As our school community completes the second week of full return it is rewarding to see staff and learners reconnecting. As we emerge from lockdown, acknowledging our individual journeys, we move towards a new definition of what is “normal”. I would like to thank you for all your support and patience as we continue our journey together. Our use of “ADAPT” in our vision with the values that underpin this are evident across our community, especially with our young people.
I would also like to give a special note of thanks to the staff at Craigmount High School who continue to work tirelessly to ensure safe, high quality experiences for our young people.
Please find an update regarding several areas of school life.
You should have received a letter from the authority giving information on a range of topics including face coverings. If you have not: you can find the letter here. There is detailed guidance from the Scottish Government regarding face coverings (available here – pages 16-19, bullet points 79 – 92)
A key point from the guidance is:
86. Face coverings should also be worn in the following circumstances (except where an adult or child/young person is exempt from wearing a covering):
• where adults and young people in secondary schools (including special schools and independent and grant aided schools) are moving about the school in corridors and confined communal areas (including toilets) where physical distancing is particularly difficult to maintain; and
• in line with the current arrangements for public transport, where adults and children and young people aged 5 and over are travelling on dedicated school transport (see School Transport section).
This approach reflects precautionary judgements based on the latest scientific advice and the experience of school reopening to date. It is limited to the specific environments identified above for the following reasons:
• These are areas where mixing between different (age) groups is more likely, increasing the potential for transmission of the virus;
• Experience and feedback has demonstrated that crowding and close contact in these areas is more likely, and that voices may be raised resulting in greater potential for creation of aerosols;
• The scope for effective ventilation is often less;
• There are less compelling counter-balancing arguments regarding the potential impact of face coverings on educational outcomes in these areas of the school estate; and
• For school transport, the adoption of an approach to face coverings applying to children and young people aged 5 and over will be consistent with the current approach on public transport.
From Monday 31st August learners should have face coverings with them in school for the uses and reasons stated above. The guidance gives clear direction for any learners considered exempt from wearing a face covering.
Please note the following key points in using a face covering, these are important to follow so to avoid inadvertently increasing the risks of transmission:
• Face coverings should not be shared with others.
• Before putting on or removing the face covering, hands should be cleaned by washing with soap and water or hand sanitiser.
• Make sure the face covering is the right size to cover the nose, mouth and chin. Children should be taught how to wear the face covering properly, including not touching the front and not pulling it under the chin or into their mouth.
• When temporarily storing a face covering (e.g. during classes), it should be placed in a washable, sealed bag or container. Avoid placing it on surfaces, due to the possibility of contamination.
• Re-usable face coverings should be washed after each day of use in school at 60 degrees centigrade or in boiling water.
• Disposable face coverings must be disposed of safely and hygienically. Children and young people should be encouraged not to litter and to place their face coverings in the general waste bin. They are not considered to be clinical waste in the same way that used PPE may be.
The guidance provides this link to a video (1 min 33 sec) showing how to make a simple face covering.
If you need help with acquiring a face covering please contact Ms Jack, Development Officer (Pupil Equity).
Learning, teaching and assessment
Curricular areas are reconnecting with learners and building a clear picture of where your child is at in their learning and what are the best next steps. All staff realise the different experiences that learners have had and are empathetic while differentiating accordingly.
Please note that some curricular areas will have diagnostic assessments for S4 – S6 in September to support and inform the planning for differentiated learning and teaching. Learners will be assessed on learning outcomes which have been covered since returning to school in August. These diagnostic assessments will be the first piece of assessment evidence which we are gathering as part of a portfolio of evidence for our learners. This is a valuable opportunity for learners to receive feedback on their progress so far. We are in the process of collating an Assessment Calendar for this session, this will be sent out to parents/carers in the coming weeks to allow you to support your young people in managing their workload effectively. This may be subject to change as SQA update their expectations of assessments this session, but we will let you know of any updates and amendments as they arise.
In addition to faculty interventions, we will be implementing a number of school-wide measures to support all learners in achieving their full potential.
Information for S1 parents/carers
S1 learners have been emailed this week with their pin numbers for their parent pay account. This means that all students in S1-S6 will be able to purchase the items on sale each lunchtime in our school canteen, when money is added to their parent pay account online. Currently this is a selection of sandwiches and baguettes, drinks, crisps and snacks. All students who are entitled to free school meals will have £2.70 added to their account each day and they can choose from the selection available at each lunchtime.
We appreciate that S1 learners can forget their lunch at times. If this does happen can we please ask that parents add lunch money to their parent pay account so their child can access the canteen. If your child cannot contact you, the student can speak with the office, who will be given a lunch token to take to the canteen. The office will phone the parents/carers to inform them that this has been done and that they must top up the parent pay account to cover this amount. This would save any parents/carers from entering the school building and thus minimise the risk of transmission. Thank-you for your support with this.
Congratulations Ishrat Rahim, S6!
Ishrat was the overall winner for the Paolozzi Prize for Art last year. This is a fantastic achievement and we are very proud of Ishrat and her success. Below is picture of her winning entry with text explaining it’s complexity.
Ishrat’s project explores the conflict between her Britishness, her Bangladeshi heritage and her identity as a young woman. She was shocked to learn from her family that women in Bangladesh have no power without men. Her work is an exploration of female power and its oppression through colonialism and patriarchy.
The symbolism of the jackfruit as a representation of Bangladeshi women – a tough, spiky fruit, defending its seed, as the Bangladeshi woman fiercely protects her family – is central to this piece. The individual ‘jackfruits’ are made of handloom cotton from rural Bangladesh; they are formed using a rice-flour paste (which Bangladeshi women use to starch their saris) made by Ishrat’s grandmother.
The cups are positioned to represent the cycle of the moon (and reference the fertility of women), facing in different directions at different points on the sash. They are placed in clusters to signify the importance of communities, and decorated using traditional embroidery techniques that Ishrat learned from her mother.
Embroidery was used because of Bangladesh’s rich textile craft heritage, much of which was decimated by the British. It is also a reference to richly decorated colonial army uniforms: by using it Ishrat wanted to take back control on behalf of Bangladesh. The line of the huge queen-like collar that is traced by the explosions of jagged jackfruit shapes (three groups of a small cone paired with a large one, to represent the mother caring for the child) is a further reference to colonialism.
The result is a powerful expression of injustice on behalf of the Bangladeshi women who have suffered at the hands of colonialism and patriarchy. The portrait of her mother as a confident, strong, powerful woman defies the patriarchal understanding of a what a Bangladeshi woman is.
Please do not hesitate to contact the school if there is anything you wish to discuss. We hope you and our learners have a wonderful weekend!