Mrs N’s Notes ~ 20.9.20


Please take time to look at the CLASS SECTION drop down menu on our school website.  There you will find information relevant to your child’s class; including PE days and your latest Home/School Partnership information.

Homework is starting this week.  Your child will be issued with a range of homework tasks that are intended to cover a three-week period.  You will be able to access this through our school website, the school Glow Teams area or the school app (Piota).  All pupils will also be given a workbook or red jotter that they can use at home when required.  Please take time to read the information issued with the homework jotter.  In light of continued restrictions these jotters SHOULD NOT RETURN TO SCHOOL.  Homework tasks can be completed in any way that suits your family; orally, on a device, on a whiteboard or on paper.  The tasks do not need to be returned to your child’s teacher.  If your child wants to share their learning with their teacher this can by done by sending a photo or a document by email or on Teams.  We intend to continue with a three-week grid, allowing you to plan your home-learning around other family activities.


As you know, we continue to review our safety arrangements through ongoing risk assessments. In light of recent advice from Public Health and NLC, we are looking at ways to limit the number of pupils in our playground areas at any one time.

Can I remind parents to arrange for your child to arrive to school as close to their start time as possible – this limits the numbers of children in the playground before school starts.

Staggered playtimes will continue as before, but now each class will have a designated area where they can play.  This keeps children working within the same class-bubble at all times.  Similarly, lunchtimes will be staggered further for the same reason.  Half of our classes will have lunch at 12.00pm, with the remainder eating at 12.30pm.  Lunchtime will last 45 minutes for all children as before.  Each class will have their own designated play-area at this time.


I had an enquiry from a parent this week about school photographs.  At this time we are still not allowing visitors to school, unless it is an emergency or absolutely necessary to ensure learning provision.  For this reason, we will not be considering school photographs before Christmas.  We will continue to review the national and local COVID situation and we will look to rearrange the school photographer if the risk becomes less at some point.  I will keep you updated of this.


As I announced last week, our Parent Council intend to hold their AGM tomorrow evening (Monday 21.9.20) via a video conference call.  If you would like to express an interest in joining our Parent Council, in any capacity, please telephone me at school and I will pass your information on to Cheryl Grant, PC Chair Person.


As I told you at the beginning of term, Mrs Peat and Mrs Dunn from our office are both retiring this week.  Wednesday will be their last day working with the children.  We wish the ladies well as they start this new chapter of their lives.  I know you will join me when I say we are going to miss them terribly!

The recruitment process for new staff is underway, but our new clerical assistants will not be in place immediately.  I must therefore ask for your patience as I try to cover the office, whilst managing other school matters too.  We anticipate this will be a short term measure.


Please remember school will be closed to pupils this Thursday (24.9.20) as it is an in-service training day for staff.

We also have our local September Weekend holiday on Friday 25th and Monday 28th September.  School and nursery therefore close at the usual times on Wednesday 23rd and reopen on Tuesday 29th.

Mrs N’s Notes ~ 13.9.20


Our Parent Council will be holding their AGM on Monday 21st September.  Due to the current restrictions around face-to-face meetings, this will be held online, using WebEx video conferencing.  If you are interested in joining our PTA in any capacity, please contact me directly by email on this week and your details will be passed on to Cheryl Grant, Parent Council Chairperson.


Thank you to everyone who is supporting us in keeping our children safe as they travel to and from school.  However, I must remind some drivers that our staff carpark must not be used as a drop off zone or a turning spot.  As always, the Zigzag lines at the front of the school must be kept clear at all times.  Please allow yourself a little extra time to park a short distance away and walk the last part of your journey.  


We are aware that some school resources were not returned to school before we closed last session.  This was nobody’s fault, we just ran out of time!  Please check to see if you have any school items lying around at home.  If you do, we would appreciate you returning them with your child this week.  This includes reading books (all stages), Story Sacks or Book Bags (P.2 & 3) and nursery graduation robes & hats (current Primary 1 pupils)… and anything else you think could belong in school!  Thank you for your help with this.


As a school, we made a conscious decision to ease children back to school gradually, with a major focus on wellbeing.  We know you worked hard to continue home-learning throughout Lockdown and for that reason we wanted to give homework a break during the first few weeks back.  However, we are going to reintroduce this next week.  All classes will be issued with a 3-week homework plan on Monday 21st September, that will take us up to the October Week holiday.  More details will be provided by your child’s class teacher.


Please make sure you have the September holidays in your diary!

In-Service Day – Thursday 24th September (school and nursery closed to all pupils)

Local Holiday – Friday 25th September and Monday 28th September.

Mrs N’s Notes ~ 6.9.20

Looking ahead to next week it is the menu for Week 2.  Please take time to read the menu with your child and select the option they would like.  Thank you to all those parents making use of the online payment system.  At this time we are not handling cash in school.


Our Parent Council continues to function, despite the current restrictions we face.  Although face-to-face meetings are still impossible, our next meeting is scheduled for Monday 21 September using video conferencing.


Can I continue to encourage parents to park a short distance from the school gates and walk the final part of your journey.  Traffic congestion continues to be an issue, particularly at the end of the day.  Please also remember to drive slowly when passing a school; the safety of your children is our priority.


Looking ahead to next week, it looks like we have more rainy days in store.  Pupils can access the school playground from 8.45am, but they cannot enter the building until their designated start time; 8.50, 9.00 or 9.10am.   All children are reminded to come to school wearing a waterproof jacket and suitable shoes.


Pupils should bring a filled water bottle with them each morning.  This can be drunk throughout the day in class.  Parents are reminded that this should be plain water – not flavoured water or diluting juice. Juice can be drunk at intervals and lunchtime.  No fizzy juice should be brought to school; this should be a treat kept for home.


