Head Teacher Update 13/01/23

Head Teacher Update 13/01/23

Happy New Year! This is a long one, as lots has been happening…

I am pleased to be able to begin to introduce some of the team who will be joining us at the new campus.

Our preferred candidate for the post of Business Manager is Ms Paula O’Neill who, subject to pre-employment checks, will join us at the end of February. Ms O’Neill is currently the Business Manager at Ross High School and comes to us with a wealth of experience and strong ELC networks. Ms O’Neill has a crucial role to play in terms of finance, resources, staffing, and a whole range of operational responsibilities related to the new building. I know she absolutely relishes the opportunity of this new challenge.

Mr Neil Valentine is the preferred candidate for the post of Depute Head Teacher, Pupil Support. Subject to pre-employment checks, he will join us from the 6th of March. Mr Valentine is currently a Pupil Support Leader at Musselburgh Grammar school and, as such, will be a huge asset in terms of the smooth transition of young people across the three year groups. Mr Valentine’s key responsibility is the safety, wellbeing and inclusion of young people, and he is very much looking forward to focusing on establishing the positive climate for learning that I know is so important to all of us.

We also have a preferred candidate for the role of DHT Curriculum, about which I will provide further details next week.

Both parents and pupils have been involved, and continue to be involved, in the recruitment of the senior team. This has been very positive for all of us, and I really do appreciate the input of the school community as a whole.

I am also very fortunate in being able to welcome a number of middle leaders who are currently employed at Musselburgh Grammar School, but who will move to work at the new campus from Term 3 (dates to be confirmed):

  • Curriculum Leader for Languages and Literacy: English, Media, and Modern Languages, with a whole school responsibility for Literacy.
  • Curriculum Leader of Social Subjects: Business Education, Geography, History and Modern Studies, with a whole school responsibility for Learning for Sustainability.
  • Curriculum Leader for Science and Technology: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and a range of CDT courses, with a whole school responsibility for Digital Learning.

All of the staff are very excited about the possibilities afforded by the next steps in their careers, and we are very lucky to have the experience and expertise that they bring. They will also have an important role to play in transition.

In the coming weeks we will populate the ‘Our Staff’ section of the website in order to help you get to know the team.

A number of additional middle leader posts will now be open to external recruitment. These include:

  • Curriculum Leader for Expressive Arts
  • Curriculum Leader for Health and Wellbeing
  • Curriculum Leader for Maths and Numeracy
  • Curriculum Leader for Support for Learning

I look forward to providing further staffing updates in due course.

In terms of continuing parental engagement, you should now have received a letter from your associated schools with information on a range of surveys you can complete to support the further development of the school identity. I really value your input and hope that as many people as possible are able to have their say.

A copy of the letter can be accessed here: Parent Survey Letter with links to Google Forms

You may also have noticed that there is now a sample timetable for S3 under the Curriculum tab on the website, as well as a link to some information on S3 Pathways. Young people moving into S3 in August 2023 will be supported to select two Personal Pathways to continue to extend their learning in the final stage of their Broad General Education. I am currently working with Mr Valentine on collecting the relevant data for learners, and we will be working with them on this during the month of February.

I had my first site visit of 2023 this week and am thrilled to report that we have doors, sinks, benches in the science labs… It’s all coming together. It was also great to meet with representatives from Edinburgh College, who were visiting the Regional Construction Skills facilities. Their presence on campus is going to be a real strength within the senior phase curriculum which we will be scoping out during the course of the coming academic year.


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