Weekly Update 05/02/2021

Thank you

Following the announcement from the First Minister on Tuesday we are aware that home learning will be continuing for some time yet.  We would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you again to all our young people, school staff, parent/carers and extended members of family.  We are very aware that personal circumstances are different for everyone and at times it can be a real challenge but we are all doing the best job we can.  Please be kind to yourself and remember that although the school building is closed to many we are still available to provide support, advice and reassurance. 

Staffing Update

We are pleased to announce that we have had two new members of staff join our team at Kelso High School this week:

Mr Terry McColm has joined us as our new Modern Studies teacher

Mr David Simmons has joined our Support for Learning faculty

SQA Update

There will be central communication shared by SBC early next week with regards to some of our senior students being invited to attend school on a very limited basis from the 22nd February.

The main points from the statement that was shared by the FM on Tuesday are:

  • “a part-time return, albeit on a limited basis, for senior phase pupils to allow in-school practical work that is necessary for the completion of national qualification courses. Initially though, it is intended that there will be no more than around 5-8% of a secondary school roll physically present at any one time for these purposes
  • if required a small increase in existing provision for children and young people with significant additional support needs where there is a clear and demonstrable necessity.
  • significant expansion of testing in educational settings to support the return to nurseries and schools in the weeks ahead.
  • those who work in schools, and those who work in early learning and childcare settings attached to schools will be offered ‘at-home’ testing twice a week. All senior phase secondary school students will be offered this as well.”


Parental Feedback

This week we have received a number of positive emails from parents that have been shared with all staff and these have been greatly appreciated. The weekly parent survey has also provided us with valuable feedback along with sharing successes.  Our plan is to now pull this together into one document and share with all parents early next week.

S6 Fundraising

We have received a letter of thanks from all the committee on Borders Children’s Charity for the wonderful sum of money S6 pupils raised.

iPad Update

Please encourage your youngster to update the iOS software on their iPad.  It is essential to keep the iPads up to date with security protection and to make sure all the applications continue to run

Pupil Parliament – Week 3 Remote Learning Feedback Update

This week’s average figure on how people were feeling was a 3.3 out of 5.

What’s going well?

A quarter of students said they think the calls worked well for them this week.

“German was quite good this week because we all got to practice our reading aloud and got pointers about our pronunciation.”

Almost a third of pupils said that they like the communication between teacher and student and the quality of work set.

“All work was made clear and easy to understand.”

33% of the students said that they were content with their experience for this week, when asked “Please tell us one thing about home learning you think could be improved.”

“Nothing I think it’s all good.”

“I don’t think there is anything.”

What are we working to improve?

Work Load

We’ve noticed that a fair amount of students per week have mentioned the amount work, saying that it is too much. The school is working to figure out how to improve this, with things such as setting realistic deadlines. We have asked pupils for more detailed information on this and will report back next week.

Next Year

Pupil Parliament and Head Team have noticed the benefits of some measures put in place during COVID-19, such staggered lunches, because of this we have decided to ask pupils and staff their thoughts on certain measures and if we should keep them after COVID-19.

Bells? Yes or no?

Last term, the school to remove bells between classes and lunch, 76% of students said they wanted bells back, here are some of the reasons why;

“Without the bells it felt like there was no structure and it was confusing and we’re unsure as to the reason why there were no bells in the first place.”

“Sometimes the teachers forget so everyone gets out at different times then our next teacher gets us in trouble for being late, I think it would just help everyone know when the class ends.”

“Have bells because it’s more organised and there is a definite end to the class.”

Staggered Lunches

Staggered lunches, where juniors and seniors have separate lunch times, was implemented to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and follow government restrictions. This in fact was found to be beneficial in many other ways as 95% of the students say that they want to keep staggered lunches.

“Easier and calmer to get lunch. Less queues.”

“No struggle to get a seat and everybody gets their lunch in reasonable time.”

“It’s more relaxing and I can enjoy my lunch.”

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