Head Teacher Update 01/09/23

It’s hard to believe that this is only the end of the second full week at Rosehill High School. A much smaller school population than average means that we have got to know young people quickly and are establishing routines and expectations both in and beyond the classroom. A personal highlight has been making the time to spend rest breaks with the pupils. It gives a real sense of what they have been enjoying in their learning and its impact. I have particularly enjoyed hearing about some learners on the STEM Pathway planning for a zombie apocalypse! I can confirm that my key skills of excellent punctuation and knowing a lot of team games would not make my chances of survival likely.

As a leadership team, we have begun to focus in on opportunities for young people to engage in pupil voice and other pupil leadership activities. This week we began out universal ‘5 a day programme’. Each week, senior staff set aside a period to meet informally with 5 pupils and to seek their views on a range of topics. This week’s topic was quite simple: What are you most enjoying about your new school? What could be even better? Data from these session in collated and shared to help to inform school improvement. Further to this, another universal offer is our ‘Tuesday Chats’ during homeroom. Each week, Homeroom teachers share either a discussion question or a Google Form to gather pupil feedback. Our first example of this was a survey on Chromebook usage, which indicated that young people are feeling confident about routines and organisation.

Activities such as these mean that ALL young people have the chance to express their views and contribute to the school’s success. However, we are also aware that a number of our pupils are ready to take the next step in terms of developing their leadership further. Our S3 contributed some great ideas in this area during our Welcome Days, and our first Extended Leadership Team meeting of the session (next week) will look at how to make some of these a reality at faculty level.

I’d also like to acknowledge the efforts of the young people who are doing the right things for the right reasons every day. Many of these efforts are being captured through our Fantastic Friday positive calls home. It has been an absolute privilege to connect with so many families in this way, sharing how proud we are of their young person, and listening to their experiences in turn. Now that we have got to know our young people better, we are working together on our ‘Rosehill Ready’ core classroom expectations policy, which we will share in due course.

Thank you to all of you who have expressed your interest in both the Parent Council and the Parent Engagement Group. It was lovely to welcome parents in yesterday evening, for the first time since the school’s opening. We really do appreciate your involvement and willingness to be part of the Rosehill team. For the moment, Parent Council is over to you! We look forward to sharing information soon about office bearers and plans for the year ahead.

We all understand the importance of parental engagement in children’s learning, and there are a couple of different ways you can already make these connections. Young people will be in Google classrooms for all their subjects. Google classroom can be accessed from any device at home. Knowledge organisers are currently being finalised with input from the full range of subject specialists and will be published on the website during early September. We will also be offering our first family learning event of the session on the 21st September from 5.30pm-7.30pm; more on this to follow.

We are currently pulling together a Key Dates document for the session. This has not been possible up until now, as staff who joined in August have had to be given time to consider and approve our whole school Working Time Agreement. This will be on the website before the September weekend.

Our Active School coordinator James Sloggie is now in post and, with the support of Rosehill staff, has pulled together an initial offer of physical activities. You can find out more here: https://eastlothian.bookinglive.com/home/active-schools/active-schools-rosehill-high-school

There are planned offers for further out of class opportunities across a range of faculties. However, you will appreciate that the current focus for staff is around high quality classroom experiences based on strong routines and positive relationships. Therefore, we will come to these later in the session.

We look forward to our first partner opening on campus. Our library service will be offering the following public hours from the 22nd September, and reviewing/extending these on an ongoing basis:

Friday 2-5pm

Saturday 10-1pm

This supports the offer that is already in place for young people via our school librarian. I am told that the Dungeons and Dragons club is already oversubscribed so look forward to hearing all about it from our library regulars.

We will keep you updated on other partner services in due course.

A few reminders as we all find our feet, with which your support is appreciated:

  • In line with facilities management arrangements and staffing, school does not open to pupils until 8.15am; a full 15 minutes ahead of the start of the school day. This same arrangement will be in place throughout the year so, should an earlier arrival be impossible to avoid, clothing appropriate to the weather will be essential.
  • Our office hours are 8am-4.14pm Monday-Thursday and 8am-1.15pm Friday. The easiest way to report pupil absence is via our text service 07860 003 108. This helps to keep phonelines clear for urgent communications.
  • Our food court is cashless and cards can be topped up through SchoolPay. Please contact the admin team if you have any difficulty with this.
  • All young people should now have a functioning smartcard. This is the only way in which they can enter and leave the building without delay. In order to support security and safeguarding, these must be on the school lanyards provided and presented as required.
  • To support good health and hygiene, we encourage all young people to have a change of clothes for activities in PE.
  • Locker keys will be issued to those who have handed in their relevant permissions between today and Monday. Pupils will be reminded of expectations regarding these across our messaging next week.



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