Head Teacher Update 27/01/23

Our next phase of recruitment is now well underway and our young people have once again risen to the challenge of supporting this. I visited Pinkie St. Peter’s this week where P7 pupils worked with me to generate questions for the upcoming Curriculum Leader interviews. I really admired their clear focus on kindness, inclusion, and relationships in the classroom. I also very much enjoyed the fact that they arrived with a bunch of questions they had for me, so I have added to the Pupil FAQ section on the website accordingly. The direct link is here: Pupil FAQs

‘Will you bring your dog to visit the new school?’ goes down as my favourite Pupil Voice question ever.

With our timetable now largely devised the next adverts to go out will be for classroom teachers. I will continue to include updates here, and our staff list on the website is amended regularly to reflect the emerging picture: WLC Draft Staff List

In continuing to learn from other schools, I visited West Calder High School this week. Both the staff and the young people there were very clear about the importance of everyone in the community understanding the relationship between the spaces that have been created and the learning and teaching that goes on in them. I am hugely grateful to the HT, Greg McDowall, for pulling together a full day’s programme that gave me a real sense of the school. I particularly appreciated one of the S6 pupils reminding me to make sure I have enough bins, as one of her strongest memories of moving to the new school was always struggling to find one! Duly noted.

There was a busy site visit this week with Mr Valentine, Mrs Stewart-Young and Ms O’Neill all getting their first proper look at our new home. We are already working hard as a team to consider how we will create a safe, secure space that welcomes all of our learners, and doesn’t feel overwhelming. We were also joined by guests from the University of Edinburgh, who are supporting me through the completion of my Masters in Leadership and Learning this year. My current research project is focused on the work I am doing in developing a professional learning programme for our new senior and middle leaders. They found it really helpful to be able to picture the building I have been reflecting on in our course discussions more accurately, and were particularly envious of my beautiful corner office which, like much of the building, has developed significantly every time I look. Our first SLT phot is on Twitter @MsPrestonHT

The Google Form on Vision and Values is currently open and I hope you can take the time to make a note of the vocabulary you would most like to see. So far, there has been a lots of focus on wellbeing, positivity and responsibility. Once our senior leadership team has started, we will start to share some ideas on how we will turn these into clear vision and values statements.

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