Head Teacher Bulletin
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (2.30pm July 3rd 2020)
The last HT message for parents/carers and pupils before the holiday – https://youtu.be/Tt36_VQOI40
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (8.30am June 29th 2020)
START OF SESSION 2020-21
Later this week, I will send out a letter which clearly outlines our plans for either a return of all pupils in August (Plan A) or for a blended learning approach (Plan B). A final decision on which of these plans will need to be implemented will not be known until the First Minister addresses parliament on the 30th July. Her decision will be based on whether the reproduction rate of the virus has continued to decrease. We are all hopeful that Plan A will be the one that we put into action.
The Scottish Government will provide some guidelines and information for Authorities later this week which will be important for parents to know about so I will film the Head Teacher video at that point to keep everyone up to date with what is being advised.
We will also ensure that there is a family information booklet sent out with your child’s timetable in the first week of August so that you are fully informed of what our final plans will be along with the health and hygiene measures that we will be implementing as a school.
The risk assessment and information required to initiate Google classroom meets arrived in school on Friday. This requires written consents from all taking part which we would not be able to coordinate to allow it to be fully implemented in the last week of term. Many of our staff are really keen however to interact with our pupils through this face to face platform before they come off on holiday and unless there are any strong objections from parents then this is something that I feel would be beneficial for all. We will send out the necessary permissions in August for return at the start of the new term.
The most recent correspondence from the SQA has indicated that they are going to go ahead with the full exam diet in 2021. They are looking closely at the timing of these exams and also to see if there are any modifications that need to be made. All schools are required to continually assess pupils through the session to ensure that there is accurate evidence in case of a recurrence of Covid-19 cases at any time which might impact on exams.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (14.40pm June 24th 2020)
Please find below a link to a statement on the Aberdeenshire Council Website following John Swinney’s address to the Scottish Parliament yesterday. There is an opportunity to join a Facebook live Q/A session on Monday pm with the Director and the Chair of the Education Committee (Cllr Owen) highlighted in this statement.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (9.15am June 22nd 2020)
Please find a link to the HT video for week beginning Monday 22nd June – https://youtu.be/tgDM0vvrKmI
|Kyle Whitehead||Beth Amey||Bethany Thomson||Rebeka Johnston|
|Tosia Brozek||Heather Pirie||Sasha Eriksson||Martin Leahy|
|Vice Captains||Vice Captains||Vice Captains||Vice Captains|
|Maddison Cromar||Joshua Barratt||Ethan Laing||Amy Hall|
|Annie Overton||Aila Ronald||Kirsty Anderson||Jade Coutts|
|Senior Prefect||Senior Prefect||Senior Prefect||Senior Prefect|
|Finlay Burgess||Sophie Massie||Erin Ferguson||Caragh Welsh|
|Imogen Forman||Seòl Dobson-Allam||Jacob Ross||Amelia Till|
|Zach Lagoug||Katie Entwistle||Eilidh Longino||Alex Bailey|
|Libby Nicoll||Scott Hector||Erika Gilbert||Holly Dinnie|
|Jemma Christie||Nicci Homer||Iona Kellas|
|Emily Reid||Charlotte Reynolds||Jessica Farquhar|
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (8.30am June 18th 2020)
1.Aberdeenshire Council has produced a fact sheet regarding pupil transport.
This fact sheet can be located here:- https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/schools/schools-covid-19/#schooltransport
Responses to the Aberdeenshire parental survey which will be forwarded to the transport unit, indicate that providing transport for our pupils is likely to prove very difficult. I know that many parents will want to help out by transporting their child to school if they are able to do so and this option was not provided on the Council survey. As soon as I get more information about transport arrangements for our school, I will obviously let you know.
2. Family Activities
A new Tab has been created on our website which will provide ideas for voluntary family activities that are being offered and that might be of interest. The direct link for this is
We will continue to update this area on a regular basis.
3. Instrumental Tuition (Session 2020-21)
Information has been provided by the Aberdeenshire Instrumental Service for schools to consider. Ms Barron and her team will look at the risk assessments and options that have been provided to see what may be possible as pupils return to the building.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (8.35am June 15th 2020)
Please find below a link to the HT update for week commencing Monday 15th June.
