Welcome Back

It seems a little late to be saying “Welcome back” as here we are already well into September. As always it was a busy start to the year, not least with our new uniform policy. Can I thank once again all parents who are supporting this policy and remind you that your child will not be permitted to represent the school in any forum (e.g. school trips) if they are not wearing uniform consistently? To allow us to monitor this situation we have introduced a new awards system.

Your child can now be given merits or demerits according to the categories below;


We now have a clear overview of how your child is achieving on a weekly basis. The purpose of the demerits is to help the Senior and Pastoral teams keep track on effort, behaviour (and of course uniform). This will allow us to intervene (including getting parents involved) if we see a pattern of poor performance emerging. It will also allow us to reward students who are working hard and doing well in school. Representatives of the students have met with Mr Mitten to choose how they would like to be awarded and have suggested a bronze/silver/gold badge system. The finer details of this are being discussed now and should be put into place very shortly.

As many of you will know Mr Beresford left us for a post as Deputy Head Teacher at Rothesay. His post is still being covered by Mr Stuart, Dr Weatherhogg and Mr Weatherhogg (Ms Siddall having gone off to have her baby). This role will be nationally advertised shortly and I hope to have a permanent appointment made by October.

Shortly before the summer I advertised an Art and an English post, this was to replace Mrs Bell (who retired in the summer) and Mrs Cummings who left us in January and who was being covered by Mrs McIntyre. I am pleased to say that Mr Galligan will be joining us on Islay at the end of the month to teach Art, he and his wife are relocating to Islay. Mrs Broad will be joining the English team and is relocating with her husband. I hope you will make them most welcome. I would like to thank Mrs McIntyre for all her hard work and wish her the best with her imminent arrival.

At our first assembly I told students I would be focusing on 3 things this term; uniform, attendance and performance. As an island community I appreciate there are times where students require extra time to travel to and from appointments however, I would urge you to ensure that your child achieves the maximum attendance possible. If they do not have a legitimate reason for being absent this will result in an “unauthorised absence” being recorded. In the longer term you could face prosecution. Please see the link below for a parent’s guide to attendance in school.

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/resource/doc/294630/0091104.pdf

If the school does raise concerns over your child’s attendance it is very important you contact us so we can work together to make improvements or deal with any issues that may be contributing to poor attendance.

Our new S1 groups are settling in well and we have our first opportunity for you to meet with their tutors this Wednesday evening (11th) from 4-6pm.

Our S1 and S3 have been sitting CATs test (Cognitive Ability Tests), we plan to share relevant information with parents regarding these test and will be in touch once we have reviewed the results and decided on a format. The link below gives a brief outline on these tests;

http://www.gl-assessment.co.uk/products/cat4-cognitive-abilities-test-fourth-edition

Here is a parent guide that you might find useful;

http://www.satsguide.co.uk/help__other_exams_and_subjects/cats__cognitive_abilities_tests.htm

Well done to all students who received examination results, we have performed very well as a school. To build on our improved Higher results we are holding an information evening for all parents whose child will be following Higher courses this year. We will also be discussing University/College applications and other options. This will take place on WEDNESDAY 18TH SEPTEMBER 2013. Letters are on their way to parents. During the evening there will be talks on career pathways and how to support your child. English, Mathematics and Science will also be holding sessions for parents. We tried this type of evening out on a smaller scale last year and it received really positive feedback from parents.

As many of our students start there new careers at College, University or work I would like to wish them all the very best in their future.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” Mark Twain

J Holmes

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