Headteacher update: 5/6/20

Dear parents and students

First of all, I hope that you and your families are safe and well during this very challenging time. I am very glad to have returned to work this week, even though things are not quite what anyone would call normal. I would like to thank you for the great support you have given the school and for working hard to keep the young people on track with their learning whilst juggling other priorities. I should also like to thank Mr Ennis for his excellent leadership of the school and continued support, and our fantastic staff team who have been working under extraordinarily complex circumstances to provide and support home learning.

Please find below an update on some of the work being done over the last week as well as some information about our plans for June and a phased return to school for all students in August.

Virtual Learning Timetables

We have received positive feedback from parents regarding the live sessions being offered in all subjects. Although some faculties report that uptake for sessions has been quite low, we will continue to offer these as an opportunity to engage directly with teachers and gain instant feedback.

Supporting students to access learning

Our support teams have been working incredibly hard to ensure students have the tools they need to access learning at home. This includes the delivery of iPads and other resources.

Staffing Update

In August we welcome a number of new staff to the school. In modern languages we will be joined by two new teachers of French and Spanish meaning we will now be able to introduce Spanish as a new language for the school.

P7 to S1 Transition

Normally in June, we would host our P7s for a three day induction visit. However, like most things at the moment, this will be replaced by a virtual experience. In addition, our pupil support team have been liaising closely with primary schools to support pupils who, for whatever reason, are more vulnerable or anxious about this change.

Surveys

We have now received many responses to our learning survey and are in the process of exporting the data to share with our wider staff. Thank you for completing these. Your feedback will inform many of the decisions we make going forward. If you have not yet been able to complete a survey but would like to do so please use the link below:

Parent Survey

Student Survey

Planning the return to school for all students

After the First Minister’s announcement last Thursday, schools have begun to plan how we will open for students in August. Our aim will be to get as many students into school to receive as high a quality of Education as is safe to deliver. We must work within strict guidance to ensure the safety of all, both within school and the wider community. Our Senior Leadership Team met in school on Wednesday to continue to plan towards a phased return of students and we will meet with our middle leaders on Monday to develop our plans and to look at risk assessment.

We will publish more information about the phased return to school as plans progress, in line with updated guidance from the Scottish Government and the City of Edinburgh Council.

Parent Council AGM

And finally, a reminder that our Parent Council AGM is on Tuesday evening at 7pm. If you would like to attend this virtual meeting please email the Parent Council – forresterpc@gmail.com – and they will send you a link.

Thanks and best wishes.

Stephen Rafferty

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