Welcome to Broughton High School's website

19 August 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

Our students returned to school this week and have already generated enough energy and enthusiasm to light up a small town. They have arrived on time, ready to learn, with a great attitude, well-equipped for class and appropriately dressed for school.

New S1 Students

Due to the lack of the normal transition days before summer, our new S1 cohort saw the school in real life for the very first time. They have many adjustments to make, but it is clear that their parents, carers and their primary teachers have prepared them as well as possible for this new exciting phase.

The transition kits provided by our Parent Council, are proving popular. https://twitter.com/LinzerLaw/status/1427894438651629575/photo/1https://twitter.com/LinzerLaw/status/1427894438651629575/photo/1 These contain lots of useful items to help with the return to school and transition from primary to secondary, all in a practical re-useable bag. Thank you, you wonderful people.

Our Veterans!

Our returning S2 to S6 groups have come back similarly eager to get on with school again. The seven week holiday has been good for them and their return is an opportunity for a fresh start. One can only hope that the widescale fragmentation and disruption that we saw last year is now consigned to the past.

Academic Results

Our senior phase students achieved great results through our Alternative Certification Model. Again, our young people coped with demands that have never before been witnessed.

Over the course of last year, teachers and support staff had to re-invent our approaches to learning, teaching and assessment. We did this not once but several times as different mitigations and school models had to be introduced. Despite this, the overall results indicate good progression from previous trends. The hard work on all fronts and excellent stewardship of the processes have brought dividends. Some of the newly-introduced procedures and strengthened processes are likely to stand us in good stead as we start the senior phase accreditation process all over again. Both students and staff will have grown stronger and are now ready to take on and make the most of whatever 2021-22 has in store.

What Lies Ahead

In line with the whole of society, we anticipate a cautious but definite easing of restrictions. For the first six weeks our mitigations will be almost the same as they were prior to the summer break. We will continue to adhere to the government’s FACTS, including face coverings indoors and surface/hand cleaning. Some significant changes and updates are:

  • Two-metre Distancing: The Test and Protect (TaP) system will no longer assume that proximity within 2m for 15 minutes or more equates to being a close contact. Instead, TaP will identify those at higher risk or who have had unusually prolonged contact with the ‘index case’. TaP will inform those people directly. Contact tracing will no longer involve the school in the majority of cases.
  • Potential close contacts for ‘low risk’ situations will not be asked to self-isolate. Instead, the school has been asked to issue a standard ‘Warn and Inform’ letter to the young people concerned.
  • Self-isolation: Those who are identified as a close contact by TaP will be asked to stay off school until they have taken a PCR test and have tested negative for Covid. The major change here is that a negative result allows the person to return to school. Previously, close contacts had to self-isolate even if their test was negative.
  • One major mitigation remains – anyone with Covid symptoms must stay off school, and continue to do so even if tests prove negative. If symptoms persist they should seek advice from their doctor.

The Next Steps

No-one wants to place school users at unnecessary risk. Thankfully, the scientific and medical experts as well as our national government are telling us that the vaccination programme has taken us to a point where restrictions can start to be lifted. This is warmly welcomed by the school.

The social isolation and inevitable diversion of attention away from other health conditions during lockdown has affected many members of society. The very young and the elderly have been particularly badly affected by the reduction in social interaction and emotional stimulation. Young people living in disadvantage have been disproportionately affected. For them, learning, physical wellbeing and mental health all dipped during the lockdown and blended learning phases. Now an extra effort must be made to bridge those gaps. As a school we will do all we can to make a positive difference.

Adhering to the current Covid mitigations is as important as ever. We must not become complacent, otherwise the return to normality will be delayed.

One of the most effective ways for students to keep themselves and others safe is by taking a twice-weekly lateral flow test. These are readily available via the school office up until 4pm Mon-Thurs, or 1pm on Fridays. They are also available via community outlets.

I would ask you please to keep reminding your child that their compliance with Covid mitigations at school is welcomed and appreciated by their teachers and support staff. Let’s all treasure the opportunity to learn and grow together in a safe a nurturing environment.

