Parent/Carer Information Update

I hope everyone in our community are keeping safe and well. Please note the following information:

Additional Holiday (Queen Elizabeth Funeral)

·         Most, if not all, within our school community will be aware that Queen Elizabeth’s funeral is scheduled for Monday 19th September 2022.

·         This date is already a September holiday and other areas of the United Kingdom are being allocated a holiday to acknowledge Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.

·         East Lothian has made an arrangement to set another date for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral’s allocated holiday.

·         Monday 24th October 2022 was scheduled to be a Staff In-Service Day with pupils remaining on holiday to return on Tuesday 25th October 2022.

·         The In-Service Day will now be Tuesday 25th October 2022 and pupils will resume on Wednesday 26th October 2022.

Thank you for your support and understanding.

Parent/Carer Consultations

I recently informed our parent/carer community of the following Parent/Carer Consultation dates:

·         Tuesday 11th October 2022 – 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

·         Wednesday 12th October 2022 – 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

I am very pleased to confirm that these consultations will take the form of ‘in person’, where parents and carers will attend school.

We look forward with much anticipation to these consultations, the first ‘in person’ consultations since October 2019.

I also inform you that booking a parent/carer consultation will be online.  Further details will be issued closer to these dates.

Haddington Primary School – School Review – Week beginning Monday 26th September 2022

You may recall that I informed our parent/carer community of our impending Full School Review to be conducted by East Lothian Council’s Education and Children’s Services. This is normal practice and a number of primary and secondary schools are scheduled to be reviewed this school session.

The purpose of the SCHOOL and EARLY LEARNING and CHILDCARE REVIEW is to support self-evaluation for self-improvement against the priorities identified nationally, locally and by the school. The focus will be on the quality of learning, teaching and assessment, progress in raising attainment and achievement, and leadership of change.

The Review Team will be gathering evidence and information by way of the following:

  •  Quantitative data – provided by school.
  • Direct observations (learning visits to classes, viewing pupil work samples and viewing pupil assessment evidence).
  • People’s views (pupil focus groups, leadership meetings, teacher focus groups and parent/carer focus group).

Parent/Carer Focus Group

I invite those parents and carers who might be interested in joining a Parent/Carer Focus Group to consider this opportunity.  The Review Team are looking to meet THREE different groups of parents/carers, each group will consist of SIX parents/carers, therefore I want to invite EIGHTEEN parents/carers in total.

These meetings will take place DURING THE AFTERNOON and AFTER SCHOOL on WEDNESDAY 28th SEPTEMBER 2022.

All schools in Scotland are evaluated using Education Scotland’s ‘How Good Is Our School 4’. This document consists a series of QUALITY INDICATORS. Those parents/carers joining the focus groups will be encouraged to discuss the following indicators:

  • Quality Indicator 1.3 Leadership of Change
  • Quality Indicator 2.2 Curriculum
  • Quality Indicator 3.1 Ensuring Wellbeing, Equality and Inclusion
  • Quality Indicator 3.2 Raising Attainment and Achievement

I will provide those parents/carers selected with further information and guidance.

I invite those parents/carers who might be keen to join a focus group to register their interest as soon as possible. I will be selecting parents/carers to represent every stage, where possible, from Nursery through the school stages to P.7.

In the event that more than eighteen parents/carers register an interest, I will draw lots to identify those who will represent the parent/carer group.

Please e mail your name and child’s name and class if you are interested. Please email me at wfrench@haddingtonps.elcschool.org.uk

Please e mail me no later than close of business on THURSDAY 15th SEPTEMBER 2022.  Thank you all for your continued help and support. I look forward to hearing from you.

Willie French

Haddington Primary School – School Review

I write to inform parents and carers that Haddington Primary School is to be the subject of an East Lothian Council Children’s Services’ School Review. This is a routine exercise and we are one school within a number of schools scheduled to be reviewed during this academic year.

All schools are subject to local authority school reviews. Haddington Infants’ and Kings Meadow, as was, were previously subject to a school review in 2016. Nearly seven years have passed since the previous reviews, nearly a generational cycle, therefore we are scheduled for a school review. Please note that the review is referred to as a ‘School Review’, however, as our Nursery is a class, our Nursery is included in the review.

The School Review will commence on Monday 26th September 2022. The School Review Team will undertake a ‘full review’ and this will take the duration of the full week.

All stakeholders will be consulted and will participate. There is a significant participation for the parent/carer community.

School Review; The Context

The purpose of school and early learning and childcare review is to support self-evaluation for self-improvement against the priorities in the National Improvement Framework with a focus on the quality of learning, teaching and assessment, progress in raising attainment and achievement, and leadership to change.

How will the School Review be conducted and what will be involved?

