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Virtual Schoolbag

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Returning to Holm School Survey – Please help us by giving your input by 5th June

Dear Families,

We have now been given the date of the 11th August for children to return to school. As you will understand, this will mean a huge amount of planning and preparation and not all children will be back at once. For example, we are looking at having 8 children per class.

We would like you to be part of this planning so please complete the survey by Friday 5th  June.

Returning to Holm School Survey:


In the meantime, please be reassured that:

  • We are very much  looking forward to seeing the children back in school.  Although we’ve mostly kept in touch using digital learning and other means, we have missed each and every one.
  • School will be a safe place. We will prioritise looking after your children with kindness and care.  We will work with you to make sure they are healthy and physically safe but also that they feel safe with us.
  • We understand they will all have made different amounts of progress with learning.  We will adapt to this and make sure we understand and provide what each child needs to learn.
  • Families have been through what might have been a stressful time.  We understand it may take time for children to settle back at school and for families to get back into routines.  Please let us know if we can help.
  • Education is a partnership between school and home.  We will do our best to consult you on key decisions, and please always feel free to let us know any ideas or needs we can act on.
  • Teachers and school staff have also been through a difficult time.  We are all learning how to get things right for each other.  So please bear with us if things are not ideal, and let us know any concerns.
  • We will work with you and your child to make sure they have the opportunities they need despite the recent and any future disruptions.


Thank you,



Ruth Mackay

Head Teacher

Holm Primary School

@schoolholm @holmmaths

Essential works to commence on Inverness West Link

Essential works to commence on Inverness West Link

Works on the Inverness West Link Stage 2 were suspended on the 24 March 2020 following COVID-19 guidance from the Scottish Government.

The Highland Council has been in dialogue with Contractors RJ McLeod and has agreed that essential works are required to begin to address safety issues but primarily the works to be undertaken are to provide for physical distancing and encourage active travel, walking, wheeling and cycling as part of, and to augment the successful Spaces for People project.

Colin Howell Head of Infrastructure said: “We have been working hard to provide measures to allow physical distancing and greater opportunities for active travel in Inverness. We have been in discussion with RJ MacLeod and we are pleased that they are prepared to recommence works that will re-establish General Booth Road and the active travel routes associated with it. 

“They will also be undertaking works that formed part of the approved bid for the Spaces for People project.  We have reviewed their method statements and risk assessments and are satisfied that they comply with they have clearly been developed using necessary guidance associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.’’

Steve Scott, Project manager with RJ McLeod confirmed: “The planned work will consist of Covid-19 measures around the site and works to allow the re-opening of General Booth Road.  All personnel will be from the local area and will be briefed on the requirements for the 2m social distancing between their work colleagues and the public.  We would appreciate the assistance from the public when passing through the site in adhering to social distancing guidelines for members of staff and other members of the public.’’




Back to school and learning – ‘carefully and gradually’

Back to school and learning – ‘carefully and gradually’

The Highland Council is assessing the implications of the First Minister’s announcements made on the 21st May about the first stage relaxation of lockdown, concerning teachers and other education staff returning to the workplace during June to prepare for the return to school and settings on 11th August.

Highland Council’s Education Committee Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said: “The return to workplace and Highland schools for our Education staff will have to be undertaken carefully and gradually.

“I understand the desire for parents and pupils to know what plans and preparations will be put in place to enable the start of term on 11th August; and that is exactly what our Education staff will be working on in the coming weeks.

“While I understand parental and pupil anxieties, especially for those starting at school – at this stage and ahead of formal engagement with local head teachers, parent forums and communities it is too early for the Council to provide any finalised plans or proposals on what the return to school will look like for Highland families. It is important that the local circumstances of each school will need to be considered along with consultations with key stakeholders. As soon as that information is available schools and the Council will promote this widely.”

Paul Senior, Executive Chief Officer Education & Learning added:

“There is a huge amount of preparation underway to return schools and our education settings in line with government guidelines. Before teaching and education staff can return to school, there are a number of measures we will be deploying to ensure that the views of Highland’s head teachers, parents, carers and communities inform our plans.

“These will include rigorous risk assessments that will need to be carried out, to ensure that safe distance working practices and other risk prevention measures can be adhered, to that will enable staff to return to the workplace safely in environments that are as safe as possible to minimise the potential for risk.

“Then, as soon as jointly agreed, risk assessed back-to-school plans are in place, the Council along with our schools and settings will provide information to parents, carers and pupils on what the new normal will be like.”

Pupils and parents should keep an eye on the news page of the Council’s website at:; and the Council’s Twitter or Facebook for updates on back-to-school information.



Nessy Responses – All Families Action Required Please


Mrs Thomson sent out an email two weeks ago regarding Nessy (a maths program) requiring parental/carer permission before she can enable the children to use it.

All families should have received the email, but if you you haven’t, could you please email

However if you did received it but have not yet returned your permission, could you please do so at your earliest convenience.

Thank you for those responses already received.



North Atlantic Corona Challenge 2020 – Young people encouraged to take part

For immediate release

North Atlantic Corona Challenge 2020 – Young people encouraged to take part

The Chair of the Highlands and Islands European Partnership is encouraging young people to take part in a special challenge to come up with creative ideas to help the North Atlantic region. 

