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13 May 2016 – Focus on Secondary

Dear Parents/Carers

Over the past fortnight, a great deal has happened in St John’s RC Academy!

Firstly, Dr Robert Staines (pictured) arrived as our new Depute Headteacher (School Improvement).  Dr Staines has three years acting DHT experience, as well as over 20 years experience as a teacher and principal teacher.  He is our Year Head for S3-5 and has been busy getting to know lots of our young people.  I am sure you’ll join me in welcoming him to our community.

Our SQA exams are now well underway, with English and Maths (our two largest) now complete.  I know our learners have been working hard to reach their potential and do everything they can to get the best possible grade.  For those on study leave, we ask you to continue to support them in making full use of their time to study.  Advice for parents on supporting your child is available here.   In general, things have been going smoothly, but we have had a small number of candidates who have arrived late. Can I ask that you encourage your children to arrive in plenty of time, please?  Where they are unavoidably delayed and will arrive late, it is important that you call the school office (01738 454300) in advance to let us know. That way, we can be prepared for their arrival and prevent any further delays and disruption for the other candidates.

We held our first Health and Wellbeing Week for our secondary, led by Mr David Taylor (Principal Teacher of PE and HWB).  The young people took part in a range of learning activities provided by our own staff and by outside partners. I am grateful to them all for making the week such a success.

Also last week, a number of S4 pupils undertook their work placements.  As our learners move through the school, it is of course essential that they are prepared for what lies beyond school, and again I’m grateful to all the employers for supporting our young people in this way.

This week, some of our S4 pupils took part in a personal development day led by members of the Army.  Pupils worked in teams and individually on challenges (including a mobile climbing wall), developing important skills for learning, life and work.

This morning I welcomed P7 pupils from Our Lady’s, St Stephen’s, St Dominic’s and a whole range of other schools from across Perth and Kinross for their first full transition day.  The day was filled with workshops and activities by staff from across the curriculum – and even included an inspired performance of dance by our secondary pupils.

Next week, we begin our 2016-17 timetable.  Our pupils step up to the next yeargroup on Monday when they commence their new timetable. Timetables will be issued first thing on Monday morning.

Please remember that all pupils should use their lockers for outdoor clothing/footwear and have full uniform during the school day within the building.  They should also ensure that any valuables are put in their lockers during the day (including mobile phones).  Please remember that if valuables are lost or stolen, we cannot replace these.  If you have any concerns, please contact your child’s Guidance Teacher.

We continue to ask parents and carers to drive and park responsibly around the campus.  Please do not drop off and/or collect your child within the turning circle. We also ask for your support around litter which remains a significant issue.  Many pupils (particularly from S1-4) are not playing their part in keeping our environment clean and tidy for everyone to enjoy.  Please encourage your child to be responsible in this.

Finally, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to read this and other articles on our website. Mr Corrado Mella, a parent who kindly helps us with this site, has given us a usage report from last July.  Since then, we had had over 1,500,000 page requests, with peaks of 30,000 page requests a day when we publish our newsletters.  There is a great deal of work that has gone into making this website useful for parents and pupils, and I am delighted that so many people are engaging with us.  If you have any comments to make about our website or this blog, please email us and mark the subject ‘Website’ or ‘HT Blog’.

Many thanks for all your ongoing support.

With every good wish,

Seán P Hagney

Headteacher and Campus Leader