Find below this weeks update. Sorry it is a long one again. It contains a great deal of information and some highlighted events and resources.
Angus MacRury DHT
Arrangements for P4 to P7 return 15th March 2021
Dear Lochend Parents, Carers and Pupils,
The advice that follows is subject to continued reductions in prevalence and community transmission of the virus, no significant changes in the evidence, and reassurance that appropriate infection prevention and control mitigations are in place both within schools and ELC settings, and in the wider community.
At long last we can welcome you back to school after your 8 weeks of remote learning, but this is subject to the advice above from the Scottish Government. We are all really looking forward to seeing you back in your classes and having fun with your classmates in person rather than over ‘google meet’.
There will be ‘soft start’ each day for all pupils to reduce the need for lining up and we are staggering the dismissal of stages to ensure this is safe for pupils, parents and staff. We would be very grateful if parents would stick to these timings.
As before, all pupils will remain in their own class registration group for classroom activities, breaks and lunchtimes. We will be splitting our break and lunchtimes to allow the pupils more space in the playground and to limit the numbers of pupils’ staff will have contact with.
For All P4 – P7 Pupils from Monday 15th March 2021 until arrangements change:
|Start Times||Mon- Thurs||Friday||Staggered Finish|
Primary 4 and Primary 5
Enter school between:
8.35 – 8.45am
Lessons start at 8.45am
Enter school between:
8.35 – 8.45am
Lessons start at 8.45am
Primary 4 and Primary 5
Pupils will be dismissed at 3pm (Mon – Thurs)
Pupils will be dismissed at 12.10pm (Friday)
Primary 6 and Primary 7
|Enter school between:
8.45 – 8.55am
Lessons start at 8.55am
|Enter school between :
8.45 – 8.55am
Lessons start at 8.55am
| Primary 6 and Primary 7
Pupils will be dismissed at 3.10pm (Mon – Thurs)
Pupils will be dismissed at 12.20pm (Friday)
|Pupils should be dropped off at Hallhill (or the school gates if you are walking) and make their way to their class entrance.
We ask that parents do not use the staff car park to drop pupils off unless arranged in advance for specific reasons agreed by the school.
The school gates will be closed, and only opened at 8.35am so please do not send your child to school before this time.
We ask that parents arrange to meet pupils at Hallhill cark park or at a pre-arranged place.
Parents should not use our Lochend staff car park unless previously agreed by school.
The First Minister made it clear that alongside the factors we are putting in place in schools, one of the most important actions was for parents to keep 2m apart and minimise the contact they have at the school gate and in the community.
We would really appreciate it if all children used either of the gates to come into school and not the car park.
Unless you have a blue badge or you have arranged permission in advance with the school, you are unable to use the school carpark to drop your child off at school. Both the front and back gate will be open for pupils to enter the school grounds.
There will be members of staff on the gate and at the classroom doors to ensure pupils get to the right room.
P4 & P5 – lessons start at 8.45am
P6 & P7 – lessons start at 8.55am
If you have a child who is anxious or worried or needs some support, please come along toward the end of the soft start, at 8.55am and a member of the Senior Leadership Team or support staff will be able to spend time with you and your child without lots of other pupils around.
In school learning
For the first few days there will be a focus on ensuring that children are aware and follow the health, safety and well-being measures in place. In the classroom, teachers will be giving pupils the chance to reconnect with their friends, engage in activities that are aimed at making them feel welcome, secure and happy to be back at school. Over the following weeks pupils will engage in new learning, and re-visit the learning since January in different contexts. Teachers will assess where pupils are in specific areas and what areas should be revised and the needs of the pupils based on observations and class activities.
What pupils need to bring each day
They should bring a waterproof jacket or coat, named water bottle, snack and lunch box. Gloves and hat if it is cold.
Movement through the school will be limited and most children will spend their time in their classroom and outdoors. There will be markings in the school building and playgrounds to support pupils moving around in their bubbles.
Ventilation in buildings
Staff will be asked to ensure good ventilation by keeping windows open and where possible not closing the doors of small rooms. Pupils and staff will spend more time outdoors, with weather appropriate clothing. An extra jumper in the school bag will be useful on colder days.
All areas will be cleaned daily by cleaning staff to maintain high standards of cleanliness, using methods and cleaning products in keeping with national guidance (COVID-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings). Additional cleaning will take place at lunchtimes and cleaning materials will be available in every classroom and for use by janitors during the day as required.
