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31 March 2016 – Secondary

Dear Parents and Carers

As we approach the end of term once again, I wanted to write to you to keep you updated and to wish you and your family a happy Easter.

In the secondary we have been working hard this term, and this is particularly true for those in our senior phase. National 4 pupils have been completing their courses internally, and National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher pupils have been working to complete coursework, units and prepare for their exams.  Special holiday study classes have been organised by teachers giving up their free time.  A programme for this is here: Easter Revision 2017

National Qualifications are changing once again and this will affect pupils currently in S3.  An update (published yesterday) on the changes from the Scottish Government is available here.  As a school, and working with our partners in other secondary schools across Perth and Kinross, we will reflect on what these changes will mean for pupils over the coming months and will keep you informed.

A special assembly was held on St Patrick’s Day to celebrate our school achieving our first all through Green Flag.  This was the 2000th Green Flag to be issued in Scotland and the Depute First Minister, Mr John Swinney, the Chief Executives of Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) joined us to mark this world first.  A huge well done to all involved.  You can see more about this in a short video here.

As you know, Police Scotland are beginning to work more closely with schools across the local authority, including St John’s Academy.  This is welcome as some issues which take place in the community affect us in school.  There are particular concerns regarding online behaviours, and recent gatherings in the evenings and weekends in the South Inch and North Inch in Perth.  These behaviours involve pupils from all our schools.  Some of the incidents I have been hearing about are very concerning indeed.  I know that, as parents, you take your responsibilities seriously and ask you to ensure that your child is safe at all times.

As we prepare for the final term, can I again flag up our uniform policy?  During the winter terms there can be individual issues regarding uniform because of the need for warm clothing.  As we enter the summer months, I would please ask you once again to fully support our policy.  I would also like to remind you that jeans or leggings are not part of the uniform and facial piercings are not appropriate for school.  In the secondary, everything except the white shirt should be black.  Hoodies are not permitted in the senior phase (S4-S6) and blazers are encouraged for all our seniors.

All pupils in S5-6 will begin study leave from 2 May-1 June (inclusive) and this will apply to some S4 pupils too.  Individual timetables have been issued to pupils this week.  If your child has been absent, then this can be collected after the holiday.  Please note that pupils sitting exams or visiting the school/campus during exam leave should always be in full uniform.  The new S5-6 will return on Friday 2 June for a very important induction day.

After the holiday, we hope that there will be a new layout for our carpark.  This should make dropping off pupils easier and safer.  Please do not enter the turning circle.  Thank you for this.

The Pennies for the Playgrounds appeal continues as we aim to raise £35,000 for improving our own playground and the play area in the grounds of the Budimex Marie Curie Hospital and Recuperare Clinic in Bucharest.  We have been shortlisted for a public vote in Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative and we have launched a crowdfunding appeal during Lent.  Please support the Tesco initiatives by asking for a voting chip after your shop and donating via the Crowdfunder website if you can!

Finally, don’t forget to catch up on other news in our newsletter!

With every good wish,

Seán P Hagney

Headteacher and Campus Leader