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Headteacher Communication Bulletin 37
 
Headteacher Message

This session has been an exciting and challenging one with ongoing changes to the curriculum, decreasing public sector budgets, the recent Governance review and yet the commitment, hard work , relentless energy and support for our young people is evident in every member of staff.
I wish you all a wonderful restful holiday full of fun and sunshine. I look forward to working with you all next session as we continue the journey of improvement together in Morgan Academy.

Kindest regards,
Helen

General News

• Turner Bell Competition

Morgan Academy's annual Turner Bell competition was held on Monday 19th June. The competition, for the singing of classical song has been held in school since 1931. This year, three competitors - Bethany Cameron, Aleceia McGouldrick and Rachel Millar performed varied programmes of songs to adjudicator Mr Robert Nee, a local singer and musician. An audience of friends, family and staff supported the girls. After a close competition, Aleceia McGouldrick was named the winner for this year. All the girls did very well and we do hope they keep up their singing in years to come.
It was an absolute pleasure to hear such high quality singing and thank you once again to the music department for the super organisation.


• Edinburgh / Angus Awards

I had the pleasure of attending this event on Sunday where Paul Pomeroy and Fiona Butchart received the prizes for Morgan Academy. The Educational Trust of the Edinburgh Angus awards each two outstanding pupils nominated by the school for academic achievement. This was a lovely afternoon of celebration for the pupils and parents to enjoy together.

• Chris Wolfe Award

Congratulations to Taylor Forbes and Pyper Nixon for gaining 'commended' awards for their speaking performance at the initial Chris Wolfe Award for Modern Languages. We are exceptionally proud of them!

• EMID

Morgan Academy hosted the Maths enterprise challenge on Friday. This was an exciting opportunity for school teams to challenge each other in their Maths knowledge, quick thinking and work towards a desired outcome. Ian Ross, Chris Thomas and several S6 pupils organised and facilitated a great day complimented by all the schools who took part. Our S6 were highly complimented and the pupils taking part were a credit to all their schools through their engagement.

 
Pupils representing Morgan were;
Rebecca Gotch 3A1, Erin Anderson 2C1, Chelsea Elliot 2C1, Freddie Campbell 2C1,
Oliwia Szychulska 2CC, Marylou das Changas e Silva 2CC, Sohana Saghir 2A2,
Megan White 2CC and Maya Hill 2C1

• DYW – Dundee Port Placement
On Monday of last week, five pupils in S5 got the unique opportunity to engage in a three day work experience programme with Dundee Port Authority.    As well as a tour of the Port, they explored the various roles areas of engineering, logistics and human resources in a hands-on programme of activities.  All pupils represented the school very well and we hope that this will be the beginning of a lasting partnership between Morgan and the port.


Wishing you all a great week and well deserved holiday,
Helen

 

Headteacher Communication Bulletin 36

School Improvement Plan

I met with PT’s last week where we discussed and agreed the following points;

1. From August DM’s will alternate each week between a business meeting and a strategic meeting. The former will focus on review of courses, attainment, and administration  tasks while the latter will focus on discussion led by a plan on different Q.I’s and the challenge questions in HGIOS 4. This will help all staff be clear about where we are as a school/ department / teacher and inform the next steps required for improvement.

2. Pupils should be reminded of standards and expectations regularly and we agreed this would be focus for the remainder of this term and the first time all classes meet you in August. . In addition staff will be provided with a PowerPoint resource to use if they so wish. This will ensure a consistent message. This will be reinforced in tutor time with the lesson provided for August. The lesson explains the relationship between rules, expectations and the workplace. In addition staff will be provided with a PowerPoint resource to use if they so wish. This will ensure a consistent message. Please emphasise this at all times when talking to pupils. DYW should be high on everyone’s agenda. We need to keep drip feeding to pupils the relevance of everything we do to the workplace.

3. Pupils will be given a letter for parents and carers reminding of them school uniform this week

4. Staff are reminded not to take food and drink into lessons, be punctual, meet and greet pupils in corridors, and not to wear denim. If we are expecting standards from pupils and discussing the difference between relaxed and casual behaviour/dress compared to working and learning behaviour / dress we need to set those examples.

5. Working groups will be streamlined for August and staff are asked to opt into a group which will have a more focussed work plan for next session. 

6. PT’s to meet this week to discuss hotspots in their departments and work alongside another department at these times as a good neighbour.

General News

Sports

Despite all Lynn Cameron’s organisational skills, she could not control the weather and our school sports had to be cancelled last week. A reminder to all that the County Athletics Championships are going ahead at Caird Park this Wednesday. We wish all our participants luck in their events.

· New S1 visits this week

This Wednesday and Thursday, we welcome our new S1 to the school. A reminder to emphasise our expectations in effort, school dress, behaviour and respect to all as we build our Morgan community. The programme has been sent out to staff and S6 buddies are on hand to help. Any questions, issues or concerns do not hesitate to contact Andrew Wallace who has taken a lead in managing the transition process this

Headteacher Communication Bulletin 35

General News

 Girls, girls, girls!

I am delighted to announce the birth of Jessica Catherine O'Donnell born 11.50am on Saturday 28th May, 5.3lbs to Jane Dunlop, our Active Schools Co-ordinator. Born a little early but both mother and baby are doing well. We wish the family all the best for the future.

Congratulations also to Rosie Mclean had a baby girl, Megan Jean McLean on 24th of May 10.27am 7lbs 15oz

Mum and baby doing well

· French Assistant Farewell

A huge thank you and well done to Jerome our French assistant who has completed his placement with Morgan and its feeder primary schools throughout this session. He worked with small groups of pupils perfecting their French speaking and Jerome has enjoyed his experience in Scotland so much he is applying for jobs to stay here. We wish him every success.

· SQA Exams

A massive well done to all involved in the organisation and management of the SQA exams. The invigilators, a lot of them new, were superb and ably led by Bill Sinclair for the first time. They were extremely impressed with the preparedness of our pupils. A special thankyou to the office staff, Colin, Graham, SFL staff, Gloria and Alex who ensured everything ran smoothly. 

 

Headteacher Communication Bulletin 34

General News

· Tuesday 30th May 

Bestselling author, Karen McCombie has had over 70 books published and translated worldwide and has sold more than a million books. She is originally from Aberdeen, has family in Dundee and her husband is an ex Morgan Academy pupil. She presented to pupils on Tuesday and shared her experience as an author. A thoroughly inspiring experience for our young people.

· Cash for Kids Super Hero Day 

I received a wonderful thank you for our senior pupils who in their study leave supported Radio Tay in the above event on Cash for Kids Superhero Day by way of bag packing at Asda West, Dundee. The fantastic sum of £1341.76 was raised.  This will make a huge difference to disadvantaged children living in Tayside and Fife.

· School BBQ

A huge thank you to Martin and his team from the Tayside contracts for a wonderful event last Thursday. They even provided the sunshine! It was great to see so many staff and pupils get involved and help build the community we want to be in Morgan.

·  BPSS Link Opportunity

Sara Kyle our Bilingiual Support Teacher is looking for a new BPSS link for Morgan following the changes to SFL staffing in August. The person would assist with information gathering on specific bilingual pupils on Sara’s caseload and assist with communication regarding ESOL and community language exams. It would not require a huge amount of work and may be an interesting CPD opportunity. This is open to any member of staff who has good communication skills and an interest in assisting bilingual learners. Any member of staff who would like to find out more about this please contact Sara, based in SFL.

· Anti -bullying message

I met a couple of very concerned parents and pupils on Tuesday from a variety of year groups that highlighted the low level “bullying” going on in classes.  The pupils feedback was they feel at times their voices are not heard as there are very forceful characters in lessons who dominate the teacher time.  I assured the parents all staff are vigilant in these matters and ask that you continue to raise any concerns about individual pupils to guidance, i.e. negative comments by their peers. 

Next Wednesday PT’s and I are meeting to discuss how we emphasise a culture of mutual respect by all in June throughout lessons.  A tutor lesson has been, developed to compliment this and Andrew Wallace will be launching a new Anti-Bullying flier and survey with pupils in August. 

Wishing you all a great week.

Headteacher Communication Bulletin 33

General News

· Barbeque 25th May…

I wold like to take this opportunity to publicise the kitchens BBQ on offer this week. On Thursday 25th May, there will be a change to the lunchtime service and a BBQ on offer. I encourage us all to support this. The kitchen staff are trying a variety of new ventures to support the school in attracting pupils to stay in the building. Please support them this Thursday.

Tickets for the barbeque are available to buy from the kitchen at a cost of £2.05, cash will also be accepted on the day.

· Forfar Road works

I would like to remind staff we only received notification late last week that Forfar Road will be undergoing road works from Tuesday of this week for approximately 6 weeks. This will cause disruption to parking availability surrounding the school and may reduce access to the school car park as work progresses. Pupils received letters for parents last week but please remind them of safety walking to and from school and the DISC as I suspect walkways will be limited.

· Professional update

I had the pleasure this weekend of signing off some staff’s professional updates. Can I remind you if this is the year you are engaged with professional update please complete as soon as possible and send to your link member of senior management.

