Paolozzi Competition Winner

Congratulations to Dan Hildersley who won 1st prize in the category of Overcoming Barriers in the recent Paolozzi competition organised by Art and Creative Learning, City of Edinburgh Council aimed at S5/6 pupils from all Edinburgh Secondary Schools.

Dan was nominated because the work entitled ‘Myself and A Reflection” is symbolic of his own experience of how poor mental health can particularly effect the perception of the self. 

Dan used his S6 Advanced Higher Art portfolio as a reflective exercise on mental health in order to move forward from this longstanding issue. This self-portrait triptych shows the denial and isolation often partnered with such an experience, meaning that the person concerned cannot see the damage that is being done, symbolised by the shielded faces of the figures refusing to see their own reflections in the mirrors.

Dan fought this battle with his health on a daily basis but continued to work at an exceptional pace and level, showing determination to succeed in life, producing work of an outstanding quality. This clearly demonstrates how he has turned such a debilitating illness into an experience to learn from, creating work of such strength that will inspire others.

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Prize Giving

On Thursday 6th of June, Trinity Academy celebrated the academic and wider achievement of many pupils from across the school at our annual prize giving ceremony. A copy of the programme from the evening is attached. In addition, on Friday 7th of June, there were further assemblies recognising the achievements of many more pupils in Arran, Orkney and Skye Houses. Congratulations to all who received an award a this years events.

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Trinity Cricket Club

Cricket season is in full swing, we have played George Watson’s and attended the beach games in the last week – a trip to Stewart Melville’s is next up after some more practice at Bangholm (Mondays after school). Remarkably we are yet to lose time to poor weather (fingers crossed this continues).

Shell's Bright Idea Challenge

Following on from the Team’s #DigiInventor success (for those of you who followed us on Twitter), the pupils pulled their array of skills and attributes together to enter Shell’s Bright Idea Challenge. With this competition they are asked to come up with a creative solution that will sustainably provide energy for the world’s growing population; more specifically imagining how cities will look in 2050 when it is estimated that the population will have grown by over 2 Billion people, two thirds of whom will reside in cities.

For any Eco warriors out there the pupils took a real environmental/Eco-friendly stance with this and have put together a stunning proposal for a new Housing system and lifestyle change, I would definitely be keen to invest! If you get a minute please have a look over their proposal in the file found below. The S3 pupils involved were:

Hannah Boldy

Jenny MacDonald

Katarina Kancir

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Rector's Blog 6/6/19

Bursting With Pride

Just heard a comment from my parent council that they thought I was going to burst with pride at our awards ceremony last night, and they are so correct, albeit I got so carried away with sharing the successes of all our faculties that my speech over ran, and I swear I saw someone nod off!

As a community we have so much to be proud of. This really is such a wonderful school. I can say without hesitation that Trinity is without doubt the best school I have worked in. And this is not is not just my “west coast patter” either – what we have achieved together in recent years is really quite remarkable. By working together, our fantastic staff, parents and students have transformed the fortunes of our school. In doing so, we deliberately set the bar high in stating we aspire to be the most improved, the most inclusive school and one of the highest achieving schools in the city – an aspiration we are well on the way of achieving.

As I reflected on  last year’s achievements at prize giving last night, it really was with some pride that I could say not only that it has been a hugely successful year, but that I am utterly convinced the best is yet to come. I say yet again, we are indeed a school that is seriously going places!

  • S4 results second best in a long, long time. We now outperform the Edinburgh average at national 3, national 4 and national 5 levels
  • Our Higher results are equally pleasing with 55% of all our students achieving at least one higher…38% achieve at least three Highers and an astonishing 28% achieve 5 Highers or more
  • Of particular note were our results in Mathematics where despite being two staff down, the dedication of our maths colleagues, and teachers from across the school led to the best set of results in many, many years. It is true to say that our results last session were some of the best in the City.

In fact our results across the board beat our comparator schools, Edinburgh and National averages in all but one indicator. The impact of this on morale across our community has been huge. One indicator of this is that our roll has been capped, and there is a significant waiting list for a place in our school!

