Please see below for the Weekly Update for the week beginning 1st June, 2020.
School Re-opening Information
You will have heard the announcement by the First Minister last week in Parliament regarding the publication of, ‘Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis’. This is a plan for how we slowly get back to a new normal after lockdown.
Within the National Recovery Framework, also published last week, there is a clear message that any return to school for children and young people will only happen if the scientific and health advice tells us it is safe to do so, that is as important to us as it will be to you as parents.
Over the last few weeks we have been looking at all the different ways we could re-open schools and how we keep our children making progress with their learning. We will continue to plan using the ongoing advice from the Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland to deliver the best way to keep staff, children and parents safe as we allow children to keep learning.
Children will be returning to school in August across Scotland, but it won’t be the same as before. To keep our pupils and staff safe we need to ensure physical distancing. This will mean changes to previous patterns of attendance at schools, arriving and leaving at different times, different break and lunch times.
We want to do all that we can to keep your children safe when they are at school and we are looking for you to help us share some key messages to keep everyone safe and learning;
· Learning at School Continues at Home – a blended model of in-school and at home learning will be how children will learn from August 2020
· Stay Apart – Children and young people will all need to stay 2 metres apart, for younger children they may stay in small groups when 2m distancing would be difficult.
· Wash your Hands – increased hand washing will be a key feature both at home and in school
We are already listening to groups of parents, staff and our children and young people to help inform what our new school model will look like. We intend to update you with information as our plans develop. There is much to consider such as school transport, school meals, cleaning regimes, blended learning models, school drop offs and pick-ups and much more,
The Scottish Government Parent Club website has new information that you may find helpful and may answer any further questions you might have: www.Parentclub.scot/easing-restrictions-in-scotland . There is also a Q&A page: www.Parentclub.scot/reopening-schools-faqs
We are all looking forward to having our children and young people back in the classroom in what will be a very new model of blended learning and by working together on this we will keep everyone safe and keep our children learning.
Executive Director – Education & Children’s Services
ALBUM OF THE WEEK
This week our “Album of the Week” is ‘Elephant’ by The White Stripes
Elephant is the fourth studio album by the American Rock Duo ‘The White Stripes’ (Jack and Meg) and was released in 2003. The White Stripes set their own rules while they were recording this album: ten days in a non-modern studio. The liner notes include the disclaimer “No computers were used during the writing, recording, mixing, or mastering of this record”.
TRACK 1 – SEVEN NATION ARMY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDuzszjrdcc
‘Seven Nation Army’ features distorted vocals, a simple drum beat, and is driven by a bass-like riff which was created by playing a guitar through a ‘pitch shift’ effect (an octave effect to sound like a bass).
Does this 7 note guitar riff sound familiar? Listen to Anton Bruckner’s ‘Fifth Symphony’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx3h3VKq5bA : hint: 0.58s).
TRACK 2 – BLACK MATH https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMbL2K3xVEM
TRACK 3 – THERE’S NO HOME FOR YOU HERE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ahICj_vEZ4
TRACK 4 – I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ALa916ynVs
TRACK 5 – IN THE COLD, COLD NIGHT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7kuDjOv3Og
TRACK 6 – I WANT TO BE THE BOY TO WARM YOUR MOTHER’S HEART https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq35xNUmp-0
TRACK 10 – LITTLE ACORNS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSvGOKH5zxk
TRACK 11 – HYPNOTIZE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3V-QqdRXpk
TRACK 12 – THE AIR NEAR MY FINGERS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMbL6AlqeuQ
TRACK 13 – GIRL, YOU HAVE NO FAITH IN MEDICINE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mWM0S1dMro
TRACK 14 – WELL IT’S TRUE THAT WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXm1g4TJ46M
For the budding guitarists among us, here is the ‘Seven Nation Army’ riff for you to learn: Happy jamming!
Download this information as a PDF by clicking here.
I hope you are all safe and well. Please find attached to this update a letter from Maria Lloyd, Head of Education with further information about SQA and how national qualifications are to be awarded this year. As ever any questions or concerns do not hesitate to get in touch.
Thank you to all the parents who have supported us to get their young people set up in Teams to move our learning forward. A number still have to go online and enter the appropriate code to allow access to learning. Please try to ensure your child has done so by the end of the week so that there are no gaps in learning, as all programmes will be progressing as planned.
Next steps for Teams will be for us to use an analytical tool built into the system to monitor levels of pupil engagement, to track whether or not pupils are logging in to view materials, upload work and communicate with teachers. We will feed back to you if we feel there are any issues and plan what we can do to support.
Please note that the timetable has not moved on as such, plans for this are in line with previous years and individual pupil timetables will be issued early June as normal.
There will be no further reporting to parents for the remainder of the Session. One of the clear advantages of us moving as a school to regular and succinct tracking reports throughout the year is that young people all received reports in Term 3 and therefore we will resume tracking of progress next Session.
PE Choice – S3
Thank you to young people for completing the Teams quiz and sharing choices for the S3 PE curriculum. Obviously, as with all learning this term and next, participation will be dependent on the recovery plan set out by the Scottish Government and Fife Council with regards to our return to school. Further information on this will follow as and when we hear more.
Bell Baxter Parent Council
We had a lovely meeting Monday evening with some members of the Parent Council – was great to see everyone, albeit remotely! A key part of the discussion was thinking about delivery models for remote learning. We had already established a working group within the school to consider this and pilot models however we would like to tap into any expertise/interest from parents out there.
If you would be interested in linking with the group, please email Karen Brown, the Chair of the Parent Council on firstname.lastname@example.org
Sadly our transition programmes have been pretty much wiped out as a result of COVID. However, we are working on a number of things behind the scenes to try to plan various ways of connecting with our primary 7s. Further information to follow on this soon.
We are in the same position as above with awards ceremonies. Again we are thinking creatively around this and will be sharing more in the next few weeks in terms of how we plan to conduct these extremely important celebrations of our young people’s hard work and achievements.
The Guidance Team are working through each of the young people in their year groups to make contact and check in with you all. With between 250 – 300 young people per year this is a huge undertaking but well worth it. They have now spoken to approximately 50% of their year groups each and will be continuing to work on speaking to you all over the coming days and weeks. If you have any worries at all however please do not wait for them to call. You can email each of them directly on the following emails:
I think that is everything! As ever stay in touch and we will do our best to help you in this difficult time.
Carol Ann Penrose
Bell Baxter High School
Tel. 01334 659459
We have pulled together a few guides to help you with Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams – Guide for Pupils – A quick start guide for Teams