5th March in School
5th March 2021
Dear Parent /carer and pupils (please share with your children)
I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones all safe and well.
May I begin by thanking everyone for their continued efforts in keeping our community safe
and learning. Since my last letter to you, we have increased the numbers of those attending
school in person to include everyone that needs to do practical activities to complete their SQA
assessments. Teachers are reporting this has been immensely valuable. Of course our online
learning opportunities have continued and for those engaging, they are making positive
progress in their learning; progress that will help them when they return to the school in person.
On Tuesday, the First Minister delivered a statement on how and when pupils, in stages, could
return to school over the coming weeks. The First Minister also noted that she expected all
pupils to return to school after the Easter holiday if it was considered safe to do so at that time.
Our schools close on Thursday 1st April and re-open on Monday 19th April. You can read the
full statement here:
In summary, all nursery and primary pupils will return to school on the 15th of March. The same
level of health and safety precautions will be in place as before to keep everyone safe: teachers
wearing face coverings in classes; everyone using gel constantly throughout the day; bubbles
across the school to separate the nursery, primary and high school pupils; extra cleaning;
amended lunch arrangements; one way systems where possible; separate social areas; and
increased ventilation. The new Risk Assessment will be written this week and will be updated
on the website.
Also from 15th March, and with all the same health and safety measures noted above, will be
the return to school of all secondary pupils at some point during each week prior to the Easter
holiday. In Oban High School we do not have the capacity to allow all pupils back at once (very
few schools can achieve this), so we have to allocate days to certain year groups. Please find
the days that each year group will be expected to attend in person. Online lessons will be
provided to all pupils when not in school.
Pupils in S3 to S6 will follow their normal timetable; S1 and S2 will be provided with an
alternative timetable at the end of next week. We just need a little bit longer to finalise our
Additional health and safety measures over and above those used before lockdown, noted
above, include the need for all staff and high school pupils to wear face coverings in school
and to keep 2 metres distance from each other. This may mean a class of 30 pupils being split
across three classes as an average class size accommodates 10 pupils. Oban High School
has huge 75 inch computer screens and cameras in every class which will support lesson
delivery and teachers and assistants will provide supervision duties where required. This does
mean that not all online classes will be taught “live” and that many lessons will be pre-loaded
onto Google Classrooms.
Please ensure your child logs in to each of their Google Classrooms to keep pace with online
learning and / or to find out which classroom they will be expected to attend when in school.
I would remind everyone that pupils should not attend school when feeling unwell and showing
symptoms. They should follow the distance and hygiene rules in the school and those rules
laid out by the government when out in the communities. Schools are safe places to learn and
work if we abide by these rules.
To help with this, another layer of precaution has been made available for those who wish it.
All pupils and staff will be offered Asymptomatic Test kits, which they can use at home. We
have already sent out information on these but it will be resent next week. Any pupil over the
age of 16 can collect a kit when they come to school and sign their own consent forms. All
other secondary school pupils will require to provide a signed consent form before being issued
with a kit to take home. Consent forms will all be sent home in the information packs next week
and all 11-15 year olds, who wish a kit, should bring these when they come into school for the
We have been liaising with our school hostel to ensure that pupils attending school have
accommodation. Fran Bichard and her staff will be in touch with details.
The Education Transport Department are currently liaising with the transport companies to
ensure that those pupils who currently travel into school will continue to be able to do so. If
there are any alterations to this service, Education Transport will contact parents before the
12th March. There has been an easing of social distancing on school transport to 1 metre.
School meals will be available as before, although will all be delivered to classrooms as we
need the Atrium as additional classroom space. Please continue to pay for school meals online.
Direct payments to parents / carer of secondary pupils entitled to free school meals will
continue until a full time return to school, anticipated on 19th April, is achieved.
I am certain that this return to the school building may cause some degree of anxiety to many
of our children, and staff, but would again remind everyone of all the measures in place to keep
us safe and well. Our pastoral teams will be on hand to speak to any parent or pupil who may
wish to share their concerns prior to returning, and of course be on hand to personally sit down
with any of our youngsters in school as the need arises. Rest assured we will be able to support
and reassure all our children with any health, social and academic concerns when they return.
As always, if anyone requires any support at all, please use the “Contact Us” page on the
website and email us with your question or concern, adding your child’s name and class; or
contact your child’s guidance teacher directly.
P A Bain
Executive Head Teacher
Oban High School, Tiree High School & Tiree Primary School