Head Teacher Update 16/6/21

Dear Parents and Students

Please find below some updated information on: COVID 19 safety (including Lateral Flow Testing); S6 Study arrangements; Sharing of Provisional Grades; Active Schools; Changes to the Structure of the School Day; and the Day the BBC Came to Forrester.

COVID 19 Safety

With the number of cases in Edinburgh rising rapidly, it has never been more important to be vigilant and recognise the symptoms of COVID-19.

The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

However, cold-like symptoms are also now being associated with the new variants.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-57467051

Students who have symptoms must not come into school – they should book a test and self-isolate until they get the results. Family members would also have to self-isolate until a negative result is returned.

Lateral Flow Testing

The Asymptomatic Testing Programme was introduced in schools to detect the one in three people with COVID who do not show any symptoms. Lateral flow tests are available for all students and staff, and I would urge you, once again, to pick up test kits at the school office or the social area as you arrive. Please also ensure that you have a supply of test kits for when we return in August.

For more information on Lateral Flow Testing, please see the following link from the Young Scott website: PowerPoint Presentation (squarespace.com) and look at the information and instructions on our sidebar, direct link: Voluntary Asymptomatic Testing | Forrester High School

Please remember, Lateral Flow Tests are only to be used by those without symptoms. Those with symptoms should book a test.

S6 Friday study – work from home

Due to the continuation of double periods and the two-week timetable rotation, several S6 students have a double periods of study Period 1 and period 3. To reduce close contacts, we would ask all those in this position to work from home on Friday. Suitable, alternative accommodation will be found for anyone who is unable to work from home.

Alternative Certification – sharing of Provisional Grades

Please see the message below from the City of Edinburgh Council:

You will be aware that, as part of the SQA’s Alternative Certification Model, our teachers are busy determining provisional grades for your child, which will be submitted to the SQA on Friday 25 June.

I am writing to inform you that your child will be emailed their provisional grades after school on Wednesday 23 June and that you will also receive a copy of the letter by email.

The letter will include details of the SQA’s appeals process, details of which can be found on the SQA website: https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/79049.html

The SQA has also produced an information booklet for pupils: https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/SQA-Appeals-2021-what-you-need-to-know.pdf

Should you have any questions at this stage, please contact admin@forrester.edin.sch.uk

A message from Active Schools

Active Schools have reviewed our priorities to make sure we help pupils who need more support to be physically active.  We are aiming to narrow the gap between those pupils who can and can’t access physical activity. We will work together to support pupils to reach 60 minutes of physical activity most days.  Our new priorities are Closing the activity gap, Volunteers, Community Partnerships, Leadership, Poverty, Health and Wellbeing and Additional Support Needs (Sport & Physical Activity). 

What does this mean for Forrester and our cluster Primary Schools?

Extra Curricular

  • Active Schools Extra-Curricular sport and physical activity clubs will be FREE in Term Time.  Holiday camps will have a small charge but will still be free to those on Free School Meals. 

Leadership

  • There will be more sport and physical activity leadership programmes and opportunities for both primary and high school pupils. 

Volunteers

  • We will recruit more volunteers to deliver and help with Extra-Curricular as well as Community Champions to promote opportunities and help ensure we meet local community needs.

Active Projects

  • Once we have identified pupils who need more support to get more active, we will put some projects in place to address this.

Structure of the school day

Students have made a great start to their new timetable this week. This has provided a welcome change of focus and an opportunity to renew motivation and energy levels. Due to COVID we have had to start the new timetable using our two-week rotation and the old timings of the school day. We are now being told that this is likely to continue into the new term. However, due to a significant rise in the school population, when we get back to normal ways of working (hopefully very soon) we will have to restructure the school day to accommodate two lunch sittings. I will be working with members of the parent council to finalise details of this in the coming weeks.

A View from the Euros – the day the BBC came to Forrester

Please see message below from Mr Brown.

On Monday 14th June, a production crew arrived at school to film a short feature for BBC Scotland’s A View from the Euros. A group of our senior students engaged in a pretty unique experience of watching Scotland’s men play at their first major finals in 23 years, all the while in front of the cameras.

Our kids were incredible and seemed to really enjoy their experience (if, sadly, not the result).

Jordan, the director, confirmed this feature is scheduled to be aired within the June 25th episode of A View from the Euros, so mark your diaries to see our kids’ interviews and match reactions. The show typically airs around 10.40pm. (It’s repeated early the following morning and available on iPlayer for seven days after, for those who miss it.)

I should say a huge thanks to Mr Brown for his organisation and tenacity in getting this project off the ground in such short notice and difficult circumstances. Thanks also to all the students who were great ambassadors for the school and the country!

If all goes to plan, next week will be the final week of the school session and we will close at 12:00 noon on Friday 25th June. Next week will be week 2 of the new timetable rota – it’s almost as if we planned it that way all along! Please keep yourselves and loved ones safe and remember not to come into school if you think you may have symptoms.

Thanks and best wishes.

Stephen Rafferty

Head Teacher

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