Head Teacher Blog 15th September

Parent Council AGM:

This week at Comiston rd the Parent Council held their annual AGM.  Thank you so much for those who attended and particularly those who have offered to help by attending meetings or joining one of the clubs or fundraising events.  The work the Parent Council do within the school benefits everyone from pupils, teachers and parents to the wider community.  So many of the experiences your child benefits from could not go ahead without their on- going support so please assist in any way you can. We are currently looking for a number of new members and remember ‘every little counts’!

The Parent Council last year supported Generation Science. Food and Technology, new computer tablets, new crockery for the dining room, assisted pupils attend residential and sporting events, art and craft supplies for each classroom, playground and gardening improvements, initiatives to support inclusion and attendance to name just a few.

The meetings are very interesting discussing a wide  range of isues from school parking, Health and Safety, early planning for the new school, community issues and of course our school improvement planning.

500 children benefited from the unparalleled clubs on offer. A remarkable achievement which we want to grow even further.

I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.

Shared Classroom Experience:

Last week and during the remainder of this 1/2 term I have( or will be)  been visiting all classes monitoring the learners experiences and identifying key next steps in our school improvement. I spent time joining in with lessons and talking with many of the pupils in Numeracy, literacy, Drama, Physical Education and Science.  I was very pleased with the way pupils showed great resect for one another and the relationships which creates  such a positive learning environment.

A number of school initiatives are underway to further improve our academic attainment, including an increase in our focused writing time, a new Mathematics progression is in place and  homework to support independent learning will  follow shortly, whole school reading time developing on First Minister’s Reading Challenge from last session and an evaluation project of Run a Mile which has in other studies been shown to be highly effective in increasing pupils readiness to learn.

Digital literacy:

Earlier this week  the Business Manager and I visited an exhibition at Euro Central showcasing the next generation of interactive technologies.  The City of Edinburgh will begin a ‘refresh’ of its computer hardware in October this year and SMPS hope to be included in the early adopters programme. However a number of our current interactive whiteboards are coming to the end of their life-span and we are keen to see which technologies will best support engaging, high quality Learning and Teaching.  A trial of hand-held tablets is being carried out (supported by Parent Council funding) and all pupils in 2nd Level are being given access to personal Onenote profiles in Edinburgh Council’s secure 365 site.

 

Curriculum Evenings  at Comiston Rd, Deanbank and the Nursery are underway and even though the weather did its best to disrupt the evening we were pleased with the turnout from Parents at the main school on Wednesday. This is year 2 of our 3 year project to review and improve our engagement and reporting. Class teachers gave an overview of the exciting and challenging learning planned for the year ahead. We are currently reviewing the feedback from the ‘Engage’ events last May about sharing learning across a Level and once finalised we will post this on the web-site. This is because you said that it would be helpful to have as much notice as possible of classroom sharing events.

This week  school events and Assemblies calendars will be available on the website giving parents as much notice as possible for class sharing assemblies and whole school assemblies held at Greenbank or Morningside Parish Churches.

Wider Achievement:

This week some of our P5s were out at the Touch Rugby Festival at Murrayfield where they won the Plate and had a wonderful tour of the stadium and the pitch.  They particularly enjoyed seeing the ice-bath and changing rooms. thank you so much for all the parents who turned out to support their  fantastic effort in coming 5th overall.  Well done.

Some P7 pupils represented the school at Edinburgh’s Maths Week event at Herriot Watt University and thoroughtly enjoyed challenging their mathematical skills.

 

The September weekend is upon us already. An action packed first 1/2 term.

 

Michael Urquhart Head Teacher.