The Waid Academy

Multi Pertransibunt Et Augebitur Scientia

Parent Information

Friday 29 May 2020

Please remember that Monday is a holiday and Tuesday is an INSET Day. Enjoy the time with your families (socially distant where appropriate). An update was recently sent out from Carrie Lindsay (Head of Education, Fife Council). This was sent through GroupCall. It can be found here:

C Lindsay Letter to Parents (7 May 2020)

Thursday 7 May 2020

An email from the Head of Service (Maria Lloyd) was sent out to Parents and Carers recently. It can be found here: SQA estimates letter to parents 5 May[1862]

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Dear All
Welcome back to Term 4 at Waid Academy. I hope that you and your families are well and coping with our unusual circumstances.
We start this term uncertain about what the future holds and we know that uncertainty often creates anxiety. It is important therefore that we focus on the aspects of this situation which we can have some control over. One aspect that we can shape , is the routines we establish around learning.
Teaching staff have reconnected with their classes yesterday and that connection is important. Work is available online for S1-S3 classes and, as we previously discussed, your family will make decisions about the working routine which is right for your circumstances.
We are in the process of completing our course choice process for S2 and S4/5. Once this is completed , we will be in a position to create our new classes for next session and therefore will be able to start new course work for next session for all year groups. I will write to you to set the date for the change to new classes and the date when new courses will officially begin.
Yesterday the SQA published further advice about the new process being introduced to support teachers to establish estimates for those undertaking SQA courses. Fife Council is providing significant support to us to help this process and over the next few weeks we will be working together to ensure this process is rigorous and accurate. Maria Lloyd Head of Education for Fife Council has written to all parents of senior pupils with more details of this process and I have forwarded that to you.
 Many thanks for your continued support.
Kind Regards
Mrs Smart
Rector
Update on SQA Qualifications from M Lloyd (Head of Service)
The SQA provided a further update today on how schools will determine estimate grades, bands and rank order to be submitted to SQA to allow them to make awarding decisions this year: https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/93920.html.

Across all of our schools, we are working to ensure that our young people get recognition for their hard work and receive the qualifications they deserve. The SQA have asked us to subdivide each existing band, place learners within these band categories and then to rank order their learners within each estimated grade. The estimated grades submitted to SQA will then allow them to use this information along with, where available, prior attainment to ascertain whether a centre’s estimates this session are consistent with outcomes in previous years.  All of this information will be used by the SQA to finalise the award outcomes.

Be assured that our teachers have worked with our young people for a significant period of time and have a range of evidence to draw on, in order to make an accurate professional judgement of what they are capable of achieving. This analysis will allow teachers, departments and schools to arrive at an estimated grade which best reflects the work and the progress your child has made and therefore makes a best estimate of how they might have performed if they had completed coursework or folio and final exam.

I again ask you for your continued cooperation and support in this process and not to contact schools for these estimates.

Results will still be issued to young people by 4 August. We strongly encourage all young people to sign-up to MySQA, the online and text service, as a direct way to receive their results. Further information is available for learners, parents and carers in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the website.

While I accept that this whole process is very different to the normal exam diet, I am confident that by working in close partnership with SQA and across schools, the hard work of Fife’s young people will be properly recognised and accredited.

 

Friday 3 April 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

Please see the message from Maria Lloyd, Head of Education (Secondary) for Fife Council.  This message is being sent to all parents/carers of all S4, S5 and S6 pupils across Fife.

SQA provided an update https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/93777.html  on arrangements for young people completing courses in Session 2019/20.  This link also includes Guidance for learners, parents and carers. We will be providing you with more information following the next update from SQA on 20 April. Please be reassured that we have until 29th May to submit estimates for our young people completing National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications and until 22nd May to submit results for National 2, 3 and 4 courses and freestanding units for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.  We have already been discussing our processes and procedures with our Secondary Headteachers to ensure we get the best possible outcomes for all of our young people. The extension to deadlines for estimates and results is welcomed as it will allow us to continue these discussions with all subject teachers in the coming months. Across all of our schools, we are working together to ensure that our young people get recognition for their hard work and receive the qualifications they deserve.

Many thanks

Mrs E Smart

Wednesday 1 April 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

I hope you are all well and settling in to new routines. I think that this second week is in some ways harder as the reality of our situation sinks in. I would like to thank you for all the positive comments I have received acknowledging and thanking staff for their efforts in providing online learning opportunities.

