Growing in Confidence

We enjoyed another Growing in Confidence session on Tuesday 13th March, thank you to all parents/carers who came along.  Our next session is on Monday 19th March 6pm-8pm in the assembly hall and, as communicated previously, the workshops are standalone so it does not matter if you haven’t managed to come to the first two, everyone is welcome to attend the third session.  We will explore the following:

  • The importance of parent child communication and how this changes in adolescence.
  • Research in the area of adolescent-parent communication.
  • Opportunity to develop and practise communication skills.

It is clear from the evaluations and the positive emails we have received that people enjoyed the sessions – we are delighted to hear that so many of you found it worthwhile. 

DOWNLOADS


March 2018

ParentsE-Bulletin – March 2018

Welcome to our March parents’ e-bulletin.

Parent Group Updates

Parent Council

School Building Review

SBC are undertaking a review of our school buildings, along with 3 other SBC High Schools.  The Parent Council held a special meeting in January to discuss this subject.

SBC will be holding an Open Consultation Meeting on Monday 26th March when they will be asking parents, staff, pupils and the wider community the question:

 “What do we need to do to improve the learning environment for your school in the future?”.

Depending on the outcome of this meeting, SBC will then consider how best to invest in our school for the future.

We encourage everyone to come along to this Open Meeting between 2.15 and 8pm to find out about the options available to us and to give your feedback.

PC Meeting of 29th January

Our regular PC meeting on Monday 29th January focused on the topic of mental health.  Mrs Moretta and Mr McColm introduced the “Growing in Confidence” programme to the PC and talked about the series of workshops that will be taking place over the month of March.  You can see the minutes from this meeting here http://peebleshighschool.org.uk/parent-zone/parent-council/pc-minutes/

PTA

The PTA have been asked to provide refreshments and a raffle at the Spring concert on March 22nd.  If you’d like to volunteer please contact lisa@redhousedesign.org.uk.  All help very gratefully received!.  If you are attending the concert please remember to dig deep down the back of the sofa for loose change. Teas and coffees £1, cans 50p. 

We have also been asked to provide refreshments on March 26th from 2.15pm – 8pm.  If you’re able to volunteer for an hour please contact lisa@redhousedesign.org.uk Again all help very gratefully received.

PHS200

Duke of Edinburgh

We have updated the school website following a consultation with parents who asked the PC for more information on the Duke of Edinburgh. Thanks to all parents who contributed to the Q&A and to Miss Marsden for answering them!  Look in the “pupil zone” section of the school website.  It was discussed at the PC meeting that it would be helpful to do a “user survey” of the DofE to analyse this huge effort by school and pupils as we do with other areas of the school. To be discussed further at the PC.

S3 subject choices

Thanks to Simon Fraser for all his help updating the site for the S3 subject choices. Mr Noon has done a ton of work to update this again and we hope that a file is saved on the school intranet now too!

Acoustic curtains

Acoustic curtains – unfortunately we were let down by a supplier but phs200 have offered to help find a new one – two options are available and one is hopefully going in to look at the school this week. Second one to agree an appointment with the school shortly.

DYW

PHS200 recently offered help to DYW Borders on how we ran our careers evening in order to help Galashiels organise their own event. The PHS Careers event is moving “in-house” to be administered by the school now, with Mr McLaren on board along with Ms Geddes, which makes a massive difference to resource in school. Thanks to everyone who helped with all the administration and running of the event for the last 5 years.  It was a huge undertaking when there had never been such an event in school before and long before DYW was born!. Note we will still need helpers on the night as usual though!!!

PHS Lottery (formerly PHS 200 Club)

With the reorganisation of the PHS Lottery well underway, we are looking forward to our March Draw with first prize £100, 2nd £50 and 3rd £25.

If you would like to be in with a chance of winning in the June draw, please complete the mandate on the school website, under PHS Lottery, and return it by the beginning of May.

LSPHS

No update.

Rector’s Q & A

There were no new questions raised via the Parent Council for the Rector.  Please email Margaret at phspc@outlook.com if you have any questions you would like answered.