· A2E

We started our A2E unit last week with some successes with the pupils involved. Lynn Geddes fed back pupils engaged and for the most part followed instructions. Parents were supportive, as were staff in providing suitable work. We will continue to monitor this process and welcome feedback.

Wishing you all a great week.

Headteacher Communication Bulletin 31

General News

* Dundee Computer Games Jam Tuesday May 9 2017

University of Abertay

Our team of 4 came second in the competition  of 6 Dundee Schools.  They were a credit to the school and demonstrated great teamwork to produce a very good computer game and marketing approach in the time they had.  Arron Gray (2C2) was given a certificate, having been identified as the best programmer on the day.

All in all a really positive experience for the pupils and  Mr Chisholm was very proud of the way they represented the school.

* Exam progress

Feedback on Friday from the invigilators once again was that pupils were superb in their preparedness, behaviour and timekeeping. Well done in preparing them. I also spoke with many pupils who appeared calm and realistic.

Wishing you all a great week.

Headteacher Communication Bulletin 30

Active Schools Volunteer Awards Nominations

The school, staff and pupils have made it through to the final in many categories for the active Schools Volunteer Awards to be held in the Apex Hotel on Saturday 10th June. Congratulations to 

> Kim Thomson who is nominated for P.E teacher of Year, 

> Morgan Academy for Secondary School of Year

> Chelsea Grubb and Shonagh Quinton for Young Ambassador of the Year

> Atiya Rubbani, Kacey McCabe and Adam Cameron for Young Leader of the Year

> Former pupil Paul Collins for Abertay Volunteer of Year

> Former pupil Kieran Downie for Dundee and Angus college volunteer of Year 

We await the outcomes with excitement.

 

* Exam progress

Feedback on Friday from the invigilators was that pupils were superb in their preparedness, behaviour and timekeeping. Well done in preparing them. I also spoke with many pupils who appeared calm and realistic.

Headteacher Communication Bulletin 29

General News

 2017 Fringe Schools Poster Competition Results
The Art department encouraged our pupils to take part in the 2017 Fringe Schools Poster Competition. The pupils had to discover more about the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in their 70th anniversary year and create a poster celebrating this.The competition had an incredible response and I am delighted to inform you that Faith Mitchell 3M1 will be included in this year’s Fringe Schools Poster Exhibition alongside the winning programme covers, regional winners and Creative Stars Award. A fantastic achievement.
Below are some of the entries that we put in for the Edinburgh Fringe poster competition followed by the entry by Faith Mitchell.

 Girls Football

The girls played well and only lost 2 matches out of 7 finishing 2nd in the Tayside and Fife region!

  Senior Pupil Art work

A selection of images of design and expressive work sent to the SQA. I am extremely impressed with the pupil’s talent and support by staff. A huge well done.

DYW
On Thursday, five pupils attended a DYW event hosted by St Paul's on the hospitality industry. They met with Graeme Wilkie, the chef/proprietor from Strathkinness Tavern, who has over the last 9 years  built up a small village inn from a run-down pub to a vibrant and profitable small restaurant.  Graeme delivered a hands-on workshop in which he demonstrated piping, plate decoration and knife skills.  This was followed by a career talk and Q &A session.  All pupils agreed that he was very inspirational and were keen to go and eat at his restaurant.

Wishing you all a great week and Good luck to all pupils sitting SQA exams which officially start this week.

Helen


Head Teacher’s Communication Bulletin 28

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and feel reinvigorated and re- energised as we move into spring. Our focus this term should be to adapt Nat 5 in line with any expected changes and revise the BGE to ensure progression to the senior phase is smooth. It is essential that pupils are prepared for the correct level moving into S4 as there is no fall back to Nat 4 form next session.
We will be working together to streamline the SIP in line with the decisions we take regarding the PEF money, specifically with a focus on  reducing the poverty related attainment gap in Morgan Academy.
I wish us all a successful and fulfilling term.

Helen

General News

 Transition event

A very successful event focussed on developing pupils skills in Business mgt and event organisation. The pupils from our feeder primary schools engaged very well in the tasks, completed them displaying excellent teamwork, creativity and a willingness to learn. A superbly organised two days by Andrew Wallace in partnership with The Academy of Sport.

S1 Scots Poetry Competition

The English department are pleased to announce the winners of our annual S1 Scots Poetry Competition, in co-operation with the Business Education Department. As you may know, learners choose or write a poem in English, which is then sent to Business Education. Those without a poem are given the Oor Wullie poem by their Bus Ed teacher. They then use their word processing skills to present the poem beautifully. English teachers choose the best from each class. Our criteria are: poem, accuracy and presentation.
In no particular order, the winners are:
Seroar Dalo 1M1
Szymon Petasz 1M2
Cole Dye 1A1Close 1M1
Harento Repon 1C2
Oliwia Szychulska 1CC
Isla McDougall 1CC
Adam Al-Hussein 1A2
Leona Harley 1A1
The winners are displayed on the board outside Eng1 and have each been given a pen and a certificate.


Young Vocalist and Young Musician of the Year Finals

Congratulations to Rachel Adam who won the competition on the last week of term against the very best vocalists in the city. She performed out of her skin despite her accompaniment making some errors. She held it together and this resilience paid off in the end. I also had the pleasure of watching both Nathan Edward –Inatimi and Jamie White perform in the Young Instrumentalist final on the Thursday night. Both boys had competed in a preliminary round earlier in the week and did themselves proud. I am always so proud of our young people who can stand up in such a pressurised situation and give their best. Their talent is overwhelming.

Tartan Day Event

Chris Burton, Josh Harper and Rachel Adam attended a Civic Reception during the holiday to celebrate Tartan Day with representatives from the USA Consulate.

 

 Easter School

A huge thank you to Mike Mulholland for the superb organisation of Easter school, which so many of our young people benefitted from. We specifically targeted out LAC pupils and offered transport to encourage them to attend. On the days I was in pupils were engaged and the positive relationships with staff was evident. Feedback is always positive from pupils, the feel that Easter school is a great revision tool. It helps them focus and reassures them. A massive well done to all involved.

 Senior Cake Decorating

I wanted to share with you the final creations of our young people so ably supported by Fiona Russell. The skill level theses girls have developed and shown is truly creative and beautiful. I have had the pleasure of watching these master pieces come to life over the weeks they have been creating them. The precision and intricacy is amazing.


Wishing you all a great week.

Helen

Headteacher Communication Bulletin 27

General News

 Dundee Schools Orchestra Nights / School Summer concert

I had the pleasure of attending both events last week and witnessing the talent of so many of our young people. For many of our musicians it was quite a week with three major performance evenings and the music practical exams for their Nationals. They performed to the best of their abilities and were a credit to themselves, their parents and the school. A huge well done to all and the music staff and instrumental teachers who gave up so much of their time throughout the events.

 Red Nose Event

The Interact committee organised an excellent Lip Sync Competition supported by an enthusiastic audience. Asim Anwar was the successful winner for his interpretation of Beyonce. The total raised was £550, well done to all involved.

The next Interact event is scheduled for Thursday 20th April. All staff and friends are invited to buy tickets for the Bingo night, any donations / prizes to Mr Ross, Shonagh Quinton or Rachel Adam.

 

 Anne Frank Ambassadors

On Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd of March, a small group of S3 pupils were invested as Anne Frank Ambassadors. They were chosen because of their hard work and commitment towards presenting Anne's story when the roadshow was here last year. As ambassadors, it is their job to keep Anne's story alive and to share their experiences with others, particularly junior school and feeder primary pupils. To this end, the group are working on a presentation and workshop which they hope to present to these different groups. They will also have the opportunity to visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam later this year. They were an absolute credit to the school, their parents/carers and themselves and we look forward to seeing the results of all their hard work. The pupils involved supported by Lisa Devlin were as follows; Martyna Ciupinska, Kacey Harper, Leo Harry, Liam McPhail, Faith Mitchell and Cara Moffat.

 USA Exchange

A good news story I thought it would be good to share with you all;

Hello, Morgan Academy, my name is Lydia Tesfaye and I'm from Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria campus to be exact. I'm emailing you guys today to share my appreciation about the Morgan Academy visit we had last semester in 2016. It's been a few months since their visit, but since I've made a few lasting relationships with your students, it's worth mentioning how much of an impact your school has made. Your student represented the Academy excellently, especially Asim Anwar. He was one of the first students to great the Nova students. Despite there being a bit of an

awkward tension, he was extremely open and friendly, and excited to start discussing the differences both academically and socially between our two schools. We had a limited time with them, but during that time everyone felt comfortable and relaxed and close enough with each other to exchange numbers. Asim was extremely willing to form friendships with everyone he could, and he's definitely left an impact on me and my fellow peers. Like everyone, it seemed as though he is extremely proud of his school and chose to be very enthusiastic representing it. Thank you! -Lydia Tesfaye 

 RYLA

As you are aware we have sent pupils to the RYLA Leadership residential sponsored by Rotary over the past few years. This week 5 senior pupils in S5 took part in competitive interviews for two places. The feedback from the interview panel which consisted of Tim baker our Interact supporter and the General Manager of the Apex Hotel was that all 5 pupils performed to an outstanding degree and were a credit to themselves and the school. Casey Morrison and Tayler Melvin were successful on this occasion and we wish them every success. 

