Dear Parent/Carer and Friends of JGS by Wm0bIZ


									                    JEDBURGH GRAMMAR SCHOOL

                                        DECEMBER 2011

Dear Parent/Carer, welcome to our December Newsletter

Since the time of the Autumn Newsletter the school has been very busy and purposeful. Our S4 and
S5/6 Parents Evenings were well attended and the coffers of the eco-group, the Talent Show and the
Senior Dance and Yearbook funds were boosted by the generous support of our parents and carers.
Thank you everyone who bought tickets, paper briquettes, teas or coffees or ducks!

S1 and S2 Progress Checks have been completed and our Pastoral and Pupil Support teams along with
House Heads have been rigorous in conducting “follow up” discussions with individual pupils and
communicating with parents and carers. We acknowledge that this approach of systemically carrying
out Progress Checks of all our pupils is time consuming but we place great value on this process as a
powerful strategy in keeping the individual learner’s profile in sharp focus and we appreciate the
support of parents and carers in encouraging and supporting pupils towards their learning and other
targets identified.

The November In-Service Training Days were productive and successful: staff had the opportunity on
one of the days to work on aspects of the curriculum with subject specialist colleagues from across all
9 SBC Secondary Schools. On the other INSET day, the chief focus was to work with primary
colleagues to develop our skills in the area of planning for assessment of courses of work under the
principles of the Curriculum for Excellence. At national and local level we are focussing on the
moderation of assessment and preparing for assessing our P7 and S1 transition stage through to S3
Junior and Senior Phase courses. Of particular interest are the new National 4 and 5 courses, which
will replace Standard grade courses. These will be implemented from 2013 and National 4 courses will
be internally assessed: there is clearly an imperative that we have robust assessment in place which
gives us the confidence that criteria are consistently applied across the country.

            S4 Prelim analysis                                 S5 and S6 Prelims
           We are grateful to Mr Ferguson for                 The complete schedule of exam timings
        his painstaking analysis of our S4 prelim          has been uploaded on the school website.
results. The individual pupil’s performance will      You will find this information in “Latest News”
be discussed with subject and support teachers        and the separate section “Exams”. Copies of
but, in overview, I am pleased to confirm that S4     the prelim schedule will be distributed by email
attainment levels have progressed from S3 and         and by hard copy to those pupils whose home
pupils are generally performing in line with          email addresses have not yet been provided.

         33-Period Week
        Subsequent to the October consultation phase with stakeholders on the issue of the 33 period
week it has been widely reported in the media that changes to the secondary school timetable have
been postponed until at least August 2013 to allow time for further consideration of all the options,
and to ensure that parents, pupils and staff can be properly involved in the process.
         A Reminder for Parents of SBC Advice regarding Severe Weather Situations

“It is ultimately your decision whether you believe it is safe for your children to attend school. We will
try to help as much as possible by providing relevant information.

Transport                                             Clothing and Footwear
The normal ruling is that pupils should wait for no   Please ensure that pupils are dressed appropriately
more than fifteen minutes for a bus to arrive;        for cold and wet weather.
this should not be exceeded.                          Menus
Radio Borders will broadcast information about        In emergency conditions there may be a restricted
which bus services are not running (this will         menu in schools at lunchtimes – probably soup and
include public services as well as schools)           sandwiches. In extreme circumstances you may be
Communication                                         asked to provide a packed lunch for your child if
Radio Borders (96.8 FM) provides very regular         no facilities are available to provide school
updates on schools information please do tune in.     lunches.
The schools section of the SBC website also           Volunteers
provides current information.                         Once schools are up and running it may be that
Any significant communications will be contacted      some extra help will be required to help clear
by groupcall e.g. school closures                     additional playground areas etc. and your
                                                      headteacher or Parent Council may make a plea for
                                                      volunteer helpers”.

      For access as a routine and regular source of support for learning and for use in school closure:

School closures due to extreme weather conditions have highlighted the benefits of using Glow for
accessing schoolwork at home. Pupils can access Glow via the school website and staff and pupils are
getting into the habit of using this excellent resource.
A parents’ guide to Glow has been created and can be accessed from the latest news page of the
school website

We have compiled an extensive list of useful websites as study support for all coursework and,
particularly, as a tool to support meaningful and directed learning during school closures.

