Off to a flying start


Dear Parent / Carer,  this is my first blog of the new year as we pass the  halfway point of the session.  Many of the changes to our Reporting and Profiling on progress and achievement are already showing positive signs for engagement in learning with both the parents and the learners themselves.

Today at Assembly Primary 7C introduced to their parents and the boys and girls at Comiston Rd to the 1 in 5 project.  As I have highlighted at Parent Council recently 20% of children in Edinburgh  are classified as living in poverty.  Within our own South Morningside community we are aware of a number of families who require support in different  ways and we are looking at how we can ensure that access to the rich educational experience  available here is  achievable for all.

Pupils have identified a number of ways to help equality and equity across the school such as a shared stationery box and the recycling of nearly new school uniforms and as a school looking at the costs involved over any academic session.  We wish to maintain our Gold Standard experience but be mindful of those less fortunate and those who might need a helping hand.

Please remember that by wearing school uniform including black shoes takes the pressure off many parents for keeping up with the latest fashion trends.

Charity Shoe Collection :   The Pupil Council have written a Parent Mail to be distributed shortly and  this will be launched  at Assembly in time for the February break.

A Story at Bedtime : We are continuing our reading for enjoyment focus across the school. Children have been engaging in Scots Poetry as well as sharing their favourite books, writing reviews and talking about the importance of reading for enjoyment as a marker for future success.

Our Educational Psychologist was reminding us of the importance of a bedtime story and the importance of a shared story at the end of the school day.  As at home a good bedtime routine supported by a story makes for a good nights sleep. In school, studies have demonstrated that children who may be anxious about coming in to school, which can be a cause of attendance / lateness problems can be improved  often by children looking forward to hearing the next instalment of the class novel.

At home, as we recover from the busy holiday schedule, I have been reminded of this and try as best I can to end the day with a story. After quite a ‘challenging’ evening with my 12 year old S1 pupil, it was amazing how choosing a new book together and by my reading only a few pages ended the day on a positive

Dental Checks: Both P1 and P7 annual dental checks have now been completed. Interestingly over 20% of P7 pupils showed signs of current, past or potential dental disease. However this was only prevalent in less than 10% of pupils in P1.

Science:  Primary 5 had a visit from the Royal Observatory this week. They got off to a flying start by making space rockets and launching them in the playground with cheers of great excitement  and the bemusement of  neighbours, as part of their scientific studies. They also learned of Tim Peake’s adventures in  Outer Space.

Basketball: A selection of pupils from P6 and P7 took part in the Edinburgh Schools Sports Association competition. Although we missed being put through to the finals by one point, yet again we were commended on our sporting participation. Well done all.

Lateness:  I have continued to monitor lateness this week and I am pleased to report that there has been a marked improvement across the school. As we roll-out further the visual timetables and sharing of learning each morning, it is more important than ever that every pupil is in line by the bell.  A big thank you for all of those who have made an extra effort to support your child and the school with this.

Parking and travel to school:  Unfortunately concerns remain at both our Deanbank and Comiston Road sites. A minority of parents continue to put the safety of others at risk by double parking, parking across the cycle lane or yellow zig-zag lines.

Parents are reminded that parking is available a short walking distance from both school sites if a timely journey is made. While we seek the support of parking attendants and Police Scotland we ask that parents respect and support each other in keeping  our children safe.

M. Urquhart Head Teacher.