Career services update

Due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the closure of the school, Skills Development Scotland cannot deliver career services face to face, but they are still there to help.

You can contact your school Careers Adviser Joseph Martin, for career information, advice and guidance on 07827 883140 or by emailing joseph.martin@sds.co.uk as well as visiting

www.myworldofwork.co.uk

Return to School in August

As we prepare for next session our biggest challenge has been accommodation. Keeping desks 2m apart has restricted class sizes to an average of 10 pupils. As current advice indicates children will return to a “blended” model of learning, attending school for two days each week and then completing home learning tasks during the remaining three days. As per council advice we will continue to use Microsoft Teams as a platform for any digital learning. Although we are waiting on final confirmation from education and families our provisional days for next term are as follows:

S1: Monday and Tuesday

S2: Tuesday and Friday

S3: Monday and Friday

S4: Wednesday and Thursday

S5/6: Wednesday and Thursday

This may change over the holidays depending on advice from Scottish Government. We have split each day into three larger blocks, effectively double periods, to ensure pupils receive an appropriate balance of subjects while also minimising any travel around the school.

We may also have to slightly alter our school day to minimise the number of children entering and exiting the building at any one time. We have also spent a considerable amount of time working out how pupils will safely access the building and routes around it. I will issue more detailed information on all of the above nearer the date we are due to return to school.

Pupils will have to preorder a snack for interval and a lunch if required. They will be unable to access the water machines so should bring a bottle of water with them if required.

Pupils should receive their SQA results on Tuesday 4th of August. If any pupils would like to discuss possible subject changes for next session our re-coursing day will be on Wednesday 5th August from 9.30am – 1.30pm. As August will be very busy it is essential that if you want to make any changes then you make every effort to attend the re-coursing session.

Pupils will return on Wednesday 12th of August, if scheduled to attend that day.

These arrangements will stay in place until the Scottish Government and North Lanarkshire Council make any changes in line with the roadmap out of lockdown.

I would like to thank you all for your continued support throughout these very challenging times.

Liam Scott

We are deeply saddened to hear of the untimely death of Liam Scott as a result of a tragic accident. Liam was a much loved and valued member of our school community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Top Picture: Representing the school at the 2019 International Conference, Liam is 2nd from right (backrow)

Bottom Picture: School trip to Benfica 2016 (Liam pictured 3rd from right)

NLC letter to parents

Dear Parent / Carer

Clarification of Arrangements for August

You may recall that I wrote to you earlier in the month with information about our emerging plans for August. At that point, we were still awaiting government guidance regarding the planned return of pupils as part of phase three of the Scottish Government’s Strategic Route Map to Recovery. Since then we have been undertaking detailed consultation with stakeholders about our plans to support all children and young people.

Firstly, we are making plans based on the information we currently have available to us, and that the assumptions we are making for how schools will operate in August are still subject to change. Due to the two-metre physical distancing guidance, our schools will be able to admit between 40% and 50% of pupils at any given time, although this may vary positively in some locations due to the size of school building itself and any suitable surrounding facilities which could be utilised. We are planning to offer a minimum of two days of in-school education for all pupils, with access to enhanced in-school learning provided as and when we are able to expand our models locally.

This will be directly supported by a much enhanced digital learning model, which will be an additional support for pupils’ in-school learning, and which will be coordinated through our new digital school. Planning for this is taking account of feedback from parents we have consulted.

Following consultation with trade unions and with our Parent Council Chairs we are proposing to run a four and a half day school week for primary children, with the half day being on a Wednesday, with a key focus around support for our most vulnerable children. The model for secondary schools involves flexible arrangements which will be arranged by schools themselves. Schools will write to parents as soon as possible to clarify specific arrangements for children, including which days of the week each year group will attend. In ASN schools, timetabling arrangements will mirror those of primary schools with Wednesdays being a key focus for our most vulnerable children.

We are restating out commitment to family-focused planning by asking schools to ensure that siblings are supported to come to school on the same day.

