Experience the difference

 

Kelvinbridge, TGA Milngavie and Dairsie

PTA Frequently Asked Questions

We are grateful to The Glasgow Academy parents for providing many of the questions for this section. We have tried to keep the answers fairly brief. Please contact enquiries@tga.org.uk if you require further information.

What do I do if my child is off sick for the day?
What if my child arrives at school with no money for lunch or for the bus home?
What if I feel my child is unable to participate in sports that day?
What are assessment grades?
How does the school prepare children for the move from primary school to the Senior School?
What lunchtime clubs are there?
What opportunities are there for parents, particularly in year groups, to meet?
Which trips do pupils make and at what stages?
What sports are played in which years?
What music is taught in which years?
Is there a PTA? If so, how do I contact them?
How often is the school inspected? By whom? Can I get a copy of the latest report?
At what stages are subject choices made?
What do I do if I have a complaint?
What do Classroom Assistants do?
How do I find out what's going on at The Glasgow Academy?
What does the school do to raise funds for charity?
Merchandise

What do I do if my child is off sick for the day?
Please see the Absence section in The Academy A - Z in Information for Parents.

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What if my child arrives at school with no money for lunch or for the bus home?
The secretaries in the school offices keep small sums of money for such emergencies. They will be happy to help children who are in difficulties. Children will be issued with a slip indicating how much they have borrowed. The loan should normally be repaid within two days. Please discourage your children from abusing this service.

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What if I feel my child is unable to participate in sports that day?
In the Prep School children should bring a note on the day to their class teacher. The child's name will be added to the 'off games' list. S/he will remain in school during games time. In the Senior School your child should take a note to the Administration Centre by morning break on the day in question. Her/his name will be added to the 'off games' list. S/he will remain in school during games time.

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What are assessment grades?
Senior School pupils are assessed in October, and March. The grades are a reflection of how effectively teachers think children are working at that point in term. They are not a reflection of academic ability. In the Prep School, pupils have assessments each term to give feedback to pupils, parents, and teachers on the children's progress in academic subjects.

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How does the school prepare children for the move from primary school to the Senior School?
The transition from primary school to Senior School is an important moment in a young person's life. We do a great deal to pave the way for a smooth start to S1.

Important information about children's academic attainment and their other achievements is passed on from their primary school, so that Senior School staff have as full a picture as possible of the young people joining S1 before they arrive.

Towards the end of the Summer term, the Senior School organises an Information Evening for incoming S1 parents, where life in the Senior school is explained. This is followed by a Welcome Day for all incoming Senior School children. This gives the children the opportunity to explore the Senior School, to talk about any anxieties they might have about moving up and to meet a number of key members of the Senior School staff. These teachers include the S1 tutors and the Heads of House, the members of staff who will have pastoral responsibility for the children throughout their time in the Senior School and who will be the first point of contact between home and school. Shortly after the start of the new session, the PTA holds a Welcome Evening for new parents. Senior School tutors will also ring home within the first three weeks.

During the welcome day we organise a panel of experts to answer some of the children's questions. These experts are S1 children who were in the very same situation just a year earlier and every year they are asked 'How long was it before you felt at home in the Senior School?' The answer, always - 'About a week'!

There are many aspects of Senior School life with which children from The Academy's own Prep School are already familiar, including the expectation that homework will be done regularly, the twice-weekly trips to Anniesland for games, the Saturday morning fixtures for many and the opportunity to take part in inter-house competitions. In addition P7 children are regularly taught by members of staff whom they will also meet in the Senior School - for example PE, Music and Art teachers. Several Senior School departments, including English, Chemistry and Mathematics, also organise special activities for P7 children.


Whether pupils have been at The Academy's Prep School or are among those who join us every year from other primary schools, staff and pupils alike will work very hard to make sure that the young people and their parents feel comfortable in their new environment just as quickly as possible.

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What lunchtime clubs are there?
From P5 upwards in the Kelvinbridge Prep School there is a designated club time on Tuesday afternoons. In 2012/2013. In art and craft, chess, computing, cookery, dance, martial arts, netball, puppet making, Spanish, and Theatre.


In addition Scripture Union, gardening, choir, French, string group, wind band and sporting activities clubs meet at lunchtimes throughout the week.

The Senior School Pupils' Handbook gives details of the clubs. Additional copies of this booklet are available from the school office or by contacting enquiries@tga.org.uk or downloaded from the web.

