Month: March 2023

Head Teacher Update 31/03/23

Recruitment has continued at a pace in the last few days, with preferred candidates identified for both Chemistry and Physics. After the holiday, we’ll be focusing on PE, HE, Maths, Drama, Art, and various support roles. Many applicants have spoken explicitly about being inspired by the overall vision of the school, particularly our approaches to the curriculum, in its widest sense. They really are ready to embrace The Rosehill Way!

The quality of candidates coming though means that we can now identify teacher leaders for various aspects of school development, and Mrs Stewart-Young can begin constructing the detailed timetable in earnest. Many of you will know that we are doing things a little bit differently in terms of including, alongside traditional subject specialisms, specific timetabled approaches to cross cutting themes such as learning for sustainability and digital literacy. To this end, we will be holding an online Curriculum Evening in May, which will be open to all parents and young people. This will help you to see the big picture in terms of how we will be organising each curricular area across session 23-34. We’ll confirm the date after the holiday.

This will rely on the expertise of our Curriculum Leaders, and the senior leadership team are looking forward to welcoming them on the 24th April. In preparation, we have been developing our ‘Big Thinking’ folder of ideas and resources to ensure that we are building the best school possible. This includes a significant professional learning programme for the incoming staff, based on the core quality indicators from the How Good Is Our School (4) Framework. These are:

  • 1.3 Leadership of change: Focusing on vision and values, knowing our context and community, and learning and growing with this understanding at the forefront.
  • 2.3 Learning, teaching and assessment: Looking at day to day classroom experiences, with a drive on consistency of practice around what we know works best to support pupil progress.
  • 3.1 Ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion: Building a school community that embraces every one of its members, no matter what their background or lived experiences.

A PDF copy of the HGIOS Framework is available here, if you would like to read more about the quality indicators.


Following on from last week’s update, Mr. Valentine has now completed a number of Pupil Voice sessions and we are pleased to be able to confirm that Rosehill’s agreed school values are as follows:

  • Respect
  • Kindness
  • Responsibility

You can find some of the summary points discussed the young people here. Some of them really made me smile: Pupil Voice Input on Values

We will be doing more work on values, and how they relate to character, as part of our transition process. Our next step is to finalise our school vision statement. This may take a couple of weeks yet to ensure that we are able to link in with all partner schools, but we’re getting there!

As well as a huge number of matters related to staffing, Ms O’Neill has been particularly busy sourcing appropriate dress code items (and lanyards!). I know from personal experience how hard it is to guess whether you child is a large child or a small adult etc., so we are pulling together some samples that you can check for size during our welcome evening on the 25th May. We will also make these available during our planned school tours in June. Parents will be asked to order ‘badged’ items directly from the supplier. We’ll get those details out to you as soon as we can.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the team, to wish everyone in our community an enjoyable Easter break. I am fortunate enough to be heading to Amsterdam for our first trip abroad since 2019, and you just know I am going to be posting pictures of tulips on Twitter! It’s also the first time I’ve left the dog, so wish me luck…



Pupil Voice Update 24/03/23

Mr Valentine will be leading on Pupil Voice as we head towards the Easter holiday, with a firm focus on vision and values. This input is designed to work alongside the ideas explored in our recent Parent Engagement Group, as it’s important that we take into account views across the Rosehill community.

A school vision is the direction of travel that we all agree to commit to. School values are the behaviours that help us to realise this vision.

Using the data generated by our Google surveys earlier this term, he will be working with small groups to explore our proposed school values and what they might look like, sound like, and feel like in practice.

He will also be sharing some proposed vision statements and checking that these are clear, concise and easy for everyone to understand.

This work will allow us to confirm our school vision and values early in the summer term. And most importantly, it means that we can get those values on our lanyards, to refer to every single day!

Head Teacher Update 24/03/23

Thank you for all the positive feedback that has come in regarding the new school emblem. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank my husband, Ross Crichton, for taking our ideas and making them into a reality. The emblem is now with the campus design team, who are working on ways in which we can further incorporate it into the building itself.

