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Autumn Newsletter 2018


A Message from the Head Teacher Here we are at the end of the first term already! Our large year group of S1 pupils are settling in to their and our new school well and our new School Captains, Vice Captains and House Captains have instantly risen to the challenge of their leadership roles. Not least of these was to welcome Mr John Swinney Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, council leader Dr Elaine Murray MSP, depute leader Mr Rob Davidson and Mr Gavin Stevenson, Chief Executive to our new school. I think they were all impressed not simply by the state of the art facilities but also by the community ethos of the school.

Monday 29th October: School re-opens 8.50 a.m.

Apart from welcoming new pupils and guests this term we welcomed Miss Morton, Mr Simpson and Mr Purdie to the Science Department, Mr Marscheider to the Technical Department and Mr Donnelly to the Senior Management Team. Following a period of almost eight years in the PE department we sadly say goodbye to Miss Taylor who is heading to the Borders to set up home. We wish her every happiness for the future and much enjoyment in her new teaching post there.

Wednesday 14th November: S4/S5/S6 Tracking Reports to Parents

As you will see from this newsletter pupils have had a very busy term both within and outwith the classroom, not only locally but as far away as Paris and New York! All these opportunities provide excellent learning experiences for young people and we are extremely grateful to all who support them, whether it be parents, University staff, local associations or school staff.

Friday 30th November: Friday Live! Lunchtime Performance

Senior phase pupils are now hard at work and staff are keen to build on the strong performance in the 2018 SQA examinations – I am sure pupils are too! However it is now time to refresh and recharge. I wish you all a happy and restful Autumn break. Take time to enjoy as Christmas will come quickly.

Tuesday 30th October:S1/S2 Halloween Fright Night 7-9 p.m. Wednesday 1st November: All Saints Day Mass 9.30 a.m., St. Andrew’s Church Wednesday 7th November: Higher Drama Theatre trip to Edinburgh Wednesday 7th November: PFA AGM Library 7 p.m. Friday 9th November: Wee Sleep Out

Thursday 22nd November: STEM Speed Dating 1-3.25 p.m. Thursday 22nd November: DLT Careers Event Dumfries College 4-7 p.m. Thursday 29th November: SJC Christmas Market 7-9 p.m.

Tuesday 4th December: S1 Parents Evening 4.30– 6.30 p.m. Wednesday 5st December: S3 Full Reports to Parents Friday 7th December: S5/6 Senior Maths Challenge Saturday 8th December: Sleep in the Park, Edinburgh Wednesday 12th December: Junior Ceilidh 7-10 p.m. Thursday 13th December: Senior Ceilidh 7.30 p.m.-11 p.m. Monday 17th December: PFA Carol Service 7 p.m. Friday 21st December: Christmas Services; Close 3.25 p.m.

Mrs Jones

Monday 7th January: School reopens

Commemorative Tree Planting

Deputy First Minister John Swinney, council leader Dr. Elaine Murray MSP and depute leader Rob Davidson with Rural Skills pupils plant a commemorative tree at the front of our newly refurbished school.

Social Media Keep yourself informed about St. Joseph’s College through our Twitter and Facebook accounts. As you can see below the weekly pupil bulletin is publicised through both of these websites. Also, we would like all parents to download the Xpressions app. Parents can quickly and easily download the Xpressions app to their iOS or Android mobile phone or tablet, and login using the email and mobile number provided to the school.

Messages from Our Captains Abi: "I am extremely honoured to be given the role of School Captain and the responsibility it brings in the community especially as we are now entering a new chapter of our school's history in the new building. I will endeavour to uphold the schools values and principles and to engage and inspire the younger students." Harry: "I am hugely privileged to be given this role as School Captain. I hope to use this opportunity to the best of my ability to interact with the school as a whole to develop a stronger sense of community. Our role as captains is to offer our help and assistance to the community in any way we can and I aim to live up to the standard of previous captains." Hannah and Michael: "We both feel enormously grateful to be appointed this responsibility within the school. We aim to form an excellent captaincy team alongside Abi, Harry and the house captains so we can positively impact the school community. Our hopes are high for the coming year and we wish the best for all of the school community." Autumn Newsletter 2018

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Captains and Vice-Captains

School Captains: Abi Ocansey and Harry McGowan

Bruce Captains: Alana Currie and Hamish Bremner

Vice-Captains: Hannah Mortlock and Michael Maggiori

Douglas Captains: Erin O’ Neill and Lewis Welsh

Bruce Captains; Lucy Carruthers and Connor Cosgrove

Stewart Captains: Nyah Morton and Dan Turner Page 3

Wallace Captains: Lindsay Crawford and Aaron Thomas Autumn Newsletter 2018 2017

Official Opening The Deputy First Minister John Swinney was welcomed to the newly refurbished St. Joseph’s College on Thursday 30th August. The Education Secretary was joined at the school by council leader Elaine Murray and depute leader Rob Davidson for a tour of the school and its new facilities. Our esteemed guests were soon put to work, ably supported by some pupils as they planted a tree at the front entrance to the school. The guests were given a tour of the school which began with a performance by the cast and crew of last summer’s school show, the musical Our House. It was a brilliant start and Mr. Swinney was clearly impressed and commended the staff and pupil on the high standard achieved.

