Headteacher’s Challenge #5

Good morning to you all 🙂

I hope you’ve been managing to (safely) enjoy time outside in the lovely Spring sunshine.  To make the most of the glorious weather, today’s challenge is …

Build a den outside in your garden, or in your house, with your family

You can use anything – sheets, duvets, binbags, sleeping bags,  brush handles, clothes pegs, string, cardboard, chairs, boxes, trampolines ….

Think of the great times that we had building dens on the grass in our school playground during our Outdoor Learning Days with our houses.  Remember how we changed and adapted our den designs as we came across problems (Ayrbank – our dens kept getting blown away as we were trying to build them on the windiest day possible!)

If you prefer, build your den inside your house somewhere – your bedroom, under the kitchen table or take over the whole living room (remember to ask for permission first …)  My boys used to build dens with their papa under the kitchen table when they were wee, and they used to eat their dinner there and sometimes even slept there too, all wrapped up in sleeping bags and pillows!

So, have fun, and I’d love to see some photos of you and your family in your dens on your blogs – I’ll be checking them regularly over the holidays.

As always, take care, stay safe and keep in touch.

Mrs Govans x    

(Lauren and her bug hotel)

Signing off for Easter Holidays

It’s officially the Easter holidays now and, although we won’t be gallivanting anywhere apart from the back garden it’s still a time to switch off from school work and enjoy quality time with our families in the (hopefully!) lovely Spring sunshine.

Staff won’t be posting activities over the next two weeks but I will still be posting my Headteacher’s Challenges on Tuesday and Thursday so remember to check in …

I’d like to thank every member of staff at both Catrine ECC and PS for their commitment, professionalism and positivity during the last three weeks.  Every member of staff is working behind the scenes to keep our ECC and school functioning and to ensure our young people are accessing appropriate, enjoyable and fun learning activities.

Thank you also to the parents, carers, families and friends of both Catrine ECC and PS #homeschoolarmy – what a wonderfully creative lot you are!  Some brilliant ideas coming through GLOW and emails about the home learning activities you’re enjoying with your family – well done to all.

And last, but by no means least, the children of Catrine 🙂

Let’s applaud them – ‘these wee heroes have stayed indoors more than they’ve ever known in their lives.  Their whole wee worlds have been turned upside down, full of rules they’ve never known. Every day they get up and carry on, despite all that’s going on around them, and they’re delighted to paint pretty rainbows and pictures to thank the ‘heroes’ out in the world working hard to keep us all safe.

So let’s acknowledge our wee heroes – our children, our groups, our pupils, our future – today, tomorrow and forever.  We are so proud of you all.’

Words copied from Twitter but I mean every single one of them.

As always, take care, stay safe and keep in touch.

Mrs Govans x  

Headteacher’s Challenge #4

Good morning to Thursday 🙂

It’s hard to believe we’re nearly at the end of the second week of this new style of learning, and your teachers and I continue to be so impressed by how well most of you are engaging with your online learning.

I really enjoying reading through your Glow Blogs and emails, and love seeing the photos of your daily activities – keep them coming!

I know some people are still having issues with accessing our online learning, and I’ll be phoning to see if we can help with login details or passwords so that you can get up and running.

Today would have been the last day of Term 3, and yesterday would have been our Easter Service in school and that means – we need to sing the Spring Chicken Song!

So today’s challenge – you need to teach the words – and actions – of the Spring Chicken Song to your family.  Remember to sing it as loudly as we do at assembly!  I’ve attached a wee video to help you along.

As always, stay safe, take care and keep in touch.

Mrs Govans x


Headteacher’s Challenge #3

Happy Tuesday!

I’m working at the Auchinleck Hub today and I’m enjoying looking at all their lovely displays and pupil work (and stealing a few ideas for when we’re all back at Catrine PS!)

Today’s challenge is another practical one, but a REALLY important one …

Learn to tie your shoelaces!

