HEAD TEACHER'S UPDATE 05 FEBRUARY 2021

I hope you are safe and well. You perhaps watched, read or heard about the First Minister’s statement on Tuesday regarding the re-opening of schools, from 22 February, to support senior phase pupils with course work in practical subjects. The vast majority of pupils will, however, continue with remote learning, with the focus on learning and teaching of content.  At this stage we are awaiting further guidance from the Scottish Government about this and we will communicate our plans with parents/carers and pupils by 19 February at latest. We will be working closely with other ELC secondary schools and our Director of Children’s Services to agree this plan.

COVID-19 asymptomatic testing programme for school/ELC staff and senior phase pupils will be offered following the February break and more information will be shared about this shortly.

Next week, 8-15 February (inclusive), is a holiday for all of our pupils and there will be no remote learning provided by teachers during this time. I would ask that pupils/parents/carers enjoy the holiday break and that staff are not contacted during this time. This allows everyone to have a relaxing and well-earned break.  

A reminder that there will be no in-school provision during the mid-term break either.

Remote learning and our in-school provision will re-commence on 16 February 2021.

Staffing

I would like to express a huge heartfelt thank you to Alice Clubb who finishes her seconded DHT post today at Knox Academy. She has been an amazing addition to our Senior Leadership Team and school over the last 23 months. We wish her well in her return to her substantive post as Curriculum Leader of Maths at North Berwick High School.

S2 Parents’ Evening

Thank you to all staff, pupils and parents/carers who attended our virtual parents’ evening on Wednesday. Again, this seems to have gone really well with some great discussions about learning, remote learning, next steps and choice options for S3.

S3-S6 Course Choices/Learner Pathway Reviews

Our coursing is due to start after the February break and given the current circumstances we are planning to do it all online e.g. pupils will submit their initial choices using a Google Form and the coursing interviews will be conducted using Google Meet, in the same way as the recent parent consultation evenings.

All pupils in S2-5 will receive two emails by Friday 5 February (to their Edubuzz account). One with information to support them in making their choices and a second one with the Google Form they need to use to submit their choices (prior to their coursing interview).

This information is also available on the Course Choice area of our website:

  • S2 into S3 – coursing interviews to be held w/b 1 March 2021
  • S3 into S4 – coursing interviews to be held w/b 22 February 2021
  • S4 into S5 – coursing interviews to be held w/b 8 March 2021
  • S5 into S6 – coursing interviews to be held w/b 15 March 2021

The last question on the Google Form asks the pupil to confirm that their parent/carer is aware of the choices being submitted i.e. we will take this as equivalent to a parent/carer signature. Once the form has been submitted, the pupil will receive a copy of the Form as they have submitted it, so that they/ you have a copy.

Any questions relating to coursing should be directed to your young person’s Pupil Support Leader (Guidance Teacher) in the first instance (by David Russell, DHT)

East Lothian Works

ELW have two events planned covering SCP and Full Time College for those looking to leaving school in the summer.

School College Partnership – Wednesday 17th February 5.30 – 6pm

Full Time College – Thursday 18th February 5.30 – 6pm

The google meet code is –

wuu-zafz-tqn   (the same code for both meetings)

In School Learning – all pupils

Parents/carers who are key workers are able to make an application to East Lothian Council by to request a space in the in-school provision. This needs to be done by 7 February to request a place for 16 February onwards. Priority will be given to those key workers in category 1 and category 2 where both parent/carers are key workers or where there is a single parent who is a key worker. Information about the category definitions can be found here: Wherever possible, parents/carers should make use of informal young person care arrangements in line with the Scottish Government Guidance. As always, health and safety of our school community comes first. In order to ensure the risk of transmission remains low, there is a need to limit the number of pupils working in school with a focus on supporting those in the most need. When in school, all pupils will be working in defined ‘bubbles’ (including at break and lunchtimes), asked to ensure hand sanitising on entry exit to the building, encouraged to wear face coverings (S4-S6 must wear these as do staff supporting this provision) and asked to maintain physical distancing at all times.

COVID-19

Positive Cases: Please continue to report any positive cases to covidinschools@eastlothian.gov.uk or telephone 01875 613921.

Please note: If your young person is attending the in-school provision from 16 February onwards, please do not send them to school if they, or anyone in your household has tested positive, or has Covid-19 symptoms.  Please self-isolate and book a test.

Children’s Mental Health Week

It’s Children and Young People’s Mental Health week and East Lothian Council has just launched their new Mental Health and Wellbeing Information Point.

The google site contains up-to-date information for children & young people, families, and school staff around a variety of mental health and wellbeing topics. It provides information and resources to sign-post to, as well support in having conversations around mental health. Please do take time to have a look at the site and access any resources you may need to support your young person’s and family’s mental health and wellbeing.

LGBT+ History Month

We will be celebrating this with a series of events throughout the month, starting this Friday. This is not just part of our quest to achieve our LGBT Silver Charter but integral to our approaches of inclusion and a celebration of all young people at our school and local and wider communities. The events have been organised by our LGBT+ Allies group and will take place every Friday. Register teachers will post materials for pupils to access and get involved in.

  • 5th Feb: UK Key LGBT+ dates in history
  • 12th Feb: Historical Figures
  • 19th Feb: Stonewall Riots
  • 26th Feb: USA Key LGBT+ dates in history

Thank you all for your support throughout the first half of this term - it has been much appreciated by our staff team. We will look forward to re-engaging with all of our young people on Tuesday 16 February. In the meantime, have a relaxing February break and stay safe and well.

Sue Cook

Please also remember to follow us at: www.ka-net.org.uk for the latest information and updates