Tree Planting Poem

Mr Swinney said, “It was pleasure to open the fantastic new Dalbeattie Learning Campus and refurbished St. Joseph’s College. These new schools will provide innovative and inspirational learning facilities and I am confident that they will make a real difference to educational outcomes for all young people across Dumfries and Galloway for generations to come. My thanks must go to the council and its partners who have helped to make these facilities a reality. I hope that these wonderful new facilities will be ones that make staff, young people and their parents ban be proud of. We want all our learners to have access to state of the art facilities that young people want to learn in and parents and staff can be proud of.”

The trees we plant will in years become Monarchs old and grey, Amongst those that stand upon this ground Will bless this commemorate day; We plant not for the present time, But for the days in store. And those who come from distant clime Will bless us o'er and o'er.

How beauteous is the lordly tree That scatters cooling shade! The landscape, O how fair and free By loving Nature made; The birds that build in leafy bough Hail each returning spring, And in the emerald forests now They make the heavenly skies ring.

Praise this day! With busy hands With cheerful hearts and free We come in Nature; loving hands To plant these blossom trees; Unto the wide extending plain, Or to the sun scorched way We bring the cooling shade again With joy this special day.

Mr. Swinney laid a commemorative wreath in the Chapel which is a registered war memorial.

Autumn Newsletter 2018

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Autumn Newsletter 2018

During the week of the 18th – 23rd of September I along with 20 other students took part in the first school trip to New York City. This was an amazing opportunity that allowed us to experience many new great things and see some of the world’s most famous landmarks! Our trip started at 5:30am where we met at the school to start our journey, and rest assured that nothing but excitement filled the bus as we drove to Edinburgh airport. After a seven hour flight we finally arrived at JFK airport, New York. Despite the rainy weather of the first day and our tired state, there was a certain atmosphere in the city that just made everything exciting and interesting. On our first night there we went to the Empire State Building. This allowed us to see the New York City skyline from the top of the building which was absolutely incredible. It almost felt surreal to be able to see this view with our own eyes in real life as we had only ever seen it in photos or on television before. The next day we went to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, 9/11 Memorial and finished our day with a meal at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Restaurant. The trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island was very interesting and enjoyable, as it allowed us to see and learn more about New York’s history as well as see a beautiful landmark. After this we then went to the 9/11 Memorial which was a very touching and emotional experience. I also felt very honoured that I was able to pay my respects to all those people who lost their lives in this tragic event. To finish off our day we went to Bubba Gump Shrimp Restaurant (based on the movie Forrest Gump) which was located in Times Square. The moment we stepped out of the subway station to see all the bright lights, everyone was full of excitement with the high energy that circulates this area. We went to Times Square on several occasions which allowed us to see some of the shops we had been waiting to see! The next day we attended a workshop at the New York Film Academy. During this workshop many of us were pushed out of our comfort zone to try new things. We also got to make a film in Battery Park and to meet many people from the Academy. This was great as it allowed us to hear the thoughts and opinions of people who are experienced in the media field as well as make some new contacts. We then went on our way to Radio City Music Hall, where we got a stage door tour. During this tour we saw many rooms that are not open to the public including ones that still have got the same furniture and decorations from the 1930s, as well as meet a Radio City Rockette. We also managed to meet a famous Spanish singer named Carlos Vives just outside! After our tour we then went for dinner at the Hard Rock café, which in my opinion was one of the best nights. There was an electric vibe in there and it was incredible to see all the memorabilia of many different music legends. Our fourth day started with a subway ride to Queens to see the Museum of the Moving Image. This let us view another area within the vast city of New York and become more culturally aware. Our tour at this museum was a fantastic opportunity to see the development of media throughout the ages, however many of us were distracted by the rumours that Lucy Liu and Robert Downey JR were there filming the popular American TV show ‘Elementary’. We then made our way back to Manhattan for a tour of NBC studios. It was once again a surreal moment for us, as it was hard to believe we were here on the sets of the shows that we have watched and love so much. We were even hoping to see the famous talk show host Jimmy Fallon! We then went for dinner at Ellen’s Stardust Diner before we went to see ‘School of Rock’ on Broadway. Both of these events were very enjoyable and allowed us to see the musical side of New York that is so world- renowned. Our last day consisted of a trip to the Natural History Museum (which is now famous for being the museum from the film ‘Night at the Museum’), a stroll around Central Park and we had our last meal in New York at the Brooklyn Diner in Times Square before heading to the Airport. Despite the fact we were all very upset to leave, we all had an amazing time and are very grateful to the school along with our parents and those who made it possible for us to have this once in a lifetime opportunity. Hannah Ali (S5) Autumn Newsletter 2018

