Next Parent Council meeting on Tuesday 22 March 2022

22 March 2022 update: The next Parent Council meeting is tonight, Tuesday 22 March at 7 pm and will include a presentation by Faculty Head, Ashling Dolan, on the Maths curriculum


  • Update on PC activities – Sarah Scott, PC Chair
  • Mathematics Curriculum – Ashling Dolan, Acting Curriculum Leader for Maths
  • Update on Active Schools – Eliot Ambrose, Active Schools Co-ordinator
  • Head Teacher’s Report – Donald Macdonald
  • Questions – via Q&A chat

The joining link has been sent out by email by the School.

Please email the PC with any questions or issues you would like included in the Head Teacher’s update.

Email the Parent Council

Details of last meeting

The recording of our last meeting on 26 January 2022, and a copy of the Q&A, are available on the PC website:

PC meeting 26 January 2022

Choice, attainment and positive destinations research project

5 March 2022: James Gillespies High School is taking part in a research project being led by Stirling University on the impact of Curriculum for Excellence on attainment, subject choice and student experience. 

Take part in the project

As part of the research, the investigators would like to speak with a group of 4-6 parents with a child/children in S4-S6 to learn about their experience of supporting their child to make subject choices. 

There will be an online meeting with the group on Monday 14 March at 7 pm (about an hour). If you would be interested in participating, please contact the Parent Council by email:

Email the Parent Council 

Further information is available on the project website and on Twitter:

Choice, Attainment and Positive Destinations


JGHS Christmas Concert 2021

Sadly, due to the ongoing pandemic, the School was not able to host its usual Christmas concert in the Usher Hall.

Instead, pupils and the JGHS music department recorded performances by the wonderfully talented ensembles and bands at the school, and put together a fantastic online Christmas concert.

You can view it now via YouTube – Happy Christmas everyone!

Welcome back!

JGHS Parent Council would like to welcome you back to – and for those who are new, welcome you into – James Gillespie’s High School for the 2021/22 session.

The Parent Council is here to represent all parents and carers at the school, including by: 

  • putting forward parents’ views
  • consulting and providing feedback to the school
  • providing refreshments at school events
  • fundraising for school projects, equipment, books and trips
  • co-ordinating with other Parent Councils
  • making representations to the City Council

The Parent Council meets several times a year and we encourage everyone to get involved in whatever way they feel able. 

We will shortly be publishing our calendar of PC meeting dates for the session and reporting on the survey of parents which we carried out before the summer holidays.  

In the meantime, there is more information on the PC’s work on the website and we can be contacted at for any questions or to raise any issues.

Next Parent Council meeting on Tuesday 8 June 2021

1 June 2021: Our next Parent Council meeting will be on Tuesday 8 June at 7 pm.

We are hoping to hear about the following issues:

  • Donald McDonald (Headteacher) – School update
  • Bob Shankland (Deputy Headteacher) – SQA Alternative Certification Model
  • Jeff Warden (Deputy Headteacher) – New timetable
  • Eliot Ambrose (Active School Coordinator, City of Edinburgh Council) – Active Schools planning for 2021/22

If parents have questions or issues they would like to raise in advance of the meeting, please let us know via the Parent Council email address.

Email the Parent Council

The link to join this meeting on MS Teams has been shared via the School email account.

You can catch up with the recording of our last meeting on 12 May, and view the presentations by DHTs Laura Stewart on school capacity and Ben Lewis on reorganising the school communities.

Recording of Parent Council meeting 12 May 2021

Details of the Question and Answer session 12 May 2021 (opens as pdf)

Note of Parent Council meeting 12 May 2021 (opens as pdf)

Capacity Update 2021/22 – Laura Stewart (opens as pdf)

Pupil Support Restructuring – Ben Lewis (opens as pdf)

Sports activities for S1-S3s in the run up to summer

Active School clubs running for S1-S3 until the summer

22 May 2021: Active Schools is offering a range of sporting opportunities for S1-3 running up to the summer holidays. 

Places are limited and must be booked by Monday 24 May.

