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21 Dec 2020

Head's Letter re Arrangements for the Start of Spring Term, January 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians

Following the First Minister’s announcements on 19th December, I am writing to you to give further information about arrangements for the start of next term.

Supported Home Learning
In the week beginning 11th January we will run lessons through Supported Home Learning for all year groups. We will send out a further communication on Friday 8th January, to remind all students about how to register at the start of every day. Lessons will be run through Teams and teaching staff will be available to support the girls and answer their questions. For our nursery children, there will be distance learning activities provided each day and small group interactive call opportunities with the nursery teachers. We will use the online Learning Journals platform and also Microsoft Teams to facilitate this provision. The First Minister has indicated that online learning should remain in place ‘at least until 18th January’, so we hope that we will be able to welcome the girls back into the classroom from that date, but will be in contact in the course of the first week of term in order to confirm that.

Children of Key Workers
We are planning to run a service in school for the children of key workers, where both parents come under this description. This service will run from 8am until 4pm Monday to Friday. I will write again on January 6th, to ask you to let us know if you will need to use this provision.

Mock Examinations
We have made changes to the timings of the mock examinations that were planned for January. Mock examinations for Upper 5 students will start on Thursday 28th January and run until Friday 5th February. For students in Lower and Upper 6, Mock Examinations will begin on 15th February. We have made this change in order to reduce the risk of disruption to these examinations for the students concerned. All examination candidates should expect to start new course material at the beginning of term.

Boarders
Please use this link to access the text of the First Minister’s announcement on 19th December. Scotland will move into Level Four from 26th December and there are travel restrictions across the UK. https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-update-first-ministers-speech/ We are aware that some families have booked flights for their daughters to return to the UK in time for the start of term, while others are currently with their guardians. We are in contact with all relevant authorities and will write again as soon we have information, to confirm what Houldsworth will be permitted to offer and what will be possible regarding travel to school. Supported Home Learning, as described above, will of course be available to all students.

With best wishes to you all for a restful and peaceful break.

 

Alex Hems

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