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Shawlands Academy

(10 Posts)
sb507 Fri 25-Mar-16 16:33:22

Have been doing a lot of reading about Shawlands. Its reputation and exam results seem to be improving. The school seems to have a lot to offer, eg. lots of extra curricular activities and exchange links with over 10 different countries over the world. They have also had a few kids getting into Oxbridge. However I am aware that in the past the school had some problems, for example, Asian gangs.
I was wondering if anyone could tell me a bit about this school. Is the gang violence still relevant today?

sb507 Fri 25-Mar-16 17:10:08

Also, if anyone has a child at this school, can you study more than 5 highers within the timetable? and are the course choices flexible because my daughter wants to study Maths, English, French, German, Spanish, Business and Administration and would do as many Highers as she could within the school timetable and do the other Highers as self taught as a external candidate?

prettybird Fri 25-Mar-16 18:06:08

Ds is in S4 at Shawlands (placing request). I couldn't be happier with the school.

Don't think your dd would be able to do three foreign languages in the timetable but should be able to do everything else. As a matter of course, they do 8 x Nat 5 (if they're capable of Nat 5 of course wink) and 5 x Higher in S5.

They alternate German and Spanish as the 2nd MFL (French or Urdu as the 1st --but I suspect your dd won't be doing Urdu--). Even years are Spanish, odd years are German.

They pick their subjects at the end of S2 - that's why the school is still able to do 8 Nat 5s.

The problem with Asian gangs was a long time ago - it's amazing how long it takes for a reputation to go away.

The school is very proud of both its ethnic and social mix - it's part of what gives it its inclusive character.

While it expects a lot of its pupils academically, it also encourages sports and artistic interests.

As an illustration of the way they stretch the academic pupils, ds is half way through the Maths Higher Curriculum already and his maths teacher says they'll be starting on Advanced Higher in September. One of the boys in his class sat his Nat 5 last year (ie in S3) and got the top mark in the Prelim shock He's sitting Higher this year.

Ds was part of the School of Rugby for his first two years (part-funded by the SRU, open to both girls and boys - even those new to the sport) which meant that two of periods of PE and one period each of English and Maths were given over to rugby (didn't cause him any problems - he was/is in the top set for both English and Maths). There is also a School of Basketball which I presume operated in a similar way.

Apparently an S2 girl is also a talented runner who won a Scottish silver medal in the age category above her.

There is also a strong tradition of public speaking and debating.

Feel free to PM me.

prettybird Fri 25-Mar-16 18:09:39

She might be able to "crash" Spanish or German Higher with the school's support / especially if she's got a foundation in the language.

Contact the school and ask to speak to Mrs Sinclair - she is the S1/Transition Depute Head and was very helpful when we asked for a tour of the school when ds was in P6, so that we were very comfortable with making the placing request.

sb507 Fri 25-Mar-16 18:40:13

She's actually currently in S4 as well but was bullied at her current school in East Dunbartonshire where we live. Bullying is a massive problem at her current school and many pupils have moved school and one has even committed suicide. Do the school accept many placing requests?
With regards to the subject choices I will probably contact the school but was wondering do you have a copy of his S5 course choice form at hand that you could send me so I can see how the columns work out? She is currently studying the three languages at school for National 5 so she wouldn't need to do crash highers and she is gifted enough that she could do highers this year after doing higher past papers although the school don't allow that. Her current school would allow her to continue with three languages to higher if she was to remain there. I do get the impression that Shawlands take advantage of their gifted pupils which is good as at her current school my daughter often feels bored as the lessons are too easy and she hopes to go to Cambridge or Durham for university.
Would you say that there is much bullying at Shawlands?

prettybird Fri 25-Mar-16 18:44:17

Noticed that you'd asked if the school would support more than 5 Highers. Not sure they can do it within the timetable - but they'd still support the pupil.

If it's not possible to study a particular combination, they'll support the pupil doing a specific subject at another school or local college.

prettybird Fri 25-Mar-16 19:18:20

School has, to the best of knowledge, never had to turn away a placing request. I can check for you on Tuesday night (I know someone who is going to the Parent Council meeting)

This year's S4 will be a "Spanish" year for Nat 5 , so German would be the subject she would need to do by special arrangement.

I never saw ds' Higher options - he was doing such a standard set that I didn't need to (English, Maths, Geography, Physics and Chemistry).

I can try and get hold of one though.

prettybird Fri 25-Mar-16 19:20:57

Don't know about bullying - but having met the headteacher and some of the deputes, I'm sure they have zero tolerance towards bullying.

prettybird Fri 25-Mar-16 19:50:58

I've PMed you.

prettybird Fri 25-Mar-16 22:27:16

It's also worth looking at the school's twitter feed @ShawlandsAcad . It appears that the school had quite a few successful pupils at the inaugural Glasgow City Council Language Awards, which suggests a sound foundation which would help your dd, if languages are her forte.

Pupils can also do Duke of Edinburgh up to Gold, if they want to. Volunteering is also encouraged - at last year's Awards Ceremony, quite a few were awarded their Saltire Award.

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