 

Wishing you all a great week and a restful holiday. I invite all staff to the staffroom on Friday for a small Easter treat with your coffee.

Helen 

Headteacher Communication Bulletin 26

Behaviour Management

We have receveed very posiive feedback from many departments and will take on board some of the very valuable suggestions. Lynn Geddes has agreed to take up the post as our Inclusion Officer and will have a reduced PSW case load to allow this to happen. The Pupil Equity Fund will pay for an additional PSW to continue to support the demand we have for our vunerable pupils in one to one support and group work. This post will be full time temporary initially for one year. The remainder of the pupil equity fund will be discussed with staff over the next term to identify specific  issues to Morgan and how we best use the money to reduce the poverty related attainmnet gap.

 Cross Country Championship

Aidan Simpson won our S3 Cross Country competition on Friday 3rd March afternoon, and then went on to run the Scottish Schools Cross Country Championship on Saturday 4th March in Linlithgow.
He finished 17th out of 115 runners, with a very competitive time (not a lot between 10th and 17th!).
Fingers crossed he can win the Dundee Schools title again on the 15th in Baxter Park.

Alexandria Twinning Association

On Monday 6th March the Dundee Alexandria Twinning Association (DATA) held a Civic Reception in the City Chambers for pupils and parents to celebrate the hugely successful Modern Studies 2016 USA trip. DATA helped to fund part of the cost of transport during our visit in and around Alexandria and organised a visit to NOVA College, a guided walking tour of the Old Town Alexandria and then hosted an indoor barbecue for us in Gadsby's Tavern, a favourite establishment of George Washington (and now a museum/tourist attraction). The speeches by Ashleigh Markie, Jack Teviotdale and Josh Harper were superb, they did themselves, their family and the school very proud.

  7 –A-Side Football
The following pupils have been selected to represent Morgan Academy on Monday 13th March, in the Cash Back 7-a-side football tournament at Riverside, Dundee University. Good luck girls. Miss Thomson will be accompanying the squad;
Ellie Farquar 4c2, Hope McLauchlan 3c1, Shannon McDonald 3cc, Rachel Keenan 3c1, Lauren McCabe 3a1, Casey McCabe 2m1, Caitlin McDonald 2a2, Louise Hay 2cc, and Rosie Lloyd 1cc

 S3 Author Project

Mariam Hussain 3CC, Tia Wilson 3AA, Eve Finnan 3M1, Aidan Westby 3A1, Louise Wynn 3C2, Ash Moffat-Wall 3C, Sophie Downes 3M1, Shona Sleigh 3CC, Sarah Mundt 3A1
Mrs Greig's S3 English class worked with writer Penny Ward on a writing project. Firstly, the pupils read Penny's Novella 'Jewel' as an e-book. They discussed the ideas and issues raised in the book and the process of writing. They then came up with ideas for their own writing. Each pupil produced a piece, which was peer evaluated and discussed with Penny and Mrs Greig. The finished pieces formed a booklet, edited by Penny. The above pupils read from this booklet at the event at Waterstone's on Monday 6th. The class is now deciding how best to share their knowledge and experience with the other S3 classes before they move to their S4 classes after Easter.

I had the pleasure of attending this event and was filled with pride, as our pupils were outstanding.


S3 Drama workshop

Last week, two classes of S3 Drama pupils attended technical theatre workshops at the Dundee Rep. The pupils were given an insight into the workings of theatrical lighting, sound, props and stage management by the professional technical staff and also given the opportunity to act in, light and cue a scene from the play "Death of a Salesman" which is currently playing at the theatre. In true Morgan Academy fashion, the pupils, accompanied by Mr Waghorn and Mrs Muirhead, were enthusiastic, receptive and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, which will be of great use to them in their Drama studies. Two pupils were even overheard discussing how they thought this would be a wonderful career option for them!

 DYW

We were delighted to have Atos Project manager, Derek McAllister in to help celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2017.  Feedback indicates his talk got pupils thinking in a different way about apprenticeships as a valued route into the world of work and the fantastic opportunities available in his company.  There are already a number of pupils who have asked for further information.
 
On Thursday, Annabel took 7 pupils to Edinburgh to visit the GTG training facilities for an Apprenticeship Open Day.  GTG provide all of the training for the Arnold Clark Group and their subsidiaries. Following a presentation, the pupils were given a tour of the workshop, able to speak to current apprentices about their experiences and also given the chance to attempt the assessments tests that applicant apprentices are put through.  All agreed that this was a really great opportunity and several pupils then went on to complete their application forms. 

Lots of great stories this week, please keep forwarding all the good work you and pupils are taking part in. It is wonderful to be able to share this with everyone.
  
Wishing you all a great week.

Helen

Headteacher Communication Bulletin 25

 Behaviour Management

Thakyou  to all departments who have provided feedback on the Behaviour Management Proposal. SMT will discuss all feedback this coming week, make any amendments and plan for implementation after our return from Easter.
Some of the allocated Pupil Equity Fund will pay for the additionl staffing required to run the alternative to exclusion unit.

General News

 Cross Country Championship

A hugely successful event organised by P.E. staff on Friday afternoon. The weather was kind and pupils participated with enthusiasm, supporting one another.


 GO4 SET

The school was represented at GO4 SET by a group of pupils led by Chris Thomas. I received a complimentary email from our local counsellor Lynne Short, highlighting the hard work of the pupils and staff involved.
Well done.

DYW Newsletter

A reminder the DYW newsletter was distributed to staff last week highlighting the work in progress. Please familiarise yourself with the content. Remembering that our aim is make our young people employable and the DYW agenda provides a platform to engage with employers and partners to help us meet this need.

 Mobile phones
Class teachers are being put in difficult situations regarding mobile phones. When they ask pupils to put them away they are being told some staff are allowing them to use them in lessons. I am sure this is not the case but we need to prevent pupils setting us up against one another. If there is a valid reason for the use of mobile phones for teaching and learning purposes please come and see me otherwise phones should not be out in class.
Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

  
Wishing you all a great week.

Helen

Headteacher Communication Bulletin 24

School Improvement

* Behaviour Management 

Thakyou  to all departments who have provided feedback on the Behaviour Management Proposal. SMT will discuss all feedback this coming week, make any amendments and plan for implementation after our return from Easter.

Some of the allocated Pupil Equity Fund will pay for the additionl staffing required to run the alternative to exclusion unit.

 

General News

* Cross Country Championship

A hugely successful event organised by P.E. staff on Friday afternoon. The weather was kind and pupils participated with enthusiasm, supporting one another.

* GO4 SET

The school was represented at GO4 SET by a group of pupils led by Chris Thomas. I received a complimentary email from our local counsellor Lynne Short, highlighting the hard work of the pupils and staff involved.

Well done.

* DYW Newsletter

A reminder the DYW newsletter was distributed to staff last week highlighting the work in progress. Please familiarise yourself with the content. Remembering that our aim is make our young people employable and the DYW agenda provides a platform to engage with employers and partners to help us meet this need.

* Mobile phones

Class teachers are being put in difficult situations regarding mobile phones. When they ask pupils to put them away they are being told some staff are allowing them to use them in lessons. I am sure this is not the case but we need to prevent pupils setting us up against one another. If there is a valid reason for the use of mobile phones for teaching and learning purposes please come and see me otherwise phones should not be out in class.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Wishing you all a great week.

Helen 

Headteacher Communication Bulletin 23

School Improvement

  • Behaviour Management

I have presented at the Guidance meetinga and PT’s meeting this week a proposal for additions to the current Behaviour Management structure. All draft paperwork and portocols have been circulated to PT’s to consult staff ovet the next week. Please ensure you take time to reflect upon the proposals and offer any suggestions, improvements, amendments or ideas.

General News

  • Badminton competition

On Friday our Primary Cluster Badminton event was held at DISC from 1.30 - 3pm. Primary 6 pupil’s from Dens Road, Clepington and Glebelands took part in a Badminton Big Hit festival. 

Morgan Academy pupils led the Badminton themed stations with help from Active Schools and Badminton Scotland.

  • Primary School Interact Quiz

This was hosted in Morgan on Wednesday evening with  primary school teams taking part. Our senior Interact group helped facilitate this event.

  • SCS Inspection

Thank you to all staff and pupils who took part in supporting our partners in Skills Development Scotland through their Inspection process this week. The focus group I was part of was very positive and highlighted the good partnership as well as the joined up thinking we are developing to ensure the best for our young people. I also received very positive feedback from the inspector about the pupils who took part in their focus group and how mature and knowledgeable they were.

