term begins for pupils, 9.00
24 September Monday In-service day for staff - Pupils off
15...19 October October Break
15 November Thursday In-service day for staff - Pupils off
16 November Friday Holiday
19 November Monday Holiday
21 December Friday Term ends, 2.30
24 Dec...4 Jan, 2002 Christmas Break
7 January Monday Term begins, 9.00
18 February Monday Holiday
19 February Tuesday In-service day for staff - Pupils off
22 March Friday Term ends, 3.35
25 Mar...5 Apr Easter Break
8 April Monday In-service day for staff - Pupils off
9 April Tuesday New term begins for pupils, 9.00
6 May Monday Holiday
24 May Friday Holiday
27 May Monday Holiday
3 June Monday Holiday (Queen's Golden Jubilee)
28 June Friday Term ends, 1.00
Brian McNaught Rector 18th