Changes to Cashless Catering

Dear Parent/Carer

Implementation of PIN numbers to pay for school meals – June 2017

We are changing the way pupils pay for school meals by replacing their Young Scot card with a personalised PIN number, unique to them. We are doing this to help reduce the queues at break and lunch time and make it easier to pay for food and drink within the school – benefiting them by making it simpler and quicker to make a purchase.

In addition, the upgrade will also allow pupils to top up using new £1 coins and notes at the revaluation points.

As from Monday 19 June 2017, pupils will no longer need to present their Young Scot card to pay for food or drink within the school or top-up their account. Instead they will enter a unique PIN number at the till-point which will be connected to their lunch money account.

Their new six-digit PIN number will be issued to them during classes before break on Monday 19th June 2017.

It is extremely important that your child keeps this number safe and does not share it with anyone. It is their responsibility to keep their own PIN safe as it links to their school lunch money account – if they share or misuse their new PIN number, any money on their account cannot be replaced.

This system will continue to allow pupils to bring cash into school to credit their lunch money account but we intend to phase out the use of cash for the purchase of school lunches from August (once the new Parent Pay system is introduced).

Yours faithfully

Neil McCallum, Headteacher

SQA Exam Leave Arrangements 2017

SQA Examination Leave Arrangements 2017

As has been the case for the previous years in relation to the new National qualifications the school will be following the City of Edinburgh position on arrangements for the forthcoming SQA Examination Diet. This places a maximum of 20 days which can be entered into the system as designated study leave days. The advice is as follows:

Study Leave during the National exam timetable

  • In 2017 the SQA national exam timetable commences with the first examination on Tuesday 2nd May and concludes with the final examination on Thursday 1st
  • For pupils who are being presented for national examinations at National 1-4 level no formal study leave will be granted.
  • For pupils who are being presented for one or two National 5 qualifications, exam leave may be granted at the discretion of the secondary head teacher, the pupil should be granted 2 days for each examination.

Those S4 students undertaking 3 or more National 5 courses and all current S5/6 students are subject to the following arrangements, which will differ from school to school, based on the number of exams being sat and the organisation of Prelims. This is due to a limit being imposed on the total number of days which can be coded as “approved study leave” in any one academic session. Once Monday holidays and Inset days are factored in this allows for the following organisation:

First day of home study leave                                 Tuesday 2nd May

Last day of home study leave (20 day limit)      Thursday 1st June

As in previous years, students have the option of liaising with teaching staff during study leave if required but should organise this around their subject timetable as the rest of the school will still be functioning as normal. Pupils should sign in and out at reception if accessing class teachers and leave the building once these meetings are finished. There will be limited availability of private study in the LRC; pupils will be asked to sign up to book a place in advance.

All S4, S5 and S6 pupils have been issued with the SQA booklet “My Exams” which covers the conduct expected during the exams. Pupils are also expected to wear school uniform when sitting exams and also if they are in school for private study in the LRC.

The new S5 will return on Friday 2nd June to pick up new timetables and a brief introductory assembly. The new S6 will return on Friday 2nd June for S6 Induction which will last all morning.

The new timetable for all S5/6 pupils begin on Monday 5 June.

Lindsay Fullarton, Depute Headteacher

Annual Dance Show

Balerno High School Dance Club – Annual Dance Show

As you know we are fast approaching the dance show and pupils are working extremely hard to finish pieces and tidy them up for the show. We will have our full dress rehearsal on Saturday 18th March from 11.00am- 3.00pm in the drama studio and performances on Tuesday 21st, Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd March. Could I please ask you to note the following:

  • Tickets will go on sale for the Wednesday and Thursday night from the school reception on Wednesday 8th March and will be priced at £5 for adults and £3 for under 18’s. Tuesday night will be a ‘practise night’ where we will run it as a final performance for a donation on the door.
  • As there is no cost associated with the dance club and the only way we make funds is through the annual show, I would ask all pupils to contribute to the bake sale at the interval. All pupils whose tutor ends in a 1, e.g. 1M1, 2C1 etc bake for the Wednesday night and pupils whose tutor ends in a 2 e.g. 3B2, 1M2 bake for the Thursday night.
  • Pupils should be there sharp on Saturday for an 11.00am start and should be in school on the show nights for 6.00pm.
  • Please ensure your child has with them all costumes, a snack and plenty of water. All pupils will be required to wear their black dance t-shirt or a plain black top and black leggings / trackies for the finale.

I would appreciate any support parents can offer in terms of supervising pupils backstage, helping at the interval or general help back stage. Please let me know if you are able to help on any of the nights.

Thanks as ever for your support of the dance club, I look forward to seeing you during the show week.

Vaila Wright, Support for Pupils Leader / Dance Club Coordinator

S5/6 Parents Evening

Dear Parent / Carer  (S5/6)          

We have organised for a new online booking system for our parents’ evenings. Our next event is on Thursday 9 February for S5/6.

Go to http://www.parents-booking.co.uk/balerno

PLEASE NOTE: You need to type this address into your website browser’s ‘address bar’. Do not try to ‘Google’ this website address or use a search engine as that will not work. This is a common mistake on phones and tablets especially.

Login to see which appointments are available and select one that is convenient for you.

You will need:

  • Your child’s legal first name and legal surname
  • Your child’s date of birth

The system is live TODAY and will be open to take your bookings until Monday 6 February at 9.00pm. You can book for Parents’ Evenings as soon as you receive this letter.  Once you have logged in, we suggest you use the ‘Automated Booking’ wizard to make your appointments. You will be asked to enter your availability and choose which teachers you want to see before being shown the most efficient order for visiting those teachers on the night.

Troubleshooting Tips – please read before booking!

  • To login you need to enter the details we have on record for you and your child. If you have recently changed your title or surname, for example, and not informed us, we will be expecting you to login with the details we have on record
  • The email address you enter is only used to receive a confirmation of your appointment. If the system gives you an error when you login, it will not be the email address that is the problem
  • If you have several children to make bookings for, use the ‘Change Child’ button on the blue bar (above the school’s name) in the very top left corner of the Parent’s Booking Page to swap between your children. This does not apply to the Booking Wizard, where your children are tabbed above the teacher names

If you are unable to book at home, please phone the office and a member of staff will help you.

Information Meeting (S3)

Dear Parent/Carer

As you are aware, S3 pupils will soon be making subject choices for S4.

To help you gain an understanding of the process, we would like to invite you to attend an Information Evening on Wednesday 1 February at 7.00pm in the Drama Studio. We will talk you through how the process works in school and how we can work together to create the best possible package for each pupil. Please note that the course options will not be available at this point.

Yours sincerely

Lisa Coffey, Depute Headteacher

S4/5 Information Evening

Dear Parent / Carer

We would like to invite you to attend our course choice information evening for parents of S4/5 pupils who will soon be making subject choices for S5/6 next session.

The aim of the evening is to help you to understand the process in school, how and why decisions might be made and how we can work together to ensure the best possible outcomes for our children/pupils. Please note that the column choice information will not be available until later in the term.

We look forward to welcoming you on Wednesday 1 February at 6.00pm in the Drama Studio.

Yours sincerely

Lisa Coffey, Depute Headteacher