Month: August 2023

Head Teacher Update 25/08/23

This week was our first week of the ‘normal’ timetable and we have been very impressed by the number of young people who have been following theirs independently and without issue. The size of the building means that we are all covering a lot of steps every day, so I am sure they have been coming home pretty tired at night!

Homerooms have been a really positive start to the day and staff have reported how much they are enjoying working with mixed year groups. These support a settled start to the day and give us the opportunity to reinforce daily messages around our values and core expectations.

Young people have done particularly well in terms of the beginning and end of the day, and entrances and exits. Those who were having issues with their cards have been supported by staff this week whilst teething issues have been sorted. However, we would ask for your support in reminding your young people that these need to be in school, on lanyards, each day. These are need both for access and for purchases in our food court.

We had a few early technical challenges in the canteen. Unfortunately, systems there took a couple of days to settle leading to us having to abandon the digital and go with handwritten notes! This caused some delays in the first few days but the team are now getting everyone through within the first 15 minutes of any rest break. It’s also worth remembering that young people have two rest breaks so are able to bring/buy food twice within the day.

We’ve begun a focus this week on timekeeping and attendance. There has been lots of success in getting used to our period times and in allowing time to cross the campus after e.g. playing football with the staff (thanks, team!), reading in the library, or just going to a walk in the fresh air. Young people know that they should always start, moving 5 minutes before the next lesson starts to get back to the atrium. We continue to recommend that young people remain on campus throughout both rest breaks to support their safety and wellbeing.

With regards to attendance, all young people are registered 7 times per day via our SEEMiS information system. It is important that parents understand that we don’t just follow up a ‘no show’ first thing in the morning, but also run anomalies reports throughout the day which highlight if a young person has been in school but then missed a class. Key messaging has been around attendance being credited for being in each class, not for simply being in the school building. If you have any concerns about your young person’s attendance, please contact the House Team.

As I’m sure you’ll understand, three year groups transitioning simultaneously means that we have had a record number of queries to our school office. We have a very small admin team so please be assured that we will always get back to you as soon as we can.  You may find it helpful to review our Communication policy which highlights anticipated response times for any query: The Rosehill Way: Communication between home and school Please remember that we can only meet with parents when an appointment has been made.

We have had a range of visitors to the campus already and expect this to continue. They have universally commended the efforts required to undertake and enact such a significant change for so many people. As I keep saying to the young people- everyone is new and it’s important that we continue to support each other in this exciting establishment phase.

Pupil Voice Update August 2023

We’ll be working hard in the establishment phase to support the development of pupil voice and associated leadership opportunities.

Our Welcome Days for young people included an allocated slot for our new S3 to begin to think about their identity as the most senior pupils, and how they can take on roles and responsibility that will support the wellbeing and learning of the whole community.

They met in small groups with members of the staff leadership team and had the opportunity to share what activities they thought had been successful in the past and what they would like to see more of. An emerging theme was the importance of it ‘not being the same people all the time’ when it comes to listening to ideas. A number of young people commented on their discomfort with the idea of ‘Head Pupils’ or similar, because they felt that this doesn’t always represent the views and experiences of all young people. They were also clear that pupils voice activities should include everyone if they are going to be seen as valuable.

Our S3s were able to come up with a huge range of ways in which young people can support e.g. sports, the arts, and our commitment to sustainability. The next step if for House Teams explore these starting points with all year groups via the My World programme.

Our first SLT strategic session will take place on the 28th August and will be focused on pupil leadership opportunities. These discussions will be focused on the Education Scotland documents linked below:

How Good is OUR school? A resource to support learner participation in self-evaluation and school improvement (Part 1)

How good is OUR school? A resource to support learner participation in self-evaluation and school improvement (Part 2)

We will also be starting our ‘5 a day’ programme at the start of September, the findings from which will be shared via the website. You can read more about this and our overall approach to pupil voice here:

The Rosehill Way: Pupil Voice

HT Update 17/08/23

It’s been a big, busy week at Rosehill and there’s been a lot of new information to take in and new people and places to get to know.

We had two hugely positive staff Welcome Days on Monday and Tuesday, covering everything related to The Rosehill Way. Topics included our vision, values, improvement priorities, and approaches to learning and teaching. We also talked about the value in the contributions that parents and young people have already made in establishing school ethos and identity, even before the school was open.

We are now able to take the next step in terms of ongoing parental engagement. Over the course of the next week, you will receive a letter with two invitations. The first will be to a Parent Council Information evening at 7pm on the 31st of August, so you may wish to make a note in your diary now. The second invitation will be to register our Parent Engagement Group. This was a really positive addition towards the end of last session and we are keen to over those more informal opportunities to all.

Our young people arrived looking absolutely fabulous on Wednesday morning. Their kindness and courtesy in entering the building was noted by all staff. They spent the first part of their day in their homerooms, and have been spending the rest of the week getting to know each other, visiting faculties, and having input from the House Teams on supporting their health and wellbeing. I am very much looking forward to making my first fantastic Friday calls at the end of the week.

We have faced a number of technical challenges, as is always to be expected when moving into a brand new facility. This slightly delayed our distribution of pupil Chromebooks, though these will still be ready for learning next week. It has also meant that, although we planned to distribute timetables during Friday, we will need to hold these until Monday morning. Please reassure your child not to worry about PE kit! They should come as they are and the department will adjust their planning accordingly. We thank you and your young people for your patience whilst we manage these operational challenges.

I also want to acknowledge the extent to which all of our staff have gone over and above in so many different ways. They have been a positive, welcoming presence for our young people and really showed off their improvisation skills in terms of dealing with the inevitable challenges of working in a brand-new building. They are quickly getting to know over 300 young people and already working out the best ways to support their learning and wellbeing. As always, if there’s anything you think we need to know about your child (you are the expert, after all!) please don’t hesitate to contact the House Teams.

Head Teacher Update 11/08/23

Although school staff and pupils don’t start back until next week, it seemed appropriate to do an update on what we’ve been up to over the ‘break’.

Those of you who live locally will have seen the amount of construction traffic gradually reduce, to then be replaced with numerous delivery lorries, to then move more towards just a lot of cars in the car park. Throughout August, the focus has been very much on processes akin to moving house; boxes to unpack, cupboard to fill, WiFi to test, and only being able to work out what you have forgotten once you’re in situ!

Our full leadership team and several of our classroom teachers have volunteered to be part of the final stages of set up and it has been great to see the new team starting to collaborate so positively. Our Staff Welcome Days on Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th August will be the first opportunity we have to bring everyone together. We have a packed agenda including child protection, relational approaches, restorative practice, and a focus on what it means to enact our vision and values.

As I know our families will appreciate, the opening of the school to pupils does not mean that the ‘to do’ list is complete. We will have ongoing snagging to attend to and will continue to have small numbers of contractors in the building for some weeks yet. In line with common ELC safeguarding practice, these will al be easily identifiable via their yellow Rosehill Guest badges and lanyards. Pupil will be reminded to show consideration for everyone’s safety as we continue to ensure the best possible learning environment for them.

Whilst there was a lot of information about our first few days issued towards the end of last term, we appreciate that reminders of core information are always appreciated! Much of our website has been updated, including our Transition page. This includes links to key supporting documents. In addition to this, please look out for an email later today covering key bullet points.

We have received a number of placing requests over the summer break. Families have been contacted directly regarding transition processes for these later entry to the school roll, and Neil Valentine will be in touch at the start of next week regarding next steps.

As always, don’t hesitate to contact us on if you have any queries that are not supported by existing information.

We look forward to opening the doors to our young people next week. What an amazing opportunity for us all.