You will find a copy of the end of term COVID update letter emailed out to all parents/ carers this afternoon here:
I have been a teacher since 1994. I spend time with lots of different children day in and day out and I love it. A class of 30 is no problem. English, PSE, covering classes, taking assemblies, holding meetings, patrolling outside or in corridors…
But my own children at home on ‘lockdown’ is a different proposition. This is different. I am not their teacher. Sure, I teach them lots of things all the time: how to load the dishwasher, how to pack the shopping, how to make a pancake, how to pick your dirty washing off the floor (that hasn’t worked)… but I am not their teacher. And this is the same in houses all over the world at the moment; parents find themselves in a different role and are unsure what is expected of them. Uncertainty and disruption is very stressful.
We are all now cooped up in the house, trying to make sense of what work has been set by school, if we can even find it or figure it out. Trying to get everyone out of bed before it’s technically lunchtime is a challenge in itself. I know some of you have a real dilemma on your hands regarding childcare. There are other current additional financial and work related strains.
So…what do WE need to do to get through this but make sure our children also make it through healthy, well balanced and still learning?
1 Slow down. If they get up a bit later, so what? They don’t have to cram 7 subjects into one day. There will be other distractions and other priorities right now. And it looks like we are going to have lots of time…
2 Set a routine which suits you. If they need to get up earlier for some jobs that’s fine. If they sleep in that’s fine. As long as it suits your household. Please don’t make them wear school uniform! I actually read that this was suggested somewhere. PE kit may come in handy for the 9am Joe Wicks though. Remember to factor in some exercise outdoors while we still can. Breathe in that fresh air. If you have to share online time that is fine. Not everything has to be done on a device/pc/online. If you have to take turns at the table, so be it. Not everyone has a separate desk or office space to turn over to be a ‘school space’. Set times, have a rota, it’s all good.
3 Pick your battles. Does something really need to be done right now/ exactly as you are insisting/at all? Decide on what really matters as this could go on for a long time. Don’t make a rod for your own back by setting up situations where you will lose long term by ruining your relationship.
4 Give an element of choice so that children can maintain some control. They have lots of freedom away from the home when they are at school. Don’t try to control everything they do as this will cause resentment.
5 Be honest. Admit your own feelings. Show them it is ok to be worried and how to deal with that together. Discuss ways to cope. Have a family conference perhaps.
6 Don’t panic. Stop hoarding the toilet roll for a start! We’re going to be ok for loo roll. Don’t panic about covering all the work your child has been sent/ set online. Your child’s teachers will have tried to be helpful by giving them lots of things to do. It can be quite overwhelming depending on what has been set. Don’t be afraid to ask for more (but not this week!) or just to pick out what you can manage.
7 Stay in touch. Hopefully our new Facebook page can help make us feel more connected as a school while we are apart. In less than a week it already has as many followers as we have pupils!
There has been a lot of communication on Teams and SMHW this week and it’s great to see so many people connected. ASN and Gudance staff have been checking in with families they have a lot of contact with as well. The school admin address is monitored daily in term time and Facebook and Twitter DMs will be picked up regularly as well.
Finally, I have been thinking a lot about the fact that our children will remember this time for the rest of their lives. Whether they remember it fondly is pretty much down to us.
What do you want your child to remember about this time at home?
Would you want them to remember a time of fighting and arguing over opening a book or laptop or a time when you spent some quality time, doing things together. Children learn from us how to react as an adult in difficult situations so show them we can stay safe and well; help each other; remain calm and keep learning!
You are not alone.
Here’s a link to a very good article on staying connected through this crisis.
And a couple dealing with talking to children about Coronavirus:
Dr Will Shield (@WillPsyc) @UofESSIS highlights the importance of talking to children about #Coronavirus. He recommends parents read the British Psychological Society advice @BPSOfficial @DECPOfficial which has five key points: https://t.co/VxX8Dmqdzn pic.twitter.com/I0i0sscSyB
— University of Exeter News (@UniofExeterNews) March 24, 2020
We are in uncertain times and none of us can predict what will happen later today let alone, tomorrow or next week. Teachers worked amazingly hard on Friday to put together a programme of work for seniors this coming week, inviting certain pupils to complete SQA work only as needed.
