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8 June 2018 – All through

As I write, we are busy ensuring that all the various transitions within St John’s RC Academy are underway and helping all the children and young people get to know what’s in store from them next session.  For nursery children, we have various occasions for parents/carers and the children to visit and meet the class teachers.  Today we have ‘bumpy-up’ day in the primary, and the children from P1-6 are spending time with the teacher they will have next session.  Our P7s are currently on their 2 day induction in the secondary, where we are welcoming children from our cluster primaries and 12 other primaries from across Perth and Kinross.  Our S1-3 have already moved into S2-4, and we welcomed back our new S5 and S6 at the beginning of this week.  We’re still working with a number of our school leavers, including our outgoing S6, until the end of term to make sure they have sound plans for their future.

Last week, we had a highlight of the school year with our First Holy Communicants taking centre stage in a beautiful service at St John’s Church.  Congratulations to each one of them.  Some of our S5 pupils are returning from Belgium and France this week after spending time learning about the Battlefields of World War 1 (see picture).  This can be a life-changing experience for our young people.  Others will be going on a pilgrimage to Iona this weekend.  Yesterday, some of our outgoing S6 received their Caritas Awards at a ceremony in the Hydro in Glasgow.  This celebrates their contribution to their faith community.  Last night, primary and secondary pupils and staff celebrated with the whole of Dunkeld Diocese the centenary of the 1918 Education (Scotland) Act which brought Catholic schools into the state system in Scotland.  St Andrew’s Cathedral was packed and Bishop Stephen spoke of the important role Catholic schools have in Scotland.  Since my last blog, we’ve also had various excursions, Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions, mock interviews led by the Rotary Club, sports days and participated in the Perth Festival of Music.  Thanks to all the staff who make these things possible, to parent helpers, and to the children and young people themselves for making these events a success.

As is often the case, staff changes are most frequent at this time of year.  There are a number of staff retiring and moving onto new roles.  Of particular note, I am delighted to let you know that Mr Hugh McAninch, our Depute Headteacher (Support) in the secondary, has been appointed Headteacher of Baldragon Academy, Dundee.  Our loss is very much Baldragon Academy’s gain.  His leaving date is still to be determined but I am hoping to advertise nationally as soon as possible to fill his post.  Mr McAninch has contributed enormously to the school over the last 8 years as a Depute Headteacher, and before that as a Principal Teacher.  I wish him every success in his new role.

I have written to parents of P1-6 to inform you about class teachers for next session (subject to RC approval).  The summary is reproduced below.  Please remember, however, that this is subject to changes which are beyond our control:

Current Class New Class Teacher
Nursery Mrs Blain
P1G Miss Graham
P1C Mrs Crines
P1G P2HT Mrs Houston-Gibb/Mrs Telfer
P1L P2D Miss Duthie
P2C P3F Miss Fraser
P2W P3M Miss McIlroy
P3M P4C Mr Chamberlain
P3J P4B Miss Begley
P4L P5L Mrs MacLagan
P4C P5E Miss McEachen
P5B P6M Mr McCluskey
P5R P6G Mrs Gordon
P6C P7R Mrs Rees
P6M P7M Miss Monaghan

Please remember that for children and young people who are transitioning to St John’s RC Academy, we have produced a new School Brochure alongside our online School Handbook.  Our brochure captures our school community in an engaging and easily accessible format.  You can see the online version of the brochure here.  Please let us know what you think.

As the end of the school year approaches, I recognise that parents are reluctant to replace items of uniform which they will be replacing over the summer.  Nevertheless, I ask you to support us in every reasonable way you can and send your child to school in full uniform.  I would also like to see every S4-6 pupils (not just our prefects) in blazers.  Our uniform is really smart and our young people are proud to wear it.  Sometimes, though, they also need the encouragement and support of their parents to do this.  Details of our uniform are available here.  And don’t forget to write their name on everything!

On 15 June 2018 we will be holding the P7 leavers’ disco and the senior prom.  On Saturday, 16 June 2018 we will have our Summer Fayre.  Please do come along and join the fun.  If you are able to help out the night before or on the day, please contact Donna Ploetner (Parent Council Chair) or the school office.  Children from our primary school will be singing and there will be lots of stalls and other activities too. This event raises funds for the parent council to spend across the whole school, so it would be great to have a large contingent of secondary pupils/parents coming along too. It will be a great day.

With every good wish,

Seán P Hagney

Headteacher and Campus Leader