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August Update Welcome back to Balwearie

I want to welcome everyone back to Balwearie after a well deserved summer break. It has been great to see everyone back in the building and so enthusiastic about their return to school. The last session was challenging for both learners and teaching staff. I am hoping this session will bring fewer challenges.

As part of our on-going work to improve communication and share the work of the school with our community, we have introduced a new monthly update that you will receive towards the end of each school month. In each update we will look at key events for the coming month, reports of the exciting events happening daily across Balwearie and introduce our school staff. This month we will introduce our teachers who are new to Balwearie, our Senior Leadership Team and the Pastoral Support Team. We will also be trying to de-mystify some of the processes we carry out as a school.

I hope you enjoy finding out about all the work going on in Balwearie and I encourage you all to follow us on our social media channels, website and app to keep up to date with all the day to day goings on.

Mr McNeil - Headteacher

Update

The Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) have recently announced the following.

"SQA has set out the key detail on plans for assessment of National Qualifications in 2021-22. This follows confirmation from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills that exams will be held for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses.

The Cabinet Secretary has informed parliament that, the assumption is that an examination diet for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses will be held in session 2021-2022. This decision has been informed by the views of stakeholders, including the National Qualifications Group, and by public health advice.

SQA exams will take place from 26 April to 1 June 2022 with results day on 9 August 2022. While detailed planning for delivering exams is now underway, it is also important that SQA, along with the whole education system, plans for any further disruption that may happen due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are continuing to discuss with the National Qualifications Group any additional measures that will help the education system respond to further significant disruption to learning or changes to public health conditions."

Learning whilst isolating

As you will be aware we are again seeing some of our learners isolating due to COVID. Where this is that case, learning experiences and resources will be available using our digital platforms (Microsoft Teams/Website etc.). Teachers will make learners aware of the appropriate format.

What's been happening at Balwearie?

As well as the usual learning and teaching that takes place daily, there are lots of other opportunities and activities going on.

The school is happy to be able to offer a Breakfast club to pupils which offers sit in and take away services, you can access this from the Pupil Support classroom J413 every Morning to Friday from 8.40 onwards. Breakfast is free.

Mr Greig (Pupil Support Officer) & Mrs Wright (Pupil Support Assistant) running our breakfast club within the Pupil Support department

Our school uniform shop has proved very popular this term already and we are pleased to be able to offer free uniform for our families in financial difficulty .

Some B.R.A.G. Balwearie Raising Attainment Groups have restarted, all following COVID restriction guidelines. These include RUTS Moto Learn, a course with a focus on motorbikes for our S4 pupils. We welcome back SRUC Elmwood to campus this week delivering Introduction to Horticulture and a new project linking with our Primary and Nursery schools to deliver Horticulture with a childcare element .

Our S1 pupils have enjoyed a wee gift of a welcome pen and pencil

Extra-curricular

Liz Anderson (Active Schools Coordinator) has been working with the Physical Education Department and other teacher volunteers to setup some extra-curricular clubs.

Liz has also produced a short video with some more information about our young Active Schools ambassadors who will support these clubs.

Below are the initial extra-curricular options with more to follow. Watch out for updates in the next week.

  • Monday - S1-S6 Badminton 3.45pm - 4.45pm
  • Tuesday - S1-3 Netball 3.45pm - 4.45pm
  • Wednesday - S1-6 Table Tennis 1.30pm - 2.00pm
  • Wednesday - S1-6 Chess 1.30pm - 2.00pm
  • Wednesday - S4-6 Netball 3.45pm - 4.45pm
  • Thursday - S1 Multi-sports 8.00am - 8.45am
  • Friday - S2 Football 12.40pm - 1.40pm
  • Friday - S1-6 Girls Football 12.40pm - 1.40pm

The sign-up link for these clubs and to register an interest in others is: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=L6Vp-cBC8UCYutrtbEMIfD9XDIrc5RdGpUqM9Jig6nBUNFI3UEs4WFRXWUFORUZFTVVTWkpPUjIxTS4u