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Autumn Newsletter 2018

Youth Leadership Festival Earlier this month, we were given the opportunity to take part in the Youth Leadership Festival. The project was run in conjunction with the Year of Young People and was organised by Dumfries and Galloway Council and Duke of Edinburgh Scotland. During a very packed week we were given many opportunities to express ourselves and grow as young people. On the first night we were given the amazing opportunity to speak to a panel of councillors from around Dumfries and Galloway and ask them questions about some of the pressures young people in the region face including poverty and mental health. We also had the chance to ask each councillor what brought them into politics and why they chose to become a councillor; they even gave us tips just in case any of us wanted to give it a go in the future. On the first full day, after being split into four groups - Red, Yellow, Green and Blue - we were all given our tasks for the day. The focus was on developing leadership skills. For the Blues (Anastasia’s team) we started off with outdoor laser tag and bubble football, and later on in the day we competed in a teamwork and leadership competition. While Anastasia was enjoying this, the Red group (Emma’s team) were at the Cocoa Bean factory near Twynholm making short films about issues affecting young people (our film was about stress in education and how to manage it). Later that day we took part in another workshop which was a simulation where our team had to respond to and manage a natural disaster in a poor country. The next day we switched around and completed the activities we had not done so far. As the time progressed, strangers became friends and friends became closer and by the time Storm Ali hit us many of us were practically family. This helped us enormously to face the challenge brought by our own ‘natural disaster’ and we worked together really well to save as many tents as possible from the high winds. No matter how hard he tried, Ali wasn’t going to dampen our sprits or ruin our week. Plan B for the day worked out well too as we all ended up sitting in the Cocoa Bean Factory watching “Grownups” (a hilarious comedy) and eventually, once Ali had calmed down, we were allowed out to play in the outdoor play area. This was great fun after the turbulent day we had experienced. After Ali and his fury, we can easily say that we had one of the best nights of the week with a formal dinner at Cocoa Bean for all the leadership participants. This was followed by an amazing Ceilidh accompanied by live music from the band “Shore Road”. This helped the week end on a high note. We both gained an awful lot from the week. The activities and the unforeseen drama of the storm helped us to develop many crucial skills including building our confidence to participate and to lead. All in all, it was a brilliant experience and one that has helped us to grow in self-belief. Emma also has started the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award as a result of some of the contacts she made that week. Anastasia Cresswell-Reed and Emma Kiltie (S5)

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Lake District Geography Field Trip

St Joseph’s College geography students travelled to Blencathra Field Study Centre, in the Lake District, to collect primary data used to help them complete their coursework assignment. The 24 Higher and Advanced Higher Geography students began by travelling to the field centre, near Threlkeld. accommodation got the thumbs up, and most importantly (according to the pupils), the Wi-Fi connection was super.


On day one, we trekked down into Threlkeld and began to assess why the area has been designated a National Park, and look at the impact tourism has on local communities. As with most Geography trips, the weather was not favourable! It rained a lot on the first afternoon, making data collection a little more difficult as the sheets got soggy. We followed up the days field work by collating the data in groups in one of the centres classrooms at night, which would help pupils to complete their assignments once we returned to school. On the second day, we were transported to the bottom of Cat Bells, a 451m hill near Keswick. The aim for this session was to measure footpath erosion as we moved up the hill. The sun was shining which made the morning much more pleasant. Once we got to the first summit, affectionately called Kitten Bells, we put our fieldwork equipment away, having measured five areas of erosion. The next challenge was to get to the top of Cat Bells. It was a tough climb at times, but all pupils took it in their stride and did a great job reaching the top. We walked down the other side of the hill and caught the Derwent Launch boat into Kewsick. Once in Keswick, we carried out more fieldwork in the form of questionnaires, traffic surveys and environmental quality surveys to assess the impact tourism has on the area. Again, in the evening we worked in the classroom until about 8.30pm. The final day saw us undertake a river study of the Glenderaterra Beck, a short walk from the centre. We sampled 3 sites to establish changes down the course of the river. We also got the opportunity to see the hydroelectric power station which delivers all the power for the field centre. We managed to walk around 45,000 steps in the few days and coped extremely well with any challenges we were presented with. Thanks to James at Blencathra Centre for helping the pupils collect and analyse our data and a huge well done to all the pupils who conducted themselves impeccably and were a real asset to the Geography department at St. Joseph’s. River Study Page 9

Autumn Newsletter 2018

S1 Welcome Evening The S1 Welcome Evening took place on Tuesday 2nd October beginning with mass in the school Chapel which was then followed by refreshments and some wonderful entertainment in the Assembly Hall. Thanks go to PFA for coping with the huge demand for teas and coffees as pupils and parents filledthe Assembly Hall and balcony to capacity. Mrs. Jones introduced the evening then followed a welcome message from our two school captains, Abi Ocansey and Harry McGowan. First year then put on a fantastic display of skills and talents including music, dance poetry and drama. Parents also enjoyed some excellent displays of recent S1 work from different departments. Well done to everyone involved for putting on a wonderful evening that showcased many of the talents of our S1 pupils.

