I hope you and your family are well and safe at this unsettling time.
I would like to give you a further update on the following steps being taken by the school in light of the Coronavirus (COVID 19) outbreak.
School Reopening – August 2020
A number of parents have contacted the school over the last few weeks asking if we can shed any light on what is happening in terms of the school reopening.
I advised that the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, had established a National Education Recovery Group (ERG) chaired by the Depute First Minister to look at what a phased approach to the re-opening of schools may look like.
You will no doubt be aware that last Thursday in the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister confirmed the Scottish Government’s four step approach to easing lockdown.
The guidance relating to the announcement outlines the intention to ‘re-start school education for almost all children and young people in August,’ and that subject to health advice, teachers and other school staff should return during June to prepare for the new model of learning in August.
There is no doubt that in an ideal world we all want to get our children back into St Columbkille’s Primary, but it is also clear that any decision to do so must be based on medical and scientific advice and when we have the right safety measures in place for our pupils, staff and wider community.
Over the next few weeks, South Lanarkshire Council, the staff and I, will be working together to consider what a safe environment may look like in our school, with the aim to achieve the reopening of the school for our children. Your views are of critical importance in this and I would ask you to detail these in the survey below:
Working with South Lanarkshire Council, we are looking at how we can achieve recovery in a way that will help to keep us all safe. This means considering what we need in terms of cleaning and hygiene in the school, physical distancing in school, classrooms and the dining room and what learning will look like given that we cannot have the same numbers of children in classes as before. The Council continues to liaise closely with NHS Public Health Lanarkshire as part of the recovery planning as they are key partners in providing all of us with advice and guidance on matters around personal safety.
I will continue to update you as and when clear guidance and steps are confirmed.
Parent Council Update
Please see below a message from our Parent Council:
‘The Parent Council hopes everyone is safe and well during these strange times?
We are missing our supportive school community and of course our amazing pupils very much. We hope to be back organising fundraising events and fun activities for our wonderful school as soon as we can.
For our P7 pupils, we are trying our best to get your hoodies to you. These had been ordered well before lockdown but all production sadly ground to an abrupt halt. We are in contact with the manufacturer and as soon as we have a delivery date we will work with the school and organise to get hoodies and calculators to everyone.
In the meantime, stay safe and hope to see you all soon.’
P1 August 2020
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, our planned transition programme has had to be cancelled in-line with Government guidance. Whilst this is unfortunate, we have made a range of resources available on our website (https://stcolumbkilles.wordpress.com/p1-august-2020/
) that will help prepare your child for this exciting next step.
Please see below some common questions and answers about starting school in August:
Question: Will we be told what the nursery had to say about our child? I’d be interested to hear what they had to say about him going from nursery to school.
Answer: When Mr Wedlock visited your child’s nursery, it was an informal visit to introduce himself to the staff and your child. Your child will receive a written transition report form your child’s nursery that should be shared with yourself and the school in the coming weeks. This gives an overview of your child’s key strengths and areas for development upon entering Primary 1. The school has not be given any other information that the nursery would not have shared with you.
Question: Will it still be 16th august when they start?
Answer: We are in the process of planning for the return of our pupils in August. Details of how this will look will be clarified in the next few weeks and we will let all parents know as soon as this is available.
Question: The nursery were under the impression that the school would be contacting parents of forthcoming P1’s to discuss transition with them individually. I have not received a call or email and wondered if this was accurate.
Answer: Usually, all children and parents would have been invited into the school for a meeting in June. Mr Wedlock will be in touch with all P1 families next week to discuss your child’s start at St Columbkille’s. At this point we aim to have a clear view on if and how any meeting could be organised.
Question: How do I purchase my child’s school uniform and tie?
Answer: Uniform order forms should have been sent out to you. Under normal circumstances pupils would have been able to try on uniform items for sizes at the induction days, however, due to the pandemic we have been unable to offer this. We will be able to confirm uniform order details next week when Mr Wedlock calls you.
Question: Visual timetable – would it be possible to share an example of a visual timetable please? The one in the p1 transition booklet is a great start to show timings throughout the day but it would be great to show some of the activities he’d do during the day. When I initially spoke to the school we had discussed an enhanced transition so any help to do this from home would be great. Thanks so much in advance!
Answer: Copies of the Primary 1 timetables which have been issued to our pupils during lockdown are available in our Home Learning section on our website. These would help to give an idea of the activities the children will be undertaking. Primary 1 timetables are listed as Room 1 and Room 2. https://stcolumbkilles.wordpress.com/home-learning/
Question: My child has food allergies. Would we be able to chat with the dinner ladies? I know it’s not for a while yet but it was just to see if we could still do this nearer the time.
Answer: Yes, of course. We will make sure that any arrangements are in place for your child starting school. This can be discussed further with Mr Wedlock next week. If any children have allergies, please ensure the school have been notified so we can ensure their needs are catered for.
Question: We were hoping to sign our child up for after school care. I know this is an external service but do you know how pick-ups work, is there a meeting point or does the teacher take them to after school care pick up?
Answer: Your child will be accompanied to the yard every afternoon at home time by their teacher. After school services are then able to collect your child from their teacher. Any after school service arrangements must be shared with the school office and teacher so we can authorise your child to leave with the service.
S1 Transition 2020-21
We have been working very closely with Trinity High School regarding your child’s transition to High School. A tab on our website has been created to share any information that has been sent to us and can be found at:
Here you will find a number of transition videos, FAQs and specific timetables.
Your child will also have been given some specific transition tasks as part of their weekly tasks set on their Google Classroom. These will be sent to Trinity once completed.
Over the past few weeks we have managed to speak to almost all of our families and also had the pleasure of speaking to a number of our children. It has been lovely to ‘touch base’ with you all and would like to reinforce the message of contacting the school if there is anything we can do to help or clarify.
The message of children missing each other and missing our school community was heard in the vast majority of calls. We will continue to post a weekly video of what the children have been doing in order to keep them in some way connected. I would ask for you to continue to send in pictures and post pictures and work on your google classroom for us to do this. The previous weeks videos can be seen below:
Please be reassured that we are working very hard to welcome your child back to their school at the safest and earliest possible time and will contact you with further details in the days and week to come.
Please do not hesitate in contacting the school if we can be of any further assistance.