September Newsletter

September 2020 Issue 1

Welcome back everyone! What a bizarre few months this has been! Such a devastating turn of events in March – I doubt anyone could have predicted that it would ever have happened. I honestly believe that, although lockdown was not pleasant for most, it has made us stronger and more appreciative of what we have in life – and this includes education. Our pupils have come back to school with energy, enthusiasm, good manners and a great focus on learning. What more could any of us ask! It has been an absolute joy to have the pupils back in school every day and to see our parent group around and about. Everyone seems happy but if you have worries, concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Primary 1!

We have got a super bunch of primary 1 pupils this session! They have come into school, in slightly unusual circumstances, and settled beautifully! We are enjoying watching them learn and grow and look forward to their development as time goes on.

Well done children and well done parents – you did each other proud!!

School Recovery

Glasgow City Council is very focused on ‘Resilience, Recovery and Reconnection’. We strive to settle our pupils back into school and gather momentum in learning again. We have made some small but significant changes in school to help us recovery quickly and ensure no more time is wasted. We are focusing heavily on literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing just now with gradual addition of topical work and expressive arts. We are encouraging a major focus on pupils working together collaboratively in order for them to practice the social skills they have missed during lockdown in addition to ensuring very active ‘hands on’ classrooms.

In a more practical sense there have been some slight changes to how we work, for example staggered entry in the morning, staggered and shortened lunch and limitations on shared resources. We have only introduced changes that are necessary during the present time. I think if you asked the pupils about changes, they possibly have not noticed! This is our aim as we wish to keep school as normal and predictable for pupils as we can just now.

Parental Engagement

Normally at this time in term 1, we would have had a parental engagement session. Last year we had a Parent Pizza Party! This was a nice opportunity for you to meet your child’s class teacher and chat with them informally about things. Unfortunately government restrictions mean that we cannot do this. Therefore every class teacher will be phoning each parent to say hello and

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

check in. This is not an ideal situation but sadly it is the best we can offer at the present time. Phone calls will commence this week – please answer if you can!

After school clubs

Clubs are on hold for term 1 – but we are getting set to start up as soon as we are allowed! Parent and child cookery is back in October along with some of our usual clubs. As soon as we can find coaches willing to come in we will let you and pupils know.

School Sponsor

Our school fund is very low! I am ever hopeful that we will be able to organise and attend a Christmas event with all pupils but we need to raise a bit of money to make this possible! To that end we have organised a sponsored walk/run. Classes will walk/run the distance of the West Highland Way (96 miles) over a 2 week period 21st Sept – 2nd Oct. This will be quite a challenge but I know we can do it! Mr Steer will be tracking class progress and pupils will be able to see their progress virtually on a map! Very exciting! All pupils will soon be given a donation sheet and we would be delighted if every pupil could raise a few pounds – and if pantomimes do go ahead, we will be there!!

Public Health

You will have received a letter from Public Health – both in paper form and by e-mail, if you have supplied us with your e-mail address. It is important to read and understand the letter as it is specifically regarding symptoms and testing for COVID-19. It is perfectly understandable that we are all nervous about this issue but we must continue to think rationally about it. If your child has one of the key symptoms – persistent cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell, they should be absent from school and you should organise a coronavirus test for them – contact www.nhsinform.scot. If you are looking for more information please visit www.nhsggc.org.uk/covid/schools to learn more.

Outdoor Learning/PE

As I’m sure you are aware, all PE has to happen outside for the time being. Although class teachers have an inclination as to when this will happen, it is always weather permitting. We will not take our pupils outside if there is a health and safety risk with weather conditions. This does not mean they will not go outside in the rain. Rain is fairly common in Scotland and pupils should try to dress as well as they can for wet weather. If pupils want to bring in some spare clothing, along with their waterproof jacket, sensible shoes etc then this will be fine. I would always advise spare socks in everyone’s school bag as standard!

