We aim to make the process as smooth as possible for all young people who will be joining us. We work together with our colleagues in Primary schools, support staff and professionals to help them to meet the challenge of moving from their Primary School to Wester Hailes Education Centre happily and successfully. We welcome all parents/carers to contact us if they have any questions or concerns about your child coming to Wester Hailes and we look forward to meeting with you over the coming months.
Please feel free to look at the Transition 2018/19 Booklet, click on the link here or on the booklet.
Attend to Achieve
It is very important that all students attend school regularly to ensure they make the most of the learning opportunities available to them and make the most of themselves. We promote and support high attendance as it is a crucial factor in achievement and attainment.
What to do if your child cannot attend school:
Telephone 0131 442 2201 on the first day of absence. Please let us know by 8.40am if your child will be absent. We will always, in the interests of pupil safety, follow up unexplained absences.
When your child returns to school please give them a note of explanation of the absence – this should be given by the student to their group tutor. If the absence is likely to be long please contact your child’s Student Support Leader for guidance. These procedures should help your child achieve their potential. Working together, school staff and parents can make a difference.
Unless there are exceptional reasons, permission for holidays in term time will be refused.
All students must arrive in school by 8.40am in time for registration.
If students arrive after 8.40am they must report to the Guidance office where they will sign in and receive a Late Arrival slip. This is to be given to their group tutor or class teacher. Persistent lateness is monitored by the school.
All students will be given additional support with their studies through our mentoring system. The school day begins with a twenty minute mentoring period where the students reflect on their learning from the previous day. They record in their mentoring folder what they learnt in each class and the areas that they need to work on.
Students meet with their mentor at least 5 times each year to look at and discuss their progress report. The mentor and student agree the areas that the student has to focus on in the next few weeks. The student then takes their ‘personal learning plan’ to the subject teacher and agrees strategies that are needed to move their learning forward.
Once the student has their ‘personal learning plan’ it is the student’s responsibility to work on this plan until they have their next mentoring meeting with their mentor.
The student can use mentoring time, home study and also attend after school study sessions to make the necessary progress.
Reporting Pupil Progress to Parents/Carers
We have introduced one to one meetings between parents/carers with your child’s mentor to discuss your child’s progress. Appointments are made twice each year at a time suited to both mentor and parent/carer and normally last around 15 minutes, it is our intention that you will meet with the same mentor as your child moves through the school.
We are very proud of our school Community and students outwardly express this pride by wearing the school dress code.
- White shirt/black shirt or blouse
- School tie
- Black trousers/skirt
- Black cardigan or V-neck sweater
- Black shoes or trainers
School ties can be purchased at the Cash Desk and the school has a small stock of uniform items for purchase with School Clothing Vouchers.
Students should bring a PE kit with them to change into on timetabled days.
If a student has a planned and unavoidable medical appointment during the school day, they must bring an appointment card or letter from their parent/carer in advance and give this to their Student Support Leader (Guidance) during Registration/Mentoring, they will receive a pink ‘Out of Class’ slip.
Students must sign out at main school reception office on leaving for an appointment and sign back in on returning.
Illness & Medication
If a student feels unwell during the school day they must notify their class teacher who will give permission to contact our School Support Assistant who is a qualified first aider. All medication to be taken during the school day must be handed in by students to the Medical Room before 8.30am with a medical Consent Form or clear written instructions signed by a parent or guardian and in the original box given by the pharmacist. Short-term, Long-term and Non-prescription Consent Forms are available from our School Support Assistant.
We therefore ask co-operation from parents in:
Ensuring that students are fit to attend school before they embark on their journey to school
Giving the school an emergency contact number
- Alerting school to any changes in the emergency contact number
- Ensuring that any medication is clearly labelled with the student’s name, clear instructions on when the medication should be taken, dosage and written permission for staff to supervise the student administering the medication.
Under no circumstances are students allowed to leave school on their own without the permission of senior staff. If it is considered necessary for a student to go home, parents/carers will be contacted by school staff and arrangements made.
Student Support (Guidance)
Year groups are organized into 3 Houses – Bruce, MacDonald and Wallace. Each house has a dedicated Student Support Leader who get to know students well from the point of P7/S1 Transition up to the point when they leave school and enter into a positive career destination.
House points are awarded for a huge range of contributions and achievements throughout the year at the end of the year the House Cup is awarded to the House with the most points.
If you have any concerns about your child, or your family is experiencing upset or upheaval which may affect your child in school, please do contact your child’s Student Support Leader either by email or by telephone.
Support for Learning (Additional Support for Learning)
Wester Hailes Education Centre has an excellent Support for Learning team who work with students of all abilities. Difficulties can come in many different forms such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, sensory or physical impairment etc. at Wester Hailes Education Centre support is available for all students. Not every child will need additional support, but about half of all children need support with their learning at some stage, e.g. a student might want to improve his / her handwriting, our team will assess, monitor and provide support across all areas.
At Wester Hailes Education Centre we support our students throughout the day, and throughout their educational journey. We know that if students are to be able to concentrate fully on their learning then a nutritious and healthy start to the day is essential.
Starting at 7.30 a.m. and open until school begins at 8.25 a.m., students of all ages from S1 to S6 are welcome to drop in to our club.