The school will be reviewed in the following areas:

  • Leadership of change
  • Safeguarding and protection of children
  • Curriculum
  • Learning, teaching and assessment
  • Ensuring well-being, equality and inclusion
  • Raising attainment and achievement

The nursery will be reviewed in the following areas:

  • Leadership of change
  • Safeguarding and protection of children
  • Curriculum
  • Learning, teaching and assessment
  • Securing children’s progress

How will information and evidence be gathered/collected:

  • The school will provide data: attainment, progress and achievement, attendance data, policies, standards and quality report and improvement plan priorities.
  • There will be direct observations: learning visits (the review team will visit and observe in class bases), pupil work samples and pupil assessment evidence.
  • Stakeholders’ views: the following focus groups will meet the review team – pupil focus groups, teacher focus groups, leadership team meetings, parent/carer focus group. *I will be issuing another communication in the following days inviting those parents/carers interested in joining a focus group.

The final part of the evidence gathering will take the form of surveys. Surveys have already been issued to pupils, teachers, support staff and the leadership team.

Please scroll below to find the link for the parent/carers survey. There are two surveys as follows: 1) Quality Improvement, and 2) Safeguarding and child protection.

I appeal that all parents/carers participate in the survey below. It is vitally important that the school review team receive as much information as possible to conduct the review as best as possible. Additionally, I am keen for our parent/carer community to convey and share the many effective and successful aspects of our school and its community.

The survey must be completed and submitted NO LATER THAN CLOSE OF BUSINESS ON MONDAY 19th SEPTEMBER 2022.

Parents and Carers Survey:

QIT Survey – https://forms.gle/qe1nVKCNkBAbDiwb8

Safeguarding Survey – https://forms.gle/iLCo2zeL8jT5UGSL6

I offer my most sincere and grateful thanks for your help and support.

In the event you have any questions regarding the School Review please do not hesitate to email me at wfrench@haddingtonps.elcschool.org.uk

Best wishes,  Willie French

Haddington Primary School – Information Update

We are now in our fourth week following the return from the summer break. I am very pleased to share with you that the return to school has been very successful. Our new P.1 pupils have settled very quickly, as have our new pupils who have joined other year stages. I am also pleased to share that our newly started members of the staff team have settled in very quickly and are adding great value to our school.

As stated in a previous communication, this is the first start to a new session, since 2019, we have been free from COVID restrictions and implications. The following information is a return to some of the pre-pandemic events and initiatives where parents/carers can visit the school and participate in school initiatives.

Our school community continues to work towards realising our values – HAPPY – POSITIVE – SUCCESSFUL.

Buddying

Many parents/carers of our older pupils will be aware that the two separate schools; Haddington Infants and Kings Manor, merged to form Haddington Primary School in September/October 2018. We now operate as Haddington Primary School in two campuses: Infant Campus and Upper Campus. In addition we have a Nursery class provision. To develop and create a ‘one school ethos’, we planned and initiated a ‘buddying’ programme. Year stages met to undertake joint activities to ‘connect’ the two campuses, thus creating a one school ethos. This was evaluated as a very successful initiative with activities involving different stages and ages, different activities, family siblings working together, older children modelling good practice and younger children observing good practice.

Regrettably, the COVID restrictions and operating in ‘groups’  and ‘campuses’ halted this excellent initiative. I am pleased to confirm that we will soon be recommencing our ‘buddying’ initiative and year groups will work together as follows:

  • Nursery and P.6 (next academic session, our present P.6 stage will assist with the transition of nursery children to P.1)
  • P.1 and P.7
  • P.2 and P.5
  • P.3 and P.4 (activities involving these two year stages will add value to transition from Infant Campus to Upper Campus)

Open Mornings

Pre-COVID, we enjoyed several Open Mornings. This provided the opportunity for parents/carers to visit both campuses. Parents/carers were invited to ‘walk around’ both campuses, observing the school/classes on an operational basis. Parents/carers observed the focus/engagement applied by the pupils, observed aspects of learning and teaching, experienced the positive ethos, and afforded the opportunity to view samples of work and displays. A ‘visitors’ book’ invited parents/carers to write comments of evaluation. These evaluative comments provided evidence of a very positive school ethos.

I am pleased to inform you that Open Mornings will operate on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 1st November 2022
  • Thursday 9th February 2023
  • Wednesday 10th May 2023

I will issue more specific details nearer the these dates.

Focus Weeks

Pre pandemic, we enjoyed school focus weeks. These weeks involved a week of specific learning and teaching activities on a whole school focus. Following these focus weeks, opportunities were provided for parents/carers to view and discuss the work undertaken and tasks completed.

I am pleased to inform you that we will be operating three focus weeks as follows:

  • Focus Week 1 – ‘WORLD OF WORK’ – I will be inviting parents/carers/relatives/neighbours/friends to visit school to share their work/profession/occupation experience with groups of children/classes. More details will follow closer to the date. This will take place for the duration of the week beginning Monday 28th November 2022.
  • Focus Week 2 – ‘WRITING FOCUS WEEK’ – the main curricular development priority in our Improvement Plan focuses on WRITING. During this week we will focus on several genres of writing, writers’ craft and producing a completed piece of writing. This will take place for the duration of the week beginning Monday 30th January 2023.
  • Focus Week 3 – ‘FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS ACTIVITY WEEK’ – during the week that our P.7 pupils attend Benmore Residential Camp, the other classes will undertake a ‘festival of the arts activity week’. Classes might focus on the following; music, art, drama and physical activity, a combination of some or all. This will take place for the duration of the week beginning Monday 22nd May 2023.