More information about ‘Read Around the World’ can be found here –
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (8.35am June 12th 2020)
I am pleased to confirm that Michael Foy (DHT) has been appointed to the post of Acting HT (0.4) from August 2020. He will take full responsibility for the school on two days per week.
Aboyne Academy has recruited staff into our vacant posts. Miss Jagger will join us in Home Economics and Miss Swinton will join the Music staff. As soon as all paperwork has been confirmed we will be able to adjust our timetable for August which will mean that more pupils who chose Home Economics will be able to study the subject.
2. Director’s Message to Parents
Please find a link to the most recent message from Laurence Findlay (Director of Education) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0t3fOXflZcQ
Enjoy the weekend everyone.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (9am June 9th 2020)
Please find the link to the Head Teacher video update 6 – https://youtu.be/LZSQFwTvRf0
As mentioned in the video uploaded today, there will be an online meeting on Monday 22nd June at 7pm to discuss the return of pupils to school in August. Please register for this meeting by e-mailing the Parent Council via firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to submit a question to be answered on the night please do so in advance using the above email address.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (9.05am June 4th 2020)
1.School recovery questions
Many thanks to those that have already returned their form. Over 360 parents responded within 24 hours which is really helpful. At this time I am waiting for information on transport provision but know that this will be very difficult to provide across a rural Authority and particularly in a catchment area that extends as far as ours. As soon as I know more I will get in touch, but if more pupils can get to school by alternative means, it will allow us to increase pupil time in school.
2. Pupil Wellbeing Survey
Please continue to encourage your child to complete the survey which is being sent out from Guidance Teachers in year group order.
Keep informing us if there are any difficulties accessing ICT at home. Contact us on Aboyne.email@example.com
4. Important Message from the English Faculty
In the English Faculty, we’re always looking for different ways for you to showcase your writing skills.
If you’re a keen writer who is looking for a little something to fill your time why don’t you try entering one or some or all of these writing competitions which are currently open to you? All the information you need can be found at the links below and there are some great prizes available. Feel free to ask your English teacher if you have any further questions.
https://hgwellscompetition.com/?v=79cba1185463 (Margaret and Reg Turnill Competition)
Open to under 21s: theme = Vision, 1500-5000 words, closing date 6th July.
Open to 11-17 yr olds, poetry, closing date 31st July
Open to 11-18 yr olds, poetry, closing date 24th July
Open to 11-15 and 16-19 yr olds, Historical Fiction, closing date 31st October
Open to 12-17 yr olds and 18+, poetry, closing date 16th July
Open to 7-17 yr olds, prose – max 700 words, closing date 17th July
Theme = your lockdown experience
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (8.35am June 1st 2020)
I hope you have all managed to find some time to relax over the weekend and enjoy the glorious weather.
There will be no Head Teacher video today as a letter with updates will be issued to all parents on Wednesday 3rd June instead.
Meantime I hope our pupils have enjoyed seeing and hearing from members of staff over the past week using the following link – https://www.thinglink.com/scene/1319557044478410754
There will be two more inserts added over the next couple of days.
Remember that Monday 8th June will be a local holiday so pupils and staff should enjoy a well-earned rest on that day.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (9am May 27th 2020)
Please find below some correspondence recently received by the school which you may find helpful:-
1. A group of teachers have set up AimHi, a free online resource to support students, teachers, and schools during the pandemic. On Wednesday 10th June, the inspiring guest will be Dr. Jane Goodall – it’s our students’ chance to virtually meet her and ask questions. All lessons are free, and can be accessed by smartphone or computer. More information about the resource can be found at www.AimHi.co.
2. Police Scotland are encouraging pupils to take part in a new series of free Online Cyber Security courses this summer, giving them the opportunity to develop valuable cyber skills and enrich their problem solving abilities as well as gain SQA accreditation.
The free CyberFirst courses will offer students aged 14-17 a dynamic introduction to the cyber security landscape.
The CyberFirst courses have been credit-rated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and will be available from June – August with three different course levels to choose from:
- CyberFirst Defenders, for 14-15-year-olds, introduces students to building and protecting small networks and personal devices.
- CyberFirst Futures, for 15-16-year-olds, allows students to explore advanced cyber security threats to devices, apps and software, then discover ways to prevent them.
