Peterhead Academy to focus on attendance

There will be an increased focus on pupil attendance that falls below 90 per cent.
There will be an increased focus on pupil attendance that falls below 90 per cent.

A pupil support worker is to be employed at Peterhead Academy in a bid to tackle truancy at the school.

And there will also be an increased focus on pupil attendance that falls below 90 per cent.

The attainment and achievement record of pupils at the academy during the 2018/19 session, as well as those at Mintlaw Academy, was presented to members of the Buchan Area Committee on Tuesday, February 4.

At Peterhead the attainment level of pupils at S4 was at the same level as last year however most of the other measures at this stage showed that attainment was down.

Attainment at S5 was described as a “mixed picture”. Pupils achieving three or more awards at SCQF Level 6 remained level however attainment levels were lower than the previous year.

At S6 the percentage of pupils gaining five or more awards at SCQF Level 6 improved to its highest level achieved by the school for a number of years.

Councillors heard that work is ongoing at the school to raise attainment and achievement. As part of this a further pupil support worker will be employed to help tackle issues of attendance. There will also be an increased focus on pupil attendance that falls below 90 per cent.

Meetings will be organised between parents and teachers for pupils who are “underperforming” at three or more Highers and five or more National 5s, while intervention letters will be emailed home giving parents the chance to support their children with their learning.

A new National 5 Applications of Maths course will also be introduced to increase pass rates of Maths at level 5, while new Principal Teachers will be appointed in Literacy and Numeracy to track attainment across all year groups.

Peterhead Academy will also hold performance review meetings twice a year to focus on attainment and maximise opportunities for students.

The Peterdeen scholarship was praised as students who have taken part have shown “significant improvement” in their attitude and motivation.

The S3 curriculum was reviewed and more time with less subjects is now being offered to pupils for the session 2020/21 in a bid to improve the quality of passes at national level in S4.

Feedback from the meeting will be given to Aberdeenshire Council’s Education & Children’s Service and will go towards future school support plans.

Meanwhile, at Mintlaw Academy councillors heard there was “good improvement” across nearly all measures at S4 in 2019 compared to the previous year.

The good news continued with the S6 attainment figures with all measures showing an improvement compared to 2018 however there was a fall in attainment at S5.

During the school session Mintlaw Academy pupils were entered for and ended up winning a number of awards in various areas including Foundation Apprenticeships, Martitime Skills for Work award at National 5 and an Exercise and Fitness Leadership National Progression award (all in partnership with North East Scotland College).

The committee was told that a number of improvement strategies are in place at the school to ensure support is available for both staff and pupils.

As part of this the Principle Teachers of English, Maths, Guidance and Additional Support Needs (ASN) have a shared focus on supporting vulnerable young people to attain “optimum” levels of Literacy and Numeracy.

Mintlaw Academy has also widened its S5 and S6 curricular opportunities in a bid to increase its pupil stay-on rates, while S6 work placements are also available that incorporate National Progression Award units

Feedback from the area committee meeting will be given to Aberdeenshire Council’s Education & Children’s Service and will also go towards future support plans for both schools.