Dear Parents and Carers
I’m looking forward to welcoming students back after the October break. I hope they will come back safe, rested and ready for action. It has been a while since my last update and there is a lot to report on. Please find below a few updates on recent and upcoming events.
During our in-service programme, staff continued to work on whole-school and departmental improvement plans. We also had input from the Scottish Government on Attainment and Qualifications and from EdICT, a company offering a new solution for reporting.
P7 Open afternoon
Earlier in the month we launched our Transition Programme for another year by hosting P7 pupils and their parents for the P7 Open Afternoon. This was a very successful event which gave our future students and their parents a really good sense of the school and what is on offer at Forrester. It was great to meet so many positive young people and I look forward to working with them over the coming months.
On Wednesday 10th October, Music and Drama hosted the Autumn Cabaret. This was an excellent event with a very informal set-up and atmosphere which really seemed to bring out the best in our performers (students and staff). Forrester really has got talent and it is not at all hard to imagine our young people going on to become professional musicians. In fact, I believe one or two of them already earn money from their music – it sure beats a paper round!
Great progress has been made with plans for Anna’s Garden. A group of us met with Anna’s mum and Jane, a professional Landscape Designer, to review the final plans which were drawn together by Jane from students initial ideas. If we get permission from MITE, our Facility Service Providers, we will start planting in the Spring.
Lessons from Auschwitz
Two of our senior students, Ailsa and Bradley, have just returned from 3 days in Poland as part of the ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ programme. I caught up with them (for a hot chocolate) just before the holiday to hear more about their experience. As we might expect, both Ailsa and Bradley were incredibly moved by their experience and were also able to articulate very clearly the profound impact this visit has had and will continue to have on their lives. They both plan to work with our younger learners to highlight the importance of challenging racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of prejudice. They also recognise how the ‘bystander effect’ enabled atrocities during the second world war and more recent events and will work to educate people about this both in school and beyond.
Showing Racism the Red Card
On Friday 12th October our S6 students and staff showed racism the red card by wearing something red. Although this was a fairly low key show of support for this very worthy cause, some people were more flamboyantly in red than others. My red tie was noticed by most people but I don’t think anyone picked up on my red socks!
Girls in Sport
On the last day before the holiday, our Young Ambassadors, PE Department and Active Schools hosted Girls in Sport Day. As well as all girls from S1, we were joined by over 200 Girls from our feeder primary schools. Thank you to everyone involved, including parent helpers in the organisation of this outstanding event.
I am delighted to say that Forrester will be entering a team, once again this year, in the mini-trials which take place at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court. We look forward to competing with a range of schools from across the City, including some very close neighbours!
Music Visit from students:
On Tuesday 9 October, the Music department were visited by 20 Edinburgh College Music degree students. They were very complimentary about our learners (S3), particularly admiring their tenacity, confidence and communication skills.
We are really proud of the way our young people engaged with these students – they were respectful, interested and engaging.
Our fantastic My World of Work Ambassadors recently received training on how to use the search feature of MyWow marketplace so that they can now direct their link departments to various opportunities. This is quite a big task for them so it has been agreed that between now and Christmas they will attend a department meetings to show departments how easy marketplace is to use and at least one opportunity which is present there.
Our MyWOW ambassodors will also be attending parents evenings to work with parents and help them to become familiar with the system.
Duke of Edinburgh
I am delighted to say that we are able to offer Duke of Edinburgh to S3 and S4 students once again. A dedicated group of staff have emerged to take over the running of Duke of Edinburgh from Isobel Ramsay who retired last session. The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme involves a high level of commitment from staff and students. There will be an Assembly for S3 and S4 to explain what is involved on Wednesday during Tutor Time.
S1 Parents Evening
This takes place next Tuesday, 30th October. We already have 60% of parents signed up to appointments. If you have not already done so, please use the link on the website to book your appointments. If you have any difficulties using the online booking system, please do not hesitate to contact the school office for support.
Next Monday and Tuesday we are hosting a visit from 20 TESOL students from Edinburgh University. These are students, 19 from China and one from Taiwan, who will be teaching English to speakers of other languages in the near future. Their visit to the school will give them an insight into Scottish Education and different Learning and Teaching methodologies.
Education Scotland Training
On Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th November we will be hosting a training event for nearly 30 Heads and Deputes from across the City. The training will involve input from Education Scotland followed by classroom visits.
Finally, some parents have been asking for clarification about school lockers. Please click below for the most recent communication about lockers.