 

MORGAN ACADEMY

WORLD BOOK DAY

THURSDAY 2ND MARCH

PERIOD 4

12 –12.20PM

DROP EVERYTHING AND READ

                                             LISTEN OUT FOR 3 BELLS

HAVE YOUR BOOK READY

TAKE A BOOK TABLE  OUTSIDE LIBRARY

      

Wishing you all a great week and a wonderful holiday weekend,

 

Helen

Headteacher Communication Bulletin 22

School Improvement

  • Includem

Our Includem worker has been appointment and has met with the guidance team, attended Pupil Referral Team meetings and has taken referrals on pupils. She will be working with approximately 6 pupils for 6 months, followed by another group and so on for 2 years. The aim of the work is to engage young people back with education, attendance and improved behaviour, help prevent offending, work with parents and involve the community in the development of the young person. The Includem workers will work with young people out of school hours although will support flexible learning plans where appropriate. This is additional resource providing wrap around support for families and our young people. It is being funded by the Attainment Challenge and Robertson’s Trust Foundation, for two years and if it proves a success DCC will commit to funding this further. This project will be heavily scrutinised and evaluated and staff may be asked for their opinion on whether they have seen a difference in individuals. The researchers will be in school 4 times over the course of the next two years.

General News

  • Youth Speaks- Interact competition

Our Youth Speaks team who competed at the Rotary competition on Thursday night were outstanding. Danielle McFawns did a brilliant job and Paul Pomeroy was the ‘stand out’ speaker of the whole competition with Megan Robb giving a very good vote of thanks. The team won and are through to the Regional final involving the North of England and the whole of Scotland) in Pollockshields on Sunday the 12th March. Wel done to the team we are exceptionally proud of them and wish them every success in the final.

  • Book Blurb competition

The English department have just held their annual Book Blurb Competition. The following pupils were best in class:

Molly McGillivray 2M2

Teegan-Jay Turner 2C1

Mailika Din 2M1

Indya Nunes Krolfifer 2AA

Evedina Davidenko 2C2

The overall winner was:     Kornelia Komorowska 2C1,

Prizes and certificates have been awarded. The judges were impressed by the high standard of the entries: several other pupils were highly commended by their teachers. The winning entries are on display on the noticeboard next to English Room 6. Well done to all who took part.

  • Media – Good News Story

Lisa welsh has been invited to Glasgow on the 29th March to attend the Glasgow Film Theatre. Marceli Guziewicz , Jason Stewart and Ross Phillips left last year. As part of their Media Higher they were required to research, plan and film a trailer. It really is a test of what they have learned in Media and if they can apply the theory in a practical setting. The group have been recognised by the SQA for their amazing trailer and will be part of an event celebrating the great work of pupils from all over Scotland.

 

  • Evaluation of parents evening

As you are aware we ask parents to complet an evaluation of the parents evenings. They are always positive about staff, the feedback they receive andhow well you kow their young people. The only issues have been regarding appontmnets and I thank those staff who have complied and put their appointment times outside teir doors. Tis is helping parents see when they are due and anticipate how ling they may nedd to wait. The only other issue has been some parents feell thye could do with longer tiem to discuss issues. Please remind pupils they can book a 10 minute appointment .

           

Wishing you all a great week and a wonderful holiday weekend,

Helen

 

Headteacher Communication Bulletin 21

 School Improvement

Following on from the PT focus groups held in December and meetings with the EIS trade union representatives recently, we have been looking outwards at good practice across neighbouring authorities. Several discussions, enquiries and visits have taken place to gather what alternatives there are to dealing with the increased complex nature of a small group of pupils. How do we best serve them to ensure they succeed and keep them in school? 

The SMT with PT’s have agreed to look at an Alternative to Exclusion in- house facility with the decrease in offsite options, as well as other sanctions. SMT will be planning this in detail during the in-service day in preparation to present to PT’s and staff in the coming weeks.

I hope to pilot a model during study leave when we have only S1-S3 in school. 

The vast majority of our pupils do extremely well and the BBBL system works for them. We need to look at a system that caters for those young people who struggle in school and find a way to engage them for their benefit and the benefit of all.

I thank you for your support in the meantime as all schools work through this challenge. 

 Energy Awareness Inspection

We had 2 staff from the Energy Management team do an unannounced Energy inspection walk round at the end of last week. They highlighted some good practice across the school, however there are some improvements still required and they have requested that we still need to continue to enforce energy saving by switching off lights, heaters, fans, speakers etc. They plan to return on the 23 March so please be vigilant in adhering to the recommendations. Gloria has provided us all with feedback that is more detailed in her email this morning.

 DYW and Partnership developments 

The Home Economics department were delighted to welcome Chefs from the Apex Hotel in to demonstrate their skills to N5 Hospitality classes last week.  In preparation for their forthcoming exam, the pupils observed the Chefs demonstrating a range of skills from plate decoration to precision knife skills.  This event also caught the attention of the Apex Hotel Chain who responded by tweet, “brilliant to a part of inspiring youngsters about the #hospitality industry!”  Morgan Academy have built up a very positive relationship with Apex that we hope will continue into the future.  

Any other departments who engage with employers please let us know to spread the good practice throughout the school.

 

Headteacher Communication Bulletin 20

School Improvement

A successful week with visitors highlighting the wonderful, innovative work going on in Morgan.

* Champions Board

Firstly a visit by David Martin, Chief Executive to our Champions Board. He and others from Education Scotland, were extremely impressed and moved by our pupil’s life stories. The pupils explained what they get out of the support of the Champions board. He has asked them to share this with other schools in the hope this type of support is rolled out across the city. Powerful presentations and video’s were shared by our young people and they are happy for us to share these with other staff and at assemblies in the future. It was a privilege to hear their stories.

* Fresh Start

On Friday, we also hosted a visitor from North Lanarkshire with Gail Sterling, Literacy Development Officer, to share the good practice of the Fresh Start programme. North Lanarkshire hope to develop this recovery programme in all their schools and Morgan were highlighted as a school who had taken things forward positively and successfully. A huge well done to the staff involved. 

Once again, the staff were recognised for their innovation and openness to new learning and teaching for the benefit of pupils.

General News

* A massive well done to all staff and pupils for an excellent two weeks of prelims. The invigilators highlighted the preparedness and mature behaviour of our young people and the smooth organisation supported by PT’s and SMT. I have had some feedback already about increased attainment, which is extremely positive.

Wishing you all a great week,

Helen 

 Headteacher Communication Bulletin 19

Firstly can I thank all staff who supported Fiona and I to help resolve some of situations and issues, which arose on Friday afternoon.  I hope you had a well-deserved weekend and once again, together we proved we are a strong team who have the best interests of the pupils and each other in everything we do. I have met with the police this morning and they have promised to have a better presence at lunchtime at the shops and Baxter Park.

 

In addition, David Martin, Chief Executive is visiting the school on Wednesday afternoon 1.30-4.00pm to meet the Champion Board pupils but no doubt, he will have an interest in the whole school. The meeting will take place in the Conference room on the first floor.

Helen

School Improvement

* New Inspection Model

At the staff meeting last week, I outlined the process of the New Inspection Model and the different agenda set by the inspectors. Please discuss this at the next few DM’s and reflect on your practice using the power point sent to PT’s, HGIOS 4, and the challenge questions. Information form these discussion should inform your DIP for next session.

* SDS Inspection by Education Scotland 

I was informed on Friday that our colleagues in Skills Development Scotland will be undergoing an inspection throughout Dundee week beginning the 20th Feb 2017. This will include a visit to Morgan on the 22nd from 1pm -4pm and will involve an observation of Grainne in a one to one interview as well as carrying out a lesson / group work, a pupil focus group and a staff focus group. I have arranged for preparation for the staff focus group on the afternoon of the in-service day and I will speak to the relevant staff beforehand. Grainne will select the pupils with Wendy and prepare them for the experience. I know we will all do our best to support our colleagues and the good work they do for our pupils in the Careers service. All staff should familiarise themselves with the new Careers Standard and Work Experience Standard available on Education Scotland’s website.

General News

* Football 

The following boys have been chosen to play for the Dundee Select team in the U15 Trophy Quarterfinal away to Aberdeen at Spain Park, Banks o'Dee, on Tuesday 24th January, kick-off 1.00 : 

Adam Cameron, Ryan Smith, Jack Whyte  (Morgan)

 

* Careers Convention 2017

A very successful night hosted by Grove and attended by a large number of employers and partners. I am sure the pupils and staff who attended gained very relevant information. We are scheduled to host this event next year.

 

* Eco School 

Neil McKay is hoping to start an Eco group and aim long term for Green Flag status for the school. Please encourage all pupils to get involved.

Wishing you all a great week,

Helen 

 

Head Teacher’s Communication Bulletin 18
 
School Improvement

• School Relationships for Learning

Last week in assemblies I emphasised to pupils the expectations of behaviours, the ladder of sanctions and mutual respect we hope to promote throughout the school. I ask that all teachers reiterate these procedures on a regular basis and in particular emphasise the list below,
1. Jackets off
2. Phones off and away
3. No head phones
4. No eating in class
5. Being prepared for lessons with appropriate equipment, kit or homework
6. Being on time
7. Following instructions
It is vital we all work together to ensure a consistent approach for all pupils. This helps support one another and ensures everyone is treated fairly.