Our Key Priorities within the School Improvement Plan (SIP)

Developing Scotlands Young Workforce (DYW) – follow us @PHS_DYW

The school continues to be involved in many exciting initiatives, each  seeking to contextualise how learning in the classroom directly affects the skills needed after school.  Staff have been involved in coordinating various events over the past three months, or are currently working on the following;

  • CITB Building futures event

Mr Whatley led fifteen S3 pupils to the CITB “Building futures” event at Borders College. For pupils interested in exploring careers in the trades, the event provided an opportunity to find out more about what is involved.

  • S6 Employability event

Pupils in S6 spent an afternoon in a range of workshops specifically chosen by them to develop skills in a range of areas including mock interviews and assessment centres, CV writing, personal finance, how to be your own boss and managing your online profile.

  • The Royal Marines Education Awareness team (RMET)

Fifty pupils in S4 attended workshops with Mike Beaton from the RMET. The event sought to highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a positive approach and strong work ethic for a range of careers post school.

  • Royal Highland Educational Trust (RHET) Food and Farming day

Mrs Gess led twenty five pupils from S2&S3 to the RHET Food and Farming day.  Pupils experienced an introduction to the wide variety of career opportunities within the food and farming sector.

  • STEM day

All pupils in S3 were involved in our STEM day. Working with partners EDT, PPMA best and local business Evolution – Bottling and Packaging solutions, careers across a broad range of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths were highlighted and pupils undertook a range of challenging activities testing their STEM problem solving and creativity skills

  •  Resilient Communities day

Twenty one S3 pupils are working with Mrs Geddes to plan an event for all pupils in S3. To date, the planning group have visited “the Bunker” and Council HQ and are putting final touches to a day where pupils will learn about how emergency services and community groups work together, communicate and respond to a crisis.

  •  Apprenticeship week

Up to thirty pupils in S2 will have the opportunity to attend an event run during Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2018.  It aims to raise general awareness of the ‘family’ of apprenticeships that Borders College are involved with and encourage the uptake by both students and employers.

  • RHET Food and Farming day

All pupils in S2 will attend an event run in school by the Royal Highland Educational trust.  Building on the event held earlier in the year, students will meet experts in the rural sector, and will have the opportunity to see how many different careers are involved in the production of our food. Fourteen different workshops will be delivered by experts in the rural sector and cover a wide range of industries involved in farming, food production, research and development.

  • S3 work experience

All pupils in S3 will seek to undertake work experience during the month of May. Pastoral staff are currently working with pupils in PSE to identify, arrange and plan for a week long work experience where pupils will have the chance to practise many of the skills and qualities developed in the many other events they have been involved in.

Improving Health and Wellbeing

Our January PC meeting focused on this subject. 

Donna Moretta began by explaining that the school will always provide the initial support needed by any distressed pupil.   Moving forward, they aim to help build resilience and teach about strategies which students can use to help them keep a ‘good mental health’.  Part of this will also be about educating pupils regarding what is a normal reality (eg busy times, sadness and stress) and what are more serious mental health issues.

Terry McColm introduced the new ‘Growing in Confidence Programme’. It has already been run in some Edinburgh schools for 10 years and looks at the challenges faced in teenage years along with the strategies to help young people through these challenges.  Of key importance is keeping busy, physically active and talking. 

S2 pupils will be the first to receive the full programme (starting Feb18) which will continue throughout their school life.

All staff have already received training sessions on the programme.  They are now offering this learning opportunity to parents with 4 sessions taking place on 7th, 13th, 19th and 27th March starting at 6pm

The PC encourage as many parents as possible to attend these sessions.

A number of other activities to improve mental health are also starting up within the school.  You can read about these and other matters relating to Mental Health and Well-Being in our January PC minutes here http://peebleshighschool.org.uk/parent-zone/parent-council/pc-minutes/ 

Pupil Equity Funding

All Scottish state schools have been allocated with a fund for each pupil in receipt of a free school meal in S1-S3 in order to raise attainment in literacy, numeracy and improve health and well-being.  Scottish Borders Council has instructed the school that this fund should also be used to support pupils who are in care.

