Martin Lyth is the Chair of the Parent Council
Hazel Robertson is the Vice Chair and the Clerk
Both can be contacted through the School.
Parent Council Meeting 15th January 2019
Headteacher’s Report Jan 2019
Burravoe Primary School
Staffing and Staff Development
Chelsea has now started her career break and Mrs Patricia Kavanagh, who is currently the principal teacher at Fetlar, has been appointed to the temporary post for the 3 Yell Schools. She will start at the beginning of February when Katy Hay’s maternity leave ends – she will be in Burravoe on Wednesdays. Patricia Doull is going to do some supply days in January to cover the gap.
There were no applications for the vacant lunchtime supervisor post when it was advertised again before Christmas. Julia is doing the job on a supply basis when she is free.
Maxeen Subban has been away ill since before Christmas and is not expected back until the start of February. There is a new head of Catering and Cleaning and he has asked Alana Nicholson to bring meals from Mid Yell to serve to the children until the end of January.
Ms Zhao is teaching Mandarin on Wednesday mornings.
Jennifer has updated her Child Protection training.
The North Isles Schools are to join the Northern Alliance Emerging Literacy Project and Jennifer and I will be going to a training afternoon at Mid Yell at the end of January.
We continued working on our local study project and had several walks around Burravoe looking at some of the different features and at land/sea use. Unfortunately, we have had to twice postpone the trip around South Yell and have rearranged it for Tuesday 29th January. We completed our work about the View from Our Window with Balivanich School in Benbecula and shared the resulting ppt with them during a web conference. We have converted the ppt to video which we have put on the blog. We had a request from Fair Isle Primary School in Fife to help them learn about Up Helly Aa as they were doing a project about Vikings. At Jennifer’s suggestion we included information about the Tar Barrel as well as Cullivoe Up Helly Aa. The older ones worked in groups to make Sways to share and we got some lovely feedback from Fair Isle School about the quality of the work. The groups have put their Sways on the blog so others can see them too.
P5/6/7 did 4 weeks of indoor bowls lessons with John and Jean Jarmson; they enjoyed this and John and Jean said some very complimentary things about their behaviour and teamwork as well as about their skills progress. P1/2/3/4 did their 6 weeks of swimming for the year.
The children decided that they would again like to write a play for their Christmas Production; they came up with the ideas themselves and then worked very hard making sure the parts would work for everyone. They got some great responses from the audience and really enjoyed doing it.
We did our usual Christmas card and tree decoration exchange with some other schools in Scotland.
We had a lovely Christmas dinner on the last day of term; thank you to Julia for stepping in to cook it and to Laura and Frances for helping her.
This term we are learning about energy in particular about fossil fuels and renewable energy. P2 and older are focusing on division for the number aspects of maths and everyone is doing work on weighing.
All of the Yell P7s are doing science at Mid Yell with Emily Tulloch on Thursday afternoons this term; this is the start of P7/S1 transition.
At the end of January we have agreed to take part in a “how to use web conferencing to collaborate with other schools” project with P6/7 in schools in Shetland, Highland and the Western Isles. This comes under the e-sgoil umbrella. We don’t yet know which school we are to be partnered with but the theme will be Up Helly Aa so we will use the same information as we did with Fair Isle! Port Ellen Primary School in Islay have asked P1/2/3 to share a Global Citizen project with them about Marine Litter – this will start at the end of February.
Michelle Johnson and David Brown from Cooke Aquaculture came to talk to the children about the work Cooke do in the North Isles. I had asked them if they would talk about the different employment opportunities they offered so the visit could help support our Developing the Young Workforce work as well as us learning more about salmon. They also offered us the opportunity to go and visit the Burravoe Shore Station which we did the following day. That also gave us the opportunity to see the delivery of the parts for the new cages – very exciting as there was snow and the lorry got stuck after it went the wrong way! David and Michelle donated the salmon they brought and Alana cooked some of it last week for us to have for lunch. Thanks to Jim Smith who filleted it for us.
Wilma Missenden, our temporary QIO, came for a visit last term to discuss attainment and attainment data. The Schools’ Service acknowledge that the data collected from small schools can’t be used in the same way as that from larger schools
We also had visits from Merran Adamson the speech and language therapist and from Poppy Nield, the hearing and communication support teacher from the ASN Outreach Team.
