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Welcome


Welcome

Welcome to the Westhill Academy website – we hope you find the information here useful.

Mrs A. Reid

Head Teacher

 

8th January 2021

Learning and Supports from 11th January 

I hope everyone had a restful break over Christmas. Obviously the start of this term is not as any of us had hoped, but I want to reassure you that staff have spent this week working hard to ensure that everything is in place for our pupils’ return to learning next week.

Below you will find information on remote learning, as well as an explanation of what keyworkers’ children in school can expect.

Remote Learning

In terms of arrangements for remote learning, each subject teacher will usually post work and a message on your child(ren)’s class Team on a Monday morning with:

  • Arrangements for the week ahead
  • Times of any live meetings with their teachers (where feasible)
  • Work to be completed and submitted for the following Monday (usually)
  • Details of times when pupils can join the class Team to ask questions of their teachers about the work set

A small number of subjects may not be able to set work on a Monday, due to the way their classes are timetabled, however arrangements and submission dates will be made clear to pupils in these areas.

Any live sessions will usually take place during a time when pupils are ordinarily timetabled for that subject, to avoid any double booking of pupils. We will follow our current school timings (9am - 3:30pm).

Feedback:

  • Teachers will provide feedback, as and when required, and in line with their Faculty feedback policy
  • A new channel will usually be created each week in your child’s class teams for ease of reference
  • Pupils will be expected to access their work using the assignments function in Teams and submit it here, too, in most cases

How?:-

We ask that every pupil uses the Westhill Academy logo as their Teams profile picture, and the attached Digital Literacy newsletter explains how to do this.

 

As in the previous episode of remote learning, we recognise that young people can only do what is manageable within their context – e.g, some siblings may be sharing devices, connectivity may not be reliable, etc. We will be keeping in touch with some families to support them with this, and I would ask that you contact your child(ren)’s Principal Teacher of Guidance if you wish to discuss any issues that may affect their learning, and that we may be able to help with.

 

Keyworkers’ children in school

To ensure equality of learning opportunity, pupils who are eligible to be in school will be supported to undertake the same remote learning as their peers are accessing from home. They will have access to a computer throughout the day, as well as paper and other resources. It would be appreciated if pupils could please bring headphones to school with them, although we can provide these if necessary. Pupils who were issued with a laptop under the ‘Connecting Scotland’ initiative should please bring this with them for use in school.

As per Laurence Findlay’s letter of 6th January, pupils are expected to remain on school premises during breaks and lunchtimes, to further reduce any potential community transmission of COVID-19. The school canteen will be open for the purchase of hot or cold snacks or lunches, or pupils may of course bring a packed lunch if preferred. Pupils may use the canteen throughout breaks and lunchtimes. Pupils will have access to designated areas of the school only, and must not venture beyond these. At this time, all pupils will be required to keep 2m distance from each other as well as staff in all areas. Face coverings must be worn as before, with S4-6 being required to keep these on in learning areas, also.

Pupils should attend in school uniform from Monday, please.

Please be advised that our policy on Adverse Weather School Closures is still in effect, and we would contact parents/carers should this need to be applied on any day.

If your child no longer needs to be in school, or will not be attending on a particular day, please contact the school office to let us know.

 SQA courses and prelims.

As things stand, our S4-6 Assessment Block/’prelims’ are postponed. As soon as we get further details and direction from the SQA, and have had time to determine what this means for our pupils, we will of course update them and parents/carers. Please be assured that ‘prelims’ are not the only opportunity for learners to demonstrate their skills, knowledge & understanding, and we will provide and support every type of assessment possible for the maximum benefit of our pupils.

 

Staff availability

Each day, a small number of staff will be deployed in the Academy to support the pupils who are in school.

Additionally, please remember that just as last time, a number of teachers will have their own children at home, too, since their eligibility for in school places is the same as everyone else’s.

Both of these circumstances mean that staff may not be online and available at all points throughout the school day.

Some teachers may post work or reply to emails in the evenings or at weekends, but this is again due to their own circumstances, and does not mean they are available for contact at these times.

 

As always, we will do our best to respond to pupils and to parents/carers as soon as possible, but we ask for your patience and understanding at this challenging time for all.

 

Additional information

  • Digital Literacy newsletter: a reminder of some remote learning tips and ‘how tos’, plus some new information that will help you to support your child(ren) in their online learning.
  • English as an Additional Language (EAL) Digital Literacy resources: linked to the above, Aberdeenshire Council has produced a series of videos covering a range of Digital Literacy topics in languages including English, Arabic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish and Russian. The videos can be accessed via this link: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/as/ealaberdeenshire/learning-at-home/#Videos
  • Educational Psychology Service phoneline: a service for parents/carers or professionals who would like to talk through any education or  wellbeing concerns about a child or young person.

 

 

I hope that this update enables you and your child(ren) to approach next week with confidence. As always, please contact us if you need any further information or support. If your query is a general (or technical!) one about remote learning, please email the school address; if you wish to discuss something specific to your child(ren)’s learning or wellbeing, please contact their Principal Teacher of Guidance.

 

I will be in touch again as we know more about SQA in particular – rest assured we are keeping a very close eye on this, as I am sure you will appreciate.

 

In the meantime, I hope you and your families are keeping safe and well.

Kind Regards

Alison Reid

Head Teacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening Times


 

Currently, due to COVID 19 safety procedures, the school hours are as follows:-

Period 1 - 9 to 10.30 (Tutorial in P1 class)

Interval 10.30 to 10.45

Period 2 10.45 to 12.05

Lunch 12.05 to 12.45

(Staggered start- S1= 11.50; S2=11.55; S3=12noon)

Period 3 12.45 to 2.05

Comfort break 2.05 to 2.10

Period 4 2.10 to 3.30pm

Pupils are allowed in to the building from 8.55 and the teaching block from 10.40 and 12.40.

To stagger entrance at 8.55,  Junior Phase  -S1/S2/S3 - enter by the Glass Corridor and the Senior Phase, a few minutes later, by the Main Reception.

All entrances have sanitiser and are required to be used every time, unless exempted.

Toilets are always available on the ground floor, as required.

 

Normally, the school runs from 9.00 am -12.05 pm and 1.05 pm - 4.00 pm.

9.00 - 9.10 am Tutorial (Registration.)

9.10 - 10.30 am Period 1.  Morning Break 10.30 - 10.45 am.

10.45 - 12.05 pm Period 2.  Lunch 12.05 - 1.05 pm.

1.05 - 2.25 pm Period 3.  Afternoon break 2.25 - 2.40 pm.

2.40 - 4.00 pm Period 4.

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