Skip to content

19 November 2018 – All Through

Dear Parents/Carers

As usual, we’ve been busy in St John’s RC Academy! There’s been lots going on, and I hope that you are keeping up to date with just some of the things that happen through our very active Twitter accounts (@st_johnsacademy and @stjohnsnursery_).  You can also access these through our website (

As we approach the half-way point of our academic year we are very much focused on our learning across the whole school. Our senior pupils are working hard on their coursework and preparing for examinations.  Of course, exam success doesn’t just happen in the senior phase.  All our learning leads to this, from nursery to the end of S3, so our efforts and hard work, developing our knowledge and skills, are crucial to success later in life.  Scottish Book Week, which we are celebrating this week, is a welcome reminder of the importance that reading for pleasure has in building our understanding of the world, as well as improving our literacy skills.  Next week, the secondary will be celebrating Scotland Week and in particular celebrating our Scots language.  Absolutely stoatin!

November has particular significance as a special month when we remember those who have died. This November is especially significant because we celebrate the centenary of the end of the Great War.  A commemorative display is currently at the front of the school, with each cross representing a soldier from Perth who was killed during the First World War.  Every child from P7-S6 wrote a name on a cross.  This gives us some idea of the huge loss which was suffered just from our local community.  Members of our secondary department also participated in the special civic service at St John’s Kirk in Perth on 11 November at the invitation of Rev John Murdoch.  The pupils represented us very well at this poignant service.  While the First World War has been a particular focus, P7 are also studying the Home Front during World War II, and once again the Anderson Shelters are of an excellent standard.  Well done to everyone who helped with these.

On staffing, I am delighted to let you know that Mrs Lora Burgess (pictured), who was Acting Depute Headteacher in the secondary, has been appointed to the permanent DHT post. Mrs Burgess is year head for S1, S2 and S6.  I am sure you will join me in congratulating her on this appointment.  I thank our Parent Council and pupil representatives for being part of the interviewing process and for their valuable contributions.  I also thank representatives from the local authority, the council administration and the Diocese of Dunkeld.

Last week, we celebrated the first confirmations for a few years as this has been moved to P7.  In all 47 young people were confirmed by Bishop Stephen Robson in St John’s Church.  Congratulations to each one of them.  Thanks to Bishop Stephen,  Canon Steven, Fr Bogdan, Miss Cassidy and Mrs Jarvie, our P7 teachers (Mrs Rees and Miss Monaghan) and all those who helped prepare our young people for this special rite.

Perth and Kinross Council are currently in the process of bidding for funds to support cycle routes and safe transport areas. We would appreciate improvements to our car park and an extension to the walking/cycling route in the North Inch to come right into the secondary playground.  Together with a bridge from Quarrymill into the North Inch, we believe that these measures could significantly improve the congestion around the school.  You can add your voice at

The Parent Council will be meeting again on 26 November 2018 at 6pm in the school. You are all very welcome.  The chair of our Council is Mrs Donna Ploetner.  You can contact Mrs Ploetner via the school office.

There is an opportunity to find out more about the expansion of early education and childcare tomorrow (20 November) between 9-10 in our nursery.  Come along to find out more.

The library learning hub is growing from strength to strength. We have opened up the library space on Mondays after school for families learning together.  Staff are also on hand to help with homework.  The learning hub is open to all our primary and secondary pupils (and their parents) from the end of school until 5pm every Monday.  A snack is available.

On 21 November we will hold our Open Day with 2 sessions available for P7 parents in the afternoon and evening.  A letter explaining the day has been sent to parents.  I look forward to seeing you then.

Finally, on Thursday, 22 November we will hold our Career Fair for secondary pupils.  Parents/Carers are welcome to come along to join your child.  It will be open until 5pm and available to everyone from 3.30-5pm.

As always, thank you for your ongoing support.

With every good wish,

Seán P Hagney

Headteacher and Campus Leader