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.

PTA Meeting – Monday 29th August

The first meeting of the PTA will take place on Monday 29th August, at 6.30pm in the Upper Campus.  A number of people have indicated that they would be interested in joining which is great.  Please feel free to come along regardless of whether you want to take an active role or not.

Agenda for the meeting will be:
~ introductions – including staff members
~ aim of PTA
~ electing roles for PTA committee (Chair, Vice Chair (or two co-chairs), Secretary, potentially social media ‘operator’?!)
~ possibility of sub-committees/working parties
~ accounts to date and introduction to Sam Bidder, our new Treasurer
~ Cash 4 Kids playground project plan (if you are OK with this Lyn?)
~ school ideas for spending to give a focus
~ calendar for events for year, including meeting dates
~ grants/funds/businesses that may be able to support PTA
~ easy fundraising
Please refer to the following flyer for further information.

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