June 2017

ParentsE-Bulletin – June 2017

Welcome to our June parents’ e-bulletin.

Parent Group Updates

A full summary of the year’s activities from the PC, PTA, PHS200, PHS200 Club and LSPHS is in the attached Parent Council AGM Minutes

Our first PC meeting after the summer is on Thursday 7th September.  Once again, we are inviting parents to come to this meeting and give us their comments and suggestions on ways that we can help improve the school.  This, along with the School Improvement Plan, will form the basis of our plan of action for the following year.

If you cannot attend the meeting but have a topic that you would like us to discuss, please contact Margaret via email at phspc@outlook.com .

Progress on our Key Priorities within the School Plan

A full summary on Tracking and Monitoring, Personal Support and Poverty Proofing the School is available in the Parent Council AGM Minutes attached. Please also look at the attached minutes from our special meeting on Learning Pathways and Developing the Young Workforce for a full summary of what has been happening in this area.

Have your say!

Please feel free to send us, as your parent representatives, any questions you would like raised with the school either at Parent Council meetings or via this Rector’s Q & A section and we will aim to get as many answers as possible to you.  Contact Margaret Hogg with your questions via email phspc@outlook.com.

We also encourage you to come along to all future Parent Council meetings to have your voice heard.

Have a great summer!

Best Wishes

The Peebles High Parent Groups –

Parent Council, PTA, PHS200, Learning Support PHS, 200 club.

(June 2017)


May 2017

Parent Group Updates

Parent Council

At our last PC meeting, our discussion focussed on Pastoral Support and mental well-being.  The minutes of our meeting can be found here :- http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/pc-minutes

Our next PC meeting is on Wednesday 10th May at 7pm in the Sports Centre meeting room.  We are pleased to have Mrs Reville, PT Modern Languages, joining us to discuss how modern languages are taught and how we can support conversational language.  The agenda for the meeting can be found here:- http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/parent-council

There will be an additional PC meeting on Wednesday 31st May to find out more about Learning Pathways, looking at both academic and vocational opportunities for students, including the current partnership with Borders College and the modern apprenticeship model.

Every PHS parent is welcome to attend these meetings and we encourage you to come along and take part in our discussions.

PTA

The PTA are providing volunteers to serve refreshments at the PHS Advanced Higher Art and Design Exhibition on Wednesday 3rd May 2017 (6pm – 8pm)

If you have any fundraising ideas please contact Michael Pryor or Lisa Houston Email peebleshighschoolpta@gmail.com

PHS200

We are delighted to let you know that our application to the Tesco Bags of Help Grant Scheme has been successful and our project will be put forward to a customer vote in the Peebles Tesco during May and June 2017.  The project we have put forward is to upgrade the dining hall so that it provides an environment more suitable for students with hearing impairment – at the moment, it is hard for many students to enjoy the dining space because of the noise levels.  Investment in sound absorbing screens, carpeting and curtains will improve this significantly. Our project, along with two other successful projects will go forward to a vote in local Tesco stores where their customers will decide the outcome by voting for their favourite project each time they shop. Voting will take during May and June and we should hear the outcome by the end of July.  The project with the highest number of votes will receive up to £4,000, the second placed project up to £2,000 and the third placed project £1,000. So, please get voting to support us!

In collaboration with other parent groups we have been continuing to work this month on completing the new website (including trialling the daily bulletin online for next session). This is a substantial piece of work and we very much appreciate all the input from parents and staff, particularly Mr Wilson. We hope to launch the new website during June.

Furthermore we continue to work on the soundproof work for the dinner hall to support students who are hard of hearing and to help with noise levels at parents nights. Thanks to Alison Graham for her assistance in this project.

PHS 200 Club

The winners of March’s quarterly draw were:

1st  – Elizabeth Strain £100

2nd – Suzanne Slater £50

3rd – £25 (winner returned prize to school funds)

The next draw will take place in June.  We currently have approximately 200 members in the 200 club.  If you would like to join the club, please visit http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/200-club

The current balance in the 200 club account is around £7000.  The money raised through the 200 club is used to purchase materials and equipment for the school.

LSPHS

If your child is being helped by Additional Needs (whatever the level of support is) and you’d benefit from a support network of other parents, get in touch with LS PHS. Next meeting is on Thursday 18th May, 7pm, at the County Inn in Peebles. Look us up on Facebook (search for LS PHS) or ask your co worker to pass on our contact details

Progress on our Key Priorities within the School Plan

Tracking and Monitoring

Feedback collected at parents’ evening from throughout the year were shared with staff at the inservice day on 28th April.  Staff were also provided with an opportunity to provide their own feedback and suggest improvements during the in-service day via a survey monkey.  The tracking, monitoring and reporting working group will meet on the 8th of May to discuss the feedback and to agree next steps.

Developing Scotlands Young Workforce (DYW)- follow us @PHS_DYW

Enterprising Young leaders Programme

During May, S4 and S5 pupils who are not on study leave will participate in this innovative and exciting eleven day programme.  Through working with other pupils and with the support of Peebles CAN, pupils will develop key leadership and team working skills, relevant for the world of work, while developing their own social enterprise idea. The programme, created as a partnership between the Social Enterprise Academy and the Scottish Government develops enterprise, employability and entrepreneurial skills in young people and promotes awareness of social enterprise as a way of doing better business in Scotland.

The aim of the programme is to:

  • Develop an understanding of the social enterprise business model
  • Provide hands on experience of setting up and running a social enterprise
  • Provide practical opportunities that encourage our pupils to become successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.