This year a working group of parents, pupils and staff was formed to decide how best to support the PEF group. After a rigorous analysis of the groups needs, it was decided that the following actions should be taken

  • Targeted support in Success at Arithmetic programme. This will involve extraction of pupils from class four times per week. Three 15 minute sessions and one 30 minute session.
  • Targeted support in Reading Recovery Scheme. This would involve extraction of pupils from class one period per week.
  • Appointment of an Additional Needs Assistant with experience of supporting Maths.
  • Appointment of a Learning Support Teacher to deliver Reading Recovery Scheme
  • Purchase of software: Progress in Math’s, Progress in English and Pupil Attitude to School and Self program to establish baseline in literacy, numeracy and health and well-being and future evidence of progress.
  • Purchase of laptops to ensure equal access to Bring Your Own Device policy for PEF cohort.

PHS has now appointed Ms H Hayes to the position of ANA to support Numeracy.  Purchase of Laptops and software is almost completed, awaiting approval from HQ.

Learning and Teaching

Learning Passports Launched

The new term saw the introduction of the Learning Passport pilot project for all S1 and S5 learners. Developed by pupils, staff and parents, the project aims to help learners get more out of their Personal Support Learning Conversations by recording reflections on wider achievements, skills development and subject learning in their Learning Passports.  Personal Support Tutors have access to more information to support learners in identifying general and subject-specific learning strategies to set meaningful learning targets. 

Increasingly used in a wide range of careers, reflective learning logs have been shown to improve motivation,  improve self-organisation, improve relationships with teachers and increase achievement.

SQA Personal Development Award

As part of this year’s school improvement plan we are looking to improve the engagement and achievement for some of our young people in S3 who have been identified through our tracking and monitoring report as facing challenges with their effort, behaviour and progress. Between January and May this group of students will be taken off their timetables classes for one day a week and given the opportunity to complete the SQA Personal Development Award. This award is made up of 4 units each one will last 4 weeks and together they are the equivalent of a National 4 qualification.

The units are

  • Self-Awareness – planning an outdoor activity for Health week.
  • Self in Community – volunteering or supporting a local charity.
  • Self and work- placement for work experience.
  • Practical Abilities – how to service a car.

Have Your Say!

Please feel free to send us, as your parent representatives, any questions you would like raised with the school either at Parent Council meetings or via the Rector’s Q & A section and we will aim to get as many answers as possible to you.  Contact Margaret Hogg with your questions via email phspc@outlook.com.

We also encourage you to come along to all future Parent Council meetings to have your voice heard.

PHS Parent Council, PTA, PHS200, PHS Lottery and Learning Support PHS

(Mar 2018)

 

 

 


December 2017

ParentsE-Bulletin – December 2017

Welcome to our December parents’ e-bulletin.

Parent Group Updates

Parent Council

In our meeting of 24 October, we focused mainly on the departmental bids for the school.  £13450 was given by the PTA and PHS Lottery (formerly PHS 200club) to the school to buy much-needed equipment.  You can see our minutes here: http://peebleshighschool.org.uk/parent-zone/parent-council/pc-minutes/

In our meeting of 6 December, the PC was given a presentation by SBC on the possibility of a new school building.  This is a huge subject and we will be holding a Workshop in February to give everyone the chance to find out about what may or may not be possible and to seek their views.  More information will follow.  In the meantime, you can look at the minutes of the meeting here:  http://peebleshighschool.org.uk/parent-zone/parent-council/pc-minutes/

Our next regular PC meeting is on Monday 29th January 2018 at 7pm in the Sports Centre meeting room.   Please look out for the agenda for this meeting on the PHS Parents Facebook page.

PTA

Huge thanks to all the volunteers who served refreshments at the school concert on Thursday 14 December and helped with the raffle.  Special thanks must go to Jenny Drinkell for speaking to local businesses and gathering donations for the raffle.  We raised a total of £434.20.

