11th June in School
Friday 11th June 2021
Dear Parent / Carer (please share with your child)
I hope this letter finds you and your family all safe and well again.
I’m really pleased that our new Depute Head Teacher, Robert Leadbeater is now with us and
already finding his feet. He made this great wee video of how he’s found his first couple of
weeks. It’s interesting to see a fresh perspective on what we auld hands see in school each
I am also pleased to inform you that Fiona Leadbeater will begin her new role as Principal
Teacher of Expressive Arts on Monday 14th June. In addition, Deirdre McKenna will join Fiona
in Art. I’ve also been busy interviewing and in August we will welcome John Carson and Amy
Robertson to our English Department; we will welcome Molly Duffield in Drama; Elyse Hamilton
in Home Economics and Dylan Smylie in PE.
Additionally, we have adverts in the press and interviews planned for Teachers in Business,
Socials, Maths and Technologies. We are also looking to recruit a Foundation Apprenticeship
Officer to help develop our vocational opportunities.
All these posts represent a significant investment in our teaching staff and ever developing
In an effort to keep everyone all safe and well, we continue to follow all the same guidelines as
per my last letter to you all. As frequently noted, there are lots of precautions taken to protect
our community: year group bubbles, hand sanitiser, enhanced cleaning regimes, one way
systems, staggered departures etc. There have been a few changes that have helped allow us
to teach more effectively in Music and PE but the big change this week, with the new timetable,
is the move from two lunches back to one lunch period.
Now that we have so many more pupils out of class all at the same time, we have introduced
separate social areas for them all to maintain their year group bubbles. Each group have a
different hall to eat and rest in when it is wet; and each group has a different area to socialise
when outside. We have also provided for additional seating outside. We will continue to have
break in classrooms until the guidance changes over the summer, hopefully.
We held a socially distanced farewell presentation to all our S6 Leavers on Friday. This was
not quite the exuberant affair we would normally have led but it was an opportunity for us to
say our fond farewells and to offer some support to our kids before they all leave us to make
their way in the world. The video of that presentation can be found here:
Another wee reminder: Prize-giving will be held on Friday 3rd September. More details will
follow. We will also hold a Seniors’ dinner on the evening of the 3rd September, possibly a
Summer dance, depending on the Covid rules at the time.
A special mention to our SPLT and to all our Prefects who helped us to achieve so much over
the last year. The current SPLT have done a fantastic job representing the school and local
community. Their efforts can be seen through the wealth of videos they produced (on YouTube
and Instagram), highlighting not only their own valuable contribution to the life and work of the
school and the local community (the Bid4Oban video they made is fantastic!) but also the
achievements of all our young people and the commitment of all our staff And, they yet have
more roles to perform…
All the applications to join our Senior Pupil Leadership Team are now in and we will hold the
interviews on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th June. The interview panel will consist of Mrs
Jackson, who supports the SPLT each year; two members of the current SPLT, a parent, a
member of the business community, and myself.
Once these positions have been established, the SPLT will themselves lead the Prefect and
the Junior Pupil Leadership Team recruitment process early in the new session. All these
opportunities are a great way to develop new skills and gain more experiences useful for life
The first lesson I teach them in their leadership development is to recognise that everyone has
different views, aims and opinions; and that leaders have to make decisions (based on the
views of others) that not everyone likes. The second lesson is on how to use communication,
like these letters (and videos) to keep everyone informed. The third: to be brave and resilient.
A big thank you to all who made it along to the online Gateway meetings this week. The
Deputes, Guidance eachers and Family Liaison Officers all really enjoyed meeting our new
S1s. If you missed the meeting, a recording of the session is available. To receive the
recording, please e-mail Mrs Morrison: firstname.lastname@example.org stating the young
person’s name so we can send the correct clan recording. These recordings will only be shared
with members of the clan. Individuals should not share the recordings with anyone else or
distribute them on social media.
Just to note, our induction days in August will take place on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th
August. S1 pupils will undertake activities with their guidance teachers and other members of
staff to help them learn their timetable and learn more about the high school before starting
Our Google site remains available with information about the school and the opportunity to
submit any questions you have for us to answer. There is a link on the main school website:
Or you can go to the site directly:
The Google Classroom is ready for pupils to join. Mrs Morrison will be working with different
subjects in the school over the next few days to post a task from each faculty in the school. The
joining code for the classroom is xmojwna It is restricted to Glow users.
Argyll and Bute Council will issue an email and a letter with pupils’ provisional awards on Friday
25th June. A letter explaining the examination, evidence gathering and moderation processes
undertaken by Oban High School and Argyll and Bute Council will accompany these
communications. On receipt of these provisional awards, pupils have a direct right of appeal
to the SQA. Detailed information about the appeals process can be found on the SQA website
Pupils worked very hard and their effort and conduct was exemplary during the assessment
period. Our staff have worked hard at school, authority and national level to ensure that
learners have been awarded the best possible grade. They have undertaken moderation with
other schools and in some cases, had assessments and marking verified by the SQA to ensure
that grades are accurate and in line with national standards. All subjects verified by the SQA
received reports that assessments and marking meet national standards and the work
undertaken by teachers on behalf of their pupils was commended.
