Update from the GCC Executive Director of Education

23rd June 2020

Dear Parents,

I wrote to you at the beginning of this month to update you on what our plans were as we move out of the global pandemic lockdown phasing and promised that I would keep you informed of any developments.

Once again I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you have done to help support your child’s learning – I know that this has not been an easy task in such a challenging set of circumstances.

Wednesday 24th June is the last day of our school term and I welcome and support the news today by the deputy First minister John Swinney who’s announced that if the virus continues to be suppressed and that the data and scientific evidence supports it, our schools can go back full time at the start of the new term in August.

This has been what we have been hoping and striving for and do not want our children and young people to be away from the classroom and their teachers for any longer than was necessary.

However, please let me reassure you that our school planning for a blended learning model and social distancing measures are ready if we don’t go straight to full time learning in August.

Each  school will have communicated their plans of the arrangements in place to their families by now – this is essential work as part of as part of our contingency plans.

The risk assessments and health and safety measures for all of our schools will remain focussed on the key elements that will help us all reduce the risk of the spread of the virus.

This will include regular hand washing, additional cleaning of the school building and observing the current government guidance for schools and nurseries.

Our schools and nurseries will remain in contact with their parents over the summer holidays with any updates and information that they need to share ahead of the beginning of a new term.

Thank you once again for your support during these difficult and challenging few months and hope you have a lovely summer.

Yours sincerely,

Maureen McKenna

Royston Primary Parent’s Questions and Answers

Royston Primary School

School recovery, resilience and re-connection

August 2020

  1. Can my child bring a school bag?

Yes. I have no information suggesting that this not be allowed. I would actively encourage pupils to bring a school bag with the essentials in it. Pupils should bring a pencil, rubber, ruler and sharpener and possibly a small note book. I would also suggest a packet of tissues and for younger children a very small bag with spare pants and shorts in it in case of accidents. Pupils can also bring a snack for playtime and a bottle of water with them. Pupils should not bring toys from home; they will become upset when the teacher does not allow them to play with them. Pupils can bring a water bottle to school but please ensure this is filled at home. Pupils will not be able to re-fill their bottle. We will have supplies of paper cups should your child run out of water.

  1. Can my child bring packed lunch?

Yes. Again so far, I have not had information to suggest they cannot bring lunch from home if they wish. They will not be allowed to share food from their lunch box with their friends. We will explain this sensitively to younger pupils.

  1. Where will my child eat their lunch?

As we have a fairly small school pupils will still have lunch in the dining hall. Lunch time will be staggered to ensure only approx. 20-25 pupils are in the dining hall at any one time. We can accommodate this easily whilst ensuring social distancing remains at 2 metres. Children will not be left isolated to have lunch and we will ensure this is a positive experience for all.

  1. Will there be lots of hand washing?

Lots and lots! This will be built into your child’s programme of activity at school, aspecially at key points such as break and lunch time. With lots of hand washing however can come some skin problems. With so much hand washing skin can become dry and sore. You may wish to put a small tube of hand cream in your child’s school bag for them to use after hand washing.

  1. Will children line up in the playground?

At the present time we do not foresee pupils lining up in the playground. We will be instructing an informal staggered entry into the school building. Your child will have an entry space and allocated door. This will come to you nearer the time. I would foresee pupils can arrive at school somewhere between 8.45am and 9.15am approx. We will greet them on entry and they will go directly to their classroom where they will engage in soft start table top activities suited to age and stage prior to the beginning of formal teacher direction. There will be no lining up at playtime nor lunch time. With very small numbers in the playground and additional supervision, pupils will be individually managed in and out of the building.

  1. Will school times be the same?

Approximately! We may open up a longer window at the beginning and end of the school day in order to avoid traditional ‘bell rush’ times. We have yet to decide how best to do this to suit all our pupils and families.

  1. What uniform should my child wear?

Our uniform suppliers remain the same.

My Clothing  https://myclothing.com/  or

BE Schoolwear online https://www.border-embroideries.co.uk/store-glasgow and in-store 35 Argyle St Glasgow G2 8AH.

You may wish your child to wear polo shirt and sweater or school shirt and tie, skirt, trousers etc. This is entirely up to you. I would suggest you carefully consider footwear and the jacket you buy. We have been guided to spend the majority of time outdoors learning. This is not a hard thing to plan and implement as there are lots of opportunities to use outdoor space for all aspects of learning and teaching. However we live in Scotland and as such, it does rain. It is not often freezing cold but it is very wet. I would suggest you consider a waterproof jacket – this is not the same as shower proof. Pupils will be outside, even in the rain. They will not be kept in when it is wet or a bit windy. Also sensible footwear will be essential.

You will be informed of pupil gym days so that you can have them wear gym clothing underneath their uniform, or simply have them wear their polo shirt and joggers/leggings. Pupils will not be changing for gym time. They will also not be changing into indoor shoes when they enter the school, but they should wear trainers on gym days so that they can take part safely either outside or in the gym hall.

