Head Teachers Blog-Thursday 14.6.18

Dear Parents and Carers,
·         A team from the Learning Directorate visited Bruntsfield on Wednesday and very much appreciated the tour of the school by some of our P7s, visits to classes, discussions with the Pupil Council, Rights Respecter’s and Management Team.
·         Our quarterly check of the playground from ROSPA shows the condition of the playground equipment is very good.
·         I am told the P7 boys football season has now almost come to an end. Some have played since P2, others joined along the way. Thanks to the volunteer parent coaches who have given their time up every Saturday for many years and to the parents for setting up the goals! Well done everyone!
·         The end-of-term celebration family ceilidh is on Saturday 23 June from 7:00-9:00pm at Polwarth Church. Tickets are selling out quickly! If you would like to join in the team will be selling tickets this Friday at 12noon in the playground.  If you prefer please put cash in an envelope clearly marked “ceilidh” with your child’s name, class and number of tickets required in the Parent Forum Box at the entrance to the School Office.
Staff changes in August:
·         Mrs Ruth Leslie (P1A) and Mrs Chris Macintyre (PSA) are retiring in the summer.
·         Ms Karen Anderson (P2A) and Miss Annie Faichney (P3A) are both moving to Glasgow.
·         Miss Leah Anderson has passed her probationer year and our probationers for 2018-2019 are Ms Annie Roberson and Mrs Alison Prentice.
·         Mrs Rowan Hagdorn (PSA) has been accepted into the new Early Years Practitioner training post.
Congratulations to all of them and I am sure they will keep in touch. I shall forward the class teachers list on the last week of term.
At the Parent Council Meeting you asked about:
·         More competitive sports for older children: I have asked the PE Teacher and team who organise sports day to discuss this and consider possible options. Competitive opportunities we currently participate in include Sportshall Athletics, cross country running, swimming galas plus many club matches in netball, football, basketball and fencing. We have a beautiful collection of Trophies and Shields in our display case in the entrance hall.
·         Making more use of class reps to share information: in most cases we shall send class information out via Parent Pay. However, if reps liaise with their class teacher at the start of next session, there will be ways reps will be able to remind parents of key events.
·         Volunteering: If you would like to volunteer, please complete the school application form and hand it in to the school office. The DHT for your department will meet with you before you start. If you like volunteering and wish to make this a regular, weekly event a PVG form will be completed. You do not need a PVG form to help on a one off school trip.
·         School trips in Houses rather than by class: there are some excursions which may work very well for this, such as the Theatre, seasonal events and the teachers will plan accordingly.
·         Daily mile: some classes and teachers like the ‘daily mile’, others do ‘Go Noodle’ or adapted versions of active ‘Brain Gym’. It is good there is variety across the school and there will be more trends to try next session.
·         Behaviour in the playground: almost all of the time, most of the children behave beautifully in the playground. Occasionally they push the boundaries too far or become too boisterous or are unkind. Learning when this happens and how to prevent it happening again, is all part of growing up. In the first instance, a pupil support assistant (PSA) will talk the children through the event and encourage them to understand the views of others. If it happens repeatedly, the class teacher will talk to the individual children or, if appropriate the class. We have BECOs (Behaviour Support Co-ordinators) who we ask to talk to classes and children, PALs (Playground Activity Leaders) who work with groups and classes to suggest new games and P6 and P7 Peer Mediators mentor younger children and support friendship groups. If incidents are deemed serious, involve injury or bullying, the teacher or PSA will talk to their line manager and one of the DHTs will inform you. I shall invite a group of parents to come and visit our playground to see the children at play. It is busy, but there is a lot fun and laughter which is definitely worth sharing. The Pupil Council is making a ‘wish list’ of games and activities they would like and we shall submit a bid for funding to the Parent Council for them. Items identified so far are hoppers, pogo sticks, skipping ropes, hoops, light weight plastic tyres, soft balls and bats and yoyo’s. I am sure the list will continue to grow. The trend is now to have a lot of each item and have one out at a time to build skills, rather than all out at the same time and there is opportunity for children to make more use of the space next to the Annex Building and Netball Pitch.
·         Catch Up: is for children who have missed key learning due to being late or need some ‘time out’ of the playground, or who wish to talk to a member of staff. Unfinished work will be sent home as per our Home Learning Policy. I have reminded the teachers of this.
·         School Lunches: our menus are set by the City of Edinburgh Catering Team and there are always salads and fruits to choose from in addition to the set choices. I attached a link to a survey for your views in my blog on the 31 May. A group of parents from the Parent Council are currently working on this and will come in and sample our lunch menu.
·         Sex Education: we follow City of Edinburgh Council Policy and programmes on this and the class teachers will inform you before any lessons take place to allow you to talk to your children about this.
·         Dates for Parent Council Meetings: next session there will be a balance of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday dates. If you would like to join in, become involved in any of the events, please do.
If there is anything I can do to help please let me know.
Kind regards,
Carol Kyle
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