One of the reasons that this project is so exciting is, if course, because of how unusual it is. Most ‘new schools’ are in fact new buildings, which take existing school populations and place them in better facilities. Others happen as the result of schools amalgamating, bringing staff from two or three school together. It’s especially unusual at secondary level to go from the ground up, which is why I sought out the only school in Scotland which has been through a similar process recently; Bertha Park High School, in Perth.
I am very grateful that the HT there dedicated a full morning this week to showing me round and talking openly and authentically about what he felt had been the risks worth taking, and what he would do differently if he had his time again. It was hugely encouraging to know we are all absolutely on the right lines in terms of our planning and the importance of focusing on:
- Routines, routine, routines
- Creating safe spaces within epic scales
- Going digital
- Connecting authentically with the community
- Learning to walk before you try to run!
We plan to maintain the relationship between the schools moving forward. Bertha Park now has pupils up to S5 so watching their senior phase develop will be particularly beneficial.
Now that we are in 2023, the next stage of transition planning in underway. I met with both Mr Valentine and Ms Hannan at MGS this week to look at the specific support needed for our new S2 and S3 and am grateful to the team there for their continued commitment to getting it right for all of our young people. Mr Valentine will take a lead on Personal Pathways for the new S3, as well as beginning to work on one page profiles which will give the young people the opportunity to share what they think is most important about them.
Mr Valentine will also be visiting Pinkie St. Peter’s Parent Council this week to make initial introductions, and will follow this up with introductions to the Wallyford Parent Council in line with planned meetings. I provided some updates to the Wallyford Parent Council this week, including some images of the building’s progress.
All parents access the presentation here: Parent Council Update January 2023
Mrs Stewart-Young now has a confirmed start date of 16th March and we hope to offer a Google Meet thereafter to ensure that as many parents as possible are able to start putting names to faces!
I also had the privilege of hosting one to one meetings with parents whose young people will be joining the SCN provision in August. Many are keen to firmly establish a sense of unique identity for the provision and we’ll be looking to name this in line with the eventual decision we make on the name of the school as a whole.
Your support in completing the Google Forms on this and other topics is much appreciated and it’s been very interesting to see just how wide the range of opinions is. There are a couple of favourites starting to emerge!