As we complete September and enter October next week we continue to work within the unpredictable landscape of the pandemic. Thank you for the support and understanding of those who were impacted by the positive case we had in our community which linked into the School. We received good support from ScotGovt and the NHS in managing the matter. I think we all realise this is becoming part of our ways of working, but as ever, any steps we can take help.
Our Parent Council meeting last night (Thursday) was very positive and useful with some great points of feedback to take forward. Thank you for the contributions.
Some key points;
Infection control steps
Since starting back, the steps we have tried to put in place continue with the hope that they become habits and daily routines;
- Staggered times remain in place
- One-way systems (there are multiple)
- Hand san well used (we have over 80 units across school)
- Coverings to be worn when travelling
- Wipe / spray down hard surfaces
- Distance remains crucial, especially adult to child….with 1000 daily users this is key
- Seating plans in place to help track and trace
- Increased cleaning regime in place daily
- Fogging clean monthly
- Full electrostatic clean termly
- Continuing to build our Microsoft Teams digital presence to support absence or future First Minister steps
These steps will not rid us of Covid19, but they are there to hopefully mitigate risk where we can.
Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA)
We (Head Teachers) are pressing hard with this as we all need an update, especially our young adults. We were expecting this early September, at which point John Swinney, Deputy First Minister for Scotland told SQA to ‘pause’ any feedback until he received an update paper from Prof Mark Priestly.
Our latest development tells us we should expect an update in the coming weeks, we sincerely hope this is before the Oct half term.
The system we (Parents) use for booking slots (ParentBooking.com) has presented a software solution which ‘may’ allow us as Parents to book our slots as normal, which will provide you with a link. You would then click the links for each slot and have a discussion with each Teacher online where feedback can be provided.
We have staff being trained and given an update next week.
Clearly this relies on Parents having the hardware (device, mic, camera) to access this service, we will find solutions for cases where this is not possible.
We will keep you updated as our first planned slot is the S1 settling on the Parent calendar which can be found here https://leithacademy.uk/calendar/ , which is always a positive event.
We have our Parent friendly calendar on our website https://leithacademy.uk/calendar/ which provides key dates such as report issue dates. We are working hard to keep to our reporting schedule despite Covid19. Our first reports will be issued to pupils next week commencing 28th Sept (S1 and S2 Track 1 report) with Senior reports being finalised with Teachers as we speak. This will give you some feedback.
This is a key theme we are working on just now as we prepare to potentially see more absenteeism of pupils who feel fit and well but who need to isolate.
Teachers are regularly uploading work to Microsoft Teams to allow pupils to continue their studies if they are absent from school. Microsoft Teams is a platform where pupils have been added to their ‘classes’ so that they can access PowerPoints, Class Notebooks, files and instructions from staff. There is also the facility to allow pupils to contact staff with questions. Pupils have all been shown how to access Teams and a reminder of how to do this is on our school website https://leithacademy.uk/pupils/pupil-online-resources/
As ever the first point of contact is your child’s House Head via Admin@leith.edin.sch.uk ….but as this emerges, pupils should have direct contact with their teacher through Teams. We are focussing heavily on S1-3 with this over the coming weeks; our Seniors are more familiar.
Music in Schools
Though we have made good progress in our return and recovery, certain subject continue to pose challenges linked to health & safety such as Music, Drama, PE, Home Ec for example. Education Scotland is continuing to work through latest updates that help us to plan some form of provision where we can. The latest Music guidance from the council can be found here on their website https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/downloads/file/28255/music-provision-in-schools-frequently-asked-questions-23-sept-2020 which we will plan alongside.
As much as possible within the revised guidelines, have a nice weekend, from all at Leith Academy.