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1 May 2016 – Focus on Secondary

Dear Parents/Carers

As we move towards the SQA exam diet, the secondary department has been working hard making last minute preparations.  Our S6 and leavers from S4 and S5 have also been saying goodbye.  During the week I met with the Head Boy/Girl Team and the S6 House Captains.  This year’s team have been outstanding and have been a real credit to our community.  I will be interviewing for the next year’s team over the coming weeks – they have a lot to live up to!

As promised, our S1-3 pupils had input from the police and our guidance team on safe internet use.  This was an opportunity to underline the importance of staying safe online and ensuring that online behaviour is always appropriate.  You can find out more about how parents can be more informed here.

Our first cohort of learners who have been supported by the school through the Duke of Edinburgh Award gave a presentation to the Senior Leadership Team on Thursday. Andrew, Niall, Harris and Sam (pictured) told us about their journey through Bronze, Silver and Gold and shared what they learned about themselves on the way.  The Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award is a significant achievement and we congratulate each of them on their determination.  We hope they will be the first of many for St John’s RC Academy.

On Monday we will have a special day for our leavers, beginning with the celebration of mass at 9am.

Also on Monday, pupils in S1 to S3 will take part in our first Health & Wellbeing Week. This is a regular feature in the primary and this year we have extended it to include the whole school.  Lessons will have a focus on all aspects of health and wellbeing and will culminate on Friday in a series of workshops and activities delivered by school staff and external partners. On Friday, pupils in the secondary are asked to wear something suitable for sporting activities which may be outside. During the week, there is a menu of lunchtime and after school opportunities which we hope will prove popular. You can find the full timetable of the week’s events .

On Wednesday, the SQA exams start. Following a year of hard work by pupils (and teachers!), the exams are upon us. We wish all of our learners good luck, and I am sure that they will do themselves, and the school, proud. Although we have mentioned it several times at various assemblies during the year, I would like to emphasise the need for pupils to ensure that they don’t take mobile phones/smart devices into the exam hall. Not only do they risk disrupting the exam for everyone else, but they also risk wasting a year of hard work. If an invigilator is aware that someone is breaking this rule, they will report this and the candidate will not receive an award for that subject. SQA also reserve the right to remove them from all exams.

Our new timetable starts on Monday 16 May, 2 weeks earlier than it has been in the past. Some other schools in Perth & Kinross have done this for the past couple of years and have found it to be a positive move. Timetables will be issued to the new S2, S3 and S4 pupils on the 16th during the first period. S5 and S6 pupils will receive their timetables when they return on Friday 3rd June (S5) or Monday 6th June (S6).

Please be aware that uniform requirements change for S4 pupils.  S4 pupils are entitled to wear the senior tie (which can be bought at the office) and all are expected to all have a blazer. If you have not done this yet, please contact the school office.  You can get more information on our uniform here.

Finally, many thanks to Mrs Black (Acting DHT in the secondary) who is leaving us.  I am grateful for her contribution to our community.  This week we welcome Dr Staines as the new DHT (School Improvement).

Many thanks for all your ongoing support.

With every good wish,

Seán P Hagney

Headteacher and Campus Leader