I finished my last blog by mentioning a personal challenge to join my son and daughter on the Baker Hughes 10K.  We had set two modest targets; to complete the 10K and to raise more than £500 for Alzheimer Scotland.  I am delighted to say that we exceeded our expectations on both fronts.  Not only did we complete the 10K but we also all finished within an hour (in my case with only a few seconds to spare) but we also have raised over £1800 for the charity.  I appreciate all the support we received on the day of the race and through the just giving page:  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Rachel-Innes1

Over this week as well as continuing with the SQA exams we have been putting a lot of time into two significant transitions.  The first is the one people tend to focus on the most P7-S1.  The second is one which is perhaps even more significant S3-S4.

P7-S1:  We have had visits to out Technology and our Expressive Arts faculties this week.  This means all of our P7s have visited most of the curricular areas this year.  No year group in the history of Harlaw Academy will have had the number or quality of visits by this stage.  We hope it helps the youngsters (and their families) to feel confident about the move and to make a fast start to work here at Harlaw.  I want to keep improving pupil participation, achievement and attainment at the school and the extensive programme of visits are part of achieving this expectation.

S3-S4:  I have written to each S3 pupil/family to try to convey the significance of this transition from the junior to the senior school.  We spend a massive amount of time trying to get it right.  It includes all of the work around; assessment/reporting, course choice, timetable change, work experience and course induction.  All of this combines around some simple ideas – that the pupils are entering the senior school, that they need to show maturity and that they need to see school as a place of work and the gateway to their future.  Too many continue to think their teachers or their parents will do it for them.  In truth if they do not start to do it for themselves then we are not preparing them for the world beyond school.  My basic mantra is that they need to produce “best work, first time, on time, every time”.  Before starting the senior school our pupils spend a week on work experience and this will hopefully help them focus on who they want to be and what they need to do to get there.

I hope our new S1 and new S4 step up to the increased expectations.