All posts by bmagill

Nursery enrolment: Enrol your child by 6 March 2020


Families with a child born between 1 March 2017 and 28 February 2018 are being encouraged to enrol their child in nursery before 6 March 2020 for 2020/21.


Older children, or those who have not yet registered for an early learning and childcare place, should also register by this date.


To register for a place:

·         Visit and find out about the different options available in council nursery settings from August 2020.

·         Download a nursery registration form from the website.

·         Complete the form and take it to your preferred (first) choice nursery. You should also take your child’s birth certificate.

·         If you are choosing a blend of more than one provider, apply to your council nursery first and then speak to your funded provider – private nursery, childminder or community group – about what hours you would like from them.

·         Make sure your application is in before 6 March 2020. Applications will still be accepted after this date, but they will not be considered in the first allocation process. Please get in touch with the Early Years and Childcare team if you have any questions or you can’t register by 6 March 2020.

01620 827872/01620 828786/ 01620 820186


Primary 1 BOATS 6th March at 11.30


Friday 7th February


Dear Primary 1 Parents and Carers



Bring Your Adults to School



Next half term we will be welcoming parents and carers once again to come into class and share in their child’s learning. We hope to focus on some literacy activities for this session.


This will take place on Friday 6th March at 11.30am


You will have an opportunity to explore and join in with some teacher-led and independent learning activities within the classroom. You will be asked to return to the playground as normal at home-time to assist us to dismiss the children safely.



We look forward to welcoming you on the 6th.



Kind regards


The Primary One Team

Newsletter – January 2020

                                                                                                                                                                               27th January 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,


My newsletter for January is actually a letter to offer support, to talk honestly about the behaviours that sometimes cause problems both in and out of school, and to see if we can find ways to help ‘our children’ get the very best out of school and the time at home and in the community. It came about from an article I read recently by Dr Luis Rojas Marcos that resonated so clearly with me as a parent and a Headteacher.  I want to share it with you in the hope that no one feels insulted but rather you can find something useful to help you.


As a school we have plenty of things to look forward to from now until the end of June, these 19 weeks of school will be used to teach, challenge, motivate and support our pupils to achieve their best. However, I have mentioned every year at Meet the Teacher we cannot work in isolation with our pupils, we need your support and engagement to help our children to try their best and to develop the resilience that is needed for school, life and work.


As a parent myself I know how hard it can be and how we often beat ourselves up about how we bring up our children. As parents and carers we are not given a manual to help us with the moody moments, the tantrums when they lose a game, the ‘no’ moments or the feeling that they are not listening to us anymore.


Dr. Luis Rojas Marcos, the New York Psychiatrist, who wrote the article suggests that today’s children are often being over-stimulated and over-gifted with material objects, but they are deprived of the fundamentals of a healthy childhood, such as:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             • Clearly defined limits

  • Responsibilities
  • Balanced nutrition and adequate sleep
  • Movement in general but especially outdoors
  • Creative play, social interaction, unstructured game opportunities and boredom spaces


He suggest some actions we can all take that he believes will make a difference to our children:


  • Set limits. Remember that you are the adult. Your children will feel more confident knowing that you are in control
  • Offer children a balanced lifestyle full of what children NEED, not just what they WANT. Don’t be afraid to say “no”
  • Provide nutritious food and limit junk food. Enjoy a daily family dinner without smartphones or distracting technology
  • Spend at least one hour a day outdoors doing activities e.g. cycling, walking
  • Involve your children in some homework or household chores according to their age (folding clothes, tidying toys, hanging clothes, unpacking food, setting the table, feeding the dog etc.)
  • Implement a consistent sleep routine to ensure your child gets enough sleep
  • Provide opportunities for “boredom”, since boredom is the moment when creativity awakens. Do not feel responsible for always keeping children entertained
  • Be emotionally available to connect with children and teach them self-regulation and social skills
  • Turn off and remove phones and tablets at night when children have to go to bed to avoid digital distraction
  • Connect emotionally – smile, hug, kiss, tickle, read, dance, jump, play or crawl with them


At school we are seeing and dealing with more and more pupils who are struggling emotionally and socially. Sometimes the problems can be traced back to a learning need, but in many situations when we meet with parents and children it often becomes apparent that lack of sleep or no clear boundaries has led to behaviours where they are unable to understand the word ‘no’ or are demonstrating aggressive or negative behaviours in school and at home. I send this letter out so that perhaps if you are struggling with some of these behaviours you can see there are solutions that you can try.


As a school we want to help and would be more than happy to meet and discuss any support we can offer. Mrs Prior, our Enhanced Support Worker, offers the courses Raising Kids with Confidence and Raising Teens with Confidence. Mrs Kelly is a trained Sleep Therapist, Mr Taylor, Miss Eeles, Mrs Paterson and Mrs Prior are all trained to deliver Seasons for Growth to both pupils and adults.


Yours sincerely

Helen Gillanders

Mrs Helen Gillanders












Seasons for Growth – Adult Programme


Seasons for Growth Adult Programme

Seasons for Growth aims to build resilience and bring hope and confidence to adults who have experienced significant change or loss. Grief may be due to any number of experiences: bereavement, relationship breakdown, coming to a new country or experiencing a natural disaster. It may be a recent loss, or something that happened a long time ago.

The Seasons for Growth Adult Programme consists of two separate components:

  •   Understanding Change, Loss and Grief  (1 x 3 hour seminar session)
  •   Exploring the Seasons of Grief  (8 hours in total – 4 x 2 hour small group workshop sessions)

The Understanding Change, Loss and Grief seminar is designed for use in a wide variety of workplaces and community settings to deepen understandings of the nature and impact of change, loss and grief on the lives of groups or individuals.

The Exploring the Seasons of Grief programme creates a safe place for participants to learn together in small groups of 4-7 adults. The programme supports participants in learning about the personal impacts of change, loss and grief, whilst developing skills in communication, decision-making and problem-solving.  This helps to restore self confidence and self-esteem.

What Participants say about Seasons for Growth:

“Reflecting on how to try not to bottle up my feelings, to do something about my issues. If not I could explode”.

“Meeting new people and realising you are not alone”.

“The structure helped me to explore and push forward into areas that normally I viewed with trepidation and fear. The group of us together felt totally secure”.

“Talking about things – opening up about things that I never have”.

“Talking with others going through the same process of ‘grief’. Being able to actually talk about silly little things”.

Marie Prior, Enhanced Support Officer for Dunbar Cluster Primary Schools will be holding a seminar session on Wednesday 5th February 4.30-7.30pm and Friday 7th February 9am-12pm in the Dance Studio at Dunbar Primary School Lochend Campus. The small group workshop sessions will start in late February. If you are interested in attending any of these sessions please contact her at for further details.