Stocks of soap will be checked, and replenished, before the start of every day. All classrooms have access to warm water and soap. Hand sanitiser will be available at each usable entrance point to the building, unless there is immediate access to soap and water in these areas. Stocks will be checked every day. Pupils and staff will wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol hand sanitiser, when:
*entering the building *before eating or handling food *after blowing nose *after sneezing or coughing *after going to the toilet *
Staff working in school are now taking part in the Asymptomatic PCR testing programme as an added precaution to reduce contact with adults who may be carrying the virus without knowing.
Access to Toilets
Pupils’ access to toilets will be carefully managed to ensure good health and hygiene. There will be a strong emphasis on hand washing after visiting the toilet.
Outdoors / Wider Access
In order to limit the number of people in the building, no parents or carers are allowed access until the restrictions are changed. Contact with the school must be made either by phone or by e-mail.
Playgrounds will only be accessed by children and staff, and only an emergency will trigger a need for anyone else on site so that carefully calculated capacities can be maintained. Access to the building will be strictly controlled.
Physical Distanced Evacuation Arrangements
Staff will try where possible to keep a 2m distance from pupils. They will be required to maintain a 2m distance from other adults in school. We will hold a practice fire drill for Lochend Campus during the first week at school.
Evacuation arrangements for children with complex needs or disabilities will be reviewed in light of any changes with a review of Personal Evacuation Plans undertaken as part of the planning process.
Break and lunch times
Break and lunch times will still be staggered to reduce the number of children in the playground at one time. Each class is allocated a playground zone and we change this rota every 2 weeks. Pupils will continue to eat their lunch in the classroom. Once the pupils are finished their lunch indoors, if they have one snack left, e.g. a piece of fruit, a packet of crisps or a biscuit then they can take this outdoors with them to finish there (just like they would eat one playtime snack outdoors at break earlier in the day).
First Aid, Medication, Personal Care & PPE
Staff have been issued with disposable gloves and aprons for all first aid and personal care tasks. Where required, staff will deal with first aid requirements and personal care at as ‘safe’ a distance as possible however you will appreciate that the 2m rule is not possible here especially when TLC is also required. If your child requires to have medication in school you must ensure you have completed the appropriate paperwork for school staff to be able to administer this. Forms are available for asthma, prescribed and non-prescribed medication by email at the school office. If your child requires to use an inhaler in school, we should have two in school – one will be kept in the pupil’s classroom tray and a spare one will be kept in our Medical Room.
If a pupil attends the school with symptoms of cough and/or high temperature, they will need to go home immediately. If they need to wait to be collected by their parent or carer, they will be isolated in a private, well ventilated room/area and (asked to) avoid touching surfaces. Isolation rooms will be cleaned after use in keeping with National Guidance.
School staff will be vigilant to any potential signs of Covid-19 and will always err on the side of caution in contacting parents and carers.
School uniform plays an important part of creating a positive school ethos and we would encourage our pupils to wear our school uniform and colours so that they feel part of the school community. We encourage pupils to wear their outdoor PE kit on the days when they have PE and the class teachers will provide more details about this when we return. Shoes – the grass can get quite muddy so we would be grateful if pupils could wear appropriate shoes for this, e.g. boots or wellies on a wet day. They can also bring another pair of shoes to change into should the need arise.
Meeting with staff/Visiting the school
We really value our relationships with you and want to provide opportunities to discuss any worries or concerns you may have. Currently, we are required to limit the amount of people who are coming in and out of the school buildings. With this in mind we are still asking you to ‘phone or email first’. This enables us to plan for meetings in a safe way for everyone. If you are visiting the school or school grounds, we would ask that you wear a face mask, as you would currently in any public building to help keep everyone in our school community safe.
If you have any questions or need to contact us, you can do so in the usual way – by contacting the school office admin team by email (email@example.com) or by phoning the school (01368860997).
In the first instance please contact the school office or the Year Stage Head:
P4 – Mr MacRury
P5 – Mrs Kelly
P6 – Mrs Eeles
P7 – Miss Eunson
Well done to our pupils who have really stuck at it even when lots of them were ‘fed up’. The new skills they have developed and the resilience they have shown is very positive. This has been a challenging situation and we want to thank parents and carers for the support you have given your children. We appreciate it and we are really glad to be getting them back.
Red Nose Day: Red Nose Day is here again and on Friday 19th March 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
People across the UK will be dressing up, donning noses and generally being silly and having fun and we are going to join in!
We will all be back at school. YEE HA!
The theme of this year’s Red Nose Day is all about the power of humour in helping us all get through tough times. Many will agree that we could all do with a bit of a laugh now more than ever and this year’s Red Nose Day aims to harness the power of humour, bring a smile to folk’s faces and raise funds for those who might be struggling due to the effects of Covid-19.
