Letters from the Head Teacher

School Bagde

18th February 2021

Good afternoon,
As I am sure you are aware, the Scottish Government has asked us to prepare Sgoil Lionacleit for the return of senior pupils who require to complete practical work for course assessment purposes. To make this as easy to read as possible, the timetable for the senior phase practical classes will be published separately on 19.2.21.

The guidelines for senior phase return (and our response) are listed below:

  1. Social distancing should be followed on buses that are not service buses - as our school buses are all service buses this does not apply.

  2. Young people should always wear masks inside the school building, including during lessons - this is a change to previous practice because we are now in tier 4.

  3. Senior pupils should always maintain 2m social distancing - the theatre and canteen area will be set up to deliver 2m social distancing for senior pupils who access it. Senior pupils will also be reminded of the importance of 2m social distancing during break/lunchtime.

  4. Senior pupils should use a separate entrance and exit from the key workers and vulnerable pupils accessing the HUB - senior pupils should use the theatre door to enter and exit the building, staff will be directing young people as required.

  5. Senior pupils should be kept separate from young people accessing the HUB - senior pupils who are in for practical classes will use a separate entrance, workspace and canteen area as directed by staff. They will also access a separate outside space at break time and lunchtime as required.

  6. Senior pupils should not have their learning disrupted by accessing practical subjects - when not in practical subjects' seniors will use the theatre as a workspace to continue to access online learning for the rest of their classes.

  7. Schools should prepare timetables to allow a full day in school for senior pupils that does not disrupt learning - see above, the exception to this would be if a parent/guardian is willing to come and pick up a young person who has a study period in an afternoon etc.

  8. Schools should make asymptomatic testing kits available to staff and senior pupils who are attending school - on the first day of attendance your young person will be given a pack containing all the relevant information and a consent form. When the consent form is returned, we will issue test kits and supporting paperwork.
As stated above, the timetable for senior practical classes will be published tomorrow via group call, the school website, and the school Facebook page.

Yours in partnership

Gordon Young
Head Teacher
Sgoil Lionacleit

School Bagde

3rd February 2021

Good afternoon,
following the First Minister's announcement yesterday I am writing to you to reassure you that we are working on a plan that delivers what she has asked schools to do. This plan will be communicated in due course (and assuming nothing changes between now and the 22nd February). For clarity, the instructions for secondary schools are that we should bring in no more than 8% of our seniors (S4-6), to work on practical subjects. More to follow as we have it,

Yours in partnership

Gordon Young
Head Teacher
Sgoil Lionacleit

School Bagde

22nd January 2021

Good morning,
The First Minister announced on Monday that there will be an extension of online learning until at least mid-February. As promised, we are reviewing how online learning is going and I am pleased to say that the feedback has been very positive. S1,2 and 3 are coping well with the demands of online learning and our offer gives a breadth of experience without overloading young people.

However as expected there will need to be minor changes to the senior phase delivery (S4,5 and 6). As senior pupils follow their timetable (in the same way they would if they were in school) they are spending a lot of time every day in front of a screen in an intense learning experience. This is often followed with work in the evening/weekend on top of the classwork/delivery. This is unsustainable in the longer term (particularly for S4 who have 6 full columns) without negatively impacting young people. After many discussions with staff and the leadership team at Sgoil Lionacleit, we will trial the following approach for the next period of online learning (starting Monday 25th January) - S4,5 and 6 will not have any work set by teachers for evenings and weekends, all work set can be completed during class time.

The national advice is that teachers and young people should continue to focus on teaching and learning during this period of online learning.We are awaiting further guidance from SQA about how evidence for assessment will be gathered this year and will feed back further once this has been communicated.

