Week two of SQA exams is now over and by all accounts pupils are feeling confident about how each of their exams has gone. Let’s hope this confidence transfers into excellent grades come August. As ever my thanks go to Mr Fairhurst, Chief Invigilator, and his team of external staff all of whom do a great job in ensuring every exam is managed and supervised in a calm and supportive manner, giving all our young people the ideal conditions in which to sit each of their examinations.
The school’s enrichment programme, for pupils not involved in National 5 exams, also came to end with pupils fully engaged in a range of employability, information and skills events covering social media, Royal Air Force careers, apprenticeships, CV writing, personality tests, interview skills and mock interviews with local employers. What a super week of opportunities organised throughout by Mr Marshallsay who has done an exceptional job in providing our young people with an extensive range of experiences, advice and practical activities. With the in-school programme now over, pupils will go into the local and extended community for three weeks of work experience which will be invaluable to them when it comes to leaving school and seeking employment.
On Monday evening, I attended the Duke of Edinburgh expedition parents’ information evening held by Miss Robb and Mr Madden. This event was organised to ensure that parents had the required information and advice before our S3 pupils headed off on Tuesday to Muirshiel Country Park for their first training expedition as part of the Bronze level programme. The two-day training event involved a 10+ mile trek, an overnight under canvas and cooking in the open on gas stoves. Speaking with the pupils on Thursday, all of them appeared to have had a good time despite the lack of sleep and blistered heels.
Throughout last week we held our annual Health Week which involved S1 to S3 mini Olympics (netball, football and hockey), staff and pupils Ready Steady Cook event (won by yours truly and Chloe McNicholl from S6), smoothie making bike challenge, inter house static bike distance challenge, facial make overs, healthy cooking and eating lessons in the Health Food and Technology department, our first ever S1 one mile mental health awareness walk and a final day fun event on the bouncy castle obstacle course organised by our S3 Heart Lives group. What a super week of events with health messages, advice, sport, lessons and the key ingredient of health and wellbeing – fun! A massive thank you must go to staff in our science faculty, Health Food and Technology department, to Mrs Crawford for the wonderful Ready Steady Cook competition and of course to the PE staff whose efforts raised the profile of the week, whose enthusiasm ensured every pupil was involved and whose energy was on endless supply throughout what was an extremely demanding week for the department. Great job everyone!
On Thursday, I attended my last ever Gleniffer Cluster meeting with the heads of our associated pre-five centres and primary schools. Working on our improvement and Pupil Equity Plan, we ended another session of collaborative working where our relationships have been the strength of the group. Long may this continue.
On Friday, I attended one of the saddest events associated with our close-knit school community, the funeral of Liam Cullen former Principal Teacher of Guidance. Liam left us in 2012 to take up the post of Depute Head Teacher at Renfrew High School after many years as an outstanding colleague who cared deeply about our young people. His manner, professionalism, good humour and engaging personality had him admired and respected by everyone who was touched by his presence. Liam will be a major loss to Renfrew High School and to education in Renfrewshire. An outstanding teacher and a true gentleman. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and two young sons at this most difficult time.
On Tuesday, a group of pupils from S to S3 participated in the annual Renfrewshire Games which this year were basketball, girls’ football and hockey. However, despite a depleted team because of our own internal Health week activities the pupils still did well winning over half of their section games. Well done to those who took part and for giving their best on the day.
On Tuesday evening the senior boys took on St Ninian’s High School in the final of the St Mirren Cup at the University of the West of Scotland’s Thornly Park Campus in the showcase final match of the season. Having lost out to St Ninian’s last season in the same competition final, the boys took to the field determined beat the team that has denied silverware in the past. Playing on a very warm night and a firm pitch, the boys got off to the dream start scoring after 10 minutes. However, as the game progressed St Ninian’s HS dominated much of the play but couldn’t find a way through our defence and the very safe hands of goalkeeper Conor Thomson. Against the run of play the boys then doubled their lead after 60 minutes with a wonder strike from Nathan Walton Craig only to concede a goal 3 minutes later. With the score locked at 2-1 the minutes ticked by with the boys displaying some wonderful team spirit and defensive resilience to eventually hold on to the final whistle. Silverware at last. What a performance and what a super group of boys. This match also marked my very last game in charge of a school team and I cannot think of a better way to finish my coaching career with a win that meant so much to the boys and the school. Go Gleniffer High School!
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