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What opportunities are there for parents, particularly in year groups, to meet? The Prep School holds several 'At Home' events near the beginning of the session for the parents of each year group to get together. These are occasions when parents can chat informally with each other and with Prep School staff and learn what will be covered in the curriculum that session.


The Parent Teacher Association arranges a number of social activities. A Welcome Evening for new parents is held in September. A Grand Family Ceilidh has been held in November, and Coffee Mornings complement the Uniform Sales in January and June. New ideas are always under consideration and The Parent Teacher Association is delighted to receive suggestions for additional events.

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Which trips do pupils make and at what stages?
While all pupils in the Prep School go on educational day visits throughout their school career, there are two more extended trips at the end of the Summer Term that have been a feature of Prep School life for several years. Every year P6 pupils go to the Abernethy Outdoor Centre in the Cairngorms and P7 go to a centre in Lochranza on the Isle of Arran for a five-day educational experience. In the Senior School, S2 enjoy an outdoor activities week at Raasay Outdoor Centre in September and are able to experience a wide range of activities in a beautiful and remote island location. S6 have a free residential leadership and teambuilding course at Lakeside in the Lake District.

While all pupils in the Prep School go on educational day visits throughout their school career, there are two more extended trips at the end of the Summer Term that have been a feature of Prep School life for several years. Every year P6 pupils go to the Abernethy Outdoor Centre in the Cairngorms and P7 go to a centre in Lochranza on the Isle of Arran for a five-day educational experience.

Trips will vary from year to year depending on pupil interest, uptake and staff availability. The past is no guaranteed guide to the future, but in recent years, in addition to the outdoor education and residential trips, there have been S1 and S3 hockey and rugby tours to Holland/Italy, S1 football tours to Valencia, S1 Modern Languages trips to Paris, an S1-3 Modern Languages trip to Madrid, an S2 and S3 Geography trip to Iceland, S3 and S4 Geography trips to Iceland and Morocco, S3 and S4 History First World War battlefields trip, an S4
and S5 hockey and rugby tour to South Africa, S3-S6 Classics trip to Greece, S5 and S6 Modern Studies trip to Washington DC and New York, S1-S6 Music tours to Belgium, Italy and New York and S6 exchanges to Denmark. In the Senior School, S2 pupils enjoy an outdoor activities week at Raasay Outdoor Centre in September, experiencing a wide range of activities in a beautiful and
remote island location.

Pupils also go away under the auspices of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and the CCF from S3 onwards on a variety of outdoor activities.


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What sports are played in which years?
The Academy's main focus is on team sports. Most children do not develop the ability to play competitively in teams until around the age of 9 or 10. Accordingly, we begin rugby and hockey for pupils in P5. On Friday afternoons the boys visit New Anniesland for rugby training, and the girls go to the school sports hall for hockey. This changes to Mondays and Fridays at Anniesland in P6 and P7 and Tuesdays and Thursdays in S1 (S1 girls are in school for Thursday games). S2 have games on Thursdays only, S3 have games on Tuesday and S4 to S6 on Wednesday.


Hockey and rugby continue as the main winter team sports for girls and boys, with cricket and athletics in the Summer Term until the end of S3 for boys, and tennis and athletics for girls. Rowing is available for club rowers from S2 upwards in the Summer Term. At this stage pupils are given more choice as to which sports they participate in during games afternoons. In addition to rugby for boys and hockey for girls, there is hockey for boys, netball for girls, and aerobics (combined with netball), badminton, basketball, curling, rowing and shooting, for both boys and girls. Parents and pupils should note that we expect pupils selected to represent the school to do so, unless there are very exceptional circumstances. Under these circumstances, absence must be prearranged with the Rector as early as possible.



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What music is taught in which years?
In class, pupils are taught practical skills at various stages of their school career:

P4 and P5: Recorder
P6 and P7: Keyboard
S1 and S2: Acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drum kit, keyboard.

In addition, a wide range of musical instruments are taught by specialist instrumental tutors throughout the school. The Director of Music sends out a letter about instrumental tuition in May or June of every year to every pupil in the school. Here is a summary of its main points:


Instrumental Tuition:


P2: Violin
P3: Piano, violin, recorder (solo/group), cello, guitar, flute
P4: Piano, violin, recorder (solo/group), cello, guitar, flute, clarinet, saxophone, drum kit/percussion
P5 onwards: Piano, harp, clarsach, violin, recorder (solo/group), flute, clarinet, oboe, saxophone, trumpet, horn, trombone, tuba, cello, double bass, drum kit/percussion, pipe band drumming, guitar (electric, acoustic and bass), singing, tin whistle, accordion, chanter/bagpipes.


