Firstly apologies for a few weeks without a blog towards the end of term.  Had I managed to keep it going I would have reported on a dozen remarkable successes and events including;

  1. S1 football team won the two cup competitions open to them, finished tied top of their league.  They have a play off match this morning to decide the title
  2. S3 football won the only cup competition open to them and ended up second in their league
  3. Senior footballer from Harlaw playing for the senior Scotland select
  4. Pupils helped the PTA host a fantastic Murder Mystery Ceilidh night at the school
  5. S1s presented at assemblies to boost their plan to raise bags of clothes for Syrian refugees and in the end filled a medium sized van with the donations they received
  6. Lewis Liversedge was the first winner of th Norman Moy Jazz award
  7.  Internet safety sessions which ran for pupils and parents
  8. Helping the food bank at Inchgarth by donating 10 boxes of food
  9. Re-opening the fire damaged parts of the school
  10. Leading and taking part in a youth conversation event to look at possible improvements in the Harlaw area (and City centre) with Harlaw Learning Partnership
  11.  Brilliant spring concert
  12. Presentations by Keir and Catherine at the FPs annual dinner and a fantastic musical performance by Asuka

Alongside all of this staff and senior pupils were working full on to ensure all of the internal assessment evidence was complete and in order (as this needs to be completed by the easter break).  It really was a busy but highly rewarding end to the term and after two weeks off we have returned to a very busy time – particularly in relation to preparing senior pupils for their exams.

We also had a number of stand out activities in our first week back;

All of the P7s from Hanover, Ferryhill, Broomhill and Kaimhill cane through for a Literacy morning and it was great to welcome them and help the transition to Harlaw.

We also welcomed back Fiona – a member of team GB at the London paralympics and Team Scotland at the Commonwealth games.  Fiona is working with us on a project now known as ‘champions in Scotland’.  We are using the project to help around 24 pupils – some who are very good and with help could be excellent and some who with help could turn round their fortunes.  Each pupil has had two sessions and are now working towards their individual targets prior to a celebration event in June.

One of our S4s who had won through to the finals of a cookery event organised by Entier (a major employer in the catering industry).  We were all very proud of Scott Wilson Moody for reaching the finals and although he did not win he showed courage to go along to compete, held in a commercial kitchen in Westhill, and great skill/craft in the finals.   Scott plans to go to college to study catering and has also been invited to attend further training with Entier.

The final rehearsals and preparations were held for the Global Rock Challenge which take place this evening. Rock Challenge is a major music/dance/performance event held at AECC.  It is the second year we have taken part and really motivates and inspires the youngsters taking part (and the parents and teachers who watch on with nervous excitement).

The parent council also met this week and heard plans Catherine and Keir have for an awards ceremony on 9 June.  I also outlined what I felt had been the significant changes in the school over my first 3 years in the post of Head Teacher at Harlaw and ideas for ambitious plans we need to set for the next 3 years.  I want to produce two documents – one about the changes over the last 3 years the other describing the plans for the next 3 years.  I want these two documents to belong to all parents, pupils and staff and, following discussions at the Parent Council, will be sharing ideas more widely over the next few weeks.

Off to see a football match this morning and the Rock challenge tonight.