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Newsletter

June 2001


Headteachers Remarks

June is a month of change. The SQA examinations finish, the A-Levels carry on but also draw to a close, the Primary 7 visit takes place and the new timetable starts on June 12. The students are eagerly looking forward to their new classes and the staff anxious to get on with the new courses.
We have some new initiatives planned for next session. Our new S1 and S2 Curriculum will be introduced. We have retained a broad, diverse and interesting base but have reduced the number of teacher contacts for the new first year intake. We think we have produced an excellent revised product. We hope you agree.
One of the most interesting developments will be the introduction of "Thinking Science" to the new S1 course. This is based on a highly respected course called "Cognitive Acceleration in Science" which has been shown to significantly improve attainment in a number of subjects, not only Science. It is also thought provoking and challenging so we are looking forward to the next few years. Other subjects have also revised their programmes to suit the new curriculum and our drive towards improved literacy and numeracy continues.
Finally on the social front our Sixth year leavers’ dance takes place at Craighouse Campus on Wednesday 27 June, we have decided to invite the parents of these students for a glass of bubbly. For many of them it is also farewell. We are certainly looking forward to the evening.
May I wish you all a happy summer and remind you that students start back at 8.30a.m. on Tuesday 14 August.

Colin Finlayson

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Geography Field Study

French Alps
40 S3 pupils and assorted staff braved the varying elements and landscapes of the Parc des Ecrins area of Brianconnais in the Southern French Alps in middle May. A packed itinerary included glaciation studies, biogeographical investigation of many very steep slopes, witnessing the "oldies" dipping their lower limbs in meltwater streams, chatting and questioning all kind of locals in French and sampling the delights of a true French farm complete with appropriate aromas. On the down side, we were invited to test ourselves against France’s premier rope activity course and mountain-biked our way through some serious fieldwork. An exhausting but rewarding experience, thanks to all who contributed so much to a truly enjoyable excursion.

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New Cycle Racks

Through a government funded initiative called 'Safe Routes to School' we have had cycle racks installed in the school.
The racks have been situated next to Bruntsfield House in sight of the school office so that the bikes will be secure. This initiative has the following key aspects -

Reducing urban pollution - some 60% of city traffic at critical times is caused by parents taking their children to and from school. You only have to see the reduction of traffic during the holidays to appreciate this fact.
Improve the fitness of young people - obesity in young people is a serious problem.

PLEASE ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILDREN TO CYCLE TO SCHOOL - take an example from Sciennes Primary where parents cycle with their children to school.

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Creating a Praise Culture

Merit Certificates
For some time now we have been working with the students to stress the importance of positive rewards. Our positive referral system is well received and our Merit Certificates are well established.
We have decided to make the presentation of the Merit Certificates a more formal occasion and have started Award Ceromonies for each year in the Assembly Hall.
This has been a success. The students are happy to receive their Gold, Silver or Bronze awards. We trust you are delighted to see them (and frame them?). The number of students who receive these certificates is very high and a tribute to the ethos of the school and the excellent work of students and staff

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Sport

Now that the term is drawing to a close it is worth reflecting on this past year of sport. Established clubs continued to run and new ones added. Clubs that were on offer throughout the year included: Fencing, Football, Karate, Netball, Badminton, Judo, Tennis, Hockey, Basketball, Staff Fitness, Swimming, Rugby, Dance, Volleyball. I would like to draw attention to the Badminton Club that completed a successful season playing games against George Watson’s College, Heriot’s and Boroughmuir. Congratulations to Felix Hodson and Devin Chetty who were part of the Edinburgh Team and Lothian Squad.

Thank-you to a number of dedicated staff members including Miss Bainbridge, Mr Finnemore, Mr McDougall, Miss Reynolds, Mr Carson and Mr Thom for their contributions throughout the year. The Sports Fair will be hosted at JGHS on Wednesday 20th June from 6.00-8.30pm. The event ran very successfully last year at Boroughmuir High School. Come along and enjoy what promises to be an excellent event.

By encouragement, from school and home, hopefully more and more children can be persuaded and realise that sport can be healthy, fun and enjoyable.

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Maths Challenge

Junior Maths Challenge
We now have the results for the S1/2 UK Maths Challenge. The top 4 classes in each year group participated in this. We achieved 19 Gold certificates, 29 Silver and 46 Bronze, 94 in total. Statistically, we should expect to get about 55 certificates, so we are of course delighted with such a good result.

5 students scored very highly indeed and have been invited to enter the UK Junior Mathematical Olympiad. This is a very prestigious and demanding 2 hour paper of extended questions, to be taken on June 12th. The lucky students are Jan Gondzio, Alex McIver and Gavin Hay from S2 and Miriam Holm and Sarah Pearce from S1.

We wish them luck!

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Music Tour-Valkenburg 2001


This is an exciting month for the students and teachers of the Music Department, as they prepare for their tour to Valkenburg, Holland. The Senior Strings, Guitar and Clarsach Ensembles and the Senior Wind Band will be performing concerts in Luxembourg, Germany and Valkenburg itself. The Music Department would like to invite you to a ‘Bon Voyage Concert’ on Monday 18 June, 7.00p.m. in the Assembly Hall. The full tour programme will be played. We wish all 96 pupils performing at the concert and on tour the very best of luck, we are sure it will be a great success.

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Study Support

Study Support
Study Support continues to grow at JGHS. This year the after-school revision programme was provided at 16 subjects in Standard Grade and at 13 over Higher Still Courses. The Easter Revision Programme provided a half-day or more in 18 subjects at Standard Grade or Higher Still level and a full day seminar on study and revision skills for all students. All S3 students experienced a very successful half-day seminar on learning skills that will help them both in their learning and attainment. The mentoring programme that runs in conjunction with Edinburgh Compact has been expanded and now 13 students meet regularly with a mentor from the business community. During the summer holiday 23 students from S5 will be attending master classes in 5 different subjects and a number of current S3 students will take part in the Summer Academy run by the City of Edinburgh.

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P.T.A.

WINE-TASTING: The wine-tasting evening on 31 March was a great success, with delicious wines, a demanding yet merciful quiz-master and a brilliant music quiz. Thanks very much to Alex and Veronica for such a lovely evening. CAR BOOT SALE: Please put Saturday 1 September in your diaries now for the house-clearing event of the year! Bring along your car so you can clear out your unwanted items, and help raise money for the school. Details next term. THANK YOU…to everyone who has helped the PTA this year, whether it was baking, designing posters, donating books, serving teas and coffees at parents’ evenings, or just turning up to events and eating the mincepies, drinking the coffee or buying a raffle ticket. Every little bit helps us to work with the teachers to enhance the school environment through fundraising and general support. Thanks.

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Dates for Your Diary

Dates for Your Diary
6 June S.1 Parents Consultation meeting (non-practical), 7.00 – 9.00 p.m
12 June Parent’s Network, PTA and School Board AGM 7.30–8.45p.m..
18 June Music Department Valkenburg Tour Concert, 7.00 p.m, Assembly Hall
20 June Sports Fair, 6.00 – 8.30 p.m.
28 June S6 Leavers Ceremony, 10.00 a.m.
Term Ends 12.15p.m.

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