Head Teacher Update 11/8/21

Dear Parents and Students

It has been a long and, weather-wise, mostly glorious summer. I look forward to welcoming everyone back safely next week and hope that, as things continue to open up, we can all return to our normal routines. I am writing to provide some updated information regarding the return of students to school on the 18th August.

As previously communicated, all students will start the new term next Wednesday. However, some routines will vary slightly for each year group while we continue to apply the safety measures that were in place at the end of last term.

Timetable Rotation

In response to local and national guidance, the school timetable was changed to limit movement and the number of contacts. We will continue with this model of double periods and the two-week timetable rotation for the first few weeks of term.

This means that:

  • In Week 1 students will go to Periods 1, 3 and 5 classes (only) and remain for 2 periods
  • In Week 2 students will go to Periods 2, 4 and 6 classes for doubles
Rotations Dates
Rotation 1: Weeks beginning: 16/8, 30/8, 13/9, 27/9, 11/10
Rotation 2: Weeks beginning: 23/8, 6/9, 20/9, 4/10


Although this sounds complicated, most students are familiar with this way of working and it will be explained during lessons from Wednesday to Friday next week.

The School Day

To continue to limit movement and reduce the potential for crowding, we also made some adjustments to the school day. This affects start and finish times as well as break and lunchtimes. Again, this will continue to operate for the first few weeks of term. The following tables provide details for each year group.

S1 and S2 Monday to Thursday

Period Time Information
DMT 8:30 – 8:40am Arrive at 8:25am
1+2 8:40am – 10:50am  
Break 10.00am – 10.15am No canteen available – return to period 1/2 class
3+4 10:50am – 1:30pm  
Lunch 12.00 noon – 12:45pm Return to period 3/4 class at 12.45)
5+6 1:30pm – 3:15pm Short break to be taken in class (between 2:15pm – 2:30pm suggested)

S1 and S2 Friday

Period Time Information
DMT 8:30am – 8:40am Arrive at 8:25am
1+2 8:40am – 10:40am  
Break 10.00am – 10:15am No canteen available – return to period 1/2 class
3+4 10:40am – 12:25pm  


S3 Monday to Thursday

Period Time Information
Daily Morning Tutor (DMT) 8:30am – 8:40am Arrive at 8:25am
1+2 8:40am – 10:35am  
Break 10:35am – 10:50am No Canteen Available
3+4 10:50am – 12:50pm  
Lunch 12:50pm – 1:35pm  
5+6 1:35pm – 3:15pm To accommodate staggered release

S3 Friday

Period Time Information
DMT 8:30am – 8:40am Arrive at 8:25am
1+2 8:40am – 10:25am  
Break 10:25am – 10:40am No Canteen Available
3+4 10:40am – 12:25pm  


S4, 5 and 6 Monday to Thursday

Period Time Information
1+2 8:45am – 10:35am  
Break 10:35am – 10:50am No Canteen Available
3+4 10:50am – 12:50pm  
Lunch 12:50pm – 1:35pm  
5+6 1:35pm – 3:25pm  

S4, 5 and 6 Friday

Period Time Information
1+2 8:45am – 10:25am  
Break 10:25am – 10:40am No Canteen Available
3+4 10:40am – 12:35pm  


To avoid crowding and the mixing of year groups, students are asked to arrive on-time rather than coming in late or early.

Breakfast Club

To begin with, breakfast club will consist of a grab-and-go bagel which will be available for students on arrival.

Orientation and Timings for the first day back:

S1 should arrive at 8:45am. They will be met at the student entrance and guided to their House groups.

S2/3 should arrive at 8:25am and go directly to DMT.

S4-6 should arrive at 9:00am and go to their DMT class.

College (Tuesday and Thursday Afternoon for S4-6)

We expect that face-to-face learning will commence for all School College Partnership students on 2/9/21. Until then, students should sign-out and work from home on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

Jackets and warm clothing

We will continue to make use of outdoor spaces to support learning and, where possible, breaks and lunchtime will be taken outdoors. This means that all students should bring suitable outdoor clothing and be prepared to be outside.


We suggest that students bring a snack for break as there will be no canteen service at this time.


Initially, we would ask that students bring a packed lunch, where possible. This will greatly reduce pressure on our restricted catering and further reduce risk. Eligible students will continue to receive a free school meal and the canteen will continue to provide a hot meal service. To reduce crowding, we will continue to have two lunch slots, as detailed above.

PE Arrangements

On days where they have PE on their timetable, students should continue to come dressed ready for PE. Although bags will be locked in the changing rooms, students should avoid bringing valuable items in on those days.

Forrester Dress Code

On days when students don’t have PE they are expected to wear Forrester Dress Code. Please see website for details of our Dress Code and how this can be purchased. https://forresterhighschool.org.uk/school-uniform


Ties are available for purchase from the school office.

Course Choice

Mr Ennis will be available from 8:30am-10:30am on Thursday 19th August for anyone who wishes to discuss changes to their course choice resulting from SQA awards.

Health and Safety

In preparation for students returning safely in August, we have refined a number of our operational procedures and risk assessments. Social distance and hygiene will be everyone’s responsibility and all students and staff must play their part in ensuring each other’s safety. Face coverings continue to be an important safety measure in school and all students and staff should wear these in class and when moving around the building. Where possible, students should maintain a 1m distance from each other, and should certainly avoid crowding.

It continues to be the case that we are not allowed to permit visitors and parents access to school, unless in an emergency or by prior arrangement. In which case, you should please phone ahead.

Voluntary Asymptomatic Testing

Although our asymptomatic testing has been suspended over the summer, I know that many of you will have continued to test. It is important that everyone returns to school COVID free, so we should encourage all students and staff to test prior to their return. Test kits are available from the school office, online or from some local pharmacies.

Ordering online: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

List of local collection sites can be found at: https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/#/location/EH12%209AE

Information about the Voluntary Asymptomatic Testing programme can also be found on our website here: https://forresterhighschool.org.uk/asymptomatic-testing

Developing symptoms

If your child or a member of your household develops COVID-19 symptoms, please follow the advice from NHS Inform and please let the school know.

Useful links

NHS Inform: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19

School website: https://forresterhighschool.org.uk/

City of Edinburgh Council website: https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/coronavirus

Finally, I look forward to seeing everyone back safe and well and ready for the term ahead.

Thanks, and best wishes.


Stephen Rafferty


Head Teacher



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