Head Teacher update 23 August 2020

Dear Parent

I am pleased to say that our first full week back in school has gone well, with almost all students adapting to our new ways of working. This week has given us a chance to test and make adaptations to our plans, such as, putting in place wet weather alternatives for PE and for break and lunch time. We are also investigating opening up other spaces for S6 to reduce the numbers in the social areas on wet days.

We should remind ourselves that schools are only able to open because the number of cases is low. However, that does not mean that things have yet returned to normal and it is important to stress that we all must continue to take responsibility for our own and others’ safety and for helping to keep infection rates down both in school and out. This means hand washing, abiding by social distancing rules, and keeping a physical distance wherever possible. It is also vitally important to keep young people off school and let us know if they, or anyone they live with, are displaying symptoms.

Reminder about travel and arriving from abroad

The Health Protection (Scotland) Regulations 2020 require all those returning‎ to Scotland from non-exempt countries to self-isolate at home or another appropriate location for 14 days. Those self-isolating should not go out to work or school or visit public areas. As you may know, the list of exempt countries has been changed in recent days, with the removal of some countries, including France and the Netherlands, where people in Scotland commonly spend their holidays. 

Please see the following link to the relevant guidance https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-health-checks-at-borders/pages/overview/ 

and, below, the list of exempt countries 

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-health-checks-at-borders/pages/exemptions/.

Face coverings

Some larger schools, where adjustments may be more difficult due to size, have opted to make it compulsory for staff and students to wear face coverings. While we have not been told that the wearing of face coverings is necessary, we continue to support those who wish to do so. Nevertheless, the guidance on this may change and we will adapt procedures to comply with any new regulations.

Breakfast Club

I am pleased to say that, from Monday, Breakfast club will be in operation again every morning. To begin with, this will be a reduced service of a grab-and-go, buttered bagel. It is important that students continue to arrive at the right time and not too early, to avoid gathering. Thank you for your continued support with this.

In the coming weeks, we hope to be able to offer a wider range of opportunities as other restrictions are relaxed. Mr Ennis has shared information about iPad sign-up and we are looking forward to being able to support all students from S2 to S6 with digital technology. I would urge you to take advantage of this opportunity, particularly given that online and blended learning have become increasingly important features of Education.

Message from the Gyle Shopping Centre Manager

“We have been impressed with the behaviour of the pupils whilst visiting the centre mainly on Friday afternoons but also from time to time during the week. We would be grateful if you could pass on one or two general observations to students. 

  • Within the centre the wearing of face coverings is mandatory. Pupils should carry a face covering with them when planning to visit the centre unless they have a medical exemption
  • Test and Protect applies in all food outlets with the exception of Costa as they are take away only. This means that pupils will be required to share their contact details with Pizza Hut, Subway, Chopstix, Starbucks, Gyle Kitchen and Baguette Express. This is required on each visit and can be quickly entered via a QR code on their mobile phone at the point of purchase or manually via a contact details form also at point of purchase. Details are destroyed every 21 days.
  • A polite reminder that social distancing does apply with no more than 3 households in any one group at any one time. This would be most notable in our food court where there has been a tendency to cluster in larger groups than ideal”

Finally, a reminder that tomorrow we are back to week 1 in our rotation, which means periods 1, 3 and 5 on students’ timetables.

Thank you for your continued support

Best wishes.

Stephen Rafferty

Head Teacher

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