Contact the School

0131 334 9262

Head Teacher Update 11/12/20

Dear Parents and Students

Changes in the educational landscape continue to come thick and fast, and consequently I am having to provide further update to my two most recent updates. Before I do so, I should acknowledge the incredible resolve of our staff to continue to provide learning while working to absorb an increasing number of changes which have required them to adapt plans many times along the way.

Please find below some updates, hopefully providing clarity on one or two things which have previously been unclear.

End of term arrangements

The Deputy First Minister announced last week that there would be no changes to the planned dates for the end of this term and the start of next. Therefore, the current term will end, for students and staff, on Tuesday 22nd of December at 12:00 noon and our Spring term will begin for students on Wednesday 6 January (Staff will return on Tuesday 5th for in-service). A separate letter from Cllr Ian Perry, Convener of Education, has been posted on the Council’s website and can also be accessed here:


Cancellation of Higher and Advanced Higher Exams

On Tuesday 8th December the Deputy First Minister announced the cancellation of the Higher and Advanced Higher exams. Although this decision was taken slightly earlier than planned, the outcome was expected. The SQA have also now postponed the publication of their updated key dates document relating to Higher and Advanced Higher which will outline important dates, such as submission dates. Nevertheless, Qualification for these levels will go ahead and we will make every effort to avoid young people being disadvantaged by the current situation.

Please refer to the school’s Arrangements for National Qualifications which we published on Sunday 4 December and which can be found at the following address:

Higher and Advanced Formal Assessment Calendar

Our two-week formal assessment diet for Higher and Advanced will go ahead as planned in January. Students have been advised of dates for these assessments by individual subject teachers and a corresponding assessment calendar can be found at the following address:

We would encourage all parents and students to look carefully at the calendar, noting their individual assessment dates to support the creation of an appropriate study plan.

National 5 Submission date for provisional results

On Tuesday 8th December, the SQA released dates for schools to submit provisional results. This now gives schools a clearer timeline to work towards in our planning. Please see the “Delivering your National 5 Results in 2021” page on the SQA website, which outlines key dates and information for parents and students. Teachers will submit grades based on the evidence they are collecting throughout the year in addition to information gathered through more formal assessment.

At Forrester, we have identified the following 3 formal assessment blocks for students sitting National 5 qualifications this year.

Assessment block 1 – 16th Feb (Tuesday return) to 26th Feb

Assessment block 2 – 22nd March to 1st April (Thursday finish)

Assessment block 3 – 26th April to 7th May

As we did with the Higher and Advanced Higher Formal Assessment Calendar, we will publish a National 5 Formal Assessment Calendar early in the New Year.


In the run-up to the holidays, we must be especially careful to avoid infection and the need for people to have to self-isolate over the holiday period. It is important that we keep our distance and observe appropriate protocols. It is also vital that people do not come into school if they think they, or a member of their family, might have symptoms. Anyone who has been told to self-isolate, through track and trace, or who has received a positive test should certainly not attend school.

And finally, next week is week 2 in our rotation and the following week – the week beginning 21/12/20 (Monday, Tuesday) – will be combined with the week beginning 4/1/21 (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) as week 1. I hope that is easier to read and understand than it was to write.

Have a great weekend.

Thanks and best wishes

Stephen Rafferty