October Newsletter

October 2021

Term 2 has started at great speed! We are delighted to welcome our pupils and their families back to school after the October break and look forward to working with you.

Staffing

Staffing in the main is fairly settled at the moment. Sadly we had to say good bye to Ms Jee who was working with both P5/4 and P3/2. Ms Jee was here as an additional member of staff, over and above our allocation from Glasgow City Council. Other schools within the council are having enormous challenges with staff absence and every available teacher has been allocated to cover these absences. We will miss Ms Jee…maybe she will come back one day!

We are also waiting on two new support staff being authorised to start work with us. Recruitment checks are being carried out to ensure safe practice and as soon as these are complete, our 2 new support staff will begin working in school…hopefully you’ll see some new faces soon!

COVID-19

We continue to work within the challenge of COVID-19. We had hoped that this term, restrictions placed upon us would be eased somewhat, however this is not to be the case. Safe Opening of Schools Guidance has not been changed since August 9th and so we continue to work within its confines.

In short, if your child has Covid 19 symptoms, please continue as before by keeping them off school and booking a PCR test. If the test is negative, they can return immediately. If the test is positive they must isolate for 10 days.

If a household member tests positive please self-isolate and book tests for others in the household. If your child’s test is negative they can return immediately to school, even although they may be living with a person testing positive.

If a child in your child’s class tests positive, there will now be no requirement to isolate a whole class or groups of class. Track and trace will coordinate who would require to isolate with any positive case based on very close contact.

If you are in any doubt about the regulations please do get in touch.

Parental Views Term 1

I would like to thank all 43 parents who responded to the most recent survey. 43 parental responses is approx..50% of parents which is excellent.

Our general theme for the survey was around inclusion, respect and attainment. These will be general themes throughout all parental surveys. We, as a whole staff, were delighted with the responses. Almost all parents who responded feel their child is happy in school most of the time. Almost all parents are satisfied with the service we provide and feel their child’s needs are met well in school. Almost all parents feel that staff are approachable and helpful and think their child is working to their potential. In addition, there were some very positive comments made about the questions asked. It is very reassuring to hear from you whether it be positive or something we need to improve upon. As a bunch of teachers we are always looking for improvements to make!! It’s just in our nature!!

Parental engagement

I am disappointed to say that we will not be allowed to have parental appointments face to face as we normally have in November. The opportunity to discuss your child’s learning with you is invaluable and we don’t like being restricted in the face to face contact we are allowed to have. During week beginning 15th November we will engage in telephone appointments with you to discuss your child’s progress. Prior to this you will have received your child’s interim report card. Your telephone appointment time will give you the opportunity to ask any questions or raise any concerns with the class teachers. There may be occasional unique situations where we must meet in person and we will arrange this as necessary. Unfortunately, we are working within government and council restrictions and must follow the rules as set out by them.

Halloween

This year we will be having a ‘dress up/dress down’ day on Friday 29th October! There will be no charge for this event. Pupils can dress up in Halloween costumes or dress down clothes if they wish. Each class will have a wee party in the afternoon – playing some party games, winning prizes and having a small unhealthy snack as a treat! We are not calling it a ‘halloween party’ as some pupils may not wish to dress up in costumes. No matter what they wear I’m sure it’ll be a fun afternoon with games, music and dancing!

The Smarty Challenge!

Each child will come home on Monday 25th October with a tube of smarties! They (or you!) can eat the smarties! Once the tube is empty, each pupil has a challenge…to see how many coins they can squeeze in! It might be pennies, 20p, 5p’s…whichever coin you wish! Once the tube is full, they can bring it back to school and their name will be entered into a prize draw to win a fun kids hamper! Closing date for returning tubes will be Wednesday 17th November and prize draw will be on Friday 19th.

Obviously this is a school fund raising exercise and you do not need to take part if you would prefer not to. Or you might wish to simply put a £5 in the tube as a contribution instead of finding all the coins! Anything is acceptable!

Toy Fayre

We will be having a toy sale on 12th November! Pupils can bring some money to spend buying pre-loved toys…and we might even manage a wee tuck shop! We are now collecting donations for the fayre…please hand any toys, books, puzzles, activities…etc into the school between now and the 9th November – this will ensure everything sits in quarantine before being placed out for sale! It might be an opportunity for you to have a pre-Christmas clear out!! Pupils seem to love wee figures, action heroes and dolls…maybe a helpful hint!!

