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Dear Parents / Carers,

I am delighted to introduce our June newsletter highlighting the many and varied successes as well as keeping everyone up to date with key information relating to our school. Our term ends on Thursday 30 June 2016 at 12.00 noon and as is usual at the end of term this will be a dress down day.

This has been another hugely successful year for our school. You will see in this newsletter the fantastic opportunities our young people have grasped and the success they have achieved. I am immensely proud of our young people and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in our school community for all of their hard work.

Edinburgh International Film Festival – Secondary Schools Competition

As part of Higher Media all students create a short film. Each year the best films from Liberton are entered in the Edinburgh Film Festival Schools Competition, and this year one of our films (“Take Down”) was selected as a finalist. The film selected showcased the directing, acting and editing talent of the students involved, as well as reflecting a lot of hard work which was put into creating a very polished piece of work. This year’s Higher Media students accompanied the successful filmmakers to the awards ceremony at The Filmhouse and we were all very impressed by the high level of filmmaking talent represented in the showcase reel of all the finalists’ films. Although our film was not one of the award winners on the day, just being selected for the final was a huge achievement for our young filmmakers. The screening has also inspired next year’s students to work their hardest to produce a winning film for next year’s competition!

Manifesto for Change Project

S1 learners (new S2) have been, during Social Subjects lesson, working on a manifesto for change. The manifesto focused on the changes within the local community. On Friday 3 June, S1 (new S2) learners met with Councillor Bill Cook, Daniel Johnson MSP and Ian Murray MP and 2 Council Officials. Learners presented their finds and led a guided tour, pointing out the areas which raised concerns.

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As a result, it was agreed that:
Council officials will review the stretch of road near the entrance and:

– Investigate ownership of the pavement and verge with a view to widening access near the Mount Vernon gate.
– Examine trees that are blocking drivers’ views of the entrance with a view to having them cut back.
– Look at removing part of the wall to improve ‘sightlines’.
– Review road markings – double yellow lines to prevent parking near the entrance and 20 MPH painted on road to slow down drivers

  • The Road Safety officer will organise school warning signs.
  • An assessment will be carried out to find out if a pedestrian crossing is required.
  • Additional bins and the repainting of the railings will be looked into.

All of the elected representatives at the meeting were very impressed. Ian Murray MP ‘tweeted’ about ‘impressive road safety campaign by Liberton S1s’. He also said that – it was extremely rare to have an MP, and MSP and a Councillor in the same room at the same time…a major achievement in itself. Well done to all learners involved.

Young Carers Champion

Charlie Cross in the new S4 has been awarded a Young Carers Champion Award for his outstanding contribution to young carer awarenePhoto2ss raising. He’s been awarded this by the Edinburgh Young Carers Project. His hard work in this area has included delivering a presentation to several school assemblies, not just at Liberton High School but also at Prestonfield Primary School, and he has presented to all of our staff. Well done, Charlie. Your award is very well deserved.

 


STEM Project: Bloodhound Rocket Cars
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An enthusiastic group of S1 pupils attended Edinburgh College Midlothian Campus where they designed, manufactured and tested model rocket cars as part of a UK wide Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) project. Working in teams they made their cars out of Styrofoam and fired them down the track using an electric starter to ignite the rocket propelled motor to see who could record the fastest time. Taking part at Edinburgh College gave them a good insight into Further Education and career opportunities in the STEM field. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the experience with Leon Lee and Thomas Smith achieving the fastest time of all 4 schools on the day. On return to school the pupils produced a PowerPoint of their day along with a request for funding which they presented to the LHSA. The LHSA have awarded them the funding to buy 2 hot wire cutters and 4 hot glue guns to allow the CDT department to develop further modelling projects.

Edinburgh International Guitar Festival
GuitarThis event was held in Edinburgh over the weekend of the 17 June and was attended by musicians and guitar fans from across the UK. The artist in residence for the event was Professor Gary Ryan form the Royal College of Music in London who has also recently been invited to tour and perform by John Williams the world renowned guitarist. On the Sunday two of Liberton’s guitar pupils Alice Palfreyman and Glen Wright attended a masterclass. Alice was chosen to perform a Spanish guitar piece for Gary Ryan as part of the masterclass and gave an excellent rendition of Vals by Bartolome Cerda at both the masterclass and final student concert of the event.

