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!




June 2017

ParentsE-Bulletin – June 2017

 

Please see the new Support a Young Person documentation!

Welcome to our June parents’ e-bulletin.

Parent Group Updates

A full summary of the year’s activities from the PC, PTA, PHS200, PHS200 Club and LSPHS is in the attached Parent Council AGM Minutes

Our first PC meeting after the summer is on Thursday 7th September.  Once again, we are inviting parents to come to this meeting and give us their comments and suggestions on ways that we can help improve the school.  This, along with the School Improvement Plan, will form the basis of our plan of action for the following year.

If you cannot attend the meeting but have a topic that you would like us to discuss, please contact Margaret via email at phspc@outlook.com .

Progress on our Key Priorities within the School Plan

A full summary on Tracking and Monitoring, Personal Support and Poverty Proofing the School is available in the Parent Council AGM Minutes attached. Please also look at the attached minutes from our special meeting on Learning Pathways and Developing the Young Workforce for a full summary of what has been happening in this area.

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.

Have a great summer!

Best Wishes

The Peebles High Parent Groups –

Parent Council, PTA, PHS200, Learning Support PHS, 200 club.

(June 2017)


May 2017

Parent Group Updates

Parent Council

At our last PC meeting, our discussion focussed on Pastoral Support and mental well-being.  The minutes of our meeting can be found here :- http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/pc-minutes

Our next PC meeting is on Wednesday 10th May at 7pm in the Sports Centre meeting room.  We are pleased to have Mrs Reville, PT Modern Languages, joining us to discuss how modern languages are taught and how we can support conversational language.  The agenda for the meeting can be found here:- http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/parent-council

There will be an additional PC meeting on Wednesday 31st May to find out more about Learning Pathways, looking at both academic and vocational opportunities for students, including the current partnership with Borders College and the modern apprenticeship model.

Every PHS parent is welcome to attend these meetings and we encourage you to come along and take part in our discussions.

PTA

The PTA are providing volunteers to serve refreshments at the PHS Advanced Higher Art and Design Exhibition on Wednesday 3rd May 2017 (6pm – 8pm)

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

PHS200

We are delighted to let you know that our application to the Tesco Bags of Help Grant Scheme has been successful and our project will be put forward to a customer vote in the Peebles Tesco during May and June 2017.  The project we have put forward is to upgrade the dining hall so that it provides an environment more suitable for students with hearing impairment – at the moment, it is hard for many students to enjoy the dining space because of the noise levels.  Investment in sound absorbing screens, carpeting and curtains will improve this significantly. Our project, along with two other successful projects will go forward to a vote in local Tesco stores where their customers will decide the outcome by voting for their favourite project each time they shop. Voting will take during May and June and we should hear the outcome by the end of July.  The project with the highest number of votes will receive up to £4,000, the second placed project up to £2,000 and the third placed project £1,000. So, please get voting to support us!

In collaboration with other parent groups we have been continuing to work this month on completing the new website (including trialling the daily bulletin online for next session). This is a substantial piece of work and we very much appreciate all the input from parents and staff, particularly Mr Wilson. We hope to launch the new website during June.

Furthermore we continue to work on the soundproof work for the dinner hall to support students who are hard of hearing and to help with noise levels at parents nights. Thanks to Alison Graham for her assistance in this project.

PHS 200 Club

The winners of March’s quarterly draw were:

1st  – Elizabeth Strain £100

2nd – Suzanne Slater £50

3rd – £25 (winner returned prize to school funds)

The next draw will take place in June.  We currently have approximately 200 members in the 200 club.  If you would like to join the club, please visit http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/200-club

The current balance in the 200 club account is around £7000.  The money raised through the 200 club is used to purchase materials and equipment for the school.

LSPHS

If your child is being helped by Additional Needs (whatever the level of support is) and you’d benefit from a support network of other parents, get in touch with LS PHS. Next meeting is on Thursday 18th May, 7pm, at the County Inn in Peebles. Look us up on Facebook (search for LS PHS) or ask your co worker to pass on our contact details

Progress on our Key Priorities within the School Plan

Tracking and Monitoring

Feedback collected at parents’ evening from throughout the year were shared with staff at the inservice day on 28th April.  Staff were also provided with an opportunity to provide their own feedback and suggest improvements during the in-service day via a survey monkey.  The tracking, monitoring and reporting working group will meet on the 8th of May to discuss the feedback and to agree next steps.

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

Enterprising Young leaders Programme

During May, S4 and S5 pupils who are not on study leave will participate in this innovative and exciting eleven day programme.  Through working with other pupils and with the support of Peebles CAN, pupils will develop key leadership and team working skills, relevant for the world of work, while developing their own social enterprise idea. The programme, created as a partnership between the Social Enterprise Academy and the Scottish Government develops enterprise, employability and entrepreneurial skills in young people and promotes awareness of social enterprise as a way of doing better business in Scotland.

