End of Spring Term 2024 Head Teacher Update 28 March 2024

Headteacher Update

We've reached the end of another term and, just before we head off on the Spring break, I wanted to share a few updates with you ahead of our final term of this academic session.

Staffing Updates

Mr Finnigan (PTC English) has decided to step down from his Principal Teacher post in school as he heads into a period of phased retirement. The good news is he'll remain with us as a teacher of English. I'm pleased to update you that Mrs Whyte will step up for the next year as Principal Teacher of English. We will be recruiting for the role of Principal Teacher of Literacy in Mrs Whyte's place for the year after the break. These changes will take place from August 2024.

Important Information & Updates

The Balwearie Parent and Carer Voice seeks to represent all parents and carers with children and young people at Balwearie High School. We’re always looking to get more parents and carers involved. You will receive a warm welcome!

As well as representing you and your views, a big part of what we do is fundraise to raise money for resources used in class by pupils. The recent Spring Concert raised £374.74 towards more pupil resources and there's also the Balwearie Fundraising Lottery which you can enter for £2 per month. Sign up only takes about 5 mins and is available by clicking on the button below:

Getting in touch:

Email balweariepv@gmail.com if we can support you with anything or pass your views on to school staff.

Follow us on Facebook. This is a key comms channel for us so please follow us and/or make us a favourite so we appear in your feed.

Join us at our termly meetings (next one Monday 13th May on Teams) to hear an update from the school leadership team, ask questions, and find out what the Parent & Carer voice are up to.

Faculty Updates

We are making some changes to how our faculty areas are arranged across Expressive Arts and Design and Technology. From August, Mr Giove will move into the position of PTC Creative Industries, which will include Design and Technology and Art and Design. Mr Harlow will continue to lead the Performing Arts subjects (Music, Music Technology and Drama). We will soon be appointing a PT3 to lead on curriculum development work within S1 and S2 in the Creative Industries faculty who will work with Mr Giove to create more exciting and innovative opportunities for our learners. This will provide an opportunity to capitalise on the natural links across subjects and for learners to explore the skills that are common across both faculty areas in a meaningful way.

SQA Exams and Study Leave

You will have received a letter (email) from Mr Robertson recently outlining the plans and arrangements for senior learners' study leave. Study leave for learners sitting 3 or more SQA exams will run from 22nd April - 30th May inclusive, with new S5 and S6 learners returning to school on Friday 31st for an induction morning. More info to follow on this. Please refer to Mr Robertson's email for full details regarding study leave.

As a reminder, the SQA Exam Timetable can be found here

Current study support information can be found here

Update on School Uniform Options

A reminder that you can order one of our new half-zip tops by following the link below. We'll be sharing our expectations on uniform via a series of assemblies and will remind learners that they are expected to follow our school dress code. We're grateful for your support with this and ensuring your child attends school in uniform (brief summary below for ease!)

Yes please...black trousers/skirt, white shirt/polo shirt, school tie, black cardigan or jumper (not hoodies and not with lots of prominent 'branding') or a Balwearie half-zip top, predominantly black shoes.

No thanks.... hoodies on in classrooms, black jeans are ok (not grey), but not ripped or 'fashion' style jeans, football colours, cropped/low cut tops.

We'll be refreshing our uniform expectations on our school website to reflect the tweaks we've made and to recognise the cost of living challenges that some families face. We're always here to support if the cost of uniform is something you need help with - just contact us. The main thing is that our learners should all wear an item of uniform that identifies them clearly as Balwearie High School pupils to promote a sense of community and belonging - a shirt and tie is the cheapest option and can be complimented (or replaced) with a half-zip top and blazer if desired which has our school badge on it. We want our learners to be proud to identify as Balwearie High School pupils, but we also understand that there are more practical or comfortable options.

Planning for next session

Next term our collegiate time with staff will focus on evaluating the progress we've made during our previous 3 year improvement cycle against the priorities of;

  • removing barriers to learning
  • developing our curriculum
  • learning, teaching and assessment
  • wellbeing, equality and inclusion
  • raising attainment and achievement

We'll also be planning our priority areas for the next phase of improvement and will reach out to parents/carers in due course. We'll also be including our learners in our decision making process and taking on board their views about how we continue our improvement journey.

Welcome Back and SQA Assemblies

During the first week back, we will hold assemblies for all year groups, led by year head DHTs. During these assemblies, we'll cover expectations for all students during the diet of SQA exams, whether or not students are sitting the exams, and will reiterate key messages around our values, being ready to learn and making the most of the final term this session. Times will be communicated to students following the break and staff will accompany classes to the assemblies.

Celebrating Success

Young Musician of the Year 2024

Yet again, violinist, Roan Busher (S6), amazed the judges at the Scottish Young Musicians Fife Final recently. Roan won this round and will now progress to represent Fife at the National Scottish Young Musicians Final, taking place in the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on 26th May. Good luck, Roan - we know you'll be incredible!

There was also an INCREDIBLE Spring concert in school on Tuesday 26th March with accomplished performances from all groups involved. The maturity and musicality of the performers was outstanding. Well done and thank you to all involved in the showcase - on stage, back stage and at home.

To see more of what else is happening in performing arts, have a look here as Ms Douglas shares the Spring SGN update!

LEGO Tournament

We had our very first LEGO League Tournament entrants visiting Fife College recently and they WON! They will go on to the next round in Harrogate later in April. Thank you to Dr Rose who has supported the group and well done to those involved for their dedication and creativity.

Design, Engineer, Construct (DEC) Presentations

Our senior DEC students were presenting their final designs for the Eco Classroom Brief they have been working on. There were some incredible presentations, encompassing features around sustainability, flexibility of spaces and accessibility to promote inclusion. It was enlightening to see such amazing designs from our young people - creativity and critical thinking at its best, not to mention excellent presentation skills!


We already know there's a huge amount of talent amongst our DAS learners (and staff!), but the stage was set for the exciting showcase this week. More photos to follow!

Upcoming Key Dates

We hope you enjoy a restful Spring break and warm regards to those observing Ramadan or celebrating Easter at the end of the month.

We'll return to school on Monday 15th April!

If you'd like to leave any feedback related to this update, please use the form below.

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