Please access this powerful learning and teaching tool via our website.


In the build up to this festive season as a Head Team we have been working hard on fundraising
activities with our S6 fellows to benefit not only ourselves but also such charities as Breast Cancer
awareness for whom our recent “wear-it-pink” day raised £350. Our whole school Pupil Opportunities
Fund received contributions from our Africa Quiz night, the Talent Show and the Duck Race.

Looking forward to 2012, we have begun our plans to hold a Fête and Activities Day in June since we
felt it was such a good day last year and we managed to raise substantial funds for school use.

We hope you all have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!
                                                                      Katie Douglas and Fraser Cockburn

Mr Brian Anderson, Chairperson is always keen to encourage others to become directly involved. You
will be made very welcome. Brian can be contacted through the school, in the first instance. We are
particularly keen to recruit S1 pupil parents and carers as this group is under-represented currently.
SBC have just released their December 2011 Parent Council Newsletter. Please access the following
documents on our website: SBC Parent Council News; a copy of the Children and Young People’s
Services Plan and accompanying consultation letters and news of a carbon reduction poster
Families who do not have ICT access may request hard copies from Gillian Simmons, SBC’s Parental
Involvement and Complaints Officer on 01835 826814.
You will find our parent council meeting minutes on our website.


            Home Economics
           The normally very busy Home Economics Department gets even busier from October until
           December as we prepare for our Christmas Cake and Craft Exhibition.
   Pupils from S1 to S5 have been making a huge     S3/4 Hospitality pupils have created a variety
    variety of items for display.                     of beautiful large Christmas cakes, each
   S1 pupils have made cosy hats, Christmas          covered in royal or fondant icing with edible
    stockings and boxes of Marzipan fruits.           decorations.
   In S2 all pupils have designed, made and         The Fashion and Textile pupils have been busy
    decorated mini Christmas cakes and baubles,       producing felt purses, designer bags, textile
    and our new ‘elective’ group have also designed   bowls, creative headwear, baby kimonos and
    and produced festive wall hangers and             dolls clothes.
    individualised Gingerbread houses.

Quite an impressive collection, I’m sure you will agree!
Of course, as anyone who has been involved in organising such an event knows, it could not be done
without the help of a great many people ‘behind the scene’.
I would, therefore like to acknowledge and thank the assistance of the Janitors for preparing the Hall,
Mrs Coulson for all the festive name tags and posters, the Additional Needs assistants for their help
with laying out the Hall and the staff who volunteer to supervise on the evenings.
Lastly thank you to the public of Jedburgh who come to support the pupils who have worked so hard
and should be justifiably proud of their efforts.
                                                                                          Miss Stalker

         Music - Christmas Concert Tuesday 13 December
         Once again we had a very successful and entertaining evening with an outstanding assortment
of musical items performed so well by many of our talented pupils. On what was a wet and windy night
it was so encouraging to see the concert attended by a large number of parents and pupils.

However, the evening would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of all our
music instructors, and staff and janitors who helped enormously to make the evening a success, but
most especially a huge thanks must go to our enthusiastic and committed pupils without whom this
would not be possible. Well done all contributors!
                                                                                        Miss Montague
        The ‘Weekly Quiz’ is going from strength to strength. It is proving very popular with pupils
from all year groups encouraging them to search for information as well as bringing out their
competitive spirit. All gain house points for correct entries and a chocolate treat from Mrs Welsh.
                                                                                                Mrs Welsh

       Mr John Gray Head of SBC Cleaning Services contacted the school to see if some of the
Drama pupils could put on a play for the primary schools. Five of our pupils agreed to participate: –
Emma Mirk, Brogan Simpson, Tammie Jack, Louise Hall and Jordan Clamp.

We all met on Sunday 11 December, rewrote the script and rehearsed the play called – Whack The Flu!
The idea is to promote hygiene to try and stop spreading flu, the main message is to wash one’s hands.
There are two massive, very warm, bug costumes. They are friendly looking so that the children will
not be scared! Two of our pupils dressed in these outfits – Jordan is Streppy the Flu Bug and his
friend is Buzzy the Tummy Bug – Louise. Mrs K Hall played her guitar when the group sang the song –
Wash, Wash, Wash your hands.

