SoA Term 1 Update 2006-2007

Our School of Ambition (SoA) programme is well under way. The programme is managed at school level by Mr D Corbett, DHT, with strategic responsibility and Miss Laura Reynolds, Principal Teacher, SoA, who deals with operational matters.A Steering Group consisting of parents, pupils and staff meets every 2 months and parents are welcome to join at any time.

SoA funding has been used to employ more staff to, for example enhance our Modern Languages Primary-Secondary Liaison programme and to allow our Computing staff to provide in-house training to familiarise teachers with the range of new I.T. equipment we have purchased.There follows some examples of some of the exciting and innovative measures we have adopted in our SoA programme.Each household should now be in possession of a commercially produced brochure which explains the SoA programme. When you enter the school you will see our four large SoA banners.

In September we were invited to the SECC in Glasgow to demonstrate our SoA initiative to a large group of invited educationalists. Two of our S3 pupils having attended the Symposium at Sea from the Shetland Isles to Iceland, with 3 other schools, described how they exchanged ideas and explored in recent developments in technology. Two of our senior students who visited Barcelona as part of the Strathclyde University Summer Academy outlined the benefits they had gained from the experience.

In the summer of 2007 we will be sending 5 of our students to Barcelona, again funded by SoA.Work is underway to complete a book of best writing in English, French andSpanish across all year groups. The book will be commercially publishedand offered for sale.In a recent newsletter we informed you that our pupils in S1-S4 had taken partin a confidential on-line assessment of confidence and self esteem. We will use this benchmark to assess the impact of our SoA initiative on pupils’ confidence. To complement this exercise Miss Reynolds, in collaboration with EDC Psychological Services, has produced a series of lessons on Confidence and Accurate Optimism, to be piloted in S2 PSE classes and rolled out as appropriate.

Finally we continue to devote SoA funding to enhancing school resources particularly on I.T. A whole range of hardware and software has been purchased including video camcorders, audio equipment, Content Generator, Hot Potatoes, Keybytes and Adobe Captivate, all of which help to promote independent learning and competence in using information technology.