Rector's Easter Message
As we approach the Easter holidays following a very busy and productive term, I would like to recognise all of the hard work and commitment shown by our young people and staff at Balwearie. Visits to classes have exhibited active learning and greater participation by our young people in their lessons which has been exciting.
Pupil Leadership has continued to evolve through the Junior and Senior Pupil Councils. Both have now met on a number of occasions to discuss a range of school improvements. Suggestions and discussions have been very perceptive and positive and we are working hard to capture views widely to further develop our sense of school community. Our prefect body has worked extremely hard over the past term as inspirational role models to our younger pupils. We will continue to develop this senior leadership model, recognising the valuable contribution they make to our school ethos.
We have been striving to increase parental involvement at Balwearie. Our new school website is up and running at balweariehigh.co.uk and we have received many positive comments about the layout and design which is suitable for both PC and mobile phone use. In addition, many of our parents and carers have indicated an interest in finding out more about the Parent Group following our recent survey. The next meeting is due to take place on Wednesday, 28 March 2018 at 7.00pm in the staff room. All are most welcome to come along and participate in discussions to promote improvements to our school and educational provision.
Continuing our commitment to raising attainment and recognising positive achievement, we are currently consulting with young people about the introduction of school blazers for all year groups in Session 18-19. We believe this will build school ethos and enable pupil achievements to be recognised through our evolving awards scheme. We would like young people to display a range of award badges earned for achievement in learning as well as demonstration of leadership, effort and commitment across school. School blazers will be a really positive way of our young people celebrating success as well as showing pride in belonging to Balwearie. Further information will follow in due course.
In the Senior Phase, the Course Choice process has been completed and we are proud of the enhanced pathways on offer in S4-6. Young people will continue to benefit from a variety of courses and levels offered both within departments and more widely through Fife College and a range of other partners. Our Guidance Teachers and Careers Advisers are always on hand to provide further support with decisions during this important period. Pressures of SQA examinations and coursework will be increasing for all of our young people, please continue to provide reassurance and support at home over the break. The Easter Study School Timetable has been circulated and is available on the school website, we are delighted that so many departments are available to provide this intensive support in the run up to examinations and are grateful to all involved.
Our Broad General Education phase has a renewed focus on skills for learning, life and work within the Balwearie Skills Framework. Young people are supported in making connections across subjects and linking learning to real life contexts. Active learning will continue to develop greater confidence in leadership and collaboration alongside enterprising approaches to problem solving. Our Learning and Teaching committee continue to support improvements in innovative approaches across the school. S3 reports are issued in mid-May, providing an overview of progress made and next steps as our young people enter the Senior Phase. S1 and 2 learners are very excited about personalising their curriculum and will be fully supported through their transition at the start of June.
We continue to support the Health and Wellbeing of our young people through our Social Education and Assembly Programmes and ask parents and carers to reinforce key messages at home relating to safe internet use, appropriate on-line behaviour along with the dangers of substance misuse. There are a number of helpful links on the school website which I would like to draw your attention to under the option: Parents, Family Learning, Health and Wellbeing. Guidance Teachers are always available to provide pastoral support and young people are also actively encouraged to use the School Life: ‘Say it out Loud’ response section of our website to draw any concerns to our attention quickly.
I would like to thank our parents and carers for their ongoing support in maintaining high standards and encouraging our young people to keep positively focused on learning and active involvement in the wider life of Balwearie. Please let us know of any wider achievements our young people have been recognised for outside of school, the celebration of success is an important aspect of our school ethos.
In order that we can maintain effective communication with home, we would be grateful if you could ensure that your contact details are up to date including email addresses. This can be done via the ‘contact’ tab on the school website or by telephoning the main school office on 01592 583402.
I hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable Easter holiday. Please do not hesitate to contact us without delay should you have any queries or concerns relating to your child’s progress, education or wellbeing at Balwearie.
Mr N McNeil