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29 September 2017 – Nursery and Primary

Dear Parents and Carers

As we approach the end of the first term of the year, I am writing to you to thank you once again for all the support you give to us through your children.

Things in the nursery and primary departments have got off to a flying start this year!  Pupils have been involved in a whole host of different learning activities.  Our nursery children have been learning about the seasons and have been harvesting their vegetables in the community garden and the apples and pears in our own orchard.  Thanks to all our parents who have joined us for nursery ‘stay and play’ and the primary ‘soft starts’. Children have been involved in outdoor education sessions – and we hope to be bringing more outdoor learning experiences across the primary school this year.  There has been some more playground improvements with new numeracy markings – and teachers have been using these effectively to teach number bonds.  P6 began their John Muir Award at Quarrymill which was very successful – and  a member of the public even contacted me simply to compliment our pupils and their positive behaviour.

P1 and P7 came together to celebrate a special mass in St John’s RC Church last week.  The children were wonderful ambassadors and parishioners commented on how nice it was for them to welcome so many students to mass.

P7 had a brilliant experience in Lendrick Muir and have returned to school enthused (and tired!)  The teachers from across our cluster were delighted by how all the P7 children got along, supporting and encouraging each other through a wide array of tasks and challenges.  Very well done to all.

There’s been a number of staff changes which we have already communicated to you.  I can now add that Mr Bald will be returning from his secondment on Monday, 2 October 2017, and we very much welcome him back.  Mrs Jack will also be continuing in her acting DHT role.

We recently hosted Balfour Beattie for three days as they encouraged groups of our students to consider engineering as a career and gave them hands-on experience in bridge building.  Bridge building was also a theme of our Peace One Day programme when we considered the importance of peace and the rights we need to protect to ensure peace is a reality for all peoples in our world.

As a result of her youngest child leaving school, our outgoing chair Mrs Julie Flynn will be stepping down from her role as Chair of the Parent Council.  The AGM for this year has been rescheduled for Monday, 6 November at 7pm.  Please come along if you can – every school needs a Parent Council and we really appreciate your support.

Our first ‘Families Connect’ programme began last week.  This is intended to support home-school links and runs for a block.  There will be additional opportunities to take part later in the year, so please register your interest with Miss Ronald or Mrs Golden.

In my last blog I mentioned uniform.  The uniform across the primary is great – thank you for your terrific support in this!  Our uniform policy can only be effective if every parent and every child actively chooses to support it.  I see that you recognise how important uniform is to the sense of community we have here at St John’s RC Academy, and how effective it has been in raising our profile and our reputation within our wider community.  Please continue to support us in this.

Once again I ask that children are dropped off in the turning circle.  Please drop your child off well away from the school and allow them to walk the rest of the way in the interests of every child’s safety.

I have recently published our Standards and Quality Report 2016-17 which gives an overview of our successes and our areas for development over the coming sessions.  I would encourage every parent and carer to have a look.

Next week we will publish our Term 1 newsletter, so please look out for this.  You can browse previous newsletters here.

I hope you’ll have a great family October break when it comes.

With every good wish,

Seán P Hagney

Headteacher and Campus Leader