Focus on S2:

  • Learning and teaching:  Over this week senior staff have been popping into S2 classes to look at the quality of the learning and teaching.  We have been very impressed by both the quality of the teaching we have seen and the attitude shown by pupils towards the work.  As well as visiting classes I also sat in with two pupil focus groups where pupils gave feedback on what it is like to be a learner in S2 at Harlaw Academy.  This information along with the class visits will help us to share what is working well and improve things where required.
  • Teenage Cancer Trust:  On Wednesday all of our S2 pupils had a presentation from a charity called Teenage Cancer Trust.  Over the years I have known a number of teenagers who have had their lives affected by cancer.  Whilst cancer is an illness which affects people of all ages there are particular issues which make it hard to cope with when it affects a teenager.  In recent years this has had growing recognition and indeed facilities at Aberdeen Hospital have recently been upgraded to be more teenage friendly and there are a couple of specialist staff to support teenagers and their families.  Teenage Cancer Trust have specialist workers who can also provide support and we were keen to have a relationship with them should any of our families need their help.  We also wanted them to provide all our pupils with information on the causes of teenage cancer, treatments and preventative measures.  For more information visit their website

Other updates:

  • Building works:  We were advised of three additional pieces of much needed work were being added onto the current contract.  These are: windows to the front of the school by the Hall entrance, the doors and surrounds to the front of C block and redecoration of the stairwell from behind the stage up to science.  These additional jobs will add a few weeks to the planned work and take it through to the Christmas holidays.  As a result we will have to stick with the shorter lunch and early finish during December.  I want to thank staff, pupils and parents for their co-operation and also thank the contractors who are doing very well to work with and around us to get the work done.
  • Staff updates:  We are looking forward to Debbie Green starting with us in the Science Faculty from next week.  At the same time we have unable to fill vacancies in; Computing (to replace Mrs Brodie) and Maths (to replace Mr Bell).  We are currently advertising to fill posts which will become vacant after Christmas in; English (Miss McCrone) and maternity posts in Social Subjects (Mrs Wilson) and English (Mrs Skelly).  Filling posts at any time of year is a growing challenge but I remain hopeful we will find suitable applicants for most of these vacancies.  In the meantime I am asking a lot of staff (both here and in other schools) who are picking up new classes and many youngsters will be having changes of teachers.  If you know of any teachers keen to join our fantastic staff and pupils here at Harlaw Academy ask them to get in contact and to apply.