Message to Pupils in S4-S6 Not Attending School in the Next Two Weeks

I’m sorry we are not going to get to see you next week but if infection rates and the R-number keep moving in the right direction, I fully expect to see you all- though not necessarily all at the same time- in March. We miss how it feels when you are all in the building and look forward to the speedy return of that ‘busy building’ feeling.

We have a better picture now of what needs to happen to get you your qualifications. Soon after the announcement of 2nd March we will share details of how assessment will be organised and what will be assessed after the Easter break and to that end we are working on the next version of the assessment calendar that we previously shared with you. For now, however, my message remains the same as the one I have been giving and SQA have been giving since January: these days are about covering the course, learning skills for assessment activities, making mistakes and learning even more from them. Nothing is decided yet but your every effort puts you in a better place and every activity you undertake gives you more knowledge and more skills for the post Easter assessment phase. 

In March we will be writing an update report for you which will both help you with Choice of Course and help focus study/revision over and after Easter.

I know only too well how dull and monotonous this way of living and learning is and so innovate yes, find treats and rewards, yes but please don’t lose sight of the fact that at some point we need to get together and show what you know as part of the process of recognising your learning. 

Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey- it is clear that you are less fond of following the timetable less than the younger pupils. Please be assured that I have reflected on these messages. My concern that I will deal with is that the interaction between you and the teacher needs to be as strong as possible to make maximum progress and teachers are not available for direct interaction beyond class time. What I will do this week is talk with PTs about what successful adaptations they have made to their senior class delivery which still allows direct teacher-pupil engagement (essential to prepare you for the assessment phase) but better reflects the complicated lives you are living and pressures you are dealing with. I’ll also meet with some pupil representative groups to better understand the feedback. Evolution rather than revolution of our approach is my ambition.

Stay focused, stay busy and stay safe. When any or all of them become difficult to do, talk to teachers, talk to Guidance and if needed we have people who can talk to you and help you.

All the best,

Dr J Vance