School Improvement Plan
This term we are focusing on the Health and Wellbeing aspects of the plan so are starting work with the children looking at the SHANARRI wheel. Much of our “PEF” funding on literacy resources has been to support improvement in listening and talking.
The total budget for the school is well overspent but that is because of building works. Our bit of controllable budget is on track. We have now allocated all of the £1,200 “PEF” funding which Mrs Budge gave to all schools that didn’t qualify for PEF money from the Scottish Government. The new play kitchen which we ordered in August has just arrived. The rest of the money has been spent on new numeracy and literacy equipment and on cover for Jennifer to do some training to use the new literacy software we have bought.
The Recreational Trust has started charging us for the full 2 hours when we use the Community Room (previously we used it for 2 but were only charged for 1 provided we made way for any other bookings). As the hourly rate has also gone up we now go straight to the Library when we arrive and so only use the Community Room for 1 ½ hrs. We will start paying for this from School Fund for this term as we don’t have enough in the school budget.
The piano tuner is coming this week so we will use School Fund to pay him.
The lighting and fire alarm installations are not finished; they came to a halt as not all the parts had arrived. We now have the fire alarm panel, back up etc in the office but no sign of any electricians! One of the new lights in the kitchen fell down last week and John Robertson came and put it back up. The front door locking system stopped working at the start of term; apparently the back up power pack has worn out and we are now awaiting a new one.
Parent Council AGM and Meeting 13th November 2018
Headteacher Report November 2018
Staffing and Staff Development
Ms Jamieson will finish work at the end of term for the next months; she will return just before the end of the summer term. There is a preferred candidate for the post who we hope will be able to start sometime in the New Year.
Ms Zhao is teaching Mandarin for about an hour a week; last term it was on a Tuesday; this term it is on Wednesday.
The post of lunchtime supervisor has been advertised 3 times and we have not had any applications. I am grateful to Julia who does the job most days on a supply basis. We are about to advertise it again.
Jennifer has covered for Maxeen when she has been away for appointments.
The Shetland probationer teachers came to school for a day to see how IT is used for learning and teaching and for the children to show them some of the skills they have.
I have been to Dunfermline for a course about P7/S1 transition in Science. This was jointly funded by Education Scotland and SIC.
We have had Inservice at the beginning of term when I went to Mid Yell to join with some of the other teachers in our cluster so we could discuss writing standards.
Jennifer went to 3 sessions about literacy and numeracy learning outdoors.
I met with one of the members of the Education Scotland Digital Learning Team, who was one of the inset leaders, so we could discuss some of the wider Digital Literacy issues in Shetland.
We had a very busy term last term – we were offered or found a lot of opportunities which were too good to let pass by. We started the term with a visit from Brydon from the Waste Management department who helped us understand about the new recycling scheme. The school isn’t involved with this yet as we are a business customer but we have started to do a bit more and have a new paper recyling bin. We have also started using the new water bottles the Parent Council bought and this has worked well. Our old water machine broke a few days afterwards so we purchased a new, much smaller one so that the children can top up their bottles during the day and so we have drinking water available for visitors.
We were invited to share in a visit for Yell Schools by the Dynamic Earth Science Centre’s outreach team who came to talk about the effects of marine pollution. The same week we went to Mareel to see Wallace and Gromit as part of Screenplay; we were lucky to have a Q and A with Nick Park at the end of the film. The following week we had a visit from the outreach team of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland who brought their double decker bus with their Wild About Scotland workshops. We did work around all of these visits.
We also took part in a day at Baltasound with all the primary pupils from the North Isles when the children took part in writing activities in the morning and then did a workshop with Nick Sharratt in the afternoon. The following week Rachel Colclough invited us to share in a workshop with the author Andy Stanton which was organised by the Scottish Book Trust. Morag Nicholson, the Children’s Librarian came to do a bookbug session with P1 and P2 so everyone had a literary afternoon. As we were going to be off island we took the chance to go to Michael’s Wood in the morning and we were lucky to have beautiful weather and enjoyed lunch in the new planticrub there.
This year, for the first time, there was a STEM competition for Primary Schools; it was organised by the Young Engineers and Science Clubs in Scotland and sponsored by Total. P5/6/7 had to prepare a presentation to be judged and answer questions about it. They also had to do team challenges set by different people from industry eg Northlink and NAFC. They worked very hard both in researching and preparing their presentation and on the day itself. We asked to take the younger children as spectators and they were given some lovely experiences as well!
