Dear Parents and Carers,
The KGS Christmas lights were officially switched on at break yesterday, so the Christmas countdown has well and truly started! A huge thanks to the Drama staff and pupils who made it happen!
We are currently putting the final touches to the prelim timetable and are hoping to share this with pupils and parents next week. There will also be prelim assemblies held with all S4, S5 and S6 pupils before we break up for Christmas
Mr Neil Ewing
Acting Head Teacher
Today’s update contains 12 notices;
1. Pupil behaviour down the street
We had several more complaints from local shops re a small minority of S1 to S3 KGS pupils shoplifting. All pupils have been spoken to in assemblies and in school communications about the importance of respecting our local community and the likely hood of Police involvement should it continue but if parents/carers can reinforce that message, we would really appreciate it.
2. Christmas Service
Christmas service takes place on Tuesday 20th December at 7.30pm in the cathedral, with rehearsals all day on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th. This will be the first Christmas service since before lockdown and we are really looking forward to it.
3. Family Fridays @KGS
Over the course of this session the Parent Council would like to invite parents into KGS on Friday mornings for school visits. The visits would be in small groups and run between 10am and 11am. Each visit would include a tour of the school in action, a chat with the Senior Leadership team over a cup of coffee, and a visit to some classrooms. The last visit this year will be on Tuesday 6 December and parents can email firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 2nd December to book a place.
4. Annual exhibition of Higher Photography and Art and Design Nat 5, Higher and AH folios of work from 2021-22.
The Art department takes great pride in supporting and celebrating the wonderful work that our pupils create. The folios of work, which have been returned from the SQA, will be put on display in the dance studio and dining hall. This will take place on Wednesday afternoon 14th December. We would like to invite families and carers to view the work from 3:45 until 5:00.
5. Art and Design Christmas Cards
The S3 Digital Design Wider Achievement class has been learning to use Affinity Designer to make Christmas cards. These cards, along with some festive colouring sheets, will be available for pupils to buy at the foyer during lunchtime on Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th December. All proceeds from the cards will used to support Art Wider Achievement classes.
Securing the Best Outcomes (Joe McCall)
We are currently working on the prelim timetable and will issue this to pupils before Christmas. The prelims will run from Thursday 12th January to Friday 27 January. S5 and S6 pupils will be on study leave from Monday 16 January until Friday 27 January while S4 pupils will attend classes as normal but will be given the opportunity to revise and prepare for their exams.
7. Music Performance Prelims
If your child is sitting N5 or Higher Music, they will have a performing prelim on either Monday 9, Tuesday 10 or Wednesday 11 January. Students are required to play their entire programme of pieces, with accompaniment/backing tracks as appropriate. These prelims will provide valuable evidence and a chance for students to see how they perform 'under pressure'. You can support your child by reminding them to practise regularly and by listening to them play through their pieces a few times before their prelim. They will be out of class for around 30 minutes each. I realise this will eat into last minute prelim preparation for other subjects but the final SQA performing exams can take place any time from mid-February, so we need to get these prelims done early. Detailed timings are available for students in Teams and are also on the music department noticeboards. If you have any questions, please email me on email@example.com
Many thanks for your support.
Promoting Positive Behaviour and Relationships (Mr Harvey)
8. Being Punctual
We have been focussing on attendance and late coming over the past few months in order to support pupils and families. Regular attendance and arriving at school on time has an impact in maximising pupil attainment. Around 3% of pupils are late each day at KGS. The majority of these pupils are in school by the start of period 1, however missing part or all of registration means they are missing an important part of the school day where they receive important messages and get themselves prepared for a busy day of learning. Could we ask that you remind pupils of the importance of being punctual in conversation you have at home. We understand that there are genuine reasons why pupils may be late and if you feel this is the case then please make contact and let us know.
9. Mobile Device Use
At KGS we recognise that when used appropriately Mobile Phones/Devices can enhance learning and teaching. However Mobile Phones/Devices are a barrier to learning when used inappropriately and can cause an unnecessary distraction. Please take a minute to watch the presentation. There has been a small increase in the use of Mobile Devices in class without teacher permission lately. Could we ask you to remind pupils that they are expected to have their devices switched off and in their bags at all times in all lessons unless a teacher gives them permission to use the device as part of the lesson. Follow the link below for a short video that explains the schools Mobile Device Policy fully.
Securing the Highest Level of Universal Support (Ms Devlin)
10. Free school meals and clothing allowances
Orkney Islands Council provides assistance with free school meals and clothing allowances to families on a low income who meet the eligibility criteria.
The current clothing allowance is £120.00 per eligible primary child and £150.00 per eligible secondary child. More information can be found here:
11. Tracking and Monitoring of pupils’ Health and Wellbeing
The tracking and monitoring of how pupils are progressing in their subjects is a very important part of the work that staff here at KGS do. Making sure that we are also aware of how pupils are coping with aspects of their health and well-being is equally important.
So that we can support any concerns that our pupils may have that we are unaware of, they will be undertaking a simple survey in their PSE lesson, as part of our usual Tracking and Monitoring processes. This will take place over the next two weeks. Following this, we will try to make sure that we are able to offer support to any pupil where there is a concern. Pupils will be sent an e-mail with the link to the survey on it on Monday morning. Please reassure your child that they are not expected to do the survey at home but will get help with it in PSE.
The survey will ask pupils around 10 questions, based on aspects of their health and well-being. Questions will include topics on how safe they feel, how they feel about their achievements and how included they feel. Given that the pupils have the survey in their e-mails, feel free to look at it with them at home. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with Ms Devlin or Mrs Firth if you would like further information.
12 . Every Child Deserves a Christmas' Grant from Orkney Charitable Trust
The Orkney Charitable Trust raises and distributes funds to help young people experiencing hardship or disadvantage. This grant (£60 per child) provides assistance towards a Child’s Christmas.
To be eligible, the child must:
Be under 16 and permanently resident in Orkney
Be connected to a professional or voluntary organisation who can verify that a grant would make a significant difference to Christmas this year. School teachers can verify this.
If you feel your family are eligible, discuss this with a teacher who can support your application. No financial evidence is required, just a genuine need.
The final date to submit applications is 17th December. The form can be accessed by copying this link: