Please see below questions and answers from last weeks survey.
Question – We are concerned for our son’s education and find it difficult explaining things to him for home schooling. Also concerned as grandparents are helping with childcare but putting them under pressure when they also don’t know how to teach. Also concerned that SumDog is not geared for his age most of the maths question were extremely difficult for a 5 year old & cannot find anywhere to set the age for learning.
Answer– You will not be the only family who will find home schooling a challenge. My wife and I are both teachers and can find it difficult! We need to try our best and not put ridiculous amounts of pressure on ourselves or our children. Every time you or your parents work with your child it will not be perfect or go according to plan – that is ok!
St Andrew’s Adoptions Society posted a quote on their facebook page which said,
‘Dear parents, There is no academic emergency this week, so don’t be quick to set up a homeschool. Our country is in crisis, and we are all stressed and tired. Stressed adults can not teach stressed children. It is neuro-biological impossibility. Try focussing on connections and safety.”
We want to help but it is obviously difficult when we have no face to face or phone contact. This is why we have set up a tab on our website with information. This will change as the weeks pass and we would welcome suggestions from families about what would help them. The weekly questions and answers will hopefully help families with common questions. Remember there is no such thing as a stupid question – ask away!
When students first start playing Sumdog a diagnostic test runs automatically. This will generally be the first set of activities the pupil completes. To take the test, students simply need to play the Sumdog games as normal.
You will also see a message on their top bar saying ‘Diagnostic Test: answer carefully to receive your first pet’. The purpose of Sumdog’s diagnostic test is to place students at the right level based on their ability.
During the test, games will run as normal. Students will get asked some very easy questions and tricky questions. Please ask them not to worry as the learning engine will understand, and place them in the correct level. This is an assessment.
During the diagnostic test, Sumdog checks the accuracy on key skills from each level. In general, the programme is not concerned about speed. If your child isn’t sufficiently accurate two games in a row, the algorithm will stop at the level below.
Once the diagnostic test is complete, Sumdog rewards students with their first pet. If the diagnostic test places a student too high or too low, for example if an older sibling has helped with questions, you can rerun the test.
The diagnostic test can take between 10 to 200 question depending on accuracy. Thereafter, all activities will be set to the child’s ability level. This is the same for the reading and spelling activities.
Please feel free to get back in touch if you experience any further issues: email@example.com
Question – Is there any work being sent home for the children/Will there be any guidance on continuing with our children’s learning schedule to try and keep up to date with class work? I know there are online resources available which is helpful, but to keep to the level of work in class i wanted to know would there be anything sent to parents? / Is there any work being sent home for the children
I am aware that it may seem overwhelming at present as we have posted a lot of information. There are a variety of tasks and websites you can use at home. These are all included in the Home Learning Packs that have been sent out. If any website asks you to pay – don’t use it. There are more than enough free to use or schools subscriptions that you can use.
Every class/stage will be given a weekly timetable of suggested activities. These are available on our website and google classroom. Weekly timetables are there to help with structuring a day as children will always work best with routines and structures but remember these are only a suggestion and may not suit the dynamics of your household.
We are experiencing some difficulties with some log ins. We will sort this as best we can and would ask you to email the teachers below. The challenge we are now facing is that the majority of staff will not be in school and are trying to work remotely. Please be patient with us as we are have never done this before. It will also depend on individual staff health throughout this time.
Sum Dog/ Literacy Planet – firstname.lastname@example.org
Google Classroom – email@example.com
Khan Academy – firstname.lastname@example.org
Question – Is it likely that the communions in May will be rescheduled to a later date?
Answer – At present it does seem very unlikely they will go ahead. It will not go ahead if the schools are still closed or if there are any measures from government. The Sacraments of Reconciliation and Communion will be rescheduled when it is safe to do so. We will communicate this with you as soon as we know.
Question – I don’t have any concerns but if there is anything we can do as a community to help and support then please let us know. Would you still be accepting donations for SVDP at this time?
Answer – It is vital that as a community we all support each other whilst also adhering to restrictions imposed by the government. If you or your family are experiencing difficulties during this time please do not hesitate in contacting me and I will try to arrange appropriate support through a local food bank etc.
There has already been a group set up within the local community that are looking to ensure support is in place for those who need it. They have set up a website that can offer advice and support. They are also looking for the community to support them.
Please see details at:
We are not accepting donations for the food bank at present. Any donations should be given directly to the foodbank.
Next Years Classes
Question – How and when will they find out their classes for next year?
Concern – I think would be a good idea for the children returning to go back into same class and with same teachers for some consistency
Concern – Concerned regarding falling behind with work and where my daughter should be entering her class in August. Might be good idea to try if possible for same teacher to take over for following term where this would be appropriate. Means they can start where they have left off and try cover what has been missed.
Question – Do you think these arrangements will have a setback for children’s learning?
Answer – Every child is in the same position across the country so your child will not be at a disadvantage compared to others. We have accurate assessment information that ensures children are always grouped, supported and challenged appropriately. Please do not worry about this.
Class configuration for next year is a complex exercise and I need to take in a number of factors when putting classes together. We will have a number of staff changes next session with the introduction of a new nursery, staff retirals, staff leaving and new staff being appointed.
If the schools are still closed I will email all parents with their class for next session as soon as it is feasible.
High School Transition
Question – In terms of transitioning into S1, will the children still be able to list who they want /don’t want to be placed with? Given they won’t have the opportunity for induction days, I Think this will be key for them.
Question – What assessment will be used for forwarding to Trinity High for the purposes of the P7 transition? Having previously had other children in this position, I believe that both an English and Mathematics based exercise take place whilst at primary which is then forwarded to Trinity. Am I correct in thinking that this has not yet taken place?
Question – I am concerned about my child’s transition academically to high school, I appreciate all schools are closing and all children will be in the same position.
Answer – Your child’s transition into High School started at the start of P7. We have been in regular contact with our colleagues from Trinity and have already sent up assessment information that we have on every child e.g. reading assessment scores, writing assessment, Maths assessment scores and teacher judgements.
The children were due to complete transition materials in the final term which will now not take place whilst schools are shut. Please do not be concerned with this as we have a very accurate picture of your child and all of this information will be shared with the High School.
If your child has additional support needs all information has/will be given to the High School. We have also shared this information with our Senior Manager of pupil Support.
Whilst the schools remain closed transition days will not take place. If this changes I will contact inform you through the usual channels.
Mr Adams will contact all parents in the final term to ascertain friendship groups for High School. A number of children have already intimated to their teacher about friendship groups which has been passed on but we are mindful that this can change.
If you have any particular concerns regarding your child’s transition please do not hesitate in contacting Mr Adams at: email@example.com
Question – Will primary 7s get their leaving jumpers.
Answer – Absolutely! We have a fantastic Parent Council who would never let this not happen! When it is safe and appropriate for this to happen I will liaise with the Parent Council and we will organise the best way to distribute them.
Question – My child is starting primary 1 this year, will the 2 days in May still go ahead so he can meet teacher etc?
Answer – Sadly if the schools are closed they will not go ahead. If it is safe for us to arrange something then we will, but we must take guidance form the government and local authority for this.
Please be reassured however that your child’s transition has already been planned for. Mr Wedlock has visited every nursery and spoken to your child’s key worker or teacher about how we can support your child.
If your child has additional support needs we have discussed these with our Senior Manager of Pupil Support to ensure a smooth transition is in place.
We will contact parent/carers next term and discuss any differing arrangements that will be put in place. I would ask you to be patient with us as this will depend on the current situation.
If you have any particular concerns regarding your child’s transition please do not hesitate in contacting Mr Wedlock at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Question – My son has an additional support plan in place, I am worried that he will be falling even further behind. Will there be any special arrangements made for kids with an ASP. Thanks
Question – My child has an additional support needs and I am healthcare worker so unable to homeschool. How is this going to be supported?
Answer: You will be aware of your child’s Additional Support Plan targets discussed at your recent meeting and your child will continue to work towards achieving these. Mr Adams coordinates support for children with Additional Support Needs and will be in contact with you shortly to offer further support and an additional copy of the plan. If there is anything you are particularly worried about please do not hesitate in contacting us.
Question – I need arrangements for my children to ensure my job is adequately manned
Question – Worried about not using education and ease of getting to work
Answer – I am wholly sympathetic and appreciate the difficulty of everyone’s personal situation, however, I would stress that the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children of category 1 key workers who absolutely need to attend.
Information has been sent out about the South Lanarkshire Councils Hub model for childcare.
The situation is constantly changing and if there are any further developments which will assist families I will communicate this through the usual channels.
Question – Wondering when & if the schools will return
Question – Worried about how long the school is actually going to be closed for, there’s talk of them not opening until after summer hols.
Answer – At this point in time we have the same information as all parents. Simply – we not know. I will contact all parents as soon as there are any changes.
Question – Will teachers do Skype calls to a kids and do lessons online?
Question – if at all possible would I be able to get a quick chat with their class teacher.
Answer – At the moment we are unable to facilitate any phone or skype calls with individual teachers. Any communication should be sent directly to Mr Gray at: email@example.com or if it is about the specific concerns outlined above to the email address provided.