- CyberFirst Advanced, for 16-17-year-olds, is designed for students already studying computer science, who will hone the skills and behaviours they need to enter the cyber security or computing workplace.
The courses provide SCQF credit points at SCQF levels 4, 5 and 6, and in Scotland also provides young people with Young Scot points!
3. Thanks to those parents who responded to the questions sent out by the AAPC in relation to schools reopening. All comments have been collated and will be considered as we begin planning the way ahead.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (10.20am May 25th 2020)
Please find the link to the HT video update for week commencing 25th May – https://youtu.be/4pglXfRepeY
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (10.05am May 21st 2020)
1. Video for our pupils
Two of the Aboyne Cluster primary schools have sent messages to their pupils via video which were really appreciated by families and so we decided to create our own staff video which I am delighted to share with you using the following link:- Aboyne Academy “Don’t stop believing”
Please ensure that your child visits this page as we will be continuing to post new messages for our pupils over the next few weeks.
2. ICT Devices
There has been a request for us to support families across Aberdeenshire by loaning any remaining chrome books or iPads that remain in the school. Before we do that I want to ensure that all Aboyne Academy pupils have access to ICT hardware. If pupils are sharing a device with several others and therefore struggling to complete their school work please let us know so that we can allocate one to your family first. Use the firstname.lastname@example.org email to contact the school.
3. House Trophy
All house points have now been counted and verified and I can announce that Birsemore have won the House Trophy for session 2019-20. Many congratulations to our newest House on their first win. Clachnaben were runners-up this session and had a fantastic year. All Houses are to be commended on the number of House Points amassed and we look forward to creating our new House Leadership Teams over the next few weeks.
4. Ski Trip Refunds
I am delighted to confirm that IBT (our ski trip provider) are now in a position to refund money paid out for the ski trip to the Aboyne Academy account in the first instance. We will then make it a priority to get that money into family bank accounts as soon as we possibly can. Thank-you for your patience as we continue to work with the French Water Sports, Chelsea Football and Zambia/Botswana Expedition Trips companies.
5. Information/Advice from Police Scotland
As a Parent/ Carer, especially during the difficult time we are all going through, you can find support to enhance your Children or young people’s safety, security and awareness at a time when they will be spending more time online. Please have a look at the links below which are very informative, easy to follow and will provide the opportunity to start the discussion about online safety.
Thinkuknow is the online safety education programme from the National Crime Agency and there are home activity packs from the ages of 4yrs to 14+yrs to take support from.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (10.10am May 18th 2020)
Please find a link to video update 4 – https://youtu.be/a_TN3DaoqQ8
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (9.10am May 14th 2020)
Access to three new resources has become available over the past 24 hours
1. This first one is a must for Aboyne Academy Senior Phase Pupils. E-sgoil is offering real-time lessons for Senior Phase pupils in Maths, English and Physics at no cost from week beginning 18th May through GLOW.
(E-sgoil has traditionally been the method of delivery for pupils in the Western Isles and across Scotland where there are teacher shortages). See http://www.e-sgoil.com/media/1283/e-sgoil-and-scholar-brochure-version-3.pdf for more info and register as quickly as you can. You require your Scottish Candidate Number (SCN) to register. If you are in new S5 or S6 you will be able to get this from last year’s SQA exam certificate. If you are in new S4 please email email@example.com and we will provide you with this. When subject choices are confirmed to you next week we will also plan to include your SCN number in this communication.
2. Next week is Mental Health Awareness Week and an Aberdeenshire Virtual Wellbeing Festival is being held from 18-24th May. There are an excellent array of online activities. Click here https://young.scot/get-informed/aberdeenshire/mental-awarenessweek-2020 for more details.
3. The EAL service have provided the following link https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/as/ealaberdeenshire/learning-at-home/. The videos are to help parents/carers to support their children at home. The videos are currently in English and translations in the most common languages used by bilingual families in Aberdeenshire.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (9am May 13th 2020)
1. Email Address for Parents to contact Aboyne Academy
Our new email address firstname.lastname@example.org is now established. We hope to be able to pass on messages from parents to the appropriate member of staff much faster by being able to separate incoming mail in this way.