Thanks to Boots, Caledonia, Castle Warehouse, Cocoa Black, CRB Cunninghams, Eastgate Theatre, Francos, Head to Toe, La Boutique d’Elodie, parent contributions, Sainsburys, Tesco, The Retreat, Tontine and Whities for their donations to the raffle.  Their continued support is very much appreciated.

PHS200

Careers Event

Our thanks to all parents, staff, students and delegates who worked so hard to make this a superb evening for students from S1-S6.  Students who get good advice about careers have been proven to earn more and be more content in their chosen course or career later in life.  So how did we do?

Delegates, pupils and parents were surveyed on the night and here are some key pieces of data. 

100% of delegates strongly agreed/agreed that the organisation in advance of the event was good

93% of delegates felt the interaction with students was worthwhile and useful.

94% of parents found it useful in considering after school options.

68% of parents & pupils found the pack provided was helpful.

Over 90 delegates attended and set up stands. This is our highest number of employers. More than 140 families attended the event, (NB they may have brought more than one child) and although we would love to see more families it was significantly better attended than an event held in another Borders School shortly afterwards.

6th Year- Employability skills day

As part of the Developing Young Workforce project, workshops were held on Monday 4th December for the 6th year pupils in conjunction with DYW Borders.  Advice was given across a range of topics including Finance, Interview technique, CVs and Social Media.  Pupils found this extremely useful.  PHS200 were invited to conduct mock interviews with students and Glenda had been very impressed by the 6th year pupils that participated.

Acoustics in dining hall

We have just been told that the company offering to hang these curtains are coming to the school soon at long last, but we hope to report installation in the New Year.  This is being funded by Tesco Bags of Hope.

PHS Lottery (formerly PHS 200 Club)

Recently, together with the PTA, we were able to donate £13450 to the school to buy new equipment for teachers and pupils to use. This equated to approximately £10 for each pupil. The teaching staff had provided us with a wish list, which was much longer than we could provide for.  With this in mind, the decision has been made that the

 PHS 200 Club is becoming PHS Lottery. 

The name is changing, but the way it works is not!

Since the original PHS 200 Club was set up in 1990, the ticket price has been £1. We really feel that the time has come to increase this and so we are inviting all parents, family and friends to join the lottery, for a minimum of £2 a month by standing order (£6 collected quarterly). Each £2 will give you one number in the draw which takes place every three months. 

Prizes are: 1st £100, 2nd £50 and 3rd £25. We will be reviewing the prize money in 2018 as the more people who take part, the higher the prize money can be!  This really is the easiest way to support the school with fundraising.  No baking, raffle donations or silly jumper days to buy for!  Just one form to fill in and we do all the rest. 

We currently have around 180 members in the PHS Lottery.  Just think what we could buy for the school if we doubled that.

You should be receiving a form home in your child’s school bag, before the end of term. Please consider filling it in. It can be returned to school and placed in the grey mailbox in the front hall. If you need any more forms, please go to http://peebleshighschool.org.uk/parent-zone/phs-lottery/ 

The winners of December’s quarterly draw were:

1st £100 – Wendy Elder

2nd £50 -Seb Rose

3rd £25 – Richard Turton

Just a note – if you are currently a member of PHS 200 Club, we will shortly be contacting you to ask if you would kindly increase your payments to reflect the new ticket price. We would love it if you were still willing to support the school in this way and the pupils and staff are very grateful for all the support that the parents give to them.

Thank for your continued support 

Kirstin Worsley and Viv Leckie

PHS Lottery Administrators

LSPHS

The LSPHS Christmas Coffee morning at the beginning of December raised a fabulous £850 for the Additional Needs Department.  A massive thank you to everybody who has supported our fundraising efforts in the last 2 years – this has enabled the department to spend just over £5,000 in materials, subscriptions and events for the children.

We’re also looking for some new blood to support our fundraising going forward, so please get in touch with chrisswanston@btinternet.com or vanessajrice@hotmail.com if you can help.

Rector’s Q & A

There were no new questions raised via the Parent Council for the Rector.  Please email Margaret at phspc@outlook.com if you have any questions you would like answered.

