Literacy across learning

cropped-literacy-cropped1.jpgLiteracy across learning is a key aspect of the Broad General Education. This is because it is widely acknowledged by experts that competency in literacy is crucial to success at school and beyond.  Therefore, we are working to raise the profile of literacy across learning at James Gillespie’s High School. As part of this strategy, we will be focusing on the new S1s and helping them to realise when they are using and developing core literacy skills across multiple contexts at school . Our fantastic librarians, in conjunction with Support for Pupils Leaders, will be delivering a six lesson unit to every single first year class designed to deepen their skills in skimming, scanning, note taking, questioning skills and research skills. This will help pupils to develop these important attributes thus helping them to succeed in all subjects. We will also be running a pilot Literacy Passport project with two S1 classes to help the students understand where and when they are using their literacy skills across all learning contexts. This is designed to see how feasible and useful such a scheme would be in developing literacy across an entire year group.  The success of the scheme will be reviewed before the end of the Christmas term and we will then decide how to proceed with the project. Their passports contain a simplified version of some of the key  Level 3 Experiences and Outcomes contained within A Curriculum for Excellence. If you wish to look at the passport it is on the JGHS literacy blog.

All teachers at James Gillespie’s High School work to develop the pupils’ literacy skills in their  lessons. This has been verified by faculty self-assessment and some independent verification carried out by the Literacy Coordinator. Teachers will continue to develop the pupils’ literacy skills and we are sure that parents will want to help their own children to enhance these skills. You can do this by discussing school work with your child but also by encouraging your child to read as voraciously and as widely as possible. Reading real books for pleasure is a fun way of developing basic and higher order literacy skills.

Literacy lies at the heart of successful learning: together we can help the students to achieve their full potential by nurturing literacy skills.

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Word of the Week

TOP WORDS OF THE YEAR

The top word of the year is…

1.Word: Besmirch (verb)

Definition: to soil, dirty.

Context: The politician used rumours to besmirch his rival’s reputation.

Many thanks to 2K1 who contributed so many words over the year!

 

2. Word: phantasmagoria (noun)

Definition: a sequence of real or imaginary images like those seen in a dream

Context: The straight As on her exam transcript, and the resulting rewards from her parents, were a classic case of phantasmagoria.

from 4R1/2

 

3. Word: Loquacious (adjective)

Definition: tending to talk a great deal; excessively talkative; garrulous

Context: The pupils were particularly loquacious as they were excited about the forthcoming holiday.

from  5K3/4

15/6/15 – 19/6/15

WORDS OF THE WEEK: ZENITH and ZEALOUS

Two words for the price of one from 3M2.

Word: Zenith (noun)

Definition: the time at which something is most powerful or successful.

Word: Zealous (adjective)

Definition: showing zeal or enthusiasm

Context: Rosie became very zealous when she reached the zenith of her life (after meeting Lori).

There have been some fantastic words over the year and we now have the difficult task of selecting the top three words.

8/6/15 – 12/6/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: YGDRASIL

This week’s Y word comes from 3M2

Word: Ygdrasil (noun)

Definition: a Nordic mythical tree whose roots and branches bind together heaven, earth and hell.

Context: The Viking hoped to climb the Ygdrasil to heaven when he lost his life in battle; rather than descending down the roots to hell.

 

WORD OF THE WEEK: XEN

This week’s X word comes from 2K1

Word: Xen (adjective)

Definition: combination word meaning alien (used in the formation of compound words)

Context: The xenophobic politician had a panic attack when he became foreign minister.

Two excellent words from 2K1 and 3M2. Next week’s word will begin with Z and is, of course, the last letter of the alphabet. We will then select the best word to have been submitted over the year.

1/6/15 – 5/6/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: WANDERLUST

Another super word from 1K1. Can anyone catch them?

Word: wanderlust (noun)

Definition: Eager desire or fondness of travelling.

Context: His friend had wanderlust, and had already been to Thailand and Jamaica.

Your challenge for next week is the come up with two words beginning with X and Y respectively. There does not need to be a connection between the two words.

25/5/15 – 29/5/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: VANQUISH

Many thanks to 2K2 for this week’s word.

Word: Vanquish (verb)

Definition: come out better in a competition, race, or conflict

Context: Southampton vanquished Aston Villa 6-1 last weekend.

Discuss the word with your registration classes and see if you can come up with good words, complete with meaning and context sentence, beginning with W.

18/5/15 – 22/5/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: UNAMBIGUOUS

Another fantastic offering for our ‘U’ word this week.

Word: unambiguous (adjective)

Definition: not open to more than one interpretation

Context:

  1. It is important to be unambiguous when you are trying to communicate a particular point of view.
  1. Prefixes are very useful for changing the meaning of a word to its opposite thus avoiding ambiguity.

