Dear Parents and Carers,
Unbelievably we move into December next week and the KGS Christmas decorations are now going up! A big thanks to Mrs Slade and the Drama Department who have been busy preparing the school for the big “lights on” ceremony on Thursday. We are also delighted to announce our live Christmas Service is back, and Mrs Reed and the Music Department have been working hard getting the pupils ready – more details below.
Mr Neil Ewing
Acting Head Teacher
Today’s update contains 13 notices
1. Pupil behaviour down the street
We had several complaints recently from some shops and community facilities about disruptive behaviour and some shoplifting on Friday afternoons by a small minority of our S1 to S3 pupils. All pupils have been spoken to in assemblies about the importance of respecting our local community 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. Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)
These sessions will explain the funding packages available from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for those planning to undertake higher education courses (HNC/HND/Degree courses) as well as how and when to apply and an opportunity to ask any questions.
These sessions will be online and will take place in the evening during December. Parents and carers can check the available dates and times and book a place on these talks here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/137287290983
Once booked, they will receive a booking confirmation with a link that will allow them to access the meeting.
If you have any questions relating to this offer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you asap.
4. 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 email@example.com by Friday 2nd December to book a place.
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.
6. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks for your support.
7. Senior Phase – Orkney College UHI Parents’ Evening
On Wednesday 30 November, from 5.30pm, Orkney College UHI would be delighted to welcome you to the College for their Senior Phase Parents’ Evening, to discuss your child’s progress on the college course they are doing as part of their school timetable, and to find out more about the academic progress routes (further and higher education) available within the College.
View full details, including the times lecturers are available, here.
8. E-sgoil Study support for senior pupils
A reminder that Webinars are now available in almost all subjects
Registration for Evening Webinars will be via the link below.
(Pupils must log on to Glow before accessing the link to the registration form, and should check the timetable carefully before choosing the webinars they wish to attend.)
Paper copies are also available to pupils from Mr McCall.
Promoting Positive Behaviour and Relationships (Mr Harvey)
9. Senior Tracking
Staff have been busy having learning conversations with S4, S5 and S6 pupils over the last couple of weeks to inform the next Tracking Summary. Due to this week's Strike, Summary Reports will now be issued to parents/carers at the beginning of next week. Reports for Isles parents have been posted. The information contained in the Tracking Summary will be used to support pupils between now and the prelims to help them achieve the best possible grades
10. 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.
Securing the Highest Level of Universal Support (Ms Devlin)
11. Cost of Living Crisis Support Scotland
A new Scottish Government website has been launched to signpost advice and financial support available to people in Scotland. It includes information about support with increasing energy bills, Scottish and UK social security payments and benefits, support with housing costs, payments for families, as well as where to get further advice, benefit calculators, and wider health and wellbeing information. The website can be accessed at the link below:
12. 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:
13. 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.