our school

JGHS Newsletter

June 2003

James Gillespie
Headteachers Remarks
At the end of this session, our thinking is more about the year ahead! But, we hope you all have a great holiday!

The School Board recently consulted parents about a dress code for students, and we similarly consulted staff and
students. As the last Newsletter stated, a clear majority of the stakeholders in our school felt strongly that a more formal dress code is not required for James Gillespie’s, but that we should define more clearly the kind of clothing that is not acceptable in school.
The following is the position we will therefore take on dress code in the coming session, and it conforms with the advice of the City of Edinburgh Education Department.Everyone in Gillespie’s is expected to wear clothing that is appropriate for learning and teaching. Although we are committed to respecting individuality, this cannot be at the expense of the common purpose, which is more likely to be achieved by all members of the school community taking responsibility for ensuring that dress contributes to this sense of purpose and positive ethos of achievement. The following are therefore not acceptable in our school:

Items potentially causing health and safety problems e.g. clothes that are flammable, certain types of ear rings and chains.
Footwear, which might damage flooring or carpets
Clothing with words or pictures on them which could give offence to others e.g. scarves or tops representing sports team others than the school’s own teams.
Clothing that is so tight, short or revealing that it could give offence to others
Clothing advertising the use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.

Our general guideline is that clothing and jewellery should not disrupt the normal operation of the school, cause damage to property or give offence to sections of our community. Outdoor clothing including hats should not be worn in the classroom.

Our aim is to respect individuality but also to ensure that clothing and jewels are appropriate for what is a working situation for our young people in their classes.

Our expectation is that all students will conform to this code of dress and we will be taking steps to ensure that it is complied with. The vast majority of the stakeholders in Gillespie’s wanted this kind of dress code - please work with us in the coming year to help us achieve these aims!

Colin Finlayson

Back to Top


A Word from the School Board

Two words, in fact. The first is to invite all JGHS parents to consider joining the School Board – we’ll have three vacancies from next October, and are keen to recruit some fresh blood! It’s only one meeting a month, and offers an opportunity to help support the school and contribute something worthwhile. If you’d like to know more about what’s involved, please contact any of the existing members or visit the City of Edinburgh’s School Board site on http://egfl.net/parents/ and/or the national Scottish School Boards Association site http://www.schoolboard-scotland.com/ . And come along to our AGM on 10 June at 7.00 p.m. for refreshments and to find out more!

The second is to announce the setting up of an Alumni Fund to commemorate the bicentenary and continue to build on the success of the last two hundred years. If you’re interested in helping to set this up, especially if you have some skills or expertise in setting up charitable trusts or fundraising, or know anyone who does, please contact Kate Crowley. Further announcements will be made in the new school year, and we hope to launch the fund during one of the bicentenary events in the autumn.

Anton Ziolkowski Anton.Ziolkowski@glg.ed.ac.uk
Amanda Alabaster aalabaster@rzss.org.uk
Kate Crowley Katecrowleyedinburgh@yahoo.com
Jeremy Hughes Jeremy.Hughes@ed.ac.uk
Klaus Ebmeier k.ebmeier@ed.ac.uk
Dissa Dissanayaka

Visit the JGHS Parents Page by clicking here >

Back to Top



'Spring Fling': Once again, all ensembles performed magnificantly at this year's event! Items were heard from string orchestra, 'cello ensemble, guitar and clarsach ensembles, senior and junior wind bands (with some primary students involved in the junior band), jazz band, flute ensemble and, for the first time, small chamber groups and the senior vocal group. A massive thanks to all students who put in a great deal of work, and to the leaders of all groups.

Standard Grade Keyboard Club: This runs every Tuesday lunchtime in B2 with Miss Ogg and is open to all students sitting Standard Grade Music who would like to 'brush up ' on their keyboard skills.

Senior Vocal Group: This will resume after study leave and the subsequent timetable change and is open to all new S4 - S6 students. If you love singing, then this is for you!

Music Courses/Workshops: The music department now has a notice board in the corridor opposite B2 displaying all music workshops and music courses of interest, which are open to students.
Please check for a workshop suitable for you - for example, Jazz weekend workshops are running throughout May and June at a cost of £20. Please see board or Miss Furie for more details.

Back to Top


Summer Reading LIst 2003

10 Books You Must Read (in no particular order!)

1. The Northern Lights Trilogy by Philip Pullman
2. ‘Holes’ by Louis Sachar
3. Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
4. ‘Toad Heaven’ by Morris Gleitzman
5. ‘Not just for Christmas’ by Roddy Doyle
6. ‘Junk’ by Melvin Burgess
7. ‘Lola Rose’ by Jacqueline Wilson
8. ‘Chinese Cinderella’ by Adeline Yen Mah
9. ‘Coraline’ by Neil Gaiman
10 ‘Artemis Fowl’ by Eoin Colfer

10 good reads that you might not have heard of!

1. ‘Blue’ by Sue Mayfield
2. (Un)arranged marriage by Bali Rai
3. ‘Star Girl’ by Jerry Spinelli
4. ‘You don’t know me’ by David Klass
5. ‘Mondays are red’ by Nicola Morgan
6. ‘Sabriel’ by Garth Nix
7. ‘Life on the line’ by David Skipper
8. ‘Across the Nightingale Floor’ by Liam Hearn
9. ‘Other side of the truth’ by Beverley Naidoo
10. ‘Stuck in Neutral’ by Terry Coleman

Back to Top


LIteracy Online

If you have Internet access you may be interested in having a look at the literacy support materials on the school website. The school’s BECTA award winning website can be accessed at www.jghs.edin.sch.uk. The literacy materials are under English subject links at www.jghs.edin.sch.uk/links.html

Why not improve the family vocabulary and start each morning with a Word A Day from www.wordsmith.org/ ?
Or simply click on the link to Games and Puzzles to enter a ‘seriously’ wacky world of words.
The Creative Writing links cover a wide range of stimuli to unleash all that creative potential
If it’s Punctuation and Grammar you’re after, this link leads to everything you could possibly need to know from what makes a sentence a sentence to advanced uses of the colon::; It’s all there…with examples and practice tests.
Soon to be added are links to the library recommended reading lists for S1/2, S3/4, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, Higher and Advanced Higher

Many other departments have links to recommended sites that will enhance pupils’ appreciation of that subject. Pupils can book computers with Internet access for lunchtime and after school use in the library.

Why Don’t You… encourage your child to get themselves in print by reviewing a recommended subject or literacy site for the next newsletter?

Back to Top



One of our earlier ‘Why Don’t You…’ suggestions was to enter a competition. The school year is drawing to a close…but it’s not too late for one last entry. The TES, Scottish Book Trust and the Royal Mail run this one.

Task: Write a poem on the theme of Transformation (maximum 16 lines) in English or Scots or Gaelic with English translation.
Open to All School Age Children in Scotland
Closing Date 5 pm Friday 6th June
Getting started

Poems could be about a transformation of a person, place, a miracle of nature…
Scots poet Matthew Fitt begins
Oh see that larva on its leaf
It’s pure ugly by the way

A promising idea, Matthew…but needs a bit of work.

Application forms and details of prizes available from the English Department

Diary Dates for June and August 2003

10 June School Board and PTA Annual General Meeting – please join us at 7.00 p.m.
11 June Links Sports Fair in St Thomas of Aquin’s – see demos of sport clubs in the locality
17-19 June P7 visits to James Gillespie’s
24-26 June Alternative timetable

19 August Students return to school at 8.30 a.m. prompt! Look forward to seeing you all!


Back to Top