Dear Parents and Carers,
- Congratulations to Mrs Lesley Lamond who is now a permanent member of the Senior Leadership Team and thank you to David Urch, Chair of the Parent Council for helping with Depute Head Teacher interviews.
- Inservice training on Developing Young Workforce (DYWF) reinforced that teachers are teaching a lot of skills for learning, life and work through our core curriculum. They will encourage the children to talk more about skills they are learning and how these skills may apply to possible work opportunities. Skills in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) will also have a greater focus. Discussing how adults use skills children are learning would be a great extension to our Show Case Events and a great way to involve you in their conversations. We are launching our enhanced approach to skills and career development work on Monday 19 November and invite any parents or carers to talk to the children about the skills you need in your world of work during that week. Letters giving details will come via your classes.
- I have had very good meetings with our PALS (Playground Activity Leaders) and Peer Mediators this week. They are a great group of children who have lots of ideas and suggestions which we are implementing to help children learn new games and resolve any issues they have. Well done children!
- As it is darker in the mornings and afternoons, we shall remind the children about safety on the roads and pavements. If you have any reflective arm bands, bags or attachments for jackets, they really do help. P1 and P2 pupils will have a ‘Road Safety Magic Show’ on Friday 16 November 2018 to help reinforce the message.
- Sharing learning in Art: P5 have been illustrating life in Viking times and making longboats and as part of their project. This week, they made Diwali Masks, which was very exciting, they look great and the class teachers will add them to our website for you to see. P1 have been colour blending in their Bear silhouettes and very impressive they are too!
- Sharing Learning in Music:P2: As well as ongoing class music, P2 pupils will learn Scottish Songs Scottish as part of Edinburgh Council’s Youth Music Initiative. They will work with each P2 class for 5 Monday’s starting on 29 October.
At the start of the session, you asked about P1 Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSA). I said I would share information with you as it came from the City of Edinburgh Council to us. I am pleased to be able to share this with you now.
Information from Edinburgh City Council:
- The SNSAs (particularly P1 engagement) have featured in the media in recent weeks with the Government losing a non-binding vote in Parliament which called for them to be scrapped. The Government continues to uphold their position that the assessments are necessary and valuable and that changes have been made to address issues with delivery in Primary 1.
- As you are aware, assessment is integral to our planning of teaching and learning. Our staff use a variety of approaches to allow learners to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding, skills, attributes and capabilities in different contexts across the curriculum. At key milestones, we need to make use of assessment evidence which is valid and reliable, with SNSAs representing one tool in this wide range of evidence, gathered by teachers, to inform their judgements about pupils’ progress.
- In Edinburgh schools, P1 pupils have engaged in ongoing assessment, including standardised assessments, for many years to ensure our teachers have the best range of information available to them upon which to plan the highest quality teaching and learning experiences, providing support and challenge, as appropriate for all our young people. Our staff ensure that the right conditions are created to allow our young learners to engage in assessment activities in a highly supportive and positive manner.
- The range of assessment information gathered, helps to ensure Curriculum for Excellence levels are robust, based on rigorous evidence of pupils’ progress in learning. SNSAs help to inform judgements about these levels for each young person. Our Local Authority uses this information, to work with our schools to plan interventions, and improvements, designed to Raise Attainment for All.
- If any parent or carer has specific queries or questions about their child undertaking the assessments then they should discuss this matter with their child’s school in order to reach agreement about whether their child should undertake the assessments.
- The class teachers, Depute Head Teachers and I shall happily do this as and when you need us.
The Janitors are now called Facility Technicians. I know this will be a hard habit for us to break. I am assured the name change will be permanent and best we all switch to us.
Please remember, if you need my help in any way, just ask.