Snapshot week

Once each term we have snapshot week. During the assigned week, all pupils will record their learning experiences in a special jotter. At the end of snapshot week pupils will bring the jotter home to let you see what they have been learning about. Over the weekend please have a conversation with your child about what they have in the jotter. Ask them what they have been learning to see if they can give you an explanation. Ask them what they enjoyed most in their learning. Ask them if they feel they have been successful in their learning. Ask them if they felt challenged in the learning or if it was easy! Please then complete the ‘parental comment’ sheet in the jotter – we always need your thoughts and comments in order to ensure continuous improvement in teaching and learning.

Cooking Packs

During lockdown we successfully secured some funding to support our pupils and their families. We have created cooking packages (similar to the creative packages given out during the school closure period.) There is one package per family and pupils will bring this home over the next few days. This is a gift to each of our families and I hope the items will be useful. Happy cooking!

Helmets

We are been saddened to hear that some of our pupils are not demonstrating good cycle safety habits whilst out cycling their bikes in the community. I have contacted community police about this and they will increase their presence in the Royston area in order to observe and support. Pupils appear NOT to be wearing helmets. It is a parental responsibility to ensure a child wears a helmet when cycling in the community – please ensure your child does not go cycling without one. Some pupils have said they don’t even have one. To this end I have bought two helmets to show pupils and allow them to try on. If you would like to buy one I can order more. Please do get in touch.

Staffing

Staffing this session is looking excellent. We welcome our new staff – Mr Gillen and Miss Sutton and a warm welcome back to Mrs Mair. All classes have 2 teachers assigned in order to support intensive teaching after such a lengthy period of time away from formal education. This is working well at present and we will soon commence our usual suite of assessment – this will help us specify, on an individual basis, what type of teaching support is needed for each pupil.

Attainment

Attainment in core areas of reading, writing, listening/talking and numeracy are on the increase. Our attainment statistics present a very positive picture. From 2015 until now, our general increase has been around 10-20% approx. in almost all aspects, apart from listening and talking where our attainment has been fairly ‘jumpy’. We are trying to analyse why this is the case and are doing some training and research on how we can get better at this. In addition many of our homework tasks are designed with a focus on talking and listening – it would be very useful if you could make these tasks a priority. I would also suggest you engage in as much conversation as you can with your child in order to give them practice at these social skills.

Homework

Some pupils may have had their new homework grid sent out, others will get it this week. Please see the accompanying parent information on homework which will help support homework for pupils.

Ipads

Pupils in P7 will soon get a personal school iPad to use for learning. They will be able to use this in class and at home. This is part of the council digital roll out. The iPad will always belong to Glasgow City Council but pupils will have these individually to support their learning. The date for this is 27th October and we will be looking for parental support in this project. There will be agreements on safe use to be signed and pupils will be taught how to use the learning tools on the iPad.

Healthy drinks and snacks

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.

I am always disappointed when I see pupils coming to school eating sweets and drinking fizzy drinks. I’m not sure if parents and carers know pupils are doing this but I would encourage you to speak with your child about this. It does not make for a great start to the day!

Awards

Just a little update on assemblies and awards for you. Unfortunately I am unable to lead the school in our usual weekly celebration assembly. Sadly we are unable to do any singing at present and gatherings of more than 50 people in fairly close contact are not allowed.

However, we do not let this get in the way! We have continued to give out our special weekly awards and Birthday certificates by going round classrooms on a Friday. We award one pupil in each class a Star of the Week and one pupil a Worker of the week. I’m sure you will be very proud of your child when they come home to show off their award! We also give out Healthy Choice Awards for those pupils demonstrating healthy habits during the week – either in eating or in exercise.

Although not quite the same as our special Friday assemblies, pupils are pleased to still be involved in celebrating the successes over the past week. Hopefully assemblies will return soon!

Jane McShane

Head Teacher

School update for parents/carers

August 2020

Dear Parent/carer,

This has been a very exciting week! We are genuinely delighted to be back with our pupils, re-united in our school building. Pupils appear to be so happy to be back in school and we have lots of smiles just now! I just wanted to give you a few updates right now as the newsletter will not be issued until 1st September.

School timings

Our staggered entry and exit systems seem to be working well and we will continue with these for the time being. There is less anxiety around ‘bell times’ and this is proving for a really positive start and finish to the school day.

