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20 April 2020 – All through

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope this finds you and your family safe and well.  I hope too that you had an enjoyable Easter holiday.

Term 4 begins today and we are hoping that all our learners will be doing their best to re-engage with their learning.  The importance of having a routine during these challenging times can’t be overstated, and we hope school-supported learning will be an important part of this.  If you are experiencing any difficulties in engaging with our learning – from nursery to secondary – please contact the school office for advice and support.

As I said previously, I know that home learning is challenging and it is important to us that you see what we are doing as a help to you.  We are currently gathering information across all our teachers about the levels of engagement of individual pupils and we will contact parents if we have concerns.  This is not to add pressure to you, but to keep you informed and engaged with us.  Parentzone Scotland has helpful advice on learning at home: https://education.gov.scot/parentzone/learning-at-home/

The SQA has provided further advice to teachers on the certification process this year.  Their guidance to learners and parents/carers is here: https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/020420-SQA-NQ2020-Parent-Carer-covid-19-FAQ.pdf  Please be assured that we will be doing our best to provide fair and robust estimates for all our learners across all levels of courses so that the SQA can complete the certification process.  As the estimate process is different this year, including the use of rank ordering, and is now a key component of the certification process, these cannot be shared with learners or parents/carers.  The estimates which we will give to the SQA are not final and so could prove to be very misleading, especially as SQA could move candidates up as well as down from the estimates we give.  We trust you will understand this and support the work we are doing to get this right.  Please be assured that all estimates will be based on the evidence of learning which your child has provided over the course of this year.

Prom 2020 – unfortunately we have had to take the decision to cancel the S5/6 Prom this year.  We will be cancelling the booking and return the monies involved.  I understand how disappointing this news will be. We do hope to reschedule the achievement ceremonies in due course.

Transitions – we are acutely aware that important transition events are planned for Term 4, particularly for our nursery and P7 pupils.  We also have a lot of activities relating to supporting those who are leaving school.  All of this will need to look different this year, but please be assured that we are planning alternative arrangements for these.

The P7 show, ‘Pirates of the Curry Bean’ was cancelled due to the social distancing rules before the school closure.  This gave P7 just enough time to record highlights from it.  These can be seen here: https://tinyurl.com/ybv6g6wn Well done to everyone involved.  I am very grateful to the P7 teachers and all the staff who made this possible.

Secondary timetable – we aim to change the timetable formally on 11 May 2020.  However, learners from S3-S5 are now being encouraged to engage with their courses for next year whenever possible.  Guidance staff will continue re-coursing where required.  This will be limited as most choices have been made, but some courses may be over or under-subscribed.

Finally, please keep safe and well.  As the First Minister says every day, these times are unprecedented.  Please continue to be patient with us and contact us with any queries.  We want to help you and your child as much as we possibly can.

God bless and every good wish,

Seán P Hagney

Headteacher and Campus Leader