School Enrollment-Week Beginning Monday 29th January 2018
Nursery Enrollment- Week Beginning Monday 12th February 2018
NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2018
From Marybank, Strathgarve and Strathconon Primary Schools, we wish a very Happy New Year to all our friends. It is lovely to welcome all the children back to school.
We welcome new staff to Strathconon. Mrs Hadley and Mrs Nesbitt will be teaching temporarily pending the appointment and start of permanent staff. For the upcoming weeks, this will look like this:
Monday – Mrs Hadley – P5-7, Mrs Nesbitt – P1-4
Tuesday – Mrs Hadley – P5-7, Mrs Nesbitt – P1-4
Wednesday – Mrs Hadley – P5-7, Mrs More – P1-4
Thursday – am Mrs Hadley – P5-7, Mrs More – P1-4 pm – Mrs More – P1-7
Friday – Mrs Hadley P1-7
I am delighted to say that today I appointed Miss I Macleod to the position of Principal Teacher of Management at Strathconon. I will confirm her start date in due course.
Mrs Clark has also joined us in the role of PSA. This will include supervision over playtime and the lunchbreak.
Mrs H Munro will continue in the role of PSA for the coming weeks.
The post of nursery support worker will be advertised this month.
Mrs M MacDonald will continue in the role of PSA pending the advertisement of the post.
P1 enrolment will take place week beginning Monday 29 January 2018 with nursery enrolment being held week beginning Monday 12 February. Enrolment can be completed online or through the school office.
P7 Transition to Dingwall Academy
Transport application forms for pupils in Primary 7 who will be eligible for bus travel to Dingwall Academy next session should be completed and submitted either online or through the school office by 28th February 2018.
This term, all pupils in Primary 1, 4 and 7 will take part in the National Assessments, as outlined by the Scottish Government as part of the focus on raising attainment.
These are diagnostic assessments used as a tool to evaluate our practice and highlight strengths and possible gaps in learning and teaching of the core aspects of the Curriculum for Excellence, as well as forming part of the body of evidence that teachers collect through continually assessing both formally and informally to monitor and check understanding and make decisions on where children are in their learning.
When forming a judgement on a child’s level in learning, there are several factors that we look at as a measure of success. These include:
- The degree of independence a child demonstrates
- The level of support needed
- The degree of complexity of the task
- The extent to which learning is applied in new and unfamiliar contexts
- A child’s ability to contribute appropriately
- The child’s ability to question appropriately
- The level of engagement in thinking
- Mastery of a skill
- Depth of knowledge a child demonstrates
More information on the National Assessments is available at https://standardisedassessment.gov.scot/
February Long Weekend
The schools and nurseries will be closed for the mid-term break on 19th and 20th February and for INSET training for staff on 21st February, re-opening for pupils on Thursday 22nd February.
We have received most of our chrome book allocation for the schools and will be using these in classwork very shortly. Once children (and teachers!) are confident in using them, they may also be used for homework tasks if internet provision allows. You can help by exploring the Google Suite with your child at home.
I am aware that as I am Head Teacher of five schools, it may be difficult to get hold of me. If you wish to speak with me, please do not hesitate to get in touch through the school office and we can arrange an appointment to meet or for me to give you a call. I had hoped to have a drop in for parents to pop in and see me, but unfortunately have not yet managed to organise this.
The Highland Council is concerned by the plans of the Scottish Government to make sweeping changes to the way our schools are managed and governed.
This matter is of the greatest importance to the education of Highland’s children. As parents, and as the Depute Leader of the Council and Chair of the People Committee, we are writing this open letter to all parents, to encourage you to find out about these plans, and to make comment on them.
The Scottish Government published Education Governance: Next Steps in June of last year. That document proposed radical changes to the responsibilities and legal duties of Headteachers, Parents, Local Councils and national bodies such as Education Scotland.
The Government has now published proposals to implement many of these changes through new legislation. These can be found at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/11/9712
The Government says that these changes will lead to improved attainment for all children, and also narrow the attainment gap between the least and most advantaged pupils. It claims the changes will reduce bureaucracy for Headteachers, and give them freedom to make choices about how they run schools, as well as giving pupils and parents a greater say.
Highland Council shares these objectives. But we do not believe that the Government’s proposals will achieve these aims. Infact, we believe that the Government’s proposals will be counter-productive, and that they will increase bureaucracy and could reduce the quality of teaching in our schools.
The Government intends to remove responsibility from local Councils to improve education in local schools. It will centralise aspects of school management, removing local democratic control and splitting up the running of schools from other local services for children and families.
The Government has provided no detail about how it will resource these changes and fund a number of new national and regional bodies, at a time when it is providing less funding for local services to Councils.
We do not need new laws to have better schools and better outcomes for our children. Many of the intentions of Government can be achieved within the existing framework, and without the need for new legal duties on Headteachers.
Because the proposed changes are so far reaching, we are writing to urge you to discuss them with other parents and at your Parent Council.
We also urge you to consider making a response to the consultation. You can do this at the Scottish Government website, http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0052/00527374.docx
Thank you for reading this letter, and for caring about the education of your children, and of all of Highland’s children.
Councillor Alasdair Christie Councillor Andrew Baxter
Depute Leader of the Council, Chair of People Committee,
and parent and parent