More information and booking details

New rugby sessions for S1 girls

Boroughmuir Rugby club are going to be running some excellent new sessions for NEW S1 Girls’ Rugby, beginning on Wednesday 2 June.

The sessions are run by Boroughmuir RFC rugby coaches and are open to players just starting out or players who have experience of rugby.

Sessions will involve lots of fun, games, skills, positional skills and teamwork.

Each session will start at 4.30 pm on Wednesdays at the Meggetland rugby pitches, Meggetland Wynd, EH14 1XN.

If you are interested in attending please contact Justin Loveridge, Rugby Academy Manager.

Email Justin Loveridge

S1 girls rugby poster

Coming up at the Parent Council meeting on 23 March 2021

19 March 2021: The next Parent Council meeting will be held online on Tuesday 23 March 2021 at 7 pm.  A link to join the meeting will be sent out next week through the school email system. 

We will hear from: 

  • Donald J. Macdonald – Head Teacher’s report 
  • Deirdre O’Brien (DHT) and Ashling Dolan (CL Maths) – report on the survey on remote learning
  • Bob Shankland (DHT) – SQA assessments

There will be the opportunity on the night to ask questions via the Q&A typed chat facility, but if you want to raise a question in advance it should be sent by Monday at 2pm to the Parent Council email and we will try to include it in the updates. 

Email the Parent Council

We know that not all parents will be free to join at the time of the meeting and we will be recording the presentations so that they can be viewed later. We are using MS Teams because it is the system approved by Edinburgh Council, but it doesn’t allow us to be as interactive as some other systems. The only people who will be seen and heard are the presenters, everyone else attending can interact by writing questions via the Q&A panel.

Parent Council Meeting 23 February 20201

You can catch up on the last PC meeting on 23 February via the minutes and recording of the meeting, and through the written responses for the Q&A.

Minutes of Parent Council meeting 23 February 2021

Recording of Parent Council Meeting 23 February 2021

Q&A for the Parent Countil meeting 23 February 2021

City of Edinburgh Council response to JGHS deputation concerning capacity issues

19 March 2021: The Parent Council has received a response to the deputation it made to the meeting of the Education, Children and Families Committee on 2 March 2021, which raised concerns about the lack of provision of additional classroom accommodation for 2021/22.  

Parent Council Deputation (2 March 2021)

City of Edinburgh Council response (18 March 2021)

At the Council Committee meeting it was agreed that further investigation would be carried out to ascertain whether additional accommodation for August 2021 would still be a possibility, even at this point in the school year. 

It was also agreed that consortia arrangements to share senior level courses between schools would also be looked at.

The response deals in part with these issues, but the Parent Council will be considering whether further steps should be taken to pursue the points raised in the deputation.

All Parent Council documents relating to the S6 capacity issue and plans for flexible digital learning in 2021/22 can be found on the Useful Files page

Useful Files

FutureScot EduTech Webinar

10 March 2021: FutureScot is hosting an EduTech Webinar on Wednesday 17 March at 12.30 pm – The Power of Video in BGE and Senior Phase Education.

Register to attend the webinar here

Remote or ‘blended’ forms of digital teaching and learning are fast embedding themselves across the curriculum. Through this webinar FutureScot will explore the balance of provision, in terms of what constitutes digital teaching and learning pedadogy, and to move the conversation on from being solely about live delivery of timetabled activities: in practice, that means a focus on how traditional classroom learning can be ‘repackaged’ into consumable and highly engaging content media, ‘on demand’ at any time.


  • David McKee, Quality Improvement Education Officer (Digital Learning), The City of Edinburgh
  • Michael Wilkinson, Managing Director UK, ClickView
  • Amy Hollier, Director of Blended & Online Learning, Heart of Worcestershire College
  • Joan MacKay, Head of Curriculum Innovation, Education Scotland
  • John Stuart, Lead Officer, East Renfrewshire Council

Much progress has undoubtedly been made in the last 12 months, in response to a public health emergency, but we need to better understand what is working locally in schools – at primary and secondary level – if we are to make to learn the lessons of the pandemic and effect longer-term change in education. This free to attend webinar will help inform the national policy context in the run up to and during FutureScot’s EduTech Conference, on 13 May 2021.