Harvest Time

 

Mrs Morgan

Mrs Morgan has been asked to take over the leadership of Prestonfield Primary School until January 2018. This short term secondment as acting Head Teacher is a fantastic opportunity for Mrs Morgan who successfully completed her Headship Qualification last session.

Mrs Morgan will attend Lagganlia with this year’s P7s.

Mr Urquhart will teach P7c on Mondays and have pastoral responsibility for P5-7.

House Elections

This year we tried something different with House Captain elections. All pupils from across the Primary 7-year group were asked to consider applying for the post of House Captain and to write a short application based on a set of questions. Those who wished to apply had to do  a short presentation to their P7 house peers.

Stage 2 was an election process where the top 2 two boys and girls from each house were voted on by the pupils from P3-7.

Within Curriculum for Excellence we are asked to support the development of skills for learning, life and work and those selected for the finals were interviewed by Daniel Johnson MSP, myself and last year’s winning house Captains.

Mr Johnson and I were very impressed by the confidence, preparedness and enthusiasm of each of the candidates.

House Captains will now have a leading role to play in the school and its development and we are lucky here at SMPS to have such a motivated and enthusiastic group of young people.  They will work hard to ensure that the voice of every pupils is heard throughout the school.

All P7s have an opportunity to develop their leadership skills through their prefecting roles and the range of pupils groups we run across the school year.

Winter Shoes, Boots and Coats

Almost all pupils are now wearing suitable black school shoes or black trainers: Thank you.  If you are taking the opportunity of the school term break to purchase a new pair of shoes or boots, please consider holding on to the old ones until we take part in the Walk in my Shoes collection in the new year.  The success of the collection at SMPS last year has encouraged Edinburgh Council to run this collection across all of its schools this time around!

With winter approaching some of you have asked about wearing boots to school. Of course, there will be times when children walking to school will require suitable winter wear. However, we also have to consider the classroom environment.  Children may be asked to change in to their gym shoes when it has been particularly wet or dirty under foot, or if a carpet activity is planned.

Soft boots such as ‘Uggs’ are not suitable for school wear in and around the school.

Please remember a coat each day as we will endeavour to get fresh air and a run-a-round whenever possible.

Stay and Play

Parents have been attending ‘stay and play’ session in the One-ery at Deanbank this week.

It was lovely to see so many parents being directed around the One-ery by the wee ones and the enjoyment they had in sharing their learning opportunities.

I hope that you had a chance to see the new outdoors zone created by parents and staff during the picnic event. A fantastic effort and the staff are overwhelmed by the support.

Parent/ Pupil/ Teacher consultations

Thank you to all of the parents and pupils who attended the consultations at Comiston Rd this week. Because of the recent introduction of the One-ery, staff at Deanbank have requested their meetings to be after the October break. Nursery meetings concluded last week.

Thank you for the positive feedback we have received about the level of information now being shared by staff. Staff very much value the support you provide and the opportunity to work in partnership between school and home. Pupils attending these meetings are very important and we were pleased to see that the majority of pupils accompanied their parents last night.

 If for any reason you were unable to attend your meeting, please contact the school office as soon as possible as shortly we will be re-arranging those appointments.

 

Reading Challenge

Last week at Assembly we introduced the First Minister’s Reading Challenge. For those of you that are new to SMPS this session, we were invited last year to the inauguration of the challenge with the First Minister at the Edinburgh International Book Fair.

We love to read at SMPS and take every opportunity to share our favourite books. Each Friday before the Assembly Comiston Rd site falls quiet as we bury our noses in a good read.

This year we hope to develop our Reading Passports at home and in school.

Book Fair

During parents Evening at Comiston Rd this week pupils and parents were able to purchase from a selection of books on offer. The school receives a credit amount from the sales of the books and it is always helpful for us to see the popularity of authors and styles of books so that we can make better informed choices when replacing our reading cupboards and library stock from fiction, historical, non-fiction and graphic novels.

Last year we purchased some new class novel sets and a selection of short reads and comprehension books to support our Literacy programme.

Parent Pay: expenses

We understand for many families the Christmas period can be an expensive time of year.  We have been working on our knowledge of ParentPay to support families with spreading the costs of the school year across a term or longer. As such, any school activity which is in excess of £10 will have a payment plan available where parents can choose to pay in instalments or in full. Parents have asked that a payment deadline date is also included to help with their financial planning.

Help with costs of the school year.

For parents on receipt of Free School Meal entitlement, the costs of school trips and expenses are automatically reduced. A number of families receive support from the school and the Parent Council towards some or all of the costs of a number of activities / clubs etc.

Your personal circumstances may have changed and if you require support please contact the school to see how you can apply for Free School Meals.

Did you know that the part of the schools funding is based on this. So, even if you do not wish to have the meal, not only will you receive a reduced cost for trips and activities, but every child in the school will benefit!

In-service Day closed 

The school will be closed for staff training on Monday 23rd October and will reopen for all pupils on Tuesday 24th.

Teaching staff will be developing our Numeracy and Mathematics programme and working with cluster colleagues designing Curriculum for Excellence benchmark assessments in Mathematics, Reading and Writing across the cluster schools to support transition arrangements in to Boroughmuir High school.

Pupil support assistants(PSAs) across the 3 cluster schools will be working on developing their positive behaviour management skills.

Assembly

Tomorrow is our end of term Assembly. In order to accommodate whole school assemblies, we need to make use of larger available spaces in the community. On Friday, the main school ( P3-7) will be departing for Greenbank Parish Church where the school will hold an assembly reflecting on Harvest Time and those less fortunate than ourselves. This is part of our shared common values and not a church service.  All pupils are expected to attend and parents can join us if they are able.

Pupils at Deanbank will also celebrate Harvest at Deanbank annex.

We will be collecting any dried and tinned goods for the Broomhouse Foodbank.

I look forward to seeing you there…….or at the school gates. We hope you have a restful holiday if you are managing to take some time off work; that the predicted weather stays warm and dry and you have some enjoyable family time together.

Michael Urquhart

Head Teacher.