Gracemount in the News

This page will be updated when Gracemount High School appears in the local and national press.
Gracemount Maths Department Promotes STEM Opportunities (February 2015)
As part of promoting STEM opportunities for girls Tanya Khumalo took part in work experience at Heriot Watt back in September 2014. As a result of this she has successfully managed to achieve a silver 'Crest Award' which will be presented to her at an event at the Scottish Parliament on 3rd March. A link to the article Heriot Watt have put on their website about her participation can be viewed here.

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Senior Student Carries The Queens Baton (June 2014)
Well done to Senior pupil Kirsty Wilson who successfully carried The Queens Baton at Meadowbank Stadium on Saturday 14th June 2014 ahead of the Commonwealth Games. You did us proud!
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Organisation Aims to Build Character with new Resources (March 2014)
Grit, loyalty and determination should be central topics in Scottish classrooms, the charity Character Scotland has said.

Speaking at the launch of activities to promote character education and support teachers in this area, the organisation’s chief executive, David Lorimer, said that such values should be taught as explicit topics rather than implicit themes.

The charity believes that students should be encouraged to think carefully about the concept of character and explore their own strengths using quizzes and activities that prompt discussion with their classmates.

Professor James Arthur, chair of the charity and director of the University of Birmingham’s Jubilee Centre for Character and Values, said that paper qualifications were simply “not enough”. Making values, virtues and strengths a focus in schools was “terribly important”, he added.

“Scotland is well placed to focus more on character in ways that are explicit, deliberate, planned and recognised as a key area of professional practice,” said Gary Walsh, executive officer at the charity. “Character education is already recognised by many practitioners as central to the aims and purposes of Curriculum for Excellence, but there is much more that can be done.”
The charity’s drive to bring character education into the classroom is part of a UK-wide trend towards the idea of explicitly teaching young people about the concepts of grit and resilience. Anthony Seldon, master of top private school Wellington College, has been at the forefront of promoting the concept; now state schools are also warming to the idea, as TESS showed earlier this month (“Heavy mettle”, Feature, 7 March).

Tristram Hunt, England’s shadow education minister, also called last month for character to be taught in schools, saying that its development “should not be left to chance”.

To support the drive, Character Scotland is launching the Character Development Network – an online portal giving teachers access to resources and activities. These include a “character tree”, where children will be asked to attach leaves with their names on to strengths written on the branches.

At Gracemount High in Edinburgh last week, the charity announced its first set of “character champions” – classroom teachers from across Scotland who are already tackling the subject with young people (see box, left). Gracemount High students also took part in an online international premiere (along with 1,500 other schools worldwide) of a new film, The Science of Character, which stresses the need to focus and build on one’s strengths from a young age.

Gracemount has been involved in character education for a number of years, most recently through the INSPIRE>ASPIRE: Global Citizens in the Making programme. This aims to help schools across the Commonwealth develop aspirations in their students using the Commonwealth Games as inspiration.

Religious education teacher Adelle Fleming, who was named as one of the character champions, told TESS that the students got a lot out of it. “It is giving them space to think about who they are and who they want to become,” she said. “They do not get a lot of time to think about what is important to them. They think about exams, but not about who they are and about what they want from life.”

Eileen Prior, executive director of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, told TESS she was interested in Character Scotland’s message. “The older children get, the more they need the input of respected adults who are not parents, to work out who they are and what is important to them,” she said.

“This is really part of health and well-being in the curriculum and is an important element of the journey to adulthood for our youngsters.”

Article by,
Julia Belgutay
Times Education Supplement
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Children and Families Achievement Awards (November 2013)
We had a very successful evening at the Children & Families Staff Awards Wednesday 27th November 2013.

Miss Kennedy was Highly Commended for Making The Difference category and Mr Whyte was winner of the Creating, Innovating & Inspiring category for his work with Livecode. Mr Drain and Ms Gillan also received their long service awards for an amazing 35 years of teaching in the council.

Congratulations to all our winners and also our other nominees who also deserve a mention (The Office Team and The Breakfast Club Team). You are all fabulous! More can be read about the awards below.

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Message from Gillian Tee (Director of Children and Families, Edinburgh City Council):

"The Children and Families Achievement Awards provide an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the outstanding work of individuals, teams and establishments. This is our 14th annual Achievement Awards and, yet again, I have been impressed by the high standard of applications. This year we have had an exceptionally high number of nominations, reflecting the huge amount of work that is going on across a wide variety of services. The professionalism and commitment shown in providing the highest level of service for every child and family across Edinburgh was clearly evident.

As a learning organisation I would encourage you to look at the project applications with a view to following up any good ideas. Each year the ripple effect from this learning impacts positively both locally and nationally.

I am very proud of the work that has been undertaken and reflected through these awards. I would like to thank you for your ongoing determination in ensuring that Edinburgh’s children and young people enjoy their childhood and achieve their potential."

With best wishes,
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Award Winning Video for Respect Week 2013 (November 2013)
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Senior student Kirsty Wilson produced a fantastic video for Respect Week at Gracemount High School. This video won an award and gained a mention in a few high profile Edinburgh Newspapers. The video can be viewed below.
LiveCode Article (February 2013)
Computing Teacher Mr Steven Whyte was interviewed about teaching with LiveCode in the February edition of the magazine Leading and Learning with Technology. His article on page 36 can be downloaded below.

Leading & Learning with Technology

LiveCode Hopes to go Open Source (January 2013)
Computing Teacher Mr Steven Whyte spoke during a LiveCode promotional video about the benefits that this programming environment is having on the students in his classroom. The company behind LiveCode, RunRev hope to make a version of its fantastic programming environment Open Source and free to download and use.

Watch part of this promotional video below. More information about the Open Source project can be found here.
Computing at Schools Conference (October 2012)
Computing Teacher Mr Steven Whyte spoke at the first Computing at Schools Conference Scotland to delegates about how he had been using the LiveCode programming environment in his classroom over the last two years. This has included an increased uptake in Computing, a desire to program and the ability to create mobile applications. A first in a Scottish classroom.

Download the PDF Press Release below.

Computing at Schools Scotland

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Gracemount High School Computing teacher Steven Whyte talks to delegates about changing the way we teach our students programming for the better. He discussed the courses he has created for LiveCode and the fact that students of any age are able to program using this intuitive software development environment.
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Kevin Miller (CEO) of RunRev, the creators of LiveCode, talks after Steven to promote his programming environment and to talk more about how it has been used at Gracemount High School to create mobile applications.
Classical Review: Hebrides Ensemble - Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh (December 2011)
Chemistry and music students at Gracemount High School hit the news.

Download the PDF article below.

Chemistry & Music Students in the news

Times Education Supplement (November 2011)
Computing Teacher Mr Steven Whyte gives TES his views of a new programming environment which he believes can revolutionise the teaching of programming in schools. LiveCode can be used to create programs at a very high and easy to understand level as well as empower students with the ability to create mobile applications.

Download the PDF article below.

Mr Whyte Talks LiveCode

Media Education Journal (November 2011)
English and Media Studies Teacher Mr Deryck Swan gives The Media Education Journal an appraisal of the film Heat.

Download the PDF article below.

Mr Swan Talks Film

Heat - An Appraisal
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