St Machar Academy Parent/Carer Communication
NEW! Groupcall Xpressions App
Groupcall Xpressions is now the preferred parental communication tool used by Aberdeen City Council schools. We strongly recommend that all parents and carers download the application to keep up to date with all school information.
Xpressions is a downloadable mobile phone application available on both android and iOS and is used for almost all general information including events, reminders, trip permission electronic forms and lots more. Newsletters, photographs, certificates and other PDFs can be attached to Groupcall Xpression messages and shortly, following a successful trial to be conducted by St Machar Academy, we hope to send Pupil Progress Reports directly to your mobile phone or mobile device.
The app is similar to other communication apps such as Whatsapp/iMessage etc with an added pin security feature. All contacts with parental responsibility can set up an account. Groupcall Xpressions can also be activated on multiple devices to receive communication i.e. iPads, tablets etc.
To download the app you should select the appropriate app store on your mobile telephone/device; this is usually App Store for Apple or Google Play for android. Xpressions works using your email address and mobile number; the same ones you supplied to the school. You will use these to sign into Xpressions.
IF YOU HAVE NOT SUPPLIED THE SCHOOL WITH A CURRENT EMAIL ADDRESS AND MOBILE TELEPHONE NUMBER OR YOU BELIEVE THESE MAY REQUIRE UPDATING, YOU CAN ADD THIS INFORMATION BELOW SO WE CAN ENABLE AND APPROVE YOUR ACCESS.
Further help can be found at:
Parents and carers can also use the Xpressions application to send messages to report absence, request appointments or for other general communication with the school.
On the main page of your app, click on your child’s initials on the top bar. From the option menu that appears, click ‘Send message to school’. There are four categories of message;
• Request a meeting
If a reply to an Xpression message is requested a reply button will appear for your convenience.
Important messages can be flagged by parents to allow for ease of access or to set as a task reminder.
If you already have Groupcall Xpressions and are experiencing problems accessing the app please sign out and sign back in to reset.
WIN! A KINDLE FIRE OR HAMPER
On Thursday 2nd May 2019 we launched a competition to win a Kindle Fire or a hamper containing lots of goodies for all parents and carers of pupils at St Machar Academy who sign up to the Groupcall Xpressions App AND complete the data check update which will be sent Monday 13th May 2019.
IF YOU CANNOT GET ACCESS TO THE APP:
Upon completing the personal update form below please allow 72 hours for your details to be updated at school before you try to access Xpressions.
IF YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THE APP:
CONGRATULATIONS - THE ANNUAL DATA CHECK WILL FOLLOW ON MONDAY 13TH MAY FOR YOU TO FINALISE YOUR COMPETITION ENTRY.
The competition will close Friday 31st May 2019 and drawn Tuesday 4th June.
TO ENTER PLEASE COMPLETE THE FORM WITH YOUR PERSONAL DETAILS BELOW THEN FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ISSUED VIA XPRESSIONS W/C 13TH MAY.
1st Prize - Kindle Fire
2nd and 3rd Prizes - Large food and gift hampers
Additional ways in which we will communicate with parents/carers:
All letters including newsletters and invitations to meetings will be sent out via email. We ask that the school email address is saved as a contact to avoid communication being redirected to a junk mail inbox.
Parents and carers will receive a text message for attendance queries or in relation to urgent information or emergencies i.e. whole school closure. In some circumstances we may request that you reply to a Groupcall Text message.
Twitter is used to promote St Machar Academy through sharing excellence, general school activities and promoting events.
The St Machar Academy website contains detailed information about the school for current and prospective pupils, parents and carers. Important information is broadcast through the school blog to ensure that all parents and carers are kept up to date with school activities, events or any other updates.
NEW! Google and Groupcall Forms
We are looking to trial and implement the use of Google Forms and Groupcall Forms to support easier access for parent and carer involvement. These forms will save the need for paper and will make completion quicker and simpler for you.
Google Forms allows the school to send out permission forms for trips and is easy and simple for parents to use. A link will be sent via an Xpression message or email which will enable the parent to click and complete the form and submit without the need to return paper forms to the school. We can also conduct surveys, organise event signups and request parental feedback through this communication format.
Groupcall Forms is coming soon! Our trial will start with a full data check of parent/carer information held on file however going forward we are looking to send out Pupil Progress Reports (School Reports), trip permissions and other forms you would normally receive in paper format.
In some circumstances formal communication through a paper format is required. We will continue to issue letters on this basis where it is necessary to do so.
Any parent who does not have the facility to receive communication via Groupcall Xpression or email should contact the school office. Paper copies of communication will be available to collect from the school office at your earliest convenience.
Please contact the office should you require any further support in setting up or troubleshooting Groupcall Xpressions or see
Please direct any communication queries to
Relationship to child
Mobile Telephone Number
Groupcall Access - Update to personal details
Why are we asking for your information?
Aberdeen City Council collects the information about you in this form in order to process your data for parent/carer activities within an education setting. We will keep this information for a period of five years from the maximum school leaving age of your child, as required to by The Pupils' Educational Records (Scotland) regulations 2003, unless we have a legal responsibility to keep the information for a longer period of time. The Council may share this information within the Integrated Children and Families Service. The Council does not use an automated process for making decisions about you or the services you may receive from us.
Your Data, Your Rights
You’ve got legal rights about the way the Council handles and uses your data, which include the right to ask for a copy of it, inaccurate data to be update/amended, and to ask us to stop doing something with your data. You may withdraw your consent by contacting the school holding this data.
You may also contact the Council’s Data Protection Officer by email
or in writing at: The Data Protection Officer, Legal and Democratic Services, Level 1 South, Marischal College Aberdeen, AB10 1AU.
More information about all of the rights you have is available on our website at:
You also have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office, (
). They are the body responsible for making sure organisations like the Council handle your data lawfully.
Legal Basis for Processing
Whenever Aberdeen City Council processes your data we need to tell you what our legal basis in Data Protection law for doing so. The Council understands our legal basis for processing your data to provide you with these services relating to your role as Article 6(1)(a) of the General Data Protection Regulation, because you have consented by providing information. You can withdraw this at any time, as explained above.
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