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Newsletter

May 2002


Headteachers Remarks

Standard Grade examinations started today. Over the next 6/7 weeks students from 4th year to 6th year will face the very real pressures of national examinations. It’s an important milestone for our students (your children!) - the culmination of 4, 5 or 6 years of preparation for what we hope will bring them good examination results to help them achieve the aspirations they have for their future.

Exam study leave provides them with the time to prepare effectively for the examinations and they have received much advice and training for this. There is always however an important role for parents at this time, supporting, encouraging and helping them to keep ‘on task’ when they have whole days to structure into study time. Please work with your daughter or son to help them plan study effectively and encourage them to keep to their study timetable!

On behalf of all our staff we wish our students every success in the coming weeks.



Colin Finlayson

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Gillespie's goes Virtual

Our WEB site has been up and running for some months now and we have had much positive feedback. Best of all however is an award from BECTA (British Educational Communications and Technology Agency) for the best whole WEB site entry from secondary Schools in Scotland 2002. Congratulations to Alex Nisbet of our Art Department who designed and maintains our WEB site.

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Tell us your views

Log on to: www.jghs.edin.sch.uk
We launch this week a Message Board for parents to tell us their views. We are consulting initially on a different time for the 1st year reporting meetings for parents in May and June. Your views will be shared with staff and the School Board. So, please log on if you are a first year parent and let us know what you think of the different times.

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Former Students

Log on to: www.jghs.edin.sch.uk
Make contact with former students by leaving a message on our former students Message Board. Leave your email address and make contact with former friends. Get information next session about the celebrations for our
bi-centenary in 2003.

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Newsletter by email

We plan to make the Newsletter available from August by email. We would like to greatly improve our communication with parents by emailing them directly with information, rather than just the traditional letter that gets lost in school bags! Please send an email to admin@jghs.edin.sch.uk The email should contain your child’s name and class, please put ‘Parental Contact’ in the subject line and we will email you information from August onwards.
Hear the things that your child may not tell you about!

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Dates for your Diary

14 May School Board 7.00 p.m.
P.T.A. 7.30 p.m.
20 May Victoria Day Holiday
21 May Student Holiday
23 May S1 Parent Consultation (practical) 4.00 – 6.30 p.m.
29 May P.7 Parents Evening 7.00 – 8.30 p.m.
3 June Jubilee Holiday
6 June S1 Parent Consultation (non-practical) 4.00 – 6.30 p.m.
11 June P.T.A, School Board and Parent’s Network AGM
10 June New S5 return to school 9am-12pm
New S6 return to school 1pm-4pm
11 June Full Timetable New S5 & S6

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'A' Level Exam Supervision

We are looking for your support by acting as an invigilator for the above exams. Can you afford the school one or more part day slots to supervise an examination on Friday 24 May p.m., Friday 31 May, Monday 10 June - Friday 21 June inclusive. If you are able to help please phone Mr Merriman to negotiate a time.

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School Board News

PARENTS !!! JGHS NEEDS YOU...….. and your ideas, your questions, your concerns, your expertise. We want to make communication easier. One of our parent members has introduced an exciting idea to use the school website to facilitate dialogue between parents, teachers, pupils, and the school board. Keep checking the website for further developments. We are also looking at ways to improve recycling and on how everyone in the school community can be involved. Minutes of the last School Board meeting will soon be on website .The next School Board meeting is on 14 May at 7:00.

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French Exchange

34 pupils and 3 teachers from the Collège Beaussire in Luçon arrived in Edinburgh on Tuesday 26 March for the first part of this year's French Exchange. They spent 10 days here and for once were very lucky with the weather! They visited Glasgow and North Berwick as well as the usual Edinburgh tourist sites, and this year, as we had a school holiday on Good Friday, we were able to have a joint outing to Blair Castle and Pitlochry for the Luçon pupils and their hosts. A good time was had by all! We also had a karaoke evening in the school where several of our own pupils showed that they will be the Pop Idols of the future.
The teachers from Luçon would like me to pass on their very sincere thanks for the generosity and hospitality enjoyed by their pupils during their stay in Edinburgh.
The Gillespie's pupils, accompanied by Mrs Maciver, Ms Radcliffe and Mr MacLeod, will leave for Luçon on Monday 3 June, returning on Thursday 13 June.

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Comenius European Education Project

Students and teachers at James Gillespie's have been involved in a project called EuNITE which addressed issues of equality and national identity in Europe. Students exchanged ideas, essays, poetry, artwork, music and-in some cases-even classrooms with young people from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Hungary and Russia.The final year culminated in an international teachers' conference hosted at our school in March. Teachers from our partner schools and their Scottish hosts participated in seminars and workshops. Methodologies were compared and contrasted, equality issues were discussed and thinking skills explored. Scottish culture was introduced through music, art and history.

It is hoped these links will continue for many years to come, allowing staff and students to develop a European and global awareness.

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Comenius Assistant

Our school was in the fortunate position of being chosen to host an assistant from Romania. Georgiana was with us for five months. Here are some of her thoughts on her stay with us at Gillespie's:

"By taking part in a language assistantship, I have gained a lot of valuable experience of the Scottish education system. I have equally learnt a lot about the culture, civilization, customs and traditions. I feel I have grown in confidence and have broadened my horizons. It has allowed me to present aspects of the culture and everyday life of Romania. I was happy to see that pupils showed great curiosity and interest in my country. I would like to thank members of staff for their warm welcome and great generosity in sharing both their lives and teaching experience with me".

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ENGLISH DEPARTMENT NEWS

"A Message to the World"
Congratulations to winners in the writing competition, 'A Message to the World" arranged by the International Women's Club, Edinburgh. This organisation aims to help all nationalities, cultures and religions to exist together peacefully within our own community and ultimately in the world. Students from Edinburgh schools were asked to write a poem or essay on this theme.

Nasreen Arshad (S3) won £100 as one of the two first prizes.
Jacob Burns (S2) won second prize of £50
Michaela Lindsay (S3) won one of the two third prizes of £25
Simon Thomson’s (S3) piece won an honourable mention.

In addition, £1000 was awarded to the school..
Prizes were awarded at a special ceremony in the City Chambers, High Street, by the Lady Provost, Mrs. Milligan and by the President of the club, Mrs. Paula Wallis. A delicious buffet and refreshments were provided by the Lord Provost, Mr. Eric Milligan, in his office, and enjoyed by competitors, parents, teachers and members of the Club.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL ENTRANTS!

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