Yours in partnership

Gordon Young
Head Teacher
Sgoil Lionacleit

School Bagde

8th January 2021

Good afternoon,
Here is our plan for the switch to online learning:
We will review the impact of this and adjust as required.
I am very pleased to say that we will be offering a timetable of online learning that is comprehensive and mirrors the usual timetable for young people wherever possible. Here are the key points to be aware of:

  1. All year groups will follow their normal timetable, with some changes – see below for individual year group changes.
  2. If your young person does not know their timetable then please get in touch with the school office and we will email an electronic copy.
  3. We will send out a blank copy of a timetable next week to help young people with their planning.
  4. All content/lessons will be delivered via the Microsoft Teams platform.
  5. Lessons will not necessarily be spent in front of the computer (other than the ‘live teaching’ part of it). Also - modifications to the timetable will provide extra breaks.
  6. Teachers will deliver lessons ‘live’ and it is very important that young people are signed in and ready to take part in lessons as per their timetable, young people should be dressed and ready for learning, be polite and accept that the technology sometimes causes issues. Online learning is still school time and young people should behave as though they are in class.
  7. We will use Teams to track pupil attendance automatically so no other ‘sign-in’ will be required.
  8. PSE classes remain on the timetable and will be used to deliver the ‘Decider Skills’, this is a mental health and wellbeing course which provides tools and strategies for positive mental health. We would encourage parents/guardians to have a look at the book we will send out to young people next week.
    If you need help with this you should contact your young person’s guidance teacher:
    Mrs MacSween – jamacsween1e@gnes.net
    Mrs Campbell – fcampbell3a@gnes.net


First/Second Years:
Remove 1 period from each subject that has more than 1 period, for each class i.e. Maths will go from 4 periods to 3, Art with 1 period would stay on 1 period. Your teacher will make clear to you which period to remove.

The following subjects will provide work in teams but limited live delivery – Technical.

The following subjects will provide work in teams but no live delivery – PE.

The following subjects should be removed from the timetable – RE/RME, Skills for life learning and work, numeracy, ICT.


Third years:
Follow usual timetable with ‘live’ teaching but no homework/classwork will be set outside of the TT periods.

The following subjects will provide project work/tasks in teams but no live delivery – Scottish Studies, HEc, CORE PE.

The following subjects should be removed from the timetable – RE/RME, Crofting elective, Media elective, Gaelic elective, ICT.


Senior Phase – S4,5 & 6
The assessment calendar that was issued will now need to be updated. The assessment period planned for Jan/Feb will now not take place, updates to follow in due course.

Senior pupils should follow the usual timetable with ‘live’ teaching as required per the demands of the course, but teacher will address pupils at the start and end of every lesson.

Please note that Technical subjects will provide work in Teams but with limited live delivery, this is due to a reduction in the timetable as they are practical classes. Technical staff will however be available to answer and support pupils during school hours via email.

The following subjects should be removed from the timetable – RE/RME, Boatbuilding, CORE PE.


RE/RME – we will ask school Pastoral team to record weekly assemblies which will be sent out to pupils.

Yours in Partnership
Gordon Young
Head Teacher
Sgoil Lionacleit

School Bagde

31st August 2020

Good afternoon,

Please see below a link to a form that will need to be completed before we can issue a laptop to your young person in S4-6. Once the form has been completed we will issue a laptop via school ICT support. The form can be completed via the link in this group-call, Website, Facebook page:



[This contract sets out the terms for the local authority(LA) lending computer hardware to pupils for educational purposes.]

Yours in partnership
Gordon Young
Head Teacher
Sgoil Lionacleit

School Bagde

27th August 2020

Good morning,

The Scottish Government has issued further advice re face coverings in school, this advice has been collated by the Education and Children's Services department and is as follows:

From Monday 31st August, it will become a requirement for pupils in secondary schools in Scotland to wear face coverings. The introduction of this additional safety measure sits as part of a suite of controls and measures in place to keep pupils and staff as safe as possible in schools and we ask that parents and pupils continue to support these in the interests of all that attend school. The information below sets out how face covering requirements will be implemented in Western Isles secondary schools.

