1. I’d like to begin by wishing all a very happy and successful 2018.
2. Welcome to Ms S Sawers (English), Ms J Barrett (English) and Mr S Savill (Support for Learning) who joined us this week Prelim exams for S4, 5 and 6 begin on Monday 15 January. Best wishes to all involved.
3. The next JGHS Parent Council meeting will be on Tuesday 23 January @ 7pm in the library. Christopher Ross, Catering Operations Manager with the City of Edinburgh Council, will be at the meeting to talk about the proposed pilot introduction of biometrics, an electronic fingerprint system, for payment of school lunches. Also on the agenda will be rising school rolls and wifi provision for pupils. All are welcome.
4. Well done to both Iona Weir (S5) and Hannah Lamond (S5) who, from a large number of entries from across the whole of Scotland, have been long-listed (a list of only 20) for the Scottish Schools’ Young Writer of the Year 2017. The final results will be announced on the 29 of January, but to get to this stage is a great achievement in itself. We are the only Scottish School to have more than one finalist and so pleased about that in the year we celebrate the 100 anniversary of former pupil Dame Muriel Spark.
5. Well done to Julia Folan (S6) who has reached the final of the UK Schools Mandarin speaking competition which will be held in London on 7 February.
6. Bicycle security update and plan for next week:
- On Tuesday 16 January 2018, weather permitting, we will have a bike breakfast to encourage pupils and staff to cycle to school.
- On this morning we will offer complimentary marking (thanks to local police input) of bicycles to all pupils and staff. We have chosen early January to ensure that those receiving bikes as presents over the Christmas period are reassured and encouraged.
- We will issue details for a website provided to us by the Police where cycle owners can register their bike. Should the bike be stolen, this will make it much more difficult to resell the bike and will enable Police to more easily return recovered bikes to their owners.
- We will have staff from a cycling organisation in attendance to show cyclists how best to secure unattended bikes.
- We will offer advice on the most secure bike locks and offer a discounted price on a ‘best lock’ to cyclists in attendance.
- Pupils in receipt of free school meals will receive a bike lock for free.
7. Thanks to all who have supported this year’s South Africa fundraising efforts. Please do come along and support the next evening fundraiser on Friday 26 February. https://www.evite.com/event/0382AXYSPWKX4MTRQEPH64GEGF6INA/rsvp?utm_campaign=send_sharable_link&utm_medium=sharable_invite&utm_source=www.facebook.com
8. Information about this year’s South Africa project (involving 50 pupils and staff) and due to depart on Tuesday 6 February can be accessed at: http://jamesgillespies.co.uk/south-africa-project/. This section of our school website has the documents and presentation shared with parents and pupils at last night’s South Africa information meeting.
9. We have parents’ nights for S2 pupils on Tuesday 16 and Thursday 17 January.
10. A safe journey home to the party of 75 pupils and staff who return home tomorrow after a week’s skiing in Alpe D’Huez in the French Alps.
I wish all a wonderful weekend.
Donald j Macdonald