We are all being Superheroes at the moment and trying our best to keep things going. The Comic Relief website is suggesting that pupils dress up as a Superhero – and there are activities to work on. Pupils (and staff who want to!) could dress up as a superhero. I’m also suggesting we say wear anything that is funny / makes someone smile. Lots of people are more than happy to wear a T-shirt but draw the line on the underpants on top of tights. So an alternative could be wearing a funny T-shirt / a wig / any dressing up costume. We are hoping that this level of variety will allow everyone to take part without having to go out and buy costumes – with a suggested donation of £1 for Comic Relief for anyone who is able to donate.
There has been a fund set up on the SchoolPay website called 2021 Red Nose Day. Any staff or pupils can make a donation through that if they wish.
We have not bought any Red Noses to sell school this year so we need to tell pupils to look out for noses when they are out shopping. The noses cost £1 each.
This year these are plastic free and have a nature theme and there are some tips on how best to enjoy your Nose safely: (not a line I imagined ever writing!)
Wash your hands regularly – especially before and after using your Nose.
Ensure the Nose is kept in a safe and clean place when not in use.
Follow a one nose per Nose rule.
There are lots of ways to enjoy your Nose if you don’t wish to wear it on your nose.
There will be a special Red Nose day Assembly on 19th featuring Barney the Bear, Rangy the Orang-utan, the Gruffalo and some rather silly Red Squirrels. Look out for the 100 really bad jokes! (Apologies in advance.)
Jayne Gray, Principal Teacher. Fundraising co-ordinator
Angus J MacRury, DHT
Brunton Puppet Animation Festival
Every Easter The Brunton and ELC Arts Service bring the Puppet Animation Festival, the UK’s largest performing arts event for children, to East Lothian. These imaginative and playful, high quality performances and workshops are ideal for primary school age children and usually take place in venues across the County.
This year the Puppet Animation Festival is going ONLINE with two fabulous performances to watch through The Brunton’s website and two fun workshops to take part in via Zoom.
The Incredible Tale of Robot Boy (Theatre Rites) will be on Saturday 10 April at 11.30am & 2pm for ages 8 plus.
In the most extraordinary high-tech laboratory, a team of the world’s top scientists are attempting the impossible, to create a robot with a real brain. Their aim is to push the boundaries of scientific discovery. They succeed and Robot Boy is born. A poetic story about humanity, responsibility and life with dazzling puppetry, interactive film and performance.
Theatre-Rites is one of the UK’s leading theatre companies, known for their puppetry and object manipulation work and for creating innovative theatre for children and adults. Watch the trailer here.
The Selfish Giant (Tessa Bide Productions) is on Saturday 17 April at 11.30am & 2pm for ages 3 plus.
Inspired by the touching children’s story The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde, powerful storytelling, captivating puppetry, beautiful design, enchanting music and a sprinkling of audience interaction are used to explore an unusual friendship and how even the grumpiest giant’s heart can melt when Spring finally comes.
Tickets for The Incredible Tale and Robot Boy and The Selfish Giant are just £5 each (plus booking fee). This is per viewing – regardless of the number watching together at the same time.
Two fun and interactive workshops presented by Temporary Commons offer the chance to stay connected and get creative. Bookers will receive a pack with all the materials needed as well as a Zoom link to join the workshop online, led by professional puppet creators.
Sing Song Bird Puppet workshop is on Saturday 10 April at 10am & 3.00pm, for ages 8 plus.
Using collage and pop-up card folding techniques, participants will make a bird puppet with a moving beak. These birds love to sing, squawk and chatter. The birds sing a simple song which will be shared at the end of the workshop.
Wibble Wobble Clown workshop is on Saturday 17 April at 10am & 3.30pm, for ages 5 plus.
These puppets are collages made from simple shapes, then assembled with split pins. Once they’re made, the clowns will parade, to test their tipple topple, wibble wobble.
Each workshop costs £10 per participant, which includes postage of all the materials needed as well as access to the professional led online workshops.
Book online here or call 0131 653 5245 Mon-Fri 10am – 3pm
As The Brunton currently remains closed, the Trust are appealing for donors to help support them to survive, thrive and continue to bring a programme of arts and entertainment to East Lothian and beyond. Donations can be made via The Brunton’s website www.thebrunton.co.uk
The next Parent Council meeting will be held online on Tuesday 9th March at 7pm. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend. Click below for the agenda and minutes of the previous meeting.
Free Courses for Parents
Find below free courses for parents resident in Scotland.