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Christmas Message

 

23rd December 2020

Dear Parent/Carers

Your kindness and generosity has completely overwhelmed us during these challenging times. Your support and understanding have enabled us to deliver the highest standard of learning and teaching in the current circumstances. We really appreciate the work you have done to ensure that your young people are engaging in their learning and undertaking all tasks set by staff. We do not underestimate how difficult it is to turn your home in to a classroom. We ask for your continued support as we move forward into the new term.

I would like to thank you for your donations for our St Vincent De Paul Conference. It is sometimes difficult to believe that we can make a difference, however every single donation has made life a little easier for someone this Christmas. We raised £1000 and gave 75 bags of groceries to the local community. Our staff donated £1500 and yesterday they delivered a number of Christmas Hampers to our families.

These collective actions of the Family of St John’s remind me of the words of Saint Teresa of Calcutta.
“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do….but how much love we put in that action”. 

It is clear that The Family of St John’s has an abundance of love to share.

On Monday afternoon we shared the most wonderful celebration of Holy Mass with our School Chaplain, Father Michael. We were joined by the staff and pupils from Our Lady’s, St Peter & St Paul’s, St Mary’s, St Clements, St Ninians and St Joseph’s Primary Schools. We were also delighted to welcome the children and staff of Woodlea Nursery to Mass. This was indeed a very special time for all of us in the Family of St John’s.

I hope that you and your family are all well and that you have a very happy Christmas.

Wishing you the Peace and Joy of Christmas
God Bless
Fiona McLagan

SQA Announcement – National 5, Higher and Advanced Highers

Friday 18th December 2020

SQA Announcement – National 5, Higher and Advanced Highers.

Dear Parent / Carer and Senior Pupil,

Higher and Advanced Higher

As I am sure you are already aware, the Scottish Government announced on 8th December that SQA examinations at both Higher and Advanced Higher levels will not be a part of the certification process this year. 

SQA have written to schools anticipating that the approach to awarding Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications will follow broadly the same model and timeline set for National 5 courses, but with more flexibility around the nature of the learner evidence needed to inform awards.  As and when we have more detailed information, I assure you I will contact you again.

 

National 5

As you are aware, the Scottish Government announced, in October, that there would be no National 5 examinations this session.  The table below notes the process that the school, Dundee City Council and SQA will go through before this year’s final grades are awarded:

        November 2020 to March 2021

Teachers use guidance and assessment materials to help gather learner evidence.

 

January – April 2021

SQA requests, reviews and provides feedback on samples of assessment evidence from all schools.

 

March – May 2021

Teachers continue to use guidance and assessment materials to help gather learner evidence.

Schools and local authorities will work through SQA feedback and carry out their own quality assurance of the provisional results.

 

By 28th May 2021

Schools submit quality assured provisional results.

 

June 2021

SQA carries out national check of provisional results and may follow up on any issues with schools and local authorities.

 

Home Learning

Staff have provided on going work for our young people to support them at home since we have moved to a short period of blended learning.  It is the expectation of staff and the Senior Leadership Team that all tasks will be completed and that pupils will be at the same stage when school recommences on Monday 11 January 2021.  If any pupil is struggling to access any of the materials on Teams they should contact the school as a matter of urgency to ensure that they have caught up with any and all tasks by our return.

 

Question and Answer session for parents/carers and young people

I fully appreciate that this year’s SQA awarding process is unique given the extremely challenging times we are continuing to live and work in.  With this in mind and to support parents/carers and young people, Mr Black and I will hold a Q&A session in January.  The details of this will be communicated to you on our return from the Christmas holidays.

 

Certification date

SQA will send final results to all candidates on Tuesday 10th August 2021. Those young people who have signed up for MySQA will receive their results via e mail or text message from 8am that day.

 

Further information

For more details in relation to SQA’s announcements last week, please click on the following links:

 

News about National 5 results in 2020-21 – a message for parents and carers - SQA

 

SQA comments on Deputy First Minister’s decision to cancel Higher and Advanced Higher exams - SQA

 

NPFS statement on the cancellation of 2020/21 Higher and Advanced Higher Exams and the plans for the delivery of the N5 assessments – National Parent Forum of Scotland

 

To stay up to date on National Qualifications in 2021, visit www.sqa.org.uk/NQ2021.

 

Your sincerely,

Fiona McLagan

Head Teacher

 

Arrangements for the new term

 

22nd December 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

Following the First Minister’s announcement on Saturday.  I am writing to confirm our arrangements for the new term.  The school holiday will be extended until Monday 11th January 2021.  At this point we will continue to provide on-line learning. 

All young people know how to access Teams and must complete all work set.  If there are any issues please contact your child’s Guidance Teacher.

All staff will return to school on the 7th January, we will be open at the following times

Monday – Wednesday                        8.45 – 3.40pm

Thursday – Friday                              8.45 – 2.50pm

If you are a key worker and had a place in one of the CSC earlier this year, please complete the form using the link below to confirm your place.

If circumstances have changed and you now have key worker status please complete the form using the link below and we will confirm your place.

All forms should be returned by 9.00am tomorrow 23rd December to enable us to plan for the 7th January 2021.

 

https://bit.ly/34zbAKL

 

Yours faithfully

Fiona McLagan

Head Teacher

DUNDEE NURSERY AND SCHOOL ARRANGMENTS FOLLOWING FESTIVE BREAK

DUNDEE NURSERY AND SCHOOL ARRANGMENTS FOLLOWING FESTIVE BREAK

Following the First Minister’s announcement on Saturday about new coronavirus restrictions, Dundee nurseries and schools are now preparing for changed arrangements for education after New Year.

Nurseries and schools will only be open from what would have been the start of term from Thursday January 7 2021 for children of key workers and vulnerable children.

The details of key workers who used the Community Support Centres system for childcare during lockdown have been retained by nurseries and schools, therefore those places continue to be available from January 7.

Meanwhile, those parents who regard their employment to have changed from the summer to now have key worker status are being urged to contact their head teacher to discuss a place for their children. They are being asked to do this before the end of term at 12 noon on Wednesday (Dec 23).

Vulnerable families will be contacted directly by their nursery or school.

The festive holiday is being extended for all other pupils until Monday January 11 2021.

From then, they will stay at home as remote learning is provided by their nursery or school until at least Monday January 18.

Nurseries and schools will be confirming these arrangements before the end of term on Wednesday.

City council children and families convener Stewart Hunter said: “While these changes must be frustrating for families, I hope that everyone can understand that we must do all we can to guard against the new strain of coronavirus.

“It is vital that we can provide childcare for key workers and those who used  Community Support Centres during the original lockdown and the summer holidays will have a place.I would ask other people to think carefully about this resource and that it is only key workers who request places.”               

Councillor Hunter continued: “This week, nurseries and schools will be explaining directly to children and families exactly what forms of remote learning will be available and how children and young people can continue their learning while they stay at home from January 11.

“Nurseries will also provide activities for young children for that period.

“We will give further information to families about the return to nursery and school when this is available.

“In the meantime, I hope that everyone can enjoy this very different Christmas and stick with the guidance to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.”

Due to the changed arrangements, admissions dates for all young children who were due to start a Local Authority nursery for the first time in January 2021 will now be re-arranged and families will be contacted directly.   

S4-S6 Blended Learning Update

15 December 2020

 

Dear Parent/Carer

Further to my letter of 10 December 2020, I am writing to inform you that it is our intention to extend the period of blended learning for S4-S6 until Wednesday 23 December 2020.  Staff will continue to ensure that appropriate and relevant work is available on Teams.  Young people in S4-6 should not attend school until Thursday 7 January 2021.  We have provided laptops for all those young people who require one. Please be assured that this is not a requirement to self-isolate and all other activity outwith school can take place as normal. 

Young people in S1-S3 who are not self-isolating should attend school as normal.

Can I please take this opportunity to remind everyone to continue to follow Scottish Government and NHS advice on helping reduce the spread of coronavirus: ‘FACTS’:

  • Face coverings in enclosed spaces
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Clean your hands and surfaces regularly
  • Two metre social distancing
  • Self-isolate and book a test if you develop symptoms

 

There are additional things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19

Do:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards.

 

If your child has or develops any symptoms, the whole household should self-isolate. Please arrange for a test for the symptomatic person/people by calling 0800 028 2816 or visiting www.NHSinform.scot/test-and-protect. Children/young people displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend school.

Your messages of support are very much appreciated at this time.  Take care and stay safe.

On behalf of the family of St John’s can I wish you all the peace and joy of this Christmas time. 

God Bless,

Fiona McLagan

Head Teacher

S4-S6 Blended Learning

10 December 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

Due to a high level of staff absence it is necessary to move to a short period of blended learning for our young people in S4-S6.  Staff will ensure that appropriate and relevant work is available on Teams.  Young people in S4-6 should not attend school until Wednesday 16 December 2020.  We have provided laptops for all those young people who require one. Please be assured that this is not a requirement to self-isolate and all other activity outwith school can take place as normal.  We will review the situation on Tuesday 15th December 2020.

 

Young people in S1-S3 who are not self-isolating should attend school as normal.

 

Can I please take this opportunity to remind everyone to continue to follow Scottish Government and NHS advice on helping reduce the spread of coronavirus: ‘FACTS’:

  • Face coverings in enclosed spaces
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Clean your hands and surfaces regularly
  • Two metre social distancing
  • Self-isolate and book a test if you develop symptoms

 

There are additional things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19

Do:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards.

 

If your child has or develops any symptoms, the whole household should self-isolate. Please arrange for a test for the symptomatic person/people by calling 0800 028 2816 or visiting www.NHSinform.scot/test-and-protect. Children/young people displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend school.

Your support is very much appreciated at this time.

Take care and stay safe.

Fiona McLagan

Head Teacher