Head Teacher Update - Letter and video 46

14th May in School

Friday 14th May 2021

Dear Parent / Carer (please share with your child)

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

I am sure we are all looking forward to the forthcoming changes to the Covid Levels on the 17th
May and the opening up of many parts of society previously restricted to us. Being able to meet
more of our friends and family and to socialise more freely is a welcome development; one
which will make life so much easier and pleasurable. Of course there are still many other factors
in place that help keep us safe. We still need to restrict the number of people we meet, we still
need to wear face coverings and we still need, above all else, to ensure good hygiene
measures.

We continue to work to the current guidance issued to all schools by the Scottish Government:

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

I am sure most parents are aware of the heightened number of cases in schools across the
country, so I would like to take the opportunity to re-assure everyone that we will continue to
follow this guidance and that our pupils will still travel to school safely, wearing masks and
spaced out appropriately on public transport. They should still arrive in a staggered manner,
being dropped off at a safe distance and safe location from the school. No unnecessary visitors
are allowed in school. On arrival to school (with a mask) every person will still enter the building
and receive hand sanitiser and this sanitiser will continue to be available in every classroom
and be used on each movement around the building. Our day cleaners will continue to wipe
down touch points and our children their desks as they move classes and there will still be
airflow measures, one-way systems, staggered departures and a blocked timetable to ensure
our pupils mix their bubbles as little as possible. Keeping the pupils in their bubbles reduces
the risk of having to self-isolate hundreds of pupils in the event of a confirmed case; as we
have witnessed in other Local Authority areas over the last week or so.

We do of course wish to continue to operate as normally as the health and safety measures
allow and, for that reason, we will change our school timetable as planned, on the 7th of June.
This date has been chosen so as to give pupils the opportunity to complete any outstanding
assessments that will lead to their SQA awards, but also allow the pupils to start their new
courses as soon as practically possible, as we do every year. This will mean that one of our
mitigating factors will need to be removed: we will no longer have a split lunch. We will however,
have split lunch departures to avoid a thousand pupils moving at once; and we will continue to
have separate eating areas across the school for the year groups, as we do now.

SQA Guidance Regarding the Alternative Certification Model

Our SQA assessments continue next week for our senior pupils. Pupils have worked very hard
to prepare fully for these assessments and their effort and conduct has been excellent. I am
sure that most of you will have seen some reports in the media involving sharing of assessment
content on social media, pupils have been reminded that they must not discuss any aspect of
any of the assessments and we have strict SQA Guidance to follow around the security of
papers.

P7-S1 Transition

A reminder that we have established a Glow site for new S1 pupils. The site contains
information about Oban High School and includes a virtual tour of the school building. Pupils
are also able to submit questions to the school, which we will answer via video response on a
regular basis. Current P7s will need to be logged into glow to view the site. The site is available
at:

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

We will be communicating information regarding clans to pupils via primary school in the first
week of June. We will then be inviting parents/carers and pupils to an online gateway meeting
in the second week of June where they will meet their guidance teacher, clan Depute Head
Teacher and Family Liaison Officer. Details of these events will be communicated to
parents/carers directly via e-mail as well as being shared with primary schools.

Furthermore, we will set up a Google classroom for pupils in June, which will contain videos
and tasks from each of the faculties in the school. This will allow pupils to become more familiar
with our school, staff and the learning that takes place in S1.

We will update you regarding induction days in due course. These will most likely take place
as the first few days back to school in August, unless Government guidance changes.

In the meantime, should you have any questions regarding transition, please do not hesitate
to contact us via the enquiries page on the school website.

Leavers, Summer Dance and Prize-giving

I believe it is essential that we recognise the fantastic efforts of our pupils, pay tribute to their
commitment to our school community and say a fond farewell and share warm wishes of
success to all our school leavers this session. However, I am aware that, once again, there will
be disappointment by many that we remain unable to hold large events such as our summer
dance and prize-giving ceremony. Last year we held a part live – part online Prize-giving
ceremony – which was videoed and shared with the community on our YouTube channel. I am
aware this was viewed favourably and therefore we will use that format again. This ceremony
will be held on Friday, 3rd September. If the Covid restrictions for schools are relaxed before
that date, we would hope to be able to open up the ceremony to a wider audience. We are also
keen to hold at least a Leavers dinner, possibly a dance that evening. The dance may be a
long shot; the dinner highly probable.

IT loans

Any outstanding loans of Chromebooks must please be returned urgently to Mr Champion or
Mrs Reynolds. We now require these to support learning in classrooms.

Support

Please continue to contact us to let us know if you have any questions or concerns. 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 weekend.

Yours faithfully,

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


Update 14.5.21

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