From Monday 17th August primary 1 pupils will be able to come straight into the building between 8.45am and 9.15am, and they will be dismissed at 3pm.

We have increased the functionality of our lunch system to ensure pupils know exactly what they will be eating and which queue to line up in before getting to the dinner hall. We have also reduced our lunch time from 45 minutes to just 30 minutes. We want to maximise teaching time in class and with extension of outdoor learning for all pupils, there are lots of opportunities during the school day to be outside. Pupils seem happy with this arrangement!

School Hygiene

Increased hygiene and safety measures have been introduced in school at this time. Most importantly we have a day cleaner 10am-2pm each day. Linda is fabulous at patrolling the school ensuring all banisters, door handles, bins, toilets etc are regularly cleaned and sanitised. She doesn’t stop! Pupils have been brilliant at sanitising and washing their hands when asked, even although some pupils’ hands are getting a little dry. If you want to provide a small tube of hand cream for your child just put a sticker on it with their name and pop it in their school bag. Teacher will allow them to treat their hands when needed. For a few pupils we are encouraging them to use soap more than sanitiser as this seems to be less drying. Pupils have been great at helping teachers and staff keep class resources and tables cleaned, thus supporting them to feel safe in school.

Water

If pupils come to school with enough water to last them all day then this is super. If they finish their water during the day and need more or if they forget to bring water with them, we will have a large quantity of paper cups for pupils to use. No pupil in this school will go without a drink of water should they request it!

Visitors

I am sad to say we are not allowed to have ‘visitors’ inside the school building. Visitors could be some visiting specialists (although some are allowed), volunteers, parents etc. Therefore I kindly ask that you do not enter the school building. I really do not like this instruction but it is unavoidable at present – I’m sure you will understand. If you need to speak with me or a member of staff, please contact the school office and I will speak with you on the telephone or call you back. We cannot allow this restriction to damage our school-home relationships. If you have a query, challenge or information to pass on, please DO call – you are not bothering us at all, we want to talk to you! If there is an unavoidable need to speak in person you will require to complete a COVID-19 screening questionnaire prior to gaining entry into the school building.

PPE

Our staff in general are not wearing any PPE. Some pupils are wearing masks and this is fine if it makes them feel safer in the current climate. If we require to deal with pupils in close proximity for longer than 15 minutes we may decide to wear a mask or visor – I would surmise this will be very rare.

Curriculum

It is absolutely crucial that we ‘hit the road’ with learning! Pupils have missed school and we want to get them back on track asap! Pupils will be focusing mainly on literacy, numeracy and health/wellbeing, although we will gradually bring in all other aspects of the curriculum too.

Staff

We are very lucky without staffing allocation at the present time. GCC have provided additional staff to every school in Glasgow to ensure we can progress smoothly along the road of school recovery. Every class has 2 allocated trained teachers in addition to support staff. Pupils are getting intensive support in class. We will soon begin our suite of yearly assessments in spelling, reading and maths to ensure we focus specifically on any gaps which may have occurred during school closure period.

Sadly Mrs Young has not returned to school and will be off for a few weeks recovery from surgery. I am delighted to say that Miss Fraser is acting principal teacher for the time that Mrs Young is not here. Unfortunately Miss Gorrell is also off sick, we hope she can return well with us soon.

We welcome 2 new teachers to the staff – Mr Gillen and Miss Sutton. Mr Gillen is our probationer and Miss Sutton is our supply teacher – both have had an amazing start to the school year, and we are lucky to have them!

Mrs Mair has returned from maternity leave – so lovely to have her sense of calm around again! We have missed Mrs Mair very much!

All in all school doesn’t really feel very different and it appears to have been a very positive beginning for all! Long may this continue!

Obviously COVID-19 has not gone away and we must not become complacent. If your child is unwell with common symptoms please keep them at home, book a test and give us a phone call if you can. If your child becomes unwell in school we will ensure they are comforted, safe and will call you immediately. I would urge you to arrange a test if your child displays symptoms, but this is a parental choice and responsibility.