Emma Chittick from Skills Development Scotland came for 4 afternoons to work with P5/6/7. She brought Lego Mindstorm kits for the children to learn to code in a “Driverless Car” project. As well as the technology learning she was sharing messages about future learning and the skills people will need in the workplace.
At the same time as the older ones were involved with this technology the younger ones were involved in using our different construction kits to design and make some particular structures.
P7 were invited to the S1 Coffee Afternoon at Mid Yell where they were able to learn about some of the things which S1 had done in their first term.The P5/6/7 pupils did their 6 weeks of swimming lessons last term and P4/5/6 are doing theirs this term. P5/6/7 are currently having 4 weeks of bowls coaching by John and Jean Jarmson and we will enter the primary bowls competition again next March.
We managed to successfully hatch and rear 2 chickens which are now outside in their new home. Thanks to Jim for helping us build the Eglu and run! Thank you also to everyone who helped build our new sheds. The gardening shed in particular was well timed as we have had to empty back cupboards for the electricians.
We are currently working on a local study; the younger ones are considering housing and the older ones are also thinking about land use and employment. Cooke Aquaculture have offered to come and speak to the children about their Yell operation so this will be very timely. We are continuing our links with Balvanich School on Benbecula and are collaborating on a “View From Our Window” project with them which, again, is well timed when we are asking the children to be observant about their surroundings. We have realised that a lot of the children have not been to places in South Yell so we are planning to hire a bus for a day and do a stopping tour!
Next week is Scottish book Week when P1/P2 and P3 will be gifted a variety of resources for literacy and/or numeracy to bring home to share with you to help you support the children’s learning at home. All the bags look excellent so I hope you will enjoy them too!
We held a very successful Macmillan Coffee Afternoon last week and raised just over £260. The children decided at Pupil Meeting last week that they are going to devise a treasure hunt for Children in Need. I’m not sure yet how this is going to work!
The School Improvement Plan
Our main focus this year is listening and talking – some of the events we have attended or planned have enabled us to give children opportunities to speak to a wider audience than just us and we are always looking for these chances. We are also considering how we can develop some assessment of SHANARRI as part of our Health and Wellbeing Work.
We have had visits from Robin Calder our QIO, from Child Smile, from the Speech and Language Therapist and from the School Nurse doing P7 Health Checks. Wilma Missenden the Headteacher of Urafirth School has been seconded into Hayfield and will be our QIO this term.
Although we don’t qualify for Pupil Equity Funding; Mrs Budge has again given us £1200 from the Schools Service budget to spend using the PEF guidelines. We have bought some additional resources for literacy and numeracy (including things which the children chose on a visit to Bolts Toys), ordered some more and will spend some on supply cover to give Jennifer some CPD time.
We have had our usual building checks. The emergency lights which were broken have been mended and the broken outside light at the south corner of the building has been replaced.
We are having all our inside lighting replaced with LED lights and are having a new fire alarm system installed. We were asked if this work could carry on around us after the main work was done in the holidays and it’s just as well we said yes as a lot of the bits still haven’t arrived. The electrician has done as much as he can and will come back again when the rest of the parts are delivered.
We did have to pack a lot of things away before the holiday and have not been able to get everything put back to rights yet. We were allowed a few extra cleaning hours from Laura so she could help me clean up and put some things back at the end of the holiday.
We are to have a new outside light to light the corner of the carpark by the gate.
Many of you will know from the news that Scottish Government want to change some aspects of school management. They had intended to put a bill before Parliament but have now decided to give Local Councils time to make some changes and only then, if changes haven’t happened, will they draft a bill.
The Governance Review:
The Education Reform – Joint Agreement was published in June 2018 and describes the principles and policy proposals to create empowered and collaborative schools. https://www.gov.scot/Resource/0053/00537386.pdf
The Scottish Government will monitor the progress of this agenda over the next year. If sufficient progress is not made, they will introduce the Education (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament in 2019. There is no definition as yet,of sufficient progress.
These are the main headings being looked at at the moment.
Curriculum (Headteachers Charter)
Improvement (Headteachers Charter)
Staffing (Headteachers Charter)
Funding (Headteachers Charter)
Parental and Community Engagement
In addition to this SIC Members have asked for a review of Teaching Head Teachers.
Parent Council Meeting 19th September 2018