The group then performed the short play to a number of SBC managers and cleaners on 14 December
at Headquarters in Newtown St Boswells. It was very well received and the audience of adults all
participated as if they were primary pupils. The comments after the performance were very positive;
many of them were very excited about the whole thing! Afterwards, the group had many photos taken
by the press and many of the audience wanted pictures with the bugs! Radio Borders also interviewed
two of our pupils – this was on the radio all afternoon as part of the news.

The pupils and Mrs Hall received gifts and cards from SBC as a token of their appreciation; the pupils
felt like celebrities. It was super fun and a very rewarding day.

The play will be rolled out, initially, to the two Jedburgh primary schools early in January.

The pupils’ message – “We would like to thank Mr Allan for allowing us to take part in such an enjoyable
event – one that we all found very rewarding and worth the hard work. We will be able to use what we
did in our forthcoming drama exams.”
                                                                                            Mrs K Hall

        Pupil Support
        The Department has been very busy as always! S1 are now settled into their routines and
timetables. The Fast Track reading group has also been successfully running for a number of weeks
and the pupils are really enjoying the experience.

The Homework Club is open to all pupils on Tuesday and Thursday lunch breaks from 1.00pm–1.30pm in
the Computer Room, Canteen Building. Currently it is only being accessed by a few pupils, so please use
this facility or you may lose it. Teachers are giving up their lunch time to support anyone wishing to do
their homework in school - an opportunity not to be missed.

The 4th year Prelims are now over and the pupils who have been supported in their exams have been
very successful. We are now planning 5th and 6th year prelims and then it will be on to 3 rd year exams
before the exams begin in May. Meetings will be held in the near future to finalise Additional
Arrangements for the summer diet. Parents will be receiving forms to sign and return acknowledging
the requests.
In “consultation with parent” activities, whenever we ask if parents would be willing to help by
volunteering to read/scribe/provide exam support for our young people we are always encouraged by
the expressions of willingness. We urgently need extra helpers for whom we would provide some basic
advice and training and process the required Disclosure Scotland checks before the SQA exams in
May. Please contact us if you think you can help. Mrs Clark, Principal Teacher of Pupil Support, will be
delighted to discuss what is involved. Thank you.
                                                                                              Mrs Clark

        Modern Languages
        It was announced by the national organisation in October 2011 that Nicole Cook had won
second prize in the Senior section of the inaugural SCILT (Scotland’s National Centre for Languages)
European Day of Languages national competition with her poster on the theme “We love languages”.
Most impressively, Nicole also won first prize in the French category of this year’s SALT (Scottish
Association for Language Teaching) national poster competition on the theme of My Hero/Heroine with
a very detailed and creative entry on JK Rowling.

Tristan Bathgate won third prize in the same category with his entry of his own invention, “La Poire”.
(Announced at the SALT Conference on 5 November 2011)

JGS was the only Borders School to get a mention in the SALT competition and we undoubtedly have
the best record in the country in this national competition for this century having won or been placed
in every year that we have entered.
                                                                                                Mr Duff

        Modern Studies and History
        John Lamont paid a visit recently to the Modern Studies Higher class to explain the work of
an MSP and then to submit himself to a barrage of questions about his role. Some weeks later Mr
Lamont personally showed a group of S3 pupils around the Scottish Parliament, taking them into areas
not normally visited on the public tour.
In connection with Africa week the Modern Studies and English Departments enjoyed a visit from the
story-teller Mara Menzies. Also on an African theme S4 and S5 Modern Studies pupils are looking
forward to a visit from Scott Beattie in February to talk about his experiences in Zimbabwe.

The Higher History class experienced a visit from JD Smith the author of Jedburgh’s Wartime
Sacrifice. Mr Smith explained how his research for the book had taken him as far afield as Canada
and Australia and spoke movingly of Jedburgh soldiers’ travails on the Western front. Pupils were
particularly interested in the objects Mr Smith used to illustrate his talk which included a trench
periscope, an empty shrapnel shell and a standard issue Lee Enfield rifle.