This home learning situation is new to us all and happened very quickly. It is very difficult to gauge the correct balance of work for us to be posting for our learners.

All learners are different, as are family circumstances.

Some of you are looking for more work for your child while others feel that the online work is causing stress for their child and for them. I understand that many of you are trying to come to terms with working from home, as are school staff. Personally, I am finding it difficult to create boundaries between work and home and I’m certain many of you will be finding the same problem.

All of our children are unique, as are their families. Teachers are not in a position to make judgements about the best balance of work at home for you and your family. You as parents should make a decision with your child about how much time they should be engaged in working. I appreciate that there will be multiple users of computers in a house which will also limit the amount of time online.

Please be assured, and reassure your child, that we will not be critical of learners who do not complete all learning tasks set. Make a reasoned decision as to what works for you as a family and engage with online learning at the level which works for you and your child.

I want our school community to take the school Easter Holidays as a proper holiday from school work (unless you are in S4-S6 and have been specifically been asked to complete  classwork for SQA evidence). For term 4, we will issue more guidance on what core work we consider to be essential for different year groups to complete and also provide voluntary extension work for learners and families seeking more than core. I hope that approach can satisfy differing sets of needs.

We are experiencing a unique set of very difficult circumstances. Let’s do everything we can to reduce stress and be kind to ourselves and each other.

Mrs Fergusson, DHT Support, is collating some information about supporting emotional wellbeing which we will send out very shorty.

Remember, if you want to contact Pupil Support, please email Waid Enquiries.

Take Care

Mrs Smart

Rector

Monday 30 March Update for Senior Pupils

Please find below a link to the PDF of the update that was sent out by Mrs Smart this morning. This answers a lot of questions for Senior Pupils about estimates and coursework. We are still waiting on updates from the SQA and we will give them out as and when we get them.

27 March 2020 Update

Many thanks

Mr S Duncan

Tuesday 24 March 2020

To S4-S6 learners and parents
The SQA has just announced that no coursework will be submitted for Higher and Advanced Higher. Where it has been completed and submitted ,  it will form part of the suite of evidence teachers use to arrive at our  estimates .
National 5 coursework already submitted will be marked by the SQA as normal.  National 5 course work still to be completed , will not be submitted.
The SQA has still to produce guidance on estimates and fuller guidance on how certification will be applied.
I understand how stressful this has been for you all and I will issue further advice when this becomes clearer. Look after yourselves.
Mrs E Smart

Monday 23 March 2020

Dear All

As we start this week, we will all be feeling anxious about the what the following weeks will bring for our family and our  community. Our young people will also be very anxious. When I spoke to them on Friday, I urged them not to bottle up their concerns but to discuss them with you so that you can allay their fears.

As you know, schools are closed across Britain and indeed across the world. Staff in Waid Academy are  making preparations to ensure some continuity in learning is achieved for learners. I will be sending out  information to you by Wednesday of this week detailing each faculty’s approach to home learning.

For our S4-S6 cohorts the timing of closure and the cancellation of exams is particularly difficult. Staff are  gathering the evidence they have of young people’s progress and are compiling estimated grades. 

Yesterday, the Scottish Government has stipulated that young people should only complete SQA assignments, course work, folios etc. where this can be done at home. This is a change to the information I shared with the young people on Thursday. No learner in S4-S6 will now be invited into school. Please be assured we are following SQA advice to ensure no one is disadvantaged. 

If you need to contact anyone in school, please email Waid Enquiries and your email will be passed onto the person concerned. Please do not make direct contact with any members of staff. Given that staff , like the general population will be self isolating/falling ill, it is important that we use this single channel of communication .

I will send out more information on Wednesday

Finally, I want to say that my thoughts are with you all at this time. Take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Elizabeth Smart
Rector
The Waid Academy

Sunday 20 March 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

The following information has been received from the Education & Children’s Services Team today:

Secondary School Parents only

Given the latest public health advice, the Scottish Government has now decided that, with immediate effect, no young person should attend school.  Schools will make direct contact with parents/carers and young people to advise if there are any outstanding requirements of courses that can be completed remotely, and safely, following public health advice.   The SQA will be developing an assessment process and more details will follow.

All Parents

In response to a further update on the social distancing advice, a decision has been taken to cancel the provision of meals in school buildings next week.  We will provide direct payments to families with the first payment being made this week.  Further information on arrangements for keyworker’s children will continue to be communicated over the coming week.

Many thanks

Mrs E Smart

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