Thank you very much to all the staff, pupils and a significant number of parents/carers who
have given us thoughtful feedback about the core themes of next year's school improvement
plan. We would like to remind you that there is an introductory video to school improvement
planning on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eH_gr_ebrGU and the four-page summary
document can be read on the parent School App dated Friday May 23th. Over the next couple
of weeks the detailed school improvement plan will be completed, alongside the Standards
and Quality Report for the last academic year. Both will be published on the school website
before the summer holidays. We are planning for some more opportunities over the next
academic year for further consultation and feedback about our progress from pupils,
parents/carers and our numerous partners.
Oban High School uses social media platforms to share information and to celebrate our
school’s successes: of which there are many. Sadly, our pupils, staff and parents have all
raised significant concerns about the abuse of (and the abuse on) social media concerning our
school, including inappropriate comments about staff, pupils and other parents who don’t hold
the same views of those commenting.
People are free to have and to share any view. However, if those comments are worded in
such a way as to be disrespectful and harmful to our pupils, staff and parents; or which
undermine the excellent widely lauded national and international reputation of our school, then
we must object. I would ask that those who wish to ask a question, raise a concern or comment
on a school issue perhaps consider contacting the school first, thus ensuring an accurate,
balanced and informed understanding of any issue. Please contact your child’s guidance
teacher or use the enquiries email on the website at any time.
The question of uniform raised by a few parents of late was answered by school staff on
request: as all questions are. Our uniform is well established, is well understood and is well
adhered to: as evidenced by every child coming to school dressed in that uniform each day, as
they have for many years. The guidance is on the website.
I would like to thank the pupils, staff and the parent representatives for their unanimous support
of the school and our school rules; including the uniform guidance currently on the school
website. My thanks to the senior pupils in particular for making this video showing how we
already demonstrate the sense of pride we have in our school; how we measure up against
other schools as a wee comparison; and how we, as a school, help our families with any
financial burdens they may face.
For many years a succession of keen, hardworking and dedicated parents have come together
and shared their views, experiences and time for the benefit of all our families and staff. They
help shape the successful school we now are. They have worked tirelessly to raise funds to
pay for many pupil activities, including a hugely expensive and totally invaluable minibus used
daily by our learning centre and sports teams; and most significantly of all, given recent times,
have contributed to our hardship activities; providing support, food and clothing to a significant
number of families in the last 16 months. They represent parent views, raise the profile of our
community and celebrate the success of the school across the town, sit on interview panels,
bid for funding and support both pupils and parents with wider life issues.
If you wish ask a question of the parent council or even commit to this same level of support
and dedication by joining the current team, just send them a message via the enquiries page
on the website.
My top tip for the weekend is to watch this video, made by our Support Department
colleagues. The sense of well–being, calm and enjoyment from watching this video is
immeasurable. Senior pupils in the Support Department have been working on an ASDAN
Award - Towards Independence. The pupils work through modules that help to develop their
personal, social, work-related and independent living skills and achieve accreditation for
this. The modules are specifically designed to enable young people with additional support
needs to demonstrate their learning and progress in different areas.
During the past two years, pupils having been working on modules such as Baking, Meal
Preparation, Using Transport, Yogacise and Music. Pupils demonstrate their learning by
building up a portfolio of evidence e.g. photographs, videos.
The video 'Dance of the Sun' was one of the activities from the Yogacise module - we chose
to do this module to show the pupils that there are different ways to stay active and healthy.
We show compassion to all those in our community as evidenced in my many letters to you
all offering financial, pastoral and learning support to ensure our kids, and our parents are well
We have ambition as evidenced in our very good results and our excellent positive destination
figures; amongst the highest in the country.
We show respect to all, recognising we are all different and all have different needs. We have
one of the largest support departments and likely the broadest curriculum in the country,
deliberately to ensure we best serve all these individual needs and desires.
We show resilience at all times. Life isn’t perfect, we don’t always get what we want, there are
bumps along life’s rocky road and there are those of any age seeking to take the shine of any
But our star does shine brightly. Our children are lovely, talented and a joy to be around. Our
staff are friendly, committed and have a passion to do well for our children and their colleagues.
Almost all our parents appreciate our efforts, celebrate our success and offer to support our
continuing journey to providing an outstanding experience for our youngsters.
Thank you everyone and have a lovely weekend.
P A Bain
Executive Head Teacher
Oban High School, Tiree High School & Tiree Primary School