Please see the attached PDF for more information. Enterprising Young Leaders – Peebles – May 2017

The Arkwright Scholarship Trust

We are delighted to announce that Peebles High School has met the criteria to be recognised as an Affiliated Arkwright School. We now join with over 1000 schools who are committed to identifying, inspiring and nurturing future leaders in Engineering and Technical Design.  This year we dipped our toe in the water and submitted three candidates for the Arkwright Scholarship. One student has made it through to the final stages and we eagerly await positive news. Successful applicants are financially supported through their S5 and S6 and are linked with a company that helps to provide practical experiences to help the young person achieve their goal of becoming an engineer.

Personal Support

Despite some technical difficulties, over 900 young people managed to complete the pupil survey recently, the results of which are currently being analysed.  The next stage of the evaluation process is to ask parents to complete a survey so that all stakeholders have their say on how the initiative can be developed next year.  The survey will be sent out to parents electronically sometime in May.

We said goodbye to the S6 students in our Personal Support classes at the end of April and will welcome new S1 students in August.  Personal Support classes will be made up of S1/2/3 students during study leave so they will be the target cohorts for learning conversations during this time.

Poverty Proofing the School

No update

Rector’s Q & A

There have been no questions raised since our last bulletin.

Have your say!

Please feel free to send us, as your parent representatives, any questions you would like raised with the school either at Parent Council meetings or via this Rector’s Q & A section and we will aim to get as many answers as possible to you.  Contact Margaret Hogg with your questions via email phspc@outlook.com.

We also encourage you to come along to all future Parent Council meetings to have your voice heard.

The PHS Parent Groups would like to wish all our students good luck with their exams this month.

Best wishes

Peebles High Parent Groups –

Parent Council, PTA, phs200, Learning Support PHS, 200 club.

(May 2017)


March 2017

Parent Group Updates

Parent Council

Minutes from last Parent Council meeting – http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/pc-minutes

The next Parents Council meeting is on Monday 27th March in the Sports Centre at 7.00pm.    Every PHS parent is welcome to attend.

The main focus of this meeting will be on the Pastoral issues of self-esteem and peer pressure and how these link with make-up and uniform policy.  – http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/parent-council

PTA

The PTA provided a raffle and refreshments at the Spring Concert on 22nd March.  Thank you to everyone who baked, volunteered, purchased raffle tickets or enjoyed something from the refreshment stand. 

If you have any fundraising ideas please contact Michael Pryor or Lisa Houston Email peebleshighschoolpta@gmail.com

PHS200

This month phs200 priorities have been focused on developing the new website which is currently going into final stages. Many thanks for all his computer wizardry to Simon Fraser for the major design work. This has now been shared and revised by Margaret Hogg (PC) and Lisa Houston (PTA) and Lisa has kindly offered to continue to support the final stages of design. This is a significant saving to the school and normally would cost thousands to commission externally.

In addition, we have been tasked with looking into supporting noise minimisation for hard of hearing students by deadening the noise in the dining room (including curtains, sound absorbing panels etc.) This may help too at parents’ evenings where the noise is significant. The PTA have submitted an application for funding from the Tesco Bags of Help Programme and we will be in touch when we need further hands-on support from parents.

PHS 200 Club

PHS200 are delighted to report that the 200 club was able to contribute to purchasing a new Kiln for the Art department which broke down irreparably just before the exam period. Many thanks to all parents who have contributed to the 200 club – this was an unexpected problem and we are delighted that the students will be able to continue with work for exams as well as all other years who study art. Please contact the school if you would like to join for only £2 a month and you can enter our free prize draw!

LSPHS

LS PHS is a parents group that offers a support network for parents and carers of children with Additional Needs, and fundraises for the Additional Needs department. We’d love to welcome new members and helpers (Additional Needs children at the school not a prerequisite!). To get in touch:

Progress on our Key Priorities within the School Plan

Tracking and Monitoring

As we approach the end of the T&M calendar we are looking towards evaluating this pilot year.  Senior Management have carried out focus groups with senior students gathering their views on the worth of the new reports, the quality and frequency of staff interventions, the availability of support and steps to be taken to improve the system. The students responses add to the body of evaluative information and are also instrumental in helping shape the questions for the forthcoming survey to staff and parents. This is due to be completed by the end of April.

Developing Scotlands Young Workforce (DYW)- follow us @PHS_DYW

Resilient Communities

There has been very significant developments with Peebles high School engagement with the DYW agenda. On Tuesday 28th Feb all S3 Pupils were involved in a Resilient Communities Event at PHS. The day aimed to develop effective contributors, promote the value of community and progress the Developing the Young Workforce initiative by providing students with a series of challenges led by emergency services, resilient community leaders and other support agencies.

Each student participated in seven 25 minutes events including:

  • CPR and use of defibrillators (Scottish Fire & Rescue Service and Scottish Ambulance Service)
  • What to do at the scene of an accident (Police Scotland)
  • First Aid and Splinting (Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue)
  • Emergency Planning Scenarios (Scottish Borders Council Emergency Planning Officers)
  • Establishing a Youth Volunteers Group (Peebles Resilient Communities Group)
  • Emergency Response (Salvation Army)

The event, broadcast by Borders Television received great praise from councillors, participants and students:

“It was great to see the pupils and staff engaging so well on what is a very important subject. I was very impressed with the event” Councillor Keith Cockburn

“learned about locations of defibrillators in Peebles, so handy knowledge!”  S3 Pupil

“I now know what to do in a flood situation” S3 Pupil

“I am now aware of difficult situations elderly people face during winter.”  S3 Pupil

“It would have been nice to have been able to have gone through all the activities, but overall an insightful and fab day! Thanks to everyone who made it happen.” S3 Pupil

 

Women into Construction

On the 7th of March 14, S4 girls attended the Women into Construction event at Borders College.