We are still not in a position to offer after school or lunchtime clubs at this time. In line with all primary schools in North Lanarkshire, this will continue to be reviewed as we work through the school year.


Keep an eye on our school web site and Twitter over the coming weeks.  We intend to post some photos showing what different classes are up to through a new ‘Class of the Day’ feature.  If you no longer wish your child’s photograph to be used in this way, please contact the school office.


Please remember, the Child Protection Coordinator for the school is myself, Mrs Alison Nicolson.  If you have any concerns around the wellbeing of a child you can contact me on 01236 632054 to discuss your worries confidentially.  In my absence, Mr Sharp (Principal Teacher) will carry out this role.

Mrs N’s Notes ~ 28.8.20

Week 1 menu next week.  Remember to speak to your child about their choices



What a wet end to the month!  Here’s hoping September is a bit kinder to us!  Please remember to drop your child off in the morning as close to their start time as possible.  No child needs to be standing on Old Monkland Road: if you arrive early, they are welcome to wait in the playground.  However, please note that they will not be able to access the building until their designated start time.  This is due to the fact we have no staff for supervision inside before this time.  In the past we could put children together in a large space to supervise them together; however, under present restrictions we cannot mix classes together in this way.

We will continue to try to take learning outside whenever we can.  Please ensure your child has a waterproof jacket with them every day as we never know what the Scottish weather has in store.


Breakfast Club continues to operate each day from 8.15am.  Please remember, no one should enter the school grounds before this time.  Mrs Dillon will open the gate at 8.15am and lead children into Breakfast Club.  There is no need to book ahead, Mrs Stewart will be glad to see you any day you wish to attend.  Pupils will get the chance to play table-top games in the dinner hall after they have eaten breakfast.  They will go straight to class at their designated start time.  Pupils attending Breakfast Club must purchase a breakfast.


Please remember to check all snacks and packed lunch items to ensure they do not contain nuts.  Due to allergies, we must make sure that no nuts are brought into the building.  Thank you for your support in this.


I have had some concerns raised over the past week around dangerous driving around the school as children are arriving or leaving.  Please consider parking a short distance from the gates and walking the last part of your journey to alleviate congestion and reduce air pollution in an area where more than 250 children are walking.

Also, please remind older children to pay attention when walking home.  Once again, we had a concern raised that senior pupils may not notice cars mounting the pavement, etc. if they are concentrating on their personal screens.  We will continue to focus on Road Safety in school too, but would appreciate your support to reinforce this message at home.


At this time we cannot meet together as a whole school, due to government restrictions on large gatherings.  However, we continue to meet together for a Celebration Assembly on a video link each Friday.  Over the past two weeks both our P.7 classes have shared words of wisdom with the rest of the school; sharing their knowledge of life in Kirkshaws and offering advice under this new way of working.  THANK YOU, Primary 7 – I know you are going to be fabulous role-models this year.


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Today in Assembly we considered what it means to praise each other, give each other encouragement and show people we care.  This can also be called BUCKET FILLING.  If you hear your child talking about someone filling their bucket, they are not necessarily taking part in water-play; they are more likely talking about being a good friend.  We will continue to promote positive interactions in our school through this and other initiatives, such as our Class Charters.


We are delighted to be able to move to our full time model from Monday 31st August!  Nursery pupils will now be able to attend 5 days each week during term time, from 8.50am to 2.50pm.  Please DO NOT WORRY if this clashes with school pick up and drop off, as always we will find a plan that works for you and keep your children safe until you can pick them up.


Thank you to everyone who has returned our Annual Data Check forms.  It is very important that we keep your contact information up to date at all times.  If, at any point in the year, your address, phone number or emergency contacts need to be changed, you can do this by contacting the school office by phone.


We have been delighted to welcome some new members of staff to our team this term.  In the school we are getting to know Miss Reid and Miss Curley who are working in Rooms 5 & 16.  In our nursery, we have welcomed Miss Brannan, Miss Reilly and Mrs Slavin who have already been getting to know all our nursery families.

During Lockdown, Mrs Mitchell (PT) returned to Kirkshaws, but very quickly left again as she secured an acting Head Teacher role in a another local school.  I am delighted to tell you that Mrs McGarry will now continue in the role of Acting Principal Teacher here at Kirkshaws.  Mrs McGarry’s remit will continue to have a focus on Early Level education, as well as nurture and developing maths across the school and nursery.

It is with mixed emotions I must inform you that we will be bidding farewell to two pillars of the Kirkshaws community next month.  Mrs Peat and Mrs Dunn who work in our office are well known to all our families and keep our school ticking along, trouble-fee daily!  Both ladies have decided the time is now right for them to retire from school-life and spend some more time with their families.  While we wish them every happiness in this new chapter of their lives, I personally can’t imagine life in Kirkshaws without them and will miss them more than words can say!  There will be many hankies out at September weekend when we say our goodbyes.


As you know, school returned a day earlier than anticipated this session, in line with the plans set out by the Scottish Government.  The In-Service Day missed in August has been moved to 24th September, the day before our September Weekend holiday.  School will therefore stop for pupils on the afternoon of Wednesday 23rd September, returning the following Tuesday, 29th September.  These are the same arrangements for every North Lanarkshire school.


The Child Protection Coordinator for the school is myself, Mrs Alison Nicolson.  If you have any concerns around the wellbeing of a child you can contact me on 01236 632054 to discuss your worries confidentially.  In my absence, Mr Sharp (Principal Teacher) will carry out this role.

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