The end of the school year usually brings with it a number of staff departures and this year is no exception.
Mr Hall, the school Business Manager, retires from his role after 17 years at Firrhill. He leaves us with thanks for all his work and best wishes for a long and happy retirement. The fact that the school is in a relatively healthy financial position is in no small part down to David and his work
Mrs Lambert is also retiring having given 15 years of service to Firrhill as a Modern Languages teacher. Colleagues and pupils alike will miss her and as well as heading off to a well-deserved retirement she can leave with the satisfaction of knowing that she has inspired many young people to follow a career path in languages.
Mrs King has been off for some time unwell and has now decided to retire from her Home Economics post. Mrs King is highly respected at Firrhill and both her colleagues and her pupils will miss her. We all hope that she will now enjoy better health in her well-earned retirement.
Four of our probationer teachers – Mr Haviland, Mr McCartney, Ms Morrant and Ms Thire – will be leaving us at the end of the term. They have all done very well this year and they all leave with both our thanks and our confidence that they will go on to have very successful careers as teachers.
Ms Cobb and Ms Mound (both English) have been away from Firrhill on career breaks and they have made the decision not to return and to pursue other opportunities outside of education in Edinburgh. They go with our thanks and our best wishes.
The Science faculty is saying farewell to two familiar faces this year. Ms Barley left a couple of weeks ago to take up a new post in another authority closer to home. Her outstanding Chemistry teaching and her enthusiasm for all things eco will be much missed. Ms Russell is also moving to a post in another authority closer to home and we will also miss her enthusiasm for Biology and skill in the classroom. We wish both of them every success for the future.
Ms Wilson (Home Economics) has only been at Firrhill for a short time. Having recently got married she and her husband are relocating to another part of Scotland over the summer and Ms Wilson will leave us at the end of term. Congratulations on her wedding and best wishes in her new teaching post.
The end of the summer term normally means a number of our Pupil Support Assistants come to the end of their contracts. PSAs work with pupils who can find school difficult and they do a very important job in supporting those young people through some tough challenges. This year Ms Le Royer and Mr Matyunin will be leaving us and they have done a great job. Thank you.
Mr Wallace is also leaving his PSA post to start teacher training at Moray House. His experience as a PSA will give him an insight to young people that many teachers do not have when they start training. I am sure he will make an excellent teacher and, who knows, we might see him back at Firrhill in the future.
A number of teaching staff in temporary posts will come to the end of their contracts on Friday. We thank Ms Martin (PE), Ms Russo (Drama) and Mr McNicol (RME) for their dedication and commitment to the school.
Ms Anderson who has done a tremendous job over the last year as Acting CL in PE has secured a one-year acting PSL post at Forrester High School. I am sure she will be a tremendous success in this role and we wish her all the very best for the year ahead.
We have appointed to almost all these posts and our new staff will be starting with us in August. There are also some additional appointments to accommodate the increasing size of the school.
Ms Ewen will be our new school Business Manager and joins us following a long and successful career in the financial sector.
Ms Reuille will be joining the languages faculty and Ms Beattie has already started in her post as a Home Economics teacher. Ms Beattie is also qualified to teach Art & Design and will be teaching some Art too. Mr Stewart will be a new addition to the PE department to cover for Ms Anderson. Mr Walkinshaw will be acting CL PE on a Monday next session.
In Science Ms Williams will join us in Biology and Ms Foote will be our new Chemistry teacher. We also have a new temporary technician Mr Iley who is covering while Mrs Korankye is on maternity leave.
Two of our current probationers – Ms Brown (Maths) and Mr Rennie (Physics) – will be returning to Firrhill after the summer as permanent members of staff.
Ms Read joins the Drama team and brings a wealth of experience, as does Mrs Crawshaw who is joining us as a new Business Education teacher.
In English we will welcome Ms Holt and Ms Wallace joins the Social Subjects faculty as a teacher of Modern Studies. Mr Barber will be a new member of the Art team after a very successful number of years at his current school.
We welcome back Ms Duffy who will continue as a permanent Pupil Support Assistant from August and two newly appointed PSA colleagues, Ms Robertson and Mr Petrie, will join the team too.
We are expanding the Pupil Support Leader team with the addition of a 5th PSL and Mr Broadfoot will be starting with us a couple of weeks into the new term.
We will be interviewing for a temporary English post on Thursday of this week and I will update, as required, early in the new term.
I am sure I echo your sentiments in welcoming all these new staff to the Firrhill family. I look forward to working with them all in the weeks, months and years ahead.