HT Roundup 5.2.21


5 February 2021


Mon 8– Mon 15 February Holiday

Tues 16 February All resume online learning

Tues 22 February – P1-3 resume at school (conditions permitting)

P4-7 resume online learning

Dear Families

I am sure like me and the staff you were awaiting the First Minister’s announcement on Tuesday 2 February with bated breath. We now know that, providing there is no change to the safety advice, our P1-3 pupils will return to school on Monday 22 February. Wonderful news and we are all delighted at the prospect.

The Hub will continue for those Keyworker families where both parents are Keyworkers, cannot work from home and have no alternative means of childcare. Thank you for completing our contingency Hub booking form in advance which has really helped us plan staffing for the week we return. Pupil Support Assistants who have been supporting online and at the Hub and normally work with P1-3 will return to school with the children. Those who work with our older pupils will continue online and at the Hub. Our Science Specialist Mark McKenna and PE Specialist Cynthia Berry as well as Stavros Tsarnas have also been terrific supports to the children attending the Hub.

P4-7 pupils will continue learning remotely at home using Teams.  An update is given every two weeks so we expect to hear of any review around 16 February.

We want to thank you sincerely for your all your support for our continued use of Microsoft Teams in P1-7 and SeeSaw in P1-3. Weekly overviews for week beginning 16 February will be emailed to families in advance. It is testament to your support that when the pupils returned in January only three of our P4-7 pupils were not online in the first week and within two weeks all were. Only one of our P1-3 pupils – by choice – is not online. Remarkable, particularly since P1-3 pupils were already using SeeSaw but only began using Teams on 18 January. Evidence of our incredibly strong and committed community pulling together even when we are apart.

We know these circumstances have been and continue to be very challenging and we really appreciate everyone’s hard work and resilience. What has shone through for us is the children’s wonderful politeness, touching kindness and also their fantastic IT skills! We have come a long way together remotely and we are beginning to see light and Spring and happier times together, in person again, ahead.

We have made a start on analysing and discussing responses to our remote learning surveys. Please find attached an initial overview of responses from pupils and parents/carers. We are heartened to see 83% of families are satisfied overall with our provision but recognise and appreciate within all the responses that there are constructive suggestions from all our families which we can use to improve. We will seek to address specific points and take account of views from across the community – parents, pupils and staff – to keep improving our online provision. We began discussions with staff this week and will finalise adjustments to our online learning progamme by 22 February for our learners in P4-7.

This month is LGBT+ History month and when we return after the break we will work with our Pupil Equalities Advisors to raise awareness and ensure LGBT+ is taken into account as we update our Anti-Bullying/Equalities strategy.

February is also Digital Safety month when we will have a focus on supporting pupils and families with online safety. This has become even more important as everyone is now spending so much more time online. Later in the term we have an opportunity to work with Google and NSPCC.

We would be grateful if P1-3 families could return with any borrowed iPads and chargers on Monday 22 February. This will allow us time to get them set up ready in anticipation for the return of our older pupils.

The iPad booking form now includes an option to book an iPad surgery slot if you require some assistance with a borrowed iPad and it will re-open today until Tuesday 16 February (see email link).

I hope your children enjoyed taking part in our Children’s Mental Health Week activities and that you all find ways to relax, get outdoors as much as possible and switch off.

Please find below a link to this week’s Express Yourself Mental Health Week Assembly

P1-7 Children’s Mental Health Week Assembly

We have now added in a few more staff and hope this updated version of the video raises another smile.

Updated Shang-a-Lang Chez Sciennes video

Learner Participation in the February Break

We invite pupils to #showthelove for the environment in the February holiday by creating a green heart and adding it to windows or decorating outdoors. Green hearts can be made of paper, fabric or natural materials. An opportunity to get creative! It would be lovely for children to be able to look out for these on walks around the community. Show the Love is an annual celebration of everything we want to protect from the worst impacts of the climate crisis. Every February, since 2015, people from across the UK use the power of green hearts to join together and encourage everyone to tackle the climate crisis. Turn red hearts into green this Valentine’s Day! Email or Tweet us @SciennesPS with any photos. We would love to see them!

Chinese New Year falls on Friday 12 February. It is the year of the Ox , an animal that symbolises strength and determination. A very Happy New Year to all who celebrate!

I hope you have a lovely holiday and manage to unwind, relax and enjoy some new or rediscover some old pursuits. I am planning on reading the autobiographies by Barack Obama and Annie Nightingale. My back is much better so looking forward to a few slow runs too!