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Head Teacher Update 26.06.20

Dear parents and students

As the strangest school term in living memory comes to an end, I would like to thank you all for sticking with us. We have been quite overwhelmed by the many positive messages from parents showing an appreciation for the commitment of our staff and an understanding of the complex circumstances in which they have been working. Things became more complex this week and there is still some uncertainty in terms of planning for August. As you know, we are now planning for all students to return to school on 12th August. This will, of course, depend on the virus continuing to be suppressed and social distancing being reduced, as is expected. We await further information from the Scottish Government and will share this with you when it becomes available, over the summer holidays.

This has been a school year like no other and people have found themselves working in ways they never expected, whilst juggling childcare and other family responsibilities. Thank you to all our staff who have kept things going, for their hard work, commitment to our young people and for their positivity throughout this time. Thanks to the many staff who also volunteered to work in the Hub School over the last 12 weeks.

Special thanks to Lynn Lloyd, Stan Intihar, Dom Cifelli, Hannah Craig, Natalie Stevenson, Sean McLoughlin and Craig Thomas for delivering iPads and other resources and to the many others who offered to help.

And, of course, I must acknowledge the outstanding support of Sarah Ross, our Pupil Support Officer. Sarah has been active throughout lockdown, ensuring that families are receiving the help they need. Sarah’s work has been nothing short of inspirational. She has mobilized teams of people to deliver necessities, she has been in regular contact with students and has worked with families to help them access other supports. Every school needs a Sarah and we are most fortunate to have her.

At times like this, we realise that a school cannot work in isolation and there are a great many partners who make an incredible contribution to supporting the wellbeing and welfare of our community.

We thank the Wester Hailes Youth Agency for their continued support – conducting one-to-one interviews with students by message, phone and video; delivering comfort, fun and food packs; continuing to run virtual youth clubs and Nurture classes every week during lockdown. Val and Francine even shaved off their hair to raise money to keep the Agency in business during this crisis. Well done team and thank you for the difference you make every day and for everything you do for our school.

We also thank the Corstorphine Community Centre for arranging emergency food parcels to supplement families with cooked and pre-packed meals from the Torphin and Abida (local restaurants).  They have also delivered cleaning packs, toiletries and extra food to our families.

We thank the Edinburgh City Mission for their food banks, set up in Corstorphine. 

We thank the Magic Breakfast (who normally supply our breakfast club) for supplying over 60 families with breakfast packs throughout this time.

We thank former student, Gavin Menzies, for delivering daily lunches to families who are in desperate need and unable to get out.

We thank the Broomhouse Hub for supplying daily lunches and pre-packed family meals.

We thank the City of Edinburgh Council for providing food parcels to a total of 63 families at various points throughout the current crisis.

Special thanks go to Carol Swan and her amazing team at the Broomhouse One Stop Shop.  They have distributed and delivered our council food packs, given CHAI benefits advice and support to our families in need.  They are an amazing team and a huge support to the school and community.

Please also see below a message from our Student Support Team

Summer Holiday Send Off from our Student Support Team

For all of us, the last few months have most probably been the strangest in all our school careers.  Students, parents and staff are heading into the summer holidays without the normal farewells to those leaving us for good, going onto pastures new, or the well wishes and see you again in August to our returners.  Classrooms were abandoned for online learning and the physical school community moved online.  We are exceptionally proud of how so many of you adapted to the “new normal” but also know many of you have struggled with the change in routine and structure.  Plans are in place to see us return in August, and we are obviously working towards us getting back to “normal” as soon as we are guided to do so. 

And for our leavers, we haven’t forgotten about you, and once things get back to a nearer normal, we will look to have you back for a more positive send off.

For those returning after the summer, the team will be here in August to support all of our young people, educationally and personally so, until then, we want to wish you all a restful, safe and enjoyable summer break.  Let’s hope the weather is kind to us, as most of us won’t be going very far this year. 

Mrs Flannigan-Brown, Mrs MacPhie, Mrs Forbes, Ms McLaren, Mrs McGinnis and Mrs Scott


In case you missed them and in case you get bored over the summer:

Virtual Achievement Assembly (thanks to Mrs MacPhie):

Virtual 5K (thanks to Ms Stewart)

S6 Message (Mrs MacPhie and all the staff)

Virtual Award Ceremonies (Thanks to Ms Stewart and Miss Craig)

Broad General Education (S1-3):

Senior Phase (S4-6)

Virtual Tour of the School (Mr MacPhie)

Finally, I wish you and your families all the best and I look forward to seeing everyone back safe and well in August.

Stephen Rafferty

Head Teacher