GSO Test

Curiosity

Togetherness

Excellence

School Update - 24th April, 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope you are all safe and well, coping as best you can with life under COVID-19.  Welcome back after the Easter holidays.  I have to say that this is the most surreal first week back to school I have experienced in my career, and I know you will all be feeling the same.  National information, both in terms of health & safety and SQA qualifications, is moving at a pace, and we are working hard as a team to digest this information and share what this means for you and your families in terms of impact on education.  This takes time to embed and I thank you sincerely for your very strong support for myself, the staff and the school - it has been very moving and means such an awful lot to us to know you are there for us also.

 

SQA Qualifications

Further information from both SQA and our Head of Education, Maria Lloyd, on the processes being used to provide young people with qualifications in the scenario of no examinations, was sent out on Monday evening.  In short, we are being asked to submit estimates for every course studied, by 29th May, 2020.  Estimates will be arrived at holistically, on the basis of a range of data including formal internal examinations, (such as prelims), end of unit tests, classwork, homework and teacher professional judgement.  There will be robust quality assurance of the estimates submitted by Faculties and myself, Faculty PTs and Alastair Lownie, Depute Rector, will analyse submissions in detail, triangulating data against the additional attainment we have been provided by Fife to support us with this.

Please be aware that estimates submitted by the school are not final results and may change.

Once SQA receive our estimates, they will then undertake their own quality assurance and final results will be sent to young people on 4 August.  To ensure your son/daughter receives results on this day please ensure that they are signed up to mySQA.  I appreciate that this is a very unusual and worrying time for many young people and their families.  Our aim is, as always, to put young people first and ensure that their results reflect what they would have been likely to achieve were they able to progress to examinations.  If you are concerned, I would be grateful if you did not contact class teachers or Faculty PTs at this point.  Rather, please email your son/daughter's Guidance teacher in the first instance.

S4: Niall Duncan - niall.duncan@fife.gov.uk.

S5/S6: Anne-Louise Cunneen - annelouise.cunneen@fife.gov.uk.

 

Learning at Home

Thank you for the many emails we have received recognising teachers' efforts to keep learning ongoing.  For many of us this has been a steep learning curve and I am delighted with all teachers' work in up-skilling themselves in the use of digital technologies.  We seem to have resolved most of the hardware issues for staff and all should be up and running, setting work for classes on a weekly basis as a minimum.

The entirety of our remote learning has been set up on Teams and we have shared help guides with you previously around how to access this.  Should anyone require additional copies to be sent out then please email: Bellbaxterhs.Enquiries@fife.gov.uk.

It has become increasingly clear (even more so after the First Minister's statement last night) that we will not return to school before summer and that, until a vaccine is produced, 'normality' will be very different from what we are used to, with social distancing measures continuing in some form.  This has obvious implications for schools and we will be working closely with our colleagues in Fife and listening to national advice, to put some detail out to you over the next weeks and months.

In the meantime, however, we are keen to keep the learning relevant and maximise engagement in courses by moving learning forward a month early from the week beginning Monday 4th May.  In most subjects this will apply from S2 to S5 however there are a few exceptions as noted below.  We feel this is a real opportunity to consolidate on work and move on into the next level, importantly, in the courses that our young people have chosen for next year.

 

New Timetable Set-Up on Teams

Firstly, it is safe to say that setting up classes for a new timetable on Teams and doing so remotely is a huge logistical task! I am extremely grateful to the PTs and wider staff for their solution-focused approach and administrative support around doing this.  It shows how much Bell Baxter is focused around putting our young people at the heart and it gives me a lot of pride to know that.  Much appreciated.

Set up will take place next week from Monday 27th April.  Each Faculty will have a different day for set up (see table below).  Set up involves all parents being emailed a Teams code for their young person on that day.  It is important that you give this to your young person and ensure they go into Teams, find their class and enter the code.  Once they do so, they become a member of that teacher's Team and can access specific work from Monday 4th May 2020.

Faculty

Teams Set up Day

Year groups moving class?

Languages

Monday 27th April

S1 same class. S2-S5 move on a year

Technologies

S1 same class. S2-S5 move on a year

Maths & Computing

Tuesday 28th April

S1 same class. S2-S5 move on a year

Social Subjects

Wednesday 29th April

S1 same class. S2-S5 move on a year

English

Thursday 30th April

S1-S3 same class. S4 & S5 move on a year

Expressive Arts

S1 same class. S2-S5 move on a year

Health & Wellbeing

Friday 1st May

S1 same class. S2-S5 move on a year

Science

S1-S2 same class. S3-S5 move on a year.

 

Monitoring Pupil Engagement in Learning

As we progress it will be important that we know as a school who is and isn't engaging with their learning on a regular basis.  Whilst I am very sensitive to the range of difficulties you may be managing as a family, we are here to support and minimise any negative impact on your child's learning.  Gathering information in this way allows us to understand the scale of learning that is taking place and address any barriers to learning working alongside you.

At the moment I am asking teachers to set work a minimum of once per week, providing tasks and activities that will sustain learning for the week however more may be required depending on the year group and course.  If anyone is struggling to manage, again please let us know by emailing the Guidance teacher directly and help will be forthcoming.  Guidance direct emails are listed below.

2020/21
S1 Guidance (new) Anne-Louise Cunneen anne-louise.cunneen@fife.gov.uk
S2 Guidance Carron Pour carron.pour@fife.gov.uk
S3 Guidance Tara Pollock tara.pollock@fife.gov.uk
S4 Guidance Kirsty Simcock kirsty.simcock@fife.gov.uk
S5/6 Guidance Niall Duncan niall.duncan@fife.gov.uk

 

Fife Music Instructors on Teams
For those young people who receive music instruction from the school, please be aware that there is also a Teams set up for these classes to allow ongoing practice.  If anyone has any questions or issues with accessing instructors please either email the Principal Teacher of Expressive Arts, David Beckett (david.beckett@fife.gov.uk) or alternatively you can speak to Fife's Music Co-ordinator, Mrs Sandra Taylor (sandra.taylor@fife.gov.uk).  Either would be more than happy to help.

 

Talk to us!

Finally, we love hearing from parents and, particularly in these times, it makes us all feel a wee bit less isolated from each other.  Over the next weeks we will be exploring ways to build that ongoing dialogue with our parent community, so that you can give us feedback on how we are doing, what is working well, what could be better and ideas for how we might improve.  If anyone has any ideas please feel free to email the school and share, it would be great to get some inspiration!

Look out also for the new school website that we are hoping to launch soon...more to follow!

In the meantime, it looks as if it is going to be another beautiful day - thank goodness for a bit of sunshine to keep us all going!  I wish you all well.  Keep safe and I'll be back in touch soon.

Best wishes

 

Carol Ann

 

Carol Ann Penrose

Rector

Bell Baxter High School

Carslogie Road

Cupar

KY15 4HY

Tel: 01334 659459

VOIP 451741

Website: http://www.bbhs-online.co.uk

Twitter:  @Bellbaxter_HS