I would also encourage your child to wear layers. All windows in school are to be opened to allow maximum air circulation – it could get a little chilly!

  1. What will happen if my child is sick?

The same as what happens now. Your child will be comforted as distantly as we can manage. Pupils will hold a sick bowl and sit in the open foyer. We will contact parent/carer/emergency contact immediately for them to be collected.

If your child feels sick or complains of an ailment we will be very cautious and contact you immediately. If your child is displaying the common symptoms of COVID-19 – a high temperature, a new and persistent cough or a loss of taste or smell, we will isolate them in our medical room and call you immediately. Our medical room will be made a comfortable as possible with posters and pictures for pupils should they require to use it. I hope they do not. If a pupil is isolated in the medical room a member of staff will remain with them outside the door and reassure them until a parent/carer is able to attend. It is crucial that should you notice any of the common symptoms, no matter how minor, you keep them at home and isolated for 7 days. You would inform us of an absence in the usual way.

  1. Trips, visits, coaches, afterschool clubs…

Unfortunately these are not being planned for term 1, possibly longer. We will remain in school, in our bubbles with minimal contact. We hope these can be planned for the near future and we will keep you informed of this.

  1. Parent interaction

We need to work closely with you in order to provide the best support we can for your child. However, our ability to engage in face to face interactions is going to be difficult. We would encourage telephone calls as opposed to ‘in person’ discussions. We understand that things come up from time to time and it is easy to engage with teachers and myself when you see us. We will not be able to do this as all of our focus and concentration will be on ensuring pupil safety and wellbeing in line with current guidance. In addition we will not be able to have parents generally inside the school building. We must keep person to person contacts to a bare minimum. The easy answer is, please just call us! We want to talk to you if there is an issue or a question. We can arrange for the class teacher to call you back as soon as possible. I can speak to you at any time or, in my absence either Ms White or Mrs Young my principal teachers will be able to discuss matters with you. In addition my email is on the newsletter. If you have access to IT, please do contact me this way. We just don’t have the same instant availability as we have had previously, but please remember, we do want to talk to you.

  1. Collection Points

At present, P1-3 pupils are collected in the playground. We hope to continue this as the pavements are so narrow outside the school gate. We will mark off parent waiting zones in the playground and ask you to promote social distancing as you wait. We will obviously cut down on numbers in the playground as we will have fewer children in school each day and children will have a staggered exit time.

As you can see there is a lot to think about! There are probably numerous questions remaining unanswered, some of them I won’t know the answer to yet. Please do get in touch if you have an unanswered question as it may well be something we have not considered yet.

As government instruction and council guidance continues to evolve over the summer period some of the above may become redundant and we might have to change information and guidance. The situation changes daily and we have no confirm picture of how August will look. We will continue to work closely with you and keep you informed of any changes nearer to the return date.

Official school summer holidays start on 24th June and I would suggest you don’t think too much and worry about this over the holiday period. We are all learning how we can best function safely. I will be in touch again with more detailed and accurate guidance at the beginning of August.

Mrs Jane McShane

Head Teacher

 

 

June Newsletter

June 2020

Welcome to our sixth and last newsletter this session. All newsletters are placed on Twitter @RoystonPrimary and on the school website. During this very unusual time this newsletter takes on a slightly different meaning in some ways. I will update on what has been happening in school recently but the main purpose is to share some information with you regarding August official start. I do not know all the answers at this moment as the situation and government guidance is ever changing! I will share as much as I know, in addition to some advice, suggestions and thoughts.

Thank you!

I want to say a huge thank you to all – parents, carers and pupils!  You have been doing a fantastic job of supporting each other throughout this tricky time. I have no doubt you, like me, have had some ups and downs along the way but the most important thing is that you are all safe and well. I want to thank you for your engagement in school activities, for chatting to us when we have called and for completing our online surveys recently. These are really important to us as they help us shape future supports and strategies, ensuring we provide the best service we can. Also thanks to our housing associations, Royston Youth Action and Healthy Living Centre. We have strengthened our links with these organisations as we continue to ensure appropriate supports for all our families.

School Closure

Although school may have been generally closed to your child, we have never been closed! We have worked closely with colleagues and families surrounding in providing childcare for keyworker children. Staff have volunteered to provide childcare. In addition, staff have created interesting home learning tasks, communicated with pupils by e-mail, completed assessment and evaluation work in line with school priorities, undertaken professional development opportunities in various aspects, telephoned all pupils/families several times and hand delivered around 45 home learning packs each week for those with no IT access. This is just a wee glimpse of what has been happening behind the scenes in order to continue to work effectively for our families. At present almost all staff have returned to the building full time and have been working hard to prepare for P1 and P7 transitions in June and start of school term in August, when every class teacher is moving class! It is time for a change and what better time than this!

