Author: hilarysnaith

Christmas Concerts 2022

8 December 2022: The James Gillespie’s High School Performing Arts Faculty invites you to the Christmas Concerts 2022! 

This year there will be two performances of the Christmas concert on Tuesday 13 December at 5 pm and 7.30 pm, in the Muriel Spark Theatre at James Gillespie’s High School. Tickets can be booked via Parent Pay.

Refreshments and pupil showcase

In the time between the two shows, there will be a mini-fayre in the Forum, Malala Building, with a home baking stall, crafts table and refreshments, in aid of the Parent Council’s Small Sum’s Fund.

Some pupil committees will also be showcasing their work. 

All parents are warmly welcome to attend this part of the evening, even if they do not have a ticket for one of the concerts.  It would be helpful if guests could bring cash to this event if possible please! 


5.00 – 6.15 pm Concert 1 in the Muriel Spark Theatre

6.15 – 7.15 pm Refreshments in the Forum (Malala)

7.30 – 8.45 pm Concert 2 in the Muriel Spark Theatre  

We are delighted that Tony Marsh will be videoing the concert. The recording will be available by the 31 January 2023. 

Festive Fundraiser 2022!

2 December 2022: After a long term, we hope that you are looking forward to the holidays.

Like last year, we are launching a Festive Fundraiser in aid of our successful Small Sums Fund, so that we can continue supporting important educational projects at JGHS, and providing help to our pupils who need it most.

If you can, we’d be very grateful if you could make a donation via Parent Pay. Please click below:

Look out for the “Parent Council Fundraising” button at the bottom of the list of payment items for your JGHS student(s). All funds raised during the Festive Fundraiser go directly to the JGHS Small Sums Fund. 

Supporting equity and attainment

This year the Parent Council has been really pleased to fund projects that support equity and attainment, for example:

  • Basket ball strips for the PE department
  • Subscription to The Week junior for the English department
  • Books and games for the Maths department
  • Active Learn subscriptions for the Modern Languages department
  • Digimaps subscription for Geography department
  • Support for decoration and fitting out of the new Support for Learning classroom in Bruntsfield House
  • Guitar lessons for pupils with Additional Support Needs
  • Materials for the knitting club
  • Plants for reception

Notes from teachers

As you know, we moved into a large, empty room in Bruntsfield House last year. We spent the money on making the room more welcoming for the students who access it and bought soft furnishings, plants, cabinets to display pupils’ work and lots of picture frames. We held a small art exhibition in July of the work of the students who access SfL and invited their parents in to see this. It was a great success and something we plan to replicate this year. Thanks again for the money we received.

Mr Cockcroft: Support for Learning

Thanks so much for your financial support. The money was exceptionally useful. We set up a curricular DofE Silver group for students in the senior school who would benefit from a supported DofE experience. Most of the young people were known to us in SfL. The money was used to help with supporting their expedition with some kit hire, rental of accommodation, paying for the young people to ‘volunteer’ at Gorgie farm and supporting financially two young people for their Edinburgh Leisure passes so they could use the gym facilities regularly. The course has been a real success. All the youngsters who were still in school in June completed the Silver expedition and felt like a real team.

Support for learning: funding for pupils known to SfL to participate in Duke of Edinburgh scheme

Once again my huge thanks to the Parent Council for supporting our work in the English department as we strive to embed reading at the heart of our lessons. The money I received to purchase copies of The Week Junior has been really helpful with junior classes. It means there is always something current on hand to read – most useful when some of our pupils just don’t have a book of their own at home… It has also proved invaluable in helping me to teach skills for RAUE activities, elements of non-fiction work, and discussing key issues affecting our World in an age-appropriate way. Many thanks!

English: The Week Junior subscription

Find out more

You can find out more about the Small Sums Fund, and the initiatives it supports, on the Parent Council website You can find out more about the initiatives supported by this year’s Fund below:

Small Sums Fund

Thank you!

Recording of Parent Council meeting on 29 November

1 December 2022: Many thanks to everyone who was able to attend the meeting of the JGHS Parent Council on Tuesday 29 November 2022.

This was a very full meeting which covered a lot of information about activities within the school, and included a very useful presentation about the SQA results achieved by young people at the school in the 2021/22 exam diet.

A recording of the meeting is now available on YouTube and a brief minute is linked below.

