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Newsletter

DECEMBER 2001


Headteachers Remarks

Goodbye 2001
As we come to the end of another year - the first of the new millennium - there are many good things that have happened in the life of the school. Examination results this year were excellent (though as always with individual disappointments). But equally important has been the growth of extra curricular activities and sports, and continuing work in building up Gillespie's as a caring school that values all children. Of particular note in the last few weeks has been the work of our 6th year students with 1st years carrying out workshops to help them to discuss how equality issues and how relationships in school can be improved.

The end of term Carol Concert next Tuesday 11 December at the Usher Hall is one of our major events of the year. Numbers of performers and audience at our last Carol Concert reached the point where we had outgrown the venue. Our move to the Usher Hall is a splendid opportunity to ensure that everyone who wants to attend can do so. However, we are a little worried about the cost of hiring the Usher Hall and trust that everyone will get their tickets booked as soon as possible! Remember that tickets can only be booked at the Usher Hall (their stipulation) but can be ordered by phone/credit card.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Carol Concert and on behalf of all our staff and students wish you a most peaceful and relaxing Christmas holiday.


Colin Finlayson

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Appointments

As you are all aware we are committed to working with parents. Part of this process involves meeting with parents during the school day. We are keen to continue this service. However, we do need to find a way of streamlining the service to allow more parents to be seen in the limited time available.
We are therefore moving to a 15 minute per appointment system as from January 2002. If there is a need for a longer appointment a double slot might be offered but 15minutes will be the norm.
We hope you will see this as a positive way forward to improve parental access. Get in touch with Alex Wallace if you wish to express a view on this matter

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School Celebrates Euro Links

U.K. Minister for Europe and (then) Scottish Education Minister Jack McConnell, joined staff and students to see at first hand how EU funding had helped students to exchange ideas, essays, artwork and in some cases even classrooms with young people from Austria and Belgium. Staff and Students at Gillespie’s have been involved in a 3-year project called EuNITE, which addresses issues of equality and national identity in Europe.Footballers from Hearts and Hibs were also present and even found time to join with the under 15’s and Mr Hain in a short demonstration of their skills!

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Dates for your Diary


5 December P.T.A. 7.30 p.m.

11 December Carol Concert 7.30 p.m. Usher Hall

18 December S.1 Christmas Party 2.30 – 4.00 p.m.
S.2 Christmas Party 7.00 – 9.00 p.m.

21 December End of term 12.15 p.m.

7 January Term begins 8.30 a.m.

16 January P.T.A. 7.30 p.m.
School Board 7.00 p.m.

28 January S3 Parent’s Night 7.00 p.m.

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Music News

A large number of our instrumentalists continue to perform with Edinburgh Schools Orchestras, Bands, and Ensembles. Congratulations to those who recently performed with The Lothian School Strathspey Society in the charity concert ‘Spirit of Youth ’ in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. This event will be televised later this year. Congratulations also to our students who performed with Edinburgh School Orchestra and Concert Band in the ‘Childline Concert’ in the Usher Hall.

The National Concert Band Festival
: The Scottish round of this festival took place on Sunday 18 November at St Margaret’ Academy in Livingston and our Senior Wind Band competed in it for first time.
The band performed superbly and we were delighted to gain a silver award. The adjudicators commented favourably on the bands dynamics, musicianship and enthusiasm and were impressed by the size of the band (71 strong!) Congratulations to all members of the band and their conductor Alasdair Rankin.

Christmas Tree ‘lighting up’ Ceremony – Bruntsfield
Once again a group of Carol Singers and musicians from JGHS will perform at this ceremony on Wednesday 5 December at 6.15 p.m. The event is organised by Bruntsfield Traders Association.

Carol Concert, Tuesday 11 December, 7.30 p.m., The Usher Hall: Our bands, orchestras and choirs have been working hard rehearsing items for this year’s concert and are now in the final stages of their preparation. We have over 400 performers ready to entertain you with a selection of festive music!
Tickets for the event are available from the Usher Hall box office, priced £4 - £8, with a large number of tickets at the flat rate of £4.00.
The performers would appreciate a big audience and we look forward to your support.!

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Study Support

The English Department will be providing after-school study support for all Higher/Int 2 students as of January. If your child would like advice on Specialist Study redrafts, or a space to practise an Individual Presentation, they will be welcome in W5 on Mondays after school, starting the first Monday after the holiday.

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Konnichiwa!

Konnichiwa!
On Monday 19th November three Japanese teachers of English arrived at the school to spend 4 days observing classes and taking part in lessons. They were mostly based in the Languages department and also paid brief visits to the English, Art, Drama, RE. Modern Studies, LSS and EAL departments. On Thursday 22nd our visitors gave a presentation to 1G1 on Japanese life, including a quiz, origami and calligraphy, which was enthusiastically received by the class. We were delighted to host three such likeable and friendly visitors.

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Something for Christmas

Mr Crosbie in the English Department has recently edited an anthology of poetry called "Such Strange Joy: ten years of Shore Poets". With new poems by dozens of contemporary Scottish poets, and published by Iynx Publishers, run by Liz and Tom Short (Mr Short used to teach Music in JGHS), and with a stunning cover illustration by Mr Nisbet in the Art Department, this book has several Gillespie's connections, and would make a wonderful Christmas present. If you are interested in buying the book, please feel free to order direct from Mr Crosbie at the school. The book offers great value for money at £7.99.

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Former Pupil Achievements

Congratulations to a number of our former student’s who have achieved the following qualifications. Please let us know of any other FP news we can feature.

Kati Clark
M.A. Glasgow

Katharine Cole M.A. Glasgow

Ian Ferguson
M.A. Glasgow

Sarah Forsyth
M.A. Glasgow

Feya Fowkes B.Science Glasgow

Harriet Good
B.Science Glasgow

Ruth Kemmer M.A. Glasgow

Stephen Kershaw B.English Glasgow

Kate Sewel M.A. Glasgow

Catherine Smart M.A. Glasgow

Katherine Naish M.A. Dundee

Sarah Arfa B.Science Edinburgh

David Burke
B.Music Edinburgh

Raymond Chan B.Science Edinburgh

Elliot Davidson B.Science Edinburgh

Rowanne Fleck B.Science Edinburgh

Lynn Gilmour M.A. History Edinburgh

Seyed Islami
M.A. Edinburgh

Michael Johnstone M.A Sociology Edinburgh

Jane Kane UGCHE Edinburgh

Linda Kilpatrick PGCEPE Edinburgh

Jake Littlewood UGDHE Edinburgh

Brigitte Mooljee M.A. Edinburgh

Jean Naysmith PGCEPE Edinburgh

Robert Oldham
B.Science Edinburgh

Samantha Smith PGCESE Edinburgh

Maxine Syme B.Science Edinburgh

Catherine Grosvenor Languages Fitzwilliam

Elayne Deary M.A. Hounours St Andrew’s

Christopher Farmer B.Sc Honours York

Paul Lithgow B.Sc. St Andrew’s

Daniel Glasbey B.Sc Honours York

Kathryn Mason M.A. Honours St Andrew’s

Cameron Gray
M.A. Honours Q.M.C.

Rupert Spiers M.A. Honours St Andrew’s

Alis Hur B.A Honours Q.M.C.

Catriona Stirling M.Sc Honours St Andrew’s

Maryam Labaki B.A. Honours Q.M.C.

Jane Sandeman
B.A. Honours Q.M.C.

Rachel Stevenson B.A. Honours Q.M.C.

Sarah Reid B.Sc Q.M.C.

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