Weekly update 28th May 2020


We hope you have all enjoyed a bit of a change this week with our Health and Wellbeing week! A reminder that Monday is an inset day so work will not be assigned until Tuesday. While we are still very unsure of the plans for moving forward with returning to school in August, it is clear that learning at home will be with us for the foreseeable future. In light of that, we would really like to use the next few weeks to establish sound patterns of home learning. Each week, Primary 4-7 pupils are expected to be “handing in” a piece of work. This is normally submitted through the classroom and is likely to be one literacy task and one numeracy task. If it is difficult for these to be submitted using the google classroom format, photos etc can be sent in. Where these are not submitted, class teachers will be in touch with parents to see if there are ways that we can support to enable this to happen. Pupils in P1-3 are asked to please send in photos of their work. While we realise that some of you have chosen to do this, we are now requesting that each pupil send in some evidence of their work each week. If you do not wish for these photos to appear on social media, please let the class teachers know when submitting these.

We would also like to make you aware of a feature currently being run by the Press and Journal which is encouraging parents to send photos of kids with their kitchen recipes. A selection of these will be published. These can be sent to pj.features@pressandjournal.co.uk Please remember to include full name, age and where you live.

Thank you to those of you who completed our Return to School surveys, is is by far that most wide ranging response we have seen in a survey. School staff have read all of this feedback and will take these concerns on board moving forward. The information collected in these will be anonymised and shared with our Associated School Groups as we work through the next phase of planning. While there continues to be much speculation in the media about the return to school, the Highland Council statement is as follows;

28 May 2020

For immediate release

Back to school and learning – ‘carefully and gradually’

The Highland Council is assessing the implications of the First Minister’s announcements made on the 21st May about the first stage relaxation of lockdown, concerning teachers and other education staff returning to the workplace during June to prepare for the return to school and settings on 11th August.
Highland Council’s Education Committee Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said: “The return to workplace and Highland schools for our Education staff will have to be undertaken carefully and gradually.
“I understand the desire for parents and pupils to know what plans and preparations will be put in place to enable the start of term on 11th August; and that is exactly what our Education staff will be working on in the coming weeks.
“While I understand parental and pupil anxieties, especially for those starting at school – at this stage and ahead of formal engagement with local head teachers, parent forums and communities it is too early for the Council to provide any finalised plans or proposals on what the return to school will look like for Highland families. It is important that the local circumstances of each school will need to be considered along with consultations with key stakeholders. As soon as that information is available schools and the Council will promote this widely.”
Paul Senior, Executive Chief Officer Education & Learning added:

“There is a huge amount of preparation underway to return schools and our education settings in line with government guidelines. Before teaching and education staff can return to school, there are a number of measures we will be deploying to ensure that the views of Highland’s head teachers, parents, carers and communities inform our plans.

“These will include rigorous risk assessments that will need to be carried out, to ensure that safe distance working practices and other risk prevention measures can be adhered, to that will enable staff to return to the workplace safely in environments that are as safe as possible to minimise the potential for risk.

“Then, as soon as jointly agreed, risk assessed back-to-school plans are in place, the Council along with our schools and settings will provide information to parents, carers and pupils on what the new normal will be like.”
Pupils and parents should keep an eye on the news page of the Council’s website at: http://www.highland.gov.uk/news/archive; and the Council’s Twitter https://twitter.com/HighlandCouncil or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/highlandcouncil/ for updates on back-to-school information.

We fully appreciate the anxiety around the uncertainty and wish to reassure you that we will forward further information as soon as we are aware of it. In the meantime, please continue to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Continue to take care and look after yourselves and your loved ones. These are difficult times and your wellbeing has got to remain the priority!