I hope that you are well and had a restful and peaceful Christmas and New Year. Following the announcements made by the First Minister on Monday 4th January, I am writing to update you with information about the arrangements for home learning, commencing Monday 11th January. Please also refer to the ‘COVID’ support pages of our website as they contain some very comprehensive information which may be able to answer any questions that you may have. I thank you for your patience and understanding as my staff and I work through a rapidly changing situation and respond to many challenges that this situation presents.
Learning at Home
We aspire to maintain a full curriculum for all year groups with learning as close to the daily face to face experience as context allows whilst pupils and staff are working at home.
Most of our pupils are now used to accessing lessons via Google Classrooms. Google Classroom will continue to be our platform for delivery of the curriculum and lessons aim to follow our normal school timetable from Monday 11th January, starting with the green timetable rotation. Subject teachers will track pupil engagement and follow-up any non-engagement via Google Classroom. Our Pupil Support team will commence courtesy calls to families over the coming week to offer support if required (If you receive a call from an unknown number please consider that it might be a call from the school.) If you have a urgent support request, you can email your child’s Pupil Support teacher directly. Email addresses are listed here.
Teachers will use a range of activities such as recorded content, follow-up tasks, written tasks, clips, live stream interaction, video tutorials, voice overs and learning will be delivered in a mixture of these formats. Teachers will make a decision to either deliver a live lesson at the normal time for the lesson via the Google Meet videoconferencing software, or to provide recordings and other material to enable students to access the work on demand. Either way, the Google Meet link or the work will be available on the day of the lesson and will be set as an assignment on Google Classroom. It is expected that students will attend at the normal time, ready to carry out the work, unless they are unwell. During live lessons the default etiquette is that they are required to mute their microphones and cameras, unless told to do otherwise by the teacher, and should only communicate with other students if asked to do so. Pupils are encouraged to dress appropriately and follow all instructions, just as they would in lessons. Lessons may be recorded. We realise that some of our pupils may have to pick up their learning at different times if access to a particular lesson at the scheduled time is not possible. If it is not possible for them to attend live, they should let the teacher know via Google Classroom in advance.
If the instructions are pre-recorded and available on demand, students may complete the assigned task at a time convenient to them, as long as it is submitted on Google Classroom by the deadline that the teacher has set. We recommend that students follow their usual timetables and carry out the work during lesson time as much as possible, to maintain a sense of routine and to continue with their education to the best of their ability. All staff expect that pupils engage with Google Classrooms as best as they can. It is especially important that S4 to S6 pupils take full part in what is being offered to them.
To help manage their work, students can utilise the ‘To Do’ menu within Google Classroom. This will list all assignments for each of their classes with due dates. As always, pupils can message their teacher directly within any assigned task if they are have difficulty completing the work.
Further information about learning from home can be obtained from our dedicated Home Learning Arrangements webpage.
Technical support for Glow accounts can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . Please state the full name of your child and a description of the technical issue that you are encountering within your message. Please note that you may be asked a few data-check questions to comply with GDPR.
Our initial allocation of IT for pupils working at home has now been distributed and I am pleased that we can now offer another opportunity to request access to IT. Please complete the online form by 5:30pm on Monday 11th January to make a request. Please note that we consider every application very carefully however, due to high demand we must adhere strictly to the qualifying guidelines set out by the Scottish Government.
Senior Phase Assessment Arrangements
As communicated in our updates of 22nd December and 6th January, the Higher and Advanced Higher assessment period has been cancelled. Pupils studying subjects at this level will now move to the same model of continuous assessment as per National 5 courses. We anticipate a further update from SQA in regard to the implications of the most recent lockdown. The best advice we can provide is that all S4 to S6 pupils fully engage in all activities on offer through Google Classroom.
Thank you very much for your understanding at yet another difficult time and please pass my best wishes to your children. We are here to help and support our young people through the challenges that they are facing. Please do not hesitate to contact the school if required.
With every best wish,
Mr P Bollen