The group heard stories from industry insiders, spanning a range of career options from joinery and painting to architecture and civil engineering.

The educational event was held by the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, between Monday, March 6 to Friday, March 10.

Christine Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, delivered a talk to the girls. She emphasised the importance of the event in light of the fact that women are still vastly under-represented within the construction industry.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Youth Engagement

On the 14th of March seven senior students graduated from the Scottish Fire and Rescues Youth Engagement Programme. The event held at Galashiels fire station was attended by representatives from the emergency services, SBC councillors, educationalists and parents who all had the pleasure of witnessing first-hand the impact the project has had on the young people.

“Working with the young people from Peebles High School has been an exciting, emotive and humbling experience for all involved. To see the impact this initiative has had for the young people has been immeasurable. To witness the increase in confidence, self-awareness, and self-belief in the group over the six weeks we were privileged to spend with them was inspiring.  Young lives do matter”. Stephen Mitchell,Station Commander,Scottish Borders North

Work Experience

As part of Peebles High Schools’ commitment to the national initiative Developing the Young Workforce we have reintroduced the work placement scheme for S3 pupils between 8th May-2nd June.  During this time, S3 students who choose to take up this opportunity are treated as young employees of the organisation and can try a range of tasks or duties and find out about the skills and attitudes that employers are looking for.  This experience helps many pupils think positively about the qualities that they may need to develop, and about careers they may be interested in.

During a special assembly all S3 pupils were informed about the worth of placements and were issued with usernames and passwords for the WorkIT system where they can book prearranged places. However, the majority of placements will be self-found. Much more information including a comprehensive PowerPoint and copies of essential paperwork can be found in the news section of the school website. http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/news/s3-work-placement-information

Personal Support

All young people are being surveyed at the moment.  The school devoted their last inset day to Personal Support and the feedback from the staff survey formed the basis of this.  They discussed positive outcomes from the initiative, explored examples of good practice in terms of learning conversations, identified how to help young people set targets for themselves and had a guest speaker give a refresher in coaching skills.  The school has started to look at what the classroom experience is like for young people and how to develop this as the initiative rolls out.

Poverty Proofing the School

Works continues to gather better information about the cost of being a student at PHS, which is something of a challenge as the experience of each young person is different, depending on courses chosen among other factors.  This will give the Group a firm basis on which to build.  The Uniform swap shop is now up and running and work continues to implement initiatives around provision of a print room and taking the school towards being ‘cashless’.  Also being considered are criteria that would be used to assess the case for provision of financial support for school trips.

SBC Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Strategy Presentation

SBC held a meeting on CSE in the school on 21st February.  This meeting was aimed at providing parents with information on the different ways your child can be exploited and how to be more aware of what your children are up to, who they are texting etc.  SBC are looking for feedback on how they can best inform parents and children about keeping safe.

Rector’s Q & A

I was disappointed not to be able to get appointment slots with all my child’s teachers at Parents’ Night. Why are some teachers not able to see all the pupils in their class and what should I do if I can’t get an appointment?

Occasionally teachers will have more than one class from a year group. This is far more common in RMPS S1-S3 classes but can happen in any subject. This means that the teacher may not be able to meet the parents of all of their students who wish an appointment within the scope of the evening. Whenever this happens, and a parent is keen to speak to a member of staff that they have not been able to see on the night, we encourage parents to let us know who they have missed and we can follow up in several ways: arrange a phone call between parent and staff member; ask the member of staff to provide a written update of how the student is progressing; or help to co-ordinate a meeting outwith the scope of the Parents’ Evening, ensuring the member of staff is given appropriate time to do so. Every state school in Scotland agrees their own Working Time Agreement (WTA) with staff based on national guidelines. At PHS our recent WTAs have protected 30 hours per year for Parents’ Evenings (most schools protect 25-30 hours).

Why do we not get a written report about our child’s progress?  This would have really helped us to support our child in making her subject choices.

The new Tracking, Monitoring and Reporting system piloted this year has valued frequency and regularity of feedback over written comments and this has elicited both positive and negative feedback that is part of a wider review. We have worked hard to give significant supports to young people making their choices this year. Every child making a choice this year was given a 1 -1 interview with their pastoral teacher and parents were supported with an information evening for each year group as well as ensuring ParentsEvenings were positioned prior to choice points. All parents of S3 students were also offered a 1 to 1 meeting with a promoted member of staff to discuss choices in more depth. Please contact the school if you are worried that the choices made may not be right for your child and we can work with you to get the best outcome.

Have your say!

Please feel free to send us, as your parent representatives, any questions you would like raised with the school either at Parent Council meetings or via this Rector’s Q & A section and we will aim to get as many answers as possible to you.  Contact Margaret Hogg with your questions via email phspc@outlook.com.

We also encourage you to come along to all future Parent Council meetings to have your voice heard.

Best wishes

Peebles High Parent Groups –

Parent Council, PTA, phs200, Learning Support PHS, 200 club.

(March 2017)


February 2017

Welcome to our first parents’ e-bulletin of 2017.

Parent Group Updates

Parent Council

The date of the next Parents Council meeting has been CHANGED to Tuesday 21st February in the LRC (school library) at 7.30pm – http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/parent-council The PC meeting will follow the SBC-led meeting at 6.30pm in the Assembly Hall to discuss the prevention and tackling of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) to which all parents are encouraged to attend.
Minutes from the last Parent Council meeting

PTA

We raised £371 in the raffle and £200 from the sale of refreshments at the School Concert in December.
Thanks to the generous £100 donation from Sainsburys our only expense was £5.60 for 4 raffle
books. Huge thanks must go to the volunteers who helped in the lead up to the event and on the night itself.
The next planned fundraiser is the Spring Show and we will be seeking volunteers and sourcing raffle prizes a little nearer the time.
If you have any fundraising ideas we’d love to hear from you! peebleshighschoolpta@gmail.com

PHS200

At the end of last term phs200 parents supported the production of Grease by clearing out the entire Drama department costumes and reorganising them in time for the very successful production.
This also included washing some costumes after the show too. With money provided by the 200 club we were able to provide new much needed clothes rails in the department itself.
Particular thanks to Alex Wilson who gave a tremendous amount of time to creating and altering costumes for the night.
Further thanks to parents who came in on request on show nights to work behind the scenes with costumes to help make it all go smoothly!

