We have just been informed, Sunday 22 March 2020, by John Swinney, Depute First Minister of updated advice to all local authorities in relation to S4-S6 pupils. As a result of this advice, S4-S6 pupils should NOT go into school for any reason. An exception, however, is vulnerable S4-S6 pupils who access Complex Needs Provision. (Penicuik High School does not have a Complex Needs Provision) They should follow individual arrangements already in place for them with their school.

Instead, where possible, S4-S6 pupils, should finish their course work at home and schools will make arrangements to provide further guidance and support to S4-S6 pupils in due course. Schools, as of tomorrow, Monday 23 March 2020, will be working with staff to plan this support.

Further details will be coming from the SQA about how pupils’ qualifications and achievements will be graded in the light of this latest decision announced today by Deputy First Minister, John Swinney.

Click here for a copy of the announcement


Dear Parent/Carer

Following on from my earlier email today, I can confirm only the following subject areas should be in school on Monday 23 March 2020.

Art S4- 6 Nationals/Higher and Advanced Higher candidates

RMPS National 5 and Higher candidates – morning only

A number of other students may be in under individual arrangements with Support for Learning. They will know who they are.
No other S4-6 student should be in school at this time. We are trying to keep numbers low to protect all staff and students. If students who are not in the above categories show up they will be asked to leave and come back when required within the set S4-6 timetable.

Please also note the following:

1. All students must sign in and out due to Fire Regulations
2. Uniform is not required
3. All other normal school rules should be followed
4. Students should bring lunch – there is no catering for them and we would ask that students do not go in groups together to town.

Further details of coursework completion times for all departments will be sent out on Monday 23 March. In most cases individual students will be actually notified of the need to attend and should only be in school at the specified times.
I will also be sending out more information about the Distance Learning Programme for all S1-S3 which will be fully up and running by the week of 31 March 2020. This information will include guides for logging on and how to get a new password. If access is an issue next week for any student please default to the website resources.

Yours sincerely
Craig Biddick
Head Teacher (Acting)

Further update for parents

Dear Parent/Carer


Following the Deputy First Minister’s statement yesterday afternoon, I know many of you will be anxious about our approach to supporting pupils in S4-S6, particularly in light of the decision not to hold the final SQA exam diet in April and May.

I have already sent out the Midlothian Council communication which was issued this afternoon and it is also available on the school website. I am urgently meeting with the Principal Teachers in school today to help pull together our plans for the next two weeks.

The initial plan for this Monday 23 March will be communicated to you later today and will go on the website as well. Students have also been told this at Registration today. Only certain subjects will be offered each day or by special arrangement through subject teachers. All pupils in S4-S6 will be given support to complete any outstanding coursework, folios, timed assessments etc. in each of their subjects. Our priority is to ensure we have all the appropriate evidence which reflects the hard work and achievements of the pupils throughout this year.

You will appreciate that there will be a degree of fluidity to these arrangements as staffing levels may change as the weeks progress; we are already operating with a significantly reduced number of teachers. Pupils only need to be in school when required and Guidance staff will contact parents directly for specific pupils e.g. those who are self-isolating.

A catering service will not be provided, so we would ask that pupils bring a packed lunch and eat it in school. We would recommend that they don’t go into town and congregate in large groups. If you have any immediate queries please email them to the school address, we will do our best to answer them as soon as possible.

Many thanks again for your continued support.

Yours Sincerely

Craig Biddick
Head Teacher (Acting)