2. Learning and Teaching
From Monday 18th May, tabs in the Term 4 Work section will change to reflect the 2020-21 session. S1 will therefore become New S2, S2 will become new S3 etc.
Following feedback from our parent survey, tasks set for our new S2 and new S3 year groups will be longer in length (45-60 mins each) for all curriculum areas with the exception of English and Maths where 90 mins of compulsory work will now be expected. Voluntary tasks in these key subjects will be removed temporarily. This change applies to all work set from 18th May onwards. New S2 pupils will now have one week to complete each piece of work in line with all other year groups.
These new work schedules have been updated on the website.
3. Resource for S2/3 Parents
Education Scotland have produced a really useful weekly resource in the form of a Parent/Carer newsletter entitled ‘Scotland Learns’. A PDF has been attached to the website or alternatively the document can be located here:- https://education.gov.scot/improvement/scotland-learns/ along with a number of other useful resources.
4. Young Scot Update
Young Scot have launched new online learning resources and activities linked to the Experiences and Outcomes of the Curriculum for Excellence. These vary from activities that are solely completed online – to activities that involve writing, creating, making or doing at home. They are free to access at youngscot.net/learning-resources.
Accurate and consistent information on digital skills and cyber security can be found here DigiKnow Campaign. A Digi Know Social Media Toolkit and a twelve-month social media calendar has been created by young people to support partners to align messages being shared with young people around cyber security, as well as, Covid-19 targeted information via our dedicated Covid-19 landing page & our Twitter feed.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (10.15am May 11th 2020)
Please find a link to video 3 of the HT updates – https://youtu.be/hkjSBvyrinw
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (11.15am May 7th 2020)
1.School Response to Covid-19 Questionnaire
Many thanks to the parents who have taken time to return this questionnaire. There are many constructive comments which I will analyse and respond to in the video update on Monday. If anyone still wishes to make a return then it would be helpful if that could be done by close of play today.
2. Foundation Apprenticeships
I have had confirmation that teaching of the Children and Young People and Health and Social Care Foundation Apprenticeships will commence on June 1st. These courses will be delivered virtually by external providers. Any pupil who has yet to sign up for these Foundation Apprenticeships (which will ultimately be delivered in school) should let their Guidance teacher know. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain an award equivalent to a Higher which has currency with both Universities and employers alike.
3. Support to Access Work from Home
We have identified several pupils who have yet to engage with any of the work provided. There may well be ICT or circumstances at home that are preventing a child from completing tasks. A letter will be sent out today to these families to try and find out ways that the school can provide support.
4. School Timetable
Pupils should receive confirmation of their timetabled subjects by the end of next week to allow them to concentrate on these until school resumes.
All teachers are currently working through tasks set by the SQA in addition to setting work for pupils and providing feedback. As mentioned previously they are doing this from home and there is no doubt that can be challenging. In addition there are now several staff who have been affected directly or indirectly by Covid-19. I know that the majority of our parents will bear this in mind and utilise some of the other resources on our website to provide additional work meantime.
6. School Leavers Form
School Leavers have been contacted to complete a mandatory online form by Friday 15th May. This is our normal leavers form which is usually completed on paper; however, during this school closure we are asking it to be completed using this link: School Leavers form If you have any questions please contact your Guidance Teacher or email@example.com
I hope that you all enjoy the long weekend and look forward to speaking to you on Monday.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (10am May 5th 2020)
Please find below a few items following on from my video update yesterday:-
1. Parent Evaluation
The parent evaluation form was issued yesterday, but sending it between my computer and the office for distribution has resulted in a fault with the link. This will be resolved and another copy issued. Apologies for any inconvenience caused. Any parent who has not completed the survey should wait for the new link to arrive.
2. School Leavers
In order to keep in contact and provide support post-school from Skills Development Scotland, Leavers normally complete a paper form to share contact details, destination and more. Unfortunately due to the school closure this has not been possible in the usual format. All School Leavers should take a few moments to complete the online version of their leavers form. The link to this form will be issued today.
3. Learning and Teaching
Now that pupils/parents are used to the work schedule the work available will be carefully increased for those who are able to do so. From this week we will be:
- Issuing our new S4-6 a weekly 30-40min Core subject (PE/RE/PSE) task. This will be on a rota basis with PE stating this week.