Mr John Wilson, Headteacher

 

1 April 2021

Dear parents, carers and young people

I hope you and those close to you are well and are able to look forward to the Easter break. Things have not been easy for anyone over the past year. When we closed the school for the first time in our lives last March we had no idea that restrictions would still be necessary a year on.

It is to their immense credit that our young people have done their best to adjust to the changes imposed on them and their schooling experience. From a standing start we have collectively developed an unprecedented level of expertise in online learning and teaching, and this has helped students to maintain some momentum in their learning. Together, parents, pupils and staff have also worked out individual solutions to what may have initially seemed intractable problems. We will look back on this time with pride.

Senior Phase Assessments

Our senior phase students will be sitting assessments after the Easter break. The school has looked closely at exactly what the SQA requires in order for students to gain national awards. We want to make sure that no young person is disadvantaged by not fulfilling the SQA’s requirements. In short, all provisional grades from the school must be based on evidence gathered in assessments that cover the key components of the courses. SQA tell us that evidence from later in the course has more weighting than that gathered earlier. The specific source of evidence will vary, in accordance with the requirements of individual subjects.

We have planned to run two assessment blocks, each spread out over three weeks. This will allow students to identify strengths and any gaps from the first assessment block so that they can show their best at the second assessment. An appeals system is being finalised by the SQA which will seek to ensure fairness for all candidates.

Covid Mitigations, including Face Coverings

We, like all schools, have had to plan and work in accordance with expectations that are updated every three weeks. Families have in turn constantly adjusted arrangements. That level of uncertainty is not easy for anyone to contend with, even for short periods of time. The fact that we have come through a year of this is even more remarkable. After the Easter break we look forward to seeing all students back in school on a full-time basis. This is welcome, but unfortunately, does not signal a complete return to normality. 

We will still want to follow the scientific advice on the main elements of Covid mitigation. All school users will still be required to sanitise their hands upon entry, and regularly during the day. Students and staff will still be cleaning their tables and other surfaces between lessons. We will continue to ask students to spend their breaks and lunchtimes outdoors. We will continue to expect all students and staff to wear a face covering when they are inside the building, unless exemptions apply.

I wish to thank students and the parental community sincerely for the way in which you have supported the school. It makes the world of difference when we work together.

Some Challenges Ahead

The wearing of face coverings in school has been extraordinarily successful. Despite some early reluctance, 98.6% of our students have worn face coverings this week. Several of our young people who have respiratory conditions or other medical needs have been doing their utmost to comply – not necessarily for their benefit but to protect others. This shows me that our young people are actively trying to keep themselves and others safe when they are in school. They have a sense of community and responsibility which is not often reflected in media coverage. They and their families are to be applauded.

Despite this excellent general level of compliance, I must share that a small number of incidents have occurred regarding face coverings. Some members of the wider community do not agree with the wearing of face coverings in communal areas and express their views openly and publicly. That is their right in a free society. Some young people are being encouraged to refuse to wear a face covering, based on an alleged infringement on their human rights. A small number across the city are accessing an NHS website which provides an exemption card without medical evidence. This places schools in an invidious position: government guidance urges us and expects us to keep everyone safe during this pandemic, yet simultaneously enables exemptions without evidence.

We will continue to do everything we can to keep people safe when in school. I would ask the community for patience and understanding as teachers and support staff do our best to navigate our way through these uncharted waters.

A Well-deserved Break

Despite limitations on travel I sincerely hope that you thoroughly enjoy the Easter break. Let’s get out there to experience and appreciate all the things that our local environment has to offer.

Mr J Wilson

Headteacher

2 November 2020

Dear parents and carers

Information regarding health and safety infection control measures continues to come into schools on a daily basis. The associated effects on learning teaching and SQA arrangements then have to be considered and implemented as best suits our setting. On Friday we were informed of the need for Senior Phase students to wear face coverings in all classes. This is outlined in the link below.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-reducing-the-risks-in-schools/pages/protection-levels-3-and-4/https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-reducing-the-risks-in-schools/pages/protection-levels-3-and-4/

Almost simultaneously we were informed that indoor PE can be reintroduced, assuming risk assessments indicate that it is safe to do so. These risk assessments have been carried out. Today (Monday 2.11.20) in a separate communication schools were informed that young people taking part in indoor PE do not have to wear a face covering during lessons.

