February 2017

Welcome to our first parents’ e-bulletin of 2017.

Parent Group Updates

Parent Council

The date of the next Parents Council meeting has been CHANGED to Tuesday 21st February in the LRC (school library) at 7.30pm – http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/parent-council The PC meeting will follow the SBC-led meeting at 6.30pm in the Assembly Hall to discuss the prevention and tackling of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) to which all parents are encouraged to attend.
Minutes from the last Parent Council meeting

PTA

We raised £371 in the raffle and £200 from the sale of refreshments at the School Concert in December.
Thanks to the generous £100 donation from Sainsburys our only expense was £5.60 for 4 raffle
books. Huge thanks must go to the volunteers who helped in the lead up to the event and on the night itself.
The next planned fundraiser is the Spring Show and we will be seeking volunteers and sourcing raffle prizes a little nearer the time.
If you have any fundraising ideas we’d love to hear from you! peebleshighschoolpta@gmail.com

PHS200

At the end of last term phs200 parents supported the production of Grease by clearing out the entire Drama department costumes and reorganising them in time for the very successful production.
This also included washing some costumes after the show too. With money provided by the 200 club we were able to provide new much needed clothes rails in the department itself.
Particular thanks to Alex Wilson who gave a tremendous amount of time to creating and altering costumes for the night.
Further thanks to parents who came in on request on show nights to work behind the scenes with costumes to help make it all go smoothly!

PHS 200 Club

The objective of the 200 Club is to raise essential funds for PHS. It is a donation scheme of £2 (minimum) per month and offers the subscriber a quarterly chance of winning £100, £50 or £25 with the remainder going directly into school funds. This money is used to enhance our children’s education by providing materials, equipment, floodlights, musical instruments, funding towards S1 Residential and more.
The winners of December’s quarterly 200 Club draw were:

  • £100 Frank Clare
  • £50 Kirsty Crick
  • £25 winner donated winnings to school funds

For more information on the 200 Club please visit here.

LSPHS

LS PHS ran a successful Christmas Craft and Coffee Morning in early December. This has raised just
under £1,000 which will be spent in enhanced provision material. Thank you to everybody who has
supported this event.

Progress on our Key Priorities within the School Plan

Tracking and Monitoring

By Friday the 3rd of February all parents of pupils in S1-S6 will have received two tracking and monitoring reports. Parents of pupils in S3,S4, S5 and S6 have also had the opportunity to meet with class teachers for more detailed feedback.
Parents of pupils in S1-S3 will receive a further report while S4-S6 parents will receive two further reports. This, the school believes, represents a significant improvement on 2015-16 as parents now receive more frequent data on their child’s progress than ever before.
While it is too early to draw any summative conclusions in this pilot year feedback from parents of pupils in S3-S6 does suggest that parents are more satisfied with the new approach. This table compares the responses of parents from S3-S6 to the question:
PHS keeps me informed about my child’s progress

 Strongly agree
%
Agree
%
Positive
%
Disagree
%
Strongly disagree
%
Negative
%
Don't Know
%
 
S5/625719622402016-17
2756831251702015-16
S43947861221402016-17
2163841131422015-16
S32363861241402016-17
3741781531842015-16

It is possible to conclude from the above table that a great percentage of parents gave positive responses to this question than in 2015-16. It is also possible to conclude that a significant percentage of parents in S5/6 feel more informed about their child’s progress than the parents of S5/6 pupils in 2015-16. However, it should be noted that the parents were responding to a more general question covering all forms of school communication and therefore a more focused evaluation of the tracking and monitoring system is required.
Feedback from teaching staff is also positive.
The school are now planning to carry out a comprehensive, rigorous and focused evaluation of the new approach. During February all pupils, parents and staff will be invited to participate in online surveys which will be supported by more in-depth focus groups during March. PHS200 will be invited to help with this and the results will be shared with all stakeholders.

