On Friday I met with the officer bearers of the parent council and part of what we discussed was the wider life of the school. Linked to this was a discussion of how we let parents know what is happening in the school. In this blog I shall say a little bit about each of these areas – starting with the communications issue:
1) Communications: We have the website and I try to complete a weekly blog of school news. We use groupcall to contact parents and hope to resume the weekly update of extracts from the internal school bulletin. There are a number of school twitter feeds at present and we agreed to look at pulling these together in some way. there is also a school youtube channel and we periodically issue news/information through this medium. There are also a number of parent evenings planned for later in the session – details to follow – as well as meetings of the Parent Council (see their section of the website or their facebook page for details). We did discuss an idea, used in many of the primary schools, where each form class has a parent representative. We agreed to look into this idea and discuss it further at the next parent council meeting.
I am very committed to working with parents and if there is ever a point you wish to raise or question you need answered get in contact with the school – by phone, e-mail or in person. We cannot always respond immediately and it is not always best to demand to speak with one individual or another – work commitments often mean one or more of us is unavailable. It is normally best to go to the school office with your name and the name of your child, it is generally helpful to also have the year group and ‘house’ for the youngster and a brief idea of the nature of the issue (as this will help us determine who is best to respond). The main point is that you should never feel isolated or distant we need to work together to get the best for your children and young people.
2) Opportunities: the office staff are in the process of collating a list of extra curricular activities and when this is done we will make sure they are sent out by groupcall and posted widely. Last week is a typical example of how busy we are – the games hall was in use every lunchtime and after school, our computing teacher had a gaming club running two lunchtimes, there was a video editing group running another day, youth workers ran groups a number of days (including our defenders and alliance groups) the Leos also met during the week. Over the week we had a group over at Offshore Europe, a group on a Physics visit, a group off Sailing at Peterhead Lido and an evening exhibition launce at 17 on Belmont Street (the exhibition is running all this month). On Wednesday there were parents in to hear about a trip going to Poland later this month and over this weekend we have groups taking part in their Silver Duke of Edinburgh practice expeditions. I look forward to getting the list out to you soon and will do all we can to keep you informed about what is happening – but these notes give a flavour of the number and variety of opportunities that what we already have underway. Having said that I did undertake at the meeting with the Parent council to look at following through on our promise to look at what will replace the activity week we used to run. We all agree that there is significant benefit from exposing pupils to unfamiliar settings, challenges and in so doing introduce them to different classmates and in many cases lifelong friends and life changing experiences. That sense of awe and wonder is something we all want pupils to experience during their time with us.