Our Key Priorities within the School Improvement Plan (SIP)

Developing Scotlands Young Workforce (DYW) – follow us @PHS_DYW

See PHS200

Improving Health and Wellbeing

We continue to support the school in this very important area and will be making this the focus of our meeting on 29th January.  We have also submitted a bid to the SBC Localities Fund for extra monetary support for the school’s Opportunities Pot which provides financial assistance to families in need for activities such as the S1 residential and S3 Duke of Edinburgh scheme.

Supporting Learning Conversations

The PC has been providing input on the design of the new Pupil Passports to be used during personal support learning conversations.  It is hoped that in time these can be linked in with the Tracking and Monitoring system.

Have Your Say!

Please feel free to send us, as your parent representatives, any questions you would like raised with the school either at Parent Council meetings or via the Rector’s Q & A section and we will aim to get as many answers as possible to you.  Contact Margaret Hogg with your questions via email phspc@outlook.com.

We also encourage you to come along to all future Parent Council meetings to have your voice heard.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Peebles High School Parent Groups

PHS Parent Council, PTA, PHS200, PHS Lottery and Learning Support PHS

(Dec 2017)


SQA Presentation Policy

SQA Presentation Policy & Added Value
Session 2017-2018

Dear Parent/Carer,

SBC SQA NQ Changes 2017-2018  (download doc)

Changes to National Qualifications from Session 2017-2018
As you may be aware the Scottish Government has recently made some changes to the way in which young people are assessed in National Qualifications. The most significant change has been the decision to remove mandatory unit assessment from National Qualifications, initially at National 5 level, and in future sessions, at Higher and Advanced Higher level. The purpose of this change is to reduce the amount of assessment undertaken by young people studying National Qualifications and to address concerns raised by Professional bodies over the past three years.

As a result of this decision to remove mandatory unit assessment, from session 2017/18 onwards, for each National 5 course, the changes have resulted in one or more of the following:

  • extension of the existing exam question paper;
  • extension/modification of the existing item of coursework;
  • a new exam question paper;
  • a new item of coursework.

Implications of this change
Recognising the need for some kind of alternative `safety net’ for pupils, the Scottish Government has announced two measures to reduce the risk of a pupil failing to achieve any qualification at all.

Firstly, the threshold to achieve a Grade D award at National 5 has been extended to include candidates who achieve between 40% and 49% where previously it was 45% or more. Normal SQA grade boundary decisions for each subject still apply.

Secondly, for an interim period only, schools can continue to present pupils for the units that were formerly part of National courses and also for the National 5 course award. By also completing the Added Value Unit, this means that a small number of candidates, identified by each school, could still benefit from the ‘safety net’ and gain a National 4 award in the subject should they fail the National 5 examination, as pupils have done up until now.

It is Scottish Borders Council’s aspiration that all pupils will achieve a qualification in each course studied. However, the Scottish Government has been clear that this fall back should only be used in a very limited number of exceptional circumstances. A teacher’s professional judgment will ensure that a pupil is entered at the correct SQA level for the subjects they are currently studying.

In line with normal practice, faculty principal teachers will confirm to you and your young person the designated presentation level. Final decisions can be communicated to parents/carers through tracking reports or a letter home.

National Qualifications – Added Value Components

The new SQA National Qualifications from N4 to Advanced Higher all involve what is known as an ‘Added Value’ component. What this means, is that achievement in these new qualifications is not based solely on performance in a final exam. The nature of the Added Value component differs from subject to subject. In Music, for example, it is a practical performance. In History, it is an essay, written in exam conditions and in Modern Languages, it is a speaking assessment. The attached calendar will give you more information on what exactly the Added Value task is for each subject and level, when in the year it will be done and what percentage of the final course award it is worth.

It is very important that pupils treat the preparation for and completion of their Added Value components as seriously as they would that for their final exam. At N5, Higher and Advanced Higher levels, this Added Value component contributes a significant percentage of the final grade. At N4 level, the Added Value component is one of several units that have to be passed in order to achieve the course award. Specific dates will be published on the school calendar for each Added Value component nearer the time that each one has to be done. If the Added Value component is in the format of a formal examination write-up or performance, it is obviously imperative that pupils attend on that day. If the Added Value component is a folio or submission to the SQA by a deadline, it is obviously imperative that pupils meet this deadline and deadlines set by the school in advance of the final submission date for the preparation of this work.

