Home Learning Update - 8.1.21
Information for Parents/carers on Home Learning arrangements beginning on Monday the 11th January 2021 is being emailed home this afternoon.
The information is included here and all of the other information has been added to our distance learning page. You can access that here:Distance Learning
Further to my letter on Wednesday we are now in a position to share with you plans for home learning for the next month. As intimated by the First Minister home learning will be reviewed on the 18th of January. Schools will be closed to all pupils until the 1st of February with the exception of our Hub pupils. We will keep you updated as and when information changes.
All parents who have applied for a Hub place have now been contacted as have the parents of our vulnerable young people who will access a variety of supports in the Hub over the coming weeks.
For pupils attending the Hub the following information applies:
- Pick up/Drop off area is the Bus Bay on the road towards Aaron House parallel to the 3G pitch.
- Face masks should be worn by all visitors to schools and also outside at pick-up and drop-off times whenever on school premises, even outside.
- The Hub is open normal school hours 8.30am – 3.20pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am -12.05pm on a Friday.
- Pupils should enter/exit through the main school entrance only.
- Pupils are not required to wear school uniform, they should ensure they wear suitable clothing and footwear for any outdoor activities.
- All pupils will be provided with a surgical grade face mask on arrival at school which they must wear at all times in the school building, subject to the existing exemptions.
- A lunch will be provided for all pupils attending the Hub – parents will not be charged for the meal.
- Pupils are not permitted to leave school premises at intervals and lunchtimes.
Learning at Home Information
Included in this correspondence are a number of documents, please familiarise yourself with them and go over them with your child/children. I appreciate this is a lot of information but it is important.
- Broad General Education (S1-3) Learning at Home – Including timetables
- Senior Phase (S4-6) Learning at Home
- Live Video Sessions - Advice for parents-carers
- Live Video sessions – Advice for Pupils
- Microsoft Teams Codes – Pupil Access Codes for Class Teams
All of this information including a Parent Guide to Microsoft Teams will be added to the school website on the Distance Learning Page - https://www.beeslackhigh.co.uk/distancelearning
The Pentland Provision will continue to support pupils throughout the lockdown period and families will be contacted directly to make arrangements for their child’s learning.
Access to Equipment
Principal Teachers will correspond directly with pupils regarding any subject specific equipment they may need while learning at home. We will do our best to provide any equipment that is practicable and arrangements will be made to either collect or drop off as is necessary. Priority access will be given to SQA pupils e.g. access to a musical instrument for practice purposes.
BACS payments will continue for all families who are in receipt of Free School Meals.
Support for Learning
Support packs are currently being made up for specific pupils who require additional support. Our support for learning team will be in contact with families directly.
We are acutely aware that pupils, parents and carers will have questions and concerns about how school closures and online learning will impact formal assessment opportunities and evidence gathering for the submission of pupils’ provisional grades to the SQA. As the school is closed until at least 1st February, the current schedule of formal assessments is cancelled and we will reassess the situation once the SQA issue further advice and we have a clearer sense of whether school closures are likely to extend beyond 1st February. Pupils will not undertake any formal assessment opportunities online before 1st February, but all activities they undertake online are essential to ensure that they cover the required course content and associated skills.
It is very important that any formal assessments that take place when students return to school are undertaken at a time that is appropriate and gives pupils the best chance of performing to the best of their ability. Consequently, we hope to be in a position whereby pupils will not be expected to sit formal assessments as soon as they return to school. Gathering evidence for SQA provisional grades is time-bound however, so the timing and format of any formal assessments will be dependent on how events unfold over the next few weeks and on any adaptions SQA may have to make to evidence gathering guidance. We will communicate any new information as soon as we receive it. In the meantime, we encourage all Senior Phase pupils to engage as fully as possible with online learning to ensure that they are in a position to generate evidence that demonstrates the very best of their efforts and abilities.
As already intimated a core team of staff will be in school to support the Hub. The vast majority of staff will be working from home. Many of our staff will be managing family access to devices and their own childcare while still doing their best to deliver learning and teaching. Teachers will do their best to respond to pupils as soon as possible and within working hours. This may take some time due to teaching and other commitments and they may not be able to respond instantly to a query on Teams or a Glow email. We understand this can be frustrating but please bear with us.
Teaching and support staff will be calling families throughout January to check in with pupils and see how they are getting on. To do this staff will predominately be using phones with no caller ID. If you have a missed call with no caller ID it may well be that a member of the team has tried to call to check in with you.
We will keep you updated with any changes to information or any updates particularly in relation to SQA qualifications.
Please contact us on the school email address if you have any queries. Besslack_HS@midlothian.gov.uk
Many thanks again for your support and for working with us during this challenging time.