The aim of the programme is to:

  • Develop an understanding of the social enterprise business model
  • Provide hands on experience of setting up and running a social enterprise
  • Provide practical opportunities that encourage our pupils to become successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.

Please see the attached PDF for more information. Enterprising Young Leaders – Peebles – May 2017

The Arkwright Scholarship Trust

We are delighted to announce that Peebles High School has met the criteria to be recognised as an Affiliated Arkwright School. We now join with over 1000 schools who are committed to identifying, inspiring and nurturing future leaders in Engineering and Technical Design.  This year we dipped our toe in the water and submitted three candidates for the Arkwright Scholarship. One student has made it through to the final stages and we eagerly await positive news. Successful applicants are financially supported through their S5 and S6 and are linked with a company that helps to provide practical experiences to help the young person achieve their goal of becoming an engineer.

Personal Support

Despite some technical difficulties, over 900 young people managed to complete the pupil survey recently, the results of which are currently being analysed.  The next stage of the evaluation process is to ask parents to complete a survey so that all stakeholders have their say on how the initiative can be developed next year.  The survey will be sent out to parents electronically sometime in May.

We said goodbye to the S6 students in our Personal Support classes at the end of April and will welcome new S1 students in August.  Personal Support classes will be made up of S1/2/3 students during study leave so they will be the target cohorts for learning conversations during this time.

Poverty Proofing the School

No update

Rector’s Q & A

There have been no questions raised since our last bulletin.

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.

The PHS Parent Groups would like to wish all our students good luck with their exams this month.

Best wishes

Peebles High Parent Groups –

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

(May 2017)


March 2017

Parent Group Updates

Parent Council

Minutes from last Parent Council meeting – http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/pc-minutes

The next Parents Council meeting is on Monday 27th March in the Sports Centre at 7.00pm.    Every PHS parent is welcome to attend.

The main focus of this meeting will be on the Pastoral issues of self-esteem and peer pressure and how these link with make-up and uniform policy.  – http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/parent-council

PTA

The PTA provided a raffle and refreshments at the Spring Concert on 22nd March.  Thank you to everyone who baked, volunteered, purchased raffle tickets or enjoyed something from the refreshment stand. 

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

PHS200

This month phs200 priorities have been focused on developing the new website which is currently going into final stages. Many thanks for all his computer wizardry to Simon Fraser for the major design work. This has now been shared and revised by Margaret Hogg (PC) and Lisa Houston (PTA) and Lisa has kindly offered to continue to support the final stages of design. This is a significant saving to the school and normally would cost thousands to commission externally.

In addition, we have been tasked with looking into supporting noise minimisation for hard of hearing students by deadening the noise in the dining room (including curtains, sound absorbing panels etc.) This may help too at parents’ evenings where the noise is significant. The PTA have submitted an application for funding from the Tesco Bags of Help Programme and we will be in touch when we need further hands-on support from parents.

PHS 200 Club

PHS200 are delighted to report that the 200 club was able to contribute to purchasing a new Kiln for the Art department which broke down irreparably just before the exam period. Many thanks to all parents who have contributed to the 200 club – this was an unexpected problem and we are delighted that the students will be able to continue with work for exams as well as all other years who study art. Please contact the school if you would like to join for only £2 a month and you can enter our free prize draw!

LSPHS

LS PHS is a parents group that offers a support network for parents and carers of children with Additional Needs, and fundraises for the Additional Needs department. We’d love to welcome new members and helpers (Additional Needs children at the school not a prerequisite!). To get in touch:

Progress on our Key Priorities within the School Plan

Tracking and Monitoring

As we approach the end of the T&M calendar we are looking towards evaluating this pilot year.  Senior Management have carried out focus groups with senior students gathering their views on the worth of the new reports, the quality and frequency of staff interventions, the availability of support and steps to be taken to improve the system. The students responses add to the body of evaluative information and are also instrumental in helping shape the questions for the forthcoming survey to staff and parents. This is due to be completed by the end of April.

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

Resilient Communities

There has been very significant developments with Peebles high School engagement with the DYW agenda. On Tuesday 28th Feb all S3 Pupils were involved in a Resilient Communities Event at PHS. The day aimed to develop effective contributors, promote the value of community and progress the Developing the Young Workforce initiative by providing students with a series of challenges led by emergency services, resilient community leaders and other support agencies.

Each student participated in seven 25 minutes events including:

  • CPR and use of defibrillators (Scottish Fire & Rescue Service and Scottish Ambulance Service)
  • What to do at the scene of an accident (Police Scotland)
  • First Aid and Splinting (Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue)
  • Emergency Planning Scenarios (Scottish Borders Council Emergency Planning Officers)
  • Establishing a Youth Volunteers Group (Peebles Resilient Communities Group)
  • Emergency Response (Salvation Army)

The event, broadcast by Borders Television received great praise from councillors, participants and students:

“It was great to see the pupils and staff engaging so well on what is a very important subject. I was very impressed with the event” Councillor Keith Cockburn

“learned about locations of defibrillators in Peebles, so handy knowledge!”  S3 Pupil

“I now know what to do in a flood situation” S3 Pupil

“I am now aware of difficult situations elderly people face during winter.”  S3 Pupil

“It would have been nice to have been able to have gone through all the activities, but overall an insightful and fab day! Thanks to everyone who made it happen.” S3 Pupil

 

Women into Construction

On the 7th of March 14, S4 girls attended the Women into Construction event at Borders College.

