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2021/22 End of Session

I hope everyone in our parent/carer community are safe and well.

Once again we find ourselves at the end of another academic session. It was an academic session that was, once again, impacted by COVID. Managing pupil and staff absences during the first half of this session was a challenge. However, I am pleased to share that thanks to the support and cooperation of everyone in our community, the impact was minimal and we continued to provide a very good standard and quality of learning. We are now experiencing an almost return to pre-COVID times and I fully expect to operate all normal and routine events next academic session.

Nursery

The Scottish Government Nursery 1140 expansion hours means that our nursery class operates during the summer period. I am looking forward, excitedly, to welcoming our pre-school nursery children to our p.1 year group.

Leavers

We have a number of children in P.1 to P.6 who are moving on to different schools. I offer those children and their families every good wish for their move.

P.7

I wish to offer my sincere thanks to our P.7 pupils. As a P.7 cohort they have been outstanding. They have been great ambassadors for the school and their families. Their recent activity week and beach visit was concluded over the last two evening where they performed a brilliant show; ‘Ali Baba and the Bongo Bandits’.

I offer every good luck to all of our P.7 pupils as the transition to secondary school.

Staffing

Probationers

We have been very fortunate to benefit from our three probationers this session. Ms. Hogg (P.2D). Ms. Dahne (P.3B) and Mrs. Wyatt (P.5B). They have worked extremely diligently and provided excellent learning experiences for their pupils. Mrs. Wyatt has been appointed to a teaching position at Pinkie Primary School. Congratulations and good luck to Mrs. Wyatt. I hope, and I am sure that Ms. Hogg and Ms. Dahne will secure teaching posts soon. I wish them the very best of fortune.

Returning Probationers

We have been very fortunate to benefit from the teaching skills of two of our probationers from last session; Mr. Pepper (P.4B) and Ms. Forbes (P.4C). They have enjoyed great successes with their respective classes. I wish them well going forward and I am sure they will secure teaching posts very soon.

I take this opportunity to thank all of our staff team. We are a large team and everyone contributes immeasurably to the effectiveness of our team. I thank the teaching team, the support staff team (C.A.s an ASN’s), our administrative team, our janitorial team, catering team and cleaning team. Collectively, they undertake and deliver an excellent service. I wish all who are having a break, a happy and healthy summer.

Finally, my sincere thanks, gratitude and appreciation to our parent/carer community. You are a tremendous support to the school community. I offer a most sincere happy and healthy summer living our school values; HAPPY – POSITIVE – SUCCESSFUL. I look forward to seeing everyone on return for Session 2022/23 on Wednesday 17th August 2022.

Class Organisation 2022/23

Class Organisation Information and Additional Information

I hope you are all well and once again I thank all in our school community for their tremendous support.

I am pleased to share next session’s class organisation with you. Please refer to the attachment. The attachment will inform you of your child’s class teacher and their class. Please refer to the column on the right hand side of the attachment. This column states their present class and teacher.

Class Organisation for Session 2022 23

You will be informed by the attachment that there are several posts that require to be filled. I am working on this presently and I will update you as soon as possible.

Teachers will be informing the pupils of their teacher for next session during the course of Friday 10th June 2022.

‘Move Up Afternoon’ – Monday 13th June 2022

During the afternoon of Monday 13th June 2022, pupils and teachers will ‘move up/on’ to meet their teachers in the base they will be occupying.

In some cases it will not be possible to meet their teacher on this day as they will not be present or appointed. For example our probationer teacher, Ms. Rachel Allan teaching P.2A, will not be available. On this afternoon our present probationers will undertake the role of meeting the children.

Primary 2 Classes (Presently P.1)

Present P.1 parents/carers will be aware that we are operating with five classes, where the maximum class size is twenty-five. In Primary 2 the maximum class size increases to thirty, thus we can reduce this class organisation to four classes.

A significant amount of time and effort has been committed to constructing the new P.2 classes for next session. The P.1 teaching team and leadership team have met on numerous occasions to identify the best combinations of children.

Mrs. Farrell, our Business Administrator, will be issuing a text message to all P.1 parents/carers during the course of the day on Friday 10th June. Regrettably, owing to data protection, we are unable to publish class lists.

The text message will provide the following information: your child’s name – your child’s P.2 class (e.g. A or B or C or D) – your child’s class teacher.

I hope this is helpful.

Primary 1 Classes

We welcome our new P.1 pupils and their families. We welcome our children and families from our own nursery class and from our partner/feeder nurseries. Mrs. Kirsty Murray (Deputy Head Teacher), has responsibility for all aspects of our new P.1 classes. Mrs. Murray has led a very comprehensive and successful series of transition events. Mrs. Murray has issued information regarding new P.1 classes and teachers by Royal Mail. Our new P.1 families should be in receipt of this information in the next day or so.

