Dear Parents and Carers,
- P5 Viking Showcase was outstanding – a great celebration of all the expressive arts the children do in class. Great parental engagement too, it is definitely one of the best ways to find out and share learning with lots of children in the class. Well done everyone in P5!
- Sharing the learning: This week P2s have been sharing all they have been learning about stars with me. I was very impressed in the knowledge they learned, but even more by the way they were able to explain how they were learning and what they wanted to learn next. Full marks for engagement and enthusiasm P2!
- On Friday night 60 boys and girls, with 11 Bruntsfield parents, raised £3,700 for Social Bite at the ‘Wee Sleep’. They slept in survival bags, without tents, at Bonaly outdoor centre. I am told, the weather wasn’t too kind, it rained almost all night! Thanks to the Cubs and Scouts from 100th Pentland who led this great adventure.
- It was a pleasure to present the first Bronze JASS (Junior Awards Scheme for Schools) Certificates and Badges of the session. Awards were given for good Citizenship, outdoor learning and contribution to our community, this programme is part of our P6/ P7 curriculum.
- New South Edinburgh Primary School (Canaan Lane) Update: The Council are proposing that the new primary school will open from August 2021, with registration in November 2020 to allow P1 classes and any upper stage classes to start in the new building at the same time in August 2021. There will be no mandatory transfer of pupils already attending another school. Current catchment arrangements will continue to apply for registrations in November 2019. An email with further details has been sent to you.
- Parent, Pupil, Teacher consultation for 2019-2020: This year, you asked us to try Parent Consultations earlier in the session, which we did. Please share your views on dates for the September/ October 2019 meetings by selecting your preferred choice. Parents and carers told us they liked being able to ask questions and share information at the start of the session, others said they preferred to wait until later to hear more about progress from the teachers. Closing date for the survey is Friday 30 November 2018. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YGXPVT9
At the Parent Council Meeting you asked about:
- P1 and P2 outdoor learning: teachers may take their children to our local environment at any time and excursions to woodlands are booked for next term, which the teachers will build on, details to come from class teachers nearer the time. Parent helpers are always in demand, please liaise with your class teachers if you would like to be involved.
- Parent Class Reps: I shall remind the staff how helpful you are for sharing information, especially in the run up to trips and events. If you are a class rep, please make contact with your class teacher.
- Relationship with Barclay Viewforth Church: Each school in the city is matched with a Church within their community. Bruntsfield historically worked with both Barclay and Viewforth Churches. When they merged, we remained associated with what is now called Barclay Viewforth Church. Rev Sam Torrence visits us once a month and shares our Assemblies based on the Rights of the Month. As school numbers have grown, it has not been possible to have all the children visit Church together, once a year at the same time the way we used to. Hence the reason P1 lead Christmas Celebrations, P3 Harvest and P5 Easter. P7s join and help the P1s, P2 and P4 join Harvest and P6 join the Easter Celebration.
- Quiet spaces at break and lunch: the team working on the playground identified the picnic areas as the best place for quieter games and story telling. Reminding everyone of this shall be a priority.
- ParentPay: please review your notifications and preferences, the default is set to ‘no alerts’. Please be aware, this may mean you may miss messages and invoices, unless you go into your account.
- 1+2 Language Programme: this was discussed at the Cluster Head Teacher meeting this week and our Cluster Primary Schools shall continue with French from P1-P7 in addition to Mandarin in P5 and German in P6 and P7. P1-P4 children learn one language and P5-P7 children learn 2 languages. It generally works out at one hour per week. Best practice is when languages are used during the day as part of their ongoing learning and consolidation. ‘Phrases of the week’ build confidence and discussions across the school. Boroughmuir currently continue both French and German in SI. They do offer an option of Mandarin if you prefer. This year’s S1 have two periods of French and one of German for part of the year, then swap, having two periods of German and one of French, this balances across the year. This is reviewed annually by the Cluster Head Teachers and we add any changes to the Improvement Plan. Staff who lead languages across the four schools have all worked together and followed an agreed programme for each language, in line with the City plan for languages.
- Assessments (testing): Assessments are used to confirm teacher judgements on progress and help teachers plan next steps in learning, ensuring all children are challenged and supported. P4 and P7 assessments from the Scottish Government are completed by the pupils on line and schools are not given copies in advance or afterwards, therefore we are unable to share them with you.
- Home Learning Policy: We have updated the website to show this is now finalised and no longer in draft form. Thank you to all who helped contribute to this.
- P7 Memory Boxes: I have shared the feedback from you with the teachers, thank you.
P7 Transition to High School: All catchment pupils are automatically given an S1 place in their local catchment school. Parents and carers may apply to other schools via the CEC Website. Letters go out directly to families and from CEC in November advising them of their place, further information is available at http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20256/school_places/1373/start_secondary_school
As always, if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.