- Providing voluntary extension tasks for English and Maths for all year groups.
- Increasing the weekly AH task time allocation to 2 hours and allowing voluntary extension tasks for any AH subject.
Please note that each teacher will be co-ordinating work for many pupils and one strategy that they will use is making answers and help videos available for self-marking, as it would be impossible for them to mark all the work that they set from every pupil. For this to be effective it is important that pupils take ownership of their learning in this online time and responsibility for reviewing and checking their work where possible/appropriate.
4. Modern Languages Provision
SCILT (Scotland’s Centre for Languages)/CISS ( Confucius Institute for Scottish Schools) has partnered with e-Sgoil to contribute to their national offer of timetabled, live-streamed classes that will support youngsters of all ages throughout the period of school closures. These interactive, real-time classes are all led by experienced language educators on a secure platform. All participants will require is access to a computer and their Glow password. Aimed at supporting youngsters who are about to enter new senior phase classes, the NQ courses will focus on providing an overview of the year ahead and will develop the skills required for success at each level. Complementing what will be offered by their own schools and classroom teachers, these courses will give young people the best possible start to their new language courses under the present circumstances. Courses are offered for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Mandarin as well as French, Spanish, German, Italian and Gaelic.
5. MESSAGE FROM SQA
Learners should sign up at www.mysqa.org.uk before 5 pm on Tuesday 14 July 2020. To register, all they need is their Scottish Candidate Number (SCN) and a valid email address. They can then choose to receive their results by text and/or email. For learners already registered for MySQA, we’re asking them to check their details are correct and update their preferences.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (8.50am May 4th 2020)
Please find a link to video 2 of the HT updates – A video message
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (10am April 30th 2020)
This will be my last update of the week. I am working in the Aboyne Hub again tomorrow which is providing childcare for children of keyworkers and also for vulnerable pupils. It has been heartening to see the team spirit across all our cluster schools and the excellent provision for children in our area.
Letter from the Director of Education
You will have received a Covid -19 update letter yesterday from Laurence Findlay (Director of Education) and today we have sent out a letter to S4,5 and 6 pupils, also from the Director with information about SQA processes. Our staff will be following SQA guidelines over the next 4 weeks and will obviously take parental comments into consideration. However, they will not be in a position to release revised grades or respond individually to parents while this process is underway. All grades will be subject to a rigorous quality assurance process at the last stage prior to submission.
Pupil Leadership Team
Any pupil who has still to submit their application to join the House leadership team should do so by close of play tomorrow (1st May). Applications should be completed electronically using the forms on the website. We are looking for responsible pupils for the following posts:-
Prefects from our current S3,4 and 5 year groups
Vice-Captains our from current S4 year group
Captains from our current S5 year group
Senior prefects from our current S5 year group
Any pupil who submitted a paper copy prior to the school closing should be reassured that these are being collected and scanned to your Guidance Teacher and there is no need to submit another application.
Next session, the role of our Pupil Leadership Teams will be extremely important as an additional support mechanism for younger pupils and to help staff following this extended closure.
Support for Pupils with ASN
Our Support for Learning staff have produced some guides to support parents and pupils working at home and we will release these next week. Meantime it may be useful to know about the following support which is available:-
I hope that you all have a restful weekend and I hope to speak to you again on video next week!
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (9.50am April 28th 2020)
There are a only few brief messages for you today:-
- SCHOLAR sessions that are heavily oversubscribed are now made available to view online the following day. If pupils log in to SCHOLAR, go to the appropriate course and follow the Online Tutor Sessions link from the Resources menu they will be able to access the course they missed.
- Some parents have been asking about teachers providing additional work. For this week, there are links to resources on the website and more extension and voluntary tasks will be added into our work schedule from next week. There is Guidance for home learning during term 4 on the Scottish Government website which is really helpful and is providing the context for all schools to work from.
I hope that everyone is coping with week 6 of lockdown.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (9.15am April 27th 2020)
Please find a link to video 1 of the HT updates – https://youtu.be/0EzuVKyl8SE
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (9.15am April 23rd 2020)
There are four pieces of information for you today
1. UCAS SUPPORT
Current S6 pupils – There will be a live Facebook session for UCAS applicants today at 3pm. This will provide those that have applied for University with helpful information about your application. Logon via the UCAS Facebook page.
