Category Archives: Parent Information

Coping with Lockdown for Parents/ Carers

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!

@keithgrammarschool

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.

Mrs Bain


Here’s a link to a very good article on staying connected through this crisis.

https://www.epinsight.com/post/i-see-you-being-connected-during-the-coronavirus-crisis

And a couple dealing with talking to children about Coronavirus:

https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/talking-to-your-child-about-coronavirus/

Letter to parents earlier today regarding Covid-19 situation

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.

We are also making home learning information available in the following ways:

  • .Show My Homework
  • .Glow
  • .Teams on Glow
  • .Scholar
  • SDS contact:Nicola Dall – 07770430867 – nicola.dall@sds.co.uk

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

Outward Bound 2020

On Monday 25 March S1/2 students were given details about next session’s Outward Bound Trip.

This is a fantastic opportunity to experience a range of adventurous activities with all equipment supplied and costs subsidised by a local family trust and Outward Bound Trust sponsorship.

Further details can be found in the attached outward bound 2020 letter and in these OBT documents – Winter Kit Infographic, Sample Winter Programme, OBT for 2019

There is also a video showing the features and benefits of the trip Learning Away Winter Residentials campaign

We are keen that no student misses out on this opportunity so if you have any queries or concerns please do get in touch. Additional funding is available where this is a barrier to taking part or we can accept a different payment schedule if this would help. Please contact your child’s Guidance Teacher or the Rector if you want to discuss this.

If any local business would like to support this opportunity by either subsidising the trip further or sponsoring an individual please contact the School Office.

Career Ready 2019-21

Career Ready

Keith Grammar School is fortunate to be able to offer the opportunity to some of our current S4 pupils to become Career Ready Students over their S5 and S6.

Career Ready UK, is a business led charity, supporting a movement of employers and schools working together to help raise the aspirations of 16 to 19 year olds and bridge the gap between education and work by giving them access to real experience of the world of work.  Together we provide an awareness of business that broadens young people’s horizons and helps them decide whether to opt for employment, work-based learning (such as apprenticeships or school leaver programmes) or higher education.

Selected students follow a programme of mentoring, masterclasses, workplace visits and a four week paid internship.

S4 pupils have been informed about this opportunity in PSE and those meeting the selection criteria who are interested have taken a letter home about an information evening on Tuesday 26th March.  If your child has not taken home a letter and you would like them to apply for this opportunity please contact their Guidance Teacher.

To be eligible to apply for this programme students must meet the following criteria:

  • Studying between one and three Highers in S5
  • Decent grades in National 4/5 qualifications
  • Planning to stay in school until the end of S6
  • Available for the minimum four consecutive week paid internship that starts in the last week of summer term of S5 and continues into the school holidays.

More information can be found at https://careerready.org.uk/

Ms Emily Souness

Principal Teacher of Guidance

 

 

Young Person Fair Travel Scheme

Stagecoach Bluebird and Moray Council have worked together to enhance the Young Person Fair Travel Scheme.

This scheme entitles holders of the Fair Travel Card access to discounted fares on Stagecoach Bluebird buses, subject to service availability within the Moray area.

To be eligible you must be under 18 years of age and in full time secondary education.

More details can be found here FAIR TRAVEL SCHEME INFORMATION LEAFLET

Application form can be found here YP Fair Travel Application Form