Dear Parents and Carers,
Following the sad news yesterday of the Queen’s passing, we are expecting more information and guidance on the period of mourning in the coming days, and we will update you as we receive it.
Mr Neil Ewing
Acting Head Teacher
Today’s update contains 10 notices:
1. Family Fridays @KGS
Over the course of this session the Parent Council would like to invite parents into KGS on Friday mornings for school visits. The visits would be in small groups and run between 10am and 11am. Each visit would include a tour of the school in action, a chat with the Senior Leadership team over a cup of coffee, and a visit to some classrooms. The next visit will be on Friday September 30th and parents can email firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 28th September to book a place.
Just reminder that breakfast is available for pupils from 8.20am. The breakfast menu is on the school website and includes toast and cereals with hot food such as filled rolls and scrambled eggs available on demand.
3. Maths for S1 Parents
Roz McMahon, our Acting PT of Maths, is putting on a series of Maths information events this session.
The first online event will be on Wednesday 21 September, 7.30pm to 8pm on Vscene - Introduction to Maths and will look at the topics covered in S1, available resources, Assessments in S1 and Maths progression in the BGE and beyond
The second online meet will be on Wednesday 5 October 7.30pm to 8pm on Vscene and will cover the following:
Number and how we teach it
Promoting Positive Behaviour and Relationships (Mr Harvey)
Senior Pupils have access to Scholar and many of our teachers use Scholar to support learning and teaching. Scholar are delivering an information session for Parents and Carers. Details can be found below and we would encourage parents/carers to sign up.
5. Mobile Device Use
The use of Mobile Devices as a tool for learning both inside and outside the classroom has opened up many amazing opportunities for us to enhance the learning and teaching experience. This has been one of the few upsides of COVID. The short video below will explain our rationale for Mobile Device use and how we manage this in classrooms.
6. Attendance policy changes
School communities – from head teachers to parents and carers - are being asked to help support attendance at schools throughout Orkney.
If your child is absent due to illness, please phone the school office before 9.00am and leave a message on the answer machine - explaining the reason why your child will not be in school. Parents will be expected to phone and inform us on each day of illness unless it is a planned absence.
Where the school has not been informed of a pupil's absence, a text message will be sent to the main parental contact number (usually a mobile telephone number) asking them to contact the school to explain why their child is not in school (at this stage choose option 3 and speak directly to a member of the office staff). Parents/guardians/carers are asked to respond to these texts promptly, as there may be a serious reason why a pupil has not reached school in time to be registered.
If we haven't heard from parents or carers at this stage, we will then try to contact you by phone to confirm that your child is absent with your permission.
Securing the Highest Level of Universal Support (Ms Devlin)
7. Safe Islander event for S1 pupils: Thursday 22nd September 2022
Kirkwall Grammar School hosts an annual event for all S1 pupils in Orkney, called Safe Islander. This is the first time it has been held since 2019. Safe Islander is an educational programme where participants learn life skills that will help to keep themselves and others safe in the future. Small groups of pupils rotate around a number of workshops that are hosted by various agencies and businesses. They are presented with potentially hazardous situations and are encouraged to participate in a range of simulated practical exercises. Safety messages and advice are given by the presenters. The situations covered are safety on building sites and farms and at sea, fire safety, e-safety, dangers around drugs, flooding and electricity.
The activities are designed to help young people become more aware of personal safety; react appropriately to dangerous situations; and understand the role of the emergency services and how and when to contact them avoid becoming a victim of an accident or crime
Exact details of when your young person will attend during the school day will be shared with them directly nearer the time.
8. S1 break and lunchtimes
We are continuing to let all S1 pupils out of class for break and lunchtimes five minutes early each day, along with Senior Phase pupils, and will continue with this system until the October break to give our S1s plenty of time to settle in.
9. Scottish Child Payment – expansion of scheme.
The expansion of Scottish Child Payment was announced yesterday. Applications for all eligible children under the age of 16 will open from Monday 14 November. The award will also increase to £25 per week, per child. Clients will receive the payment every 4 weeks. The current award is £20 per week, per child for eligible children under 6 years old.
Families who used to get Scottish Child Payment, but whose child has since turned 6, will need to complete a new application.
The administrators of the scheme anticipate a large volume of new applications. This means people applying for the first time might need to wait to receive their award however, if eligible, clients will have their payments backdated to the day they first applied.
For more information regarding Scottish Child Payment and current eligibility please see:
10. Orkney Careers Fair 2022
The Orkney Careers Fair 2022, which has been organised in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Orkney and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is next Thursday – 15th September.
The event will consist of employers, education and training providers exhibiting side by side providing access to a range of information. The intention is that by speaking to employers about careers in their sector and identifying appropriate training or education routes, it will provide a fuller understanding of the options available in Orkney and further afield.
More information, including the exhibitor floor plan, can be found at
At KGS we plan to walk all S3-S6 students down to ‘Picky’ throughout the day, with each group having the following time slots in The Arena:
S3 Pupils; 0930-1030
S4 Pupils; 1145-1300
S5/6 Pupils; 1400-1530
More details will follow early next week.