We also intend to have one in-service day on Tuesday 11 August, with pupils starting back at school on Wednesday 12 August, as per government guidance. The week will be organised and communicated at a school level, but the expectation of North Lanarkshire Council is that all pupils will be in school for at least part of that first week.

The second in-service day is still required under national arrangements and we intend that it is scheduled for Thursday 24 September.

Naturally, should there be any substantial change to national policy which allows us to bring pupils back for a greater proportion of the school week, or indeed, further expand educational resources out with traditional school facilities, we will be in touch again to outline how we intend to accomplish this.

Once again, we wish to thank you all for your and support in helping us to plan these interim arrangements.

Yours sincerely

Derek Brown (Executive Director, Education & Families)

Councillor Frank McNally (Convener of Education & Families)

Click for pdf version

Update from Mrs Rooney

Dear Parent or Carer

Hoping you are all safe and well.   I intend to issue another update next week and we will be in contact over the holidays. As you will appreciate situations and decisions are constantly changing based on information received from North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) and the Scottish Government.   Please keep checking our website, school App and Twitter page for updates.  This letter takes the format of answering some frequently asked questions.

What will our classrooms look like next year?

Our classrooms have been reconfigured to ensure pupils are sitting 2m apart.   This has reduced the capacity in each room.   We are planning ahead with this model but appreciate this may change.  This reduced capacity would mean we could safely bring pupils in for two days per week.

How will my child be taught?

Pupils would do a mix of learning in school and at home. I must stress this could change between now and August.   As soon as we receive further information from NLC we will be in touch.

How will the pupils enter the school and move around the building?

We are planning how we can ensure your child enters/leaves the building safely and can move between classes.   Signs will be in place to direct pupils around the school and remind them to maintain social distancing.  Information about this will be issued nearer the date pupils return to school.

Will work be posted online?

We continue to supply online work for all pupils.   If there is any issues with accessing materials, please complete the form on our website or contact your child’s Pupil Support teacher.

What should pupils wear to school?

We are extremely proud of our standards of school uniform at Braidhurst. All our pupils look extremely smart in their blazer and tie along with black skirt or trousers and a plain black ‘V’neck jumper/cardigan.  We expect all pupils to wear full uniform from August including a tie and blazer.  In addition we recommend that pupils bring a waterproof jacket and/or have an umbrella as they may be outside longer than usual. 

How can I get school uniform?

We have been in contact with MiyoApparel and although the store is closed they have a portacabin open at their warehouse where purchases and returns can be made. The website is www.miyoschoolwear.com and the phone number is 01698 767660

What is happening regarding cancelled school trips?

As yet we do not have the refunds from the travel company insurance company.   We will be in touch as soon as we have more information.

We were delighted to invite our new S1 pupils this week for a short meeting.   We hope this has made them feel part of the Braidhurst community.   Please contact Mr Gardiner if there are any further issues – we are here to help.

It has been hugely disappointing that our usual end of term celebrations and activities have not taken place, especially for our senior pupils.   We wish our seniors all the very best of luck as you move onto your next chapter and thank you for your contribution to Braidhurst High School.

All our contact details are on our website www.braidhurst.org or the school office 01698 274999 between 10 am to 2 pm.

 

Thank you, as ever, for your ongoing support.

Yours faithfully

 

Carolyn Rooney

Head Teacher

Click to view as pdf

Latest info from NLC

Update 15th June 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

Firstly we would like to thank you and all our children and young people for being so patient, understanding and accommodating during this unparalleled health emergency.

We do not underestimate the challenges faced by young people, who have been unable to see their friends and who have had their routines disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Equally, we understand that, for parents and carers, the challenges of supporting children with learning at home while managing other changes brought about by coronavirus may have been very difficult.

We would also like to pay tribute to all our teachers and other education staff who are working hard to provide digital learning and many of whom have also been involved in keeping our community hubs open so that the children of key workers and vulnerable groups can be looked after.

Understandably you may be feeling anxious about how your child will access education following the summer break and we wanted to outline our plans. We aim to ensure that all our children and young people are fully supported and we have been working hard to make plans across early years, primary, secondary and additional support needs schools.

