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Newsletter

October 2001


Headteachers Remarks

One of the main contributory factors which causes lack of attainment in a student is lateness and absence from school. Statistically there is a clear correlation between attainment and lateness/absence. When a young person is ill, clearly they cannot and should not be at school. But, you can help us to ensure that absences are properly recorded and help us to avoid the situation where absences have not been explained by a parent or are not known to the parent. When an absence from school is not explained by parents we have to consider the possibility that this might be truancy!

Our basic expectations are that:

Young people should arrive at school ON TIME (given bus timing they should probably plan to be here by 8.25 a.m.!)

When there is illness, parents should let us know (either by phone, email or letter), preferably on the first day of illness, but certainly on the day your child returns to school

To help parents, we are 'piloting' a scheme whereby if a student has some unexplained absences a member of our office staff will phone the parent to inform them of the absence and to ask them to confirm the reason for this.

Please help us to ensure that your daughter or son develops good habits of attendance and timekeeping by keeping us informed of absence and by dealing with persistent lateness.

Colin Finlayson

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Calling All Concerned Parents

DO YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL?
DO YOU WANT TO BECOME INVOLVED?
DO YOU WANT TO CONTRIBUTE?

You can – by joining the School Board
The Board has various duties and responsibilities – one of the most important being to represent the views of the Parent body. You will have received notification of the forthcoming election of Members of the Board.

Please take the trouble to put yourself forward. As a member of the Board you will be able to make a real input into the running of the School and I know that you will find membership to be a most rewarding experience.

I will be pleased to speak to anyone considering joining. Telephone me Laurence Milne, School Board Chair at 667 4592 (evenings) or speak to any Board Member (details from School Office). Nomination forms are available from the School Office. Please apply.

YOU ARE NOT TOO BUSY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

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Work Experience

All Fourth Year students will be taking part in Work Experience in class and during the week beginning 12 November 2001 for five days.

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Music Dept. News

Rock Night -This years rock night takes place on Thursday 1 November, 7.30 p.m. in the school hall.
We have over 10 school rock bands lined up ready to perform! tickets, priced £3.00 will be available after the October holiday! Any rock stars out there who have not yet signed up please let the music department know.

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Carol Concert - Usher Hall

11 December at 7.30 p.m.
Having out-grown the Central Hall we have booked the Usher Hall for this years Carol Concert. Rehearsals are already underway for our orchestras, bands, guitar and
clarsach ensembles and choirs will be starting up this month. Primary 7 pupils from our associated primaries have been invited to take part and we look forward to them joining us. Put the date in your diary!!

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A View from a Parent Member of the Board

Super ballistic? Scientific balderdash? Subtle blackmail? Of course this is a trick to catch your attention. The School Board needs new parent members by November. It's not formal, it's not frightening, it's two hours three times a term away from homework problems, fights over the remote control, doing the dishes - and it does make a difference. We fought the council - and we won - to stop them taking a chunk of Gillespie's land and selling it to a developer. Read the letter you got in the post or contact the office for details of what to do. Your school needs YOU.

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P.T.A. News


Fancy getting rid of some of that ‘junk’ that’s been cluttering up the cupboard under the stairs and making some money in to the bargain? Well roll up for the PTA Car Boot Sale on Saturday 6 October. Cost of bringing your car in is £7. The sale starts at 10.00 and cars should be in the playground by 9.30. Please come along and give your support.
Just a reminder that this years Winter Fair will take place on Saturday 24 November (10.00 – 12.00). Any help or contributions would be gratefully received.
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Study Support

Strategies for supporting and enhancing learning at Gillespies are continuously being developed and improved by staff as part of the normal school day. Study Support supports the classroom experience with additional opportunities for learning, most of which occur outside of normal school hours.
On the 4 September S3 students experienced the Exam Success seminar, which aims to improve student confidence and understanding of the process of learning. On 4 March S2 students will take part in the Choices seminar which focuses on students’ decision-making and how that influences their future. During lunchtimes or after-school there will be enrichment and extension clubs in mathematics, modern languages, scrabble, home economics, the environment and a working group for the school event Diversecity. After-school revision classes will begin shortly for S4/5 students and will run fortnightly, depending on demand. In the first week of the Easter holidays there will again be a revision programme for S4/5 students.

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Congratulations Sepideh!

Congratulations to Sepideh Golzari of sixth year who was awarded a bursary by the British Council. These bursaries are to encourage the learning of the German language. She was the only Scot out of a group of twenty five young Britons to participate in a two week intensive German language course in August near Bonn. She stayed with a family, learning about their life and culture. It was a very positive experience for her and will certainly be of great benefit to her A level German studies.

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History Fieldtrips

This year we had two trenches trips again: in May the third year group visited the Ypres area with Mr Caddell and in June Mr Carson took a group to Verdun and Ypres. We all gained a memorable appreciation of the sacrifices made by the soldiers in the Great War. Many students were able to find evidence of their own ancestors who fought and died. Both groups laid a wreath at the famous Menin Gate. The June group found the biggest shell ever seen by a party from this school at La Boiselle on the Somme.

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Dates for Your Diary


3 June 2002 has been declared a holiday to commemorate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.
9 October School Board 7.00 p.m.
PTA 7.30 p.m.

11 October Modern Studies USA Exchange to NYC

12 October Mid term holiday begins (12.15)

23 October Students resume 8.30 a.m.

25 October S.1 Fancy Dress Party

31 October PTA 7.30 p.m.

5 November P.7 Tour of the school 6.30 – 8.30

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. If you have any comments regarding the content or lay-out of the Newsletter please feel free to contact the Editor at the school or by email at admin@jghs.edin.sch.uk