Sponsored by Highlands & Islands European Partnership, the North Atlantic Corona Challenge 2020 is looking for young people to develop their best idea to save lives, businesses and communities affected by the Corona virus in the North Atlantic region. This will take the form of a 48-hour online challenge to run from 29-31 May 2020 with monetary prizes for the top three ideas. 

The Highland Council’s spokesman on Europe Cllr Jimmy Gray, Chair of the Highlands & Islands European Partnership welcomed the initiative. He said: “I know how creative and forward thinking our young people are so I’m sure there will be lots of constructive and imaginative suggestions put forward. This is a great opportunity, not only because of the financial prize money on offer for the top ideas, but Highlands & Islands Enterprise will provide entrepreneurship support to the winning team with a Highlands and Islands participant. It’s a chance to get involved in finding solutions for the future so I hope as many young people as possible living across the Highlands and Islands take up the challenge.” 

Full details can be found at or on Facebook or Instagram

Registration of entries closes on May 28th.



Highland Council promotes online training courses during COVID-19

Highland Council promotes online training courses during COVID-19

The Highland Council is encouraging individuals across the area who have been furloughed or made redundant during COVID-19 to access a range of online training courses, produced by education bodies. The courses seek to provide individuals with both soft and hard skills development in response to the current COVID-19 Emergency.

Many of the courses listed are free and cover a wide range of skills and subjects such as IT user skills, business administration, languages and personal development. The length of the course and its difficulty level also vary meaning users can either work on sharpening skills or they can take this time to explore new areas of interest.  

Courses are provided by various organisations such as Skills Development Scotland, Highland Third Sector Interface (HTSI), University of Highlands & Islands, and The Open University.

This list has been compiled by Dounreay who are supporting the Highland Council to aid the community during the coronavirus outbreak. The full list of organisations and links to access their courses can be found on our website here.

The Highland Council’s Chair of Corporate Resources Committee, Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: “If you have been made redundant or furloughed during the COVID-19 Emergency, this extensive list of online training courses can be the first step in gaining confidence when returning to work after lockdown.

I would urge anyone in this position to take advantage of these courses availability and use this time to increase your personal development. I’m sure the skills and knowledge gained from these online resources can go a long way to progressing an individual’s career prospects after this period of emergency”.



Interim Executive Chief Officer for Education and Learning Appointed

Highland Council appoints Executive Chief Officer

Paul Senior has been appointed by The Highland Council as interim Executive Chief Officer for Education and Learning.

Cllr John Finlayson, Education Committee Chair welcomed Mr Senior’s appointment, he said: “I am pleased to announce that Paul Senior will be joining us following the completion of his education services management role with Hackney Council in London and will be working with Highland Council from the end of May.”

Mr Senior brings considerable experience to this post; as an interim local government director and consultant he has operated frequently in recent years as the Director of Education, Children’s and / or Adult Services for several English unitary, borough, city and county councils; and has worked as an Inspector for OFSTED inspecting schools and local authorities.  He also has extensive experience working with elected Members and has been an advisor to National Government.

Paul commented: “I’m looking forward to joining Highland Council at such a crucial time and to working closely with our local area Head Teachers, partners and education system leaders. The Highland education system and all supporting parts such as our schools and settings have a lot of good practice to be recognised and celebrated, but also the data and results tells us that we have scope for improvement. There is a real strength of collaboration and partnership working across the Highland region in the work of education that is tangible, which provides a tremendous platform for us to collectively make progress. I’m passionate about improving outcomes for children and young people through the work of education and will aim to bring this passion, along with experience and learning from my previous roles to the Highland area to work with our partners, schools and settings to help make Highland one of the best places in Scotland for children and young people to learn and develop.”

Cllr Finlayson added: “I look forward to working with Paul and welcoming him to The Highland Council and given the most recent updates from the Scottish Government about the return of pupils to school in August, Paul’s experience will be essential in developing how Highland schools approach the return to school in a way that supports the blended model of learning that schools will be following.”

Paul Senior joins the Council’s already appointed Executive Chief Officers as follows:

  • Carron McDiarmid, Executive Chief Officer – Customer and Communities
  • Kate Lackie, Executive Chief Officer – Performance and Governance
  • Lesley Weber, Executive Chief Officer – Health and Social Care.
  • Liz Denovan, Executive Chief Officer – Resources and Finance
  • Malcolm MacLeod, Executive Chief Officer – Infrastructure and Environment
  • Mark Rodgers – Executive Chief Officer – Property and Housing
  • Allan Gunn, Interim Executive Chief Officer – Transformation and Economy.


Newsletter, Assembly and Important Info

Dear Parent/Guardian

We hope you are all safe and well. Please see below information which has also been sent via email.…

  1. Please see attached Newsletter Weekly Update – 25th May.docx
  2. Please click on the link to see this week’s assembly:

  • Important Info:

Here is some updated guidance which we will be following:

Link to Scot Gov guidance  –


Ruth Mackay

Head Teacher

Wake-Up and Shake Dance Session – Wed 9.30am with Amy

Some exciting new which we know some of our studenst will really enjoy.

The fabulous Amy Gallagher (High Life Highland, Dance Leaders, etc) will be streaming live across the Highlands with her “Wake-Up and Shake” dance sessions suitable for primary and secondary (family members feel free to join in too!). Any child with a Highland Google account can join this amazing event with Amy.

To join, click here:


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