Transition

Pupils in primary 7 are now beginning to think about their transition to secondary school…with a bit of excitement and trepidation! This is perfectly normal and every primary 7 pupil feels this way at this point! We will be engaging in some useful transition work with Springburn secondary staff, in addition to working with RYA and SAMh (mental health) on preparation activities. This will help settle their mind a little and continue to focus on the task of completing primary 7!

I have spoken to several parents this week regarding placement requests. I have also spoken to all P7 pupils about this. Your child’s catchment secondary is dependent solely on your post code. I have no control over what your secondary catchment school is. If you don’t know where it should be then I can let you know. If you do not want your child to attend the catchment school for your address, you must complete a placement request prior to Christmas. Your child has the link to this on the ipad under the homework tab – please ask them for it.

Your placement request will go the GCC Hub who will look at numbers, staffing and accommodation for your request – it may be accepted or refused, but you will not know until end of April 2022.

I am happy to assist anyone with forms or understanding the process but I have no control over decisions and outcomes…I wish I did!

Nursery enrolment for primary in August 2022 will take place during week beginning 8th November. We will be giving some enrolment information to our local nurseries and we can support people in completing paperwork if necessary. If you have a child due to come to us in August 2022, we look forward to welcoming them into school and will do what we can to make transition from nursery smooth! Talk to us if there is anything we can assist with.

Entry Doors

Starting on Monday 25th October only one door will be for entry in the morning. The entry door will be the side door on Gadshill Street and will open at the usual time 8.45-9.15am. The janitor front entrance will not be open. This is simply due to staff availability to open the door and welcome the pupils in…we always like to have more than one member of staff to do this.

STEM P3/2 and P1 challenge!

Mr Thomson and Miss Johnstone want to work with parents and pupils together! Given the current situation, this is challenging…but we will try to think creatively on how to do this. Mr Thomson and Miss Johnstone are in the process of planning out a few sessions OUTSIDE…working on STEM challenges. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. It sounds like the challenges might be hard…but I promise, they are not too hard and lots of fun! We are hoping to do these parent and child sessions before Christmas so look out for more detailed information.

ParentPay

You may or may not know that GCC have engaged with a long term payment method, making schools effectively ‘cashless’. I’m not sure we will be entirely cashless but the system will be set up initially for school meals – for those pupils who pay for meals. You will shortly receive an activation code to set yourself up on ParentPay App. You should set up asap and let us know if you have any difficulties…we may or may not be able to help! We are trying to learn the system as fast as we can!

It is important to note that even if your child is in receipt of free meals, you should still set up the app as this will be used to collect any trip money etc in the future.

Our ‘Go Live’ date is November 1st and everyone should be set up by then. Activation letters will come out early next week.

School House System

I just wanted to offer a wee refresher for our usual parents…and some new information for our new parents! We have a school house system…the houses are Ruby (red), Sapphire (blue) Emerald (green) and Diamond (yellow). Each child belongs to a house group. Pupils can be given house tokens for all sorts of great reasons…good work, lots of effort, good manners, being helpful, sharing, respect etc etc. Each house tries to get the most tokens each term to win the house treat at the end of every term. We usually try to take the winning house on an outing…or do something fun in school. Your child should have a house colour badge – this will tell you what house they are in. The pupils enjoy collecting tokens for their house – they have a great sense of belonging to a different group to their class and they get excited about winning the treat at the end of term!

Phew…another overload of information! I hope you find this useful to you but please do not hesitate to contact us for any reason – we are here to help!

Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss anything or ask any questions.

Jane McShane

headteacher@royston-pri.glasgow.sch.uk

0141 552 2872

 

Welcome!

We have had a fast paced and busy start to our new school session. Pupils and staff are back and raring to go! A huge well done to all our fantastic primary 1 pupils who have started their school career with real confidence and focus!

I do hope everyone had a lovely summer break and I look forward to seeing and chatting to all parents and carers in due course. As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch if you want to speak to me for any reason. Many Thanks for your continued support.

Jane McShane (Head Teacher)

Headteacher@royston-pri.glasgow.sch.uk

Tel 0141 552 2872

Staffing

Our staffing this session looks plentiful. We have managed to secure more than our allocation using our pupil equity fund money. I believe that the best resource pupils will have in school is staff and I am looking forward to some new initiatives we are set to put in place to ensure equity for all. Our parental surveys supported the plan for additional staffing and this is what we have undertaken to do. In addition to class teachers, we welcome back our play therapist Beverley Allen. She will be working very closely with some of our pupils. We are considering which pupils and groups Beverley will work with this session and will be in touch if this may relate to your child.

We welcome Miss Carmichael P4/3 and Miss Kelly P6/5 to our teaching staff team. The have come in full of energy and enthusiasm and I know you and your children will enjoy getting to know them!

I am delighted to tell you that Mr Steer and Miss Fraser have now been appointed principal teachers. This unfolded on the very last week of term due to Ms White’s retiral. Mr Steer and Miss Fraser join myself and Mrs Young as the management team and I’m sure you will agree they will be a superb asset! Our parental surveys tell us that you find all staff approachable in school – this is very positive. Remember if you wish to make an appointment to speak about sensitive issues, Miss Fraser, Mr Steer, Mrs Young or myself will be happy to arrange to meet you.

At the moment we have a support staff vacancy. I have already interviewed for this position and await council concluding all checks before confirmation of employment. I hope our new person will be in place soon!

COVID-19

Sadly we still have to concern ourselves with this challenge. At the present time according to the new guidance on safe opening of schools, we continue with all mitigations which were put in place last session. This is to remain for at least 6 weeks. I e-mailed a letter from Public Health out to all parents at the beginning of this session – 12th August. Please have a read at this if you haven’t done so already.

In short, if your child has Covid 19 symptoms, please continue as before by keeping them off school and booking a PCR test. If the test is negative, they can return immediately. If the test is positive they must isolate for 10 days.

If a household member tests positive please self-isolate and book tests for others in the household. If your child’s test is negative they can return immediately to school, even although they may be living with a person testing positive.

If a child in your child’s class tests positive, there will now be no requirement to isolate a whole class or groups of class – this is the biggest change.

Parental Views Term 4

I just wanted to give you an overview of the most recent parental survey from June. Thank you very much to the 38 parents who responded. Your views are extremely important to us and we reflect carefully on them.

Everyone felt their child was safe and achieving well in school. Almost all parents felt their child was supported and challenged well in school in addition to being active enough. 37 responders felt that their child was respected and included in school.

Almost all parents felt that our strengths were – relationship building, approachability and attainment. There were numerous very positive comments following with a few small things for us to consider.

I plan to send out a survey at the end of each term and would ask that you take a few minutes to complete this please. All staff have the chance to read these and reflect;  this ultimately helps us to get things right for your child in true partnership working style!

Meet the Teacher

I issued a letter to you on Wednesday about our ‘Meet the Teacher’ event – Tuesday 31st August 1.45-2.45pm. This is a very informal chance for you to have a chat with your child’s teacher/s and find out a wee bit about how class works.

I hope you will manage to come to that. If you cannot come at the day/time and you would like to chat to the teacher, please let me know and I can arrange another time.

North Glasgow Community Food Initiative

Our partnership working with NGCFI continues to go from strength to strength. Our P7 pupils will begin cookery lessons next week with our super sessional cook Maggie. All P7 pupils will have the opportunity to work in the kitchen.

Gardening sessions will commence next week too. Our new youth gardener Yaz will start work with classes – exploring the outdoors and engaging in a variety of curriculum for excellence science, technology and social studies outcomes, in addition to literacy and numeracy. Using the outdoors to engage in crucial learning is very motivating and engaging for pupils and as such we welcome this work. If you want more detail on learning outdoors I am happy to provide this for you – please just ask!

Bullying

We are not so naïve to think that we never have any bullying incidents in school. If your child speaks of bullying I would urge you to get in touch without delay. We will do our best to work closely with you and your child to support and ultimately stop the bullying. However, often we hear the word bullying used frequently and freely in situations where this has, after investigation, clearly not been the case. With 115 children in school all day every day there will be feelings of frustration and annoyance amongst children and we need to work at supporting all our pupils to develop emotional regulation – being able to understand how they can cope with feelings of frustration and annoyance for example. This is a life skill- there will always be people in life who will annoy you! As an adult you will know this! It is absolutely crucial for pupils to develop these life skills themselves as they will have to manage this without a parent always advocating on their behalf. I look forward to your continued support and partnership in this matter.

Healthy drinks and snacks

I am a little disappointed to see the variety of unhealthy snacks and drinks some of our pupils are coming to school with. We continually try to pass messages of healthy eating and drinking onto pupils. Pupils can drink water at school. During class time pupils can drink plain water. Research proves that this actually enhances performance in the classroom – class teachers will encourage this. Pupils can bring flavoured water (eg lemon lime, strawberry) for break times although we do try to dissuade them from this as there is some sugar contained. We also try to encourage pupils to bring healthy snacks to school. A piece of fruit or chopped vegetables are excellent choices. Pupils are rewarded for making healthy choices in eating and drinking and can win a special active treat if their good choices become consistent.