General News
• Success Story
'Morgan Academy FC'  our former pupil Amy Gallacher this week signed for Hibernian FC. As the Hibs website tells us, "Amy is one of the best prospects in Scottish football and we are delighted to welcome her to the club". This is a massive move for Amy who was previously with Forfar Farmington.
 


• Careers Convention 2017

Reminder to all staff that this year’s Career Convention will be held at Grove Academy on Wednesday the 18th Jan, 6.00-8.00pm. This is open to all pupils s2-S6, please publicise the importance of this event and the relevant information pupils will receive. Thanks to Wendy Henderson who has been part of the team organising this event.

• Ipads

We now have 10 iPads to borrow for class use.
 iPads can be booked in the same way as library pc systems either by phone or timetable in library.
 
The following should be remembered:
1. All the iPads are numbered and named. If you could remind pupils that these are educational tools and must be used appropriately and sensibly and in line with the Acceptable Use Policy for school ICT.
2. It is the responsibility of member of Staff borrowing I Pads to uplift and return all I Pads to Library Resource Centre.
3. At the end of each class, make sure the iPads are switched off and returned, if any problems /faults please notify us immediately, (taking note of name / number of I Pad).
In addition, we are awaiting news back from a bid we have put in to increase WIFI throughout the school.

 
           
Wishing you all a great week,

Helen

 

 

COMMUNICATION BULLLETIN JANUARY 2017

New Year Message

Welcome back to all staff and pupils. I hope you had a wonderful and restful break with family & friends. The term ahead is a difficult one with dark nights, SQA deadlines, prelims, the last dash for the exams with folios, unit assessments and the list goes on. I encourage us all to continue to support one another, keep working hard as you all do and keep the fun in the workplace. I wish us all an amazing 2017 full of excitement and cheer as we face the challenges ahead together.

Helen

 

School Improvement

* School Relationships for Learning 

This week in assemblies I will emphasise to pupils the expectations of behaviours, the ladder of sanctions and mutual respect we hope to promote throughout the school. I ask that all tutor teachers reiterate these procedures on Wednesday morning and in particular emphasise the list below,

1. Jackets off

2. Phones off and away

3. No head phones

4. No eating in class

5. Being prepared for lessons with appropriate equipment, kit or homework

6. Being on time

7. Following instructions

It is vital we all work together to ensure a consistent approach for all pupils. This helps support one another and ensures everyone is treated fairly.

 

* Prelims

The senior prelims begin next week and Alex will be leading assemblies with pupils to emphasise the importance of the exams, the preparation required, the behaviour expectations and seriousness of this as a rehearsal for the SQA diet. Assemblies will take place Period 4 Monday for S4 and period 1 Tuesday for S5 &6.

 

* Budgets/ supported study

It is no surprise that in the current climate we are being asked to be extremely frugal with our budgets and I have been asked to only spend on necessary items between Jan – March. PT’s are aware of the budget restrictions and only essential items should be purchased. We are all being asked to support the Children’s and Families Service in our own small way to help with the deficit we will face at the end of the financial

year. In addition to that we should expect budget cuts for next session. This means we have no carry forward as I anticipate it being taken into the bigger pot of money to help with any deficit. Therefore, we are no longer in a position to pay staff for study support. I appreciate the efforts staff put into supporting pupils and giving up their own time. I would encourage staff to still do so and perhaps offer lunchtime instead of after school to reduce the time in school. A more balanced timetable across the week may encourage better attendance by pupils. The pupils in their focus groups did mention from S3 upwards they would prefer a variety of times and not just one night.

Once I have a better idea of the budget cuts we will be in apposition to discuss Easter School which I hope we can still fund.

 

General News

* Compulsory PE Kit  

The PE Department would like to remind all pupils that from the start of this term our new PE uniform of a Black T-shirt will be compulsory for all pupils S1-S6. 

If pupils have not opted to purchase a Morgan Academy T-shirt, then they must wear their own plain black t-shirt. 

Any pupils who choose not to come prepared with a black t-shirt, will be given our PE kit to borrow. Please advise pupils.

 

* Foodbank 

We, as a school, had collection for Dundee’s foodbank in December. This is a charity that helps local people through a very difficult time by providing them with emergency food – anyone of us may at some point find ourselves relying on the generosity of others, for that reason it would be brilliant to do the same for those who need it now.

The foodbank collects all and any dry foods (from pasta and canned veg, to coke and dog food) and relies solely on the donations from the public. If everyone (staff and pupils) were able to donate just one item – be it a tin of 8p beans from Aldi, or a cheap packet of biscuits – then we would be able to make sure that fewer people will go hungry this winter.

Without the generosity of people like you, those of us who have had a particularly difficult month for whatever financial reason would not be able to eat. Over 8,000 parcels were delivered in Dundee last year – that is 8,000 children and adults in our city that would have had to go with literally no food if it were not for the foodbank.

This was a huge success organised by Stewart Haddow and I thank all who participated.

 

* Evening Telegraph Community Spirit Awards.

Tim Baker our support and link with Interact I was asked by the evening Telegraph if he knew any young people who I might nominate for the Evening Telegraph Community Spirit Awards.

He chose to nominate Samantha Wilson in the Community Spirit category. The Samantha was shortlisted. Well done to her.     

* Christmas Debating Final

After three entertaining heats Mains and Airlie qualified for Monday afternoon’s final. This was held in the Hall. The Motion was;

This House believes that commercialisation is the true meaning of Christmas.

Airlie proposed the motion, and Mains opposed. 

It was pleasure judging the competition which was of the highest calibre. A massive well done to the debaters, tie keepers, chairperson and organisation of Diane Anderson. A fun activity which was still a hugely learning environment for all on public speaking. 

 

* Enterprise at the Rep

We are delighted to share with you the video which was created by our young Media team as part of Dundee Rep Theatre’s Enterprise @ the Rep project this year – http://bit.ly/2gJDR5l

We hope it gives you a small insight into the hard-work, energy and creativity of Dundee’s young people who make it such an inspiring two days.

Wishing you all a great week,

Helen 

Head Teacher’s Communication Bulletin 16
  
A Christmas Message

This term has gone past in flash but as we stop to draw breath we should be extremely proud of all we have achieved. The hard work, commitment and teamwork in our staff is evident in our everyday actions. Our parents, pupils and partners all highlight this to me regularly.
The speed of change and development comes with excitement and pressure. You have all responded, and continue to do so, with professionalism and a desire to do your best.
I thank you for that and wish you all a well-deserved holiday.
I wish you all a Christmas full of enchantment & cheer and a sparkling New Year.

Helen

School Improvement

 S3 Exams

A huge well done to all S3 who have conducted themselves in a mature manner when sitting their exams this week. They appear to have taken them very seriously and thanks to the staff who have prepared them so well.

 The New Inspection Model

The SMT attended a twilight training session on Thursday evening about the new Inspection Model. This was delivered by Andrena Waghorn, Headteacher at Craigie High who has just experienced an inspection. The inspection model has a huge emphasis on BGE, the effective monitoring and tracking of pupils and continuous tracking of pupils and sustained Improved Attainment over time. How active are pupils in their learning and how much say / choice do they have in the classroom? Definitely food for thought and I will provide all the information to PT’s in the New Year in order that we are all prepared.


General News

 SWIMMING GALA 2016
 
Congratulations to all participants in this year’s swimming gala. A fantastic event, with some very competitive races. Well done to all pupils!
This year’s Morgan Academy overall swimming champions –
S1 – Ava Glennie 1C1 and Aaron Airlie 1A1
S2 – Nikole O’Reilly 2CC and Lewis Dewar 2M1
Senior – Seonaid Grant 4M2 and Rohan Koli 6C2
Relay – Mains

             
           

Higher Modern Studies Christmas debate at Abertay University

On Tuesday 13th December Higher Modern Studies pupils from all over Dundee attended the above debate. The theme this year was Brexit. The debate had over 2500 viewers live online and that has been the University's biggest audience so far on their Facebook Live Stream. The Sociology Division are delighted with this. Pupils from Morgan Academy Modern Studies department attended, contributed to and enjoyed a very lively debate. Feedback has been very positive and the plans are underway for next year’s event already. Well done to all those who attended in both Mr Thomson’s and Mr Davidson’s Higher classes and thanks to Mr Davidson for supervising the trip.

Christmas Debating Final

After three entertaining heats Mains and Airlie qualified for Monday afternoon’s final. This will be held in the Hall. All teachers with a senior class period 6 and 7 are invited to accompany that class to the Hall to form part of the audience. Those S6 pupils with a study period are also invited to attend. The debate is unlikely to last for the full double period. The Motion will be;
This House believes that commercialisation is the true meaning of Christmas.
Airlie will propose the motion, Mains will oppose and the judges will be myself and Annabell Quin.

 Interact Christmas Jumper Day & Coffee morning.