It was also rather exciting to give the emblem its first outing in our letters to our incoming S3. The parents of all young people coming to us from MGS’s S2 cohort should have received a letter with a note of their child’s preferred Personal Pathways. Mr Valentine still has a handful of pupils to speak with, largely due to pupil absence. If you think your child has been missed, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Much of the activity over the last couple of weeks has been firmly focused on recruitment. Following on from an intensive period of interviews, we now have preferred candidates for the following posts:

  • Business Administrator (school office)
  • Science Technician
  • Class Teachers for The Brae x 3 (This team will start in May, to support transition)
  • Teacher of Social Subjects x 2
  • Teacher of CDT x 2
  • Teacher of English x 2
  • Teacher of Biology x 1
  • Teacher of Modern Languages x 1

Further interviews will be taking place right up until the end of term, and for the first couple of weeks thereafter. We will continue to keep you updated on the growing, thriving team.

Our first meeting of our Parent Engagement group took place last night, with a focus on vision and values. It was simply lovely to be able to connect with parents in this way. Using the data gained from the surveys we conducted earlier in the session, we drew out key vocabulary and looked at some suggested values and sample vision statements. Mr Valentine will now take our discussion points and feed them forward into a similar take with Pupil Voice groups. We will be ready to share the final vision and values early in the summer term.

With regards to further opportunities to connect, we will be arranging two further Parent Engagement Group Meetings in April/May. The first will be on home school communication, and the next on reporting/parent consultation. Details of these will go out to those who have signed up for the group. If you would like to join this forum but haven’t let us know so far, please drop us an email:

We’d also like you to add a date to your diary. On the 25th May, from 5.30-7.30pm, we will be hosting a Welcome Evening at Wallyford Primary School. This will be a family learning event that gives you and your young person the chance to meet the wider team, learn more about each of our faculties, and to take part in shared activities. We’ll share further details nearer the time.

Following on from this, there have been a couple of queries regarding Parent Council. We are not able to form a Parent Council until the school opens in August. Working with the ELC Parental Engagement Officer, we have sketched out a plan to ensure that we will have the opportunity, in early September, to host an event that welcomes all interested parties, and to move on from there to draft a constitution and elect officer bearers. I do hope that we will have a good representation coming forward, and value your interest in this area.

The opening of the building gets ever closer and we are cautiously planning some twilight opportunities in June to visit the campus with your child, enjoying a friendly tour hosted by one of the leadership team. We anticipate these being very popular so a booking system will apply. Again, more on this to come over the next few weeks.

Finally, a quick ‘troubleshooting’ tip for Google Meets, as we will continue use this platform where appropriate, even after the school opens. To support security, any sign in which is not an ELC sign in can access any of our Google Meets, but they will be placed in a virtual waiting room and need to be ‘clicked in’ to the meeting. This will always happen within the first few minutes of the meeting time. Once a presentation has started (we will always hold off for 5 minutes), the meeting is deemed to have begun and we are no longer able to see/open the waiting room. You can join at any time using your child’s Google sign in, as that is deemed to be safe and can come straight into the Meet. I hope this helps for any future online events. Our recording of ‘Meet the SLT’ remains available on the Parent Engagement section of the website.

Head Teacher Update 16/03/23

As promised last week, the results of our two most recent Google surveys have now been collated, with over 250 responses in total to the questions on your preferred school emblem, and House names.

The most popular option for the emblem was Option 2, the traditional shield shape. This was viewed positively by 83% of respondents. The option without the school name will feature on dress code items, and the option with the name will be used in correspondence etc. As a reminder, this is the chosen image:

Rosehill emblem

Rosehill emblem with name

However, the square emblem also proved very popular so we are working on using this shape for House emblems featuring the new House names…

I can also now confirm that, with just over two thirds of the vote, our Houses will be known as House Heather and House Thistle. Mrs. Stewart-Young will be the DHT link for House Heather, with Ms McCabe in the role of House Head. Mr Valentine will be the DHT link for House Thistle, with Mrs Yeoman as the House Head. Staff as well as pupils will be allocated a House, creating a ‘school within a school’ to support transition and ongoing inclusion and wellbeing. This will include allocated Homeroom teachers, who will have daily contact with each young person and an overview of their attendance, punctuality and engagement. We will provide more information on the Homeroom programme as part of ongoing transition communications.

