School’s out for summer

Summer is in the air; the holidays are about to begin, and the Parent Council is feeling cheerful. Last week’s decision by the City’s Education, Children and Families Committee to commit to investing £10million on developing sports facilities at Bangholm and progressing plans for refurbishment of Trinity Academy was such a great way to end the school year. This decision comes after a long period of campaigning by the Parent Council over many years. It will be great to start the new school year with the school community working with the Council on shaping our new facilities. The Education Committee’s decision and three amazing performances of We Will Rock You have given us a warm end of term glow!

Campaigning for investment in the school has been a major focus this year for the Parent Council but we’ve been busy with other things too. We have been working with the school on initiatives to tackle the costs of the school day which can make life difficult for some families. We’ve worked together on a project which should result in more parental involvement in the life of the school. We’ve done loads of fundraising and we made a donation of over £12,000 to the school to fund projects such as stage sound and lighting systems, laptops for pupil support, cricket kit, the new school website and ties for our new S1 pupils. Our members have helped with the recruitment of new curriculum leaders for Mathematics and Expressive Arts. And our first survey of parents for many years gave us really useful feedback – thank you to everyone who contributed.

September 4th 2018 is Trinity Academy’s 125th birthday and a year-long programme of events to celebrate this milestone is planned. The year will kick off with a celebration event on Friday 7 September – details of this exciting event will follow – watch this space. The ever-popular Bangholm Fun Day takes place this year on Saturday 1 September. The Parent Council’s first meeting of the year will be on Wednesday 12 September. We would love to see you at any or all of these events.

On behalf of the Parent Council, I would like to thank all parents, carers, pupils, teachers and staff and our elected representatives for their support this year. As Trinity bids farewell to the pupils and teachers leaving the school this year, we wish them well in their future careers and destinations.

An island in the summer with boats in the foreground

We hope everyone has a good summer break and returns refreshed and ready for an exciting year ahead.

Liz Blair
Chair, Trinity Academy Parent Council

Pedal for Scotland 2018

Cartoon describing the benefits of rising a bicycle. Including, it feels like flying!

For the last few years a group of parents and pupils have taken part in Pedal for Scotland’s cycle from Glasgow to Edinburgh. This event is a highly successful fundraiser and this year we are hoping to enter two Trinity Teams with separate fundraising goals:

  • Trinity Academy Charitable Trust – open to anyone; with fundraising going to our charity. The Trust supports a wide range of charitable donations to the school and pupils.
  • Team Sri Lanka – open to anyone; with fundraising contributing to the fundraising target for the School’s Hockey and Rugby tour to Sri Lanka.

The cycle is a closed-road event on Sunday 9th September. Most of us will be doing the 45-mile route, but there are also 10 and 100 mile alternatives. The 45-mile route is a mixture of hills and flat roads that can be completed by riders with a wide range of cycling skills.

  1. If you would like to take part in either team please get in touch with us and we will pass on details to the two teams.
  2. To register as an “individual” for the 45-mile event, register for the Classic Challenge and choose the Wave 2 departure time (8:00-8:30am).

If you would like to learn more, or register for the alternative distances, details are on the Pedal for Scotland website.

Investment Update

Today marked an important step forward in achieving significant investment in Trinity Academy. The Council’s Education, Children and Families Committee agreed to invest £10m from the 2018-2023 budget into building a new Bangholm sports facility and to develop detailed plans for refurbishment at Trinity Academy.

You might remember when we asked for your help in February, it was to try to ensure funding for improvements at Trinity Academy is included in the Council’s budget programme. The vote today is a first step in spending some of the budget that was set aside for “Replacement High Schools
” on Trinity Academy in the near future. The decision needs to be agreed by the Council’s Finance and Resources Committee and then the full Council before development starts but we anticipate design workshops with interested parties beginning after the summer holidays.

The Council has started to deliver on the commitments it made to delivering a ‘new’ Trinity and developing Bangholm. There is still much to do and a bigger budget needed (a capital investment programme from the Scottish Government will make the biggest difference), but our  campaign has succeeded in highlighting the needs of the school and raising its profile.

THANK YOU to all of you who helped our campaign and took time to contact local Councillors to urge the Council to make this investment.

SCQF Guide

If you have ever looked at your child’s exam certificates and wondered what SCQF Level and SCQF Credit Points mean, there is a guide on the SQA (Scottish Qualifications Agency) website.