As you are aware, all schools and nursery classes in Scotland have been closed since 24 March as part of the national lockdown arrangements and we have been ensuring continuity of education provision through home and online learning. We know that schools and centres have been making great efforts to stay in contact with parents, carers and pupils over the last two months and we appreciate that this has been challenging.

The Scottish Government recently announced that children and young people will return to school and early learning and childcare settings on 11 August as long as it is safe to do so.

Teachers and other education staff will return to schools and early learning and childcare settings in June to prepare and plan for the forthcoming academic year. Access for those pupils who are transitioning to Primary 1 and Secondary 1 will be arranged, albeit in small groups and with their families, from 15 June. Head teachers and heads of centres at individual schools/centres will be in contact with parents and carers of transitioning children to confirm arrangements.

We are working hard on recovery plans to deliver a blended learning model from August 11, incorporating a mix of in-classroom teaching with home and online learning. This mixed model of learning is needed because the need to have physical distancing measures in schools and early learning and childcare settings means we are not able to accommodate the normal number of children every day. We have already been putting measures in place to assist pupils who require access to digital devices and schools will be in direct contact with those affected.

Health and safety sits at the heart of our plans, with risk assessments and infection prevention and control measures in place. We are working on a range of options which may include smaller groups of pupils being in school for shorter periods and over fewer days, possibly with staggered start, end and break times.

Schools, classrooms and playrooms will also look somewhat different to before, with fewer pupils, group learning, outdoor and alternative classrooms, enhanced hand hygiene and cleaning routines and step by step guidance to help maintain physical distancing.

We know this will be challenging for some young people. Physical distancing is difficult for everyone, but especially children and we will have signage and practical help in place to make sure your child is supported.

Our facilities management team is busy preparing our schools and centres for this. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for teachers, early learning and childcare and support staff may be required for some early learning and support settings where close contact with children is required. There is no requirement for children and young people to wear PPE as a general rule.

We know that you will have a lot of questions around how schools and centres will operate, as well as issues including school transport, practical considerations for ASN pupils and future SQA exams. You will understand that this is a complex and fast-moving situation and we are working as hard as possible to finalise the details. We assure you that we will update all parents and pupils as soon as we can.

Childcare support will also be important to you as some parents and carers start to return to work and we are exploring complementary options for families of key workers and support for vulnerable young people.

You and your child’s health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance. We hope you have been able to access some of the support resources available if you need it. You can find out more about them in the ‘advice for parents’ section at www.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

We also have a support helpline for parents and pupils which can be accessed by phoning 01236 812 380 during the hours of 10am until 3pm, Monday to Friday.

We will be in touch soon with more details about the return to school. We look forward to welcoming your children back to a safe learning environment in August and thank you again for your patience and perseverance throughout this period.

Regards,

Councillor Frank McNally: Convener (Education and Families)

Derek Brown: Executive Director (Education and Families)

 

8th June 2020 update

Dear Parent/Carer

I am pleased to have the opportunity to write to you to outline the progress we have made in planning for the return of children to school from August 11 onwards. It is anticipated that we will clarify arrangements in more detail in June, but what follows is an outline of our planning and a description of the steps we are taking to consult with various groups of stakeholders.

Planning Assumptions

In August, we have to plan, first and foremost, on the basis of safety. We need to ensure that your child and the staff in schools are as safe as possible and that the opportunity for viral transmission is reduced as far as possible.

In addition, due to government stipulations on physical distancing (2 metres squared, being used as a basic stipulation for schools, and anticipated guidance on smaller groupings in early years settings) it is likely that the capacity of settings to welcome children and young people will be between 40%-50% of current volumes.

We also have a reduction in staff capacity due to the continued need (under Scottish Government guidance) for staff who are part of the shielding programme to continue to work from home, as has been the case during the emergency lockdown period. It is difficult to quantify this absolutely at present, but the service is planning on the availability of 80-85% staff being able to attend work as a basic assumption.

