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Annual Report September '23 Ross High school Parent Council

Welcome to this year's report of what we did in the year 2022/23, and what we hope to do in the new academic year of 2023/24.

2022/23 saw the long-awaited completion of the fabulous extension to Ross High School, and allowed the pupils to settle in and make full use of the new facilities. New PE changing rooms, games halls, new classrooms, new equipment, soundproofed drama studios, a commonroom for the S6s, a social area for the S1s - we could go on!

It's been a busy year at Ross HS, and we'd like to take this opportunity to record our thanks to all the staff who continue to work so hard for our young people, and who hold them at the heart of everything that happens in school. Thank you too to our local councillors, who know our community so well, and are always willing to help us.

So - what have we been doing this year?

Christmas Fayre 2022

Here we are (well, just our elf representatives) at the school Christmas Fayre. It was great fun, we got to talk to loads of parents, and we raised a bit of money towards our fundraising goals.

At the start of January the school ran another fantastically popular 'Understanding our School' event. Parents were queuing down the street! It's a great chance to come into school, informally, and see what Ross HS is all about. Parents can sign up to short workshops of their choice, and chat to staff. We're always there too! The date for the 23/24 event has just been announced as 09/01/24 - so put it in your diaries now 👇

One of the many improvements delivered by the school extension was the S1 Social Space. This area lets our youngest pupils have their own area to build relationships, and enjoy some downtime at break and lunch. The Parent Council applied to East Lothian Council's Education Trust and were awarded funds to provide equipment for this area, which have already been put to good use.

Footballs and Kurling eqpt purchased for S1 Social Area

For the past couple of years we have been lucky enough to support the S6 Prom. This year we were delighted that some of our S6 pupils from our ASN department were able to attend, along with some of their teachers. A great night was had by all, apparently!

Other initiatives we've been able to support this year have been:

  • iPad for the Art Department
  • Transport for a trip (English dept.)
  • Professional photographer to document pupil artwork

What's ahead for the Parent Council in 2023-24?

Money's tight for everyone right now, and schools are no exception. We know that everyone's working really hard to provide everything they can for our young people, but we recognise that to provide the 'extras' we know make a difference, we need to support the school where we can. So as a Parent Council, we collectively decided upon the main things we aim to help with. For 2023/24, we are working to help fund:

1. Mathletics - used across the cluster of Tranent schools, this is a software program proven to improve pupil numeracy and mathematics. Pupils have a login and can be set homework to help build their skills. 👉

Local employers recognise the benefits of developing numeracy in our young people, as it means our children are better equipped for jobs. Charles River and HadFab have been incredibly generous and donated a substantial amount of money to Ross HS and its cluster schools, towards the cost of Mathletics - we can't thank them enough! We still have a way to go, though, and more things to fundraise for....

2. Hockey Goalkeeping Kit - you may have heard that over last summer, the storage sheds at the playing fields were broken into, and all the equipment was either damaged or stolen. The most expensive equipment to replace was our hockey teams' goalkeeper kit. We've secured a grant of £500 towards this, and the 'Walk with Scott' foundation also generously donated £1000 towards this - amazing! Thank you. We are currently in the running for a donation from Tesco Communities 'blue token' appeal in Tesco Musselburgh, which runs til the end of September, so there's still time!

So that's our main goals - but there are lots of other important areas we want to help the school with - including (but never limited to):

  • Literacy initiatives
  • Trips
  • Extra-curricular activities

So, regardless of what your young person is doing at school, there's a good chance our fundraising will be helping them. How are we going to do this? That's where you come in....

Fundraising

Yes - we're putting the 'fun' into 'fundraising' 🤣 - we're holding a Family Prize Bingo Night on Thursday 28th September.

We're so excited! A fun, family event, in school. £5 entry gets you one bingo game, plus some snacks on the table to get you started. You can choose to pay for more games, as well as join in with extra games to play, and snacks and drinks will be available on the night too. The grand prize is an iPad, but lots more prizes are there to be won, as well as a raffle. Use the QR code or the button below to buy your ticket, but tickets will also be available on the night.

Children up to and including S4 must be accompanied by an adult.

If you're not able to make it to our bingo night, don't worry! Our Ross HS Parent Council Lottery is the easiest way for you to help us. Each ticket costs just £1 and 50p of that comes straight to us. A further 10p goes to help other good causes within East Lothian. There's a jackpot of £25,000! So far our lottery has raised £8,898.50, and we've paid out £4,025.00 in winnings. You can sign up by clicking the button below or using our super-fancy QR code.

But we're not just about fundraising. Our primary function is to work with the school, to provide a link between parents and the school itself. Here's a little bit about us.

What is the Parent Council?

We're just parents! We voluntarily come together to act on behalf of all parents and carers with children at Ross High School. We want to support the school and influence decisions which affect our children at school. We aim to represent the views of all parents and carers. Each year group has a parent representative.

What do we do?

We hold monthly meetings, to which all parents are welcome to attend. Mr. Reynolds attends and sometimes other staff members too. Our local councillors attend as many meetings as they can and are valued contributors, as they know our communities so well. We (try to!) stick to an agenda and cover any issues that are relevant to our school and its pupils. Parents can submit questions in advance and Mr. Reynolds will help answer them.

The most important thing we do is to support the school and strengthen the link between school and parents. The school often uses us as a sounding board for new ideas/developments to get feedback from a parent's perspective, before they are implemented across the whole school. All parents' views are valid and listened to.

By giving the school a parent's perspective, we help them engage with parents and carers; involving them in their child’s learning, and in the life of the school. This also improves links within the community.

Parent council meetings allow parents to engage with the school, but also to listen to and engage with other parents.

How can you get involved?

Just come along to one of our meetings! Any parent/carer with a child at Ross High School may become a member of the Parent Council, and we want you there! We meet every last Tuesday of the month, at 7pm. You won't be roped into a job you don't want, and we don't do endless amounts of fundraising. We just want you and your views on your child's education.

We know not everyone can make our meetings, so if you can't make it, or would just rather not, you can send us a DM through our Facebook or Twitter/X pages and we can raise any concerns on your behalf. We have our own website too, where you can keep up with minutes of previous meetings.

Like our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter (or X - whatever it's called now) We regularly post on communications from the school and our wider community - we always have a lot to say!

And finally....a huge thank you! Thank you to all the pupils, parents, staff, councillors, local businesses - everyone who continues to help us help all our young people at Ross High School. You, like us, recognise what fantastic young people we have in our community, and you're helping us help them.