Head Teacher Update for Parents – 4th May 2020

Hi all,

Hope everyone is safe and healthy. I am aware that many of you are bravely working on the frontline in hospitals, care homes and as key workers and our school community is hugely indebted to you for all that you are doing.

Quick update from the school:

SQA estimates

We have been informed that no estimates should be shared with Parents or Pupils and that no further estimate evidence will be gathered. (This decision has been made by the SQA).


Monday 4th May is an INSET day and Friday 8th May is a holiday. No classwork will be set for these two days.

New class lists and new session start

New Class Lists – Due to not being able to access Seemis from home, re-coursing and creating new class lists has been found to be problematic. We are now aiming to move year groups S4 into S5 and S5 into S6 the week beginning Monday 11th May. They will start work in their new subjects that week. Pupils will receive a TEAMS notification or email via google classrooms from their new subject teacher. S1- S3 year groups will move at the start of June.

Engaging with school work

Non-Engagement of course work – Our staff have been working hard to ensure that anything missed by pupils, due to not being physically present in the school, will be covered appropriately online, where possible. As we start on next session’s programmes of learning in the coming weeks, we will be tracking engagement of our young people with all work set. We are asking for your continued and extra support as parents in ensuring your son or daughter is logging in and managing to engage with the learning. I know that this is a very stressful time for everyone and do not want to add to your stress, so please remember the maximum number of hours the young people should be doing is about 4 hours a day (e.g. 2 X 2hours slots with plenty of breaks). If you are having any difficulties with this or any IT issues, please contact the school by e-mail at Admin@st-augustines.edin.sch.uk. From Monday 11th May if the Senior Pupils in new S5 and S6 are not engaging and have not made any attempt to contact anyone in the school, we will assume that they have left school and they could be removed from the school roll. Any pupil who receives music instruction should be in contact with their tutors via email (all instructors contacted their students last week and I am pleased to hear that overall engagement has been pretty good).

Accessing technology and resources

Where access to technology or any other resources is an issue please phone (0131 334 6801) or email the school as above.

Health and Well-being: a priority

We fully understand the additional stresses on young people and families in current circumstances and wish to stress yet again that health takes precedence over anything else. Our Pupil Support Team and DHTs are checking in with a number of pupils regularly, but are still available to support all young people in our school community. Contact details are on our school website under ‘PUPIL SUPPORT’ should you or your son/ daughter require any additional support or advice at this time. Our phone line is now being remotely monitored as well so please do not hesitate to contact us on 0131 334 6801. We are obviously not available face to face but please remember that Pupil Support & Support for Learning staff, Year Heads and myself are only an e-mail or phone call away and are here to support our young people and families. A range of support materials is also available on our school website, for pupils and parents/ carers, and regular suggestions for pupils are being made on our TEAMS Health and Wellbeing page.

Finally, I do not underestimate the challenges that you as parents encounter as young people learn from home. You may also be trying to work from home or, like some of our staff, have other caring responsibilities. It may come as some reassurance to know that a number of St Augustine’s staff are also struggling with home schooling their own children! In fact, my own 13 year old son has now turned night into day. I came across this statement earlier in this session which seems very relevant in current circumstances: “Calm is a Superpower!” We are certainly all being put to the test at present, where we have little control of circumstances and have every reason not to remain calm or to become distressed but maybe a superpower worth pursuing just now! We need to make things entirely manageable and please be reassured that once we do return, whenever and however that may be, we will make up time and approach learning with pace and rigour.

Michael McGee