The above took place on Friday 16th December and was a huge success, well organised by the Interact group and with staff and pupils proudly wearing their Christmas jumpers. The event was well supported by many visitors from the local community, our minister, some representatives from the FP’s and our local Councillor Lynn Short. The sum of money raised was £150.00, thank you to all who contributed and took part.

 Extended interval

Thursday 22nd of December interval will be extended by 5 minutes to encourage as many staff as possible to attend the staffroom to say farewell to Clair Spencer and enjoy tea/ coffee & biscuits together before we break for the Festive Season.
      

           
Wishing you all a great last week,

Helen

 

Head Teacher’s Communication Bulletin 15
  
Colleagues,
I would like to express again my gratitude for your thoughts, prayers and kind gestures at this time. No words can express the loss of my dad and hero but he would have been exceptionally moved by your kindness.
Thank you,
Helen

General News

 Christmas Information
         
Colleagues,

In order to get us in the festive spirit the following events have been organised by some of Santa’s helpers;

• House Coffee mornings hosted by the PT Guidance for their tutor staff in the Meeting room on the first floor. Monday 12th December, Mains/ Tuesday 13th, Cortachy and Thursday 15th, Airlie
• 16TH December, the Interact group coffee morning and National Christmas Jumper Day for Save the Children - all staff and pupils are encouraged to wear their Christmas Jumpers and donate any spare coins to the collection for the above charity. The collection will be at tutor time by prefects coordinated by the Interact group.
• The last week of term staff and pupils are encouraged to wear Christmas jumpers. For pupils please make clear this is in addition to school uniform.
• Monday 19th December- Christmas debate hosted in the English department with seniors in the afternoon.
• Wednesday 21st December: Pot luck Christmas lunch will include the please take draw and upside down bingo. We will also have another round of Christmas hot seat and Santa will be arriving to hand out the Secret Santa presents.
• Thursday 22nd December - Extended break with biscuits, coffee & tea from myself which the prefects will serve. All staff are encouraged to attend the staff room

          

• School Christmas Concert

It really was a great success again and the talent on display, as those who attended can testify, was outstanding.  There was a large audience in the hall who enjoyed 15 items of various Music.  These included:

Senior Wind Band
Junior Wind Band
Senior Rock Band
Junior Rock Band
Guitar Group
String Trio
Ukuleles
Staff & Pupil Choir
Senior Vocal Group
Soloists
 
Thanks to Mrs Simpson, Mr Waghorn, the Music Department staff and instructors for their organisation and dedication over the last few weeks and months rehearsing.  Most of this rehearsing is achieved at lunchtimes and after school and the pupils were a credit to their teachers and instructors.
Thanks also to the Art Department for decorating the stage and giving the whole evening a Christmas feel.

• PDA Christmas Fair
An outstanding effort and success with beautiful gifts made by the pupils and staff. Well done to all.

           
Wishing you all a great week.

Helen

 

Head Teacher’s Communication Bulletin 14

General News

 Ceilidh

An amazing turn out of over 100 pupils who engaged wholeheartedly in the very impressive dancing. They did themselves proud in the organisation and their dress. A fantastic night for all. Lots of photos to see on twitter.

 Dundee Final - Rotary Young Musician

Jamie White in S6 was fortunate enough to be one of the eight talented young players who won through to the final after playing the trumpet in the semi-final on Wednesday against pupils from all Dundee Secondary Schools and High School Of Dundee.  Adjudicator Jerry Randalls and a large audience were treated to an eclectic mixture of music from piano and violin to drum kit, clarinet and flute. 

On Friday night the Dundee Instrumental Final of the Rotary Young Musician of the Year took place in the University Chaplaincy. 

Composers from Bach and Beethoven to Rush’s Neil Peart and Miles Davis featured in a superb display of Dundee’s instrument talent.  Jamie played very well but didn’t however make it through to the final.  The adjudicator commented on an outstanding evening of music by very gifted young performers and he thanked the music staff and parents for all the support they give our fine young musicians.

 Football Update – Christmas 2016

As we end 2016 and the first half of the school year it is yet again our privilege to say that Morgan Academy once again has football teams across every single age group in Schools Football. All year groups are represented and this, as always, includes our U15s and U18s girl’s teams.

Starting with the girls, Mrs Haddow writes – “This year we have two girls football teams entered in Dundee competitions. The U15 team, overseen by Miss Thomson, were very successful in their first round of games in November and will be taking part in the next stage of the tournament in March. Mrs Haddow's U18s (previous Plate winners) also took part in their first games in November, in minus temperatures, with slightly less success but a great team spirit and are hoping to turn it around in the next round in March. Thanks to all of the girls who have taken part in Girls Football this year.”

With the boy’s football it has been a case of a successful year so far games wise but not quite yet with our results on the pitch. Each side has played at least once and all still stand a chance of qualifying for the end of year “Champions League” as well as the individual cups. 

We are once again being assisted by Senior pupils and we have a returning former pupil in the shape of Andrew Creegan who is continuing in his role as coach of the U15s side. The current managerial positions in the school are – 

* U13s – Miss Welsh, Josh Harper, Luke Carroll and Mark Osborn

* U14s – Mr Findlay

* U15s – Mr Griffin and Andrew Creegan

* U16s – Mr Haddow

* Seniors – Mr Kiddie 

* Girls U15s – Miss Thomson

* Girls U18s – Mrs Haddow

Mr Haddow continues to be the school’s football representative with the Dundee Schools Football Association (DSFA) and Scottish Schools FA, and at the end of last season he was elected as President of the DSFA (although this hasn’t helped us win any trophies yet!)

With many more games scheduled for the next few weeks and in to next term we are hopeful of a successful 2016/17 and some silverware come the end of the season!

Finally, we must end this update with a massive thank you to Mr Ogilvie (or ‘Greig from the Print Room’ to our players!). Over the last few seasons Greig has put in a huge amount of work for the school football at Morgan. The list includes...…minibus driving, kit washing, printing, food buying, coaching, managing, and as he puts it himself “chief encouraging” of our players. We are sorry to see you go Greig!

 Reminder- Christmas Newsletter

I would like to celebrate the great work of staff and pupils and share the good practice with the community through a Christmas Newsletter. Could departments submit articles electronically highlighting the skills and talents of our pupils and staff to Lesley Abbot by Friday, 9th December in order to give time to design the newsletter, edit and produce for distribution.

 

Head Teacher’s Communication Bulletin 13

School Improvement
 
A huge thanks to the staff who presented on Wednesday night at the whole staff meeting. There were lots of nods of encouragement and once again a sense of enthusiasm for the good work going in on the school driving improvement. A reminder of the key messages;

1. Embed the 5-5-1 literacy tool in all departments. An excellent tool developing reading, scanning and summarising skills, as well as a useful method for revision. One representative from each department encouraged to attend twilight training on offer. Departments asked to produce reading materials for 5-5-1 activities which can be used as please take materials.
2. Peer Mediation – 16 pupils from S3 and S5 trained as Peer Mediators to help resolve low level conflict and fall outs between their peer group. All of the pupils involved have committed to an intense training programme and are keen to get started using their skills. They will be supported by guidance staff who will also be the gatekeepers for referrals. The peer mediators will lead assemblies in January to promote this.
3. Relationships for learning – Sir John Jones reminded us of the importance of rapport in the classroom and that if people feel safe and cared for they are happier. Happier people are more open to learning. To help us develop a consistent approach across the school and build a rapport with pupils that shows no bias we have our discipline policy. This allows teachers to teach and learners to learn. Staff were reminded of the system and the consistent approach we should all strive for;
•  3 warnings, use of support of moving seat,
•  to good neighbour,
• Moved by P.T
•  lastly a punishment
Punishments should be followed up by the teacher and PT if required for support. Guidance staff will now supervise interval detention and help follow up those who do not attend as this may be part of a bigger picture for these young people.
4. All staff were asked to help with interval and lunchtime supervision for the greater good of all in school and to support our colleagues in the canteen, and cleaning staff. A larger staff presence particularly in the winter months as more and more pupils stay in school will once again help control litter and ensure the consistent message of taking pride in the school. In addition, a plea for all staff to help on the last day take music equipment back to the department and allow our colleagues in this department get on holiday as quickly as possible.

 

General News

 Scottish Book Week
Last week was our annual Scottish Book Week which involved all S1/S2 and some S3 visiting the Library to take part in workshops by Dundee Comic Space, retired illustrator from DCThompson, Jim Glen and Craig Graham managing editor of the Beano. Joe Lamb. Local author and Alistair Wilson, Dundee City Libraries also made a welcome return.
Mr Gillespie our newly published author took part in a question and answer session for the Higher English class chaired by Mrs Anderson. Mr Gillespie’s book “Photographing God” is now avaialble on Amazon.
Pupils also took part in the Library Book Buffet “sampling” various book related activities –matching book characters to books , favourite foods of book characters and lots more. Our Literacy across the Curriculum board game QUEST once again proved popular with some very competitive teams playing!
Pupils were also given the opportunity to take part in our Scottish Images Bingo and Murder in the Library which this year was “committed” by Ms McDonough with cyanide and the victim Mrs Valentine.
Drop Everything and Read gave staff and pupils an opportunity to have a read for 20mins each day.
To celebrate Book Week Miss Adam and Mr Gillespie performed a version of It’s a Book by Lane Smith promoting the “joy” of reading.A highlight of this year’s events.       
 
