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February 2012 - This new section of our website is where we will post letters home to parents/carers.

New Timetable

Dear Parent/Carer

New Timetable

As you may be aware, we start our new timetable on Monday 2nd June 2014. At this time we will be moving to a new 40 period week. Start and finish times of the school day will remain the same and there will be no alteration to transport arrangements.

Period Times will be as follows:

Registration: 9.00-9.15
Period 1: 9.15-9.55
Period 2: 9.55-10.35
Interval: 10.35-10.50
Period 3: 10.50-11.30
Period 4: 11.30-12.09
Period 5: 12.09-12.48
Lunch: 12.48-1.28
Period 6: 1.28-2.07
Period 7: 2.07-2.46
Period 8: 2.46-3.25

These times will avoid the need to have one period shorter than the others.

Other changes taking place at the start of the new timetable include:

PSE – this will now be known as Health & Well-being and will usually be delivered by your child’s Pupil Support Teacher.

Interdisciplinary Learning – A slot has been made available in S1 & S2 to allow pupils to do work which is not specific to one subject area. This will include study & research skills as well as the opportunity to take part in non subject specific projects.

In S3 one period per week will allocated to ensuring that pupils receive their entitlement within Curriculum for Excellence in covering as wide a range of curricular areas as possible.

HMIe – Inspection

The HMI report is available on-line, both at the Education Scotland Web-site and our own Web-site – http://www.stranraeracademy.org.uk.

We are currently working with staff from both Dumfries & Galloway Council and HMI to produce an improvement plan to meet the recommendations in the Inspection Report. This will be made available, via our web-site, before the end of term.

Parent Council

A reminder that the next meeting takes place in the Conference Room on Thursday 12th June at 7pm. All parents and carers are welcome to attend.

Yours faithfully,

Norman R. Dawson
Headteacher

S3 Parents’ Night

Dear Parents/Carers

S3 Parents’ Night – Thursday 22 May 2014

This year’s S3 Parents’ Night will take place next Thursday, 22nd May.

This is an opportunity to speak to your child’s subjects teachers to get an update on progress and to discuss any issues.

The enclosed appointment sheet will be used by your son or daughter to make appointments with teachers.

A good working partnership between parents and teachers is a vital ingredient for pupils’ achievement. Parents’ Night is an excellent opportunity to develop this partnership. I very much hope you are able to attend.

Yours sincerely

Mr M Warren
Depute Head Teacher

Easter School

Dear Parent/Carer,

Please find enclosed a copy of the timetable for Easter school. As you can see this covers a range of subjects at every level. It is open to all pupils in S4, 5 and 6 over all 3 days. We have organised Easter school for a number of years and the feedback has always been very positive. Easter school is part of our drive to raise attainment. Teachers will be signing pupils up for their classes so that we have an idea of the numbers of pupils planning to be in each session. Please encourage your son/daughter/ward to sign up for classes with individual teachers. If a subject teacher is not offering classes pupils can sign up to other classes in the same subject. Pupils attending Easter school should be aware of the following:-

Easter school runs on Monday 7th, Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th April.

Each day is split into 3 sessions – 9.15 am to 11.00 am, 11.30 am to 1.00 pm and 1.45 pm to 3.30 pm. Interval will be 11.00 am to 11.30 am with lunch between 1.00 pm and 1.45 pm.

Tea/coffee/juice and snacks will be available in the canteen at morning interval. Coffee, tea and juice will be available at lunchtime – cost £1 per day.

Pupils will be expected to stay in subjects for complete sessions (they don’t have to stay for the whole day in one subject but have to commit to a full session).

Pupils do not need to wear school dress but should wear appropriate clothes for study.

The library will be available for quiet study although some sessions are timetabled in the library computer areas.

Pupils must sign in and out of school at the main entrance for Health and Safety reasons.

Also enclosed is a copy of our study support sessions currently running at school. Please encourage your son/daughter/ward to attend as many sessions as possible. If you have any questions about this letter please contact me at the school.
All this information is also available on our website.

Yours sincerely

Andy Law
Depute Head Teacher

S2 Curriculum Based Assessment

Dear Parent/Carer

S2 CURRICULUM BASED ASSESSMENT

Education Services are committed to raising the attainment of pupils in our schools in order to improve life chances for all our young people. As part of this ongoing process, all second year pupils in secondary schools throughout Dumfries and Galloway will, between Tuesday April 22th and Friday May 16th 2013, take part in an assessment called the Scottish On-Screen Curriculum Assessment (SOSCA). SOSCA considers pupils’ abilities in reading, maths and science; each part of the assessment taking a maximum of 45 minutes. The assessments are designed by the University of Durham, and are used by many authorities in Scotland and across the world. Pupils cannot and should not “study” for these tests as their purpose is to provide additional information to support the core task of learning and teaching in our schools.

SOSCA results are produced in a form that, along with other sources of information, allows schools to identify pupils’ strengths and also areas of learning where additional support might be required. The data obtained can also contribute to the pupil target setting and tracking process.

Parents can have access to the outcomes of the assessment in summary form on request to the school but again I would stress that the information provided is primarily for learning and teaching purposes and must not be viewed in isolation. The assessments themselves are undertaken on-line and are adaptive, meaning that the computer programme adjusts the level of difficulty to each child’s needs. Experience has shown that most pupils find these tests are “fun to do” as they are on the computer and are fast paced and interesting.