         JGS Football
         This year has seen the resurrection of the World Aids Day Football Competition in JGS. As
school was closed on 1st December, this competition was held in the Sports Centre on Wednesday, 8
December. In a very close and exciting encounter between S2 and S3 boys, the S3 boys ran out
eventual winners by the narrowest of margins, 7-6, to allow proud captain, Craig Hall to lift this
prestigious trophy.
Many thanks to Marcus Fender for refereeing the match and for attending and assisting with all
coaching sessions and matches for both year groups this session.
                                                                                                Mr Duff
         PE - Hockey
         This year we have had a very successful start to the season with 60 girls regularly attending
training. We have played 2 fixtures against Peebles and Kelso and 1 against Earlston and Hawick and
the girls have had some very good results.
Our record against            ....Against Kelso:            ….Against Earlston:      ….Against Hawick
Peebles:                      Seniors: 1 defeat             S2: 1 defeat             Seniors: 1 defeat
Seniors: 1 Draw and 1 win     S3: 1 win and 1 defeat        S1: 1 win                S1: 1 win
S3: 2 wins                    S1: 1 draw and 1 win
S1: 1 defeat and 1 win

Well done to our S1 team who although they lost        to rely on an outstanding save from Rebecca
their first game of the season at Peebles have         Waldie in the last minute to keep us in a game
not been beaten since.                                 which ended 0-0 even after Extra time. This took
We also entered the U16 and U18 Borders cup            the game into a dramatic 1 v keeper shoot out
.The U16 game was against Berwickshire High on         which lasted for 5 x shoot outs before Earlston
the Astro at Duns. The girls played some               emerged victors after a “sudden death” situation
excellent hockey in the first half and were            save by the Earlston goalkeeper. However it was
unlucky not to score. In the second half               really uplifting to see the improvement in the
Berwickshire were the stronger team and it was         girls play, tactical awareness and fitness, so well
obvious they were used to playing on their large       done to all for an excellent effort.
pitch as their use of space and general fitness        This season the senior girls have also been
was the telling difference between the teams:          training at Tweedbank on a Monday night from
final score 4-0 .                                      5.00pm—6.00pm. This has meant a real
The U18 game was against Earlston and because          commitment from the girls as they have to travel
cup games have to be played on astro we had to         by service bus, pay for the pitch hire and arrange
travel to Earlston. This was an outstanding game       lifts home from parents. Impressively, all the 3rd
with end to end hockey. Jedburgh created more          and senior girls have come along and it is having a
chances with Martha Douglas outstanding as an          very positive effect on their hockey. All the
attacking midfield player. Unfortunately we did        other years receive 2 training sessions a week - 1
not convert any of our many chances and we had         lunchtime and 1 after school.

South Hockey
This year we have S2 girls involved in U14 development hockey at Hawick and 1st year girls at
Tweedbank. This is a real bonus for the girls and has helped to improve their skills and knowledge.
Holly Mackay Beth Mabon and Megan Smith were all selected from over 80 girls who attended trials to
attend sports school in June. The girls were also selected for the SBC sports academy and
subsequently chosen to represent the South at the U15 Inter-district tournament.
Beth Mabon then went on to represent South at U16 Inter-districts and Martha Douglas was selected
to represent South at U18 Inter-districts: an excellent achievement for both of these girls. Both
played outstanding hockey and were a credit to themselves, their parents and the school.

Once again we thank Mrs K Hall for her direct support of girls’ hockey by taking responsibility for all
of the ordering and payment of the strips. We greatly appreciate that our Parent Council have
provided funding for new helmets for the goal keepers.
Particular thanks go to all parents who have helped out at matches and with transport to training.
Lastly I would like to thank some of the girls who come along to help out with training the junior teams.
Lauren Jack Nicole Wilson and Katie Douglas have all helped on first year practice nights and their
organisation and commitment make them real and positive role models for the 1styears. Also our 6th
years Rebecca Waldie and Lauren Lambert who have umpired 1st year games.
It is a real pleasure to work with the girls of JGS. Everywhere we go our girls are complimented on
their excellent behaviour, attitude and sportsmanship. We look forward to next year’s fixtures with
eagerness and confidence.
                                                                                                Ms Logan
        We are delighted to report high quality performance from our seniors in November’s UK
Maths Challenge:

Worthy of particular mention: Best in School:   Josh Cressey
Silver Award:         Josh Cressey            Samantha Borthwick
Bronze Award:         Fraser Cockburn         Katie Douglas                               Mrs Methven