We also offer organ tuition, for which a minimum standard of Grade 5 piano is required. Theory classes are offered as a lunchtime class: these are particularly helpful to those pupils wishing to progress beyond Grade 5 Associated Board practical examinations.

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Is there a PTA? If so, how do I contact them?
Yes, see the section on the PTA in Information for Parents.

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How often is the school inspected? By whom? Can I get a copy of the latest report?
The Academy is inspected by Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools (HMIe) on the same basis as every other school in the country. Their stated aim is to inspect schools every six years or so. The Academy was last inspected in 2008. Copies of inspection reports are available from the Administration Centre or by contacting enquiries@tga.org.uk

Additional inspections of the Nursery/Kindergarten are carried out by the Care Commission on a more regular basis. The Care Commission inspects all seven early years services on a regular basis.

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At what stages are subject choices made?
Senior School pupils choose subjects at the end of S1, S2, S4 and S5. From a broad base of subjects at the beginning, there is a gradual narrowing throughout the six years of senior education.

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What do I do if I have a complaint?
If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of your child's schooling at The Academy, we hope that you will get in touch with the school at an early stage so that we can put matters right. Some guidance is given earlier in this booklet about the most appropriate member of staff to contact. The Academy has a complaints procedure with clear steps to follow if parents are not satisfied with the response they get. Copies of this document can be obtained from the Administration Centre or by contacting enquiries@tga.org.uk

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What do Classroom Assistants do?
Classroom Assistants in the Prep School have a very valuable role to play in the learning and teaching process. They do not, however, actually teach your children. They are in no way designed to take the place of the class or subject teacher. They are instead employed to enhance the staffing ratio so that your child can have even more adult/child interaction.

The role of the classroom assistants is twofold: to support the children and to support the teacher. They may support the teacher by preparing resources, working on class displays, supervising a small group engaged in a practical activity, etc. Your child may receive support from the classroom assistant in the form of practice with words/sounds, help during an Art and Design activity, support and encouragement with ongoing work in the classroom, etc. It is impossible to detail all of the duties the classroom assistant may engage in as their remit is extremely varied. They do, however, always work under the direction of a qualified teaching member of staff.

In addition to their duties within the classroom, the classroom assistants are also involved in supervision at break times and at lunchtimes. At these times they ensure that the school rules are adhered to, encourage the children to play appropriately and help the children to resolve any disagreements that may arise.

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How do I find out what's going on at The Glasgow Academy?
We send regular communications to parents by email or text. The Academy's website www.theglasgowacademy.org.uk is updated regularly with news from both the Preparatory and Senior Schools. In addition, we have an External Relations office at Kelvinbridge whose role is to raise awareness of The Academy through our various publications, including Newslines and Etcetera, the magazine for former pupils and friends of the school.

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What does the school do to raise funds for charity?
Our senior pupils are active and responsible members of the local and global community.

We have strong links with Erskine Home, which provides care for ex-servicemen and women from all three Armed Services, and every year residents attend our annual Remembrance Day Service. As part of the Sixth Year lecture programme a representative of St Margaret's Hospice, Clydebank, is always invited to talk to our young people about some of the realities of life and death. As a consequence, a group helped out with their door-to-door collection on the Christmas Bus which toured local areas just before Christmas.

The Academy prides itself on its record of raising funds for charity at home and abroad each year, acknowledging this is an important part of the education offered to our pupils. Sometimes there is a single charitable objective, as was our response to the Tsunami in 2004, while at other times the Senior, Preparatory, Atholl and Dairsie sites may have different objectives. Over £30,000 a year has been raised. Great emphasis is placed on pupil ownership and participation in each initiative, with staff acting in a supportive advisory role only. By the time they leave The Academy we believe our young people have developed a knowledge and understanding of, and respect and care for, the wider world.

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Merchandise
Both The Academy and Glasgow Academicals stock school-related merchandise - ties, cufflinks etc. These may be purchased through the External Relations department, by credit/debit card, or on-line through the school's website.

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