Yours sincerely

Claire Dougan
PT Pupil Support

Study Leave

Dear Parent/Carer

SQA Exams 2014 – Arrangements for Study Leave

The study leave periods for all S4/5/6 students this year will be from Tuesday 6th May to Friday 30th May inclusive. For those returning to school, the new timetable will start on Monday 2nd June.

There are a number of exams on dates outwith this period. Students sitting these exams may also take study leave on the school day immediately before the exam, and the remainder of the day of the exam.

During study leave, students are not required to be in school on days when they do not have an exam, but they may choose to study in school. A supervised study area will be available in school, which will be for quiet private study only. The school canteen will also be available as a quiet social area. Students who have questions for a subject teacher are advised to make an appointment to see them at a mutually convenient time.

All students are expected to wear school uniform at all times when they are in school, whether for an exam or to study.

Please note that students who are not complying with these arrangements, e.g. not wearing uniform, or who disturb others in the study area or canteen, or are found in other areas of the school without permission, will be asked to leave the school campus.

Whether they prefer to study at school or at home, we hope that these arrangements will provide every opportunity for students to use the time purposefully.

For further information about the SQA exams, please see the school website: http://www.stranraeracademy.org.uk

Yours sincerely

Mr M Warren
Depute Head Teacher

Easter School – Exam Study During the Holidays

Dear Parent/Carer,

We recognise that this can be a stressful time for pupils in the build- up to the exams and we are offering a range of support to youngsters to help. Attached with this letter is a list of study support sessions currently running in the school as you can see a range of subjects is being offered at different levels. These sessions run both at lunchtime and after school. Please encourage pupils to attend.

If there is a subject that your son/daughter/ward needs support with but it is not listed please contact me at the school and I will try to help.

Also attached with this letter is a draft timetable of our Easter school for this year. Easter school has been very popular with S4 to S6 over the years and has been very well attended. All our evaluations would suggest that it is a great help with exam preparation. All S4 and all senior pupils are welcome to attend and I will shortly be giving out more details. Again please encourage your son/daughter/ward to attend.

All the attached information is now on our website.

We also offer a number of S4 pupils a teacher mentor who will work closely with pupils, often on a one to one basis over the coming weeks. This can often be of help in keeping focus and reducing levels of stress. If you would like more information about mentoring please contact Mrs Dougan at the school.

Finally if you are concerned about anything at this time or would like to discuss anything to do with exams please contact the school office and they will put you in touch with the appropriate pupil support teacher who will be more than willing to help:

Dunskey: Mr D Hyslop and Ms A Irvine
Glenapp: Mrs C Dougan and Ms R McCulloch
Inch: Mrs J Whalen
Logan: Miss P Livingstone

Yours sincerely

A Law
Depute Head Teacher

S5/6 Options

Dear Parent / Carer

Following the recent prelim examinations it is now time for all pupils in S4/5 to choose the subjects that they would like to study in S5/6, should they wish to stay on at school.

Pupils must choose their subjects and submit their choices by Friday 21st March 2014.

All pupils must study five subjects in S5; in S6 a study, work experience or personal development option may be available by negotiation. Although there remains a free choice, we recommend that all pupils choose ‘progression’ from the subjects studied in S4/5. The decision to ‘pick up’ or ‘crash’ a subject should not be taken lightly and discussion must take place with the Faculty Head and PT Support before the decision is finalised.

When choosing the subjects please list them in order of priority. Due to constraints on the timetable such as staff numbers, room availability, class size etc. it may not be possible to meet all combinations of subjects. We therefore ask you to choose an additional alternative; every attempt will be made to satisfy the first choices, or the alternative choice if required. If these are not possible discussion will take place with the pupil and the PT Support or Depute Head Teacher.

The level of study should be indicated on the form and this will be checked with the recommendation from the subject teacher/ Faculty Head tracking reports; the level of performance in S4/5 will also be taken into account.

The S5/6 Option Booklet gives information about the expectations for pupils entering S5/6 as well as the subjects on offer and the levels that are available.

Notes for Subject Choice

• This form should be studied in conjunction with the S5/S6 Option Booklet. Advice will be given by the PT Support and the appropriate Faculty Head on the choice of suitable courses, in terms of appropriate levels of study, progression from S4/5 courses and entrance requirements for further education. All pupils should aim to choose a balanced course of study, bearing in mind the entry requirements of possible further education courses or future careers.

• All courses are subject to the availability of staff and accommodation. Classes which do not have a viable number of pupils will not be able to run; some Advanced Higher courses may only operate on a reduced time allocation basis. In the case of courses being oversubscribed, certain criteria will be used to select the pupils who would most benefit from the study of the subject at the level indicated e.g. examination attainment, previous work commitment , projected grade advice etc.

• Please note that the teaching sets in June may be changed in August due to examination results. The priority is to accommodate all pupils in their chosen courses. Pupils are encouraged to aim high and are encourage to undertake work at the ‘upper level’, in June, on the basis of a positive set of examination results.

• The S5/S6 Option Booklet gives the recommended entry for all subjects at each level. To gain access to a subject, pupils must have attained the appropriate entry requirements for the subject. It is possible to take up some completely new subjects in S6. Entry to these will be individually negotiated with the subject teacher/Faculty Head concerned and PT Support

• Advanced Higher courses are available to Sixth Year pupils who achieve a pass (A or B recommended) in the Higher examination in the subject concerned. Some may be available through video conferencing.

• All pupils will be expected to be accountable for all of their time in school. Pupils will be encouraged to broaden their personal development by taking advantage of the opportunities such as work experience or personal development.

G Benson
(DHT)

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