The SQA have very strict rules to make sure that any work submitted by pupils is their own work. Plagiarism, or unreasonable assistance by teachers, parents or anyone else, is not acceptable. All senior pupils have been issued with a ‘Your Coursework’ booklet from the SQA which gives further guidance on the submission of coursework. You can also access this booklet at the following web address: https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/71527.html.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s Pastoral Teacher, or our SQA Coordinator Mr McLaren, should you wish further information about the change in qualifications. Staff in schools will be continuing their development of the modified National 5 courses, while Faculty Heads and Pastoral staff will be regularly reviewing and analysing information about pupils’ progress in order to ensure that appropriate presentation levels are discussed with and communicated to you.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Fagan

Head teacher


Advance warning!

S4 PARENTS’ EVENING – TUESDAY 14TH NOVEMBER

 

In our continued efforts to improve your experience of parents’ evenings we have introduced an electronic system for the booking of parents’ evening appointments.  Detailed user instructions will be sent when the booking system go lives on Friday 3rd November 2017.  An up-to-date email is required to enable you book appointments. 

 


October 2017

Parents’ E-Bulletin – October 2017

Welcome to our October parents’ e-bulletin.

New School Website

We hope that you are making good use of the new school website  peebleshighschool.org.uk  

We would like to draw your attention to a new feature on the website – the daily school bulletin.  If you haven’t already seen it, follow this link: http://peebleshighschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/bulletin/today.pdf

We hope that both parents and pupils will find this useful.  Thanks to parent Simon Fraser from phs200 for his continued and daily support in posting the bulletin.  In addition, we would like to thank Simon for his work in setting up the section “Supporting Students in the Senior Phase” on the website, following the recent parents meeting, see link for details: http://peebleshighschool.org.uk/parent-zone/support-a-young-person/

Parent Group Updates

Parent Council

We were pleased to have a fantastic turnout at our last PC meeting, including some new S1 parents.  At the meeting we spent some time looking at the new School Improvement Plan (SIP) along with various topics raised by parents and the results from the exams in May.  The minutes of our meeting can be found here :- http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/pc-minutes

Our next PC meeting is on Tuesday 24th October at 7pm in the Sports Centre meeting room.   Please look out for the agenda for this meeting on the PHS Parents Facebook page.

PTA

Refreshments were served on 11th September at the German Exchange Concert raising £72.63 for the PTA.  Huge thanks to all the PTA volunteers for making this possible.

Refreshments were also served on 18th September at a Developing the Young Workforce presentation.  This was not a fundraiser for the PTA.  Thanks again to the PTA volunteers.

If you have any fundraising ideas please contact Michael Pryor or Lisa Houston Email peebleshighschoolpta@gmail.com

PHS200

We have been involved in planning this year’s Careers Event along with Ms Gess (PT Pastoral, DYW).   The date is Thursday 2nd November (evening) open to S1-S6. We are looking for ALL parent volunteers who are willing to join us and share their work experiences with students. (See later under SIP for more details). If you can help, email at careersevent@oulook.com. This will be a regular feature in the e-bulletin for the next few months. Thanks to all the members of our new team who have worked on this.

We were also involved in attending the Apprenticeship workshop on 18th Sept as we intend to include this in the Careers evening too. Our thanks for the help received from Andrea Hall (our former Business Manager) in her new role in DYW Borders.

Acoustics in dining hall – now that we have received our funding from Tesco Bags of Life, we are getting technical help on the way to minimise sound. This has included working with the Physics department which turns out could become part of a project for Advanced Higher students. Many thanks also to parent Alison Graham and Mr. Campbell in the physics department for supporting us.