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Duke of Edinburgh The weekend of 15th & 16th August dawned and a year of training was put into practice as our 13 Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants set out into Dalbeattie Forest for their qualifying expedition. Faced with the task of navigating in dense forest and along a cliff path, their two day adventure was a chance to prove to themselves that they could make it carrying all they would need on their back. As we have come to expect, our students performed exceptionally well, navigating overgrown paths with a positive attitude and a great sense of humour. Our assessor was very impressed by their navigation and fitness as well as their camp craft skills which protected most of us from the heavy rain and high winds overnight. As last year’s group look to tie up the loose ends of paperwork for all four of the sections of the award, we as staff can look back over the year to see students taking on challenges in a huge breadth of areas. The physical section saw students taking part in martial arts, swimming, cycling, dance and running, some attempting these for the first time. The skills section involved some of our students taking part in the school show back in June, but also getting involved in yo-yo, engineering and musical activities. The volunteering section encouraged our students out into our local community offering their services in charity shops, sports coaching, children’s clubs, churches and music tuition. As always we are keen to have the support of adult helpers who could offer time to work with us in training or expedition supervision over the coming year or could put us in touch with community organisations who would take students in a volunteering role for about an hour per week. If you can help, please get in touch with the school. As we tie up loose ends with our S4s, we begin the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award adventure with our new S3. We look forward to guiding our next set of adventurers through their DofE Award over the next 12 months.

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Autumn Newsletter 2018

Maths Ambassadors Introduction

The maths ambassadors are a group of people in our school who are passionate about maths and strive to promote it. Their aim is to encourage other pupils into the subject through providing a variety of enjoyable activities and opportunities which will further maths skills. The maths ambassadors programme is organised by Mrs Stoppard and currently, the group consists of Loujane Gashout, Cait Notman, Sayumi Rathnayke, Fiona McLaren, Vidhi Naik, Niamh Mitchell, Beatrice Svirplyte, Anania Sanchana, Zuniara Salam, Sabina Lindsay, Kiana Conaghan, Kaitlin Ritchie, Taryn Henderson Euan Purdie, Aaron Thomas, Jonathan Crocker and Kesera Rathnayake. The maths ambassadors have set up a S1/2 puzzle club and a S3/4 homework club. The S1/2 puzzle club both entertains and challenges with thoughtful and fun puzzles, using the maths road show materials and other inventive puzzle devices. The S3/4 homework club aims to effectively and efficiently prepare pupils for their National qualifications through the advice and activities given by S5/6 pupils (as well as providing access to netbooks) to develop their skills and confidence in maths. These clubs take place during Tuesday lunchtimes up in the maths department. We strongly recommend that pupils come along! Alongside this, there is now a monthly maths challenge for S1 and S2. We recommend any pupils who want to challenge and improve their maths skills take part as this is a great opportunity to do so. For pupils interested, go and see Mrs Stoppard for more details. The notice boards will also be updated monthly and decorated to promote maths throughout the school – take a look to find out even more about maths opportunities and activities.

S3/4 Enterprising Maths Challenge We would like to congratulate Gregor Donachie, Alasdair Little, Harry Jackson, and Thomas Holmes for their excellent effort at the S3/4 Enterprising Maths Challenge held at Wallace Hall Academy, The did very well indedd to achieve fourth place when competing against the other schools in the region. Well done!

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Scottish Maths Challenge – Round 1 We are happy to say that 53 pupils have enthusiastically entered the first round of the Scottish Maths Challenge. We wish the best for these pupils in their results and hope to see an even greater number of entries for the next round!

Spellings and Sounds with Professor Smith

Pupils with Mrs. Mel McGill PFA Chair and Miss McCaughey.