Infant Campus Sports Day – Friday 10th June 2022

The Infant Campus Sports Day will take place on Friday 10th June 2022. I am sure this will be a hugely enjoyable and successful event. My thanks to Mrs. Louise Arnold (P.E. Specialist) for her hard work and organisation.

I hope many family members will be in attendance to support their children.

I offer my most sincere apology. I am unable to attend the Infant Sports Day as I am attending a family funeral. I am disappointed to miss out on one of the most exciting events on the school’s calendar.

Primary 7

A special mention for our P.7 cohort of students who enter the last three years of their primary school career. My thanks to the parents/carers who organised a bake sale to raise funds and to those parents organising the P.7 disco on Thursday 23rd June at the rugby club.

Next week, in the absence of a residential outdoor experience, our P.7 group will enjoy a series of activities during their ‘activities week’.

I am looking forward to the P.7 show being performed on the evenings of Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th June.

I offer my sincere thanks to Mr. Love, Mrs. Walker, Ms. Kerr and Mrs. Guy, our P.7 team. They have been outstanding, as have our P.7 students who are a credit to the school and their families.

I hope this information is helpful and informative.  Best wishes, Willie

Haddington Primary School PTA

After an absence over the last few years due to Covid-19 and then lack of committee members, we are hopeful that the school’s PTA will be reconvened from August, if we recruit enough committee members and volunteers.

The PTA is a fundamental part of the school, raising much needed funds to enhance the learning and teaching environment for all the children, from Nursery to P7.

In order for our PTA to operate at an optimum we need your help! We are looking for the following people to be on our committee from August onwards:

*Chairperson
*Vice Chair
(or these two roles could be taken as co-chair roles)
*Secretary

We have already successfully filled the Treasurer’s role, which was one of the main reasons we couldn’t restart until now.

On top of these roles we also need parent volunteers to be part of the wider PTA. There are no specific committee roles attached to this, just your presence at our meetings, which equate to approx. one a term plus Ad hoc, smaller meetings for year group events plus your help to run events as part of the PTA.

We’ve been joined by three staff members who are keen to help and support in any way. Our thanks to Shona Walker, Kirsty McLeod and Louise Arnold for being part of this and helping to support.

Initial meetings have been conducive and there are many exciting events and ideas we would like to happen over the new school year and beyond but we really need volunteers to help this to happen.

If you are interested in finding out more and joining the PTA, either in a committee role or on a volunteer basis, please email haddingtonpspta@gmail.com to be added to our distribution list.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Haddington PS PTA

Dates for your Diary

Forward Planning – Dates for your Diary
 
I hope all within our school community are keeping well.
 
With many of the COVID restrictions being relaxed, we are enjoying partaking in drama sessions, sports sessions, excursions and cross campus ‘buddying’ experiences.
 
This is a busy and exciting term as we prepare P.7 pupils for their secondary school transition, we welcome our prospective P.1 pupils via their transition, and the transitions as classes move on.
 
Please note the following dates for your diary:
 
Wednesday 18th May 2022 – Upper Campus Sports Day
 
·         9.15 a.m. to midday = P.6 and P.7 at Knox Academy Playing Fields
·         1.30 p.m. to 3.00 p.m. = P.4 and P.5 at Millfield Playing Fields (adjacent to our nursery class).
 
Please note that parents and carers are most welcome to attend to spectate – I hope that we see a good parent/carer attendance.
 
Monday 23rd May 2022 – Staff In Service Day
 
The school and the nursery are  closed on this day. Pupils and children should not attend.
 
Friday 3rd June 2022 – Jubilee Holiday
 
To mark the occasion of the Queen’s 75 year reign, all schools have been awarded a holiday on this day.
 
The school and the nursery are  closed on this day. Pupils and children should not attend.
 
Friday 10th June 2022 – Infant Campus Sports Day
 
·         9.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. – P.1, P.2 and P.3 at Millfield Playing Fields.
 
Please note that parents and carers are most welcome to attend to spectate – I hope that we see a good parent/carer attendance.
 
I hope to see many of you at our Sports Days.
 
Thank you for your continued help and support.
 
Best wishes.  Willie

A Fond Farewell To Brian Smith, Deputy Head Teacher

I am sure you have often heard the term ‘national treasure’ being used in reference to those people who are famous or have celebrity status. He may not be known nationally, however he can certainly be referred to as a ‘Haddington treasure’. Brian Smith is well known to thousands of present and former pupils, present and former parents/carers, grandparents and many people in the Haddington community. I am aware that many of our parent community were taught by Mr. Smith or have memories of him as a Deputy Head Teacher. It may be that some of our younger grandparent community may have been taught by Mr. Smith. Regardless of age or status, Brian Smith is well known within the Haddington community, and well-loved too!!

Following twenty-nine years of unbroken service and commitment to formerly Kings Meadow Primary School, presently Haddington Primary School and the wider Haddington community, Brian Smith is retiring and leaves us tomorrow, Friday 8th April 2022.

