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Newsletter – 30.10.06
Dates for your
Staff Changes – I am sure word will have filtered out by now to most of you as I spoke to the pupils on Friday afternoon to let them know that I will be leaving for a short while. I have been asked to cover the Head Teacher post in Miller Academy Thurso until an appointment is made and I have agreed to do this on the understanding that should an appointment still not be made by Easter I will return at this time anyway. I am confident that the school will run efficiently and effectively in my absence as Mrs Budge will be Acting Head Teacher and Mrs Harper Acting Depute. I am further confident that they will have your support during these few months and, while I am looking forward to this new venture, I am also looking forward to returning in the spring time. I will, of course, be popping in and out so that I do not lose touch with what is going on and I am expecting a VIP invitation to the School Concert. This will involve a few changes to the teaching of P1, P5 and P6 and I will inform those concerned once everything is settled. I will be starting on Mon 6 Nov but will still be around to see most of you on Parents’ Evenings this week.
Class Newsletters – These have been issued along with this Newsletter to all classes except P6 as the teachers are in the process of revised planning due to the above changes and this will be forwarded as soon as possible.
Parents’ Evenings – If you have returned the booking slip, you will have been issued with an appointment time which has been written on this slip and returned along with this Newsletter. If you do not get a slip you do not have an appointment, but should you still wish one, please telephone the school as soon as possible. We are still awaiting delivery of the book club, but hopefully this will arrive in time and will be available for viewing on the stage as will uniform.
Parental Contact with School – If parents experience any problems either with bullying of their children or questions about homework, etc, staff are quite willing to meet with parents to discuss these issues. However, this can only be done by making an appointment through the school office as sometimes issues are better dealt with directly by me. I must insist that parents do not just come into the building at 3.10 and go directly to teachers’ classes without prior arrangement as this has happened on occasions and teachers should really not be put in this position when this time is for their class assessment and preparation.
Halloween – P1-3 fancy dress parade will be done first thing in the morning and children who wish to enter this should come dressed appropriately at 9.10. Their party games will be held during the first half of the afternoon and they may remain dressed up for this or change if this would be easier. P4-7 will have their fancy dress parade (for those who wish to get dressed up) first thing in the afternoon and then will have their party during the second. My thanks to the parents who turned up yesterday to decorate the hall. I will leave the decorations up until Fri so that you can see them when you are here on Parents’ Evenings. Thanks also, in anticipation, of the parents who will turn up this afternoon (Mon) to help prepare the food.
Curricular Update – As I indicated last term
I intend to update you on the progress of each of the school’s
development priorities on a termly basis.
Development Project 2 – Raising Standards of Attainment in Reading – The management team have already spent some time with the Development Officer for the Highland Literacy Project and we have secured an extra £2000 of matched funding for literacy resources. Class teachers have kept you informed of the changes in the ways in which we are teaching core reading and a Parents’ Night to pass on information, especially to P4-7 will be held later in the year but I would like to wait until after the November In-Service days when teachers will have 2 days intensive training on this project so that we pass on the most up-to-date information. Children are certainly enthusiastic about the new resources and the libraries for P4/5 and P6/7 are up and ready for business. This was held up as I decided to get the new resource rooms painted during the October break but I am glad that I have done so as the P4/5 room especially is a very welcoming place and I am confident the P6/7 one will follow suit when time is available to get this work completed.
Development Project 3 – Improving Attainment of the Lowest 20% of Pupils – Work to review the paperwork on the new staged approach to intervention has not gone as quickly as I would have liked but this is in hand and by the end of this term should be back on target. Rest assured the actual work with the children is not being neglected, only the paperwork. To ensure praise is used to its best effect the PSA very kindly have donated over £500 to providing incentive stickers for teachers to use for encouragement. Infant and Senior Together Times on Fri afternoons now have a section devoted entirely to praising good work and awarding certificates. This is accompanied by House Points for the seniors and children of all abilities are delighted if they are selected for a certificate and a special mention.
Development Project 4 – To Improve Attainment and Lifelong Learning Skills through Focused Use of Homework – This is currently being audited as was the plan and changes will not begin until next term when this work is completed and reviewed.
Development Project 5 – Establishing a Programme for enterprise Education – Further staff have now been trained in enterprise work and there will be a School Fair later in the term where all children will have the opportunity to develop these skills.
Development Project 6 – This is specifically for nursery and Mrs Budge will keep nursery parents informed of all of these developments.