PHS 200 Club

The objective of the 200 Club is to raise essential funds for PHS. It is a donation scheme of £2 (minimum) per month and offers the subscriber a quarterly chance of winning £100, £50 or £25 with the remainder going directly into school funds. This money is used to enhance our children’s education by providing materials, equipment, floodlights, musical instruments, funding towards S1 Residential and more.
The winners of December’s quarterly 200 Club draw were:

  • £100 Frank Clare
  • £50 Kirsty Crick
  • £25 winner donated winnings to school funds

For more information on the 200 Club please visit here.

LSPHS

LS PHS ran a successful Christmas Craft and Coffee Morning in early December. This has raised just
under £1,000 which will be spent in enhanced provision material. Thank you to everybody who has
supported this event.

Progress on our Key Priorities within the School Plan

Tracking and Monitoring

By Friday the 3rd of February all parents of pupils in S1-S6 will have received two tracking and monitoring reports. Parents of pupils in S3,S4, S5 and S6 have also had the opportunity to meet with class teachers for more detailed feedback.
Parents of pupils in S1-S3 will receive a further report while S4-S6 parents will receive two further reports. This, the school believes, represents a significant improvement on 2015-16 as parents now receive more frequent data on their child’s progress than ever before.
While it is too early to draw any summative conclusions in this pilot year feedback from parents of pupils in S3-S6 does suggest that parents are more satisfied with the new approach. This table compares the responses of parents from S3-S6 to the question:
PHS keeps me informed about my child’s progress

 Strongly agree
%
Agree
%
Positive
%
Disagree
%
Strongly disagree
%
Negative
%
Don't Know
%
 
S5/625719622402016-17
2756831251702015-16
S43947861221402016-17
2163841131422015-16
S32363861241402016-17
3741781531842015-16

It is possible to conclude from the above table that a great percentage of parents gave positive responses to this question than in 2015-16. It is also possible to conclude that a significant percentage of parents in S5/6 feel more informed about their child’s progress than the parents of S5/6 pupils in 2015-16. However, it should be noted that the parents were responding to a more general question covering all forms of school communication and therefore a more focused evaluation of the tracking and monitoring system is required.
Feedback from teaching staff is also positive.
The school are now planning to carry out a comprehensive, rigorous and focused evaluation of the new approach. During February all pupils, parents and staff will be invited to participate in online surveys which will be supported by more in-depth focus groups during March. PHS200 will be invited to help with this and the results will be shared with all stakeholders.

Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce (DYW)- follow us @PHS_DYW

DYW Partnerships/ Developing Scotland’s Future Entrepreneurs

Peebles High School & The Entrepreneur Foundation

This year Peebles High School entered into a new and exciting partnership with the Entrepreneur Foundation (TEF). TEF brings local business and schools together to inspire Scotland’s next generation of wealth creators by proving them with real opportunities to create and deliver innovative new products and services. In this pilot year we are delighted to be able to say that five pupil groups have been linked with Peebles Hydro, the Peel Café, the Park Hotel, Findra Clothing and Stobo Castle to help create, refine and market a new product or service.
With the support of a business coach the pupils identify opportunities for growth within their linked business who have then committed to implementing the collective decision of the group. The initial ideation session for three of the five partnerships took place earlier this month (December) at Peebles Hydro where pupils from S1-S6 developed their employability and entrepreneurial skills assisted by our partner s at TEF. The pupils will come together a further two times to test the product and design a marketing campaign. Finally the Business will take the product to market hopefully achieving success with every pound profit raised fund matched by the Scottish Government and 25% of all profits going back into the school.
Kevin McCall from SBC came to the last Parents Council meeting and gave a very informative talk about DWF which you can read about this and the careers night in the minutes. http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/pc-minutes
The Developing Young Workforce programme is a big priority this year and 10 staff are already working with DYW in the school. To help support integrating career development into the curriculum, each department has identified an employer/college or university they can partner with to support them develop this within their faculty. The school has reinstated the workplace experience programme for 3rd year students.
There are now 42 employers interested in working with the school, many of these partners are volunteers from the career night or are local employers. We would like more support please from parents to come forward or encourage more employers to work with the school.
Later this year, Borders College is coming to support guidance teachers on giving information on the courses that they offer and how to get even more from UCAS. Next year parents/carers could possibly notice students discussing at home about how subject lessons relate to the world of work.
Students will learn in English how to write a CV and they will experience having an interview at school by an employer. How students are progressing through this DYW programme will be tracked and monitored

Personal Support

A staff survey has been completed and plans are in place to survey pupils and parents in the Spring.
Poverty Proofing the School

  • A letter was circulated to all parents and carers setting out details about free school meals and clothing grants – please get in touch if you don’t remember seeing this.
  • The uniform swop shop is up and running
  • The school has a commitment from all faculties to use their funding to bring down costs for all students and then think about how to better target those who need further support.
  • Plans are being developed for a reading/free printing/stationery facility in the school.
  • Plans are being developed to make PHS a cash-free school which would make the cost of being a PHS student more transparent and also more confidential
  • The group is also working on creating a set of criteria for financial assistance that all school trip organisers could promote with their pupils.