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Battlefields Blog - Day 3

Day 3, our last day. Weirdly by today we’re all pretty used to the constant information getting thrown at us and the rows of graves and memorials. After being woken yet again by bagpipes, having breakfast and getting on the bus we set off to Essex Farm. Essex Farm was the advanced dressing station in which the first gas attack victims were treated by John McCrae, the author of ‘In Flanders Fields’, who wrote the poem after 3 days and 3 nights of constant treatment of patients. Essex farm also has a cemetery in which one of the youngest soldiers to fight was laid to rest at the age of 15, this was quite unsettling due to the fact as he was the same age as many of us. After Essex Farm we went to Poelcapelle, another British cemetery in which 84% of the gravestones are for unidentified soldiers. 

Next we got to stretch our legs, walking from the village of Passchendaele to Tyne Cot cemetery. This walk took us 23 minutes – however, it took the British army 45 day, this probably due to the fact we weren’t getting shot at and we had concrete to walk on rather than mud. We’ve seen so many British and French cemeteries and everyone’s been asking ‘where are all the Germans?’ to which our tour guide, ponytailed Andy, mysteriously replied, ‘soon all will be revealed’. Langemark is one of 4 German cemeteries in Belgium, 44,000 Germans were buried on a small plot of land and no German soldier has an individual grave. The graveyard was extremely different to British cemeteries due to the less celebratory graves that were slabs on the ground rather than upright graves. The Germans use an oak leaf as a symbol of remembrance rather than the poppy. Our tour guide thought we wouldn’t like the graveyard as much as the British ones. However, overall, we loved the German cemetery as it was more open and peaceful. 

Our final destination of the day was Ypres. We’ve learnt so much about the sacrifices made for Ypres so it was interest to finally go into the city that so many lives were lost for. As typical tourists in Belgian we bought some chocolate (so much chocolate) and our teachers treated us to some waffles after a couple of hours looking around. Today was pretty great and extremely interesting.

By Rachel Hamilton and Jenny MacDonald

Battlefields Blog - Day 2

Highland Division Memorial

Day two of our battlefields experience was spent looking at the Somme. An early start was needed for the long drive into and through France where we arrived at Newfoundland Park. This Canadian owned land is a devastating reminder of the Battle of the Somme where many of the pals battalions lost their lives during their first fight. The fight wasn’t supposed to be much of a ‘fight’, after all “not even a rat was supposed to survive” after the bombardment on the eighteen mile stretch of trenches. However, the Germans got into their dugouts and waited it out, they knew that after the bombing stopped an attack would be imminent. When the whiz-bangs stopped they got the machine guns ready and fired straight at the Welsh, English and Canadians. Following the footsteps and hearing the stories of the first, second and third wave of soldiers showed me and the rest of group how these petrified soldiers must have felt going over the top and walking over no man’s land. 

Our tour guide visualised the dramatic fatality rate by removing members from the group at different stages of no man’s land. When we reached the German front-line we were left with three left ‘alive’ out of the 40 of us. Shortly after we entered one of the cemeteries at Newfoundland Park, everyone noticed Scottish regiments and also the young age of many soldiers who are only a few years older than us. Seeing the 51stScottish Highlander’s statue in the battlefield, with the bagpipes playing ‘flowers of the forest’ we took a moment to think about the soldiers who lost their lives in such a short amount of time. After a visit to one of our relative’s grave, we visited Thiepval where we learned about the stories of Victoria cross recipient and some of our relatives. Even learning about two former Trinity Academy pupils; J. A. Dunn and A. McG. Chapman whose names are engraved at the very impressive monument reminded us how young and how similar these boys are to us, one of them lived at 127 Trinity Road which many of us walk past on a daily basis. 

