Head Teacher’s Blog 24th June 2012

Having been retrospective last week, perhaps it is appropriate to look forward , for this, the last blog for this term. What have we planned for 2012/13? The short answer to that is probably- more of the same.
We hope to continue our journey on Curriculum for Excellence by exploring planning formats best suited to give us scope to provide the children with quality learning experiences. That’s quite a mouthful, but really means- the best way to deliver the curriculum.
We would like to continue with our HATS Days as we can see the benefits for all in this- the children enjoy the themes and working in different groupings; the staff enjoy planning and working together; and the different dynamic of the two schools together can be a worthwhile challenge.

We also hope that we can get specific groups together- maybe year groups or committees- to share learning or ideas. The logistics of transporting smaller groups should make this possible.
As always the effectiveness of communication is key. We continue to look for the best way to get all news and information out there. Currently Jacky Baillie is compiling  a list of email addresses for Saltoun parents so that we can communicate with everyone quickly and efficiently. If you haven’t already given Jacky your email address, please do so before the end of term. Who knows we may become slightly more eco-friendly in terms of paper usage as a result.
The profiles remain a work in progress and we intend to amend and adapt them to encompass suggestions from parents and from staff.
Humbie already has plans for further Community Cafes with the first planned for 28th September in aid of St Columba’s hospice. I am exploring a similar idea for Saltoun. I am sure there are many people in the village who would welcome the chance to come out for a cup of tea and a blether in the hall occasionally- especially over the winter months. If we can plan for this (or indeed any other community project) in a sustainable way, then it would be a viable and rewarding task for the school. If you have any suggestions or thoughts around this please let me have them.
We hope this year, once the new staff team has settled in, we can offer some after school activities. We already have parent support for a couple of these and would be delighted to have more offers. I would like to get a football team going and play other schools, so if there is a budding coach out there, please get in touch.
We have two residential stays booked at Innerwick in May- one for P4’s from both schools and one for the older children.
Various seasonal events are planned and we will let you have a calendar of those in August. The first to go in your diaries should be curricular evenings in September- 11th for Humbie and 12th for Saltoun. The main purposes of these will be to meet the teacher, find out how you can support your child’s learning at home, see the new reading/writing resource and we can add to that any suggestions from yourselves.
The diary looks pretty busy, we have been able to plan more in advance this year and we are looking forward to hitting the ground running in August. First though, a well-deserved break for all. I wish you a long, hot and enjoyable summer- written with a certain amount of wistfulness as the rain pelts down again as I write this!
Lindy Lynn

Sport’s day

Sport’s Day 2012 on PhotoPeach

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Olympic Torch comes to Saltoun

Diana Balfour, a lady from Humbie, who ran with Olympic torch kindly let us see and hold her torch at our olympic assembly.  The staff were just as excited to be holding a piece of history in the making.

Head Teacher’s Blog 17th June ’12

It’s that time of year when the end-of-term reports and, this year, profiles go out. This always provokes some retrospection for staff and children. Sometimes you forget what the class was like at the beginning of the year and it is good to look back and remind yourself. Not only do the children change physically, but they mature emotionally and of course make progress in their learning. It is easy for teachers to lose track of how much progress has taken place as they are generally so engrossed in the day-to-day all-consuming hurly-burly that is a busy classroom. Even looking back through a jotter or folio of work can evoke surprise and hopefully delight at how much has been achieved. When you undertake this with children, they are often surprised at, and justifiably proud of their attainment.
I have been talking to staff about the end-of-term reporting and the profiles and the general feeling from them on the positive side is that:

  • much more information is being offered about each child
  • the children have been more involved in and responsible for their learning
  •  next steps are regularly shared in a detailed way.

They have also said that:

  •  the profiles have involved a fair amount of work over the year
  •  parents will have to take the time to read through the whole profile to see the complete picture of their child’s learning.

As before we invite your comments, as the profiles are very much a working-in-progress and we have already identified areas we think we can improve on for next year.
I have read all of the end-of-term reviews and discussed them with staff and I have also read the Wow! moments which the children chose after looking back over their year. These have been diverse and enlightening! Many of the older children chose Kingswood- either the activities or being away with their friends. Some of the younger ones highlighted a skill that they had mastered- learning a table or learning to read. For some there was evident satisfaction on achieving a personal goal or meeting a challenge- giving a talk to the whole class or singing in a competition.
Personally, I have had many Wow! moments in the last year- occasionally I think I could do with a few less! Sometimes I am “wowed” by the responsibility- interviewing for staff, for example, and hoping to make the right decisions for all involved; sometimes it is the delight on a child’s face when they realise they can; often it is the effort put in by staff to offer the best service they can; and continually I am wowed by the amount of trust parents have in us to look after their children.
You can see that I have been having a retrospective and perhaps nostalgic look back over this session. Next week- which may well be the last blog for a short while, I will share with you our thoughts for next year- just to whet your appetite!
Have a good week- two to go,
Lindy Lynn.

4,000,000 words!

Over 4,000,000 words have been read this term by P4-7.  We set this ambitious target in April: we read in our teams, as a class and in our personal time. We were rewarded with a pink lemonade and glazed doughnut party.  This was the food and drink that Basil Wrathbone fed his victims in our class novel.  It sounded delicious and today it tasted delicious but thankfully it didn’t turn us into plastic toys as it did the characters in the novel.  Well done P4-7 so proud of you, special mention to Dylan who personally read over 1,000,000.