Head Teacher’s Blog

16th December 2012
A very short blog this week as my timetable is a little full for the coming 4 days. A joint headship is, I imagine, a bit like being the parent of twins- there are two of many things to contend with. For me this week brings: 3 nativities, 2 end of term services, 2 parties, a Christmas lunch ( one down already) and two Secret Santas. I am just hoping to be in the right place for the right event at approximately the right time.
Last week we thought about the highlights of the past year- and there were many. Humbie children picked up on this theme and I am looking forward to hearing about their highlights. We spoke at assembly about Christmas for others not so lucky as us and the children were very aware of who these people were and of course had many ideas to help them. I did point out that we had been thinking about these folk during the course of the year and had done much fundraising to help.
Later Jacky and Marion totted up the amount we have raised during 2012 and it came to around £1000 between the two schools. We also contributed food to the salvation army- and this week to the new East Lothian foodbank. I have read often that you should give till it hurts. I think that we have made a fair effort between our 60 families.
Our thoughts have to turn soon to 2013- what are our aspirations for next year?
As a staff we have been thinking about HATS Days and how we can get the most meaningful experiences out of these for the children. We think this means less teacher-led activities and more child-led ones. We would like to give the children opportunities to be responsible initially for organising themselves as a house group to tackle tasks and challenges and then to having more responsibility for the days themselves.
We have also planned for January drop-in sessions after the profiles go home- (on the 18th Jan). This would give an opportunity for parent, child and teacher to discuss aspects of the profile or the learning.
We have many more ideas and plans- and more of these later- what would you like for the next year? This may be for your children, for the school or for the school as part of the community. Your ideas will be read with interest and considered for inclusion in our calendar.
In the meantime, have a good week. I hope you enjoy the nativities and services as much as we have enjoyed preparing them.
Lindy Lynn

Head Teacher’s Blog

9th December 2012
We have got to that time of year when you begin to be reflective about what has happened in the last 12 months. It seems to me that 2012 has gone by incredibly quickly which is a sure sign that it has been busy. There were many highlights-
HATS Days
Learning profiles went out to parents for the first time
Burns/Scots celebrations
Health week/book week/science week
Chickens arriving at Humbie- and the first eggs
Kingswood camp for the older children
Jubilee parties
Olympic events
A very wet sports day!
A century of children -100 between the two schools and nurseries
For me, personally, some of the most rewarding moments have been watching Humbie children grow into their role as hosts in their Community Cafés – they have a sustainable and worthwhile involvement in this project which offers a real service to their community. Similarly, the Olympic events run by the Saltoun “committees” in June offered the children there a chance to organise and run an event to their own agenda and, I hope, to their own satisfaction. I believe that the skills and knowledge gained in running these events will stand them in good stead at some point in the not too distant future.
What would your highlights of 2012 be? What would you like to see more of in 2013? What innovations would you suggest for next year?
As always, I await your responses with baited breath!

Have a good week- 2 to go.
Lindy Lynn

Head Teacher’s Blog

2nd December 2012

First of all thanks to those who responded to last week’s blog and told us what they thought it meant to be Scottish. I was able to share this with Saltoun pupils at assembly on Tuesday and indeed, since then, have had a response from an ex-Saltoun pupil who has lived in Tasmania for the past 50 years. I will ask the children to reply to her this week. She lived in West Crescent. Malcolm carried on the Scottish theme for us by talking about St Andrew this week.
So, here we are in December and we must turn our thoughts to Christmas and all that it brings and that is what I would like to think about this week. I have often thought that to work in an office or childfree environment at this time of year must be quite different from working with children- especially of primary age. Although the children (and adults!) get tired and sometimes grumpy by the end of term, there is something magical about the run up to Christmas. I would far rather spend my working day with (over) excited children, who are still filled with the wonder and anticipation of Christmas, than be amongst tired, fraught, disillusioned and stressed adults who have a list of things to do before the 25th of December that would frighten any sane person.
In school we try to temper the excitement with a little bit of calm normality and keep to the routine of daily maths and language tasks for as long as possible. Of course we get swept along by nativity rehearsals, panto visits, services, parties………………… Many of the work tasks become Christmas themed to engage and motivate the troops. We also put some thought into actively learning about Christmas traditions and customs at home and abroad and of course the original Christmas story and the sentiment and spirit of the festival. That will be the theme of the next couple of assemblies -we will explore what Christmas means to the children and their families and ask what they think it means and brings to others. In that vein, my question to you this week is- what do you want your child to learn about the celebration of Christmas? It is a question we will explore as a staff this week too. As always, we would value your thoughts and feelings about it.
I hope your Advent season is enjoyable and stress-free!
Have a good week,
Lindy Lynn