The English and Drama departments were delighted this term to be supported by the PFA, who very kindly purchased 12 Kindle Fires for use in the departments. In the Drama Department, we can buy one copy of a script which can then be used on an additional five devices, thereby being cost efficient to the department. Every year, depending on the class group and pupil requirements, different scripts are required to ensure personalisation and choice. The Kindles will allow the department to be able to download samples and then to buy a copy without losing paper copies. For pupils who find reading the scripts challenging, accessibility can be improved by changing the font size and background colour. Furthermore, Kindles are a lot easier and lighter to use when pupils need to read the script while acting at the same time; “Is this a dagger I see before me” – no, it’s a new Kindle Fire! For the English Department, the use of Kindles is beneficial for pupils with dyslexia and other reading difficulties. Their use enables pupils to read the book on the Kindle while simultaneously listening to the audiobook, thereby enabling them to improve their language skills and access books which may be more challenging than their own reading level. This year the English Department have also established a group of Reading Ambassadors who are striving to improve reading skills throughout all year groups and it is hoped that the Kindles will permit them to run a book club to not only encourage reading, but also encourage pupils to share their thoughts on books across the differing peer groups. We are very grateful to the PFA for their generosity and we know that our new Kindles will be of great benefit to the pupils in their learning. If you haven’t already joined the PFA 100 Club, then this is just one example of how your participation in this can help the school to improve learning and teaching – so if you haven’t signed up, contact the PFA to support this initiative and help us to continue to strive for excellence in the future!

Spellings and Sounds with Professor Smith On the 2nd October, we were lucky enough to have Professor Jeremy Smith FRSE come to visit S2 and S3 pupils. Professor Smith is a Professor of Philology (English and Linguistics) at the University of Glasgow. Professor Smith gave a talk to S2 pupils about Spellings and Sounds as part of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Schools Talks which is free to all schools across Scotland. This was an interesting look at rhyme. Have you ever wondered why some people rhyme good and food, while others don’t? Why does meat rhyme with meet, but great with mate? Have you ever wondered why sight, site and cite sound the same, but are spelt differently? Why is the letter ‘y’ pronounced differently in yacht, fly and jolly? Why don’t people rhyme plough and tough? Why has ghost got an ‘h’ but go hasn’t? And is it really possible to pronounce ghoti as fish? In this talk, we found out about how English spelling really can be as inefficient as is often claimed, and how – and why – it ended up the way it is. Our S3 pupils were treated to Professor Smith’s talk on poetry rhythms. Professor Smith talked about how poetry differs from prose. This workshop looked at the study of patterns in verse, the study of metre, onomatopoeia and phonaesthesia. He also showed us some examples of concrete poetry. Thank you Professor Smith! Page 13

Autumn Newsletter 2018

Paris 2018

A total of 108 S2 students have just returned from the annual excursion to Paris and Northern France. The students were accompanied by eleven staff for nearly a week of adventure in and around the French capital. Visits included the historic Chateau of Fontainebleau, the Sacre Coeur and Montmartre district of the capital. The students were encouraged to practise speaking French in the nearby town of Melun, where they experienced a typical market day and could barter with local traders. Many opted for delicious patiserie purchases as a pre-lunch snack! The students stayed at the Chateau de Grande Romaine at Lesigny, an historical residence set in over 70 acres, now used by PGL as a base for youth activities. The team led the evening activities, such as creating a fashion show and stories by a giant campfire in the woods. The students took advantage of the onsite swimming pool after long days of sightseeing. One morning was spent viewing the sights of Paris from the comfort of the coaches and strolling down the Champs Elysees; pupils enjoyed shopping and window shopping at the finest stores Paris has to offer on it's most iconic street. The students then visited the Eiffel Tower, enjoying the beautiful views of Paris. This was followed by a boat trip travelling down the Seine on a Bateaux Parisiens, where famous landmarks such as the Louvre and Notre Dame were admired. The party then returned to the Chateau to enjoy some traditional French food including snails! One pupil managed to beat the unofficial St Joseph's snail record by munching his way through 24. Well done Jake! On the final day, the students visited Disneyland, the most popular theme park in Europe. For eight hours, the students braved Big Thunder Mountain and Star Wars HyperSpace Mountain, buying toys and gifts in huge quantities for loved ones at home. The coaches returned to the UK afterwards via a very late night check-in at the Eurotunnel. Thankfully they had a day or so to recover before returning to lessons and normality on Monday morning. Naomi in S2 summed the trip up well "I absolutely loved France. I would love to go back, I miss the nice weather and the culture. Absolutely fantastic!" Tres magnifique! Autumn Newsletter 2018

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Autumn Newsletter 2018


Mairi Callaghan

Zoe Graham

Aimee Saxby

Fiona McLaren

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Emma Grierson James Kenyon

Connor Rain

Erin Dear

Edward Kwok Georgia Collins Page 17

Autumn Newsletter 2018

The Charities Committee is working with the Scottish Charity Social Bite by organising the “Wee Sleep Out”. “The Wee Sleep Out” will be held at St Joseph’s College on Friday 9th November 2018. The challenge is for pupils and teachers to sleep outside for the whole night, experiencing what it is like for a homeless person every night of the year. Pupils will have access to warm drinks and toilets and are allowed a sleeping bag. We would ask pupils get sponsored for this event and all money raised will go to Social Bite. Please check the Pupil Bulletin for more information on where you can sign up. Senior pupils who are 16 or over on Saturday 8th December 2018 are being given the opportunity to attend “Sleep in the Park in Edinburgh”. This is a national event where people from across Scotland raise money and come together to sleep in Princes Street Gardens for one night. More details will follow regarding this event, at the moment we would like to see how many senior pupils would be interested in doing it. Please check the Pupil Bulletin for more information on where you can sign up.

