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Head Teacher Blog

Dear Parent/Carer

I hope you have had a good week.

Happy December!  I was at a Head Teacher’s meeting this week where there was a shared agreement that December always lifts the spirits across the school.  Today marks the start of many an advent calendar within our school community and the plans and activities for our Christmas festivities are well underway.  Dates of which are noted for your diaries at the end of this week’s blog.  School in the next few weeks will be that wonderful blend of Christmas buzz and Learning buzz and I look forward to sharing some of these events in the next few weeks with you all.  As always, if there are items which you would like me to include within the blog, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with me.

Attendance Snapshot 2

On Monday, all families will receive an attendance update for their young person.  As we know, the school community has placed high levels of attendance as a school priority for this school year.  Part of this is to ensure that all families are aware of the attendance figure for their young person and where there are any concerns that there is an opportunity to discuss these with the appropriate Principal Teacher of Pupil Support.  We hope that this will provide you with a useful talking point at home.

Families can of course have an even better awareness of their child’s attendance through Parent Portal.   Parent Portal gives families access to a range of platforms and information which means it is a one stop shop for families to access parent/carer evening appointments, view your child’s timetable, make online payments, report absence, monitor their attendance.

The sign up process is relatively straightforward and is available here.  If you are struggling to sign up, there is a help document which is available here.  Alternatively, please contact the school and we can support you to access this resource.

S1 Family Evening

We were delighted to welcome families of our S1 to the school on Tuesday evening.  Over 80% of families came along to meet with their child’s teachers and to find out the two crucial questions for families, how is my child doing and how do I support them to improve.  On the night we also had a raffle for St Andrew’s hospice with many lucky families returning home with prizes, the Parent Council were running a very popular cash raffle with one family taking home a lovely prize and our new Barista Bar was open for families.

As always, we are looking for ways to improve our already strong transition process and as such, we would really appreciate if any families who attended the evening could complete the evaluation form which has been sent out to them today.

Christmas Giving

Our annual Christmas Giving campaign starts on Monday and runs until Friday 15th of December.  Our Social Justice Committee will be setting up our Gift Giving Tree at the front entrance of the school.   On the branches there will be handmade baubles which contain a child’s wish (a suggested gift and the age of the young person).  Alternatively, people can donate another gift.

The Social Justice Committee are also looking to gather hampers to help those in need in Cumbernauld.  The social justice committee are encouraging you to bring in a hamper full of goods to help those in need in Cumbernauld.

This hamper should include (non-perishable goods) such as:

  • Tins
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Toiletries

This hamper could be a cardboard box (shoeboxes etc) and should be covered in wrapping paper.  All hampers should be passed to Mr Sweeney in F029.

Jingle Sale

Our Pupil Parliament Eco Committee are launching our inaugural Jingle Sale on the night of the 14th of December.

Forget Black Friday – think Green Thursday! GHS Eco Committee are hosting their first ever ‘Jingle Sale’ on Thursday 14th December (6pm-8pm) and warmly invite you along! With a focus on sustainability we will have a selection of preloved clothing, shoes, accessories, gifts, toys and books for sale along with original art and unique crafts! Our new Barista team will be serving up their delicious coffee and there will be mulled drinks and sweet treats too. Why not come along and pick up some pre Christmas bargains or last minute gifts and soak up the Christmas market cheer!

Alternatively, if you are intending on having a pre Christmas clear out before Santa arrives with the new haul or have lots of preloved items that you haven’t got round to putting on Vinted yet, why not buy a stall and be a seller? Or perhaps you are a creative/maker and would like the opportunity to sell to your local community? Stalls are £10 each, please get in touch ASAP if you/someone you know is interested as stalls are limited and going fast.

If you have any good quality/condition preloved items that you would like to donate to be sold at the Jingle Sale, we will gratefully receive them.

All proceeds will go to charities and school fund.

For further information, please contact Laura Meikle at nlmeiklel@northlan.org.uk or scan the QR Code below to find out more.

Stars of the Present and the Future

A massive congratulations to Holly Alston and Yasmin Hamilton both of 1WA1 who are performing in 26 shows as Young Cast members of Aladdin this Christmas at the MacRobert Theatre in Stirling. They will be singing, dancing and acting as part of the “Dream Team”. From personal experience, my six year old attended the pantomime on Thursday morning and said he ‘loved’ it!  If you have the chance please do try to get tickets to this great show featuring two of our many talented young people.

Anam Alba Winter Ceilidh

 I was delighted to receive a copy of a flyer from Anam Alba advertising their Winter Ceilidh which takes place tomorrow evening.  Information about the event and the QR Code to book a ticket is available through these two images.

Mid Term Assessments

As you will be aware, this year we have decided to remove a formal diet of Prelims/Mid Term Assessments.  This was so that pupils could be assessed at a time which suited them and their coursework, as well as accommodating the return of coursework into most courses by the SQA.  We thought it would be helpful to ensure that you had a copy of the timetable for the assessments which begin next week.  A downloadable copy is available here.

I thought it pertinent to remind families of the range of online resources which are available to families and young people via the school website on a range of areas including mindfulness, relaxation and positive mental health.  The full list is available here.

SQA Coursework

 Pupils in S4, 5 and 6 were issued with the SQA booklet entitled ‘Your National Qualifications’ (Link below).  It is imperative that pupils read and understand the conditions and arrangements for SQA coursework.

Please could you ensure that your son/daughter is aware of the dates set by their teachers for completion of coursework in all their subjects.  These must be adhered to in order to meet SQA deadlines.


UCAS Information

UCAS Personal Statements should be with their pupil support teacher by now and they will meet with each student to go through it carefully and then the student references will begin. We are looking to have all UCAS applications away by the 8th of December.

 School Study Support

A reminder to families that study support is running in a range of subjects each week.  It is highlighted internally via posters and reminders from class teachers, but I am not always certain that this information is reaching home.  As such please remind your son/daughter to check when supported study is running in subject areas.

Study Support via E-Sgoil

Pupils in S4/5/6 received information about the National E-Sgoil Study Support available for all young people across Scotland which runs every week.  This takes the form of 51 live webinars and covers a broad range of subjects and levels.  For more information please click here.

Free School Meals & EMA

I would also like to draw your attention to the ability of families to sign up for Free School Meals and Educational Maintenance Allowance.

The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) gives financial support to pupils who are aged between 16 and 19 years of age.  Information regarding the EMA is available here.  If your son/daughter is eligible for an EMA could you please ensure forms are passed directly to Mr Adler.

Pupils who are registered for either or both of these supports become entitled to additional supports within the school and as such I would urge all families who are potentially eligible to apply.  The links for both these supports are here:

Free School Meals

Educational Maintenance Allowance

Dates for your diary

Given how hectic the next few weeks may become we thought it would be useful to provide you with some dates for your diaries:

  • Monday 4th December: Attendance Check for all families
  • Wednesday 13th December: Christmas Music Concert
  • Monday 18th December: S1-3 Christmas Dance
  • Tuesday 19th December: S4-6 Christmas Dance
  • Thursday 21st December: Whole School Charity Day

I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Moran Taing


Jamie Vaughn-Sharp

Head Teacher


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