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05.03.2021 Update to Parents

 5 March 2021

 

Dear Parent/Carer,

Please find below a copy of a press release from Dundee City Council regarding the return of face-to-face teaching from Monday 15 March 2021.

SCHOOL RETURN PREPARATIONS UNDERWAY

With preparations now underway for the return of face-to-face teaching from Monday March 15, families of secondary pupils are being advised that classes will only be available on a limited basis before the Easter holiday.

Safety measures, including two metre physical distancing inside secondary schools for all staff and young people, will result in restrictions on the number of pupils who can return to school buildings at any one time.

Distancing does not apply in primaries, so the return of P4-7 classes will go ahead full-time from Monday March 15, if its judged safe to do so.

Secondary staff are now organising how young people can get back to their classes on a part-time basis until the Easter break starts (from the end of the school day on Thursday April 1).

Priority for classroom teaching time will be given to S4-6 pupils working towards national qualifications.

Staff resources needed to deliver the return under the national distancing restrictions will mean that live remote teaching will look very different for those remaining at home. Pupils will be advised of more online education resources to cover their learning in the meantime.

Secondary places will remain available for the children of key workers and vulnerable children.

However, with the organisational challenges surrounding the return of more pupils, it is essential that key workers requiring support ensure that requests for all places are a last resort and only requested for days where no other option is available.

City council children and families convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “Each of our secondary schools is now making arrangements based on their own local circumstances and details will be sent to families as soon as possible.

“We are trying to be as flexible as possible in planning the return of secondary pupils, and I would ask for patience from families for the fourteen days of school that this return will cover.

“This has been a very challenging time for all our pupils and families and I understand these return arrangements may cause some difficulties.

“I would urge everyone to stick with it and ensure that we can continue to keep all our pupils and staff safe after we have come so far.

“Our secondary schools have to ensure that two metre distancing is maintained at all times in the run-up to the break.

“All going well, all pupils will be back full-time after the Easter holiday. But in the meantime, this will be very much a phased return.”

Pupils and staff will be expected to wear face coverings in secondary schools at all times, unless exemptions apply.

Lateral flow tests will continue to be offered to S4-6 pupils and school staff.

Nursery and P1-3 classes have been back in their buildings since Monday February 22.

The city council has a coronavirus information page for schools on its website.

Schools will be in direct contact with families about their own arrangements.

Please be assured, at Baldragon Academy we are working hard to develop a model that builds and delivers on these key messages.  Working closely with your Parent Council, our Senior Leader Team and Extended Leadership Team of Principal Teachers, I will be sharing our plans as soon as possible and to allow you to plan, as a family, for your child’s phased return to school.

At this stage, I want to give absolute clarity.  Under the current Scottish Government restrictions and our school’s safe working procedures and risk assessments, we are very limited to the number of pupils we can have in the building at any one time.  The priority to maximise face-to-face learning opportunities for our young people will evidently impact our capacity to deliver remote learning as per our current model - every teacher will be used for face-to-face teaching from 15 March.  However, my intention is to deliver a sensible, safe and balanced model, and one which builds on the National e-Learning offer (Live learning, Recorded Learning, Supported Learning) to ensure continuity for our remote learners.  Therefore, pupils should continue to follow their normal school timetable unless specifically invited into school for face-to-face learning and the rephasing of pupils to our school building.

Once again, thank you for ongoing patience and support as, together, we adapt to change.

My very best wishes and please stay safe.

H McAninch

Headteacher

Update to Parents 26.02.2021

Dear Parent/Carer,

 

As you will be aware, since 22 February 2021, we have been welcoming specifically identified senior phase (S4/S5/S6) pupils back into our school building for the completion of SQA related practical activities.  Working to strict Scottish Government criteria, this means our young people can now access their practical learning as they work towards their qualifications.  Observing our senior pupils throughout this week, I am exceptionally proud to see them conduct themselves so responsibly and respectfully - our school values in action.

 

Adjustments to remote learning – teacher availability

As we now have an increase of pupils within our school building (senior phase practical, key worker and identified vulnerable young people) there is an increased demand on our teaching staff to plan and deliver a wider range of learning experiences.  Therefore, you may see some adjustments to our remote learning offer.

 

Pupils engaging in remote learning should continue to follow their regular timetable.  Please be assured that our teachers will continue their commitment to providing remote learning experiences through a mix of approaches, such as live lessons, recorded lessons and supported lessons.  However, due to increasing in-school commitments, our teachers may now not always be available for ‘real time’ engagement.

 

In addition to remote learning approaches at Baldragon Academy, I’d like to remind you of the many additional supports that remain available for remote learning through the Education Scotland National e-Learning Offer:

  • LIVE lessons are being organised and delivered through eSgoil – for more information on their live webinar sessions and other learning supports, including how to register, please visit www.e-sgoil.com.
  • RECORDED learning video sessions, available via West OS, provide recorded learning experiences for children and young people. All young people can access these resources using the West OS tile on the Glow Launchpad or the link on the Baldragon Academy Remote Learning Portal.
  • SUPPORTED content material form part of the National e-Learning Offer and are a series of spreadsheets that cover a number of senior phase national qualifications: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/nationalelearning/resources-2/.

     

S2 to S3 Course Choice

Building on the overwhelming success of our senior phase course choice information evenings, I am delighted to inform S2 parents that we will be holding an S2 to S3 virtual course choice information session on Monday 8 March 2021 at 6.30pm.  This event will be held via Microsoft Teams with course choice for S2 into S3 commencing on Tuesday 9 March 2021, concluding Monday 22 March 2021.  More details, including how to access the session, will be sent to all S2 parents shortly via groupcall/Xpressions.

 

Additional Information

Like you, I am eager for news and the next Scottish Government announcement.  I will keep you informed as I receive information which affects schools, as appropriate to the national route map out of COVID.

 

In the meantime, my very best wishes and please stay safe.

 

H McAninch

Headteacher

 

Course Choice Information 2021-22

There is lots of information available regarding course choice information for the coming year.

There have been a couple of technical hitches with links to the course booklets and oher course information so if you have had any problems accessing these then please click on the link below for all the information. 

http://baldragon.ea.dundeecity.sch.uk/school-information/documents/curriculum-and-course-choice

S2 to S3 Course Choice event from Skills Development Scotland

It’s course choice time of year and further information for our current S2 about course choices for S3 will be available very soon.

It’s course choice time of year and further information for our current S2 about course choices for S3 will be available very soon but in the meantime you may find this opportunity being offered by Skills Development Scotland useful for both you & your child.

They are offering expert advice and information about guiding your child through the course choice process. 

More more information and link to register for the online event click here  tinyurl.com/y7awytdo.

CANI Coaching Parent Empowerment Programme

CANI Coaching

Working alongside CANICoaching we are delighted to invite our parents and carers to take part our Parent Empowerment Programme.

This will be delivered at Baldragon Academy 30th Nov- 4th Dec 2020.

If you are interested please email the school baldragonacademy@dundeeschools.scot

Click link https://tinyurl.com/yykplhjh or for further information please contact your child's Guidance Teacher.