I write this communication from a professional and personal perspective.

Brian hails from the west coast, his early years growing up in East Kilbride and Glasgow. He attended St. Kenneth’s RC Primary School followed by St. Bride’s RC High School, both East Kilbride. Brian’s father was a mathematics teacher who was promoted to the position of Head Teacher at St. Patrick’s RC High School, Coatbridge. Brian has fond memories of his father’s role as a Labour Party councillor in East Kilbride, assisting him delivering Labour Party leaflets. Brian’s father achieved the prestigious honour of becoming Provost of East Kilbride. This provided one great privilege for Brian as he and his friends were often delivered to the local swimming baths in the provost’s Daimler car.

Upon leaving school, Brian was unsure which direction his future career would take. He undertook various temporary employment in Agnew’s Stores, The Windjammer Public House and Glasgow City Parks Department. The school has been fortunate to benefit from this legacy, as Brian’s love of flora and horticulture has been evident in the garden areas of the school, pupils presently continue to benefit from Brian’s gardening guidance and experience.

Brian eventually enrolled on a building degree course at the Glasgow College of Building and Printing but after a year decided that this was not the direction he wanted to take.

Brian then attended Jordanhill College, Glasgow, to undertake a degree course in Youth and Community Work. The community part of this degree course has become significant as Brian acknowledges, understands and values the concept of ‘the community’, and many in the Haddington community have benefited from Brian’s community contributions.

After graduating from Jordanhill College, Brian worked in two different residential schools over a five year period. It was during this time that Brian identified his interest and skills would be best suited to primary school education. Brian undertook a one year post graduate course at Moray House College of Education/Edinburgh University and qualified as a primary school teacher.

So, on 18th August 1993, Brian began his ‘Haddington odyssey’, securing a teaching position at Kings Meadow Primary School. Twenty-nine years later, Brian continues to serve the Haddington community with the same level of commitment, passion and energy. His first memory of Haddington was meeting Mr. Donald McGillvary (Head Teacher) to view the school, only to be greeted by rubble following a fire that decimated the school building.

Following a successful eight year period of being a class teacher, Brian was promoted to the post of Senior Teacher in 2001, the newly created Principal Teacher post in 2004 and to his present position of Deputy Head Teacher in 2006.

I have really enjoyed Brian sharing some memorable and happy stories of his time in Haddington. Leaving his school diary on the roof of his car, to be found by a member of the public and the row he received from Mr. McGillvary. His coastguard outfit worn on a visit to the Dunbar Coastguard base and submerged in Dunbar harbour, his endless stories of visits to Benmore Camp, Dunoon, and his fond memories of many former and present pupils.

In my professional opinion, Brian Smith is in every way a model professional. How do you replace twenty-nine years of local knowledge, expertise and commitment to the community? An impossible task!

I admire Brian’s values; his dignified respect for humanity, fairness, compassion, awareness, focus, integrity, perseverance, sense of service and sensitivity to social justice.

I know that everyone in our community regards him with the greatest respect.

When merging Kings Meadow Primary School and Haddington Infants’ School to become Haddington Primary School, Brian was a key part of formulating our new values of Happy (H), Positive (P) and Successful (S). His priority has always been to create the best culture and ethos to support learning and teaching. Additionally, with regard to commitment, who would drive to Haddington from Peebles, in all conditions, for sixteen years?

However, it is the most basic of values that has endeared Brian to all whose lives he has influenced; kindness, friendship, helpful, supportive, humorous, and generous and giving of his time.

I referred at the beginning of this communication that I would also comment from a personal perspective. Brian and I share the same birth year, therefore we are the same age and fondly remember the key decades of ‘growing up’ in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Our very keen interest in sport, mainly football, and music, has presented the opportunity for many great conversations. We are both ‘west coasters’ hailing from Glasgow, the only contention is our supporting two football teams of very different colours.

From a personal level I will miss Brian very much; the laughs, his empathy, his support and friendship.

There are a few quotes and statements that can be associated with Brian:

‘Many people walk in and out of your life, only true friends leave a footprint’.

‘Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer’.

Finally………………..’Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing you will be successful’. Brian has brought us all happiness and it is clear that Brian has loved his vocation and this has ensured Brian has led and experienced much success.

The present staff team enjoyed a retirement afternoon tea last Friday, 1st April 2022. My thanks to Lynn Paton and Karen McGinlay for their excellent organisation and to Sophie Askew (Music Specialist) for performing and providing lovely harp music. My sincere thanks to the full staff team for their contributions ensuring a happy and positive ethos. A dinner will be convened during the summer term to enable some of Brian’s former colleagues to celebrate Brian’s retirement.

To conclude, I am sure you will join me in offering a most sincere thank you to Brian Smith for his outstanding contribution to the school and the local community, and to wish Brian every happiness and good health as he embarks on a new and exciting episode of his life.