The next Parent Council meeting will take place online on Tuesday 3rd May at 7pm. Agenda and link to follow.
Please do take a moment to have your say and contribute to CONNECT’S current Parent/Carer’s Survey which has a deadline of 30th April.
The survey is asking:
- How (and if) your school/nursery supports your child’s and your family’s health and wellbeing
- Whether you are included in your child’s Health and Wellbeing learning at school/nursery.
The survey can be found: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/689TKBP
East Lothian Council is looking for new parent representatives to sit on its Education Appeals Committee.
The Committee hears appeals against refusal of placings requests or exclusion from school & is key in supporting freedom of choice for parents in the schools which they wish their children to attend.
Meetings of a committee mostly occur late May/early June when placing requests for admission in the forthcoming school year are heard. Meetings out with this period are rare but do happen and you should generally be available to attend meetings but notice of several weeks will be given.
If you would be interested in getting involved please contact Fiona Currie, Clerk to the Education Appeal Committee, by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Thursday 31st March 2022
From East Lothian Council Inclusion and Wellbeing:
East Lothian Council is establishing a new service for Young Carers.
The main aim of this service is to ensure all young carers have the same opportunities at school and in their community as others their age. The charity East Lothian Young Carers also continues to operate, though it is no longer funded by East Lothian Council.
The ELC Young Carers Service has a small team of staff from the Bridges Project and ELC and work closely with schools. We already have staff linked to the Secondary Schools and are in the process of recruiting staff who will make links with the Primary Schools. In the meantime, the Co-ordinator Young Carers is the main contact for primary aged Young Carers.
We are aiming to;
- Raise awareness of Young Carers rights with staff and pupils, particularly their right to a Young Carers Statement ( a way for Young Carers to reflect on, and let key people in their lives know, how their caring role affects them and put plans in place to achieve their own personal goals)
- Meet Young Carers to get their views
- Help set up a support group in school/local community if that is what local Young Carers want
- Provide a “drop in” so that Young Carers can get advice and support
- Support Young Carers to prepare their Young Carers Statement or offer guidance to whatever adult the Young Carer chooses to help them prepare their statement.
- Offer school holiday activities. We have already arranged for Venturing Out and Wilder Outdoor Education to provide activities in each of the 6 larger towns during Easter, Summer and October 2022.
You can find out more about Young Carer Statements at What is a Young Carer Statement? | Young Scot . We have now set up a new on-line system for preparing Statements.
Ideally, we would like all our young carers to identify themselves using the questionnaire on the ELC Website Who is a Young Carer? | Young Carers | East Lothian Council or by scanning the QR code on the poster and postcard you will find in schools and other council offices. Knowing who our Young Carers are will help us to develop a service that meets their needs.
In the lead up to Young Carers Action Day on the 16th March we will be showing our gratitude to Young Carers by awarding a £20 payment towards a “break from caring” activity. All we ask is that Young Carers complete the identification questionnaire and send us a picture/photo/sentence to tell us how they spent their £20.
Young Carers can also apply to a local fund (if they meets the criteria) to support them to have a break from caring. More information can be found at Financial Support for Carers (coel.org.uk)
All Young Carers aged 11-18yrs can apply for a Young Carers Package of special treats. Find out more at The Young Carers Package – Young Scot | Young Scot
Young Carers aged 16-18yrs may be eligible to an annual Young Carers Grant of £305.10. Find out more at How to Apply for the Young Carer Grant | Young Scot
Finally, can I remind you that children and young people are now entitled to free bus travel. However, they need to apply for this. More information is available at Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel Scheme | Transport Scotland
If you would like to discuss any of the above please contact;
Co-ordinator Young Carers
Inclusion and Wellbeing
In case you missed it here is the back to school guidance for January 2022 for all pupils and carers for John Muir Campus from Dunbar Primary School:
Dear John Muir Parents, Carers and Pupils
I hope you all had a relaxing Christmas and New Year holiday and are looking forward to returning on Wednesday 5th January. This letter gives you some information regarding start and finish times and the arrangements we will have in place for the next few weeks as we welcome pupils back but still remain focused on keeping adults and children safe.
As you may be aware COVID Guidance from the Scottish Government continues to be reviewed and updated guidance was published after the school closed on the 17th December.
In light of the Omicron variant safety mitigations that were already in place must continue to be strictly followed and some measures that were previously relaxed are being reintroduced.
Key changes include:
- a strengthened approach to minimising contacts, primarily through the reintroduction of groupings where practical
- a strengthened approach to self-isolation for household contacts of positive cases
- tightened restrictions on school visitors
- updated guidance on regular ventilation and CO2 monitoring
- measures aimed at increasing the uptake of regular asymptomatic testing
- an update to guidance on school visits and trips
- a requirement for schools and local authorities to provide essential support for particular groups, including vulnerable children and young people, in the event of temporary school closures at a local level
- staff eligibility for voluntary exemption from self-isolation under critical worker guidance
We will reintroduce with our ‘soft start’ for all pupils to reduce the need for lining up and we are once again 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 – all pupils need to be in school by 8.55am.
For All P1, P2 and P3 Pupils from Wednesday 5th January 2022 until arrangements change:
Monday – Thursday
P1, P2 & P3 8.40am – 8.55am
Staggered Finish Times:
P1 will be dismissed at 2.40pm
P2 will be dismissed at 2.50pm
P3 will be dismissed at 3.00pm
P1, P2 & P3 8.40am – 8.55am
Staggered Finish Times
P1 will be dismissed at 12.00
P2 will be dismissed at 12.05
P3 will be dismissed at 12.10
Our soft start means that pupils can come in between 8.40 – 8.55am. They all know where to go but there will be members of staff on the gate and at the main doors to ensure pupils get to their classrooms.
We are expecting pupils to be in class by 8.55am to ensure that lessons can start promptly. If you have a child who is anxious, worried or needs some support, please come along toward the end of the soft start, around 8.55am and we will be able to spend time with you and them without lots of other pupils around.
The children will be in class groupings (bubbles) at the start of this term.
These will be eaten in the class room bubbles as we are being discouraged to hold any type of mixed gathering at this point. The school meal selection has been adapted to allow this to happen.
Arrangements in the Cove will be as before regarding start and finish times and we will be following the same guidelines – with pupils being in their own classes.
What to bring to school
Pupils will need to bring a school bag which contains their named water bottle, snack, and packed lunch, if not being provided by school.
Pupils should also have a spare set of clothes and outdoor waterproof jacket, as they will be spending time outdoors even in light rain. We ask that no toys or electronic games are brought into school – there will be specific days when these are allowed, we do this so no one has to worry about losing things in school that are precious or valuable to them.
School uniform plays an important part of creating a positive school ethos and we would encourage our children to wear our school uniform and colours so that they feel part of the school community.
We realise that this pandemic has put some of our families under additional financial pressure. We have a selection of uniform available from our uniform bank at the Bleachingfield Centre, which can be given out to any families that this would help, please contact the school office.
If your child comes to school in boots or wellies we ask that you pack or leave at school and additional pair of comfortable shoes, as doing PE in these are not comfortable and they make it difficult to sit easily on the carpet.
We don’t change into indoor shoes when the pupils come in so they need to be wearing a pair of comfortable shoes suitable for the weather that day.
We ask that on the 2 days each week that your child has PE they come to school wearing their PE kit and trainers. This ensures we do not have to spend lots of time getting changed in and out of clothes and that more time is given to the learning instead. Class teachers will send information relating to when you child has PE.
As we are currently unable to allow adult volunteers into the building we will not be running the snack trolley. I hope to be able to give you a date soon of when this will be available. In the meantime please provide you child with a snack for break time.
Keeping Pupils safe in school
Updated Guidance on Covid 19 (Omicron) Isolation Period:
If any member of a household tests positive for Covid 19, the whole household must isolate for 10 days, this is regardless of the rest of the household having a Negative PCR test. Children should not be sent to school if anyone in the household has tested positive.
If a pupil attends the school with symptoms of a cough and/ or high temperature, they will be sent 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. 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.
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.
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 the nose *after sneezing or coughing *after going to the toilet
Access to Toilets
Pupils’ access to toilets will be carefully managed to ensure good health and hygiene. There will be a strong emphasis on washing hands.
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 these are kept in the, and a spare one in their teacher’s desk at John Muir and another should be made available for our First Aid room.
Meeting with staff/Visiting the school
We really value our relationships with parents and carers, and we want to provide opportunities to discuss any worries or concerns you may have. However, as part of the current guidelines we are required to limit the amount of people who are coming in and out of the school buildings. Therefore, we are still temporarily suspending our ‘drop in’ and open door approach and will be encouraging 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 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 (01368 863773).
In the first instance please contact the school office or the stage line manager:
- P1 – Mrs Hay
- P2 – Mrs Kavanagh
- P3 – Mrs Gillanders
Message from Dunbar Primary School Office:
Unfortunately the site at Summerfield Road / Pine Street will be unmanned when we return from the Christmas holiday on 5th January as there are no staff members that can be moved to this area at this time.
The safest route to school for the pupils that would normally use this crossing site is to continue to walk along Summerfield Road and Countess Road and cross at the pedestrian lights outside John Muir Campus on Countess Road.
Sincere apologies for any inconvenience that this may cause.
Kind regards School Office
Dunbar Primary School ASN rep Tracey Reid has set up a dedicated email address and Facebook ASN Community group, which is open to all parents and carers. When joining the Facebook Group, you will be asked three questions. Please rest assured that only the admin will see your answers and that these are in place to ensure the groups’ integrity.
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dunbarasncommunity
My child has quite complex additional support needs; while every family is different, I understand how isolating and challenging it can be at times. Finding a support network isn’t easy, but I hope to help build a nurturing and supportive network so no family in our community feels isolated.
My role on the Parent Council is to provide a dedicated ASN voice and to ensure our needs and views are always considered. If you have concerns, ideas, or want to help build our community, please don’t hesitate to contact me.