Finn’s Success Finn Richardson S2 participated in the School's Regional Disability Swimming Gala that took place on Thursday 27 September in Annan. We are delighted to announce that Finn won all 3 races that he entered. As a result of his success Finn has been selected the represent Dumfries and Galloway Region at the Scottish Disability Sport National Swimming Championships on Wednesday 21 November 2018. Congratulations to Finn on this amazing achievement!

Peer Support Training Course

24 students from S2 are currently participating in a two day Peer Support training course. The ASSIST smoking prevention programme follows an alternative model of peer education which asks these influential students to disseminate information or messages to their peers through informal contacts. In training they receive knowledge about the health, financial and environmental impacts of tobacco use. The training also improves skills in communication, aims to build self-esteem and confidence and trains them to be peer educators in attitudes to tobacco.

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MacMillan Cancer Support World’s Biggest Coffee Morning On Thursday 28th September St Joseph’s College participated in the MacMillan Cancer Support annual fundraising event to support families coping with cancer, the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. Staff and S6 pupils eagerly made their way to the school gym where a fantastic array of cakes awaited them. The S3 Hospitality class served tea, coffee, juice and cakes and deserve recognition for their contribution on the day. Thanks also go to the Charities Committee, staff and the Senior Crake Craft class. The MacMillan Coffee morning raised £217.50 and the bake sale by the Charities Committee raised £103.47 making a grand total of £320.97. Well done to everyone involved!

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Autumn Newsletter 2018

Meet the 2018-2019 Senior Science Ambassadors

Our Senior Science Ambassadors: Hamish Bremner, Ross Burns, Lindsay Crawford, Jonathan Crocker, Zoe Graham, Ellie Little, Hannah Little, Michael Maggiori, Hannah Mortlock, Nyah Morton, Erin O’Neill, Kesara Rathnayake, Maya Saunders and Aaron Thomas, have already been busy assisting as study buddies in junior classes and at after-school revision sessions. During this year they will have opportunities to become involved in a variety of STEM activities, as well as acting as role models for younger pupils.

Scottish Engineering Award Following the success of St. Joseph’s College pupils in previous years, we have more pupils than ever interested in this year’s Scottish Engineering Award Competition. Entrants are asked to answer the question, “If you were an engineer in Scotland, what would you do?” They then prepare an annotated diagram of their innovative engineering design and write a pitch letter to persuade judges of the value of their proposal. During their first meeting pupils brainstormed some initial ideas and are now working on identifying an issue for which they could design an engineering solution. Pupils have been asked to do some research amongst family and friends to identify aspects of everyday life that could be improved by an innovative product - so be prepared for some challenging questions!

Science Ambassadors and the Desert Island Wednesday 20th September saw the Primary 5 classroom at St. Andrew’s Primary School transformed into a Science Lab for the afternoon. Ten S6 Science Ambassadors were delivering an activity in which the primary pupils had to solve the problem of having enough drinking water on a desert island by cleaning dirty sea water! The activity included sieving, filtering, evaporating, distilling and even making their own water filter systems from household items! The best part was that the primary pupils were able to use some of the Science Department’s portable micro Bunsen burners! An excellent afternoon was had by both S6 pupils and P5 pupils. Autumn Newsletter 2018

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Girls into Physics We recently had a great turnout of third year girls attending a “Girls into Physics” event hosted by Lockerbie Academy. The full day event is aimed at increasing the participation of girls in physics by running fun and inspirational workshops. Representatives from industry and academia were present with activities ranging from running your own electric car to understanding laser physics. Kate Campbell had this to say: “I enjoyed getting to meet girls who have made a successful career for themselves in physics and learning about how physics can lead into many unique career paths.” Mae Cranmer reports: “My favourite activity was the one where we made rockets or the electric cars” It’s clear from listening to our young female physicists that the event provided an inspirational boost which was summed up by Kate Campbell: “I think that the day was a fun and educational experience that I hope they continue for girls in the future to encourage more girls to get involved in Physics.”

Polymerisation Chain Reaction at Strathclyde University Fifty senior biology students attended Strathclyde Institute of Biomedical Science to participate in a workshop on “The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in diagnosis of genetic diseases”. Students worked in groups to amplify DNA samples before completing a technique called gel electrophoresis where they then had to identify which patient had the disease. PCR is part of the Higher Human Biology and Advanced Higher Biology courses, so attending this workshop allowed pupils to consolidate their understanding of the technique through hands-on experience. They were also introduced to a professional laboratory environment. Our pupils really enjoyed the experience and hopefully it has been one that has provided an insight in to the application of practical biological techniques in the workplace.

