HEAD TEACHER'S UPDATE 20 APRIL 2020

Welcome back to our Summer term. I hope you have all managed to have a restful and pleasant Easter break, and although perhaps not full of the normal activities you would do as a family, the sunshine managed to tempt you out and about for your daily exercise. 

We are very much missing the buzz of welcoming the pupils back to school this morning and seeing their lovely smiles at the front door as they come in refreshed after their break. We are however looking forward to welcoming them back to our virtual classrooms for learning and teaching.  A huge thank you again to all our parents/carers for your support in encouraging your young person to engage in this on a day to day basis as we know many of you are balancing this support alongside working from home too.

During the holidays there have been a few updates I would like to make you aware of:

SQA Estimates Process

Yesterday we received SQA guidance on school approaches to finalising pupils’ estimate grades, and we will now consider that information across subject and faculty teams, prior to finalisation of those estimates for submission on 29 May.

We have been clearly advised by the SQA that ‘there is no requirement to set additional mock or prelim exams or homework tasks for the purpose of determining a candidate estimate’ and they have also very clearly stated ‘No candidate should be disadvantaged if they were unable to complete any work set after (schools) were closed’. They add that ‘Where candidates have completed additional work after school and college closures, teachers should exercise caution where that evidence suggests a change in performance. In many cases, it is likely to reflect the circumstances and context in which the work was done.’

We will of course ensure we use a range of evidence to come to a decision about each pupil’s estimate grades in all of their subjects so that their ability is rightly and fairly recognised and rewarded. In the meantime, between now and the change of timetable, any work will focus on worthwhile skill development for next steps in learning, rather than on work designed to inform ongoing estimate finalisation.

International Trips and Excursions

As you are aware the school trip(s) planned for the summer term will now no longer be going ahead due to the current situation with COVID19. In this regard I know you will be waiting on refunds of payments you have made towards the trip. I have had confirmation from the Council that we can now move forward with the processing of refunds and that this will commence over the coming week. Please be aware that the processing of refunds will be dealt with at school level and may take a period of time before repayments show in your online account. In this respect I would appreciate your support and patience in allowing this work to be undertaken which we will do as quickly as possible. Many thanks for your co-operation and understanding.

Questionnaires of Remote Learning and Change of Timetable

Thank you very much to all parents/carers and pupils who completed the survey monkey questionnaire over the holidays. We are analysing the results of these and will share the main findings with you soon.  We will use your feedback to help us take the school forward in the coming weeks and months.

Have a good week and stay safe, stay well and be kind to yourself and one another.

Sue Cook