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Head Teacher Update 24/1/21

Dear Parents and Students

As we finish week 2 of online learning and prepare for week 3, we now know that the current situation will last a bit longer than first anticipated. Although things are changing from week to week and there is no fixed date for a return to school, we do know that we will be continuing to work in this way for some time. It is therefore vitally important that we all work as hard as we can to make the very most of online learning. We want to help all students to engage with their learning and will continue to provide support, be that technical support, support for learning, moral support, or support with wellbeing.

Online Learning Survey

A reminder that we would like to hear how things are going at home with the online learning. Working in new ways is not easy for students and staff, and we want to make this as good an experience as possible for everyone.

Please continue to use the survey linked below to let us know how things are going. A reminder that the survey can be completed by parents or students and provides an opportunity to request a contact regarding any aspect of learning at home, including:

  • Technical Support
  • Access to device
  • Access to internet
  • Wellbeing Support from Mindset Mentors
  • Family Support

Link to survey:

Parent Council meeting

On Tuesday night we had our first Parent Council Meeting of the new term. Although this was a virtual meeting, it was great to see some familiar faces. The Parent Council are keen to support parents and families in any way they can during lockdown. Please get in touch if there is anything you would like help with or anything you would like the Parent Council to take forward on your behalf.


Teachers in Training

A group of student teachers will arrive in our virtual school next week. I am very grateful to our staff for their willingness to support student placements, despite the extreme circumstances of the current lockdown. We do need the teachers of tomorrow and it is heartening to know that Forrester is doing its bit to prepare them for the classroom. Of course, these won’t be normal placements and our student teachers will be joining staff online, in Teams Meetings and in preparing lessons and materials. Our young people will be introduced to a few new faces – we have students in Art and Design, CDT, Modern Languages and Maths, Physical Education, and Science.

Career Ready

Career Ready is a two-year programme which matches students with a mentor from industry. Despite current restrictions, six of our S5 students have successfully enrolled in the programme. They attended a virtual launch event last week and will take part in an in-school meeting (online) on Wednesday 27th January. In this meeting they will find out more about the programme, including information about their industry placement. They will also meet their business mentors who will support them over the next two years. This year, our students will be matched with mentors from the following businesses.

  • BlackRock
  • Business Stream
  • Standard Life
  • Tesco Bank
  • Scottish Life

SQA Advice for Young People, Parents and Carers

The link below takes you to a guide, for learners and parents, produced by the City of Edinburgh Council. This guide provides the most up-to-date advice, and answers to the most common questions. It will be revised to reflect ongoing updates from SQA.

Link to SQA Guide:

Attendance and registration during online learning

We are grateful to parents for continuing to inform us when students are ill or unable to participate in online learning. This is not only helpful to keep our attendance records accurate but also to enable us to let teachers know.

The Library Resource Centre

Stuck for something to do? Then, why not take a look at the Library Resource Centre page on the school website? Packed with activities, this section has something for everyone. Check out the following activities – with lots more to come.

  • The daily challenge
  • the new Teenage Book prize
  • Royal Society Young People Book Prize
  • Teen Titles magazine and request for new reviewers
  • How to access free online resources from Edinburgh Libraries
  • Escape Connect Relate

Finally, week 3 of online learning begins tomorrow when we will be back to week 2 in our timetable rota. Keep up the great work.

Thanks and best wishes


Stephen Rafferty