Please try to provide your child with something healthy each day for a snack. Many pupils go to the shop on the way to school and I don’t think parents always know what they are buying to eat and drink! It might be worthwhile ensuring snack etc is bought in advance and then you will know what they are consuming! If snacks are in odd shaped packaging or strange colours/heavily dyed, we may look after their snack for them to bring home at 3pm to allow you to see what they had at school!

Nuts

Following on from above, please note that this is a nut free school. We have pupils with severe allergies to nuts and we cannot allow them in school. Buenos, nutella and peanut butter all contain nuts. Please avoid sending these into school.

School Improvement Planning

Every year, each school in Glasgow creates a School Improvement Plan. We must always do this in partnership with parents/carers, pupils and staff, and I wish to thank all parents/carers who took the time to complete our evaluation requests prior to the summer holidays. I know these are a chore for people but I cannot stress enough how much we need these to guide the way forward in the service we provide to our families.

This year we have 4 priorities and these are:

  1. Learning and Teaching – very simply to raise attainment in core areas – literacy and numeracy whilst threading work on health and wellbeing throughout. We feel our attainment data is not demonstrating slow and steady increase at the moment – mainly due to lockdowns and school closure. This is our year to strengthen and deepen our teaching and learning across the whole school.
  2. Curriculum – we wish to look at our given curriculum – Curriculum for Excellence – and personalise it to the pupils of Royston Primary. We will start off by refreshing our aims and school values and hope to engage with you and your children to do this. Our overarching question being – What matters in Royston Primary?
  3. Equality and Diversity – We look to increase knowledge and skill in staff and pupils of COP26 and Children’s Rights, considering how we thread these throughout our already busy curriculum in order to sustain a streamlined approach.

Snapshot Week

Feedback last session on snapshot week was very positive and so we have planned these in again for this session. During snapshot week your child will complete all tasks in a particular jotter. At the end of the week your child will bring this home and will need around 20-30 minutes with a parent/carer to speak about their learning. Please do make time for this. We know that when parents/carers engage in their child’s learning and development, their progress will be much better. It will also give you an insight into their work in school and what the get up to here!

Sorry for the overload of information! Start of term is always fairly busy!

Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss anything or ask any questions.

Jane McShane

 

 

Newsletter Update – December 2020

December 2020 Issue 4

I don’t normally write another newsletter before January, but I have various pieces of important information to share with you and thought this was the best way to do it!

Staffing

Our staffing for next term remains fairly stable, although we must say a sad fairwell! Mrs Kent in the school office will be retiring from her position on the 22nd December. We will miss her very much. Mrs Kent has lots of interesting and exciting things to get involved in when she retires and we hope she has lots of fun and freedom!

Miss Gorrell is still off school unwell. We catch up regularly and she is beginning to get a little better. We can’t wait to have her back with us when she is fit and able.

Santa’s Fantastic Fayre!

Thank you all so much for supporting school last week during the fayre! It was a small and simple event but I hope the children really enjoyed it.

We had lots of fun decorating biscuits, making cards and playing Christmas games. Pupils all received a fantastic Christmas present which Santa had left for them beside the fireplace earlier on in that day! It was lovely to see them excited and enjoying different activities. Unfortunately we were unable to have our parent council support us with their large scale event this year! We hope we did OK!

Total raised on the day was £273 and the money is still coming in with our ‘Guess Alfonso the Alpaca’s Birthday’ and ‘Guess the sweets in the jar’. Winners of these competitions will be announced next Friday 18th December!

Christmas Hamper

Tickets are still available for our Christmas hamper! You have to be in it to win it! Tickets are £1 each and winner will be drawn next Friday 18th December. Good Luck everyone!

House Treat

Next week we will be having a house treat for the winning house members. We do not know who this will be yet; tokens will be counted on Tuesday! Pupils are very excited to see who will win. We have planned a lovely Christmas event with crafts and food in the dining hall for the winning house.

School safety

You may have noticed that we started Christmas festivities very early this year! This was not by accident! Next week, our last full week at school, we aim to keep a very low profile in school. Pupils will remain calm in class with full teacher and support staff focus on ensuring minimal movement and mixing. We would be devastated if any pupil or adult was required to self-isolate over the Christmas period and, in order to protect against this, school will be a very calm and still place next week. This will not offer 100% guarantee that self-isolation will not be required for some if we do have a positive case in school, but be assured we will go above and beyond to protect everyone from that. If pupils were required to self-isolate at this stage it would ultimately mean holiday time with family would be affected, and we don’t want this to happen!