We visited Dartmoor Cemetery where we were intrigued by all the stories, one being of the oldest soldier on the Western Front, Henry Webber who was aged 67. Another about the only father and son (George and Robert Lee) who are buried next to each other on the Western front, and most shockingly about an Australian soldier who suffered what we would call a ‘panic attack’ but what the army thought was cowardice and who was shot at dawn - his story doesn’t end there though, a news article was released about his experience in the war which lead to his father committing suicide shortly after its release as he knew about his son’s death and didn’t want his family knowing that his son allegedly died a coward. I took a moment and thought about all the families broken by war and about my family and how much you need to appreciate them. We then stopped at Lochnagarwhere we saw the site of the huge explosion which could be heard from places in the UK. The explosion killed no one but the fighting afterwards did, many of which were Scottish. Our last stop of the day was to the Canadian National Memorial – Vimy Ridge which could only be described as monumental and impressive. Today’s visits have made me appreciate how lucky all of us are not to have to go through what these young men had to go through a hundred years ago. It also showed us how to remember the dead, injured and missing from WW1. These days have gone further than a classroom could ever go, and we’re all intrigued to find out what happens in Passendale tomorrow. 

By Archie Powell and Matthew Haddow

Battlefields Blog - Day 1

This morning we were woken by a familiar sound… bagpipes. After a quick breakfast we begin our first expedition as the ‘Trinity Pal’s battalion’. Our day had a tranquil beginning as we visited an old military outpost. Unrecognisable from one-hundred years ago, it is now surrounded by prosperous fields and tall trees, which makes it hard to imagine the brutality that engulfed this area. Where we stood amongst the trees, looking across the pool at the new life blossoming it is easy to overlook the reason for this habitat existing now. Just over a century ago, 5,000 German soldiers were killed instantly when a huge mine detonated on 7thJune 1917. The crater, the symbol of this devastation, now is filled with a new meaning. 

The next place we visited was also new, however, it stood upon much older foundations. The church at Messines was built upon three lessons we learnt today: nothing is impossible; stay positive; and communicate. Rebuilt after the war and paid for by the parish the church stands proud as the physical representation of a community’s shared struggle, hard work and togetherness. Not so visible from the outside is the secret in its belly. During the war, the crypt, used for storing bodies, had a different purpose. Here the British, French and Germans (not at the same time) set up a frontline dressing station. Despite, the differences of nationality one thing was common amongst the cries from this space… all of the soldiers wanted one person - their mother. For something that is now empty there is still a powerful sense of emotion felt when standing in this empty space. Now, it holds one body yet this does not represent the death felt there. The powerful sense of life and death and why it happens to some and not others is a question which frequently passes over our minds when we see the incomprehensible levels of death here. Treated in this crypt was Adolf Hitler and it is easy to stand there now and wonder how the world would be now if someone had the answer to what would have happened if his injuries been fatal… the church never built… the nurses never there. We then moved on another sanctuary…

…this one filled with even more suffering. We took a leap back into time as we visited Sanctuary Woods where we explored original World War One trenches. This experience was eye opening as the group realised the true realities of trench life. Unsheltered, muddy and saddening it began to become easier to understand why it was so mentally and physically devastating for individuals. We immersed ourselves in the experience by plunging into some WW1 tunnels. The long passage was dark, cramped and unnerving now… let alone what it would have felt like when there was the constant threat of collapse or a German attack. Here the war seemed more tangible and it makes the high casualty rates so much more than just numbers. 

This made our next stop at Hill 60 even more harrowing. On this sight 5,000 lay 

missing in action. This mass grave held all nationalities… in death which army and regiment they fought for no longer has any significance. Now they all lie together, victims of a war fought which did so much more damage than can now be seen there. On this site, we also saw the place where there was the least distance between the German and Allies trenches. Here we heard about how the British officers moved back their front line because they were worried that their troops would not kill the Germans because they were humanised by the proximity of their same struggle for survival. Further up the hill we saw a German machine gun ‘pill box’ and the braver of the group, again, submerged themselves in the experience by crawling into the small space of the concrete box and climbing into a bunker. This, again, helped us understand the day to day life of these civilians at the front. 

