our school


November 2002

Literacy Corner
Headteachers Remarks
James Gillespie
Colin Finlayson
Spot the likeness? 2003 is the 200th anniversary of our school. James Gillespie, a Snuff Merchant of Edinburgh, left a legacy to found a hospital, and a school for 60 poor boys. The rest is history - which will be serialized over the coming months.

The School, our School Board and our Parent Teacher Association are planning a number of major events and we want to contact all Gillespie’s former students. Please help us by encouraging all current and former students to log on to our database alumni@jghs.edin.sch.uk for further information.

Colin Finlayson

Back to Top



Rosie Brotherston - a 1st in Social Anthropology. Rosie has now emigrated to Australia.
Sarah Cuthbert - degree in Modern History and International Relations
Benjamin Tait - Degree in Physics

David Cathro (2nd year) took part in the Scottish Regional Finals of the Royal Life Saving Society in East Kilbride on Saturday 5th October. He achieved first place in the category of Junior Boys and will be representing the Edinburgh Life Saving Club and Scotland in the National Life Saving Championships in March. He did well in all four sections of the competition Aquatic Initiative, Resuscitation Test, Line Throw and Swim and Tow

CONGRATULATIONS to S4 pupils John Thomson, Nick Middleton, Andrew Hood and Kirsten Braden who had the questions they would like to ask a celebrity selected for a new Radio Scotland Programme, 'Asking 4 You'. Kirsten came top in her category and won vouchers and the chance to spend a day at the BBC Sports Department.

Back to Top


S4 Work Experience

Where would YOU like to work for a week in October? The Scottish Executive or a snow boarding shop or The Film house or on an archaeological dig or at Deep Sea World?

4th year students were given this option during their Personal and Social Education course. They heard about this exciting and challenging experience when they were alerted to the Careers Scotland website which provides carefully vetted placements throughout Edinburgh. About half the year group, however, chose to arrange their own placements through family contacts or just by knocking on doors or lifting the phone.

After a great deal of planning and preparation 190 S4 students enjoyed 5 days away from school facing the world of work and, by all accounts from their reporting back this week, having a ball. Almost all of them agree that this is very valuable experience

Back to Top


Job Vacancies

Area Attendance Advisory Group

The Area Attendance Advisory Group has the power to call parents of children to explain why their attendance is not satisfactory. This body has legal powers and is one of the serious mechanisms we have for trying to combat truancy. To operate effectively it needs a balance of staff and parents willing to give a few hours each month. Training is given for this task. Two of our Guidance staff can act as Chair for this forum. This is an important aspect of supporting, encouraging and persuading parents to get their children to school. If you would be interested in considering this work please make contact with Hamish McDougall.

Clerk to the School Board

Paid employment - £17 per meeting to take the minutes and prepare the agenda for the next meeting! Please apply to the School Office if you are interested!

Back to Top


Late for School

We are concerned about lateness, and to encourage students to be on time a new Detention System for 1st to 4th year students will run on Wednesday lunchtimes from 12.55-1.25! Time will be allowed for a short lunch!

This starts on the 6th November and will target persistent latecomers.

Be on time!

Parents – please support us to encourage the discipline of being on time for school!

Back to Top


Parents Visit

On 16 October staff and 6th year students welcomed parents on arrival and assigned them to tour groups. Whilst waiting for tours to begin, parents had an opportunity to explore the school's award winning website. Before embarking on one of the three tour routes round the school, each group heard a brief introduction by a member of the school management team. Even with the very high parental turnout, and the impressive presentations, displays and activities on offer in the departments, the S6 tour guides ensured that each group returned to the library in time to enjoy the refreshments being served by the PTA.


S1 Fancy Dress Party

On 31 October, on the stroke of seven, assorted human ghouls, vampires and monsters marched towards the School hall like a scene from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video. But these creatures would soon be in for a fright.

As well as traditional pursuits such as dooking for apples, the sixth year had prepared some terrifying experiences for them - the Bruntsfield Ghost story, the nightmare journey through the dark corridors of Warrender…

After the spooking and dooking there was dancing to the sound of "Sweet Inspirations" in the school Hall. The evening ended with prizes being awarded for best costumes. The commitment of all pupils and staff involved ensured the evening was a great success.

Back to Top


Music Dates for your Diary


On Thursday 7 November, 7.00 pm we are looking for budding rock musicians
for the rock night in the school hall. Any bands interested should give their
names to Mr Leslie. Tickets for the event will be available this week.


Wednesday 18 December, 7.30 p.m.

The Carol Concert is to be held in the magnificent McEwan Hall, which belongs to Edinburgh University and is used for graduation ceremonies and large conferences. Already our bands, orchestras and ensembles are rehearsing with Christmas in mind! Choirs will start later this month and are open to all students. Please book this date in your diary!

Back to Top


A big variety of sport is on offer to all students with activities provided by school staff and outside coaches. Most activities are well attended but there are still places available.

ÿ Dance for 2nd year girls
ÿ Football for boys & girls (lunch)
ÿ Football for boys and girls (after school)
ÿ Swimming for beginners and improvers
ÿ Sport club for girls (lunch time)

ÿ Dance for girls
ÿ Break dance for boys
ÿ Football for boys & girls (lunch)

ÿ Rugby for 1st – 3rd year boys
ÿ Break dance for senior boys
ÿ Basketball for boys
ÿ Basketball for Girls
(Football for boys & girls (lunch)

ÿ Table Tennis for boys and girls
ÿ (Football for boys & girls (lunch)
ÿ Swimming fitness for boys and girls

ÿ Lacrosse for boys and girls

Other evening activities:

ÿ Karate (Monday, Wednesday & Friday)
ÿ Tae Kwon Do (Wednesday)
ÿ Netball (Thursday)
ÿ Badminton (Friday)

Sports Coordinators for Info:

ÿ Leesa Fallon (Physical Education)
ÿ Curt Finnemore (Mathematics)
ÿ Hamish Thom (Physical Education)


Literacy Corner

Parents - Why Don't You...
….. Read a newspaper article with your child and discuss the issues raised?

The Night - Annie Roberts (1G5)

Dark falls sleepily
Casting shadows eerily
Stars sparkle, silent.

Author visit to school

We were fortunate enough to be the only Scottish venue for young Canadian author Kenneth Oppel who was in Britain for the Cheltenham Book Festival.

Ken spoke to a group of over 80 1st/2nd year pupils about his series of books for teenagers where the main characters are bats. He gave a fascinating insight into the craft of writing and also his detailed research into real bats.

Some of his books are being translated into an animated film next year. The newly formed reading group (organized by Ms Graham and Ms Smith) stayed on to interview Ken and this will be published in the next issue of Teen Titles*

Since that visit ** Ken's titles have proved extremely popular as has the level on interest in bats!
** Silverwing. Firewing, Sunwing, Dead water zone (non-bat title)

*Teen Titles: For those of you who have not met this publication it is a Magazine published by Education resources in Edinburgh. School pupils from all Edinburgh schools provide reviews of recent book titles for teenagers and there are extra features like interviews with popular authors.

Teen Titles is now at issue 24 and growing. Copies are available from the School Library to help