Breakfast consists of porridge or cereal, toast and a variety of toppings, however, our menus also provide a link with the Curriculum; during Scottish week for example oatcakes and porridge will be on the menu, and croissants feature when we partner with the French Department.
Lunch is served in the West Dining Hall, where a cashless system is in operation. Students bring their own packed lunch or use a “Young Scot” Card to purchase lunch. Students can put money onto their Young Scot card to pay for their school meals using a machine in school which takes coins.
Please ask your child to look after his/her card.
If a student loses their Young Scot card, telephone 0131 200 2350 for a free replacement, it can take up to two weeks for a replacement card to arrive.
If your child is entitled to free school meals their entitlement will be put onto their Young Scot. Please claim this entitlement, as the school receives an additional staffing allocation to reflect the uptake of free school meals.
We do not allow students to have fizzy juice or energy drinks in school.
Menus are provided on a 3 week rotation and can be viewed at: www.edinburgh.gov.uk/schoolmeals
Free School Meals and Assistance with Schoolwear
Who qualifies and how to apply
The Council can provide children from low income families with free school meals and vouchers to help towards buying school clothes. Young people over the age of 16 and living on their own may also apply. To find out who qualifies and how to apply please visit City of Edinburgh Council website and send to the address given on the form. Application forms are also available from the school office.
We wish our students to be considerate, courteous and relate well to each other, to take responsibility for their own actions appropriate to their age and maturity and to develop high levels of self-esteem and self-confidence.
In the public areas of the school positive, considerate behavior is encouraged. We want the school to be a welcoming place for everyone. Students are expected to treat others and their property with respect. We acknowledge our students positive behaviour and achievement by using praise postcards.
We also celebrate the attainment and achievement of our students through a range of formal and informal approaches that include:
- Annual awards ceremonies for junior and senior students
- Regular assemblies
- Sharing success through our newsletters, web site and in person
Where circumstances are appropriate students may be excluded from school. Exclusions are implemented by the Principal or in the Principal’s absence by the Deputy Principal.
The school has a dedicated link with a Police Officer who is involved in the day to day life of the school and in the local community.
Students will receive advance notice about assemblies through the Student Bulletin. On such days they should proceed to the Drama Lecture Theatre or Hall as directed.
Every day the Student Bulletin is read out at Registration/Mentoring. This leaflet gives important information about clubs, activities and school events. Copies are also available in the West Dining Area and in the Breakfast Club for students to access.
Clubs & Activities
There are many diverse extra-curricular activities, study support clubs and ‘drop ins’ available at lunch time and after school. Details of activities on offer are publicised in the Student Bulletin every day. Students are encouraged to make the most of the opportunities available. In the first few weeks, after starting try to find out from your child what activities are being offered and encourage them to join in.
Students will be expected to complete, on time, homework set by class teachers. One of the school’s priorities is to raise attainment and with this in mind all subjects offer a study support programme either at lunch time or after school. All students are welcome to attend but subject teachers or the student’s mentor might suggest that a student attends a particular session if they feel that it is necessary. Homework may be completed in the library after school.
Our Library is a bright, welcoming and vibrant space where our students are supported by a full time, professional Librarian.
Students are encouraged to use the Library, independently, to select and discuss books, to study, to do homework …and to relax:
- in the morning before school for 25 minutes
- at lunchtimes for 25 minutes
- after school for 25 minutes
Lockers are leased to students, subject to availability, for one academic year. A £5 deposit is payable on collection of a locker key and repaid on return of the locker key at the end of the year providing the locker is empty, clean and undamaged. Lost keys will result in the £5 being forfeited and the same procedure will begin again if another locker is required. Students should read and sign a Locker Agreement Form before a locker is given.
Lockers may only be accessed during breaks, lunchtime or after school.
Students can bring their bike to school, they should park and securely lock their bike in the bicycle area next to the main entrance. Under no circumstances should they cycle through the car park or the school grounds. Bikes are left at owners’ own risk.
Phones should be switched off during class times (excluding breaks) and kept in a secure place, unless authorised by the class teacher for certain tasks. The school accepts no liability for loss.
Students must take care of their own property. Wherever possible, personal property should be labelled and valuable personal property should not be brought to school.
Any enquiries about lost property should be made to the Janitor’s office or the main school reception.
Students should not leave money or valuables in classrooms or changing rooms. The school is not insured to cover the loss of money or other possessions whether by theft or accident.
Students are expected to provide their own pens, pencils, rubbers, rulers etc.
How can parents/carers get involved with the school
All parents/carers who have a child enrolled at the school are automatically a member of the Parent Forum. As a member of the Parent Forum you have:
- A right to advice and information about your child’s education at the school
- The opportunity to be more involved with what the school is doing
- The opportunity, along with all the other parents to have your views represented through a Parent Council at the school.
The Wester Hailes Education Centre Parent Council meets regularly to discuss issues that are important to parents/carers.
If you would like to join our Parent Council or if you have any issues that you would like discussed at Parent Council meetings please contact, Jackie Smith, Chair of the Parent Council email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Communication with Parents
The school website is the main point of information sharing. News, events and achievements are all posted here, along with useful information, important dates and forthcoming events. You will also receive details of school trips, immunisation forms etc. via school bags (pupil post) during the course of the year.
The school uses a text messaging service to remind parents of important dates or appointments and it is also used to contact parents for unexplained absences.
Please remember to update the school of any changes to address and phone numbers.