However, today the Scottish Government has announced that all schools must close as this is the safest course of action for us all. Having watched the news unfold this weekend, this is something of a relief for many: the idea of mixing with others in school goes against all the advice to #stayathome after all.
I have attached the letter we sent out earlier to parents and carers but wanted to add that we will not give up on securing the best results for our senior students by working with SQA to provide the best evidence we have. I know many seniors and their families are worried about this but please; let us do the worrying. There is nothing you can do at this point in time. Everyone in Scotland and beyond is in the same situation. This has never happened before and we promise to do the best we can in the circumstances. I know your teachers did this last week and will continue to do so. You need to focus on keeping safe and well whilst protecting those around you by keeping your distance and washing your hands!
We may not be together in the building but we are still a school. We will get through this by working together but apart.
Mrs Bain, Acting Rector
20 March 2020
Dear Parent and Carer
Thank you for your patience, understanding and support with us at a time of unprecedented challenge in dealing with Covid-19.
As you know, schools and Early Years and Childcare settings will close to pupils as of end of day on Friday 20 March. There is no clear indication at this time regarding the length of time the closure will extend to, however we will use the following methods to keep you updated and informed.
- Moray Council Website http://www.moray.gov.uk
- Moray Council Twitter page: @TheMorayCouncil
- Moray Council Facebook page
We are also making home learning information available in the following ways:
- .Show My Homework
- .Teams on Glow
- SDS contact:Nicola Dall – 07770430867 – email@example.com
The Depute First Minister has confirmed today that the SQA exam diet and examinations will not go ahead. Schools will be making arrangements for coursework, assessment and units to be completed. Seniors with SQA work to complete will be invited in to school next week.
Schools will be shut to pupils next week however we will continue to be open for staff. We are constantly learning from other countries and would advise you that children and young people should avoid small group gatherings which will increase the spread of the virus. You support with this is appreciated as we take all necessary steps to avoid such events happening.
It is vitally important that Friday 20 March 2020 remains a normal school day in every sense.
Leavers’ forms are not necessary at this time for senior leavers.
Planning is currently underway to support families who receive Free School Meals. We will use Groupcall/text to find out your requirements for next week. Arrangements for 13 April 2020 onwards will be communicated to you separately.
We are also planning for childcare arrangements for key workers and will be in touch regarding this as national advice develops.
We are making plans to celebrate achievements and mark our leavers’ departures when it is safe to do so and we can all be together again.
We thank you all for your understanding at this difficult time and will keep you updated.
With very best wishes
Mrs E Bain
Acting Head Teacher
Senior Phase students have been invited to complete coursework or outstanding units/ assessments next week and school will stay open to accommodate this. This is voluntary but could help with SQA evidence and final awards, given the government decision to cancel all 2020 SQA exams.
Pupils have been given a timetable of when things are happening and have been told by teachers which things they need to attend. Info will be posted on SMHW about any additional things not on the timetable. This is additional and voluntary for pupils who feel well and able to attend. Any clashes on the timetable have been or can be worked out by young people contacting their teacher or the PT of the subject. We will be flexible where possible.
There will be small numbers of pupils in school and we will endeavour to follow NHS advice regarding distancing and hygiene. Pupils were asked to sign up for buses today so those who signed up will be transported at normal times.
We are trying our very hardest to give everyone the best chances possible under the circumstances. We await further guidance from SQA and the Scottish Government. Be aware we do not have all the answers and can only work with the most up to date information we have received.
Please find latest update from KGS:
Please see link below for latest update from KGS:
Please see advice for educational establishments issued by NHS Scotland regarding Coronavirus