Dates for Forward Planning

September 2022:

  • Friday 16th September 2022 – School closed for Autumn Holiday.
  • Monday 19th September 2022 – School closed for Autumn Holiday.
  • Wednesday 21st September 2022 – East Lothian Courier take photographs of P.1 classes for their P.1 supplement.
  • Week beginning Monday 26th September 2022 – East Lothian Council Full School Review – more details and information to follow.

October 2022

  •  Tuesday 11th October 2022 – 4.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. – Parent/Carer Consultations.
  • Wednesday 12th October 2022 – 4.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. – Parent/Carer Consultations.
  • Friday 14th October 2022 – School closes for October mid-term holiday.
  • Monday 24th October 2022 – Staff In Service Day. Pupils should not attend.
  • Tuesday 25th October 2022 – Pupils resume from October mid-term holiday.

I hope this information is helpful.  Finally, I thank everyone in our excellent school community for their continued help and support.

Best wishes, Willie

Latest School News

Mrs. Caroline Wight – Deputy Head Teacher

You will recall that Mr. Brian Smith, Deputy Head Teacher, retired at Easter time after twenty-nine years of service to Kings Meadow Primary School, and Haddington Primary School thereafter.

I am pleased to inform you that Mrs. Caroline Wight, appointed Deputy Head Teacher to succeed Brian Smith, has now joined the ‘leadership team’ at Haddington Primary School.

Mrs. Wight adds a wide and varied set of experiences and skills to the team and the wider work of the school.

Mrs. Wight has been a qualified teacher for nineteen years, starting her teaching career at Langfaulds Primary School, Glasgow City Council, as a probationer and contributing to their Literacy programme. Mrs. Wight went on to work in four primary schools in Glasgow, her last position being a nurture teacher at Whiteinch Primary School. Owing to family circumstances, Mrs. Wight relocated to Plymouth where she worked at Austin Farm Academy, Plymouth City Council, undertaking classroom duties and ‘maths leader’.  Mrs. Wight also held the post of SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator). Mrs. Wight returned to Scotland in 2018, appointed Principal Teacher for Inclusion and Equality at Dunbar Primary School (John Muir Campus).

Mrs. Wight is now three weeks into her post and she has settled in very quickly, becoming familiar with the school community and using her initiative to undertake many tasks.

I am sure you will join me in wishing Mrs. Wight the very best of wishes for a happy, positive and successful time at Haddington Primary School. I know I can rely on everyone in our excellent school community to provide Mrs. Wight with a very friendly and inclusive welcome.

This is an appropriate time to provide some details of our leadership teams. Every member of our school community should be encouraged to be a leader; staff, pupils and parents. However, we do have dedicated leadership teams as follows:

Leadership Team 1

·         Willie French – Head Teacher – based in Infant and Upper Campuses

·         Kirsty Murray – Deputy Head Teacher – based in Infant Campus

·         Sally Murray – Deputy Head Teacher – based in Infant Campus

·         Caroline Wight – Deputy Head Teacher – based in Upper Campus

Despite having a base in a campus, all four members of this team have whole school responsibilities – we work across both campuses. We have year stage responsibilities and additional responsibilities as follows:

·         Willie French – responsibility for P.6 and P.7 and overall/general responsibility for the whole community – Nursery to P.7.

·         Kirsty Murray – responsibility for P.2 and P.4 and whole school responsibility for Literacy.

·         Sally Murray – responsibility for Nursery and P.1 and whole school responsibility for Numeracy.

·         Caroline Wight – responsibility for P.3 and P.5 – Mrs. Wight has not yet been allocated specific responsibilities providing her with the opportunity to familiarise with the school’s practices and routines.

Leadership Team 2

·          Willie French – Head Teacher – based in Infant and Upper Campuses

·         Kirsty Murray – Deputy Head Teacher – based in Infant Campus

·         Sally Murray – Deputy Head Teacher – based in Infant Campus

·         Caroline Wight – Deputy Head Teacher – based in Upper Campus

·         Lynn Paton – Principal Teacher – Support for Learning – based in Upper Campus

·         Emma Bull – Principal Teacher – Support for Learning – based in Upper Campus

Mrs. Paton and Mrs. Bull oversee all work related to ASN (Additional Support Needs). Despite both Mrs. Paton and Mrs. Bull being based in the Upper Campus, they undertake whole school responsibilities from Nursery to P.7.

I hope this information is helpful.  Thank you for your continued help and support.