Approved to deliver Rural Skills
As we approach the final week of term, we can reflect on how our new course has run. It is with great pleasure that Liberton High School has been approved by the SQA to deliver (N4) Rural Skills as part of the Grow for Life course. This offers our young people an opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification in land based industries. The SQA approval visit went well with many compliments about the facilities we have here at Liberton; from our woodland, mountain bike path to the allotments which are bursting with life.
Rural skillsCaptureRural skills1

Sugary Drinks Cabinet
Science students at LHS have calculated the number of sugar cubes different drinks contain. The students, are putting the finishing touches to a display cabinet (made by LHS CDT’s Mr Watson) which contains different drinks and their sugar cubes content. A healthy reminder of the consequences of drinking too many sugary drinks.

S1 Widening Participation Programme with Edinburgh University
Once again 15 of our S1 pupils have very successfully and enthusiastically engaged with the Widening Participation Programme. They have spent 9 Friday afternoons visiting a variety of locations and institutions e.g. Surgeons Hall, The Scottish Parliament, The Botanic Gardens and the Dick Vet School. The group learnt new skills, discussed the range of subjects required to work in a variety of careers relating to the visits and learnt more about what Higher Education involves. All of the pupils were exemplary in their conduct, attitude and energy a credit to the school and an absolute pleasure to work with. We will now receive a gift from the sponsors of the programme, which the group are asked to discuss in terms of how the money should be spent. Thanks go to all the staff who assisted by accompanying the pupils on each of the afternoons.

Fundraising by Pupils
The Business Education Department would like to say a massive Thank You to all Business Education pupils for their fundraising efforts for session 2015-16. Pupils used their entrepreneurial skills to raise funds for various Local and National Charities.Fundraising
S2 set up businesses using £1 to raise a staggering £244.81
S3 Business ran a variety of Enterprise & Fairtrade events raising in excess of £215.00
Princes Trust group made cakes, candles etc. and raised £235.50
That brings our department total to £694.81 for the year. Well Done!
Miss Mathie & Miss Zhang

School Planners
The Parent Council have kindly donated funds to the school to allow us to purchase planners for S1-3. These will be handed out to pupils in the new session. We are hopeful that these will help our pupils to manage homework more effectively.

Meaningful May
Pupils in S4 not entitled to exam leave engaged in our Meaningful May programme for six weeks. Pupils were asked at the start of the programme to make suggestions about what they would like to learn more about, so the programme was based around their needs. For one of our weeks we worked in partnership with Liberton Gilmerton Neighbourhood Partnership and provided a week of Life Skills. Some of the agencies the pupils engaged with were, Fire and Rescue Scotland, Rock Trust where they gained some valuable information about homelessness in Edinburgh, Abused Men inPhoto4 Scotland and Police Scotland where they gained insightful information about risk taking behaviours.
Our young people also worked with staff across the school to enhance their Health and Wellbeing by researching and cooking healthy meals on a budget and they also contributed to our school garden and bike track. The six weeks also gave some of our pupils an opportunity to do extended work experience within our local primaries and gain lifesaving qualifications. Huge thanks to all staff who supported this engaging experience for our young people.
Miss Mathie

Sports Pathway Opportunities
Liberton High School PE department are now delighted to extend our successful Sports Pathway Programme. We have now have a Rugby Performance Pathway Programme which is now in its 4th year. In that time we have seen pupils who started as novice players, now competing in National Final Competitions and be included in the National Academy Progression Programmes. Equally importantly, the pupils who have been involved are hugely successful students in school, have become really confident leaders and excellent role models to others.
Our Sports Pathways will now be available in 2016-17 for pupils to specialise from S1 – S6 in:
Rugby
Tennis
Volleyball
The goals of these programmes are:
–  To produce physically fit, nutritionally aware, academically sound young people.
– To promote players into the National Governing Bodies performance pathways.
– To develop Liberton High School teams into ‘top end’ competitive teams
– To produce leaders in Sport and in the Community
Details will be available to your child at the start of the new academic session.

Senior PE
This year we are improving our provision of PE for Senior Pupils. We have some really exciting opportunities that will allow pupils to develop their sports skills, employability skills, leadership skills and can provide them with additional qualifications. This will include Refereeing qualifications (with immediate opportunities for employment), Coaching Qualifications and Coaching Experience.
Core PE for all S5&6 takes place on a Wednesday afternoon 1.30pm – 3.25pm and for all S4 Friday morning 8.30am-10.30am. Pupils get a chance to select from:
Football –  Basketball –  Volleyball –  Tennis – Rugby – Fitness – Coach Academy –  Dance – Golf – Trampolining/Gymnastics (in partnership with Gracemount HS) – Badminton (in partnership with Gracemount HS) – Walking (in partnership with Gracemount HS).
Pupils have been issued with booklets detailing exactly what each activity includes. This will be made available to parents via the school website. Please feel free to contact Mr Robertson in the PE Department if you have any questions about any of these opportunities.