There is also a registration of interest link for dance where we will go with the most popular nights: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=L6Vp-cBC8UCYutrtbEMIfD9XDIrc5RdGpUqM9Jig6nBUMU42MUJYSk84VDhWQ0xTSTFXWTU3NFpFWi4u

Important dates for the diary

Restrictions allowing, we have the following important dates for the coming term. The full year calendar will also be shared in an email to all parents and carers

  • 17/09/21 - S4 Learners will receive their first report for the session
  • 06/10/21 - Parent Voice AGM & Meeting - Remotely via Microsoft Teams @ 7pm
  • 08/10/21 - S1 Learners will receive their first report for the session

New staff

We are fortunate to welcome nine new members of teaching staff to Balwearie for this new session

Our new teachers (Left to right);

  • Mrs Kindred in the Design & Technology department
  • Miss Foster in the Physical Education department
  • Miss Paul in the Home Economics department
  • Mr Stewart in the History department
  • Miss Ingram in the Geography department
  • Miss Greig in the English department
  • Miss Thomson in the Business Education department
  • Mr Jaf in the Chemistry department
  • Miss Gray in the Drama department

Introducing some key people at Balwearie

Mr McNeil

Headteacher

Miss MacLaren

S1 Depute Headteacher

Mrs Brawley

S2 Depute Headteacher

Mr McGuckin

S3 Depute Headteacher

Mr Robertson

S4 Depute Headteacher

Mr Booth

S5&6 Depute Headteacher

Mr Trowell

Business Manager

Our Pastoral Support Team

At Balwearie we have four guidance houses, each with two Principal Teachers who are the main pastoral links for learners. You can find out which house your learner is in by checking their form class code.

  • G = Grange
  • K = Kilrie
  • P = Piteadie
  • T = Tyrie

Some learners may also link to the Pupil Support department for more a more targeted level of support.

In September we say goodbye to Mrs Watt who leaves us to continue her training as a psychologist. Mrs Crawford joins us as her replacement. We wish Mrs Watt all the best and extend a warm Balwearie welcome to Mrs Crawford.

Grange House - Mrs Logan (PT Guidance), Mrs Watt (PT Guidance) & Mrs Crawford (joining us in September)
Kilrie House - Mrs Low (PT Guidance) & Miss Charnley (PT Guidance)
Piteadie House - Mrs Mitchell (PT Guidance) & Mrs Ferguson (PT Guidance & Pupil Support Link)
Tyrie House - Miss Currie (PT Guidance & Pupil Support Link) & Mrs Mearns (PT Guidance)
Mrs Robertson (PT Pupil Support) & Mr Clunie (PT Pupil Support)
Mrs Johnstone (Support Services Co-ordinator) & Mrs Baillie (Pastoral Support Admin)
Pupil Support Assistants (L - R: Mrs Wright, Mrs Halliday, Mrs Anderson, Mrs Killin, Mrs McLeod, Mrs Bryan & Mrs MacGregor)
Mr McLeod (Pupil Support Officer) & Mr Greig (Pupil Support Officer - Pupil Support)

How to contact the school for any questions or concerns

Absences

  • Email - balweariehs.absence@fife.gov.uk
  • App - Register absence using the function within the Balwearie app
  • Call - 01592 583402 press option 1
  • Parentsportal - launching soon, information to follow.

General Enquiries

  • Email - balweariehs.enquiries@fife.gov.uk
  • Call - 01592 583402 press option 3

Queries Specific to Individual Learners

  • Email - balweariehs.enquiries@fife.gov.uk
  • Call - 01592 583402 press option 2

Your query/question will then be directed to the appropriate person in school who will action or respond as required.

Where you can find us

Coming next month

In next months update;

  • Share our School Improvement Plan for the session
  • School Improvement Plan guide for parents (a short information video explaining the purpose of School Improvement Planning and what it means for learners and parents)
  • Introduce you to the Maths department
  • Updates on what has been happening across the school during September

Credits:

Created with an image by geralt - "important polaroid imprint"