Classification

For session 2020/21 we have a superb staff team. Our class teachers are as follows:

P2/1 – Mr Thomson   (Mrs Mair)

P3 – Miss Johnstone    (Ms White)

P5/4 – Miss Bonner   (Mrs Young)

P6/5 – Mr Gillen    (Miss Fraser)

P7 – Mr Steer   (Mr Doherty)

EAL – Ms MacLelland

Pupil Support – Ms Jee

Pupil Support – Mrs McDougall, Ms Gorrell, Mrs Atala and Miss Carmichael

Admin Team – Mrs Spence and Mrs Kent

Janitor – Super Andy!

Main class teachers are shown first with supporting class teachers shown in brackets. I will explain more on that a little later. Your child’s class teacher is in the process of setting up for August and will be preparing an information sheet with some pictures to let your child see who their teacher will be and what their class will look like. This will be sent to you as soon as it is ready.

Mrs Mair is set to return from her maternity leave and we look forward to having her back with us!

A sad goodbye

We are sad to have to say good bye to Miss Burns who has been with us for a year in P7/6. She has been such a great asset to our school and we will miss her! Miss Burns we wish you well in your new post with the EAL service and hope you eventually make it back to work with us – it is a small world!

August

It is very difficult to understand what the expectation is for education in August – guidance and structures seem to be ever changing! We have spent some time planning for August, although feeling like we may need to have a number of different plans in order to respond to the situation at that time!

At present we are looking to welcome all pupils back for 2 full days each week. We will give specific information on this as soon as we have it. Obviously pupils will spend 3 days out of school and class teachers will provide learning tasks to cover this period of time. Access to IT presents a little bit of challenge around this but we are looking at ways to support this and will try to ensure equity for all no matter IT status. If you require childcare during the 3 days out of school, you will apply for this via a centralised system on Glasgow online. It is unlikely that this childcare would happen within the school building though. I believe locations are yet to be decided.

Class Groups and Bubbles

Ultimately every class will be split into 2 sub-classes – group A and B. Group A will attend school Monday and Tuesday with school work being provided for Wednesday-Friday. Group B will attend Thursday and Friday with school work being provided for Monday-Wednesday. Each ‘class’ each day will only ever have approx. 12 children in it. As you will have read above, each class has been allocated 2 teachers. This is so that, within the 12 children each day, we can create bubbles of approx.. 6 children with one teacher. This is all in order to facilitate careful social distancing without the children being aware or stressed about it. We pride ourselves on our nurturing approach and must be mindful we are working with some very young children. We will do all we can to encourage social distancing in a natural and relaxed way by using maximum school capacity – accommodation and staffing.

Recovery, resilience and re-connection

As an authority much research and work is being undertaken around the above. It is well recognised that almost all pupils have been out of the school building for a long period of time and therefore a systematic approach to re-connection is going to be necessary. Almost all pupils have had limited to no contact with other people aside from those living in their house. This is an aspect where careful and gentle planning is required. We will recover a highly functioning school again, but it will take time, commitment and most importantly, excellent parent/school partnership. We are not expecting pupils to walk into school on the first day as if nothing different has happened! We will all need time to adjust to school life again and we can do this through continual support of each other.

An actual first day of school for August has yet to be confirmed but when we know, we will create a start-up plan. This will give you clear information about your child’s days in school and what we will do to support re-connection with our pupils and their families.

Our key priority in August will be to promote resilience in pupils with a health and wellbeing focus. This alongside core curricular aspects of literacy and numeracy. We will work closely with all our families ensuring each individual pupil/families re-connection to school is supported to best suit their specific needs. We are in a very fortunate position of being a fairly small school, this allows us the flexibility required for this delicate task.

Cleaning

Glasgow City council is working in partnership with Cordia to ensure increased cleaning of our building. Stopping the spread of coronavirus is largely about hygiene and as such, classes, corridors and toilets will be monitored and cleaned more frequently throughout the day. School will be closed on a Wednesday to pupils in order that a weekly deep clean will be undertaken. All soft toys, cushions and blankets will be removed and stored as we are not permitted to have these due to risk of infection. In classrooms pupils will have some personal resources to use in their tray. All games, activities and books will be frequently wiped clean by teaching and support staff, numerous times throughout the day. This is another reason for having very small groups of children working together with one teacher.

At present we are fitting additional soap dispensers in classrooms – previously these were only fitted in toilets. Pupils will have a regime of hand washing over the course of the day and will always be encouraged not to touch their face – this is tricky for young children!

Our school will be fitted with hand sanitising stations at main entrances although these will not replace hand washing with soap and water, as this is proven to be more effective.

Our staff will generally not wear PPE during regular tasks. Staff would always wear gloves if pupils are sick or have an accident involving blood – this has been normal practice for a number of years and will not change. We will also have a supply of face masks and visors should there be a requirement for intimate care of pupils ie changing toilet accident clothing or changing nappies.

Jane McShane

Head Teacher