All posts by Mrs Neil

School Feast Day

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Mark. This year, we cannot be together in school and in church to celebrate, but we can reflect on the many inspiring qualities of our patron saint. We have taken some time to think about how St. Mark’s example helps us to stay close to God and try to live  a good life. Next week we would love to hear from you and your families about how you are “making your mark”. You can upload to Google Classroom, email or tweet us with pictures of you with a letter you have designed and a phrase that explains how you try to follow Mark’s example. Encourage your whole family to join in, be creative and have fun. Once we receive all your pictures, we’ll put them together with ours to make a film that represents as many of our school community as possible.

God bless and happy feast day to all of you.

Click on the link below to watch our short film.


Home Learning Guide for Parents

Dear Parent/Carer,

You will be aware that the Scottish Government published a document yesterday to support pupils, parents and teachers during the ongoing school closures.  This document is available at the link below.

‘Supporting Pupils, Parents and Teachers – Learning During Term 4’

To provide further support in this area, the following documents have been produced to help as you undertake learning activities at home with your child(ren).

Learning at Home – Guidance for Parents and Carers

Useful weblinks for online learning

We hope that you find this information helpful. If you require any further support or advice during this time, please email and a member of staff will get back to you as soon as possible.


Home Learning – advice for parents

Dear Parent / Carer,

Many of you are perhaps feeling overwhelmed by the current situation and are worried about the level of support that you are able to give your child with their home learning. We would like to reassure all families that the main priority during this unprecedented situation is ensuring that everyone stays healthy (mentally and physically).

Whilst we hope that all parents will support their children with the learning tasks assigned to them by their teachers, we would like to stress that we do not expect you to become a teacher yourself. All we ask is that you encourage your children to access Google Classroom every day and provide them with a quiet, comfortable space to complete their assignments. In the same way as homework should not become a battleground, neither should the current home learning experience. All teachers are available on Google Classroom to answer pupils’ questions and parents can contact the school by email if they need additional support.

You are, and always have been, your child’s primary educator. If you cannot facilitate the online learning at some points then that is okay. There are many alternative activities that you can do with your children that will have a positive impact on their academic achievement. For example:

  • Reading every day
  • Writing to loved ones that they cannot visit at the moment, recounting a special memory or keeping a diary
  • Practical maths: cooking, sorting items, scavenger hunts (e.g. find 5 red objects or 3 objects beginning with ‘s’)
  • Fine motor work: lego, cutting, playdough, tidying up small toys
  • Research a topic of interest (country/famous person/invention, etc)
  • Board games and card games
  • Lots of imaginative free play

There is now a ‘Home Learning’ page on our website that has a range of helpful documents and videos to support you and your child with Glow, Google Classroom and other online tools. We will update this when necessary. Click here to access the page.

School Closure Update – 19th March

Dear Parent / Carer

You will be aware that the UK and Scottish Government have made the decision to close schools tomorrow (Friday 20th March) in response to the spread of Covid – 19 (Coronavirus). Further guidance will follow tomorrow for parents and carers who are frontline key workers and are unable to access alternative childcare. I would like to reassure you we have plans in place to make sure our pupils have every opportunity to continue their education regardless of the circumstances we may face. Please see the Remote Learning Policy which reflects a clear commitment to reinforce skills and give our pupils access to learning activities which will meet their needs, building upon prior learning.

Our staff will follow the class timetable as far as possible with reinforcement and consolidation of skills and concepts. All classes from Primary 1 to Primary 7 have a Google Classroom, which can be accessed via Glow. Please use the links below to assist you and your child when using Google Classroom.

Using Glow tools at home

Google Classroom Helpsheet

Please ask the children to log in and each classroom will have instructions for the pupils thereafter. Regular online teacher check-ins with pupils will provide direction, give feedback and offer an opportunity for pupils to ask questions.

