My blog from last week was not the first to mention the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and I am sure it will not be the last to do so. Indeed in the blog this week I want to focus on 3 activities I have been working on this week – each which links back to ‘recognising and realising’ the rights of children and in particular article 29 which is about how we develop talents to the full. The 3 activities are:
- SQA exams
- Activities days/work experience week
- Planning for the awards ceremony
SQA Exams – these are a major undertaking and whilst the main focus has to be on the young people and the efforts they put in to complete coursework and prepare for their exams there are many others who are working hard behind the scenes. Parents for example can make a massive difference in ensuring ideas are reinforced and at times ensuring their child has time to relax and rest properly so they are at their best physically and mentally. Teachers too have been offering an open door through the exam period and we have been encouraged by the numbers of pupils taking up these opportunities for additional help. There has also been a team of school administration staff and SQA employed invigilators who oversee all the arrangements for the exam period. They have done brilliantly in ensuring all of the arrangements/special arrangements have been in place so that children could sit their exams in a calm environment. I hope the efforts of all are rewarded with pleasing results in August.
Activities days/work experience week – these are major undertakings again involving numerous people and complex logistics. We have 180 pupils in S3 and all will be going out on a work experience placement. We appreciate the support of so many local employees who offer time to support our pupils and we are grateful to all families who have ensured the paperwork is in place so that these placements could be confirmed. The same is true for the S1/S2 activities days. We have pulled back from a full week of activities as we felt it was not as well support over recent years. Early indications are that pupils have signed up for the two day activities in big numbers and we hope the days will be a success. We also have a large group of pupils over in south of France on an activity week and I know they will be learning new skills and making new friendships.
Awards event – Our Head Boy and Head girl plan our annual prize giving event and they met with me on Friday to go over their final plans. We will be sending out invitations next week and I am really looking forward to their event. the event is mostly for the senior school but we will be looking to recognise the achievements of a wider group of pupils in a second event which is being planned and through the assemblies soon after we change timetable.
As the SQA exams, activities days and work experience conclude we return to the new school timetable and also begin to plan for the arrival of our current P7s. These are two other significant and very demanding pieces of work which require careful planning over a long period of time.
In closing this particular blog I want to pay tribute to, and thank, all the people who work so hard in the background to ensure that pupils are able to benefit from the activities and opportunities described above.