Therefore, as Scottish Government advice makes clear, there will need to be models deployed in local authorities and in private settings which incorporate what the First Minister has called, ‘partial delivery’ and ‘blended learning.’

Opening Schools

It likely that all young people, with the exception of the children of key workers and designated vulnerable groups will receive between 40%-50% of pre-lockdown education and childcare provision in the recovery period.

While this is enormously challenging for staff in schools and settings, as well as for the young people and those who care for them, it is an absolute requirement if Scotland is to
recover its services fully in a way that prioritises health and safety and minimises viral transmission.

In schools, most pupils will experience a partial in-school timetable, equivalent to a minimum two days most weeks, supplemented by an enhanced online digital learning offering and the potential for wider community based support. In primary, the priority will be to take a family- centred approach, overseen by head teachers. In secondary, due to the need to align the senior phase with the offering of key partners, such as New College Lanarkshire, there will be a focus on key year groups attending on particular days.

Importantly, further consultation on how this will operate in practice will take place in June, and the precise detail will be clarified before the end of the school session, in plenty of time for August.

Early Years

In Early Years, the Scottish Government decision to pause the roll out of the 1140 Hours Expansion programme, due to the need to reduce staff:child ratios, means that it will be likely that most parents will receive 600 hours, which they are entitled to by statute.

This is based entirely on the prioritisation of critical child care for the children of key workers and vulnerable children as set out by the Scottish Government. Where local authorities make a critical childcare offer to key worker families and vulnerable families, this should be free at the point of access during the emergency response period.

To ensure settings are as safe as possible for children and staff, there is an expectation that all settings will put in place arrangements to accommodate physical distancing. This will also potentially reduce capacity within individual settings.

How this all works in the recovery period will depend on further advice and guidance from Scottish Government, due to be published on 15 June on arrangements for early years’ settings, including private funded providers. Following this, further dialogue will take place with partner providers regarding how they can adapt their settings to comply with guidance and draw down funding from the framework and further communication will take place with parents and carers.

Consultation and Communications

We hope to enlist the support of the members our representative parent groups for the approach we are advocating, which is grounded in clear national guidance and the professional advice of our own central officer teams.

Any plans being brought forward are being done with reference to existing council policy and we will continue to communicate with you as things develop.

We understand you will have questions, many of which we are unable to answer at this point. We are working as hard as possible to manage all of the details and we will keep you updated by letter and at www.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/schoolplans.

Yours sincerely

Derek Brown
Executive Director, Education and Families

 

PDF version: Parent Letter 8th June 2020

 

Update from Mrs Rooney

Dear Parent/Carer

I hope this letter finds you and your family safe and well.

As you know North Lanarkshire Council have now started to share information regarding the plans to return to school in August.  I am sure you can appreciate, there are a lot of decisions to be made to ensure all necessary health and safety requirements are met. This remains the key driver in all decisions.

Our staff have returned to school to prepare classrooms and the school environment for the new way of working. We are making sure all seats are 2m apart which will mean that pupils will need to be taught in smaller groups.

During the recovery period the priority is to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID 19. We have concluded that the safest approach is for pupils not to wear ties or blazers. We are expecting them to wear a white school shirt, black school trousers/skirt and black shoes or plain black trainers. A black v-neck or cardigan can also be worn. On days pupils have PE they should wear plain black joggers and white T-shirt with no writing or logos. This will mean they will not have to get changed for PE. Our young people may have to spend more time in the playground, waiting to come into the building, during intervals or lunchtime, so should bring a waterproof jacket with them. As soon as we come out of recovery we will immediately revert back to full uniform which will include a blazer and tie. As you are all aware our standards of dress at Braidhurst are high and we are keen to ensure we maintain these standards through this time.

Please be reassured staff at Braidhurst are working very hard to make sure we have a safe environment for all staff and pupils in August. We appreciate this is an anxious time for parents but please trust that I am doing my very best to ensure we provide what is best for all in our school community.

We will issue further information as soon as we have more to share. Please keep an eye on our website/app for updates.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Mrs Rooney

Headteacher

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