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

DYW Partnerships/ Developing Scotland’s Future Entrepreneurs

Peebles High School & The Entrepreneur Foundation

This year Peebles High School entered into a new and exciting partnership with the Entrepreneur Foundation (TEF). TEF brings local business and schools together to inspire Scotland’s next generation of wealth creators by proving them with real opportunities to create and deliver innovative new products and services. In this pilot year we are delighted to be able to say that five pupil groups have been linked with Peebles Hydro, the Peel Café, the Park Hotel, Findra Clothing and Stobo Castle to help create, refine and market a new product or service.
With the support of a business coach the pupils identify opportunities for growth within their linked business who have then committed to implementing the collective decision of the group. The initial ideation session for three of the five partnerships took place earlier this month (December) at Peebles Hydro where pupils from S1-S6 developed their employability and entrepreneurial skills assisted by our partner s at TEF. The pupils will come together a further two times to test the product and design a marketing campaign. Finally the Business will take the product to market hopefully achieving success with every pound profit raised fund matched by the Scottish Government and 25% of all profits going back into the school.
Kevin McCall from SBC came to the last Parents Council meeting and gave a very informative talk about DWF which you can read about this and the careers night in the minutes. http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/pc-minutes
The Developing Young Workforce programme is a big priority this year and 10 staff are already working with DYW in the school. To help support integrating career development into the curriculum, each department has identified an employer/college or university they can partner with to support them develop this within their faculty. The school has reinstated the workplace experience programme for 3rd year students.
There are now 42 employers interested in working with the school, many of these partners are volunteers from the career night or are local employers. We would like more support please from parents to come forward or encourage more employers to work with the school.
Later this year, Borders College is coming to support guidance teachers on giving information on the courses that they offer and how to get even more from UCAS. Next year parents/carers could possibly notice students discussing at home about how subject lessons relate to the world of work.
Students will learn in English how to write a CV and they will experience having an interview at school by an employer. How students are progressing through this DYW programme will be tracked and monitored

Personal Support

A staff survey has been completed and plans are in place to survey pupils and parents in the Spring.
Poverty Proofing the School

  • A letter was circulated to all parents and carers setting out details about free school meals and clothing grants – please get in touch if you don’t remember seeing this.
  • The uniform swop shop is up and running
  • The school has a commitment from all faculties to use their funding to bring down costs for all students and then think about how to better target those who need further support.
  • Plans are being developed for a reading/free printing/stationery facility in the school.
  • Plans are being developed to make PHS a cash-free school which would make the cost of being a PHS student more transparent and also more confidential
  • The group is also working on creating a set of criteria for financial assistance that all school trip organisers could promote with their pupils.

Show My Homework (SMHW)

The Parents’ Council encourages all parents/carers to make increased use of SMHW.
Learners were provided with their unique log-in details during assemblies last academic year. By logging-in to your child’s own SMHW page, parents/carers can immediately see what homework is assigned without the need to filter the whole school on-line calendar. You can also see if a piece of homework has been graded and, if so, can find out if it was submitted on time and the grade it achieved. The SMHW app on the mobile phone is particularly helpful.
At present, all English and Mathematics homework is posted on SMHW whilst about 60% of staff from other departments are also using SMHW. The school Middle Leadership Team has recently received enhanced training on using SMHW, including how to create on-line quizzes and spelling tests, using the gradebook facility to provide feedback and running reports to track engagement. It is hoped that we will soon see even more teachers using SMHW and in more varied ways.
If you have lost, or indeed, never received the original letter with the SMHW log-in details, a replacement can be requested via Rachel Finney in the school office. Email
rachel.finney@scotborders.gov.uk or call 01721 720 291 ext: 505

Rector’s Q & A

  1. My daughter was unable to buy a ticket for the S1 Christmas Dance. Why were there not enough tickets for everyone?
    It was unusual for tickets to run out but this year there had been unusually high demand for tickets.
  2. What is the school’s policy on wearing make-up?
    There is no specific policy at present. We are going to discuss this at the next PC meeting.

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 this 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.
(Feb 2016)

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