Firstly, I would like to wish all our pupils and parents a happy new year – I wish you and your families well for the year ahead. Again we find ourselves under further restrictions due to Covid-19 and our priority remains the health, safety and wellbeing of all in our school community. My staff team and I remain highly committed to providing the very best service we possibly can.

Staff have been working hard over the past few days to respond to current circumstances as best we can for our young people and families and are fully prepared for the demands of the term ahead.

Overview

All pupils return to learning from Monday 11th January. Pupils will follow the pattern of their ‘normal’ timetable and will engage with the teachers they worked with last term via our digital tools Microsoft Teams and Satchel One (previously called Show My Homework).

In order for pupils to engage in digital learning they must have their GLOW login and password. Pupils should know this but if there are any problems contact the school office to have the password reset.

Microsoft Teams gives teachers the ability to make interactive and engaging lessons available for pupils – this is also accessed with a glow login. The digital tools we use are free to pupils and families and can be accessed from a desktop, laptop, phone or tablet app. Most gaming consoles also allow pupils to access these tools via a web browser.

To provide the best possible learning experience we aim to:

  • support the health and wellbeing of our pupils (including digital wellbeing – see note on screen time below)
  • provide high quality resources, high quality interaction and high quality support for all pupils
  • support all classes to continue to progress through the curriculum
  • provide targeted group or one-to-one support where required

Lessons will involve a flexible blend of ‘live teaching’, pre-recorded content, interactive sessions and a range of independent tasks.¬†Pupils will learn new content, consolidate previous learning, have the opportunity to ask questions and get feedback on their work. Our teachers know their pupils well and enjoy positive relationships with them – this will continue throughout the period of digital learning.

Our teachers have enhanced their digital learning and teaching skills and have access to a wide array of supports and resources. We will continue to review our practice and will seek feedback from pupils and parents to help inform this.

While the expectation is that teachers will be available for pupils at the timetabled times please also remember that staff will be working from home and may have family responsibilities which means they cannot be available at some points. We also understand that some pupils, for various reasons, may not be able to be online at times.

 

Support for Pupils and Parents

Education Scotland has created a website to help teachers, learners and parents / carers with remote learning. Access the site here.

You can also get information and support on any technical issues, including guides and video tutorials via the Renfrew High Digital Learning website http://bit.ly/rhsdigital

Access to a digital device is essential for pupils. Families who may need financial help with this can contact us in confidence.

Lockdown is not an easy time for all of us and feedback from last year tells us that our pupils did best where they remained connected with the school, took regular physical exercise and tried to vary the activities they did throughout a day. We will be providing opportunities for all of this and are very aware of the health advice to avoid excessive screen time therefore will ensure the work provided does not require pupils to be on screen full-time.

We know that some pupils may find it difficult to engage at times – our highly skilled and supportive teachers and pastoral teams are here to help. The important thing is to keep engaged and reach out for help where its needed.

Pupil Support teachers will maintain pastoral contact with their caseloads and are on hand to support parents too – call the school and they will get back to you as soon as possible. Our home link and additional support staff will also continue to work with children and families who receive their support.

In partnership with our Parent Council we will offer online support sessions for parents to help with digital learning and wellbeing support – further information to follow.

I will continue to keep you updated as the term progresses and, as ever, please contact us if we can be of further help. In the meantime best wishes and stay safe.

Billy Burke

Head Teacher