Mr Valentine is currently working with our partner schools to allocate each young person to a House. This will ensure that young people who are part of the Child’s Planning process will be known to a key member of the House Team as soon as possible.

We also thought it would be good for you and your child to get to know a little more about the staff who are joining the school. To this end, each has completed a profile with some basic information about their background. Our incoming DHTs and Curriculum Leaders have all completed these, and we will add more staff as we firm up further personnel and start dates. I have added links here for ease, but they are also available on the staff section of the school website: Rosehill Staff Profiles

Tonight is our ‘Meet the SLT session, which we are really looking forward to. It’s always good to be able to begin to put names to faces and to be clear that, as well as senior leaders, we are also real people with families, friends and interests beyond school! I also look forward to having some time with the Parent Engagement Group in the coming weeks. Our first session will contribute to firming up on the school values and vision statement, and this will work alongside activities that Mr. Valentine is leading with Pupil Voice on the same topic. It’s important to us that our vision and values are things that we live and breathe, not just posters on a wall or banners on a website. Therefore, we want to spend time on getting this absolutely right. As well as this online engagement, we are in the early stages of planning an in-person Welcome Evening in May, kindly hosted by Wallyford Primary school- more on this in the lead up to Easter.

This week also saw the welcome arrival of our DHT Curriculum, Mrs Lynsey Stewart-Young. As is the case for the whole team at present, Mrs Stewart-Young will be heavily involved in recruitment over the next couple of weeks. However, her next main priority will be the continued development of our ‘shadow’ timetable into something that reflects updated information on personalisation and choice, staffing, and the ever increasing role: Rosehill is definitely growing! We do not take for granted the trust you have placed in us to look after the people who are most important to you.


Head Teacher Update 10/03/23

It was wonderful to be able to officially welcome Mr Neil Valentine to the team this week. Our SLT office is starting to fill up nicely, and we even need to get some sort of milk rota organised! Mr Valentine will be focusing on the following key areas in the coming weeks:

  • Completing S3 Personal Pathways work (our projected roll has increased over the last couple of weeks)
  • Planning for enhanced transition for those P7 mainstream pupils who would benefit from this
  • Organising pupils in all year groups into Houses and classes (form class, practical class and homeroom class)
  • Liaising with MGS to further develop plans for transition into S2 and S3
  • Linking up with families and professionals to support young people who currently benefit from regular Child’s Planning Meetings

Planning for P7 transition is well underway with a series of key dates agreed with our partner primaries. The summary schedule can be accessed here: Rosehill P7-S1 Transition Plan (Universal)

We will provide a detailed secondary transition plan as soon as we can. This can only be done in line with MGS timetable construction, which is ongoing at present. However, we do know that it will be based on Rosehill staff visiting MGS on Monday and Friday mornings throughout June, to work directly with our new pupils.

Mrs Sarah Fleming is leading on transition for pupils coming to The Brae and will be involved in the relevant CPMs scheduled after her 17th April start date.

Transition has also involved the support of Morrison Construction, and it was great to chat with some of the P7 pupils who have already had the chance to visit the WLC site, thanks to the organisation of our partner primaries. Our thanks also go to the Morrison Team for facilitating this. There was a lot of excitement on the faces of our young people as the move begins to feel a bit more ‘real’.

With regards to staffing and recruitment, this is a particularly busy time. Following a successful job matching process within ELC, we now have our two House Heads identified. Ms Julie McCabe and Mrs Michelle Yeoman are both currently at Ross High School, and have worked in Pupil Support roles for a number of years. Our House Heads will have overall responsibility for the pastoral, vocational and curricular needs of our young people, and are a vital part of our leadership structure. They will be supported by Pupil Support Workers, the likely first point of contact between school and home. We are still working on start dates, but will update you as soon as possible.