Supporting the German exchange – parents were involved in organising the food for the end of term ceilidh buffet for 120 people! This was a great event and PHS200 was most grateful to the help on the night from Elodie Sellar and Katrina Culshaw, all parents who donated food and especially the Music department for all the work they put in to make it such a great week.

Pupil Passport: Following involvement last year with tracking and monitoring, we have been involved in requests to support the next evolution of this. (See SIP).

PHS 200 Club

This lottery is open to all parents and has been supported for 6 years by Lucy Maclennan and over the last year by Laura Robertson. Our thanks to them for their help in training and advising our new team. Good Luck to Viv Leckie and Kirstin Worsley who will lead on this from now on!  PHS200 will continue to offer marketing support to this great fundraiser for the school.

The winners of June’s quarterly draw were:

  • 1st £100 – Ronan Toolis
  • 2nd £50 – Catherine Forman
  • 3rd £25 – Alison Caw

The winners of September’s quarterly draw were:

  • 1st £100 – Cathie Todd
  • 2nd £50 – Celia Cameron
  • 3rd £25 – Alison Renwick

We currently have approximately 200 members in the 200 club.  If you would like to join the club, please visit http://peebleshighschool.org.uk/parent-zone/200-club/

 

LSPHS

LSPHS will be hosting a Craft and Christmas Coffee Morning at the Peebles Ex Servicemen’ club on Saturday 9th December. We are looking for donations for our raffle, along with helpers on the day. To help us raise money for the Additional Needs Department of Peebles High School, please drop a line to chrisswanston@btinternet.com or vanessajrice@hotmail.com

Rector’s Q & A

  1. Is it possible for the school to provide paper homework diaries?

We currently do not provided homework diaries to learners but pupils are welcome to use one if they want. Homework diaries cost approximately £2 each.  The cost to the school to provide homework diaries for all learners is in the region of £2500 per annum.  This is not a sustainable annual cost and is financially prohibitive.   In lieu of homework diaries, we have an electronic homework planner, called ShowMyHomework, which pupils and parents can use to check assigned homework.  There is a calendar overview of all assigned homework in the school, this can be further filtered by individual teacher, subject, class etc. Parents and learners have been provided with log in details so that they can access their personal homework.  ShowMyHomework has created a popular app that can be downloaded and installed on mobile devices and tablets.  Please ask your child for a copy of the letter or contact the school reception. 

If your child wises to use a paper diary that of course is their choice however we believe that by encouraging pupils to engage with technology in a constructive way we better prepare them for the world of work. It is true that many professionals work entirely paper free, something that will become increasingly more common throughout the lives of our young people as we move towards reducing our carbon footprint.   

If you would like to get further involved why not join The Parent Council who have now set up a Homework Subgroup to look at the whole topic of homework in greater detail. 

  1. My child finds “dress-down days” stressful.  Is it possible to restrict the frequency of these days?

We have not had a dress down day this year at PHS and currently have no plans for one but it is true that inevitably we will. These days are largely enjoyed and can raise money for charity and equity projects however careful consideration is given to the number of fundraising/charity activities that the school is involved in each year. Last year the poverty proofing group did negotiate with the Rector that payments for these days would be voluntary but this does not deal with all of the pressures of these events. Any child that finds this or any other aspect of school life stressful should talk to their guidance teacher and we will do our best to help them enjoy this part of school life.

  1. Can anything be done to reduce the time spent in dinner queues and ordering school dinners?

We are lucky to have a great team of canteen staff that manages to provide for our students and staff a variety of meals at break and lunch and serve everyone on most days within 25mins of lunch starting. However we, like all schools, are constantly trying to reduce the time our young people are queuing. One alternative to queuing in the Canteen or Snack Shack at the back of school is the ‘Grab and Go’ system which enables a pupil to pre order their meal and collect this from the assembly hall at the start of lunch. This is a popular option and to cope with demand a new ordering machine is being placed in the school in the next few weeks.

Our Key Priorities within the School Improvement Plan (SIP)

You may be aware that annually the school produces a plan called the School Improvement Plan (or SIP) which states the school’s priorities for the year ahead.