Words beginning with V for next week.

11/5/15 – 15/5/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: TAWDRY

Thanks to 1K1 for a great word this week.

Word: Tawdry (adjective)

Definition: showy, cheap and flashy

Context: The stylist thought her models clothes were exuberant; the reviewers dismissed them as tawdry.

Words beginning with U for next week.

4/5/15 – 8/5/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: SCINTILLATING

Many thanks to 2K2 for this week’s Word of the Week.

Word: scintillating (adjective)

Definition: sparkling or shining brightly

Context: The scintillating sun streamed through the window.

Words beginning with T for next week. Please discuss the words in registration groups and come up with interesting context sentences as well as definitions and word class.

27/4/15 – 1/5/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: RECIDIVIST

Many thanks to 5K3/4 for this week’s word.

Word: Recidivist (noun)

Definition: a convicted criminal who reoffends, especially repeatedly.

Context: There was still hope for the recidivist although his past record did not suggest it.

Discuss this week’s word and see if you can come up an interesting word beginning with S for next week.

 

30/3/15 – 3/4/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: QUAGGY

Thanks again to the mighty 1K1 for an apposite word describing the delights of the Scottish countryside in spring.

Word: Quaggy (adjective)

Definition: wet, boggy ground

Context: Parts of Scotland are very quaggy, and can only be crossed in wellies.

Three days to come up with an interesting word beginning with R: perhaps related to the fresh start in a new building…

 –

23/3/15 – 27/3/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: PHANTASMAGORIA

Well done to 4R1/2 who came up with a lovely word and a context sentence that will, I am sure, turn out to be a mere phantasmagoria itself.

Word: phantasmagoria (noun)

Definition: a sequence of real or imaginary images like those seen in a dream

Context: The straight As on her exam transcript, and the resulting rewards from her parents, were a classic case of phantasmagoria.

There were some great words this week and it was difficult to choose one.

Interesting and surprising words beginning with Q for next week.

16/3/15 – 20/3/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: OBSEQUIOUS

Thanks to 5K3/4 for this week’s word.

Word: Obsequious (adjective)

Definition: Obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree.

Context: The government behaved in an overly obsequious manner towards Big Business.

Use this word in the correct context over the week, in both your writing and oral work, and see if you can come up with an interesting word beginning with P for next week.

9/3/15 – 13/3/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: NABOB

A great word this week from the productive 1K1!

Word: Nabob (noun)

Definition: a wealthy, luxurious person. The word comes from India.

Context: The man dressed nicely to make a good impression on the nabobs.

Let’s see what you can come up with beginning with the letter O.

2/3/15 – 6/3/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: MISANDRY

This week’s offering comes from 1M2.

Word: Misandry (noun)

Definition: The dislike of, contempt for or ingrained prejudice against men or boys.

Context: We should live in a world where we all are treated as having equal value—men have a responsibility to be feminists; Women have a responsibility to avoid misandry.

Get your thinking caps on for an interesting word beginning with N. Perhaps it could be something connected to spring

23/2/15 – 27/2/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: LOQUACIOUS

Thanks to 5K3/4 for this week’s word: they are a loquacious lot.

Word: Loquacious (adjective)

Definition: tending to talk a great deal; excessively talkative; garrulous

Context: The pupils were particularly loquacious as they were excited about the forthcoming holiday.

Nominations for an interesting word beginning with M to be submitted by the end of the week.

9/2/15 – 13/2/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: KLEPTOMANIA

Thanks to 1K1 for this week’s ‘K’ word.

Word: Kleptomania (noun)

Definition: Kleptomania is an uncontrollable desire to steal things, occurring usually as a form of mental illness

Context: The man with kleptomania was caught stealing a box of chocolates in the supermarket.

2/2/15 – 6/2/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: JEREMIAD

This week, 4M3 came up with this splendid offering for our ‘J’ word:

Word: Jeremiad (noun)

Definition: a prolonged lamentation or complaint; also : a cautionary or angry harangue

Context: I am saddened to add my jeremiad to the list of protestations at your coverage.

26/1/15 – 30/1/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: INTIMMERS AND ILKA

Scots is such a rich language that not only do we have two words beginning with I this week, but also some classic Burns for you to enjoy. 

Word: intimmers (noun)

Meaning: internal organs; stomach and bowels; internal workings; mechanism

Context: In S4 biology, you will study the intimmers of the body.

Thanks to 4M3 for this gory example.

 

Word: Ilka (determiner)

Meaning: every

 Context: Aft hae I rov’d by bonie Doon,

             To see the rose and woodbine twine:

             And ilka bird sang o’ its Luve ,

             And fondly sae did I o’ mine;

                                                Robert Burns from  ‘The Banks of Bonnie Doon’

Thanks to 1K2 (and Mr Shankland) for finding this fine poetry.