Piecing all of that together, the outcomes are as follows:

  • All S4-S6 must wear a face covering in class, unless they have been granted medical exemption
  • Indoor PE can re-start this week.
    • Students do not have to wear a face covering when taking part in physical activities.
  • Continuing from ongoing arrangements, students in all year groups must wear a face covering when in communal areas, including corridors.
  • In all year groups where a member of the class or a member of staff has an underlying health condition, staff and students will be asked to wear a face covering.

Please ensure that your child comes to school with an appropriate face covering. Please also ensure that your child comes appropriately dressed for winter. For infection control purposes, good ventilation needs to be maintained in classrooms. Windows will be open and rooms will become cold during the winter months.

I am very pleased to share that so far the level of compliance and pro-active mutual support from our students has been excellent. They continue to do themselves and their families proud.

Thank you.

Mr J Wilson

Headteacher

14 October 2020

Message 2 from John Wilson, Headteacher and NHS Lothian - 

As you may already know, we are aware of a person in the school who has tested positive for COVID-19. We have been working closely with NHS Lothian Health Protection Team and following all national guidance.

A number of people have now been contacted because they have been in close and sustained contact with the case and the tracking process is now complete.

These contacts will need to self isolate and appropriate guidance and advice has been given.

If you have not been contacted, your child should attend school as normal.

If you have any concerns in the meantime, or if you need to book a COVID-19 test because your child has developed symptoms (high temperature, a new continuous cough and/or a loss or change in sense of smell or taste) please visit the NHS Inform website www.nhsinform.scotwww.nhsinform.scot  or for non-clinical advice call 0800 028 2816.

Remember to stay at home if anyone in the household has symptoms of COVID-19.

For further information you may find this Frequently Asked QuestionsFrequently Asked Questions document useful :

https://www.nhslothian.scot/Coronavirus/Parents/Schools/Pages/default.aspxhttps://www.nhslothian.scot/Coronavirus/Parents/Schools/Pages/default.aspx

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Message from John Wilson, Headteacher and NHS Lothian

We are aware of a person in the school who has tested positive for COVID-19. We are working closely with NHS Lothian Health Protection Team and following all national guidance.

A number of people are currently being contacted because they may have been in close and sustained contact with the case and will need to self isolate.

They will be given appropriate guidance and advice.

An update will be sent to you as soon as the tracking and tracing process is complete.

If you are not contacted, your child should attend school as normal.

If you have any concerns in the meantime, or if you need to book a COVID-19 test because your child has developed symptoms (high temperature, a new continuous cough and/or a loss or change in sense of smell or taste) please visit the NHS Inform website www.nhsinform.scotwww.nhsinform.scot or for non-clinical advice call 0800 028 2816.

Remember to stay at home if anyone in the household has symptoms of COVID-19.

For further information you may find this FAQs usefulFor further information you may find this FAQs useful https://www.nhslothian.scot/Coronavirus/Parents/Schools/Pages/default.aspxhttps://www.nhslothian.scot/Coronavirus/Parents/Schools/Pages/default.aspx

8 October 2020

Andy Gray, Chief Education Officer has issued a letter to parents/carers.

Translations of this letter are available in the following languagesArabic, Bengali, Simplified Chinese (Mandarin), Traditional Chinese (Cantonese), Turkish, Romanian, Polish and Urdu

1 October 2020

Positive Covid Test:   Brief Summary of School Actions

  1. The school contacts Health Protection Scotland (HPS) to inform them of the situation.
  1. The school contacts officers at City of Edinburgh council to inform them of situation.
  1. Advice is taken by the school, depending on individual circumstances of positive test.
  1. While HPS investigate the individual circumstances, the school is not permitted to contact any other parties, including staff, parents or pupils.
  1. If the positive test is confirmed by HPS the school will identify ‘close contacts’ in classrooms.
  1. The school will inform the parents of the ‘close contacts’ and ask for their child to go home to self-isolate.
  1. The school will then share a message from HPS to state that all other pupils should attend school as normal.
  1. Staff in the school and elected members will be advised of the situation.