Recording of the Parent Council Meeting on 29 November 2022

Minutes of Parent Council Meeting on 29 November 2022

The slides presented by the Headteacher Mr Neil McCallum on the SQA results can be viewed at the link below:

SQA presentation by Neil MacCallum, 29 November 2022

Marchmont and Sciennes Christmas Tree Lighting

Updated 25 November 2022: Pupils from the JGHS pipe band, wind ensemble and senior choir will be providing music for the Marchmont and Sciennes Christmas Tree Lighting on Saturday 3 December at 4.30 pm.

The gathering will start next to the Scotmid on Marchmont Crescent, where there will be community carols and mince pies, and then transfer to the German Speaking Church in Chalmers Crescent for mulled wine.

All are welcome to this community event.

Helpers needed

The Community Council are looking for volunteer helpers for the event.

Specifically they need help:

  • To set up the German Speaking Church hall in Chalmers Crescent from 3.30 pm
  • At the tree from 4.25 pm onwards, handing out songsheets etc
  • Back at the hall serving mulled wine to parents and soft drinks to kids; and clearing up afterwards (ending around 6 pm)

If you can help out in any way, please contact them directly:

Email the Community Council

Next Parent Council Meeting is 29 November

Updated 24 November 2022: The next meeting of the Parent Council will be on Tuesday 29 November 2022 at 7 pm. The main presentation at the meeting will be an analysis of the school’s SQA results in 2022.

The meeting will be held on MS Teams, and the joining link will be sent by the school just before the event, so please look out for the email.  We hope you will be able to join us.

Draft agenda

  • Update from Parent Council
  • Headteacher’s report, including updates (amongst others) on:
    • Mental health work in the school
    • IT in the school
    • School trips
    • Staffing
    • Transition into the Darroch building
    • The S4 prelims
  • SQA results 2021/22

There will be the opportunity on the night to ask questions via the Q&A typed chat facility, but if you want to raise an issue in advance, please email the PC and we will try to include it in the updates.

Email the Parent Council

Dates of future Parent Council meetings

  • Wednesday 1 February 2023 (in the school)
  • Tuesday 21 March 2023 (online)
  • Wednesday 31 May 2023 (in the school)

Would you like to join a focus group to discuss the future of Education in Scotland?

24 November 2022: We have space for 50 parents/carers to join the National Discussion 7-9 pm Monday 28 November in the Library in Liberton High School. 

For more details or to book your place email the National Parent Forum of Scotland.

Email the National Parent Forum of Scotland

There is more background on the National Discussion at the link below:

The National Discussion

The National Discussion focus group

The event is hosted by:

  • Stephen Kelly – Senior Education Officer, City of Edinburgh Council
  • Naomi Barton – Edinburgh Rep for National Parent Forum of Scotland

The 2 hour event will include 2 things:

  1. an opportunity to hear about the vision for Education in Edinburgh and
  2. participate in the National Discussion questions

Event details

  • Venue – Library, Liberton High School, Gilmerton Road, Edinburgh, EH17 7PT
  • Time – 7-9pm
  • Date – Monday 28 November 2022

If you are unable to attend but you want us to pass on your views, please email the National Parent Forum of Scotland.

Email the National Parent Forum of Scotland

Backchat termly newsletter from Connect

23 November 2022: Backchat the termly newsletter from Connect is now available.

Click here to read Backchat autumn 2022

Connect is an education charity which provides support for parents, Parent Councils, Parent Teacher/Staff Associations, and other parent bodies in Scotland.

The Autumn newsletter contains information about a number of topics, including:

  • the National Discussion on Scottish Education
  • the Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessment
  • Connect’s Annual Report 2021-2022

Plus there is an overview of the many consultation responses Connect has made, often using the parent/carer responses to their surveys.

You can also read a moving blog by the parent of a son with complex special needs as she tracks the slow progress of the Review of Additional Support for Learning.

National Parent Forum of Scotland events

18 November 2022: The National Parent Forum of Scotland has just announced some events that parents may be interested to attend.

All the info is available at the links below:

23 November 2022 – Review of Qualifications Focus Group for Gaelic Medium

24 November 2022 – Review of Qualifications Focus Group for Home Educators

28 November 2022 – Q & A Session about the Qualification Review

1 December 2022 – Review of Qualifications and Assessment of Focus Group for ASN