2. SCHOOL TRIPS
Trip Refunds – The office staff have started refunding payments for some trips. Several London Trip refunds were made yesterday and they will be in touch with parents to get Bank Account details to pay the remainder. Refunds for trips that were organised by our own staff are proving easier to deal with than those that have involved external providers. An insurance claim was submitted prior to Easter for the Ski Trip and we are chasing that up. The Director of Education is getting involved where companies are refusing to issue refunds. The majority of schools are affected and it is likely to be a lengthy process.
3. ARMY RESOURCES
The Army have produced home learning resources to build pupil confidence. These can be found by clicking on the following link:-
4. NESCOL INFORMATION
Information about successful college applications is likely to reach the school within the next 3 or 4 weeks. For those pupils that participated in college courses last session, negotiations are continuing to ensure that candidates are not disadvantaged by the Covid-19 situation even if they were unable to complete aspects of their course.
Remember to take time out for daily exercise and to enjoy the warm sunny weather!
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (9.30am April 22nd 2020)
There are 3 useful pieces of information to pass on to you today
1.Educational Psychology Service Support Reminder
Please find below the link to the new Aberdeenshire Educational Psychology website, which provides advice and resources for supporting children and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic. It includes Covid-19 specific resources, as well as wellbeing resources, and dedicated resources for supporting children with additional support needs.
You can find the site at: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/as/aberdeenshireeps/
The EPS also continues to run a dedicated phone line for parents/carers and professionals who would like to talk through any education or wellbeing concerns about a child or young person. This is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 3pm by calling 01779 403721. If parents would prefer a call back they can email firstname.lastname@example.org with their name and number.
2. Active Schools Aberdeenshire Resources
As part of Live Life Aberdeenshire’s, Live Life@Home offering, Active Schools Aberdeenshire are releasing a weekly challenge on social media on a Monday morning for pupils to take part in and send in their best efforts during the week online.
The challenges will vary but include physical activities, quizzes and timed challenges. So far we’ve had obstacle courses and alphabet exercises with plenty more to come. Therefore if you are looking for something different, then check out our social media feeds on a weekly basis for some new and exciting challenges and ideas.
Active Schools have also uploaded some fun activities and resource cards onto the Live Life Aberdeenshire, Live Life@Home webpage. These alongside many other fun activities and videos across the many services in Live Life Aberdeenshire can be found bit.ly/LLAhome
Active Schools South – Covers the areas of Aboyne, Banchory, Mackie, Mearns and Portlethen.
Facebook: Active Schools Aberdeenshire South
3. National Parent Forum of Scotland – Parent/Carer Guide
In addition to the SQA page mentioned yesterday a useful resource has been produced entitled ‘Learning at Home in Term 4’. This can be found at:-
Please remember that in order for us to appropriately manage parental communications at this time, any messages/queries should be sent to email@example.com for the attention of the relevant Guidance teacher.”
I hope that the first week of the new term is going well.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (9.30am April 21st 2020)
Please find below two useful resources to support you and your child at this time:
- The SCHOLAR resource can be used by pupils moving on to new senior phase classes. Currently pupils will only have access to the subjects in SCHOLAR that they were following during last school year. However, to access all subjects in SCHOLAR (once they have clicked on the SCHOLAR tile in GLOW and logged in) there is a toggle switch at the bottom of their list of subjects on the right hand side called “Display other courses.” When selected, pupils will see all subjects and courses and will be able to access SCHOLAR at the levels required for their new 2020/2021 school courses.
- The second resource has been prepared by the National Parent Forum of Scotland. It provides a question and answer section on the 2020 SQA qualifications which I know parents will find useful: https://www.npfs.org.uk/2020/04/16/update-from-the-sqa-qualifications/
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (4pm April 3rd 2020)
- A new schedule of work will be available for each year group in the new ‘Term 4 Work Schedule’ drop down section of the website after Easter. There will be a gradual reintroduction to online learning over the first two weeks commencing April 20th and then we will take feedback from learners, parents and staff to continually adapt and develop our approach. It is important to note that as our current S3, S4 and S5 pupils may be moving on to courses at the next level, that it will take staff a bit of time to establish their new online groups on Microsoft Teams or on Google Classroom. Similarly, we want to ensure that each pupil gets the notifications they need on SMH and this again will require Faculties to set up new groups. We fully expect everything to be fully operational by Wednesday 22nd April.