The group heard stories from industry insiders, spanning a range of career options from joinery and painting to architecture and civil engineering.

The educational event was held by the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, between Monday, March 6 to Friday, March 10.

Christine Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, delivered a talk to the girls. She emphasised the importance of the event in light of the fact that women are still vastly under-represented within the construction industry.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Youth Engagement

On the 14th of March seven senior students graduated from the Scottish Fire and Rescues Youth Engagement Programme. The event held at Galashiels fire station was attended by representatives from the emergency services, SBC councillors, educationalists and parents who all had the pleasure of witnessing first-hand the impact the project has had on the young people.

“Working with the young people from Peebles High School has been an exciting, emotive and humbling experience for all involved. To see the impact this initiative has had for the young people has been immeasurable. To witness the increase in confidence, self-awareness, and self-belief in the group over the six weeks we were privileged to spend with them was inspiring.  Young lives do matter”. Stephen Mitchell,Station Commander,Scottish Borders North

Work Experience

As part of Peebles High Schools’ commitment to the national initiative Developing the Young Workforce we have reintroduced the work placement scheme for S3 pupils between 8th May-2nd June.  During this time, S3 students who choose to take up this opportunity are treated as young employees of the organisation and can try a range of tasks or duties and find out about the skills and attitudes that employers are looking for.  This experience helps many pupils think positively about the qualities that they may need to develop, and about careers they may be interested in.

During a special assembly all S3 pupils were informed about the worth of placements and were issued with usernames and passwords for the WorkIT system where they can book prearranged places. However, the majority of placements will be self-found. Much more information including a comprehensive PowerPoint and copies of essential paperwork can be found in the news section of the school website. http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/news/s3-work-placement-information

Personal Support

All young people are being surveyed at the moment.  The school devoted their last inset day to Personal Support and the feedback from the staff survey formed the basis of this.  They discussed positive outcomes from the initiative, explored examples of good practice in terms of learning conversations, identified how to help young people set targets for themselves and had a guest speaker give a refresher in coaching skills.  The school has started to look at what the classroom experience is like for young people and how to develop this as the initiative rolls out.

Poverty Proofing the School

Works continues to gather better information about the cost of being a student at PHS, which is something of a challenge as the experience of each young person is different, depending on courses chosen among other factors.  This will give the Group a firm basis on which to build.  The Uniform swap shop is now up and running and work continues to implement initiatives around provision of a print room and taking the school towards being ‘cashless’.  Also being considered are criteria that would be used to assess the case for provision of financial support for school trips.

SBC Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Strategy Presentation

SBC held a meeting on CSE in the school on 21st February.  This meeting was aimed at providing parents with information on the different ways your child can be exploited and how to be more aware of what your children are up to, who they are texting etc.  SBC are looking for feedback on how they can best inform parents and children about keeping safe.

Rector’s Q & A

I was disappointed not to be able to get appointment slots with all my child’s teachers at Parents’ Night. Why are some teachers not able to see all the pupils in their class and what should I do if I can’t get an appointment?

Occasionally teachers will have more than one class from a year group. This is far more common in RMPS S1-S3 classes but can happen in any subject. This means that the teacher may not be able to meet the parents of all of their students who wish an appointment within the scope of the evening. Whenever this happens, and a parent is keen to speak to a member of staff that they have not been able to see on the night, we encourage parents to let us know who they have missed and we can follow up in several ways: arrange a phone call between parent and staff member; ask the member of staff to provide a written update of how the student is progressing; or help to co-ordinate a meeting outwith the scope of the Parents’ Evening, ensuring the member of staff is given appropriate time to do so. Every state school in Scotland agrees their own Working Time Agreement (WTA) with staff based on national guidelines. At PHS our recent WTAs have protected 30 hours per year for Parents’ Evenings (most schools protect 25-30 hours).

Why do we not get a written report about our child’s progress?  This would have really helped us to support our child in making her subject choices.

The new Tracking, Monitoring and Reporting system piloted this year has valued frequency and regularity of feedback over written comments and this has elicited both positive and negative feedback that is part of a wider review. We have worked hard to give significant supports to young people making their choices this year. Every child making a choice this year was given a 1 -1 interview with their pastoral teacher and parents were supported with an information evening for each year group as well as ensuring ParentsEvenings were positioned prior to choice points. All parents of S3 students were also offered a 1 to 1 meeting with a promoted member of staff to discuss choices in more depth. Please contact the school if you are worried that the choices made may not be right for your child and we can work with you to get the best outcome.

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.

(March 2017)


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)