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Autumn Newsletter 2018

Scottish Engineering Award This term, our Rural Skills students have brand new facilities for outdoor learning activities in the refurbished school grounds. We have taken immediate advantage of the new polytunnel and raised beds by planting our first late winter batch of new potatoes. We are hopeful that this crop will be ready in time for Christmas, so that they can be sold to the Health & Food Technology Department for the staff Christmas lunch. This also offers an entrepreneurial project. After two weeks of watering, weeding and caring for the crop there are signs of success - our first tuber has sprouted. Let’s hope the forecast of the colder weather does not harm the plants. The group have also been volunteering in the community and have been asked to be involved in a large landscaping project at the new Baptist Church Centre at Gillbrae. Every week the group have walked over the hill to the Church Centre and have given assistance in the gardens. In doing so, our pupils have developed many new skills in landscaping and grounds maintenance. They have cleared and prepared a large site and planted over 500 shrubs, together with members of the church gardening club. Students have enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing the difference that they are making to the area and are hoping to help improve other areas in the new school and church grounds as Spring approaches.

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S1 Model Cells As part of their learning about cells in science, S1 pupils were asked to consider making a model of a cell in their own way in their own time. The results have been outstanding and show a range of imaginative ideas in how to present the cells, as well as finding out more about the complex structures of the cell that we do not cover in S1. Some pupils made edible models which they shared with their classmates and families. A fun and tasty way to learn. Well done to all!

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Autumn Newsletter 2018

Mentors in Violence Protection volunteers are working hard delivering their new programme for this year.

Glasgow Theatre Royal Trip On Thursday the 3rd of October, 4th, 5th and 6th year drama pupils went on a trip up to the Glasgow Theatre Royal to see a professional production of “The Case of the Frightened Lady” by Edgar Wallace. The Agatha Christie inspired murder mystery begins at Lady Lebanon’s costume party where the family chauffer Stud is brutally strangled. As Detective Tanner and Detective Sergeant Totti become more involved in the Lebanon family’s personal lives in an attempt to find the murderer, the story becomes more complex as another murder occurs. The detectives soon realise the family have a lot more dark secrets than initially anticipated. The performance featured well-known actors such as Phillip Lowrie who was long-running actor in Coronation Street and John Partridge who appeared in EastEnders. The production also featured actors such as Deborah Grant from Not Going Out and Matt Lacey, known for his works with the BBC in Cuckoo. By going to visit the theatre it helps the Advanced Higher drama pupils to expand their knowledge of plays and also allows us to develop our evaluation and performance analysis skills. We use these evaluations to build up a folio over the course of the year and this goes towards sitting the final exam. For the Higher drama pupils, taking trips to the theatre can help them to develop initial performance skills. This is a crucial part of drama as they will use this to assist with the written part of their exam worth 40% of the overall grade. Abbie Edgar S6

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Modern Makers Internship In March I applied for the opportunity to take part in a costume design internship with designer Alex Rigg, owner of Oceanallover. This opportunity was facilitated by Upland, which is a Dumfries and Galloway design and craft development organisation which offers support for artists through engagement and partnerships. I was skeptical about my success so was really surprised and excited to be invited to interview. I was later shocked to learn I was accepted, along with 3 other girls from across the region. It turned out that the 20 day project would be spread over many months so I had to be prepared to set some time aside for this project and catching up with school long term. This was easier than I thought as the dates were flexible, leaving plenty of room for school and my personal life. Every session I would head up to Moniaive to Alex’s workshop studio. The days were full of both theory and practical work as we covered many different elements of design processes. Luckily the working environment was very friendly and relaxed which made us all feel comfortable and helped us to become quickly confident with sharing ideas and opinions. We covered how to work with the performers, correctly measure the body, how to follow or manipulate different patterns from different eras, how to set up and use industrial sewing machines and how to cut patterns, sparingly, from fabrics. To inspire the investigation process for our final design we went on a road trip to Grey Mares Tail, a glaciated area with picturesque landforms where Golden Eagles have recently been reintroduced. We climbed up the waterfall to Loch Skeen were we stopped to take pictures to capture the mood, atmosphere and details. The inspiration gathered was used in an exercise the following day which resulted in pages and pages full of words describing what we had seen. We then circled a selection of words from the list which were used as the basis of a short story. A picture was then drawn to match our story. After this had been completed we finally began designing clothes onto silhouettes and played with colour schemes. The investigation process was completed in our sketchbooks as this is what art and design universities like to see because it allows them get to know your creative personality. This whole process of investigation and development took time but was a valuable lesson as it resulted in thought through, high quality final designs. We also were given the chance to help Oceanallover perform at an event in Glasgow. This was a new experience as we had to dress and add make up to the performers, something you would have to do if you had to produce a show involving your own designs. This was great as it helped us prepare for the final performance in Gatehouse of Fleet which is when our final designs were used. We also had to be interviewed by journalists and photographers to help publicise the Gatehouse of Fleet performance which was also another great insight into how to interact with the media and publicise events. Overall, this opportunity has helped broaden my design experience, improved my skill set and boosted my confidence. It has been so rewarding as I have left the internship with sketchbook work, my own high quality garment and professional photographs from a photoshoot which all can contribute to my portfolio. Although this was a costume design project all the skills I have learnt are transferable to fashion and many other design courses. This opportunity was completely out of my comfort zone, and gave me insight into what its like to live and work as a designer. I just want to emphasise how important it is to get involved in projects like these, either in or out of school, you learn so much and the skills you gain are so important for the future. Look at to see if you can get involved with future projects. Mary Giffin (S6)

