I hope that this finds you all well and surviving this period of remote learning! You will be aware from the FM announcement on Tuesday that schools will not open before mid February and this will be reviewed on the 2nd February. We do understand how challenging this is and ask that you please get in touch if we can offer further support.
There are a few things to make you aware of as part of this week’s update;
I cannot emphasise enough the importance of daily registration. As oppose to the last lockdown where we kept attendance records within school, during this lockdown phase, attendance continues to require to be input into the data systems and is recorded on a daily basis. Absence from online learning must follow the same protocols as absences from in person learning and will all contribute to a percentage rate at the end of the year. Where attendance falls below 80%, we are duty bound to involve other agencies. Registration is taken each day upon completion of the Google Form issued on the Classrooms. If you are struggling with the form, please email class teachers to let them know that pupils are present for home learning. Equally, if a pupil is unwell or unable to attend online learning, please inform the school by 9.15 each morning, as you would during normal openings.
With the period of online learning now being extended, we are increasing our expectations in regards to Google Meets. Every pupil will have at least one opportunity each day to engage in a Google Meet. Attendance will be taken at these (except where a teacher indicates an optional session). While the last lockdown period was focussed on consolidation, this time around, teaching of new content will continue using online platforms; recorded videos, web links and Google Meets among others. Again, if there are issues around connecting to these, please let class teachers know.
Also in response to the extended closure period, learning packs are being distributed today. Class teachers will be in touch with reference to how these are to be used and we would ask your cooperation in waiting for these instructions rather than working ahead. For pupils requiring additional tasks, there are grids available on the school website. Textbooks should not be worked at ahead of time.
It is essential that all items sent home are returned to school when we return to classes and we ask you to make a note of what you have received. These will all be checked back in when school returns to normal.
Pupils attending for in school provision should take their packs and their Chromebooks with them each day that they attend.
It is hoped that by issuing these textbooks and resources, we can cut down on some of the screen time required to take part in remote learning and will provide some consistency and familiarity for pupils.
The Highland Council have invested in an app called read/write which will support pupils in their online learning. Staff have been learning about this feature and the potential to support pupils is fantastic. This will be particularly relevant to pupils using Chromebooks. An information session for parents is being held next week and a poster advertising this is attached above. I would encourage you to attend if you are able. The facilities that this app provides will be of huge benefit to pupils.
Well done to all of you who participated in the Burns week activities. I look forward to seeing your entries.
As an addition to this week’s Google Classroom tasks, please find attached a grid of activities that focus around the RSPB Birdwatch for those who wish to participate. This is a great opportunity to tie in with this national initiative and spend some time focussing on our wider world.
As always, we very much appreciate your ongoing support and efforts. Please get in touch with any questions or concerns that may arise.