31 August 2020

Professor Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director, Scottish Government has issued a letter with updated information/guidance on the Common Cold and Covid-19 symptoms.

27 August 2020

Dear Parents and carers

Please find attached the most recent update from the senior manager for City of Edinburgh schools. It includes much pertinent information.

With regard to the section on face coverings, you will know that the school is doing its best to adhere to government and Council guidelines. Please note that we do not have large stocks of face coverings, although these are on order from our central procurement office. It would be most helpful if students attended school with their own face coverings. I sincerely believe they want to help their friends and the wider community stay safe. If we support them to wear face coverings it will be easier for them to do so.

Kind regards

Mr J Wilson

Headteacher

26 August 2020           

Using Face Coverings in Shared Spaces Around Our School

To all Broughton HS Students

Broughton HS has a proud history of inclusion and respect.  We appreciate each other and value the fact that not everyone is the same.  We are a school where ‘being different is normal.’  One of the things that makes us different is the level of health that we enjoy.  Some of us have what are called ‘underlying health conditions’ that make Covid more dangerous.  Most of these conditions are quite easy and safe to live with in normal times but unfortunately the Covid virus means that people who have them must be very cautious all the time.  They are more worried than normal just now about their health.

Recently the Scottish Government has decided that it is safer for all of us to use face coverings when we are in communal areas of our building.  That means when we are moving from one classroom to another or have to stay indoors in wet weather we should have a face covering on.

  • Wearing face coverings will provide more protection from the Covid virus and will add to the other things we are already doing such as hand sanitising and cleaning surfaces in classrooms.  That means that when we all go home we are much less likely to spread the virus to our parents, carers and other relatives including more elderly grandparents.
  • In our school itself there are over 100 students and significant numbers of adult staff who have underlying health conditions.  Some members of staff may of course be pregnant at the moment.
  • You know that if there is an outbreak at our school we will have to go into lockdown again and everyone will have to work and study from home.  We do not want this to happen.

As your headteacher I know that you are caring and considerate young people and you want to do your best for others around you.  Although wearing a face covering might feel inconvenient and perhaps even a bit uncomfortable you might save someone’s life by wearing one as you move around our school.

If any of your teachers ask you to also wear the face covering in class during lessons it would be much appreciated if you could make an effort to do so.  That teacher may have an underlying health condition or might be looking after someone at home who is vulnerable.  Again, this is all about looking out for each other and caring for each other as fellow human beings.

Finally, the school is aware that some of you cannot wear a face covering due to your own health condition. The staff in the pupil support office will provide any student in this situation with a pass.  Miss MacMillan is co-ordinating this and will issue passes as quickly as possible. If you need a pass and have been missed out please see Miss MacMillan and she will help you.

This is a very difficult time for lots of people in our community.  The simple act of wearing a face covering will help to make things better. Please remember to wear the face covering and help each other to stay safe and healthy.

Thank you

Your proud Headteacher,

Mr Wilson                                                                                     

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Important Update:    Face maskLatest Information on wearing face coverings can be found here

 

 

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Broughton High School aspires to be a learning community known for its excellent learning and teaching. We maximise student achievement; provide support, welfare and inspiration. We are committed to continual improvement. Our students will be confident, successful and able to contribute effectively and responsibly to society. They should foster an interest in life long learning.

We are a consistently improving organisation. Our core values are the same - respect, inclusion and integrity in all that we do. Tolerance and a willingness to learn about other cultures have been at the heart of Scottish education for centuries. By embracing the Scottish tradition and developing through a curriculum for excellence we hope to develop as truly global citizens.

Broughton High School is developing as a centre of excellence in the wider community with our business partners and neighbours utilising the building during and beyond the school day. The development of partnership working is important to us and we actively pursue their development.

In school, it goes without saying that we provide a secure and healthy environment, but we aim for much more. We aspire to personal excellence at all times. In every classroom, on the playing fields, through every note played in the Music School we aim for the highest standards. These can only be achieved if the whole school community works in partnership.

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