Show My Homework (SMHW)

The Parents’ Council encourages all parents/carers to make increased use of SMHW.
Learners were provided with their unique log-in details during assemblies last academic year. By logging-in to your child’s own SMHW page, parents/carers can immediately see what homework is assigned without the need to filter the whole school on-line calendar. You can also see if a piece of homework has been graded and, if so, can find out if it was submitted on time and the grade it achieved. The SMHW app on the mobile phone is particularly helpful.
At present, all English and Mathematics homework is posted on SMHW whilst about 60% of staff from other departments are also using SMHW. The school Middle Leadership Team has recently received enhanced training on using SMHW, including how to create on-line quizzes and spelling tests, using the gradebook facility to provide feedback and running reports to track engagement. It is hoped that we will soon see even more teachers using SMHW and in more varied ways.
If you have lost, or indeed, never received the original letter with the SMHW log-in details, a replacement can be requested via Rachel Finney in the school office. Email
rachel.finney@scotborders.gov.uk or call 01721 720 291 ext: 505

Rector’s Q & A

  1. My daughter was unable to buy a ticket for the S1 Christmas Dance. Why were there not enough tickets for everyone?
    It was unusual for tickets to run out but this year there had been unusually high demand for tickets.
  2. What is the school’s policy on wearing make-up?
    There is no specific policy at present. We are going to discuss this at the next PC meeting.

Have your say!

Please feel free to send us, as your parent representatives, any questions you would like raised with the school either at Parent Council meetings or via this Rector’s Q & A section and we will aim to get as many answers as possible to you. Contact Margaret Hogg with your questions via email phspc@outlook.com.
We also encourage you to come along to all future Parent Council meetings to have your voice heard.
Best wishes
Peebles High Parent Groups –
Parent Council, PTA, phs200, Learning Support PHS, 200 club.
(Feb 2016)


December 2016

Welcome to our December parents’ e-bulletin.

Ever wondered what is going on and what all these parent groups achieve? Want to have a chance to have YOUR views heard? Once again it’s all here in this month’s e-bulletin, read on for information on report cards, parents evenings, school funds, careers and ALL your questions answered by Mr Wilson – we hope it is useful to everyone!

Parent Group Updates

Parent Council

Minutes from last Parent Council meeting 

The next Parents Council meeting is on Tuesday 6th December in the Sports Centre at 7.00pm –
http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/parent-council

PTA

The PTA stall at the Bridge Christmas Market (Sat 19 Nov) was well supported and raised £126.30. Thank you to everyone who donated items for us to sell and to the volunteers who ran the stall on the day.
The PTA are providing refreshments and a raffle at the Christmas Concert on Wednesday 14th December. We are looking for volunteers to help set up and serve (6pm set up). Please contact peebleshighschoolpta@gmail.com if you are able to help.
The senior students have asked for help serving refreshments (6pm set up) at the School Show (Grease) on Monday 19th, Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st December. Please contact
peebleshighschoolpta@gmail.com if you are able to help.

PHS200

Thanks to phs200 and all staff and volunteers for their tremendous efforts again at the career event in November- look out for future support required for advisory boards and new careers corridor.
(see DYW for more information below).

PHS 200 Club

The objective of the 200 Club is to raise essential funds for PHS. It is a donation scheme of £2 (minimum) per month and offers the subscriber a quarterly chance of winning £100, £50 or £25 with the remainder going directly into school funds. This money is used to enhance our children’s education by providing materials, equipment, floodlights, musical instruments, funding towards S1 Residential and more. The next quarterly 200 Club draw will be made in December. For more information on the 200 Club please visit here.

LSPHS

Introducing LSPHS (Learning Support @ Peebles High School) – “Enabling every child to reach their full potential”
Coming together to fundraise for our children’s benefit We are the Learning Support @ Peebles High School (LS PHS) – a small group of parents set up in August 2015.
Our main goal is to fundraise on behalf of the Additional Needs Department, and ultimately to promote the full integration of young persons with additional needs in the High School, and in the wider community.
£4,000 raised in our 1st year In our first year, we have raised around £4,000. Recent department purchases funded by LSPHS include:

  • A big pile of LEGO – to help promote social interactions through small groups
  • A smart screen projector – for the complex needs department – essential to ensure lessons are
    fun and engaging
  • The refurbishment of the school’s memorial garden
  • Outdoor equipment to create quiet spaces

Please support our Christmas Coffee and Craft Fair morning Ex-Servicemens in Peebles on December 10th, 10-12, entrance £1, cakes and candy, craft stalls,
Music by PHS students

Progress on our Key Priorities within the School Plan

Tracking and Monitoring

Mr Noon (Depute Rector) presented to the PC on the significant progress to date on this. This included more frequent reporting, (i.e. this year students can expect 1 early “settling in report”, then a parents night followed by 2 more tracking reports ( 3 for seniors) and a new format to parents’ evenings. He also led a discussion on the type of interventions followed up by staff as a result of these reports including the role of guidance. Going forward, once most parents’ evenings have been held for this session, it is planned to survey parents, staff and students on the impact of these changes. NB: The change from a detailed report to more frequent tracking reports is intended to alert all stakeholders when a problem in learning exists so everyone is aware of issues earlier and interventions can be planned. This is an interim solution and the school will continue to work with parents on the next step which includes working on the content of learning conversations between teachers and students. Parents were keen to see what is discussed at these meetings as well as Personal Support conversations and how this can be recorded eg in a log. (Please see Parent Council Minutes for more detailed information – http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/support/pc-minutes

Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce – follow us @PHS_DYW
Firstly, thank you to over 80 volunteers who gave their time to educate and inspire approx.250 S3-S6 students at the 2016 Career Fair. Students had access to a wide range of careers including apprenticeships, college or degree options to help them in either subject choice or further and higher education.
We are also grateful to My world of Work, Borders College, Queen Margaret University, the support offered for CVs etc. by Louise Bell and Ryan MacDonald for his talk on “Portfolio Careers”. Thanks to phs200 for their efforts again to pulling this off and the dedication of Mr Fagan and all the staff at the school.
Next steps, the school is working on a Peebles DYW advisory board which will support plans for work experience, interview skills training and CV writing. Ongoing work on careers advice will continue and we can update you next time on progress. A video on the night sponsored by Holland and Sherry will give ongoing training to staff. In the meantime please follow @PHS_DYW on twitter for advice on jobs, UCAS, colleges, apprenticeships and all other useful information on life after school.
Stephen Leith, Regional DYWF Officer, is coming to give a presentation at the next PC meeting Please reply to phspc@outlook.com if you are not sure how to use twitter and we can support you.

Personal Support

Personal Support has been operating now for a couple of months and all children should have received at least one 1:1 session with their Personal Support teacher. It is still early days but the school is currently in the process of surveying teaching staff for their feedback and the intention is to survey a subset of pupils in the spring and parents in May. The information gathered from these will
be used to inform the process going forward.

Poverty Proofing the School

The working group, headed by the PTA Chair and Depute Rector Jeremy Lee is currently focusing on gathering information on the ‘cost’ of being a student at Peebles. We are looking at charges raised by departments for materials, the cost of trips and sporting events and other calls on parents and carers for financial contribution towards materials, uniform etc. Alongside this a letter was recently sent out to parents providing more information about financial support that can be claimed and how to go about doing this.

Scottish Government’s Governance Review

The Scottish Government is currently looking at how education is run in Scotland and are asking for your feedback on this very important subject. There is a document called “Empowering teachers, parents and communities to achieve Excellence and Equity in Education – A Government Review” which includes 17 questions to answer and the Parents Council would encourage you to look at this and give your feedback on the proposals.
To give you an idea about the scale of this review, here are some quotations from the above document:
We are seeking your views on how education -from early years through to secondary school – is run including, who should take decisions in relation to the education of children and young people and how the funding of education can be made fairer. We know that teachers and practitioners need support to do their jobs and that they need opportunities for high quality professional development.
The governance review also seeks your views on how this can be improved.
We want to empower our teachers and early years workers to make the best decisions for children and young people. We believe that decisions about children’s learning and school life should be taken at school level, supported by parents and the local community.
This review is seeking your views on how education – from early years to secondary schools – is run to ensure that it delivers excellence and equity for all children and young people.
This link http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0050/00505633.pdf will give you the information on the proposals and how to respond. You can complete the questionnaire on-line and you do not need to answer every question. The deadline for responses is 6 January 2017.
Please feel free to send your responses directly to the Scottish Government. However the Parents Council will also submit a formal response and would be interested to hear your views. Please send them to phspc@outlook.com by 12th December. We shall also be discussing this at the Parents Council Meeting on 6 December.

Rector’s Q & A

The following questions were raised at the September meeting

  1. Can we review the current curriculum structure?
    A subgroup has been set up to look at the current curriculum structure and how we could make it
    more flexible within the framework set by SBC and Curriculum for Excellence.
  2. Can we improve the general conversational language of Modern Language students through
    language clubs?
    The school are currently looking at this possibility.
  3. Will the school support a Young Engineers Club?
    At present there isn’t a Young Engineers Club at the school. At the September Parent Council
    meeting all agreed the new Socialize Technology Club, which takes place fortnightly at West Linton
    Primary School, on Friday evenings, could work as an ‘outpost’ of the Peebles High School Young
    Engineers club.
    The First Lego League club has eight pupils who are entered into the competition which takes place
    on Saturday 3rd December at Murray House, University of Edinburgh. Once the competition is over
    the group will cease to function until next August, when next season’s competition is announced.
  4. Can we reduce queues for ordering Grab and Go and for school dinners?
    We are currently looking at ways in which we could improve pre-ordering of Grab and Go and also
    the possibility of obtaining an additional ordering machine.
  5. Can we improve facilities provided for non-contact periods?
    Students can currently make use of CDT1, LRC (when available) and the Dining Hall. The Assembly
    Hall will be available for senior students around exam time and S6 students have access to tutor
    rooms throughout the school. We will continue to monitor the situation.
  6. Can the school explain how prefects are selected?
    The process this year was fairly complex and involved a combination of number of votes by students
    and staff along with the record of duties completed. There were also 9 faculty prefects, with one
    prefect selected by each faculty based on their dedication to the subject and support of others in
    that subject. A good record of general behaviour and positive attitude was also a requirement. The
    process will be reviewed and communicated to students in advance of next year’s selection.
  7. What is the school uniform policy?
    You should recently have received a letter from the school on this subject. The school uniform
    policy can be accessed here http://www.peebleshighschool.co.uk/handbook/policies
  8. What is the school policy on homework/assignments during holidays?
    In general, the policy is – for S1-S3, no homework should be set over holidays, for S4-S6 – homework
    can be set over holidays but with some extra days either side of the holiday to allow some flexibility.
    The topic of homework will be on the agenda for our next PC meeting on 6 December.
  9. What is the school’s Reward and Recognition Policy?
    This is something that is being looked at within the whole Tracking and Monitoring topic.
  10. Can we improve the use of Show My Homework?
    Hopefully, Yes! We will be discussing this at the next Parents Council meeting on 6 December.

Have your say!