Christmas Market 2018 This will take place on Thursday 29th November. Keep the date free!

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Autumn Newsletter 2018

Autumn Newsletter 2018

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The Young Enterprise team “Reflections” is aiming to reuse/ recycle old or unwanted CD’s/DVD’s and make them into new and innovative products that we can sell at the Christmas market and other school events. The team consists of Chloe McNaught (Managing Director), Sophie Kibble (Finance), Euan Purdie (Finance), Holly Irving (HR), Naomi Joseph (Production), Ellis Middleton (Marketing) and Cara Saunderson (Marketing). There are three main products that we are in the process of testing and making, the first product is a candle holder made out of one recycled CD that has been melted down and moulded into a bright and unique holder for tea lights. The second product is again made from recycled CD’s which are cut up and placed on a frame, creating a mosaic mirror, and the third product is a mosaic plate which goes through the same creative process as the mirror. As we are still in the process of experimenting with our products, any donations of old or unwanted CD’s/DVD’s will be greatly appreciated. Any donations can be dropped off at Mrs White’s room (T2) throughout any point in the school week. Feel free to check out our Facebook page (@Reflections) and keep an eye out for our upcoming products. Page 27

Autumn Newsletter 2018

Autumn Newsletter 2018

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Autumn Newsletter 2018







Mrs. P. Breen



Mr. Davis



Mrs. Green



Mr. D. Livingston



Mrs. E. Milroy



Mrs. A. Douglas



Mrs. Jones



Mr. K. Jones



Mrs. A. Douglas




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Music Department Activities There are lots of activities pupils from S1 - S6 can join and enjoy! Playing an instrument takes a lot of practice and should be heard, not just kept for your lesson. Playing in a group will greatly help the skill you are learning through your lessons as well as improving your confidence and making new friends. There are lots of opportunities for you to get involved whether you have been playing for a month or four years, you will be made very welcome. Monday – School Band, open to all players 1:20 in F1. Guitar Group, open to all players 1:20 in F2. Tuesday— Dumfries Schools Band— Dumfries Academy. Rehearsals start at 5:30pm. See Mrs Somerville for more details. Wednesday— School Show Chorus rehearsals open to all pupils 1:20 in F1. Dumfries & Galloway Youth Jazz Orchestra 5– 6:30pm. See Mrs Somerville for more details. Thursday— Percussion group, open to all pupils 1:20 in F1. Staff/ pupil choir, open to all pupils and staff 1:20 in F2.

S1 and S2 pupils are invited to the return of Fright Night on Tuesday 30th October. Prizes for the best dressed pupils and a few scares along the way!

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Autumn Newsletter 2017

Get ready to dust off those leg warmers as we officially announce our school show for 2019 will be ‘Back to the 80’s’. A fantastic playlist will have the audience singing along.

THE PLOT Back To The 80's tells the story of the senior class of William Ocean High School as remembered through the eyes of now 30-something Corey Palmer. 17-year-old Corey is madly in love with his next-door neighbour, Tiffany Houston, one of the coolest girls in the school. However, she is too busy mooning over Michael Feldman, the hottest guy around. Michael and his friends are athletic and good-looking - the kind of guys that Corey and his two best friends dream of being. However, while they may not be the coolest guys in school, they are still one up on Feargal McFerrin III, whose best friend is his computer, and who believes the crazy notion that one day CD's will replace cassette tapes.

AUDITIONS Rehearsals for the auditions for the principal roles will take place on 31 October, 2, 7 and 9 November. The auditions will be held the week beginning the 12th November. You do not need to audition to be part of the chorus.

Rehearsals will then continue to take place on Wednesday lunchtimes in the Music department and we would like to encourage pupils from all year groups to come along. Those interested in production roles such as lighting, sound, set design, hair, make-up and costume will find information in the Pupil Bulletin from January.

Any questions? See Miss Edmonds or Mrs Somerville.

Autumn 2018 Newsletter  
Autumn 2018 Newsletter