HT Update Week Ending 3rd February 2023

Friday 3rd February 2023

This concise weekly HT Update will be published every Friday afternoon with a simple opportunity for you to also feedback/ask questions via the link at the bottom of each Update.  Feedback received, where appropriate, will be responded to and published on Monday afternoons on the school website link. 

Key messages from this week

Calendar: Next week’s key events include:  ME/MK Assemblies on Monday; SA/SL Assemblies on Tuesday; Teenage Booster Vaccinations and our Student Voice Parliament take place on Wednesday;  finally a reminder that the school breaks up on Friday at 12.05 pm for our February holiday,  school reopens for all on Monday 20th February.

Staffing Update: This week we offer our congratulations to Stella Fotheringham who was successful in her interview to take up the S1 development role within Creative Design.  

Malicious Fire Alarm:  This week a student from a school in Edinburgh entered the building at the lunchtime changeover and deliberately set off our fire alarm.  This caused an inevitable level of disruption,  not least to the fire brigade.  Through our internal CCTV and working in partnership with our Campus Cop the individual was identified and has been charged by the police as part of a S85 Fire Scotland Act 2005 offence.   

S6 Burn’s Supper: A sincere thanks to all staff and students who attended this event last night. There was a great atmosphere throughout and was an event that reflected very positively on the S6 year group. Thanks also to a selection of S5 students who assisted on the evening.  

SQA 2023 Update: Further information on the services that will be available from SQA for students facing exceptional circumstances during their 2023 exams or those who believe their final grade is incorrect has now been provided.  

There are no plans to provide any additional revision support materials including any further notification of exam topics, content or context. Subject-specific revision support materials were provided in 2022 in recognition of the specific challenges facing candidates last year and will not be for 2023.  However, most candidates in 2022 did not find that support particularly helpful.

Appeals arrangements will be different to last year and more similar to arrangements pre-pandemic, with some adjustments. Importantly, the service will be free, students will be able to request a review of their SQA-marked assessment components regardless of their estimated grade and will be able to appeal directly to SQA.  Appeals 2023 will include a priority service for learners with conditional offers for further education, training or employment.  

SQA recognises that there are times when students cannot sit an exam for reasons out with their control. The Examination Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service will continue to be available this year, meaning those learners who need help the most due to exceptional circumstances can have alternative assessment evidence reviewed to help determine their grades. The service will be available to those who are unable to attend an exam and widened to include those whose performance in the examination may have been affected by a personal circumstance, or an unplanned incident on the day, which is beyond their control. This could be a medical condition (including Covid-19 related absence) or bereavement, or disruption on the day of the exam as reported by the Chief Invigilator. Please note this service is not available to students who have underperformed on the day of the timetabled exam unless they have suffered an exceptional circumstance.  

SQA will be communicating the information about these services to students, parents and carers via social media and their website. In the meantime, feel free to access their parent blog post via this link.

Parent Council:  Our Parent Council are looking for parents/ carers who would be willing to volunteer to form part of our new fundraising group within the Parent Council. It is appreciated that everyone is busy so to keep the commitment to a minimum it anticipated that this would be managed digitally via WhatsApp chat or short zoom meetings.   If you are keen to support the Parent Council and the school with the organisation of fundraising activities for school events please contact us Sara Adam, our Parent Council Chair on fundraising.lhs@gmail.com.

Midlothian Council Budget:  Further to recent message, a special meeting of Council was held on Tuesday to consider a range of budget saving measures prior to the main budget setting Council meeting on 21 February. A period of public consultation on the proposed savings measures was approved. You can read the papers which were presented below:

 You can participate in the formal consultation process by emailing your feedback to HaveYourSay@midlothian.gov.uk or go online

All the feedback will be collated and presented to members in advance of any decisions being taken at the budget setting meeting of Council in February.  It is important that you take the time to consider what comes out particularly as the impact on schools is likely to be significant. Lasswade’s share of proposed reduction in teacher numbers, outlined in the ‘pack’, could be up to 12.  That would have a huge impact on what we are able to offer as a school.   

Speech and Language Therapists:  The next family information workshop will be on Tuesday 7th March 11am-12 noon. Please click here for details Family Information Session Flier March 2023.   Further workshops will run across the year.

 If you have any feedback/questions relating to this update please submit them via the link below

Feedback here

Take Care

Campbell Hornell and Ali Mitchell,  Head Teachers

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