Our national adverts have had an unprecedented level of interest, with literally hundreds of applications received for our most recent batch of posts. Interviews for many of our class teachers and some of our support roles will be taking place over the next couple of weeks, and I look forward to sharing the results of these as appropriate.

This means that I won’t be quite so available on the end of an email, so please bear with me! On the subject of communication, we now have a (virtual) ‘school office’ address: We will still keep an eye on the WLCTransitions account, but the Rosehill email should pick things up a little quicker. Please keep in mind that we are still only 3 people in total, for a projected school roll of well over 300- we will always get back to you as soon as we can.

Thank you to everyone who has voted for their favourite school emblem, and their preferred House names. I don’t take the level of interest and support for granted. These will stay open until the end of today (see last week’s updates for the links), and the results will be shared next week.

Head Teacher Update 03/03/23

Firstly, thank you to everyone for their positive feedback on the new school name. It feels like I have had a baby J Of course, not everyone got their first choice. However, we will all be aware that there will be a lot of decision making going on over the next few weeks and months, and that none of us will always get exactly what we wanted! What’s important is that we celebrate the voice of the young people coming through and the opportunity to build a genuinely collaborative identity.

Our next step is to decide on the school emblem. In the interests of complete transparency, I will say that I would have hoped to do a much more thorough consultation on this. However, we are very aware of the need to complete discussions with suppliers on dress code in particular, which can take a while. We have therefore had to opt for a streamlined process and would like you to consider three options for our school emblem, all on a similar theme.

The three options can be viewed here: School emblem options

The reasons for the key choices in the emblem are here: The Rosehill emblem

Please view/read these carefully before making your selection on the Google Form here: School emblem vote

This will remain open for one week only, to allow us to make the required progress on dress code items.

We also have a second Google Form request. In line with the information gathered on the school Houses and the overall desire for themes from nature, we have narrowed our categories down to those we think work well with the Rosehill identity and are going to go for House names which are either Scottish wildflowers or Scottish trees. Please note your preference here: House names second survey

Again, this will remain open for one week only, to allow us to fully engage in the process of assigning young people to Houses, and beginning to develop positive relationships with the relevant adults.

As well as getting down to the detail around school identity, I have also had the chance to lift my head up and look outwards a couple of times in the last week, with two visits to other new schools.

The first of these was to Winchburgh Academy. Their story is quite similar to our own, with the school being built in a former mining village, and designed to support a rapidly increasing population. HT Jonny Mitchell opened the school in August 2022 with (wait for it) only 56 pupils. He talked through both the challenges and opportunities afforded by a small school population, and we really focused in on the importance of nailing routines, boundaries and expectations early doors- with lots and lots of repetition as required.

I also got up to Waid Academy in the East Neuk of Fife. Although their context is very different to ours, the real lessons here were around running a building that is a genuine community campus. HT Scott Duncan talked through how partnerships evolved over time and what to do when unexpected clashes occur- such as Bookbug sessions during SQA exams! It was so helpful to be able to see the practical aspects of multiple agencies operating under one roof, and what this does to enhance the offers we can make to young people.

I am very grateful to both for giving so generously of their time.

Another highlight of the week was the first day of our new Business Manager, Paula O’Neill. I was very, very excited to have coffee with a colleague on Tuesday morning! Ms O’Neill will have a crucial role to play at this stage in Rosehill’s development, including finance, procurement, and a bigger recruitment drive than most of us will ever see in our careers. She is also currently working on pulling together contact details for our (gradually settling) school roll, which will make keeping in touch with our families so much easier.

Thank you to all of you who have already signed up to be part of our Parent Engagement Group. I will leave the form open during the course of this week in case it has dropped of anyone’s ‘to do’ list by accident. You can sign up here: Parent Engagement Group

We will be in touch soon about our first session, which will focus on vision and values.