Message from the Rector
At Jedburgh Grammar School pupils are encouraged to take pride in their school and local community and to show respect for themselves and others.
Jedburgh Grammar School is a friendly and ambitious school. We have small classes and a fantastic staff which is committed to all students. We have a close knowledge of the progress of all our young people built on positive working relationships.
As Rector I am involved in this by, for example, meeting every pupil to hand out school reports personally. In addition I meet around ten different pupils each week to hand out Rector’s Award cards. These young people are nominated by staff for outstanding personal qualities and their attitude to work, their peers and their teachers.
We target levels of attainment throughout the school,identifying those pupils who are capable of high attainment and monitoring their progress closely. We also understand the importance of recognising the achievements of our young people in both school and the wider community. We
have strong links with the local paper, the ‘Jed Eye’ who work closely with us to promote school achievements.
We have 3 main aims in our school.
Firstly, we work collegiately to continually develop and improve our teaching and learning. This involves teachers observing each other and giving feedback and spending In Service and meeting times discussing best practice.
Secondly, we want to develop a Growth Mindset in our pupils. This means that they understand that effort is all important and more important than ability. It also means that you can become more intelligent through effort and listening to and applying the correct techniques. We believe that all our pupils can achieve what we ask of them. Challenges provide an opportunity to learn and develop. We value hard work and recognise hard work. As staff we praise effort and technique, rather than
Thirdly, we want all our pupils to show ambition and to aim high. This ties in with having a Growth Mindset. It is about believing in yourself and having high expectations of yourself.
I came to the Grammar School in February 2012 following 6 years as Depute Headteacher at Galashiels Academy. Previously I worked in schools in Dundee and Edinburgh as a Modern Languages teacher, Guidance teacher and Principal Teacher of Modern Languages. I am very proud to lead this school and I am very excited about our future.
I am passionate about learning and teaching: what goes on in the classroom makes a school excellent. I think that it is important that, as Rector, I am visible around the school and in the
classroom during lessons. This gives me a clear insight into what is on offer to our students. I believe that the best schools have the best teachers and I am proud to say that we are recognised for excellent practice in many areas. Developing how we teach is our priority and this is made easier by the fact that we are a confident and open staff who support and challenge each other.
We have a full curriculum, with a vibrant and exciting Broad General Education from S1 to S3 and national courses from S4 to S6. We offer Advanced Higher courses in all subjects and are therefore able to stretch and challenge all our young people to prepare them for university. For those who might need additional support our pastoral and learning support staff work very closely with parents and staff to identify and address needs. When the time comes for the students to leave school, we work hard to ensure positive destinations for every school leaver, at every stage, whether it is to university, college or employment.
As well as many sports like table tennis, football and basketball, we have a very wide range of extra-curricular activities such as Equestrian Club, Film Club, Music, Young Engineers and Computer Gaming. It is quite something that over half our staff runs some kind of extra-curricular activity. The main sports are rugby and hockey and over 100 pupils represent the school in these sports. Our hockey teams are thriving and rugby is, of course, well established. Jedburgh is in the heart of Scottish rugby country and JGS won the Scottish Plate at Under 16 level in 2012 and 2013. The school has a strong tradition of producing internationalists and we expect to continue producing them in the
I want to develop leadership in our young people. We do this in our classroom activities and we also have many leadership opportunities for our young people. We have 3 Student Councils, such was the number of pupils who applied. These are Student Council - Student Voice; Student Council – Growth Mindset and Student Council – School Values. We also have S5 and S6 Head Teams, and House
Captains. Our S6 follow an imaginative Leadership programme including Volunteering in the Community and organising school events and House Competitions.
We enjoy close links with our community, highlighted by pupil representation on bodies such as the Community Council, Jedburgh Old and Trinity Church (where we hold our Christmas and Easter Services) and events such as the Remembrance Assembly, led by the Head Team and is attended by veterans and community leaders. In terms of transition with our primary schools we have developed very strong links to extend the excellent pastoral transition to curricular areas such as Maths, English and Science. Our staff also works collaboratively with our primary school colleagues in developing learning and teaching.
Finally, visitors to our school comment on the positive ethos and the excellent working relationships, indeed one parent recently described it as ‘palpable’.
If you would like to ask any questions or visit the school please contact me at the school.