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29 January 2016 – Focus on Secondary

Dear Parents/Carers

This week my blog focuses on the secondary departments, looking back at recent weeks and looking ahead to what’s in store over the coming weeks.

Looking back

  • Our senior students in S4, 5 and 6 completed the Assessment Opportunities schedule today. These examinations have provided a flavour of what the final exams will look like in May/June this year. Attendance and behaviour during the exams has been excellent. Some S4 pupils needed a few reminders regarding mobile phones and other equipment – there are very strict rules around this.  SQA will (and do) disqualify candidates who do not follow the rules – find out more about conduct here.
  • Our annual course choice exercise is well underway, with the S2 into S3 choices complete. The next stage is the S4 and S5 choices and an information evening for parents will take place at 5pm on Tuesday 9 February. Appointments for S4 can be made here.  The S3 into S4 choices take place in March, with the information evening at 5pm on Tuesday 15 March. We look forward to seeing you there.

Looking Ahead

  • Tonight there’s a special Burns Night celebration in St John’s Church (starting at 7.30pm – tickets at the door!) in aid of our Playing Together Initiative – raising funds to build a playground at the Marie Curie Hospital and Recuperare Clinic in Bucharest.
  • Next week is Catholic Education Week.  We will be marking this in a variety of ways within the school.  On Sunday, 7 February a number of parishes within the catchment will also be reading a letter from the school thanking them for all the support they give to us.
  • The annual S2 ski trip returns home on Sunday. We’ve been getting regular updates via our Twitter feed (@st_johnsacademy) and are having a great experience.  You can also view some photos here.
  • Our partners, Skills Development Scotland (SDS), who provide Career Coaching and other services for our young people, have visitors next week from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate.  We will be welcoming inspectors to talk to our staff and pupils about the service they provide us.
  • Our Senior Drama students are starting a Drama Club for S1 and S2 pupils. There is a taster session this Monday (1st February) and the club will run on Monday lunchtimes thereafter.

Other useful information

  • As we battle with the winter weather, please remember that all pupils should use their lockers for outdoor clothing/footwear and have full uniform during the school day within the building.  If there are any difficulties with this, please contact your child’s Guidance Teacher.
  • Due to staff absence, Mrs Pauline Ward will be acting PT Guidance.  Mrs Fiona Carroll will be acting PT RE.
  • Drop-off/collection/Parking – Cars are being parked on the turning circle at the end of the day which is preventing some of the school transport from leaving. Please do not drop off and/or collect your child within the turning circle.  Please drop off and collect your child at a safe distance from the school and allow your child to walk the rest of the way.  I ask you, with every respect, to think and act responsibly for the sake of all the children in our school.
  • School Holiday dates for 2016-17 and 2017-18 are here.
  • Litter is becoming an increasing issue within the school.  After many years of very good behaviour around this, we are experiencing significant issues, particularly with S1-4 pupils.  We would welcome any parental support you can give through encouraging your child in developing this good habit.

I hope you have a great weekend with your family.

With every good wish,

Seán P Hagney

Headteacher and Campus Leader