Decant Information Evening – Thursday 25 April – Summary report

Posted on May 17, 2013 | No Comments
Decant Information Evening – Thursday 25 April – Summary report

A warm thank you to all the parents who attended last Thursday’s meeting.
Mr D Macdonald (Head Teacher) opened the meeting with a welcome speech and Mrs J Croll (School coordinator for the Decant and New Build) then presented a power point update on the school decant. This was followed by a question and answer session with the evening being viewed as very positive by all.

Below are some of the questions asked:
Q1        The Temporary Units to Warrender playground – if noise to great will the work stop during the SQA exams?
The school cannot say until the works start as to the exact noise level but anticipate it will not be of such a significant level as to disrupt SQA exams. If however the noise level becomes too great, then the contractor will be requested to stop work for the duration of any given exam affected.
Following on from this, we have had one full day of unit installation with the crane and all teachers agreed that the noise was minimal and caused very little, if any, disruption.
Q2        If my child has to walk the extra distance to Darroch – would they be eligible for a bus pass as we live on the very edge of the catchment area.
            Darroch WILL be used as the measure of travel distance from your home as to eligibility for bus passes. Closing date 10 May 2013.
            ALL parents of pupils in S4 –S6 for session 2013/2014 were texted Thursday 2nd May to inform them of this decision as this may change a child’s eligibility for transport assistance.
Q3        How will music instrumental instruction take place next session with the split site?
            The Music staff have discussed and prepared for this since last session. Whenever possible, senior pupils will have their lesson when attending classes at the existing site. If all their classes are at Darroch, then they will require to lose some time from subjects to attend their instrumental lesson but this will be on a rota basis wherever possible to ensure an even distribution of lost time over all subjects. Each individual student timetable will be assessed by the music department.
Q4        Walking routes and concerns re safety at Leamington Terrace?
            J Croll has walked the proposed routes with both Health and Safety and Road Safety representatives from the council to assess the routes. All S4-S6 students will receive advised route maps to follow and a briefing re expected behaviour etc.
Q5        Can parents visit Darroch before the summer?
            Unfortunately due to the contract work preparing Darroch for the school, it will not be possible to visit Darroch prior to the start of the new term.
Q6        Will there be a welfare assistant and reception at Darroch?
            Both of these will be in place at Darroch.
Q7        Transport to Meadowbank for PE
            Coaches will primarily embark/disembark at Lauderdale Street, with the view that this will give faster access to the vehicular route for Meadowbank. We are looking into the possibility of pick up / drop off at both sites.
Q9        When will the Thirlestane 3G pitch be ready?
            The 3G pitch will be ready after the summer and will then be available for all to use such as shinty club etc.
Q10      Is there an S6 common room?
            We will ensure there are study zones on both sites for S6 pupils. We will endeavour to allocate a room for the S6 at Darroch in particular, but space is very tight and obviously learning and teaching classroom usage must be given priority.
Q11      How will S6 be cohesive if on two sites?
            It is something we are very aware of and keen that S6 remain a cohesive unit. The peer mentoring programme will run as usual, and S6 committees for traditional events such as S1 party, S6 ball, year book etc. will run as normal. We are assessing the PSE programme to see if whole year links can be maintained through this forum. We are aware we must not lose sight of the importance of this year to both pupils and parents.
Q12      Is there asbestos in the buildings to be demolished?
            This is the first survey to be done by the contractor on taking over the site and previous surveys have indicated no presence of asbestos on the site. All relevant H&S codes and requirements will be followed to ensure safe removal of any asbestos should it be found.
Q13      How will staff cope and has any timetable allowance been given or support in place?
            Whenever possible travel will be limited to one move maximum, for any staff member, on any given day, between the sites. We have planned the timetable to ensure this is in place whenever possible. Some additional staffing will be required to allow for staff moving between the sites. Senior staff will be on both sites to support.
Q14      Boroughmuir v Gillespie’s – will there be any issues?
            The old rivalry between the schools is not as endemic as it used to be and our experience in recent years is that many pupils have Boroughmuir pupils within their immediate group of friends. We do not anticipate a problem and will be liaising closely with colleagues at Boroughmuir to ensure this is the case.
Q15      Will the NKS nursery be remaining on the Darroch site?
            The nursery will be remaining on the site. It is located in a separate building and access will be through a different gate. There is a pupil pedestrian gate that we will be asking pupils to use at all times. The nursery will hopefully allow some work experience possibilities for our senior pupils.