Parent/Student Update 15/05/20

Dear Parents/Students,

Please have a read at my end of week update below (click on more). Monday is a holiday for us all and a good opportunity to take some time away from school work. We will not provide any work on Monday but please be assured that work will pick up again on Tuesday using our virtual learning timetables.

Virtual Learning Timetables

The new Virtual Learning Timetables are starting to work well across both sets of year groups; S2-3 and S4-6. Staff have now set up various Microsoft Teams and Show My Homework classes for the students, and hopefully students are now receiving alerts and managing to get themselves online to access and complete work. Whilst the majority of students are managing to complete work, we still have a number of students who are not yet working online as well as we would like. I have asked our staff to collate some data for us so that we can track those who are not engaging as well so far, which will allow us to follow up and provide support. If you need support for now, please email our admin mailbox admin@forrester.edin.sch.uk and we will get you the help you need. New courses have now started and we want students to keep up with the work issued, using the virtual learning timetables as much as is possible. 

Blended Learning

As we move forward in these times, we are likely to need a system where learning takes place within a blended learning approach model, meaning that once we get back into our school buildings, we are likely to continue to provide some learning online. Forrester is very well equipped to do that as you know, but it requires students to get used to a system like this, and realise that they must take part in work that is set online, and to do so safely and appropriately. To that end, we are working on a blended learning support strategy document which will hopefully give all users (students, parents and staff) a clear picture of our expectations, and support the need to do so in a professional manner.

SQA

Staff are working hard to apply all the criteria set by SQA to produce student estimate grades. These will be submitted to SQA by the end of this month, following various quality assurance measures in place along the way. Unfortunately we are not in a position to share those grades with parents ahead of results day in August. Please encourage your young person to sign up for the MySQA alert system to ensure they receive their results by text on the day they are due, if that is desirable.

Surveys on the way

Work is underway to gather views of students, parents and staff regarding how they are coping with our new way of learning and teaching. We will send these out through our various forums and would appreciate everyone taking some time to complete them. We will then analyse your feedback and make improvements where needed.

Videos from Staff on Twitter

Staff, including myself, have put some videos on to our Twitter platforms so that students get some face-to-face messages from us. Hopefully these will be well received by all. More face-to-face contact is being planned for next week – watch this space!

Parent Pay

The vast majority of payments for trips and activities have now been refunded. In one or two instances, we are unable to return deposits that have already been paid to the companies arranging the trips. However, we have submitted claims for these deposits and will keep you up to date on that as we move forward. There are some smaller payments that we are currently working through and our admin team will be in direct contact with you in the near future, if that has not happened to date.

Magic Breakfast

As you may know, we have been providing breakfast packs to all families in need of support, in partnership with our sponsors, Magic Breakfast. This week, Magic Breakfast has teamed up with Amazon, meaning breakfast packs will now be delivered straight to family homes. If you would like to receive a home-delivered breakfast pack, please let us know using the admin mailbox.

I wish you all a good weekend and hope the weather is at least nice enough to get outside and get some fresh air.

Kind regards

Martin Ennis

Acting Head Teacher

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