Head Teacher Update 31/5/21

Dear Parents and Students

Our summer term continues at a pace and our National Assessment diet for senior students is almost complete. Students and staff are continuing to work hard to ensure that everyone has the best chance to demonstrate the highest levels of attainment. Managing workload and stress levels has not been easy but, thankfully, the end is now in sight. Most assessment will be completed this week, with an opportunity for catch-up next Monday and Tuesday.

Retirement

As some of you may know, Mrs Scott is retiring at the end of term, after 15 years at Forrester High School. I want to thank Mrs Scott for her outstanding dedication to the young people of our community and her tireless work to improve the school ethos and the outcomes for our learners.

Two new Depute Head Teachers

In the last two weeks, we have appointed two new Depute Head Teachers. Lisa Coffey will take over from Mrs Scott as Pastoral Depute – with a responsibility for guidance, additional support for Learning and Child protection.

John Macphie, who is our current Senior Development Officer, will become our third Depute Head Teacher. Mr MacPhie’s main responsibilities will be improving Learning, Teaching and Assessment across the school and developing the curriculum in the Broad General Education (S1-3).

S4 and S5 Leavers

In a normal year, today (31st May) would be the last day for students wishing to leave school at the end of S4. However, due to the amount of missed time in school, our assessment calendar will run until the end of this week. We want to support students to complete assessments and gain qualifications in all their subjects. We also don’t want them to miss out on opportunities of employment and so please get in touch with your guidance teacher or Depute Head Teacher if there are any conflicts or difficulties around this.

S5 leavers can do so after their last assessment but please check with your teachers and complete a leaver’s form.

I wish all S4 and S5 leavers the very best of luck and I would like to thank you for the contribution you have made to the school and the commitment you have shown over the years – particularly during this very difficult last year. I hope you go on to achieve success in this next stage in your lives. Please remember the school is always here to support you in any way we can.

S6 Last Day

On Friday 4th June, we say good bye to our fabulous S6 students. This group of young people are as good as any I have worked with in 30 years of teaching. Although they did not really get a chance to shine as an S6, due to COVID restrictions and lockdown, they have made a great contribution to the ethos and life of the school throughout their time at Forrester. We wish them all the best for their future and expect them to go on to achieve great things. Although normal activities are restricted this year, we will celebrate S6 last day together with two low-key (socially distanced) events on Friday

Session date change to Christmas Holidays 2021

I have been asked to remind you of the following information.

At its March meeting, the Education, Children and Families Committee agreed to change the scheduled Christmas holiday dates from Friday 24 December 2021 – Monday 10 January 2022 to Monday 20 December 2021 – Tuesday 4 January 2022.

The change was based on a similar amendment to the previous year’s holiday dates.  The reasons for the change are set out in this committee report:

https://democracy.edinburgh.gov.uk/documents/s31995/7.10%20School%20Session%20Dates%20Amendment%202021-22.pdf

The report did not include consideration of the in-service day after the holidays.  This will be Wednesday 5 January 2022.  To ensure that students are in school for the required 190 days, the summer term will be amended to finish on Friday 1 July 2022 instead of Thursday 30 June.

The agreed changes are now on the Council website, along with dates for dates for 2022/23, 2023/24 and 2024/25.

Extra In-service Day 9/6/21

I should remind you that next Wednesday (9/6/21) the school will be open to staff only. This is one of the extra in-service days allocated to support this year’s Alternative Certification Model.

Finally, we are on week 1 of our timetable rotation, with only one more rotation left before our change of timetable on the 14th June. With the slight rise in COVID numbers over the last couple of weeks, I hope you and your families continue to stay safe.

Thanks and best wishes

Stephen Rafferty

Head Teacher

 

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