First time blogger !

This is the first time in my teaching career that I have posted a blog. Even though I can post on Facebook quite easily and tweet away quite happily. I can even access Instagram via a smart phone ( as long as my oldest doesn’t catch on ) however,  I have never blogged.

Who knows but with a bit of hard work and with my  Growth Mind-Set  by this time next year I might even Vlog !

Apologies for any spelling errors identified in my Parent Mail earlier today but then I haven’t quite got the hang of that tiny text box yet……..well that, or I need new glasses!

Developing a whole school community:

Thank you for all the donations received in aid of the Broomhouse Food Bank. It is always such a pleasure to see the whole school come together. With nearly 650 children this is a challenging task  but we feel that it is an important strength of South Morningside within our  caring, community ethos. As in a school based assembly it was nice to see ALL the children participating and enjoying together and a great opportunity for developing buddies across the school sites.

In order to hold whole school assemblies we are grateful for the use of Morningside Parish Church as our enlarged assembly hall.  At the main school we hope to invite  parents of the children performing at an assembly to share in the learning but we are very limited by space. Of course you are very welcome to join us at any event we hold at Morningside Parish and in  our church based  reflection assemblies.

National Poetry Day:

During our Bingo Ball  monitoring last week many of the classes had used National Poetry Day for their focus for  writing. Mrs Morgan and myself sampled a wide range of pupil’s work ranging from poems about the Rainforest to the struggles of the Suffragette movement. It is such a pleasure to spend a few minutes in  the busy week sharing in  the learning and to hear just what the pupils are proud of in their work.  A display can be seen outside the Staffroom celebrating their successes.

Modern Languages Day :

P7a led an assembly on european modern languages.  We have 44 languages spoken in South Morningside and you can often hear French, German ( our 1+2 languages) and sometimes Spanish being practiced in class and at one of our after school clubs.

Parent Consultations:

It was nice to see the pupils engaging in a partnership about  learning in the upper school hall this week. The feedback from Nursery, Infant and main school parents evenings has been extremely positive. Many of you have remarked on how useful and informative you have found our new approaches to Reporting on Progress. Some of our other ideas can be found on display in the main school stairwell area. We welcome your feedback and would be grateful to hear of any suggestions.

Raising Attainment and Achievement for All:

At Parent Council this week I shared our attainment for session 2015-16. Once again South Morningside performed above the city average in all areas. Further details will be posted following the staff development work planned  on tracking attainment and meeting pupils needs on Inset Day 3.  In addition to the attainment figures you will be able to view our 5 year improvement plan and the priorities for this session and beyond.

Wider Achievement:

Chess Club News
Huge congratulations to Jamie who took part in Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge Northern Gigafinal in Manchester in July, came up tied 6th in the Under 9 Boys category and qualified for the Northern Silver Plate event which took place on 24th September where he finished in the top 10 in the Under 10 competition.

Communication :

In consultation with the Parent Council a joint community Facebook page will be launched shortly. We hope to bring you insights in to the daily life of the school and to share with you some of the many experiences the boys and girls have here at school. In addition some classes as part of our reporting developments will begin trialling  different forms of communication using  e-journals, 365 blogs and twitter accounts.

Security :

From next term all staff will access the school by using an electronic staff pass.  Parents will be required to use the buzzer as before and if entering the school wear a visitors pass at all times. With our extensive activities programme there are a large number of adults who are moving around the school at any one time. It is esseential that they are clearly identifiable as authorised users. Anyone without a pass will be challenged by a member of staff and escorted back to the main office. Thank you for your support and co-operation with this.

Parking :

Parents are reminded that the yellow lines and zig-zag marking are to keep all children coming to and from school safe. You are jeopardising the safety of our children and of your own  if you chose to stop there for ANY length of time. Please leave home early enough to arrive at school in plenty of time and take that extra 1 or 2 minutes to find a suitable drop off area away from these clearly marked access points.

Holidays:

Finally, for me it has  been a very rewarding first term. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many of you in the playground, on the street, at events in and around the school and of course getting to know the wonderful boys and girls. I hope they  enjoy a well deserved break and some family time.  Stay safe and well and I look forward to seeing you all next term.

Michael Urquhart, Head Teacher.