This past week has been busy and productive as we prepare for the full return of pupils from Tuesday 20 April. Please note that school finishes at 15:40 on Thursday 1 April.
As has been our practice in recent years, pupils in S1,2 and 3 are not expected to be completing school work during holidays. We would prefer they took a complete break from their studies to engage in any or more of the following within the latest Government guidelines:
- Reading for pleasure
- Spending time with friends and family and
- Physical Exercise (preferably outdoors).
We anticipate that pupils in S4,5 and 6 will wish to spend parts of the Easter Holiday preparing for SQA ‘evidence gathering’ assessments in May. We are finalising options to support senior pupils with their preparation for assessments during the Easter break. More on this will follow.
We are currently awaiting updated Guidelines from the City of Edinburgh Council on our SQA arrangements for pupils in S4, 5 and 6. It is our intention to share our Assessment schedule and arrangements with parents and pupils as early as we can next week.
The Parent Council meeting this week covered the results of the school’s survey on online learning and arrangements for SQA assessments. For those with children in S4-S6, Mr Shankland’s presentation set out the current position with the school’s plans for assessments after Easter, and explained the effect of SQA guidelines on how they will be carried out this year. You can catch up with the meeting at https://youtu.be/O0i8dZoNBGA or see the Parent Council website https://jghspc.wordpress.com/ for further details.
Information packs for the HPV immunisation programme were received this week, but not in time to distribute them to students during the school day. The school has therefore posted these packs to all eligible students so you should receive them imminently. The packs are late but the deadline for returning the forms has not changed so the turnaround time for the consent forms is very short. Please give your attention to the materials you receive and if you wish your child to be immunised please return the consent form before Wednesday, 31-Mar-21. NHS inform us that they cannot guarantee providing immunisation if forms are not received by this date.
An email was sent yesterday to all families with CEC Travel Hub’s Transport Application Form plus guidance notes for school session 2021/2022. Any parents requiring home to school transport for school session 2021/2022 should complete and return the attached form to them asap. Applications forms must be received by 30th April 2021 and should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Inspector of Police Sam Ainslie, Local Area Commander for the South East of Edinburgh, has contacted all Edinburgh schools to alert us to a recent increase in anti-social behaviour by young people in the Meadows. "This rise in antisocial behaviour is particularly disappointing and concerning at a time when the government's coronavirus restrictions are set to ease and our communities should be able to enjoy our open green spaces in peace, without the worry of drink-related disorder. As a result, our officers will be conducting targeted patrols across the area, to engage with the public, explain the current coronavirus legislation and guidance and to encourage compliance where necessary.’’ I would request that parents help us spread this message to young people and encourage them to continue to follow the guidance and ensure we can get back to normality in the coming weeks and months.
Home test kits for Covid-19 are available from reception for staff and pupils. These are Lateral Flow Devices (LFD) and give results within 30 minutes. The other type of test being used (called a PCR test) is administered by the NHS and usually provides a result within 48 hours. Participation in home testing is voluntary and we will only issue home test kits after a Consent form has been received at school reception. Details here. All staff and pupils are strongly encouraged to get involved. In the event that the LFD test is positive, the pupil and family should self-isolate until the result is confirmed by the more reliable PCR test available via the NHS. Please note that if the follow up PCR test is negative the earlier LFD test can be disregarded and the family no longer has to self-isolate. Use of the LFD tests is suspended for the first week of the Easter holiday but should resume in the second week.
On Tuesday of this week we marked the 1st anniversary of the 2020 first lockdown by a minute’s silence preceded by Savannah (S1) reading the following poem on the school’s PA system.
‘Everything is Going to be All Right’ By Derek Mahon
How should I not be glad to contemplate
the clouds clearing beyond the dormer window
and a high tide reflected on the ceiling?
There will be dying, there will be dying,
but there is no need to go into that.
The lines flow from the hand unbidden
and the hidden source is the watchful heart.
The sun rises in spite of everything
and the far cities are beautiful and bright.
I lie here in a riot of sunlight
watching the day break and the clouds flying.
Everything is going to be all right.
Wishing all a lovely weekend and do remember that the clocks go forward an hour at 1 am on Sunday 28 March.
Donald j Macdonald