 If you indicated that you required a device for home learning, you may sign this device out from the school from 2pm onwards tomorrow (Friday). The children will be issued with a pack of home learning jotters for literacy and numeracy in order to record any written tasks set by their teacher. Reading books to cover the period up to Easter have been issued and we will make arrangements to refresh the reading books after the Easter holidays. If your child has been absent you can collect the home learning packs and reading books from school from 2pm tomorrow (Friday).

 I want to thank you for your recent understanding as we have made changes to planned events. We want to ensure we are helping protect our community as well as our pupils. I also want to thank all staff in St. Mark’s for their dedication and determination to respond quickly and effectively to the current situation. As a school community we are following Pope Francis’ suggestion to offer a decade of the Rosary daily to pray for all affected by this situation. May God bless you and your loved ones at this difficult time.

Yours sincerely,

Anthony Hutcheson

Head Teacher

Parent update – Coronavirus

Dear Parent/Carer,

Continuing learning in light of Coronavirus

You will be well aware of the rapidly changing situation across the country due to the Coronavirus. As you know schools, in line with everyone else, are following national guidance which in itself is necessarily changing on a daily basis. More information is available from the NHS at

At the moment, all schools and Early Learning and Childcare Centres remain open. However, over the next few days and weeks, it is possible that an increased number of pupils and staff will catch the virus and have to stay at home.  This will mean whole families having to stay at home for long periods of time, unable to come to school or go to work.

To help with our planning to continue to offer opportunities for learning we would be grateful if you could take 1 minute to answer the questions via the following link:

St. Mark’s Continuing Learning Questionnaire

I know this is a worrying time for everyone. I want to assure you that we are working hard to plan for different situations and to continue providing learning and teaching for our children. It is also important to note that we are following an updated business continuity plan and that certain aspects of school life will be altered for the children. For example, we will not deliver whole school assemblies to avoid having too many children in close proximity. We will, of course, continue our Lenten prayer focus with our thoughts and prayers focussed on all those affected by the Coronavirus. I would like to thank our dedicated staff team in St. Mark’s who are making every effort to reassure the children and to continue supporting each and every child in their learning.

We will continue to communicate with you through our usual channels on the arrangements for your child, including any information we have about the plans for children making their sacraments. Please follow the updates provided through the school and Council social media sites.


Yours sincerely,

Anthony Hutcheson

Head Teacher


Free Taster Swimming Lessons

East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure Swimming Development are looking for children aged 4 to 12 years to come along to FREE Lessons again.

If you are interested in bringing your children along to their free taster swimming lessons at Barrhead Foundry, being taught by their probationary teachers, then please see dates and times below.

Saturdays  22, 29 February and 14 March.

Sundays 9, 23 February, 01 and 15 March

Times as follows:-

Saturdays-11.30am-12.00pm, 12.00pm-12.30pm, 12.30pm-1.00pm and 1.00pm-1.30pm.

Sundays-12.30pm-1.00pm and 1.00pm-1.30pm 1.30pm-2pm and 2.00pm-2.30pm

Please choose which time slots you would like, (you can attend more than one session)

You can contact them at  Neilston on 0141 577 4811 – opening hours (9am-12.30pm & 3.30pm-8pm) or Barrhead on 0141 580 1174 or pop into the centre and put their name down on the list.

ERCL FREE Schools Letter – Course Feb 2020

Specialist Diets

If your child requires a special diet for medical reasons, you should obtain a Medically prescribed diet registration form, from the school office and send with an accompanying letter from a medical practitioner or dietician confirming the specific details of the diagnosis to your school office.  Once the form has been received you will be contacted by one of the catering team to discuss your child’s dietary needs and outline the process ensuring a suitable meal is provided.

For pupils wishing to access the Halal menu then a Cultural diet request form should be completed and for any pupils wishing to access the Vegan or Vegetarian menu then a Lifestyle request form should be completed, both forms are available from the school office.

Please note that it’s your responsibility to inform us about changes in your child dietary needs.

Please click the links below to access school lunch menus

Halal lunch menu

P1 – P7 School Lunch Menu