        School Work During School Closure due to Adverse Weather
        Staff have created GLOW groups for all courses and have highlighted on these the work that
should be completed by pupils in the event of school closure due to snow or for any other reason. Many
of these groups also provide excellent websites for study support. There is also a comprehensive list
of websites that support learning on the school website ( – this is near the top
of the Latest News and How You Can Help sections

        We have missed our Careers Adviser, Dave Mackay, who has been off with a broken leg for
the last couple of months. However, we are really appreciative of Gillian Millar in filling the gap in
Dave’s absence. Gillian has worked really well with our S4 More Choices More Chances group, who have
benefited from her input.
Unfortunately the Options and Choices event, for those considering going into Further Education, was
cancelled on 8 December which was the day of the extreme winds. We are hoping this will be
rescheduled for January as this has proved to be a very beneficial event for those attending in the

        School Plus
        We are delighted at the progress shown by our S4 pupils who attend School Plus courses at
Gala and Hawick campuses of Borders College. They have all received positive reports and these will be
added to their S4 reports when they are sent home in January.

        S6 Support
         We are again very grateful to Lesley Naylor who assists us in her capacity as a Human
Resources expert. Lesley has just completed a programme with S6 students looking at identifying
strengths, writing personal statements and interview skills. The students found this input really useful
as part of their UCAS application process.
                                                                                            Mr Ferguson

         OTHER NEWS

         Eco Update
          The S2 Eco elective is making positive progress towards achieving the Silver Award. Maggie
        Warner met with us on 29th November and engaged us all in a talk about recycling. We look
forward to Fiona Munro, the council’s carbon officer, visiting on 24th January. She will be conducting a
carbon audit and advising us on how to reduce our school’s carbon emissions.
We are also busy making our eco bricks from recycled paper, and sawdust from Laidlaws. These are
available to buy through eco group members and at parents’ nights - 30p each or four for £1.
                                                                                          Ms Greenhorn

        Paris Trip 2012
        The trip to Paris is fast approaching and the pupils taking part are very excited. However, two
of the pupils have had to withdraw. If anyone would like to take their place, please speak to Mrs K Hall.
        We have high expectations of all our students in these key aspects of the life and work of the
school and we allocate House points in recognition of strong student performance.
Thank you all parents and carers for your continuing support of the School Dress Code. Currently a
small number of pupils are falling short of the expected standards and we ask your support in
tightening things up. Particularly we wish to declare the need for the wearing of proper footwear.
Trainers are not suitable or acceptable!

        Thank You
        We extend the gratitude of our school community to the Next store and the neighbouring
Tesco supermarket in Galashiels for their generous gifts to us of their entire current Christmas shop
decoration stock. Be sure to have a look at them if you are in Galashiels prior to 23 December!

When we use standard home use sized decorations in such large areas as the School Assembly Hall or
the Town Hall their effect and impact is muted so we look forward to using the stores’ large size
decorations from next festive season as these will have be much more effective.

         School Session & Holiday Dates 2012 – 2013
                 Term Starts – In-Service   Monday 13 August 2012

                 Term Starts for pupils     Tuesday 14 August 2012
                 Last day of Term           Thursday 4 October 2012
                 Autumn Holiday             Friday 5 October to Friday 12 October 2012

                 Term Starts                Monday 15 October 2012

                 In-Service Days            Thursday 15 & Friday 16 November 2012
                 St Andrews’ Day Holiday    Monday 3 December 2012
                 Last Day of Term           Friday 21 December 2012
                 Christmas Holiday          Monday 24 December to Friday 4 January 2013

                 Term Starts                Monday 7 January 2013

                 In-Service Day             Thursday 7 February 2013
                 February Holiday           Friday 8 February to Tuesday 12 February 2013
                 Last Day of Term           Thursday 28 March 2013
                 Easter Holiday             Friday 29 March To Friday 12 April 2013

                 Term Starts                Monday 15 April 2013

                 In-Service Day             Friday 3 May 2013
                 May Day Holiday            Monday 6 May 2013
                 Casual Holiday             Tuesday 7 May 2013
                 Last Day of Term           Wednesday 26 June 2013

On behalf of all the students and staff of the Grammar School it is my pleasure to wish you and your
families a very pleasant Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year.


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