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S2 French Trip

French Trip

In previous years, we've used a wordpress blog to keep parents and friends updated on all the news about the French trip. This year we've decided to make posts on the school website instead.

We're departing for France on Sunday 23rd June (departure time TBC) and making our journey through the night to Dover where we will make the short crossing to France at 10am on Monday 24th June. We arrive back between 4am and 6am on Saturday 29th June.

When we're in France, we'll be staying at Le Château de Grande Romaine, 20 miles from the centre of Paris. The Château was actually the base for the Brazilian men's national football team during the 1998 World Cup but has subsequently been converted into accomodation for school parties. Sitting in 70 acres of grounds and with football pitches, tennis courts, games rooms and a heated swimming pool, we'll not be short of things to do. We'll be visiting Montmarte, taking a boat ride down the Seine, using our French language skills to buy lunch in the market town of Melun and taking trips to the Château de Fontainebleau and Parc Astérix and we'll keep you up to date right here on our school website. 

We are now at the stage where we are collecting in passports, pocket money and any any outstanding forms that have not yet been handed in. It is vital that we receive passports, along with your European Health Insurance Cards by Friday 31st May and your pocket money by Friday 14th June. These should be handed in to your designated teacher. Groups and staff are on display next to D20 in Modern Languages now.

Primary Maths Challenge

Congratulations to Trinity Primary School for winning this year's E=mcMaths challenge competition and thanks to Wardie and Victoria primary schools for participating and contributing to a great event.

 

‘World Book Day’ Celebrations in the English Department

There was a focus on the pleasure of reading in school last week, as Trinity pupils celebrated ‘World Book Day’ while in the English Department.

S1 pupils enjoyed a ‘speed dating’ novel challenge, hosted by our Librarian John Clarkson. This gave pupils the opportunity to promote a much–loved book to their peers, who then voted on whether they were convinced to read the text (or not!)

Furthermore, the English Department and Library were delighted to receive 200 novels specially produced for ‘World Book Day’ by a host of successful authors. Pupils were invited to take copies home and there was a huge uptake, with Mr Clarkson reporting that all 200 books were gone by the end of the day!

This year’s selection of texts to choose from were:

·       Jeff Kinney, ‘Diary of Greg Heffley’s Best Friend’

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S1 Drama Visit – Big Data Show – Thursday April 25th

CIVIC DIGITS THEATRE COMPANY

We are offering two free performances of The Big Data Show as part of Cyber Scotland Week on the

25th April 2019 at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh. The Big Data Show toured schools in

Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth with enormous success in the Autumn of 2018.

Pupils “became much more aware of the amount of data gathering going on in the background

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Deputy First Minister visits TA

 

'A wonderfully positive afternoon yesterday. Our students were a real credit to themselves and our school. John Swinney was hugely engaging and in listening mode; fulsome in his praise for all we have achieved in terms of being an inclusive, high attaining school. Very positive feedback from students and colleagues alike. Mathematics Department already identified and approached by Education Scotland as an example of best practice; the Deputy First Minister glowing in his praise for a faculty that achieved such wonderful results in difficult circumstances.  Similarly, the excellent practice of our Pupil Support team has also been identified, and has been contacted by Education Scotland as an example of best practice. The commitment and leadership of all staff across the school in building a positive culture for success was also recognised. I was certainly clear that this is the best group of professionals I have ever worked for. The drive and support of our Parent Council noted and Ben Macpherson MSP, as ever a wonderful and energetic supporter of our school and all that we do.' - Bryan Paterson, Head Teacher

 

 

 

S1 Water Bottles from LNER

Everyone knows that learning is thirsty work, especially when you are in S1 and have every subject in the school on your timetable! So it was great that we were able to give every pupil in S1 a water bottle to help them stay hydrated while at school. The water bottles that were issued to pupils in December and were provided by LNER who we have been working with us in a strategic business partnership for the last few years. All our S1 were extremely grateful for this gift as it ensure that everyone in S1 has access to the school water fountains. When the water bottles were issued at an assembly, Mr Todd was able to discuss the work and opportunities that LNER provide our pupils through the partnership and it was great to be able to raises awareness of LNER in the junior school.

