Welcome to 2016

New year 2016

Happy new year and welcome to 2016, a new year and school term. To start the year we thought it might be useul to provide a one-stop summary of all the ways to stay in touch with what’s happening at the school and Parent Council. Feel free to pick those that suit you best.

School

The school has a website and it is updated regularly and the Rector’s blog is usually updated once each week. The school also provides a number of Twitter feeds:

Some of the Twitter feeds are private which means you need approval (and a Twitter account) to follow them.

Parent Council

Most of our communication is posted to this website but we also update our Twitter feed and Facebook group regularly. Please feel free to follow any of those accounts and we’d love to hear your feedback too.

Chair’s message

 

Christmas Decorations

So, just a week to go now. The excitement was clearly rising among all the pupils on their way to school this morning in their festive jumpers, and the teachers were joining in too – see the photos on the school website!

The Parent Council would like to give our thanks to all the teachers and staff at Trinity Academy, who have worked so hard for all the young people at the school this year. The HMIe follow up report, which is also on the website, recognises this and all the positive improvement initiatives at the school, many of which started while Alec Morris was Rector. These initiatives have been continued and fresh ideas introduced with his usual dynamism and encouragement by Bryan Paterson. Like all reports, it also recognises that there is still room for improvement in some areas, and a follow up inspection will be due next autumn – as Bryan says, bring it on!

HollyA very special thank you is also due on behalf of parents and pupils, past and present, to Allan Spencer, who will be retiring on the last day of this term, after more than 24 years service at Trinity Academy, where Allan was also a pupil. Parents will know Allan best as head of PE and sport and as head of rugby, in organising the international rugby and hockey tours which have been such an important part of many pupils’ memories of Trinity Academy. Some may also be aware of his work outwith the expressive arts department, such as the behind the scenes smooth running of the Open Evening and Christmas Concert this year. It is entirely appropriate that Allan received a special recognition award at Trinity Academy’s inaugural Sports Awards in March this year, which simply said “Allan Spencer, you are a legend!” The school has been remarkably fortunate to have had two such long serving and dedicated legends as Allan Spencer and Carol Graham, both of whom retired this term. We wish them both a very happy retirement.

It has been a really exciting time to be on the Parent Council this year, with lots of changes at the school. Many thanks to everyone who has helped out on the Parent Council in so many different ways, and particular thanks to all the parents and carers, staff and pupils for your support, in attending our fundraising events, donating prizes and buying raffle tickets. Thank you all!

If you have a bit of time these holidays, please take a look at the great new school website, which contains lots of information – blogs from the headteacher, success stories, photos, including the fantastic Christmas Concert, and much more – www.trinity.edin.sch.uk

And finally – very best wishes to all of you from the Parent Council for a joyful festive season and for a very happy 2016.

Andrew Macmillan (Chair)

Proposed ‘redesign’ of Music Instructor Service

Trinity Academy has a fantastic music department as we saw recently at the recent Christmas concert. As part of the budget proposals for 2016 onwards the Council are looking to implement a cut of 75% in the Music Instructor Service budget.

To review the school music service to explore the potential for it to be self funded, for example through the creation of a social enterprise model. 25% of the budget would be retained to support children in families who do not have the resources to access the new model and consideration would be given to those following SQA courses. A service will be created where the quality of provision will be maintained, however, there will be a contribution for music tuition based on the ability to pay.

In short the Council is proposing that the 75% will be replaced by a contribution from parents. Many see this as bringing a risk that this will affect those with the least resources disproportionately regardless of how it is presented above.

If you are concerned that this cut may affect teaching at our school you might wish to lodge your concern via a petition that has been started on the change.org website.

Of course, if you have views on this proposal please feel free to contact us and we will raise any concerns with our local Councillors.

British Council Award

Morven

Congratulations to S4 Morven Stead who has won an award from the British Council in a writing competition on the subject ‘How international is your school and how International could it be?’ The photograph above shows Morven receiving her prize from Natasha Kozlowska from the British Council.

This essay was one of only three selected from schools throughout Scotland to win a prize.


 

Nova Scotia

It was on a Duke of Edinburgh expedition recently, a seemingly compulsory activity for many a British teenager, and while huddled at the side of an East Lothian footpath, that I looked around and wondered where I would be as a person, if I didn’t have the companionship of my Polish friend, my Korean friend, or my French friend, all of whom were next to me. This invisible diversity, on such a quintessential British activity struck me as something quite precious.

Many schools like to boast about their ‘global ties’, however, not every student can take advantage of these. Overseas trips are expensive. As are exchanges, with the added complication that many people are simply not able to host a stranger in their home for 5 nights.

Despite the barriers – both physical and mental – of potential globetrotting with the school, coming into class everyday, and spending time with those of our peers, who weren’t born in Scotland, but whose families have chosen to live here, or are the children of first, second or even third generation immigrants, is what we have as the norm. Yet this diversity is what we fail to appreciate.

Through casual conversations with our classmates and friends, through knowing themselves and their families, we subconsciously immerse ourselves in a different language; a different culture; a different outlook.

Our traditional Scottish ways are enhanced and enriched – without us travelling anywhere. The world is in our classroom.

By being in a school with people who unknowingly, have taught me about their culture, has increased my desire to travel, and has made me a more open, and accepting person. This is my school. And it should be every school.

This ingrained diversity, transparent multiculturalism, adds a little je ne sais quoi to schools in Scotland.