The parent groups have met with Interim Rector Paul Fagan to look at this plan and decide where we can best support the school, in partnership, to deliver these objectives.  The following areas have been highlighted and we are already working together with the school on these priorities.

Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce (DYW) – follow us @PHS_DYW

The aims here are to improve employability skills and ensure all pupils achieve a positive school leaver destination.

As discussed in the phs200 section, the Careers Event will be on the evening of the 2nd November and is open to all S1-S6 for the first time. We hope to include break out groups for Additional Needs, College Applications, Apprenticeships and Personal Statements if enough volunteers come forward. This is an exhibition style event and links to the wider program of Developing Young Workforce. This program provides support for students in order to help them gain a great place after school. Additionally, it helps with subject selection in S1, S3 and S5 and assists with applications for volunteering, work experience, apprenticeships, jobs, college and university. We are also looking for former students to come this year – again offering up to date experiences of courses. Please ask siblings if they would come on the night – this is a great asset for our students.

Parents are supporting the creation and design of a Pupil Passport. This is being led by Mrs. Veronica Boyd (PT) who is leading a working group to design a document that can record everything from academic achievements and goals, coaching sessions in personal support to work and volunteering experiences. The aim is to collate evidence to help students work more effectively in their studies but can also be used to help write CVs and applications further down the line. This will now also link to the tracking and monitoring project below as it is an umbrella initiative across DYW and The Supporting Learning Conversations priority (again see below).

Improving Health and Wellbeing

We believe that good mental health and wellbeing is essential for the successful learning, happiness and preparation for independent living for all our young people.

The Poverty Proofing Working Group which includes the PTA Chair Michael Pryor and Depute Rector Jeremy Lee will continue to look at how they can reduce the effects of low income on the education of young people. For more info, see our latest PC minutes.

Supporting Learning Conversations

The school would like to develop a system which combines the existing tracking, monitoring and reporting system with pupil/teacher conversations and personal support learning conversations.  Margaret Hogg , PC Chair, will assist Depute Rectors Justin Noon and Donna Moretta in working out the best way to achieve this.

Help Wanted!

The Parents Council would like to fund a new school sign at the entrance to the school grounds.  We are looking for parents who have expertise in designing and producing signs who may be able to help us.  If you can help in any way, please contact Margaret at phspc@outlook.com

Have Your Say!

Please feel free to send us, as your parent representatives, any questions you would like raised with the school either at Parent Council meetings or via the Rector’s Q & A section and we will aim to get as many answers as possible to you.  Contact Margaret Hogg with your questions via email phspc@outlook.com.

We also encourage you to come along to all future Parent Council meetings to have your voice heard.

Best wishes

Peebles High Parent Groups –

Parent Council, PTA, phs200, Learning Support PHS, 200 club.

(Oct 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


September 2017

 

University of Edinburgh Careers Events for S5 &S6 Pupils

So you want to be :

…an Engineer – Wed 18th Oct 09:00-17:00

…a Vet – Wed 18th Oct 10:00 -17:00

…a Biomedical Scientist – Thurs 19th Oct 09:00-17:00

…a Lawyer – Fri 20th Oct 09:00 – 17:00

…a Social Worker – Fri 27th Oct 13:00 – 17:00

…a Nurse – Friday pm in November (TBC)

Meet current students, speak to academics and practitioners, take part in interactive workshops, receive admissions advice, career info…

You MUST register if you want to attend – please email wpteam@ed.ac.uk or call Clair on 0131 651 4207

Food and Farming Career Information Opportunity for S2 & S3 pupils 14 & 15 Nov 2017

Interested in a career in the food or farming industries? Sign up for the Royal Highland Education Trust  (RHET)  Scottish Borders FOOD & FARMING DAY – 14 or 15 November 2017.  Students will meet experts in the rural sector, and will have the opportunity to attend workshops to see how many different careers are involved in the production of our food – from flood management to bread making, veterinary services to tractor steering by GPS. Interested? Speak to Mrs Gess or your Pastoral Teacher to get your name on the list – spaces are limited to 30, so anyone interested should sign up quick!