If you can already tie your shoelaces – relax, sit back and have a lazy day – you’ve completed my challenge already 🙂

If you can’t tie your shoelaces yet then this is a great time to learn with support from your family at home.

As always, take care, stay safe and keep in touch.

Mrs Govans                                 

Thank you to Helen and Graham

I’d like to personally thank our Catering Supervisor, Helen Hall, and our Janitor for the last two weeks, Graham Fullarton, for their brilliant teamwork this week in ensuring that our school dinners were distributed throughout the village.

Both Helen and Graham have been in school with me every day this week, and it’s been a pleasure working alongside them in what has been a very strange and unsettling week.  Thank you to you both.

Although school staff sometimes joke that a school with no weans would be a great place – let me assure you, that is not the case.   We are missing their laughter, their stories, their tantrums and their wee personalities every single day.

So enjoy the weekend, switch off from the schoolwork, have fun with your family and take care (and remember to make your bed!)  See you Monday!

Mrs Govans x                                           

Headteacher’s Challenge #2

Good morning 🙂

I’ve received lots of lovely comments/emails from people in the village about the smashing rainbow pictures in your windows – they’re certainly doing their job of cheering people up so well done.

Today’s challenge is a bit more practical – learn how to make your bed!

This is a job that you should become responsible for – whether you’re in P1 or P7 – as it’s helping your family during these strange times.

If you’re already responsible for making your bed every morning – good for you and keep up the good work!

If this is a new task for you – ask someone at home to show you how they like your bed to be made and then this should be your responsibility from now on (and should continue even when we return to school!)

Your class teachers will be posting on your class GLOW pages every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and I hope you’re enjoying the wide variety of tasks that they’re organising for you.

Remember that you don’t have to do every task – if you’re doing other online activities that’s great and it’s even better if you’re having fun with your family in your garden, or reading books, or building Lego or skiddling with water and bubbles – a million different ways you could be learning.

Take care, keep in touch and look after each other.

Mrs Govans

STEM resources

One of our ECC parents works for the Maidsafe Charity, and has asked us to pass on this information.

The MaidSafe Foundation – which is a registered Scottish charity – supports the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) as well as Art.

With the Covid19 pandemic now closing schools, you will be worried about keeping your children occupied and educated. To try and help you, we have put together some fun activities that have been compiled using STEM teaching guidelines. The activities cover three age groups with two projects for each. As a guide, the Early level activities are for age 3 to P1, the First level for P2 to P4 and the Second level for P5 – P7.

To receive your free resources, simply email info@maidsafe.foundation and we will send them to you. Your email address will not be shared with a third party and will be deleted after we send you the information.

We are also uploading pictures, videos and links to fun activities on Facebook – @MaidSafe Foundation.

You can also visit our website for more information about the charity and to see some of our past projects that may be of interest. https://maidsafe.foundation There are also three free sample lessons from our STEM pack which can be accessed by clicking on the STEM tab.

We want to help you to keep your child/children occupied and educated during this time of uncertainty so please keep safe and well and hopefully you will all enjoy the activities.

Yours sincerely, The MaidSafe Team

Headteacher’s Challenge #1

Good morning!  Thank you to the parents/carers of Catrine for heeding the Government advice yesterday and not sending your children to school, giving us the best chance of keeping everyone safe.

It’s been great to check your online learning – lots of you have been working online on Sumdog, Active Learn and Reading Wise – keep it up!

Remember that you should be aiming for one session of Literacy and one session of Numeracy per day – don’t scunner yourselves by trying to do too much all at once.

Your learning over the next wee while isn’t a race – it’s a slow jog.

There’s loads of other things you can be doing with the people in your house – drawing, playing games, building forts, tidying up the garden, reading books …  keep checking your class blog for great ideas from your teachers and remember that you can email them for any advice or help.

On that note – I’m going to set you a Headteacher’s Challenge every Tuesday and Thursday.  Today’s challenge …

Draw, paint or make a collage rainbow picture to put up in your front window to help brighten up the day for keyworkers as they’re going to work, or people who are having to leave their house for essential shopping or simply to cheer up the people who live opposite you and can see your window from theirs.

Let’s work together, as the brilliant Catrine community that we can be, and all do our bit to help get each other through this.

Take care and keep in touch.

Mrs Govans 🙂



Update – Keyworker Childcare Provision Registration

Latest update letter from Linda McAulay-Griffiths, Head of Education at East Ayrshire Council

Dear Parent/Carer

Thank you for working with us in ensuring that we could provide childcare for our most critical key workers today.  It has been enormously helpful that our advice to use our schools as a last resort has been heeded. Having ascertained the number of young people attending our schools and ECCs and are now in a position to revise this further and re-organise according to most needed areas and we will move to a “hub” provision with effect from tomorrow, Tuesday 24th March 2020.

If you wish to access any of this provision you will require to fill in our e-form so that we have your details logged in advance of your child’s arrival.

If you wish to access any of this provision you will require to fill in our e-form here:


Once more, no child will be turned away on the first day of this revised provision, providing they have been registered.

A colleague will get back to you if you do not qualify for a keyworker place in these revised provisions.

The available hubs across the authority are as noted below, and meals will be provided to those pupils on site.  All school transport is also now withdrawn given the hub model in place, and the low numbers attending our schools and centres today.

Parents and carers should therefore ensure that their children are transported to the appropriate location.  Provision will run from 9am-3pm, unless otherwise guaranteed by an ECC provision.

Many thanks for working with us on this, such that we can continue to provide childcare at this time for our critical keyworkers.

Pupils from Please register for
Logan PS and ECC
Barshare PS and ECC
Greenmill PS and ECC
New Cumnock PS and ECC
Muirkirk PS and ECC
Netherthird PS and ECC
Cumnock Academy
Hillside parents should discuss directly with Mrs Skeoch today
Greenmill PS and ECC
Doon Academy
Bellsbank PS and ECC
Dalmellington PS and ECC
Patna PS and ECC
Littlemill PS and ECC
St Xavier’s PSDalrymple PS and ECC
Dalmellington PS and ECC

Dalrymple PS and ECC

Sorn PS
Auchinleck PS and ECC
Catrine PS and ECC
Mauchline PS and ECC
Muirkirk PS and ECC
Ochiltree PS and ECC
Auchinleck Academy
St Patrick’s PS
Drongan PS and ECC
Auchinleck PS and ECC

Drongan PS and ECC

Kilmaurs PS and ECC
Dunlop PS and ECCNether Robertland PS and ECC
Lainshaw PS and ECC
Stewarton Academy
Kilmaurs PS and ECC

Nether Robertland PS and ECC

Gargieston PS and ECC
Loanhead PS
Crosshouse PS and ECC
Grange AcademyAnnanhill PS and ECC
Shortlees PS and ECC
Gargieston PS and ECC

Shortlees PS and ECC

Loudoun Academy
Newmilns PS and ECC
Galston PS and ECC
Fenwick PS
St Sophia’s PS
Darvel PS and ECC
Hurlford PS and ECC
Galston PS and ECC
St Andrews PS and ECC
Kilmarnock Academy
Mount Carmel PS
St Joseph’s Academy
Hillhead PS
Onthank PS
JHPS and ECC and Sgoil na Coille NuaidhWhatriggs PS and ECC and Riccarton ECC
Willowbank and Park Schools
Hillbank ECC and Flowerbank ECC
Onthank and Cairns ECC

Whatriggs PS and ECC
Willowbank School
Hillbank ECC
Onthank ECC

Free School Meals information

EAC are continuing to provide meals to Free School Meals entitled families register at http://eastayrshi.re/familymeals

Please click on the above link and register if your child is entitled to Free School Meals.