SQA certificate showing SCQF data

‘SCQF’ stands for Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework and the links above describe it using descriptions such as…

“The Framework provides the language for describing learning opportunities and therefore makes relationships between qualifications clearer. It clarifies entry and exit points, routes for progression within and across education and training sectors, also increasing the opportunities for credit transfer. This helps learners plan their progress and minimise duplication of learning.”

Basically though…

The SCQF makes it much easier for employers and learning & training providers across the UK and overseas to understand what has already been achieved by a student.

The level of the qualification shows how demanding it is. There are 12 levels in the Framework running from level 1 up to level 12, the most demanding. A National 3 award is level 3, a National 5 is level 5 and so on, up to level 12 which is a Doctorate (PhD or similar).

The number of SCQF credit points shows how much learning has to be done to achieve the qualification. One SCQF credit point represents about 10 hours of learning.

The SCQF website has a database that provides a way to look for courses in specific subjects and easily see what credits are required and the level of those courses.

Investment News

Another deputation from the Parent Council attended the Education Children and Families committee today. We were providing more detail on the need for investment in the and calling on the Council to keep our school as a top priority for investment. The committee unanimously passed a motion to:

…ask officers for a report in one cycle setting out the next steps in terms of a Business Case and detailed design work for each of:

  1. Trinity Academy
  2. A Trinity Academy/Trinity Primary Campus; and
  3. Bangholm Gym and Pool facilities to support a secondary school of approximately 1200 roll.

We see this is an important step in our campaign for investment in the school and we look forward to working with Council officials on detailed design proposals for the school and the Bangholm site to support the school’s needs along with the community requirements such as rugby and hockey facilities.

Investment Update

Thank you to all those parents who emailed local Councillors to urge the Council to make investment in Trinity Academy a top priority for 2018/2019. The response was fantastic and we’re grateful for your support.

Last week the City of Edinburgh Council voted to accept the 2018-2013 budget proposed by the Labour/SNP coalition. Following our campaign to emphasise the need for investment in Trinity Academy, this post is to update parents on what this budget means for our school.

The Council’s budget includes £25m for investment in ‘Unallocated Match Funding for Replacement High Schools (Wave 4)’ starting in 2020/2021. What this means is that Trinity Academy is one of the six schools now included in the so-called ‘Wave 4’ programme, along with Balerno, Currie, Liberton High Schools plus Wester Hailes Education Centre and the new West Edinburgh High School. This amount is intended to match future funding from the Scottish Government’s capital funding programme such as ‘Schools for the Future‘ programme and therefore it is dependent upon a national budget being put in place for investment in schools.

The coalition’s depute leader (Cammy Day) has committed to delivering the new Trinity Academy and to ensuring that work can start as soon as possible in developing the Bangholm sports facility. Development of a new sports campus (one that meets the school’s and community’s needs) is an important first step to improve the school and make it easier to develop the main site.

Our campaign has succeeded in raising the profile of the school with our elected representatives. We have the support of all our local Councillors plus our MSP (Ben Macpherson) and MP (Deidre Brock). Our local Councillors are committed to providing the resources needed to maintain the school to the required standard until Wave 4 funding is in place. We have also been successful in highlighting Trinity’s needs to Councillors across the city who may not have been aware of the school’s position.

At this time though, there is no budget agreed to start redeveloping Bangholm or preparing to refurbish or rebuild the school. We will continue to push the Council to deliver on those commitments to delivering a ‘new’ Trinity, developing Bangholm plus preparing a business case and proposals for a new school. All of this work will demonstrate to the Scottish Government that the Council is serious about investment in our school. We will continue to support our MSP in making the case that Trinity needs investment as an urgent priority, driven by the condition of the school but also the pressure from rising rolls in this area.

Project Search

Edinburgh Project SEARCH provides employment and learning opportunities for young people with a disability. It’s a full time, one year programme where participants complete three internships and a recognised qualification and gain real experience and skills needed for work.

For students who are 16–29 years old and living in Edinburgh or the Lothians, it could be for a great opportunity.

They are holding information evenings:

  • Tuesday 6th & Thursday 8th March 2018, 6:00-7:30pm
  • Monday 12 & Wednesday 14 March 2018

Download their leaflet to find out more.