19/1/15 – 23/1/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: HIPPOPOTOMONSTROUSESQUIPEDALIOPHOBIA

Congratualtions to 2M4 and 3M1 for this week’s amazing word!

Hippopotomonstrousesquipedaliophobia (noun) 

Definition: THE FEAR OF LONG WORDS!

Context: My Hippopotomonstrousesquipedaliophobia is hindering my endeavours in the English class.

Words beginning with I for next week.

12/1/15 – 16/1/15

WORD OF THE WEEK: GASTEROMYCETES

Congratulations to 2K2 who have once again chosen this week’s word!

gasteromycetes: (noun)

Definition: name often given to a subgroup of fungi consisting of more than 700 species in the phylum Basidiomycota (kingdom fungi)

Context: There was a gasteromycetes in my garden.

5/1/14 – 9/1/14

WORD OF THE WEEK: FLABBERGASTED

Congratulations to 2K2 for coming up with this week’s word:

flabbergasted: (adjective)

Definition: to be overcome with surprise and bewilderment, astounded

Context: Matthew was flabbergasted when he heard that Manchester United had scored.

15/12/14 – 19/12/14

WORD OF THE WEEK: ECLECTICISM

Thank you to 1K1 for this week’s offering!

Eclecticism (noun)

Definition: Having a whole bunch of different opinions and ideas.

Context: We value the eclecticism that exists among us.

8/12/14 – 12/12/14

WORD OF THE WEEK: DODECAHEDRON

Congratulations to 1K2! It may be tricky to use such a specialised in an everyday context, but give it a go.

Word: D is for Dodecahedron

Definition: Dodecahedron – a twelve sided shape whereby each shape has five edges (pentagon). Overall it has 30 edges and is known as one of the platonic solids!

Context: How many faces does a dodecahedron have and what shape are its faces?

1/12/14 – 5/12/14

WORD OF THE WEEK: COSMOPOLITAN

Congratulations to 4R 1/2 for coming up with this week’s word.

Word: cosmopolitan (adjective)

Definition: at ease with many cultures and countries.

Context: Esme was so cosmopolitan: some would say she didn’t have a nationality.

Use this word in interesting contexts and start thinking of words beginning with D for next week.

24/11/14 – 28/11/14

WORD OF THE WEEK: BESMIRCH

There were some fantastic entries for Word of the Week: especially bourgeois (2M4), biodegradable (1K2) and banter (5K3 and 4) but the winner is… 1K1!

Besmirch (verb)

Definition: to soil, dirty.

Context: The politician used rumours to besmirch his rival’s reputation.

Next week’s word should begin with a C.

17/11/14 – 21/11/14

WORD OF THE WEEK: ANNIHILATE

Congratulations to 2K2 for coming up with this week’s word! Use this word in an appropriate context throughout the week:

A is for annihilate!

Definition: Annihilate (verb) – to destroy completely.

Context: Anti-grammarians are attempting to annihilate the apostrophe.

Start thinking of words beginning with “B” for next week.

 

 

Word of the Week

Book Week

jghs-bws-1
A range of activities took place across James Gillespie’s High School to celebrate Book Week Scotland. A poster competition organised by Miss McKenzie saw S2 English classes draw on inspiration from their favourite reads to create brand new book characters. The judges, Head Teacher Donald Macdonald and Librarian Sara Brown, were impressed by the quality of work produced and the variety of source material that was used. S1 pupils completed a ‘Book Detectives’ activity in the library, making use of their information skills to interrogate the Eclipse library catalogue. A library competition also challenged pupils to identify popular books published in other countries from their covers. Staff from across the school placed signs outside their doors listing their current reads. Additionally, several members of staff took part in a book recommendations video.
jghs-bws-2

Book Week: Books we Recommend 2014/2015

 

 

 

 

World Book Day

World Book Day

Thursday the 6th of March 2014 is World Book Day.  There are a number of fun and interesting events, such as a book swap and competitions, going on in the library throughout this week.
The best way to get involved with this day is to pick up a book and start reading!
In the video below some of your teachers recommend some of their favourite literature in order to give you some inspiration.

 

A list of recommendations:
Mr McLaughlin: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall
Ms Kinnear: The Northern Lights Trilogy by Philip Pullman
Mr McPhail: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
Mr Stewart: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Mr Watt: King Rat by James Clavell
Mr Warden: Practicing the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and The Little Prince by Antoine Du Sait-Exupery
Ms Barrass: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Mr Morrison: The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
Mr Crosbie: Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
Ms Murray: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Ms Brown: Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin
Mr Roskilly: Animal Farm by George Orwell
Ms MacSween: The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley
Ms Briggs: They Draw and Cook by Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell