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Over the current school closure, please contact your child’s class teacher by email if you have any queries about online learning. If you have any other concerns, please contact Meg Snedden, Acting Head Teacher, using the following email: meg.snedden@highland.gov.uk

Brace yourselves…for a full-on, action packed health and well-being week

That’s right…as a school MOL is on the move next week. Together we are going to get out as much as we can, learn some fitness and sports routines, enjoy a focus on social and emotional well-being and learn how to keep ourselves healthy with food and nutrition.

So what’s in store for us?

    • On Monday, you will have a Health and Well-Being (HWB) grid assigned on your google classroom for the week. This is the IDL grid for next week. We will not be traveling away from home on a virtual MOL tour, but instead in our homes and around our community, following current safety guidance.
    • Thanks to our house captains who have created a different fitness routine for us for every day of the week – wear GREEN for your workout on Monday with Greenwood – woohoo! The IDL grid will let you know about the order of the other houses during the week.
    • Massive thanks to a great number of friends, families and staff who have contributed to lots of varied activities for the week. All the information is on the HWB grid, and we’ll give updates on the blog so no-one misses out.
    • We will aim for a ‘live’ workout meet together for the whole school and community at 2.00pm on Thursday May 28th.
    • On Friday May 29th it is Highland Hospice’s wear yellow day. As our school charity for this year we have planned fundraiser for Highland Hospice during the year. For now, we have taken the decision in the current circumstances to raise awareness of this day by encouraging everyone to wear yellow and to design a sunflower for display in their window. We know families may decide to donate to the hospice, and as a school we have raised over £700 for the charity this session.
    • AND finally, let’s get moving…we invite everyone in the school community to join us on our epic REAL journey to cover 10,000km together! Wow – a MOL-a-thon! This is a journey which links to our World Tour theme as we travel the distance between the equator and the North Pole. Together with staff and pupils from ELC-P7, we have 500 members in our immediate school community. When we add in parents and other family members who might join us on our mighty trek we will have many more on the move. So we have set this challenge for ourselves for our HWB week – can we move 10,000km together? For the school community this is a target of 20km per person, an average of 4km per day, Monday to Friday – go on…we can do it, our very own MOL-a-thon, especially with all the help of our friends and families.
    • For the MOL-a-thon, it would be good if everyone could download the Strava app (instructions from Miss Hutcheson on the link) https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h2huihjVR5C3N72Su894b1dQwe14SiRt/viewstrava app
  • What a lot to look forward to for the final week of May – let’s get going! I’m looking out my walking shoes this weekend, Mrs Snedden 😃Let's Get Moving

Pupil and Parent Survey Feedback

Please find below the results and feedback from the pupil and parent surveys carried out earlier this month. As mentioned before, the feedback was supportive and positive about our plan and approaches for learning at home. Although we are entering a new phase of beginning to prepare for a blended return to school in August, we are advised to continue with current provision for pupils in the meantime. You will find that we have reflected and acted on areas for development from your feedback. Thank you to everyone who was able to complete the surveys – a huge number of pupil responses in particular which was great to see. All your views are important to us!

MOL May 2020 Pupil and Parent Survey Feedback

 

thank you

 

North Atlantic Corona Challenge 2020 – Young people encouraged to take part

The Chair of the Highlands and Islands European Partnership is encouraging young people to take part in a special challenge to come up with creative ideas to help the North Atlantic region.

Sponsored by Highlands & Islands European Partnership, the North Atlantic Corona Challenge 2020 is looking for young people to develop their best idea to save lives, businesses and communities affected by the Corona virus in the North Atlantic region. This will take the form of a 48-hour online challenge to run from 29-31 May 2020 with monetary prizes for the top three ideas.

The Highland Council’s spokesman on Europe Cllr Jimmy Gray, Chair of the Highlands & Islands European Partnership welcomed the initiative. He said: “I know how creative and forward thinking our young people are so I’m sure there will be lots of constructive and imaginative suggestions put forward. This is a great opportunity, not only because of the financial prize money on offer for the top ideas, but Highlands & Islands Enterprise will provide entrepreneurship support to the winning team with a Highlands and Islands participant. It’s a chance to get involved in finding solutions for the future so I hope as many young people as possible living across the Highlands and Islands take up the challenge.”

Full details can be found at https://www.coronachallenge.fo/ or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/coronachallenge/ or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/coronachallenge.fo/

Registration of entries closes on May 28th.

News on schools re-opening & the ELC

Many of you will have listened to the news today detailing the government’s strategy for re-opening schools and provision of early learning and childcare in Scotland. Highland Council has issued a press release in response to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s briefing which you will find below, along with a link to the government’s road map, which can also be accessed on the Scottish government website.

There will now clearly be a period of considerable preparation to move forward with plans for the reopening of schools and the ELC. Please be assured that I will continue to keep you up to date with developments as they arise and to work together in partnership with parents and the community to bring about the best provision for our MOL children during these evolving phases. I will be in touch again soon as we have information and with plans for what this new strategy will look like at MOL. Meantime, we will continue to provide the children with the online learning provision they have been enjoying so far. Best wishes, Mrs Snedden

Highland Council news release 21 May 2020

21 May 2020

Highland Council prepares for phased return to new normal

Highland Council’s Recovery Board Chair, Cllr Alasdair Christie has welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government’s road map phasing the way out of lockdown, which was published earlier today.

The First Minister revealed that Phase 1 of the Government’s new four phase plan, could come into effect on 28 May, however the advice remains stay home, protect the NHS and save lives for now.

Cllr Alasdair Christie, Chair of the Highland Council’s Recovery Board, said: “Highland Council is assessing and planning for all the implications of the First Minister’s announcements made today about the first stage relaxation of lockdown, including her statement on teachers and other staff returning during June to prepare for the return to school in August.

“The Recovery Board has already begun developing our own Highland Council route map which is focusing on how we prepare for a safe return to work, return to school and restarting key services, such as reopening recycling centres at the start of June.

“Today’s announcement will I am sure be welcomed by communities here in Highland, who have been adhering to the lockdown measures and ensuring they help protect the NHS and save lives.

“However, we are also acutely aware of the impact the lockdown has had on our economy and on every aspect of people’s lives and mental health.

“We are working hard to map out the best way forward for Highland, so that we can start to get people back to work and school, but to ensure this is done safely and in line with science and the Scottish Government’s guidance.”

He added: “Since the outbreak we have learned a lot of lessons and we’ve seen a tremendous demonstration of agility, innovation and hard work from staff across the organisation. I am delighted to say that as a result of everyone’s hard work and commitment we are now in a position to pave the way forward and start getting back to what will be a new normal for all of us.”

Schools will return on 11 August, one week earlier than planned for most pupils, while Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) settings will open over the summer.

An agreement reached between councils, professional associations and parent representatives means:

  • schools will implement physical distancing measures, such as providing seating that is two metres apart and staggering arrival, departure and break times
  • increased hand-washing or use of hand sanitisers, enhanced cleaning, robust protocols and ongoing risk assessments
  • class sizes will be significantly reduced as a result of the new way of working, with most pupils spending around half their time in class and half learning at home. Time in school will increase further as soon as it is safe to do so
  • teachers and other education staff will return in June – subject to appropriate safety assessments being completed – to prepare and plan for the new way of working and welcoming pupils back
  • existing ‘hubs’ will continue to run to provide vulnerable children and those of key workers with childcare over the summer
  • the school estate will be expanded where necessary and possible to increase the time children can spend with their teachers
  • innovative use will be made of existing teachers and staff

The Scottish Government road map can be found here

 

 

 

Parent Digital Support Workshop at 2.00pm today

Please remember to join us for the Parent Digital Workshop at 2.00pm today.

This is a virtual drop in session for parents to ask any questions about the use of digital tools to support your child at home. The Meet code for this session has been shared in your child’s Google Classroom.

In response to our recent parent survey, we have created a Parent Digital Support Guide. Within this guide there are lots of ‘How to’ videos and documents to support you with the use of technology. We look forward to seeing you this afternoon.

 

Digital Workshop MOL

Highland Council Trading Standards advice on Face Coverings

Highland Council Trading Standards are highlighting the important difference between types of face masks during the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis.  These are:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical devices such as respirator or surgical masks which protect the wearer (and for medical devices, the patient) against the virus and must be made to a high specification.
  • Face coverings i.e. not anti-COVID PPE or medical devices, including scarves and homemade versions made from t-shirts, handkerchiefs etc; which do not protect the wearer but can to some extent reduce the amount of virus that an infected person emits, thus providing some protection to others in proximity.

David MacKenzie, Trading Standards Manager at The Highland Council, explains:

“All PPE that is intended to protect against COVID-19 coronavirus, including that sold to the public, must meet very high safety standards.  At the current time, it is recommended that proper face masks that provide such protection for the wearer should be reserved for NHS and care staff.  The recommendation from both the Scottish and UK Governments for the public to wear face coverings in some enclosed public places does NOT mean wearing proper anti-COVID PPE.  Instead it refers to any low specification face covering that can help reduce spread of the virus but does NOT protect the person wearing it.”

Businesses must not sell low-tech face coverings as PPE or make any claims that such items provide protection for the wearer against COVID-19.  According to Trading Standards, best practice at the present time is for businesses to explicitly state the limitations of such products when selling so that the buyer is in no doubt.

Trading Standards role on this topic is to enforce the laws in relation to consumer sales, with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regulating sales of items to be used in workplaces, including the NHS.  Detailed information about the production and sale of PPE to consumers can be found on the Trading Standards COVID-19 webpages at: www.highland.gov.uk/coronavirus/tradingstandards

David MacKenzie continued:

“Scottish Government advice about staying at home, social distancing and washing your hands, remain the same.  It is important to understand that basic face masks will not protect wearers from biological hazards like COVID-19.   If consumers really feel the need to buy proper PPE equipment to protect them from COVID, they should check carefully that it meets safety standards.  Basic face masks can continue to be useful in other situations such as protection against dust when doing some DIY work and can also be used as a face covering in enclosed public spaces.”

Consumers can get further advice or report any concerns through Trading Standards’ partner body Advice Direct Scotland (ADS) on 0808 164 6000 or www.consumeradvice.scot

Government advice on how to make a cloth face covering for your own use can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering