Today under the banner of ‘Progress’ I want to mention; school day, internet safety and learning.

School day:  In my blog two weeks ago I highlighted a proposal to shorten the lunchtime.  I asked pupils and parents for feedback on the proposal and had to ballot staff.  In order to move forward with the proposal it required to have the support of two thirds (66%) of staff voting and have the broad support of pupils and parents.  We issued ballot papers to 108 staff who would be affected and got 101 back.  80% were in agreement and most of the comments I have had back from pupils and parents have been supportive.  I now have to formalise the proposal for approval and if this is successful I hope to have the new arrangements in place for when we return form the Easter break.  The two advantages for people are; reducing time pupils are milling about “bored” at lunchtime and taking away the need for us to have winter arrangements which involve a shorter lunchtime.  We think this change represents progress and is a positive response to views expressed by staff, pupils and parents.

Internet safety: We have done a couple of audits of views and a common theme of where we can support pupils. parents is around the topic of internet safety.  Elsewhere on the school website are details of sessions we are running for pupils, parents and teachers on the topic of on-line safety.  Paul Hay who is running the sessions for our Primaries and ourselves is fantastic and I would urge you to get along to one of his sessions if you can.  Access to on-line resources is real progress but it is not without significant pitfalls and concerns.  On a daily basis we deal with people saying and doing pretty dreadful things on social media platforms.  As a school we will do all we can to educate and protect children when they are on-line and we need parents to work with us in this regard.  I do hope you will make it along to one of the parent sessions and if you cannot make it then take time to discuss at home what Paul will have spoken to the youngsters about.

School work: Seniors should be working hard to complete final coursework and prepare for exams.  I put a fair bit up about revision in my blog last week so will not repeat it here.  What I would ask if that every pupil (junior and senior) thinks about the work progress and in particular the 3 questions below:

  • What progress have they made since this time last week?
  • What work do they still have to progress in order to complete their coursework?
  • Where is the work leading – what are you planning to progress onto?

The word “progress” is used to mean very different things in each of these 3 questions and if it can be answered positively in the first then the chances are that the second and third question will be easier to answer.  Conversely if little or no progress has been made last week then a great deal will have to be progressed now and if this does not happen then the future progression will become problematic.

I trust by the time I write my blog next week we will all be able to report having made a fair bit of progress.