Headteacher’s Update 16.08.2021

Dear Parent/Carer

First of all I  hope this update finds you well and in good health. I realise this update comes to you later than normal and I apologise for that however there have been some extenuating circumstances with some of the construction work over the last four days that has required my undivided attention – more about that later on in this update.

Whilst we are still some way from the pre-COVID norm; I’m optimistic that this session will be more consistent and your children can spend more time where they belong – in our school, focussing on their learning. It also gives me great pleasure to announce that we have formally moved to Wester Hailes High School with new signage and new colourways (albeit slightly disguised by the scaffolding!!!) and we’ll be looking for feedback from you on ways to continue to develop our new brand assets and promote a sense of pride in our school.

COVID

As you know the government released its latest Guidance for schools (see below for ease of reference). Basically, here are the headlines you need to be aware of

  • A continuation of risk protocols remain in place for a six week period until wb 26th September meaning school will feel very similar to when we left for summer break in June.
  • Face coverings are still to be worn for all secondary pupils. Ventilation and hand sanitisation remain in place.
  • Close contacts will be informed from Test and Protect  rather than the school and will be more targeted rather than groups of pupils being sent home.
  • LFD testing can be obtained easily from school and pupils and staff should be testing twice per week.
  • Encourage as many pupils, parents and staff to sign up to the vaccination programme.
https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-reducing-the-risks-in-schools/pages/overview/

ONGOING CONSTRUCTION WORK

As part of the improvement works, Morrison’s Construction is in week 9 of its 53 week project improve the building works. As you might expect the school resembles a construction site and there is scaffolding and building works throughout the school that may lead to some in school disruption.

We have completed our risk assessment and whilst not aesthetically pleasing, it is safe for all stakeholders.

UNIFORM

Given the six week COVID continuation period we will not be asking pupils to wear a school tie as this encourages more contact and may increase COVID risk. Once the six week period is over will be in a position to issue your child with a new Wester Hailes High School tie and they can wear it proudly.

In the meantime, pupils should wear black bottoms or skirt (no jeans please) and a white shirt with a collar. This keep things simple for you as parents and makes uniform easily accessible.

*please note that if your son/daughter arrives wearing ripped jeans, you will be contacted by our Guidance staff and will be asked to support the school uniform policy.*

CLOSING THE GAP STRATEGY

Towards the end of last session we planned a double period of extended and targeted learning for all S4, S5 and S6 pupils. This gives pupils the opportunity to sign up for extra sessions in their subject to catch up with work missed last session and we advertise the programme online for all pupils to sign up as soon as possible. This is due to start on Wednesday 25th August and I am asking for 1 week’s grace to assist in setting this up and unless there are family circumstances that require your child to be in school, I would ask that your son/daughter work from home on the afternoon of Wednesday 18th August.

CONTACTING THE SCHOOL

Finally I will endeavour to keep you updated with formal newsletters and weekly updates however should you have any COVID concerns please don’t hesitate to contact your son/daughter’s Guidance teacher in the first instance.

S1 and S2 – Ms Meikle

S3 and S4 – Ms Ramsay

S5 and S6 – Mrs Valentine

Best wishes,

David Young

Headteacher