HT Weekly Update: Week-ending Friday 2nd February 2024

Friday 2nd February 2024

This concise weekly HT Update is generally published every Friday afternoon.   It’s a simple opportunity for you to also feedback/ask questions via the link at the bottom of each Update.  Feedback received, where appropriate, will be responded to and published each Monday on the school website link.   

Key messages from this week  

Calendar:  next week’s significant events;  Student Voice Year Group meetings will take place across the week;  on Monday and Tuesday there will be House Assemblies for all S1 and S2 students,  on Thursday we’ll issue a Senior Phase Report to parents/carers via email, also on Thursday 30 BGEd students are involved in an ‘Author’s Live’ event; on Friday our Mandarin Team are organising a cultural visit into Edinburgh,  also on Friday we break-up for the February Holiday.

Staffing:   Congratulations to Claire Hadden, PT Numeracy Development Officer (ASG) who will take up the Acting DHT post at Lasswade Primary School later this month. We also wish Imogen Innes well, she begins her maternity leave a week today.

School day Consultation:  Yesterday all parents/carers were texted regarding a Midlothian wide consultation on aligning the school day across all 6 secondary schools.  Details are available via our website, click here.  The main change for us, is a proposed later start of 8.40am (currently 8.30am) each morning and a later finish on Friday of 12.15pm (currently 12.05pm).  There is no proposed change to the finish time, Monday through Thursday of 3.25pm.  The other change is a 40 minute lunch for students (currently 50 minutes).   We still plan to retain our split lunch and breaks which we believe will still allow students plenty of time to access the school canteen services.  The benefits of aligning the secondary school day across all schools are highlighted in the Consultation Paper. I am recommending that you support the proposal and am asking for as many parents/carers as possible to respond, click here.  There are 5 questions to respond to in the feedback/survey.  The consultation closes on Friday 8th March.   

Letter of thanks:  Our Charities Committee lead on our school fundraising work.  This includes our Dress Down Days.  I was delighted recently to receive a letter from the Chief Executive of MYPAS thanking us for our school donation to this charity of over £3,000.  He cited our undeniable, ‘strong sense of community and shared commitment to the wellbeing of young people’.   MYPAS as you know does outstanding work with young people across Midlothian.  

NHS Update:  All schools have been asked, by our NHS colleagues, to share the following information on Scarlet Fever. ‘Information on Scarlet Fever can be found at this link.  In particular please note, “If your child has scarlet fever, keep them away from nursery or school for at least 24 hours after starting treatment with antibiotics.”  Adults with the illness should also stay off work for at least 24 hours after starting treatment. GPs, schools and nurseries are aware of the current high levels of scarlet fever and will inform local health protection teams if they become aware of cases, particularly if more than one child is affected.”’

Neurodiversity and Neurodevelopmental Assessment:  NHS Lothian Children’s website now has some useful resources for children, young people and families relating to wellbeing, mental health and neurodivergence.  The site signposts to relevant websites and supports relating to a range of needs:  click here.   Further resources are also available to children and young people at the ‘Wellbeing Hub’ area under Neurodiversity & the ‘Parents & Carers’ page: click here. 

Supporting Student Behaviours: SLT and Student Support are meeting weekly to scrutinise and ensure consistency on responses to the Duty Head calls across the school. Duty Head calls are generally made by staff when additional adult interventions are required.  We have seen a significant decrease in the number of students involved in Duty Head incidents.  Our focus is now on addressing the choices and behaviours of a small, but still influential, group.  Our aim in all this work is to help young people to make better decisions and support their learning and the learning of their peers.

S4 Attainment Mentoring: Identified S4 students, as they work towards the May Exam Diet, will begin meeting with S6 mentors next week. The students will meet fortnightly during core class times, i.e., either PE, RE or PSEd classes. Students have also been asked to rotate meeting times so they are not always missing the same core classes.  To monitor meetings, S6 Mentors will complete a logbook so staff can track when and where meetings are taking place, and the planned actions and outcomes. We are grateful for the leadership of Miss Russell, PE, on this initiative as we support our students to attain as many qualifications as they can.

Need a calendar? The Lasswade High School 2024 Chinese New Year calendar is now available to buy. S1 pupils have demonstrated their creativity and effort during this project to create fantastic poster designs which feature in the calendar.  Calendars cost £5 each and are available to collect from room 317 in the Art & Design department.

BGEd Movie Night:  Our School Captains are reorganising the postponed BGEd (S1/2/3) Movie Night. This will take place on Thursday 29th February starting at 5.45pm. This notice should be considered as a ‘save the date’ with details shared with BGEd students soon.  

If you have any feedback/questions relating to this update please submit them via the link below

Feedback here

Take Care

Campbell Hornell,  Head Teacher

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