Please take care everyone and continue to remain safe during this time.

Do not hesitate to contact me at any time if you want to discuss anything.

Kind Regards,

 

Jane McShane

Headteacher@royston-pri.glasgow.sch.uk

Letter from Head Teacher – Mrs McShane

August 2020

Dear Parent/carer,

As you will know, Scottish Government has deemed it appropriate for schools to re-open fully to all pupils – this is excellent news! We are delighted to be able to set aside our blended part-time learning approach in favour of something closer to normal.

Staff will soon be reconfiguring their classrooms in order to support full classes and we will ensure Government and Council instruction and guidance is followed.

ALL pupils here in Royston Primary will return to full-time schooling on 12th August. This means that from 12th August, all pupils should come to school every day.

Primary 1 pupils 12th-14th August should attend 9.15am – 12.15pm. Primary 1 pupils should gather in the front playground between 9.05am and 9.15am. Unfortunately we cannot welcome parents into school with the pupils; the teacher will come to the playground to meet and greet the children at 9.15am prompt. Pupils will have lunch before being brought back out to the front playground at 12.15pm for collection. From 17th August P1 pupils will attend school all day every day.

Primary 2-7 pupils Pupils will be welcomed into school anytime between 8.45am and 9.15am. This staggered entry ensures we avoid the busy bell time of 9am! When pupils arrive at school they should use the hand sanitiser located at each entry point, and then go straight to their class where they will be met by their class teacher or support teacher. Pupils will engage in some activities before the first intense teaching block begins at 9.15am.

Playtime and lunch time will be staggered also to ensure we limit numbers in all areas of the school. Lunch will reduce to 30 minutes for the first 2 weeks so that we can maximise class learning after such a long period out of school.

At the end of the school day the following procedure will still happen:

P2/1 and P3 exit to the front playground 3pm

P5/4 exit at the back playground 3pm

P6/5 exit at the back playground at 3.05pm

P7 exit at the back playground 3.10pm

We will work closely with aftercare staff for those attending – we can be flexible with their requirements.

Breakfast club will re-start and after school provision with St Roch’s Childcare will be operating in school.

Please refer to an information sheet I sent you regarding questions you may have re school bags, lunches etc. This is still relevant.

Kind Regards,

Jane McShane

headteacher@royston-pri.glasgow.sch.uk

 

Letter from the Executive Director of Education

Dear Parents

Scottish Government Announcement – full time return of schools and nurseries. Today the Scottish Government announced that the scientific advice and evidence in relation to the current suppression of COVID-19 will allow the full time return of all schools and nurseries from the start of the new term in August.

This is really good news for our children and young people who will be able to return to their schools from Wednesday 12 August with enhanced health and safety measures in place that follow the current public health and government guidance.

I know that the last five months have been a challenge for us all and I would like to take this opportunity once again to thank all our children and young people, families and school staff for their strength and commitment during the school closures.

It has not been easy and I know that some will still be anxious as we make our way through the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Please let me reassure you that risk assessments have been carried out in all our establishments and officers have been working on plans for increased cleaning regimes, appropriate health and safety measures and new protocols that will need to be in place as the country deals with this global health pandemic.

These protocols include promoting good hand hygiene, observing the age-appropriate physical distancing measures outlined by current government guidance as well as public health advice to help reduce the spread of
the virus.

All current advice, guidance and information is published on our schools and learning page and we will continue to update this https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/article/25947/Recovery-Resilience-and-Reconnection-2020

Your child’s school will also keep you updated about their specific plans ahead of schools opening at the beginning of the new term.

This will include any new guidance on drop off and pick up from school arrangements, school transport, school meals and breakfast clubs and out of school clubs.

Our schools and nurseries will also be able to support any children and young people who may need some extra help as a result of lock down and the interruption to their learning.

I’m delighted that we are now in the position to welcome our children and young people back to their schools and nurseries – a chance to resume some stability and normality after a long period of uncertainty and resume full time education.

Thank you again for your support during these times.

Yours Sincerely,

Maureen McKenna

Executive Director of Education

Glasgow City Council