Survey

Next week I will send out an end of term 2 survey link by text. I would really appreciate if you could complete this. We had a great response at the end of term 1 and it is so helpful to hear what you think.

Thank you!

I just want to tell you how overwhelmed I am with our amazingly supportive parent body! I thank you so very much for continuing to stand by your child and their school during this very difficult year. You have been understanding of some of the changes that we have had to make, you have adapted to request we have had to make, you have tolerated the situation of not being able to come into the building, you have engaged in telephone consultations with us, you have given your child money for sponsors, book fayre, Christmas fayre and the list goes on and on! I really cannot thank you enough for making my job so much better and brighter during this difficult time in life. I have been thankful everyday coming to school knowing that I have your unwavering support behind the school and pupils.

Jane McShane

Head Teacher

headteacher@royston-pri.glasgow.sch.uk

Christmas News

Christmas is coming! It might look a wee bit different this year but we will do all we can to make it a really special time! Sadly our Christmas Choir cannot get out and about raising money for school fund, but aside from this, we have tried to modify everything we normally do to make them ‘fit’ with all the essential restrictions right now…we will be creative and find a way!!

Santa’s Fantastic Festivities!

Santa cannot visit Royston Primary this year to meet the children! He and his reindeer need plenty of rest as they are key workers! However we will be having an awesome Santa’s Fantastic Fayre next week! We are really missing our parent council members and their amazing planning and organisational skills this year but we will try really hard for our pupils! The Fayre will run over 3 days and will include things to buy, games, competitions and some mini workshops where pupils get to make something ‘Christmasy’! We have card making and cookie decorating, guess the sweeties etc – we have stolen all our fantastic parent council ideas!!

As we need to keep in class groupings, pupils will go to the Fayre one class at a time as follows:

P5/4 – Wednesday 2nd December p.m.

P7 – Thursday 3rd December a.m.

P6/5 – Thursday 3rd December p.m.

P2/1 – Friday 4th December a.m.

P3/2 – Friday 4th December a.m.

Pupils can bring some money if possible – but don’t worry, there are activities to take part in if this is not possible. Look out for your child coming home with an extra special surprise this day!

Christmas Parties

We will be having parties during week beginning 7th December as follows:

P2/1 – 10th December p.m.

P3/2 – 11th December p.m.

P5/4 – 11th December p.m.

P6/5 – 11th December p.m.

P7 – 11th December p.m.

Classes will stay together for their party and we will have lots of dancing and party games! We cannot have parents inside school to help children get ready for their party, but I will send out some more information next week about arrangements for home lunches on party days should parents wish to do this.

Christmas Lunch

Lunch will be served on the 9th December for anyone wishing a traditional turkey (or a sandwich) lunch!

Christmas Nativity

Primary 2/1 class are practicing very hard for their Nativity performance on the 8th December. The will be performing ‘Wriggly Nativity’ to a professional filming company – the songs will be sung outside and the acting parts filmed inside. Thereafter our production company will edit the video and provide us with USB devices for each of our parents to view in the comfort of their own home…along with the family! We hope you will enjoy this – I know it is sad that we cannot have an audience for the nativity this year, but with a USB device (which can be put into the back of a smart TV or a laptop) you can watch your child perform over and over again!!

Christmas Hamper

Staff will be contributing to an amazing hamper again this year! You can be in with a chance of winning by buying a hamper raffle ticket. Each ticket cost £1 and you can buy as many as you wish. Please give any hamper raffle money to your child (with a little note if need be) and class teacher will allow your child to go purchase a ticket from the office. We will put tickets in envelopes so that they do not get lost!

Christmas Panto’s

We are bringing the panto’s into school this year! All panto performances in theatres are cancelled this year so we have bought in some live virtual performances for the pupils!

Cinderella will be viewed (with some snacks and sweets of course!) during week commencing 14th December for our P4-7 and the McDougall’s Christmas show will be available for P1-3.

We will make this special for the pupils and try to get some virtual ‘shout outs’ for Royston Primary! Oh yes we will!!

 

So this wasn’t quite the year we had hoped for when we started 2020 – but we make the best of what we have! We are looking positively on the things we are able to do with the pupils and try not to dwell on the things we can’t! We are finding ourselves being increasingly creative in working and adapting to the restrictions as they come about and will continue to have health and safety for all as a priority. I want to thank you all for your amazing support during the pandemic. We have a fantastic parent body and I feel we all know what partnership working truly means.

School holidays

School will close at 2.30pm on the 22nd  December 2020

School will re-open at 9am on the 6th January 2021

 

A very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year from all at Royston Primary School