Pupils who are working on courses after Easter that they hope to follow in S3-6 must be aware that actual enrolment in these courses once school opens for face to face teaching again depends on the normal timetabling process for which pupils have already made choices. As always, we will endeavour to provide as many pupils as possible with their chosen courses next session, but this is dependent on our staffing and resources. Starting work on next year’s courses will be very useful for you but does not guarantee you will be allocated a place on these courses. More information about how pupils will access this learning will be available after Easter.
Like my colleagues, I am going to switch off my computer for a well-earned break and will be back in touch with you all soon!
Stay safe and well everyone.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (11.30am April 3rd 2020)
- Please find a letter from Aberdeenshire Council for attention of all parents that can be accessed here: General Letter.HubOpeningTimes.Parent.Carer.030420
- We have been incredibly impressed by the level of engagement and participation in our online learning activities from most pupils – well done! However, it is really important to look after your own health and wellbeing whilst working from home. We have added a new drop down in our website under ‘Learning from Home’ called ‘Pupil Wellbeing’ with hints and tips to support you. There are also links to relevant resources for further support.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (10am April 3rd 2020)
SQA CERTIFICATION 2020 – GUIDANCE FOR LEARNERS, PARENTS AND CARERS
- Last night the SQA published an update on arrangements for SQA certification. A helpful guide that will answer questions you may have can be accessed here: SQA Certification – Guidance for learners, parents and carers The guidance in this document aims to provide learners, parents, carers with answers to some common questions about how we will deliver a fair, safe and secure set of results over the coming months.We are aware that many pupils and parents will have questions about how the estimate grades provided in the recent Senior Phase Tracking Report will compare to those which will be finally submitted to the SQA this year. The SQA will provide more detailed guidance to schools by 20th April on generating these final estimate grades. We will update you at that time. Please rest assured that we will be doing everything we can to ensure no pupils are disadvantaged and the Scottish Government, with SQA, will be working with us on this. Please be aware that all Academy staff will be on leave over the next two weeks and will be unable to respond to any queries at this time.
- Aboyne Academy Office staff are keen to start the process of issuing refunds for some of the May Activities trips. This is a complicated process and they will ask parents for their bank details to issue refunds (where they are available). This will be done one trip at a time immediately after Easter so please bear with them as they tackle this job on top of all their other normal duties. You do not need to do anything until you receive an email from the school. An insurance claim has also been submitted for the March Ski Trip and we are waiting for the outcome of that claim.
- Later today we will publish a coordinated scheme of work for our learners that will commence post Easter Holidays.
I hope that you and your family manage to enjoy some quality time over the Easter break and that you all remain safe and well.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (11am April 1st 2020)
- I am aware of the demands that have been placed on some S1-3 pupils over the last two weeks and I also know that in each household access to ICT and workspace will vary and that this will impact on the timescales that our young people have to complete work. Please do not worry about your child completing all tasks that have been set or missing deadlines. We know that for some pupils these have been unrealistic. For now we just want people to get used to their situations and this new way of working. As mentioned in previous bulletins staff are learning too and we will have a more coordinated approach in place across the school to ensure that pupils get the appropriate balance between work and downtime after Easter.
- Prefect Applications. Guidance teachers are still keen to receive applications for prefect positions from current S3, S4 and S5 pupils. There are also Vice-Captain positions for our current S4 pupils and House Captain and Senior Prefect roles available for current S5 pupils. The original closing date for these applications was April 2nd but this can now be extended until May 1st. Application forms can be found on the school website under the “Pupils – Prefects” drop down. Please return these electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org
- We have created a new drop down within the “Learning at Home” section of the website called “Information for School Leavers.” Although the school is currently closed, much of the support we provide for leavers is still available. Information and contacts can be found on this page which we will add to over the coming weeks.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (10am March 31st 2020)
- Many thanks to Rob Brooker who successfully coordinated a meeting of the AAPC online last night. The minutes of that meeting will be shared with all parents as soon as they are available.