Please feel free to send us, as your parent representatives, any questions you would like raised with the school either at Parent Council meetings or via this Rector’s Q & A section and we will aim to get as many answers as possible to you. Contact Margaret Hogg with your questions via email phspc@outlook.com.
We also encourage you to come along to all future Parent Council meetings to have your voice heard.
Best wishes
Peebles High Parent Groups –
Parent Council, PTA, phs200, Learning Support PHS, 200 club.
(Dec 2016)


November 2016

Introduction

Today we are sending you some exciting news!
Based on parental feedback, we know that many of you feel that you would like to know more about what is happening in school but at the same time don’t want to be overloaded with emails.
So we are hoping to create a new Communication Hub for parents on the website to support easy access to information but, in addition to this, we want to create a pilot regular e-bulletin telling you what has been discussed at Parent Council and all the other parent groups, with the opportunity for regular two way communication as a result.
We hope also to provide you with a bit more insight into what the priorities for the parent groups are, in partnership with the school, and provide you with ad hoc information on recent changes in the school on anything from the curriculum to school dinners.
The format of the e-bulletin will be something like this:

Parent Group Updates

This will include links to meeting agendas, minutes of parent council meetings and any future activities of any parent group that you can be involved in.
You can access the minutes from the last Parent Council meeting here.
The next Parents Council meeting is on 7 November and the agenda can be found here.
The PTA have a stall at the Bridge Christmas Market on Saturday 19th November 2016 10am – 3.30pm at the Burgh Hall. The market has teas, coffees, light lunches, Christmas cards, presents and home baking and it would be wonderful if we could use the event to both raise funds and our profile. Please contact  peebleshighschoolpta@gmail.com if you are able to donate items for us to sell (homebaking/crafts) and/or volunteer to help man the stall on the day.
Career Event 2016 Tuesday 8th November 6.15-9pm -Vital to Students long term success! Calling all parents and students S3-S6, career advice on everything from personal statements to apprenticeships, CVs, work experience to employability skills advice etc. Over 80 people, including universities and colleges, will be there to talk to students. Parents/carers please come along no matter what stage your child is at – your support will ensure they get the best from the evening.
The September winners for the 200 Club draw are:

  • First prize £100 Alison Smith
  • Second prize £50 Gerda Stevenson
  • Third prize £25 Kerry Docherty

For more information on the 200 Club please visit here.

Progress on our Key Priorities within the School Plan

You may be aware that annually the school writes a plan called the School Improvement Plan (or S.I.P.) which states the school’s priorities for the year.
The parent groups have met with the Rector Campbell Wilson and looked at this plan and, as a result, have decided where we can best support the school, in partnership, to deliver these objectives. The following areas have been highlighted and we are already working together with the school on these priorities:

Tracking and Monitoring

We have a parent /staff working group alongside Deputes Paul Fagan and Justine Noon to deliver more accurate, useful and timely information on student performance. You will already have seen some changes to reporting and parents evenings as a result.
Justin Noon will be providing a presentation on this subject at the next Parent Council meeting on 7th November.

Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce

This is aiming to ensure all students achieve a positive destination on leaving school and this year phs200 are supporting the organisation and running of the Career Event for the 4th time on 8th November. This is in conjunction with Depute Paul Fagan who is leading on this whole area.

Personal Support

You should have recently received a letter regarding Personal Support which is a new Scottish Government requirement giving students access to an academic mentor. Donna Moretta is the depute leading on this alongside the chair of the Parent Council. The school and Parent Council will be evaluating the progress of Personal Support throughout the year and communicating on this to parents.

Poverty Proofing the School

This area looks at how we can provide the best education to all our students regardless of family income. No student should be disadvantaged or excluded from any aspect of the school due to lack of money. A working group headed by the PTA Chair and Depute Rector Jeremy Lee is looking at how we can meet this challenge.
There is of course a never ending need to support the school with finances. We will update you on how we are doing with fundraising, and we will cheer someone up with the 200 club lotter winners’ announcement!
We will also let you know how you can help us to raise more funds for the school.

Rector’s Q & A

This new area will include answers to questions raised at Parent Council Meetings.
The following questions were raised at the last meeting and we will give you an update on the answers in our next bulletin.

  • Can we review the current curriculum structure?
  • Can we improve the general conversational language of Modern Language students?
  • Will the school support a Young Engineers Club?
  • Can we reduce the queues for ordering Grab and Go and for school dinners?
  • Can we improve the facilities provided for non-contact periods?
  • Can the school explain how prefects are selected?
  • What is the school uniform policy?
  • What is the school policy on homework/assignments during holidays?
  • What is the school’s Reward and Recognition Policy?
  • Can we improve the use of Show My Homework?

We shall also give replies to questions fed in via our new section called:

Have your say!

Please feel free to send us, as your parent representatives, any questions you would like raised with the school either at Parent Council meetings or via this Rector’s Q & A section and we will aim to get as many answers as possible to you.
We also encourage you to come along to all future Parent Council meetings to have your voice heard?
You will see an email address posted here so you can write directly to us with your questions.
We hope you will find this very useful and we will, in the future, look to get your feedback on how we can improve things.
Best wishes
Peebles High Parent Groups –
Parent Council, PTA, phs200, Learning Support PHS, 200 club.
(Nov 2016)


S1 Hockey essential info

photo-hockey-jump

This is a note to help support you if you have a daughter who has signed up to S1 hockey and help you to understand how it all works.

Training and Match availability

Training for S1 students is every Tuesday and Thursday lunchtime. Girls should come immediately after the end of their previous lesson to the sports hall.

On TUESDAYS girls should advise their hockey coach of their availability to play on the Saturday of that week. (Please could you advise your child in advance if that suits your diary too!!?) Occasionally a game may be played on a Friday afternoon if the visiting team require us to do so, girls will be notified usually on a Wednesday or Thursday if that should happen.

A team selection is usually announced on Wednesdays and is posted on the Hockey Noticeboard in the PE department. Girls should pop down and have a look.

Away matches are constrained by the cost of buses and a reduced selection is made but that is not based on ability but rather we will try as best we can to rotate girls around so everyone had an opportunity to play, naturally the more they are available the more likely they will get a chance to play.

Home matches, on the other hand, we do try to play everyone over the course of the game but obviously it means a reduced time on the pitch- but all great hockey training experience.

On Away Matches students normally meet the bus at Peebles Post Office on the High Street on a Saturday morning (usually around 8 am but your daughter should let you know -please advise them to use their homework diary or keep a note on their phone if they have one)

Girls are expected to come on the bus wearing school uniform (except on rare occasions when there are no changing facilities where we are playing)

They can bring their own stick if they choose but if they don’t have one it is the girls’ responsibility to collect one from the PE department on a Friday as we don’t carry spares and also of course they should bring their regular PE kit. Goalies must collect and return their kit for the away games too. Please bring a drink and snack too.

They are expected to represent their school with the highest possible behaviour and we have been fortunate that this is nearly always the case. Normal disciplinary rules do however apply.

Strips and Equipment

In first year we do not expect parents and carers to fully equip students but we would like the following after the October break if at all possible:

  1. Compulsory Mouth guard (£4 from school) or supply your own
  2. Compulsory Shin guards (please supply)
  3. Peebles School Hockey Hoodie (preferred please and available from Brown and Out)
  4. Compulsory Peebles High School Hockey Socks (Again from Brown and Out).
  5. PE top and shorts
  6. Trainers.

Please make sure your daughter is likely to continue with hockey before you invest in this!

Fixtures

please, see the school calendar for fixtures or if you received the recent letter from Mrs Williams you will have a hard copy too.

In inclement weather we aim to communicate via radio, and other forms or media to let you know as soon as possible if the match is cancelled – sometimes we can’t predict things and occasionally there will be a last minute call off – fingers crossed not too often.

In order to fund the hockey team, we ask girls to become members of the hockey club and it is this annual subscription that will ensure that we can play all year. A letter will be handed to girls soon to bring home for you to complete and return.

We hope the girls will experience the pleasure of playing a team sport, meet new friends, get fit and most of all have fun!!


If you would like to be kept up to date on a regular basis about hockey ( and if you are a parent or carer)- please send your details as follows by cutting and pasting the reply below and return to the school email address: peebleshs@scotborders.gov.uk.

To: Mrs Dewar PE department

Please include me in regular bulletins about S1 hockey-

Child’s name:
Your Name:
Email address:

Best wishes

Mrs Denise Dewar
1st year hockey coach.


Duke of Edinburgh 2015-16

Duke of Edinburgh 2015-16
This year there will be a lunchtime drop in session every Wednesday in M25 with Miss Marsden, this is to afford pupils the opportunity to take ownership of their DofE award. We ask that pupils use only this time to discuss DofE matters. Drop in sessions can be used to collect letters and forms, ask questions about eDofE and how to complete the sections, talk about activities that can be done to complete each section and organise groups and dates for expeditions. A key focus for DofE is that participants are proactive and responsible for their own progress. As a school we are here to support and facilitate this, we will take questions and queries from students, we request parents support this


Sunshine on Leith Auditions

auditions

S1 to S2:  Monday 8th June in MR3 at 1.20pm.

S3 to S4: Wednesday 10th June in MR3 at 1.20pm

S5 to S6:  Thursday 11th June in MR3 at 1.20pm.

Acting: Please perform a prepared audition piece of your choice (length one minute) OR collect an audition piece for two characters that you can prepare, from Mrs McAllister.

Singing: You can sing  “Sunshine on Leith”— see the link below, first 2 verses and chorus (takes it up to the violin solo)  OR any song of your own choice.  Mrs. Reed will accompany you on the piano and if you want a run-through beforehand you can go along and see Mrs. Reed.

The song is easily found on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmELS03_4So

CAST WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON WEDNESDAY 24TH JUNE

IN DRAMA STUDIO 1 AT 1.30PM

 

 

Technical and Backstage Crew

I will call a Technical and Backstage Crew meeting after the summer holidays.

 

A high level of commitment is required for the school show to be successful so please take note of rehearsal commitments and the dates of performance. Rehearsals will be during lunchtimes and after school. Rehearsal dates to follow once the show has been cast.

 

Please speak to Mrs McAllister if you wish further information.


Starting the new session on a high

We are all very much looking forward to the start of the new term and welcoming our new first years for their first official day at Peebles High School. We have been working incredibly hard over the last few years to ensure that we implement the huge changes in Scottish education successfully and we are now beginning to see the positive results of these changes for all learners. With only a few of the New Highers and New Advanced Highers left to introduce, we are confident that the new curriculum is delivering better results for our young people. This is not only evident in our record breaking examination results but also in the flexibility and innovation of the curriculum for learners at all levels. As we move into an era of stability in the structure of our curriculum, this stability affords us time for pursuing more ambitious outcomes for our young people. This opportunity is very exciting.

We are thrilled with the examination results attained by our young people this August. We are becoming used to setting new records each year but this year we have surpassed our high expectations. I take this opportunity to pass on my sincere congratulations to our young people, parents and staff for their formidable efforts. There is never any substitute for hard work and it is something I am privileged to witness every day at Peebles High School.
See some of our students who were brave enough to open their results in front of the TV cameras:
http://www.itv.com/news/border/update/2015-08-04/borders-pupils-get-best-ever-higher-results/
Every year group surpassed the last this year and our results put us comfortably amongst the top schools…