Rector's Update - 3rd April 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

Please find below definitive position regarding National Qualifications from both SQA and Edinburgh City Council. You will note that our position regarding second prelims and the like has been confirmed. Please also note SQA advice regarding parental request for further information on estimated grades etc.

Can I also take the opportunity to thank parents for their messages of support. We managed to pull together a wide range of learning activities and advice within 3 days of the school closing. This was an incredible feat and I congratulate my colleagues for all their efforts on this.

As we reach the end of the second week of school closure we are now working on further refining our advice and materials whilst also finalising coursing and timetabling for next session. This update will be forwarded to you after the holidays.

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Statement on SQA from City of Edinburgh Council

Dear pupils, parents and carers,


I am writing to you to provide you with the information we currently have regarding SQA processes for certification this session. I appreciate that this is a very difficult time for our senior students, and I hope that this letter reassures you that we are doing all we can to ensure that their achievements are recognised and rewarded. This letter has been prepared in conjunction with council officials to state the position in City of Edinburgh schools.


SQA released further details of what they have referred to as their “alternative certification model” on 2 April 2020. I can share some of the details of this model below, but please note that there is yet further advice, dealing with the technicalities of the process, which we have been told we will receive from SQA by 20 April.
You may also wish to refer to the SQA’s newly published online document Guidance for learners, parents and carers, which can be accessed via this link: https://bit.ly/2UD5Laq


SQA certification for National Qualifications in session 2019-20
The SQA will ask teachers to provide an estimated grade for each pupil in each course, in line with their advice. These estimates will be submitted to SQA by 29 May – note that this is a considerable extension from the original deadline of 24 April.


The SQA will then use all of the information gathered nationally to allow them to adjust estimates where necessary, to ensure consistency both across the country, and in comparison with previous years.

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Home Learning Suggestions for Friday 3rd April

Learning Ideas for Friday 3rd April

This is will be the last update for a couple of weeks. Although these are difficult times, we hope you can enjoy as good a break as possible.

There are lots of ideas and suggestions on our website and we would recommend that this is where you look first www.trinity.edin.sch.uk/covid-19.html

You can access your office 365 account (including Teams) at https://office365.edin.org

 

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Statement regarding SQA

Dear pupils, parents and carers

I am writing to you to provide you with the information we currently have regarding SQA processes for certification this session. I appreciate that this is a very difficult time for our senior students, and I hope that this letter reassures you that we are doing all we can to ensure that their achievements are recognised and rewarded.

SQA have yet to release details of what they have referred to as their “alternative certification model”. We will of course share these details when they finally arrive. You will appreciate that some of the information set out below may change in line with the SQA guidance, but it is accurate at time of writing and has been prepared in conjunction with council officials to state the position in City of Edinburgh schools.

SQA certification for session 2019-20

The SQA will ask teachers to provide an estimated grade for each pupil in each course, in line with their advice. These estimates will be submitted to SQA in late April. The SQA will then award final grades, taking into consideration the school’s estimated grades and other factors (e.g. prior achievement in National 5 if being presented for Higher this year in the same subject).

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Duke of Edinburgh Adaptations

Trinity D of E Update 2.4.20 Coronavirus adaptations


I hope everyone is well and managing to work out some sort of routine that works for them in this second week of lock down!?


Hopefully you have been able to give some thought to how you can keep some or all of your D of E activities going. If you haven’t read my previous post on the School App or in Teams please have a look at https://www.dofe.org/coronaactivitytips/ for some guidance from the D of E website. If you are able to adapt your current activity to be done from home then do so.


Contact your assessors for each of your sections by phone, text, email etc and discuss what you could do from home to continue with your activity for, on average, 1 hour per week. For example, anyone doing an activity for their Physical Section could continue with training for their sport by running, cycling or doing bodyweight circuit training. You will obviously still need to upload evidence in your eDofE account in the usual way. This could be written details of your training programme or better still come from screen shots/data from Apps such as Strava (the free version), Google Fit or the suite of Down Dog fitness apps. (The Down Dog apps have been made free to all school pupils and teachers until 1st July…log in with your school email address.) If you don’t want to use these apps but have others you prefer then that is absolutely fine.

If you are unable to adapt your current activity to be done from home (through no fault of your own eg: because of current social distancing guidance!) then you are allowed to change your activity once to one that can be carried out from home remotely. However to do this you MUST let me know first by using the Change Activity button on your sectional planner page in eDof E. Once I have approved the change you can start. To do this you will have to think carefully about what it is you can do reasonably and that you can find an assessor to approve it “remotely” online. You could switch your Skills Section activity to cooking and/or baking, learning some Art skills, learning a new language, learning a new instrument etc.  Check out the D of E website for ideas and think about family friends, neighbours or teachers at school etc that have experience in the activity and could be your assessor. I have already been in touch with all staff at school to make them aware that they might get requests to be assessors through our school 365 account. Please be mindful of the fact that not all teachers will be in a position to be able to help because of personal circumstances etc and that helping out with D of E is NOT part of a regular teachers paid job. If they are able to help you out, they are volunteering to do so and that they may want to, but actually can’t because of what might be going on at home for them. If staff are unable to help, for whatever reason, I have asked them to simply reply to you with a short but polite: “Sorry, but unfortunately I’m not in a position to be able to help you with this” That way, no unnecessary long explanations are required to be sent by them or understood by and you can move on to try and find someone else out-with our school community to be your assessor.

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Update from Mr Paterson (HT) - 2nd April 2020

I have had a number of queries as to what senior students should be doing during what should have been exam time. Parents are also asking why tracking reports are not being sent and why Trinity has not set additional assessments “like other schools in the private or state sector.”

I can confirm that we are in the process of completing coursing and next year’s timetable. Students can if they wish opt to engage in independent study until such time as we are able to confirm courses. I would suggest that an alternative course of action in these exceptional times would be for our students to consider working or volunteering in the community during what would have been exam time. In these exceptional times, there is certainly a huge demand for such. My own staff have been engaged in delivering food parcels and volunteering to support the child care and learning of children of families of key workers in the community.

On the assessment issue, I have already posted on the website a number of times, that Trinity Academy will not engage in any further asssessment to bolster SQA evidence or otherwise  This is a professional decision underpinned by both Edinburgh City Council and SQA. I would also confirm that we are not able to forward tracking reports as normal as we have no access to the school and associated admin and IT systems. We are honestly doing our very best in the most difficult of circumstances.

I will keep all updated on progress and developments insofar as I am able to.

Many thanks for your continued patience, understanding and trust.

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Home Learning Suggestions for Thursday 2nd April

Learning Ideas for Thursday 2nd April

There are lots of ideas and suggestions on our website and we would recommend that this is where you look first www.trinity.edin.sch.uk/covid-19.html

You can access your office 365 account (including Teams) at https://office365.edin.org

 

Scholar – http://scholar.hw.ac.uk

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Update on Coursing & Reporting

Dear Pupils, Parents and Carers,

I hope everyone is doing well during the school closure. I wanted to provide an update on a couple of the areas on my remit:

Tracking Reports

While we would normally have more reports to be issued, these have now been postponed indefinitely. Technically, it is simply not possible for staff to enter their reports as our reporting system uses a database which runs locally on the school server and can only be accessed from inside the school.

Coursing & Timetabling

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Update from Mr Paterson (HT)

Week 2 of lockdown and I hope everything is well with you and yours. A number of queries from parents regarding tracking reports and assemblies to discuss coursing. 

 

You will understand that in these exceptional times, we simply cannot deliver a normal service. I can confirm that no one can gain access to the school at the moment and teachers do not as yet have access to online management systems. 

 

There will be no further tracking reports issued until further notice. We did have a coursing evening a few weeks before lockdown where all was explained. All information is also available on our website.

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Home Learning Suggestions for Wednesday 1st April

Learning Ideas for Tuesday 31st March

There are lots of ideas and suggestions on our website and we would recommend that this is where you look first www.trinity.edin.sch.uk/covid-19.html

You can access your office 365 account (including Teams) at https://office365.edin.org

 

Careers Service

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Mental Health UK Resources for Parents

Mental Health UK have developed a variety of resources for parents and carers to support them in having conversations with young people about resilience and mental health which we think is hugely important during this time and at other times. The Bloom Resource Library website can be found at https://mentalhealth-uk.org/partnerships/bloom-resource-library/

They have also developed some guidance on how to have conversations about Covid-19 with young people, and provide reassurance during these challenging times. The resource is available on their website: https://mentalhealth-uk.org/blog/how-to-have-an-open-conversation-with-young-people-about-coronavirus/

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Home Learning Suggestions for Tuesday 31st March

There are lots of ideas and suggestions on our website and we would recommend that this is where you look first www.trinity.edin.sch.uk/covid-19.html

You can access your office 365 account (including Teams) at https://office365.edin.org

 

Geography

Daily Challenge- Africa

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Home Learning Suggestions for Monday 30th March

Learning Ideas for Monday 30th March

There are lots of ideas and suggestions on our website and we would recommend that this is where you look first www.trinity.edin.sch.uk/covid-19.html

You can access your office 365 account (including Teams) at https://office365.edin.org

Audible stories is free while schools are closed.

This means you can access some great books to listen to while off school.

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Latest Advice for Senior Pupils

Advice for pupils who are continuing studies next session

Some pupils have questioned staff with regards to whether they should be studying all of their subjects.

We would advise, if your son/daughter is intending to continue with a certain subject next session, then they ought to be continuing to study the subject and look at extending their study into the level above, once you have consolidated their learning from your current level (N4, N5 or H).

If you do not intend studying a certain subject next session then you should be directing your study to the subjects you are intending to study next session.

The only difficulty is that there is still some uncertainty from the SQA about how they will determine your final grade so please be mindful of this when deciding whether you choose to continue your studies of a subject.

Scholar will be opening up the level above current study for all pupils in due course. This will be beneficial to pupils who intend to continue with the subject. The following courses are available.

Course Title Course Title
   
English Biology & Human Biology
National 5 English National 5 Biology
Higher English Higher Biology
Advanced Higher English Higher Human Biology
French Advanced Higher Biology
Support Materials for Nat 5 French Chemistry
Higher French National 5 Chemistry
Advanced Higher French Higher Chemistry
Spanish Advanced Higher Chemistry
Support Materials for Nat 5 Spanish Physics
Higher Spanish National 5 Physics
Advanced Higher Spanish Higher Physics
Art & Design Advanced Higher Physics
Higher Art and Design Mathematics
Computing National 5 Maths
National 5 Computing Science Higher Maths
Higher Computing Science Advanced Higher Maths
Advanced Higher Computing Science Business Management
  Higher Business Management
  Advanced Higher Business Management
  Psychology
  Higher Psychology
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Update from Mr Paterson (HT)

What a hugely difficult and trying time this is for all of us! Teachers have done their utmost to try and design learning opportunities for students to engage in from afar. All of this done in the very week we were being asked to close for an indefinite time. They and the admin team are to be congratulated for this.

Having a daughter going into S6 next session, I know only too well that this is a very anxious time for our students who were about to sit SQA exams, especially when advice hasn’t been clear enough. I am aware that some schools across the country have attempted to bolster evidence by contriving additional online prelims. Notwithstanding the ethics around this, such practice does not comply with SQA advice as posted on our website, advice which will be updated as soon as we are able to. What I can say is that in Trinity we track progress throughout the year and will be able to comply with any future update with regards to estimated grades. We do this with utter professionalism and won’t be detracted from this.

My advice to all students in the Senior Phase is to continue to study at home in preparation for returning to school in due course. It would be foolish to do otherwise or to view lockdown as something of an extended holiday. Students can contact Teachers, Pupil Support or indeed Heads of House and me should they have any queries.

In terms of future communications, it is clearly difficult for us to do what we have done from afar. There has been criticism that my colleagues are communicating with students and not parents. This is unfair. Teachers expect any communication to be shared with you. That said, I will always ensure that updates and advice are posted on our website. Parents will be alerted to this via our App; the expectation being all students and parents will have already signed up for this. Similarly, Deputes will also ensure other information is posted for you. I will also be in direct communication with Mike Nicholson, Chair of our Parent Council to discuss any issues as these arise.

Keep safe and well

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Home Learning Suggestions for Thursday 26th March

Learning Ideas for Thursday 26th March

There are lots of ideas and suggestions on our website and we would recommend that this is where you look first www.trinity.edin.sch.uk/covid-19.html

You can access your office 365 account (including Teams) at https://office365.edin.org

Audible stories is free while schools are closed.

This means you can access some great books to listen to while off school.

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SQA Statement on coursework for National Courses

SQA statement on coursework for National Courses

 

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Following the announcement by the First Minister on Sunday, that no young person with SQA coursework to complete should attend school to do so, we continue to work hard on how we should take coursework evidence into account, in determining young people’s final grades.

Everyone here at SQA will do their utmost, given the current situation, and with the support of the education system, to ensure that learners’ hard work is rightly and fairly recognised and allows them to proceed to further learning or work.

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Home Learning Suggestions for Wednesday 25th March

Ideas for Wednesday 25th March

There are lots of ideas and suggestions on our website and we would recommend that this is where you look first www.trinity.edin.sch.uk/covid-19.html

You can access your office 365 account (including Teams) at https://office365.edin.org

 

Audible stories is free while schools are closed.

This means you can access some great books to listen to while the school is closed.

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SQA Update

We now know that the SQA exams have been cancelled but at this stage we do not have any details on how results / grades will be determined. We will be releasing further information once this has been clarified. Staff are still gathering information relating to predicted grades and will use their knowledge of individual pupils and their professional judgement in deciding any predicted grades. As well as using prelim results, other formative or summative evidence teachers have available will be used when deciding upon estimates.

We hope to also receive clarification from the SQA on how to proceed with incomplete coursework. 

We ask that all pupils and parents remain patient at this time as staff will be compiling these estimates, as they do annually. No estimates have been submitted to the SQA at this stage. We are unable to provide individuals with estimate information until we receive further guidance from the SQA. 

 We will of course keep pupils and parents updated over the next few days.

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Coronavirus Latest Advice (10th March)

You can find the latest letter from Andy Gray (CEC Chief Education Officer) here.

You can find the latest advice from NHS Scotland here.

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