Girls Rugby

Photo RugbyOn Friday 10 June 8 of our u15 Girls players trialled for the first ever Stage 1 BT Academy. This is the first performance level leading towards the National Team and is the start of a possible pathway like Jade Konkel, who is Scotland’s first ever professional female player (http://www.scottishrugby.org/news/16/06/15/scottish-rugby-signs-first-full-time-female-player). The players will be eagerly awaiting to see if they have been successful in their bid to get into the Academy in the 2016/2017 season. The BT Academy will see the players take part in weekly skills sessions at BT Murrayfield in 2 blocks of 10 weeks starting in August.
Of those 8 players, 6 of them have been in the City of Edinburgh Sports Academy for Girls Rugby. The Sports Academy has run for a number of years, however, this is the first year that Girls Rugby has featured as one of the sports. This programme saw the players take part in weekly conditioning sessions at Inch Park Community Sports Club, home of our partners Lismore Rugby Club, and bi-weekly sessions here at Liberton High School.

Eric Jones
eric@inchpark.org

Adult Education at Liberton High School

943 Adult Education Students enrolled in Classes 2015/16
The last year has seen a good uptake of adult education courses offered at Liberton High School by school parents and their families and the local community. Particularly popular were Badminton, Creative Writing, Mindfulness for Relaxation, Silver Jewellery, Spanish and Woodwork as well as a number of Saturday courses like Making your own Cosmetics, Festive Cookery, Bread Making and Printmaking. The Creative Writing class published an Anthology titled Crafting the Word under the excellent guidance of local tutor Ellie Weir.

The new Adult Education Programme will be starting September 26 with some 42 courses. It will be advertised soon, and enrolments will be possible from 10 August on http://www.joininedinburgh.org/libertonhigh . There will be some courses offered in collaboration with Bridgend Farm House in Woodwork, Garden Sculptures, Wood Carving and Wild Plants for Foraging. Other new classes will be Cookery for Men, Italian Cooking for Men, Italian Cookery, Drawing Self Portraits, Felt Making, Eco Salt Dough Decorations, Italian Cookery and Paper Mache Sculptures. We hope we can welcome you in September 2016.

Please contact birgit.harris@liberton.edin.sch.uk for any further information or suggestions for new classes.

Join us to celebrate the opening of the new facilities!

Ceilidh

LIBERTON HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATION

The LHSA (formerly known as the PTA) is responsible for organising events and raising funds for the school. We achieve this by providing refreshments at parent’s nights, holding special events, bake sales and any other fundraising activity we can think of.
Our next event is our Ceilidh, to be held in the newly extended School Gym Hall, on Saturday 10 September 2016 at 7pm. Please see the attached poster for details.
We will also be holding our ever popular Bake Sale on Friday 7 October in the school foyer at break time.
Also in October, we have another Quiz Night booked. This will be held in the Inch Park Community Sports Centre on Friday 28 October at 7pm. Tickets will be available nearer the time.
If you are interested in coming along or helping out at any of these events please contact us at either mjthorburn33@gmail.com or liberton_pta@yahoo.co.uk. We’d love to hear from you.
At our last monthly meeting we approved 4 funding bids totalling around £2,600. This means the Art Department will be able to acquire 5 mini iPads and cases, the Computing Department will be getting a 3D Printer (which can also be used by the whole school), the Geography and Science Departments can offer an outdoor learning trip to the whole of the new S2’s to Dynamic Earth and Arthur’s Seat and the CDT Department can purchase 2 hot wire cutters and the accessories that go with them.
I’m sure you’ll agree that these will make fantastic additions to the school’s resources and be of great benefit to the kids.
Can I remind you all that the Rag Bag Recycling Bin has been moved to the rear car park (just before the tennis courts, on the left hand side) due to the construction work which is under way at the moment. Access is available out of school hours and at weekends. All donations are very much appreciated.Our next meeting is on Wednesday 31 August at 7.15pm in the staffroom. As always, everyone is welcome.
Thank you.
Mandy Thorburn Chairperson

And Finally…

It is always quite emotional saying goodbye to our S6 at this time of year. Our Prize Giving was a wonderful night with so many young peoples’ achievements celebrated. I want to congratulate all of our prize winners with a special mention to our Dux, Craig Anderson. Hearing the destinations of our S6 leavers really underlines our key purpose of preparing young people to get the best possible start in life and it is so affirming seeing so many young people with such bright futures.
Our S6 prom is the final school event for these pupils and again our young people behaved impeccably and a fantastic evening was had by all.

I hope that everyone in the Liberton community enjoys a safe and relaxing summer.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Kelly
Headteacher
Twitter: @LibertonHighHT

Mr S. Kelly