Head Teacher Update - Letter 45

3rd May in School

Monday 3rd May 2021

Dear Parent / Carer (please share with your child)

I hope this letter finds you and your family all safe and well again.

Over the last year we have been receiving regular updates from the Scottish Government
necessitating detailed letters to you all. I am pleased to note that since the last update I shared
with you (links below), we have seen a high degree of stability in school. Our youngsters are
attending school, on time, in uniform, with their kit and are all engaging with all the measures
we put in place to keep everyone safe. My thanks to all the staff, pupils and parents who are
all contributing to this positive environment.

First Minister’s statement of 6th April announcing all pupils are to return post Easter.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-update-first-ministers-statement-6-
april-2021/

Subsequent guidance for schools

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-reducing-the-risks-in-schools/pages/overview/

Given the positive, calm and progressive return we have experienced, I have little Covid-related
updates for you. I would like to take the opportunity to remind pupils of the need to keep coming
to school with face coverings (we hand out a lot each day); and remind parents not to come
into the school grounds unless it is a medical emergency. All parents should continue to drop
off / collect their children at a safe location and safe distance from the school.

I would like to add a special note of thanks to Sam Martin, who was acting Depute Head
Teacher for Oban and Tiree. The relationships he built with many of our pupils, parents and of
course colleagues ensured that he will be missed. Sam and his family have moved to Elgin
and we wish them well. I have already filled the vacancies created by his departure. Robert
Leadbeater will take up Sam’s DHT duties; and Fiona Leadbeater will become the new
Principal Teacher of Expressive Arts; both with responsibilities in Oban and Tiree High
Schools. I am also due to interview for a new Teacher of Drama this week.

Please find the YouTube video link below showing last week’s assembly which includes Sam’s
farewell comments; as well as a host of important issues presented by Oban High’s Senior
Pupil Leadership Team.

https://youtu.be/3gv-7bpcEzk

I thought it would also be useful to add a reminder of the SQA / Exam changes currently being
adopted, given the importance of this issue, at this time:

SQA Guidance Regarding the Alternative Certification Model

As you are aware, there are no exams again this year. This link shows how pupils will be
assessed, leading to an SQA award. In summary, schools are able to use assessments of
progress from across the year. Some of these assessments will have already been done as it
is entirely natural for teachers to test progress as we go along. If a pupil met the SQA success
criteria in a previous test, then there is no need to assess that criteria again. Of course, pupils
take time to complete courses and some parts of the courses will not yet have been assessed.
After Easter, we have built in an “assessment window” where we will continue to teach pupils
across the course but where a pupil is ready to sit an assessment to determine if they have
passed an element of an SQA course, then they will: when they are ready. This link explains
what all the changes are, and how schools are expected to carry out these assessments on
behalf of the SQA.

https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/97418.html

P7-S1 Transition

We would like to extend a warm welcome to parents/carers of P7 pupils and of course, our
future S1 pupils! We look forward to welcoming you to Oban High School in August. There
will be additional transition events for pupils and information shared throughout May and
June. Any events will be delivered in conjunction with primary schools and we will keep you
up to date via these letters for parents, carers and pupils as well as the School App for Parents.

If you do not have the ‘School App for Parents‘ it can be downloaded via the App Store (Apple
users) or Google Play (Android and other users). Simply search for ‘School App for
Parents.’ The developer is called ConnectUs. Once you have downloaded the app, enter
‘Oban High School.’ You will then be able to receive additional updates, news and have access
to the school’s calendar of events.

Our first item as part of ‘virtual transition’ is the launch of our transition google
site. Pupils/teachers will need to sign in through their glow account to access the site at this
time. We have provided some information and videos about the high school, as well as a
facility for new S1 pupils to ask us any questions they may have.

https://sites.google.com/ab.glow.scot/ohs-transition/home

Support

Over the past months a relatively small but significant number of pupils have benefitted from
support with their remote learning through the loan of laptops and chromebooks. These are
now needed in classrooms and we would ask that all pupils return their devices to Joan
Reynolds, Mr Champion or the main office (for which they will be issued a receipt) at the earliest
opportunity.

And my final reminder for this week is perhaps the most important. Despite the very welcome
societal changes taking place just now, there remains many children and families who continue
to have concerns and anxieties about life in school and at home during these changing times.
For that reason I feel that it is important to remind you of the pastoral care opportunities on
offer by our pastoral teams. It is only by contacting us and sharing your concerns and by asking
for support that we can help you and your children as fully as we wish.

Please continue to contact us to let us know the support you require. Please use the “Contact
Us” page on the website or call your Clan Guidance Teacher if in Oban or PT Primary / PT
Secondary if in Tiree.

I hope you all have a lovely week ahead.

Yours faithfully,

P A Bain
Executive Head Teacher
Oban High School, Tiree High School & Tiree Primary School


Assembly & Farewell message from Sam Martin

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