- The Aberdeenshire Educational Psychology Service are keen for parents to know that they can be contacted via the new telephone support service that they have set up. This is an another important resource for parents of pupils who may be having difficulty coping during these challenging times. Telephone Support Service – Aberdeenshire Educational Psychology Service
- As mentioned yesterday no further work will be set by teachers after today, but they will be delighted to receive any completed work to be able to feedback on it in the lead up to the Easter break.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (10am March 30th 2020)
LEARNING AND TEACHING UPDATE
I hope that you and your family remain well and managed to have a relaxing weekend. There are a couple of important points that I wanted to bring to your attention in this update:
- We are concerned that not all senior phase pupils have engaged with the course work that has been set online. Completing this work is essential to ensure that pupils can move on to the next stage of their learning when the new timetable starts. We intend having introductory course materials for new 2020/2021 courses available soon after the Easter break. Please ensure that your child completes any outstanding work and submits it as required to their class teacher to enable them to progress with their learning. This work may also be important to assist teachers when finalising estimate grades.
- We have been working hard to get online learning set up but we are aware that there needs to be a coordinated approach across the school to ensure that the work is both manageable and proportionate. We have asked that staff do not set any work beyond Tuesday of this week to ensure that pupils can complete the work already set, feel a sense of achievement and have a much needed break from school work over Easter. Thereafter the tasks will be set with a whole school overview.
You will appreciate that we are all learning together, and I have welcomed the feedback that has come in from parents to help us to get this new way of learning right for all our pupils.
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (10.30am March 27th 2020)
- Collection of free school meals from hub schools will end (Friday 27th March.) Families will be mainly be provided with funding for a 4 week period which will be added to bank accounts. In some cases vouchers may be issued. This new system will cover the Easter Holiday period. You will be contacted directly if you are currently in receipt of FSM. If your financial situation changes (and many will over the course of the next few weeks) please do not hesitate to apply for FSM via this link: FSM Application
Aboyne Academy Coronavirus Update (7.30am March 25th 2020)
- Please keep checking the Aboyne Academy website where we will upload any new information that is important for pupils and parents. A regular bulletin will be added to the website in the new “Learning at Home” section to avoid sending out multiple emails. Our twitter feeds (@aboyneacad and @HTAboyneaca) and the Aboyne Academy Parent Forum Facebook will also provide useful updates for parents and for pupils.
- The SQA released a statement regarding coursework for National qualifications (https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/93658.html). Following this statement our advice to pupils is that they should be continuing to complete coursework from home or additional tasks where this is possible as these may provide evidence to support teacher professional judgements. Although coursework will not be sent to the SQA, it may play a valuable role in adding to the evidence schools have to support estimate grades. If there is any change to this position following a formal communication from the SQA we will advise you via the “Learning at Home – General Information” section of the website.
- Skills Development Scotland provided further assurances about their ongoing support for pupils at this time which we have added to the website.
- A Hub is available at Aboyne Primary School for children of key workers. Both primary and Academy staff will be available to provide child-care in exceptional cases. A form was issued to S1 and S2 parents by email as there are places available which will be considered on a case by case basis.
- Free School Meals continue to be supplied from the Academy between 12 -1 pm each day. The Authority are aware that this arrangement is not ideal for a rural setting and are considering other options.
- We have been impressed with the level of support provided by teachers working from home and the number of pupils that are engaging with work set online. Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom are not ideal platforms when so many classes are using them simultaneously and can sometime run quite slowly so please be patient as we work around this. The “Learning at Home – General Information” section of the website provides details about frequency of work and expectations for pupils in this new situation. This will be continually updated but please also remember the need to prioritise a bit of down time and self-care.
- Leavers online school meal payments will be refunded in cash or transferred onto a sibling’s card when pupils return to school. Unfortunately, there is no mechanism for refunds to be made online at this time.
- Guidance teachers, the Pupil Support Worker and other agencies will keep in touch with identified pupils to provide support through this challenging time.
- The document accessible via this link gives some current information and reassurance regarding EMA payments: EMA COVID 19 Q&A
Do not hesitate to contact us via the usual channels at any time. We may not have all the answers to your questions yet but will endeavour to keep you up to date with any new facts as they emerge. Rest assured that the staff at Aboyne Academy just want the best outcomes for your child at this difficult time.