We are aware that some parents/carers have received emails stating that Free School Meals can be collected from Catrine PS.  At present, NO meals have been delivered to Catrine PS yet.  We will keep you updated with any news about Free School Meals delivery or collection.

Thank you, Mrs Govans


ECC and PS Arrangements for Monday 23rd March

Following further government advice this afternoon, the advice is now to have as few people in ECCs and schools as possible due to the gravity of the current situation and to allow us to prioritise children of keyworkers.

Please do not send your child to Catrine ECC or PS tomorrow unless you are a keyworker who has no other childcare options (please note: it is expected that, in families where one parent is a keyworker, that the other parent provides childcare at this time).

At both establishments, strict social distancing protocols will be in place.  All pupils should be accompanied to ECC/PS by one adult only.

ECC will be open from 8.40am-2.40pm.  ECC pupils will be given a lunch.

PS will be open from 9.00am to 3.00pm.  All pupils will be signed in via the main entrance.

PS pupils in receipt of Free School Meals will be given a lunch.  All other pupils should bring a packed lunch, if possible.

I appreciate how frightening this situation is, and we are trying our best to ensure that families and children who really need our support at this time continue to be supported.  If you have any questions, please phone the ECC or PS.

Thank you for your continued support.  Please take care of yourselves and your families, and all further updates will be sent out via the usual channels so keep checking our APPs and GLOW blogs.

Take care.

Mrs Govans, Headteacher

EAC Update #2 – 21.03.20

Dear Parent/Carer

We appreciate fully that many parents are concerned about keyworker status.

The guidance we have received from the Scottish Government is that “if one parent is a key worker and the other is not, the non-key worker should normally be expected to provide childcare. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.”

Having checked the UK Government guidance, it is different and says that if only one parent is a key worker, they can send their children to school if required.

In light of this contradictory position, we will deal with each case on its merits. If there is no other childcare option then we would look for confirmation of this.

We want to do all we can to support key workers. We need them to look after those who are going to get sick and to keep our vital services running, but we also need to avoid social contact so, if key workers can make any other arrangements for their children,  we ask them to do so.

Head Teachers will not turn away any child on Monday, but will need to seek some form of  confirmation of key worker status for future attendances. Going forward we will need to keep matters under review with staff absences rising as more of our staff require to self isolate and we know parents will understand.

Remember we need to reduce social contact, and even if you are a key worker, please only send your child as a last resort and if you absolutely need to.

Kind regards

Linda McAulay-Griffiths
Head of Education
Sent To You By East Ayrshire Council

EAC update 21.03.20

Dear Parents/Carers

A further reminder to all parents/carers to please understand that our emergency provision is absolutely only as a final option.  We are sure that our parents/carers will understand and respect this to help keep our pupils, staff and families safe.

We are still encountering some questions regarding emergency provision from Monday 23rd March.  Clearly all adults in the child’s household must be keyworkers to access the service.  Where this is not the case, the other adults are expected to provide care.

Please refer to the website for the key worker categories:


Kindest regards

Linda McAulay-Griffiths
Head of Education

Sent To You By East Ayrshire Council

EAC update

Dear Parent/Carer,

Thank you for once again for your understanding of the current situation in regards to the school and centre closure period we find ourselves in.

It is absolutely critical that parent and carers are aware that the emergency school and centre provision is only when all other childcare options have been exhausted.

Please do not attempt to send your child to the school/ECC provision being provided if you do not meet the key worker catergories noted in this link:


We are sure that you will fully understand our need to minimise the number of children and young people attending such provision.

Yours sincerely

Linda McAulay-Griffiths
Head of Education

Ayrbank – House Reward Party

Ayrbank pupils (and Mrs Watt and Michelle!) enjoyed a wonderful House Reward Party at Catrine Games Hall today.

They participated in a wide range of great activities, and enjoyed a wee snack to celebrate being the winning house at Catrine PS for Terms 1 and 2.

