As ever at this time of year, we say goodbye to a number of staff.
Mrs Wills, PT of Support for Learning, retires at the end of the term after at least 20 years in post. Hers is a very complex post: demanding a considerable knowledge of the legislation around Additional Support Needs, an ability to work closely with other agencies, an ability to work closely with parents and pupils, and an ability to advise subject staff of how best to support those pupils in class. She brings great patience and compassion to her job. I wish her a long and prosperous retirement. Ms Donoghue takes over as PT in August.
Mr Sneddon in Physics is also retiring. He was the PT Physics here from 1986 and has been a tremendous mentor to the staff who joined that department and a hugely wise and committed teacher to many generations of pupils here. I appreciated his thoughtful comments about any changes we were introducing to the school.
Mr Scott in the PE Department is also moving to Dunbar Grammar School as Head of Health and Wellbeing. He has been with us for 6 years. Nothing is too much trouble for him and I thank him for all his work here and wish him well in his new post when he starts in August.
Several staff have been with us for a year as newly qualified teachers so we say goodbye to Ms McGhee in Music, Mr McCarthy and Ms Benson in PE, Ms Robinson in English and Mr Ritchie in History. Ms Mitchell and Mr Calder finish as temporary teachers in Social Studies also.
The final staffing change is my own. I am going on secondment for two years to the Scottish Qualifications Authority in August as Head of Qualifications Development. This post oversees the introduction of the new National Qualifications in Higher and Advanced Higher. It is an exciting opportunity to be involved in national developments and one that I am looking forward to. However, it is my intention to retire as Head Teacher at the end of that secondment and I have agreed that the authority can advertise the post on a permanent basis. I thus will finish as Head Teacher here at the end of the term in July. The authority will appoint an Acting Head Teacher until the post has been advertised, interviewed and a preferred candidate identified. It has been a very enjoyable 11 years in post and it has been a privilege to serve this community and work with so many committed staff and supportive parents and pupils. I leave with many happy memories.
Change to the Mailshot arrangements
Traditionally, we have sent out a mailshot by post in September to all our parents with a booklet of details and several return forms. The cost of running off a large booklet and the postage for this is considerable and we have decided that we will now place the information on the school website, which we are reconfiguring. Parents will receive a set of forms to complete and return by pupil post. (Any parent who does not have access to the website can ask for a paper copy of the booklet.)
The final examination in this year’s diet took place on Monday 2nd June, the day the seniors returned from examination leave. We were very impressed with the attitude of the pupils sitting examinations this year – National 5 for S4 and Intermediates, Higher and Advanced Higher for S5 and S6 – arriving in good time, well prepared and methodical in their use of time during each examination. The invigilators led by Mr Reeves were very complimentary.
Perhaps it would be timely to say to parents of the new S4 that last year’s S4 had to be very organised and keep on top of work right from the start of June. Several should have been presented at a higher level or had to be withdrawn from courses because their coursework was not handed in on time and they could not be passed for a course.
After a number of preparatory events and transitions organised by the school and Community Learning and Development, we will welcome P7 pupils for their two day visit on Tuesday 17th and Monday 18th June. They will arrive slightly later than usual on Tuesday because of the Queen’s Baton Relay.
Queen’s Baton Relay
We have now been notified of the exact time when this will pass through Musselburgh, which is later than we expected. It starts at 9:00am at Murdoch’s Green, Musselburgh. The route follows Edinburgh Road onto Bridge Street, High Street, Linksfield Road and arrives at Ravensheugh Road at approx. 10am. Having pupils come in to school and then leave again, causing congestion as they move to the route is not a good idea, so here is what we expect:
• Pupils who do NOT want to see the relay can come to school at the normal time, but once they are here, they stay here and go to their classes.
• Pupils who DO want to see the relay can go to the vantage points straight from home and then come to school: they must arrive by 10.30 when we will take registration.
End of term details
School Concert Thursday 26th June 7.30pm
Prizegiving Wednesay 2nd July 7pm
End of term Friday 4th July at 12.10pm
School reopens for pupils on Thursday 21st August at 8.45.