Month: March 2023

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.