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March 2013 Newsletter

parents newsletter

Harris Rebuild Update March 2013

Dear Parent or Guardian


Welcome to the fourth issue of the New Harris Academy Newsletter. This newsletter aims to update you with progress on the plans to build a new Harris Academy and outline the arrangements for the decant to Rockwell for the 3 years which the building of the new school will take. The New Harris Academy web site is now up and running. Details for decant and rebuild of Harris are available on it where you can look at plans and developments in more detail.


Planning Approvals and Project Update

The plans for the new Harris Academy were summited for full planning approval in February, and will go to committee in April. The designs and layout of the new school continue to be finalised. Staff we are now in consultation over the more detailed aspects of furniture and room layouts within the proposed building.



Decant to Rockwell

Building works are ahead of schedule within the Rockwell building. Many of the internal adaptations required to accommodate Harris Academy have been undertaken. Works are now focussed on bringing the classroom accommodation up to a standard to deliver the current curriculum. The dining area within the assembly hall is part way through its transformation, when complete it will serve as a multifunctional facility, allowing us to deliver year group assemblies as well as providing a dining and snack facility.


We intend to take all pupils up to Rockwell next term to allow them to walk round the building and see where departments will be situated; this will also allow them an initial introduction to the building prior to starting in August.  It is our intention to hold an open evening for parents during the Summer term.


Removal works start at the beginning of May and go on throughout the term.  As suggested previously we will be looking to minimise the impact this may have on the teaching and learning within the current Harris building. During this period however we must begin to move all departments into the Lawton road site to allow us to begin teaching immediately in August. It is inevitable that compromises may have to be made. We would ask therefore for your patience and understanding during this time.  Do not hesitate to be in touch with us if you have any concerns during this period.


Closure Days

As part of the programme to assist in the decant of Harris Academy to the Lawton road site, It has been agreed by the Scottish Government that 4 closure days will be permitted to assist in the move. These will result in an early closure and a later return from the 2013 summer break for pupils.

Closure Days for Packing of Materials – Thursday 27th and Friday 28th June 2013. This will result in school finishing on Wednesday 26th June 2013 at 12.00pm lunchtime.

Closure Day for Unpacking of Materials – Wednesday 14th August. All pupils will return to School (at Lawton road) on Thursday 15th August 2013.


Bus and Transport Arrangements


Following agreement at the recent Harris Academy Project Board Meeting, the criteria given below will dictate our travel solution during the decant period.


All pupils resident within Harris catchment area that are more than 1 mile from the Rockwell School site will be entitle to assistance in travel to the Lawton road site.

What this means is that if your child meets the above criteria then they will be provided with a bus pass to assist them in getting to and from school.  If you are unsure if you currently live within the Harris catchment area, then you can check on the Dundee city council Website. Pupils living within other local authorities may be provided an alternative travel solution.


Maps are provided to suggest possible bus route available to Harris Academy pupils and bring them close within the locality Lawton Road. Additionally there will be a rerouting of the current 22s & 1S bus services to help accommodate the additional capacity of pupils accessing the Bus network. We are currently looking at routes to best service the pupils starting from the west of the city and terminating at Rockwell, once the routes are confirmed these will be made available on the school website.


A survey has been set up to gauge the up take in travel options during the decant period. This will be used to inform the travel network to make sure capacity within buses is catered for.  It is therefore important that you complete the survey to indicate how you intend that your child travels to and from school.


Bus passes will be provided through the NEC cards . This should allow pre-loading of cards by the Authority to reduce the amount of time needed to renew and apply for new passes. It is likely that photographs will be used from the school registration system to allow us to use the most up to date photographs. In some cases however pupils may be requested to provide a photo.


There will be meetings organised next term to update parents of some of the information above and to answer any questions they may have.


The most current and most up to date Information is available on the Harris and Dundee City Council websites: