Tag Archives: back to school

Back to School: January 2022

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

Start times:

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


Start times:

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.

Groupings (Bubbles)

The children will be in class groupings (bubbles) at the start of this term.

School Meals

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.

The Cove

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

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.

PE kit

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.

Snack Trolley

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.

Cleaning routines

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.

Hand washing

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 (admin@dunbarprimary.elcschool.org.uk) 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

Yours sincerely

Helen Gillanders