 Rotary Vocalist of the Year

Last week, two of our pupils (Rachael Adam, Vice Captain and Rachel Millar, School Captain) competed in the Rotary Vocalist of the Year competition.
The semi-final was held on Wednesday evening when both pupils progressed to the final. The final was held on Friday evening and Rachel Millar came second - securing a place in the District competition (Tayside) in February. Rachel was the only pupil from a DCC school to progress to the next stage. We are delighted for her - she worked very hard at her programme and sang superbly. The music department will keep us up to date with the dates/times of the next round.

 DYW- Media Development by Pupils
Rachel Baldie's (6A1) involvement in the BFI Film Academy has been quite a commitment for her and the event on the 10th of December will showcase her involvement.
 
“With funding from the BFI Film Academy Network, DCA has been working since mid-August with 12 young people aged 16 –19, who successfully applied to the scheme and demonstrated their real enthusiasm for filmmaking. Already the group has learnt skills in camera, lighting sound, script, pre-production planning, marketing and copyright.
Two of their story ideas were successfully ‘pitched’ and the group are now into the production phase of activity for two short films. This will see them spend four days on location in and around Dundee shooting scenes.” DCA Website
http://www.dca.org.uk/whats-on/event/discovery-film-school-dundee-2016

 Christmas Tree lights switch on
A hugely successful event celebrated with the Lord Provost, local councillors, our primary colleagues and Stobswell Forum members. Music was provided by the music department, our pupil choir and the primaries. It was a delight to hear the Christmas Carols and got us all into the festive spirit. Well done to all involved in the organisation and a thank you to those who attended.
• Reminder- Christmas Newsletter
I would like to celebrate the great work of staff and pupils and share the good practice with the community through a Christmas Newsletter. Could departments submit articles electronically highlighting the skills and talents of our pupils and staff to Lesley Abbot by Friday, 9th December in order to give time to design the newsletter, edit and produce for distribution.
Let’s use this opportunity to celebrate Morgan Academy!

        
           
Wishing you all a great week.

Helen

 

 

Head Teacher’s Communication Bulletin 12

 

School Improvement

Following on from last week summary of Sir John Jones' presentation I am reading his book “The Magic Weaving Business”. I am sure if you have spoken with colleagues who attended the presentation you will have picked up the enthusiasm and profound effect he had on everyone in the room over the two days he was in Dundee.

He highlighted, “ Education is a powerful engine for personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, the son of a mine- worker can become the manager of the mine, and that a child of a farm- workers can become president of a proud nation” (Nelson Mandela)

He was quick to point out he wished these were his words but he believes wholeheartedly in the power of education and that it should not be underestimated.

In response to this we are working together to further improve the school and focus groups of Principal teachers will take place over the next month to discuss consistency and the powerful influence we can have on our young people if we work together.

 

General News

  • Developing Scotland’s Young workforce – BAM Construction Event

Firstly, a thank you to Graeme Currie and Wendy Henderson for stepping in at the last minute to organise and supervise the above event. 12 Pupils were given the opportunity to work with BAM construction on Friday morning, where they received a presentation on the industry and construction of the V & A.

Apologies for the short notice regarding this event but we felt this opportunity could not be missed particularly by the pupils who have demonstrated an interest in the profession of engineering. Thank you to staff for their cooperation, I am sure the pupils will have got so much out of this event.

  • S1 Parents Evening

An extremely positive night with a 60% attendance rate. Parents were extremely complimentary about the passion of staff for their subjects and knowledge of the young people. A huge thankyou and well done.

  • Literacy Good Practice Event

One of the aims of the Scottish Attainment Challenge is to share practice to improve outcomes for children and young people across Scotland. On Thursday, as part of a visit to Dundee to see the city's Literacy Strategy in action, Morgan Academy hosted a visit from Suzanne Hargreaves, the Attainment Challenge Advisor for Shetland.  Suzanne was interested in Morgan's use of 5,5,1 as a vehicle for developing literacy across learning.

Suzanne was accompanied by Dundee's Attainment Challenge Advisor, Audrey May, ESO Literacy Gail Stirling along with Carole Wood and Ian Fyffe from Education Scotland.  Film clips of one of our S1 History classes engaged in the activity along with comments from staff and Gail will appear on the National Improvement Hub.  This has been a very timely visit as we take this forward across the school.  The work will be further developed both in-house and as part of the city-wide Literacy Leaders network.

  • As Dundee's secondary schools become a more formal part of the Scottish Attainment Challenge it is really encouraging that Morgan have been acknowledged for the work they are doing already.  In their short visit, the visitors also picked up on the enthusiasm and positivity of teaching staff and the manners and engagement of the pupils.

 

  • Morgan Academy Debating Society

The Debating team of Yumn Jassim and Andrew Brough was successful in progressing to the next round of the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Competition on Thursday night. The first round debate was held at Morrison’s Academy in Crieff. Morgan saw off experienced and accomplished opposition from both Morrison’s and Strathallen private schools.

The staff from these schools were amazed to hear that this was our first debating competition – their pupils train and practice from P7 and enter numerous competitions throughout the year.

The judges commended Yumn as the best speaker overall on the night. Andrew’s three-minute summation was also said to be instrumental in the team’s success.

The wider Society was represented by Nathan Inatimi and Lauryn and Rachel Baldie, who both gave impressive speeches as part of the floor debate. Indeed, Nathan won a £10 book token as the best contributor at this stage.

Look out for further notices – the Society plans to go from strength to strength on the basis of this very encouraging first foray into public competition. Thanks also to Diane Anderson for her coaching, advice and support of the young people involved.

  • Reminder -Christmas Tree lights information

Reminder to all that the Christmas Tree situated at the bottom gate to Morgan Academy will be illuminated on the evening of the 24th November at approximately 4.30pm. Our feeder primary schools will support the event with pupils singing Christmas Carols. In addition, our own musicians will also be taking part. I encourage a many staff as possible to attend. The Stobswell Forum are asking the shops to extend their working day and stay open later on that night. After the tree is lit there will be tea / coffee and shortbread in the school.

  • Reminder- Christmas Newsletter

I would like to celebrate the great work of staff and pupils and share the good practice with the community through a Christmas Newsletter. Could departments submit articles electronically highlighting the skills and talents of our pupils and staff to Lesley Abbot by Friday, 9th December in order to give time to design the newsletter, edit and produce for distribution.

Let’s use this opportunity to celebrate Morgan Academy!

              

Wishing you all a great week.

Helen

       

Head Teacher’s Communication Bulletin October No.11

School Improvement

The in-service day provided an opportunity for us all to focus on school improvement and become more familiar with HGIOS 4. Feedback has been very positive and I wish to thank staff for the enthusiasm which was displayed with each task.

The afternoon on Thursday involved over 20 staff from Morgan having the privilege to hear Sir John Jones speak. Truly an inspiring experience and for me personally he reinforced why I do this job.

He started by acknowledging the workload we are all under, the pace of change and demands of our daily tasks but he brought it all back to why we do this job.

He highlighted that 1 in 4 children in the UK live in poverty and that by the age of 4 they have a limited vocabulary compared to those children in more affluent homes, hence the poverty attainment gap. This is something we are all aware of but he highlighted this does not mean these young people lack ability they only lack opportunity.

He then stated he believes the opportunity is what schools can offer with inspirational and empathetic staff who build a rapport with these young people and build their self -belief through a growth mindset approach. He went on to say that the transforming of these young people is through learning and quality schooling. No dream should be denied and to some extent we as teachers need to be the dream builders.

He gave a frightening statistic about praise and belief in oneself.  He said that in a caring supportive home a child gets on average 12 encouragements for every discouragement. As it should be, picking your child up and getting them to try again. However, a child living in poverty or a difficult home situation gets 1 encouragement to every 2 discouragements. How can they develop a “can do attitude” to life? We have the power in schools to turn this around.

The presentation then went onto discuss the climate we establish in schools and classrooms. When people feel safe, cared for and happy their ability to learn is increased by 33%.

“ Children will forget what they have learned( the cognitive) but will never forget the way you made them feel (the emotional).”

 

    He asked in his research over the years what parents want for their children and what children want from their teachers.

    Parents want in this order;

    1.      My child to be happy

    2.      My child to be safe emotionally

    3.      My child to be surrounded by dream builders

    4.      My child to mix well and make friends

    5.      My child to get exam results

    A clear message of caution was then sent out not to reverse this order in schools!

    Pupils want from their teachers in relationships:

    1.      Greet me each day

    2.      Ask about me

    3.      Really listen to me

    4.      Smile at me

    5.      Laugh with me

    6.      Believe in me

    What pupils want from teachers in learning;

    1.      Make work challenging

    2.      Ask me brilliant questions and stretch my imagination

    3.      Let me find the answers

    4.      Help me learn through teaching, instruction and rapport

    5.      Tell me how I am doing – regular constructive feedback

    6.      Make lessons interesting

     

    Sir John Jones asked each teacher “to imagine the child standing in front of you is the most important person in the world” and treat them accordingly. He acknowledged this can difficult at times but gave excellent examples of the use of humour and discussing the positives of behaviour rather than the negatives.

    Finally, Sir John Jones summarised by highlighting teachers give pupils;

    1.      Opportunity

    2.      Passion about what connects them

    3.      Belief in pupils

    4.      Time

    5.      World class teaching

    By working together collaboratively we can make a difference. He acknowledged teaching is the hardest and best job in the world. He challenges us all to live by this motto;

    “They will be smart enough if I am good enough.”

    General News

    • Remembrance day service

    I attended with Josh and Rachel, School Captains, the Remembrance Service at Stobswell Church yesterday. The pupils laid a wreath on behalf of the school community and both Josh and Rachel read a poem as part of the service. In addition, some of our pupil choir accompanied by Richard Waghorn supported the service. All did Morgan Academy proud.

    • I have held focus groups with S1 and S2 pupils so far this term and they have been both enjoyable and constructive in their feedback.  The format has been a Co-operative learning placement task asking pupils what is good about the school and secondly what can be improved upon. It is heartening to know that;

    Ø  S1 feel cared for and safe in lessons

    Ø  all pupils like being “treated as young adults”

    Ø  all pupils enjoy the variety of subjects

    Ø  all pupils highly rated the canteen and variety of food

    Ø  S2 pupils specifically highlighted they like the PE facilities, extra-curricular on offer and the new PE uniform

    The S1 felt corridor crush particularly in stairwells an issue of concern. I ask all staff to help make them feel less threatened by meeting and greeting classes and if near a stairwell to ensure safe passage as best you can. Please encourage pupils to use a one -way system for safety and we will discuss this further with the pupil council. I look forward to the next round of focus groups.

    • Primary 6/7 open Evening

    A huge thankyou to Fiona Low and the team organising this event. It was a massive success with about 180 attendees. I believe one of the best attended for years. The displays and interaction with staff and the pupil helpers was really well received and feedback from parents and prospective pupils very positive throughout the night. Well done to everyone who contributed.

     

    • Extra-curricular Activities

    The S3-S4 Netball team played their 1st league game of the year against Craigie High School last week at DISC. They played 4, 11 minute quarters, which was the longest game the girls have played together since many of them started playing for Morgan in S1.

    The game was very close the whole way through, ending the first three quarters in an equal score.  It all came down to the final quarter and we went down by a few goals.  The girls rallied and eventually came out top on 16 -15!

    The girls were delighted with the result and have really progressed as a team with coaching from Rhian, a student from Dundee and Angus College. The girls put a lot of effort in and played so well as a team.  There were some wonder goals from Taylor Fleming, including one from the edge of the D that no one could believe went in! The girls are a credit to the School!

    The squad were as follows: Seonaid Grant, Rebecca Dewar,Taylor Fleming,Taylor Forbes, Kirsten McDougall, Abbi Crighton, Megan Reilly, Erin McDonald, Robyn White, Aishwary Costa, Faith Mitchell and Sophie Downes. Thanks also to Atiya, who helped out as an umpire for the game.

    Tonight sees the turn of the S1-S2 team playing St Johns, Baldragon and Harris at DISC from 4pm – 5.45pm. Following that Netball training resumes as normal from 4-5pm on Mondays!

    • Our in-house famous author!

    Just in time for Book Week, Mr Gillespie has self-published his first novel which is titled “Photographing God”.  Best described as a coming-of-age adventure for Holly Jane Foster and the citizens of the Earth, the narrative incorporates the mysteries of quantum physics, the threat of extinction and the awkwardness of being a teenager.

    One surprised colleague asked when does a teacher find the time to write a book?  Mr Gillespie replied that it is amazing how many words can be put on a page when his wife is out dining with her friends.  The truth, however, is that writing on this project commenced in November 1992!

    “Photographing God” is available print-on-demand from Fast Print Publishing at the price of £7.99 (only £1.00 of which will ever see its way to the author!).

    • Christmas Tree lights information

    The Christmas Tree situated at the bottom gate to Morgan Academy will be illuminated on the evening of the 24th November at approximately 4.30pm. Our feeder primary schools will support the event with pupils singing Christmas Carols. In addition, our own musicians will also be taking part. I encourage a many staff as possible to attend. The Stobswell Forum are asking the shops to extend their working day and stay open later on that night. After the tree is lit there will be tea / coffee and shortbread in the school.

    • Christmas Newsletter

    I would like to celebrate the great work of staff and pupils and share the good practice with the community through a Christmas Newsletter. Could departments submit articles electronically highlighting the skills and talents of our pupils and staff to Lesley Abbot by Friday, 9th December in order to give time to design the newsletter, edit and produce for distribution.

    Let’s use this opportunity to celebrate Morgan Academy!

        

               

    Wishing you all a great week.

    Helen

     

     

    Head teacher's Bulletin 8

    1. 1. Improvement in Attainment

     

    I firstly want to welcome you all back after what I hope was a restful break. Last term we met to analyse the school performance and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank every one of you for your valuable contribution in the meetings, the amount of work put into the evaluation of results and the solution focussed approach to improvement. The main action points for the whole school are:

    • to keep the bar raised high for National 5 candidates
    • referring to the Thresholds Monitoring and Tracking pupils should not be dropping levels and be aware of their targets and how to get there
    • early intervention essential, keeping parents aware of progress and concerns should be paramount to building relationships with parents and hopefully alleviate some of the issues of parental pressure to achieve levels pupils are not ready for. This should also reduce no awards
    • an agreed emphasis to get as many pupils National 5 Literacy and Numeracy in addition to English and Maths
    • to revisit BGE and ensure the pace and challenge is exciting, the course is a progression of knowledge, understanding and skills relevant for the Nationals

     

    The Attainment reviews were also a wonderful opportunity for me to see some of the excellent practice around the school, for example;

    Geography – in response to lower uptake they revisited their BGE plan and revised it incorporating relevant skills for the nationals and co-operative learning. The result has been a huge increase in results this year and uptake to maximum numbers in National 5 and Higher. In general pupils doing well as they understand what is required and expected of them.

    History – pupil self- evaluation post prelim raises awareness of strengths and development needs. Evaluation of each question, how they could have improved and action points of personal development recorded, parental signature and acknowledgement required as part of this dialogue. Pupils then have this and a second prelim is now going to be introduced in March.

    Modern studies – from S1 end of unit work develops skills required in National 5 and Higher assignments; research, timed tasks, presentation of a report.

    P.E. – Theory lessons built into every week for National 5 and Higher classes resulting in improved performance especially in National 5

    English – moderation of pupil work at all levels a regular task carried out by staff to ensuThe Attainment reviews were also a wonderful opportunity for me to see some of the excellent practice around the school, for example;re consistency across a large department.

    Seemis Referral system

    Now live for all departments and should be used for all referrals. Any member of staff still requiring assistance should see their P.T in the first instance.

    • The Literacy Across Learning

    The Literacy Across Learning Development Group ask, that when you are correcting written work this week, you pay particular attention to capital letters and annotate pupils’ work as shown below and as per the correction code for Morgan Academy.  It is the group’s intention to alter the focus for correction on a fortnightly basis.  Please don’t stop using the rest of the code but emphasise to your pupils that you will be paying particular attention to their use of capital letters. 

     

    Date

    w/c

    Sp

    You have made a spelling mistake.

     

    P

    Check your punctuation.

    24/10/16

    C/uc

    Capital letter (s) needed?

     

    ?

    This part of your work is poorly expressed.  This does not make sense.

     

    a

    Incorrect use of an apostrophe.

     

    cs

    Comma splice.

     

    T

    You are confusing past, present or future tense.

     

    WW

    You have used a wrong word.

     

    NP or [

    You should have begun a new paragraph.

     

                     Run on or

    Do not take a new paragraph.

     

     

    You have missed a word or letter.

     

     

    You need more detail.

     

    #

    Insert a space.

     

                     Close up or

    Do not leave a space.

     

    H

    Your handwriting is difficult to read.  Take more care.

    Last term went by so quickly and I am sure with the excitement of fireworks, Halloween, the Ceilidh and Christmas this term will fly back. We all must ensure pupils perform to their maximum potential and don’t take the foot off the pedal. It is important right up until the last week we emphasise the need to keep working.

     

    Dates confirmed;

    Halloween Disco – 26th October

    S3 growth Mindset Parent event – 3rd Nov

    Primary 7 Open evening – 9th Nov

    S1 Parents Night – 14th Nov

    Christmas Tree lights 24th November, 4.30pm

    S4 Parents night -29th Nov

    Ceilidh – 30TH Nov

    Christmas Concert – 6th Dec

    S3 Exams start-7th Dec

    S5 /6 Parents night 7th Dec

    School Christmas lunch – 14th & 15th December

     

    Wishing you all a great week and term ahead together.


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