Head Teacher Blog
As we end a term in school like no other, I would want to take this opportunity to thank pupils, parents and staff for their ability to adapt to working within circumstances which no one would have wished for. Huge amounts of patience, compromise, resilience – and at times reluctant acceptance – have had to be applied throughout the ever changing restrictions and conditions in which we have all had to live and work. We are very much looking forward to the return to school of all of our pupils, the exact conditions of which will be announced in the Scottish Government update on Tuesday 6 April. In preparation for that, I would once again ask for as many pupils as possible to participate in the Lateral Flow testing programme. Kits are available in school and can be distributed as soon as consent forms have been returned.
I appreciate that over the past few weeks there has been a huge amount of correspondence in relation to the position of this year’s alternative certification model for SQA pupils and a timeline summary is included below as an aide-memoire. An update has also been provided for Developing the Young Workforce and I hope you enjoy reading about the progress we have made as a school in delivering DYW experiences for our pupils during lockdown.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a restful and enjoyable Easter break and very much look forward to welcoming our pupils back on Monday 19 April. Pupils should if possible return to school in full school uniform. However there will be no expectation that parents have to rush out and buy new uniform as a result of children outgrowing their existing one… young people are more important than a dress code!
SQA ALTERNATIVE CERTIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT/EVIDENCE GATHERING (TERM 3)
All parents/carers should have received 2 emails on Friday 26 March as below:
- A letter from the Executive Director of Education in North Lanarkshire.
- A parental information email detailing Greenfaulds timeline for Assessments and delivery of the SQA Alternative Certification model.
The letters explain the background to the Alternative Certification Model and go on to detail the preparation, planning and quality assurance that will be applied at each stage of the Alternative Certification Model. This will ensure that strong, robust evidence is collated in support of all Provisional Grades which have to be finalised and sent to SQA by 25th June. Pupils and parents will in fact be informed of these Provisional Grades on Monday 21st June.
The school letter also details when a final report will be sent to parents and confirms that Greenfaulds Term 3 Assessment diet will run from mid-May – early June (most likely 12 May – 4 June). In working within this timeframe, we have tried to give as much time as possible to continued learning, teaching and revision.
In addition to the letters to parents/carers, information has been shared with young people through posts on S4/5/6 year group Teams to confirm the plans/timeline for Greenfaulds. Pupils have been informed that Assessment timetables will be issued after the Easter break and that the assessments will run in a similar fashion to those in December ie in classrooms and timetabled double periods as much as possible to minimize the need for large groups of pupils in exam halls. We have also posted links on Teams to the SQA Past Papers and Solutions as well as making mention of other relevant study materials. In addition to this general information, teachers will also use their own class Teams pages to guide pupils on specific revision for their subjects.
Spring Break Supported Study/Easter School Provision
A separate letter was emailed home on Tuesday 30 March giving details of the Authority Supported Study/Easter School Provision. The letter included a link which allowed pupils to book their preferred slots for a range of subjects. As stipulated, these study sessions will be conducted through Microsoft Teams meetings – pupils will be added to groups based on their requested slots.
Please remember that time will be spent with pupils on their return to ensure that they are given as much support as possible to help them through their assessments.
If you have any questions surrounding the Alternative Certification Model, please do not hesitate to contact the school. During the holiday period, questions can be submitted to our email@example.com mailbox and we will use this to compile a FAQ sheet for parents/pupils.
Developing the Young Workforce –
A summary from Mr Proctor our DYW coordinator
Throughout this phase of lockdown, students at Greenfaulds have continued to engage with the world of work. March was a particularly busy month with nearly 20 different workshops offered to our students by our many business partners, both old and new. For example, half the S3 students have participated in an employability workshop with Barclays and Volunteering Matters (the rest are due to take part in May and June). This was a very useful workshop as students were given a number of tips, for example, research the position before the interview and were introduced to the STAR technique for interviews. It is worth highlighting that Barclays is investing in a new campus in Glasgow with plans to eventually employ 5000 people.
Another new workshop was led by university students from the Street Law Project who introduced our students to the study of law and the many different opportunities offered by a law degree. This was insightful for the students and I’m sure we now have a few budding lawyers in our school.
In addition, many students signed up to the numerous workshops offered through the DYW Live programme. This resulted in students learning about many different things related to careers, for instance, how to build their brand and reputation in the workplace, careers in investment and apprenticeship opportunities in construction. Lastly, Skills Development Scotland hosted a number of different Meet the Expert sessions that included careers in healthcare and careers in the space industry. These provided valuable insights about the route and opportunities offered by people working in those careers.
Over the course of the next school year, we would like to ensure that every student in S4 has the opportunity to participate in at least one mock interview. If this is something you think you could support, please get in touch with myself, Mr Proctor, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our careers advisers Morven Jarvis and Gail McNeil have continued to support our students. If your child is leaving school after summer it would be good for him/her to contact them (if they have not already done so) as they can support them with job searches, applications and preparing for an interview. They also provide advice and guidance to students on career choices and options/pathways. Morven can be contacted via email at Morven.Jarvis@sds.co.uk.
In addition, if you are discussing career options and you or your child would like to learn more about different careers’ we would recommend the following websites:
https://www.mykidscareer.com/ – This website is to help parents and carers discuss careers with their child.
https://www.myworldofwork.co.uk/ – The help you need for the career you want.
https://apprenticeships.scot – Find an apprenticeship. Recruit an apprentice.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4YvCbmqHvLH_D57S000mjhviFikonA5t – the Skills Development Scotland Meet the Expert YouTube channel.
https://www.careersbox.co.uk/ – Careers films on the web.
https://uptree.co/ – for S5/6 students to connect with employers.
Do you have a child thinking of leaving school?
Message from Skills Development Scotland (SDS)
Following a very successful recent webinar, SDS is hosting another webinar for parents of pupils in S4-S6 who are planning to leave school this year. The session will start at 6.30pm on Thursday 22nd April. This virtual event will offer parents and carers across Scotland the opportunity to find out more about supporting their child as they prepare to leave school this summer. The webinar will have information about options, next steps and how to access a wide range of SDS support. It will also have a question and answer session. Here’s the link to Eventbrite where parents and carers can register to attend.
School meal charges
Please note that school meal charges will increase with effect from Monday 19 April. The price of a meal deal is now £3.15. Pupils entitled to free school meals need take no further action as allowances on cards will update automatically. Any further information regarding the meals service in secondary schools can be found at Secondary school menu | North Lanarkshire Council
Dates for the Diary
|Monday 19 April||School resumes for final term||8.55am|
|Monday 3 May||May day Holiday||School closed to staff and pupils|
|Thursday 6 May||In service Day||School closed to all pupils|
|Wednesday 12 May||Alternative Certification Assessment diet begins||All SQA pupils S4-S6|
|Friday 28 May||May weekend holiday||School closed to staff and pupils|
|Monday 31 May||May weekend holiday||School closed to staff and pupils|
|Friday 4 June||Alternative Certification Assessment diet ends||All SQA pupils S4-S6|
|Monday 7 June||In Service Day (secondary schools only)||School closed to all pupils|
|Tuesday 8 June||In Service Day (secondary schools only||School closed to all pupils|
|Thursday 24 June||School closes for summer term||1.00 pm|