2 October 2019 – All Through
The end of the first term is nearly here – already!
It has been great to see so many of our families in the school at various events over the course of the term. Many of you have taken the opportunity to come along to our drop-ins, soft starts and stay-and-plays to get to know us, and for us to get to know you too. It was wonderful to see so many of you come along to our family mass, led by Bishop Stephen. The theme this year was ‘Welcoming’, and this is what we want to be as a community.
At the mass, I also took the opportunity to invite you, as parents and carers, to become more actively engaged in the life of the school. This can be in different ways, from supporting our homework, relationships and uniform policies, coming along to parents’ evenings or the Parent Council, volunteering to join school trips when opportunities arise, completing our surveys, supporting whole school events, etc. Your participation and engagement are always appreciated.
The children and young people have already been taking part in opportunities outside of school, including the S1 induction trip to Lendrick Muir and the P7 transition week there too. P6 pupils visited Gleneagles during the Solheim Cup week, and our senior pupils who are volunteering in the Recuperare Clinic in Bucharest during the October break took on challenges to raise funds, including getting to the top of Ben Nevis. Some of our pupils were learning about traditional craft skills at an event in Perth, while our S6 spent a day of reflection at St John’s High School, Dundee, with fellow S6 pupils from across Dunkeld Diocese. Our eco-groups have also been busy, with a community litter pick which recently featured in local newspapers. Representatives from the school also attended the annual Dunkeld Vocations Mass (pictured).
As I said in my previous blog, we have seen some really excellent results for our senior pupils in the exams. It is clear to us that there is a direct link between study support and good results, so please encourage your child to attend. The programme is available on the website.
In partnership with Stagecoach, we are using some of our Pupil Equity Funding to provide free access to buses for those attending after-school study clubs, so we hope this will encourage everyone to participate.
We were honoured recently to be nominated for the inaugural Scots Schuil o the Year Award, a nomination which recognises the work we do to promote and nurture the first language of so many of our young people, through stories, songs, events and sheer enthusiasm! Mrs Bremner, PT of English and Literacy, and I represented the school at the award ceremony in Glasgow which was a wonderful celebration of the Scots Language. We look forward to continuing our work in Scots into the future. We also promote language learning throughout St John’s Academy, including Makaton in our nursery, and recently celebrating the European Day of Languages.
I have just published our Standards and Quality Report 2018-19. This looks back at our achievements over the last year and looks forward to what we need to do next. Please take the time to have a look at the progress we’ve made.
Parents and carers often ask us about how we communicate with you. We do this in a variety of ways, including via this blog. We regularly contact parents/carers via text or email. We have launched the Xpressions app, which helps us contact you directly with emails and updates. Please sign up for this (it will work if your email address is registered with us). I also send out a summary version of our secondary pupil bulletin to parents on a weekly basis so that you can know what’s going on in the school. We update our Twitter feeds: @st_johnsacademy and @stjohnsnursery_ We have a communications page on the website so you can check the letters sent out which you may have missed. We also produce an excellent newsletter at the end of each term which celebrates many of our activities, and our brochure gives a great overview of our all-through school, available in English and Polish. I hope you find these useful.
We are always looking for ways to keep our parents engaged and involved, so let us know if you have any suggestions about what you like and what we can do better. You can email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
With every good wish for a relaxing October break,
Seán P Hagney
Headteacher and Campus Leader