Thanks to Tommy Milgrew and Catrine Games Hall volunteers for making their visit such a success.

Well done, Ayrbank!

Mrs Govans

School Christmas Dinner

On Wednesday 11th December both staff and pupils enjoyed a delicious Christmas Dinner.

We had a choice of turkey with all of the trimmings or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.

Thanks to Helen, Margaret, Mandy, Mrs Watt and Mrs McDicken for ensuring that we all enjoyed a piping hot Christmas dinner.

It was delicious!!!

Mrs Govans


House Reward Party Winners – Ayrbank

Ayrbank are the winning house for Terms 1 and 2, and will enjoy a House Reward Party at Catrine Games Hall on Friday 13th December from 10.30am to 12.00pm.

Our pupils are awarded tokens from staff for a wide variety of reasons – manners, being kind, playing nicely, being helpful, looking after others – throughout the year and we total the tokens at the end of Term 2 and Term 4.

Ayrbank had the most tokens (although it was a very close thing!) so we hope that they have a wonderful, well-deserved Reward Party.

Ayrbank pupils should come to school on Friday 13th December wearing casual clothes so that they can take part in the activities planned by Tommy and the Games Hall staff.

Well done, Ayrbank!

Homework at Catrine PS

Homework is an important part of learning for every child, as it provides an opportunity for them to explain what they’re learning in class.

It also gives our older pupils a chance to highlight their increasingly responsible attitude towards their schoolwork as it’s up to them to ensure that homework is completed to a high standard, and handed in on time.

Each week, spelling words for P3/4 to P7 will be posted on GLOW – this is to reduce paper and avoid homework not being completed due to spelling lists being lost.

P4/5, P5/6 and P7 spelling words are on GLOW for this week, and P3/4 will start their spelling homework next week. P1 and P2 will receive their Literacy homework instructions over the coming weeks.

We are also reviewing our home Reading Book strategy – look out for information regarding reading books coming home for your child over the next few weeks!

As always, we operate an Open Door Policy – please contact the school for any further information.

Mrs Govans


Catrine ECC – great start to our new session!

A warm Catrine ECC welcome to our new and returning children and families.

Staffing update…
We are delighted to welcome our new Depute Manager, Alana Speirs, to Catrine ECC.
Alana is an experienced Senior Practitioner who is joining us from Hurlford ECC.

We also have three new practitioners, so our new Groups are …

Blue Group – Rena and Katrina
Green Group – Jan and Marion
Red Group – Julie and Leoni
Yellow Group – Lesleyanne and Courtney

Michelle will be working alongside Miss Burleigh in P1 at Catrine PS as our Transition Practitioner.

We are sad to be losing Nyree Cooper, Senior ELCP.  Nyree will be based at Mauchline ECC until she starts her new role as Lead Practitioner with North Ayrshire Council.  Thanks to Nyree for her dedication and commitment to ensuring the best start for the children at Catrine ECC for the past three years.  We wish her all the best in this next stage of her education career.

Session Times …
Morning       8.40 – 11.50am
(doors open from 8.40-9.00am and 11.40-11.50am)

Afternoon    12.35-3.45pm
(doors open from 12.35-12.50pm and 3.25-3.45pm)

Medicines in ECC …
If your child requires any medication during their sessions at Catrine ECC, please ensure that you inform the office so that appropriate paperwork can be completed.

Remember that we operate an Open Door Policy – please feel free to pop in or phone at any time to discuss any issues/concerns.  I aim to be at Catrine ECC all day on a Tuesday, or you can contact me at Catrine PS.
Mrs Govans

Janitorial and Cleaning Staff – Thank You!

Thanks to the cleaning and janitorial staff at both the PS and ECC – Helen Hall, Janet Fleming, Janet Milligan and Stuart McCreath –  for their hard work and commitment during the summer holiday, ensuring that all pupils and staff returned to a safe, clean and organised learning environment.

Mrs Govans