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JGHS - Newsletter - November 2003

From the Head Teacher...

As you can see from the Newsletter, October was a busy month and November looks even more so.

Our Bicentenary events will be taking centre stage from now until the end of the year. I hope you will buy tickets for many events - they promise to be as exciting as they are enjoyable.

The work to improve accessibility to the school is also progressing. The new entrance from Lauderdale Street is complete; the two new ramps in Bruntsfield Playground are nearing completion, and the work on lifts for two of our buildings is well under way. The end result we hope will be a school that is more user friendly for everyone.

Alex. Wallace

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First Year Challenge

All S1 classes have now completed the popular IT Challenge event. It was good to meet the many parents who turned up as “elder aliens” at the end of day two in order to hear the group presentations. The event helps the pupils gain confidence in the use of IT and affords year team staff a great opportunity to work with each class for an extended period. The presentations were of a very high standard this year, and a notable shift was the positive and imaginative nature of the conclusions and solutions many of the groups came up with.

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“Reach for the Stars” Initiative

This session we have been running a new initiative in S1 and S2 aimed at fostering positive attitudes to learning. Four key attitudes: caring for others, participation, organization and homework will be monitored by all staff and points awarded for each. The first returns by staff have now been collated and a variety of achievement certificates will be presented to pupils during November. This initiative will further improve the praise culture of the school and points are attainable by all pupils of all ability levels. Parents will also be provided with a progress update. Points will also be awarded in January and in March.

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The French Exchange 2003-4

Our exchange link with the Collège Beaussire in Luçon (France) has existed since 1980 with frequent visits in both directions since then. Luçon is a small town about 40 km from La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast. This session the group of over 40 pupils from Luçon will arrive in March, and our return visit will leave Edinburgh on 21 June, returning on 1 July.

The French Exchange is open to pupils in S2 and S3. It is organised on a person-to-person basis, with matches being made on the grounds of age and interests. Pupils stay with their penpal’s family. They go to school each day but do not go to classes. They have a programme of visits, and return in time for school closing each day. We follow a similar programme in France, but our trip also includes two nights in Paris and a whole day in Parc Astérix.

There will be a meeting of all interested in taking part, pupils and families, very soon. Application forms are now available from Mr MacLeod in Room W23.

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MTV Awards – Ocean Terminal

On the 4th November, 200 Gillespie’s students visited a rehearsal for this prestigious event. We were taken into ‘The Galaxy’ to watch a rehearsal by ‘Black-eyed Peas’. We took our Higher Drama, Music and Media Studies students, our senior dance group and other interested students. If the age limit had not been 16 we could have taken many more. Our students made a wonderful audience and very positive comments were made about Gillespie’s attendance.

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S1 Fancy Dress Party

The event was well attended and all present enjoyed the spooky events organised by the S6 pupils. Activities included a “Ghost corridor” in the Warrender Block and a horror story about Bruntsfield House experienced in its darkened foyer - complete with sound effects! Prizes were awarded at the end when all returned to the Hall to parade to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. Best costume prize was awarded to Hiliory Mason who attended the event as a china doll.

Graduates (Edinburgh) 02/03

Rachel Bentley – BEd with Hons (Primary Education)
Shaun Brown – BSc with Hons in Astrophysics
Emily Chapman – Mast of Engineering with Hons
Jane Charlesworth – BSc with Hons in Biological Sciences
Shou-Ling Cheung – MA with Hons in English Literature
Miles Forde – BEd with Hons (Primary Education)
Helen Gibson – Master of Physics with Hons
Emily Good - PGCE in Primary Education
Sarah Hunter - Undergraduate Diploma of Higher Education
Yahya Islami - Master of Architecture Design
Anita Keighren BSc with Hons in Biological Sciences
Catherine McLean -PGCE in Primary Education
Liam McKay – MA with Hons in politics
Nicholas Meny – MA with Hons in History
Ian Parnell – MA with Hons in Architectural Studies
Ana Sandeman – BSc with Hons in Biological Sciences
Ehssan Sanii – BSc with Hons in Sport & Recreation
Amy Shields - MA with Hons in Psychology
Jennifer Smith – Bachelor of Music
Barbara Thomson - PGCE in Primary Education
James Turnbull – BSc with Hons in Computer Science
Rona Wilson - PGCE in Primary Education
Ka Sin Wong – Bachelor of Engineering with Hons
Fahmida Zaman – Master of Architecture Design

Graduates (Glasgow) 02/03

Christopher Hume – MA
Emma Ingram – BSc
Sarah McQueen – MA
Katherine McGill – M Eng
John Savage – MA
Anna Shaw – MA

Graduate (Trevelyan College) 02/03

Janet Fisher BSc in Natural Sciences -1st class Hons


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Modern Studies Department

US Exchange Programme
16th –27th October 2004
“The best ten days of my life!” this is how one of our students described the recent trip to New Paltz in New York State. This comment echoes the feelings of many other students who have taken part in the Exchange since it began in 1997. Over the years our students, without exception, have really enjoyed the experience and learned much about American culture.

The itinerary they followed was wide and varied and included a tour of the New York State Senate in Albany, a visit to the Vanderbilt mansion in Hyde Park and the shopping experience at Woodbury Common. Undoubtedly the highlights of the trip were the two visits to lower and mid Manhattan. Being New Yorkers for a couple of days was a lot of fun—taking the Staten Island Ferry, rubbing shoulders with the wealthy in Wall Street, drinking Italian coffee in Little Italy, eating a Chinese meal in Chinatown, window shopping in Tiffany’s and, on a more serious note, our guided tour of the United Nations building.

We are lucky that our visit always coincides with the High School’s Spirit Week—a uniquely American event. Our students entered a Scottish team in the fun-packed Pep Rally with one of our students, Alex, even winning one of the events. They watched the big High School football game and also enjoyed the Homecoming Dance.

Our students were a great credit to the school, to themselves and were excellent ambassadors for their country. They were enthusiastic about every aspect of the Exchange and left behind an excellent impression (all the American families thought they were delightful) and created an enthusiasm in the US students for their visit to JGHS in August 2004.
E. Cooper


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News From University of Edinburgh

“I am delighted to inform you that Royal Bank of Scotland has awarded your former student Sean Wilson, who is now studying Software Engineering in the School of Informatics, a merit scholarship. These are highly competitive awards”.


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Coming Events:

6th Nov Rock Night
10th Nov S4 Parents’ Evening
19th Nov S1 Disco
P7 Parents’ Meeting
26th Nov Bicentenary Formal Dinner
27th Nov S5/6 Parents’ Meeting
29th Nov Bicentenary Dance Show
(please note change of date)
12th Dec ‘Snuff’ – Bicentenary Musical
15th Dec S1/2 Christmas Parties
18th Dec Bicentenary Usher Hall Concert

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