As you may be aware from some articles in the media, there will be a partial solar eclipse visible on Friday 20th March 2015. This is because at this time the moon will be closer to the earth than it has been for nearly nineteen years.
Northern Scotland will have the best view of the partial eclipse, where more than 98% of the sun will be covered. For us in the South it is estimated that around 85% of the sun will be obscured. According to meteorological websites the moon will be nearest the middle of the sun at around 9:30am and will have entirely passed in front of the sun by 10:41am. Meteorological advice also says that the UK will see skies become darker for approximately two hours.
All of us will be watching out for the light change whilst being in the hall (as it is happening at the time of our Achievement Assembly) and we will be observing how dark it gets and talking to the children about how and why the eclipse is taking place.
To observe a solar eclipse directly, protective glasses must be worn in order to protect the eyes from damage. If pupils have appropriate glasses then we will ensure they have the opportunity to be outside and view the eclipse. We are unable to provide glasses.
Please make aware to your child that, under no circumstances, will we allow pupils to view the eclipse without the approved glasses. Exposure of the eyes to direct sunlight, for even a few seconds, can lead to permanent damage or blindness.
A small number of parents have said they would like to observe the eclipse with their children and, on this one occasion, I will authorise children staying at home with their parents on Friday morning as long as they are returned to school at 10:45 by an adult. Please send a letter to school with your child tomorrow morning outlining you have done this so we can amend our absence records accordingly. If pupils require a cooked lunch on that day (and are staying with parents to watch the eclipse) then please phone through the order by 9:15 at the latest so that we can inform the kitchen of dinner numbers.
Of course, the entire eclipse experience will depend on the weather on the day! If it is cloudy or raining, our view of the eclipse will not be as good as it would be on a lovely clear day.
We thank you for your support in this matter and hope that you are able to take time out of your day to view this too!