  • Face coverings must be worn in all communal areas, including corridors, social areas, toilets and other non-classroom areas identified by the school where pupils may congregate.
  • Face coverings are to be worn when moving between classes and at break times.
  • Coverings do not need to be worn in classrooms and should be safely stored away in a bag when not being worn. They should not be left lying on surfaces or desks.
  • As was already the case in the Western Isles, face coverings must also now be worn on all school transport.
  • The responsibility for having a face covering rests on the individual but schools will have a supply of face coverings available if a pupil forgets to bring one, it is lost or becomes damaged.
  • Exemptions will be permitted, particularly on medical grounds, and any intention to not wear a face covering must be discussed with school management and an exemption agreement sought.
  • Reusable face coverings are encouraged and they should be washed regularly at a temperature of at least 60˚c.
  • Singe use face coverings should be disposed of appropriately in bins provided in schools.
  • There is no specification about the nature or type of covering to be used. The Scottish Government has provided this video to demonstrate how to make a simple face covering.
  • Face coverings must not be shared with others.
  • Refusal to wear face coverings without valid exemption will be treated in line with the schools existing discipline policy.

Yours in partnership
Gordon Young
Head Teacher
Sgoil Lionacleit

School Bagde

11th August 2020

Dear parent/guardian,

Further to the group call in June (and central group calls from CNES) can I remind you that the plan this week is for S1, 4/5/6 only to come into school tomorrow 12.8.20. Thursday 13.8.20 will see all year groups return. I would also take this opportunity to point out that with the risk assessment in place that any behaviour which affects infection control will be treated very seriously.

Yours in partnership
Gordon Young
Head Teacher
Sgoil Lionacleit

School Bagde

10th August 2020

Good afternoon,

as we prepare for return to school this week there are some things we would like to share with pupils/parents and guardians as to how the school day will work:

  1. Pupils should use the hand sanitiser stations at the front of the school on the way into school. New S1 pupils should then report to the Theatre (this will be signposted). Other pupils should go to their first period class when the bell goes.

  2. Parents/guardians who are dropping pupils off at school should enter the main gate and proceed to the right and stop at the cones beside the buses, the pupils in the car at the front of the queue will disembark when asked to. In the interest of traffic management and safety this is the only place pupils should be dropped off by car.

  3. At the start of period 1 on Wednesday and Thursday there will be reminders of the actions on this list.

  4. From the theatre S1 pupils will have buddies assigned to show them around for the first few days at Sgoil Lionacleit, these buddies will take them to and collect them from class.

  5. Uniform should be worn where possible - if this is not possible this week/next then please remedy the situation as soon as possible, if you would like some support with this then please contact the school office on 01870 603690. The link to buy uniform online is: schoolwearmadeeasy.com.

  6. PE will be outdoors (in line with guidance from the Scottish government), where weather does not allow this PE will be classroom based.

  7. At break-time S1-3 pupils should only be downstairs or outside. S4/5/6 pupils should head to their common rooms/area.

  8. On Wednesday we will give S1 an extended lunchtime to come down to the canteen and be talked through the systems in place.

  9. Movement between classes will be via a 1-way system that will be clearly signposted for all pupils.

  10. Upon entering a class young people will be asked to sanitise hands and use a disinfectant wipe on the area they will be working.

  11. Different departments will deal with jotters and materials in the way that best suits the subject - this will be communicated to pupils in class.

  12. Lockers will not be in use for the duration of these changes - pupils should bring whatever materials they need for that day.

  13. As a bare minimum we would expect that young people bring a pen/pencil and a calculator to school with them (these materials should not be shared). If there are any issues please get in touch and we will support in any way we can.

  14. Staff will maintain a 2m distance between each other and from young people, where this is not possible staff will wear a face covering. Young people may wear face coverings at their own discretion (except on buses where it will be mandatory).

As the advice continues and evolves I may be back in touch with further updates.

I look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday or Thursday,

In partnership
Gordon Young
Head Teacher
Sgoil Lionacleit