S1 Residential - Departure Information

Please find departure information for the S1 Residential next week attached below.

1A1, 1S1, 1S2, 1S2 Departure Information

1A2, 1O1, 1O2, 1O3 Departure Information

 

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S1 Residential - Info from Parents Evening

Lockerbie Manor Parents Evening Information

Rector's Blog 15th January 2019

Happy New Year to all!

As we go into the new year and reflect on the difference in our school since School Inspection in 2015 and now, and the sheer hard work and commitment of all in our school community to build a culture of ‘Only the best will do in all we do’, it is clear that this hard work is paying significant dividends. The future looks very promising indeed as we continue to raise attainment and achievement across our school. As I said in my last blog, this is more to do with attracting and nurturing the best possible teachers to our school than anything else. As colleagues leave to promoted posts I can assure you that our continued success as a school means we attract very high quality professionals to replace those who move on. I am in no doubt that the fantastic results in recent years (and in particular last year) had an impact on the quality of applicants. I am also in no doubt we have some of the very best teachers in the city and beyond, and thereby our continued success for our school is assured!

Recent staff changes include:

• Maths – Mr Dave McKay promoted to Curriculum Leader at Firrhill High
• Maths – Ms Catriona Keating appointed. Takes up post in 4 weeks.
• Support for Learning - Mr Adrian Moir appointed and in post.
• Support for Learning - Ms Aileen Swalwell appointed and in post.
• Biology – Ms Kirsty Haldane appointed (already in post).
• Chemistry – Dr Norman Zhu appointed and in post.
• English – Ms Gill McKay returns from maternity leave 21st January.
• Computing – Mr Caldwell on sabbatical until August. Mr Rikki Breach has been promoted as Acting CL until his return.
• FCT - Ms Cairns and Ms Calder in place. Ms Mackie (Classroom Support Assistant) has also been invaluable. Revised coursed rec HWB framework in place.

Health and Wellbeing

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Staff Christmas Video 2018

Rector's Blog 10/12/18

First blog in a long time, but now that our new website is finally up and running, these will be more regular again in the coming months.

This has been a very busy term indeed, as we look to build on the success of our fantastic SQA results of last session. We now have a much improved whole school tracking and monitoring system in place which enables us to keep a close eye on student progress and to intervene and support as necessary. We have had a number of parents’ nights, and I have been overwhelmed by the positivity of comments from parents and carers as to how our school manages to be so successful and yet so warm and welcoming.

 You will hear a lot on the News about schools being “data driven,” with schools encouraged to “dive deep,” and “interrogate the data.” I have to say however that all the data in the world will not make one iota of a difference to a school if we don’t appoint the best staff and nurture an enabling culture which supports the wellbeing and success of all adults and young people. So, in this school whilst we do recognise the importance of data, I would say our success comes from not being data driven per se, but rather being person driven in all we do, in using data to support us all in exceeding our expectations, and thereby enabling us to continue being as successful as we have been year on year.

And talking of appointing the best staff, I chair all appointments panels in school. In recent weeks a number of colleagues have taken up post;

  • Mr Nelson – Acting Support for Learning Leader
  • Mr Adrian Moir – permanent Support for Learning teacher
  • Ms Aileen Swalwell – permanent part time Support for Learning
  • Ms Erin Cunningham – permanent History teacher
  • Mr Jamie Horne – temporary PE teacher
  • Ms Kirsty Haldane – permanent Biology teacher
  • Mr Norman Zhu – temporary Chemistry teacher
  • Ms Maxine Burchall – temporary Music teacher

All of the above are wonderful professionals and excellent new members of our team. The future looks very bright indeed for our school with colleagues of this calibre joining us!

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Higher and Advanced Higher Prelim Timetable

The timetable for the Higher and Advanced Higher prelims in January can be downloaded here:

Prelim Timetable

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