All posts by Mrs McDowall

Happy holidays – goodbye for now!

Firstly, I want to thank-you for all your support, patience and understanding throughout the last few months. We know it has been an unsettling time for everyone but we take great comfort from the strength of our school community and to have witnessed our school values in action throughout this time.

This is the last day of school before the summer holidays. However for me, it will be my last day at Cochrane Castle for at least a year and I just wanted to take this opportunity to say what a pleasure and a privilege it has been to be your Headteacher working alongside all our wonderful children and families.

This week, I was delighted to have the opportunity to welcome our new Primary One pupils into the school and give them the chance to meet their teacher and visit their classroom. I know they will quickly become part of the Cochrane Castle family and I wish them every success on the start of their school journey.

I was also honoured to invite the P7 pupils back for one last day to celebrate their valedictory. It was really important to say good bye to them as they move on to the next part of their journey. If you missed it, you can see all the glorious event here: 

I just want to sign off by wishing pupils, parents and staff every success in the future. Have a wonderful summer holiday and good luck!

Text Message from Renfrewshire Council – 23rd June 2020

Scot Gov announcement of full-time education from August: a message to parents and carers from Steven Quinn 23 June 2020

The following is a message to parents and carers from Steven Quinn, Director of Children’s Services. It is dated 23 June 2020 and provides the latest information on Scottish Government’s plans to reopen schools and nurseries.

Following an announcement by the Deputy First Minister at Scottish Parliament today, we are reviewing the details presented in his statement for a full-time return to school and nursery from August 11 if COVID-19 continues to be suppressed. We will update our teachers, early learning practitioners, school and nursery staff, parents and carers as soon as we can.

Thank you for your continued patience and support and in the meantime, follow us on Facebook @renfrewshirecouncil, on Twitter @RenCouncil or sign up for our Schools and Nurseries digital newsletter for the latest updates.

Staggered Start and Finish Times – August 2020

As you know, the Scottish Government has said that physical distancing of 2 metres is required to keep your child safe. Based on this guidance, we have maximised all the spaces in the campus to ensure we can retain this 2 metre distance at all times. This means we will be introducing a staggered start and finish time for all classes. The playground will be clearly marked to show children where to stand prior to entering the building. Children should only arrive at their expected entry time as there will be no space for adults inside the building or in the playground.

The times will be the same whether your child is in Group A or Group B i.e whether they are coming on a Monday/Tuesday or a Thursday/Friday. If you have more than one child, all children should arrive at the earliest time. Entrances will be clearly marked and staff will be available to bring the classes inside.

In the morning:

8.45 – P3 and P7 will enter the building through separate entrances.

8.50 – P2 and P6 will enter the building through separate entrances.

8.55 – P1 and P5 will enter the building through separate entrances.

9.00 – P4 will enter the building.

In the afternoon:

Children should leave the playground as soon as they leave the building.

2.45P3 and P7 will exit the building through separate exits.

2.50 – P2 and P6 will exit the building through separate exits.

2.55 – P1 and P5 will exit the building through separate exits.

3.00 – P4 will exit the building.

If collecting a child, parents should meet them outside the playground area and leave the grounds immediately in order to preserve the safety of all. Parking will be limited so please use alternative ways to come to school, where possible.

Class Groupings for August 2020

This August will look different from any other year in that schools will return to a model of blended learning – with pupils learning in school on some days and from home on others. The letters below outline what this will look like.

A text will be sent from the school telling you which group your child is in.

If your child is in P1 from August 2020:

P1 Grp A Parental Letter 0820

P1 Grp B Parental Letter 0820

If your child is in P2, P3, P4, P5 or P6 from August 2020:

Group A Parental Letter 0820

Group B Parental Letter 0820

If your child is in P7 from August 2020:

P7 Grp A Parental Letter 0820

P7 Grp B Parental Letter 0820

If you have any questions about this, please contact the school.

Classes and Staffing – August 2020

As you will be aware, from August half of the children will come into school on a Monday and Tuesday (Group A) and the other half will attend on a Thursday and Friday (Group B). Wednesdays will be used for enhanced cleaning and to allow all teachers to have their contractual non class contact time to prepare lessons and support pupils with remote learning. We will be able to confirm which Group your child will be on Monday 22 June.

We know that parents are feeling anxious about what school will look like and what it means for you and your child. To help with this, I am sharing the class teachers with you.

Primary 1 – Mrs McLauchlan

Primary 2 – Miss Goldie

Primary 3 – Miss Keegan and Mrs Fulton

Primary 4 – Mrs Campbell and Miss Cunningham

Primary 5 – Miss Monaghan and Miss Harper

Primary 6 – Miss Hamilton and Mrs Gordon

Primary 7 – Miss Allan

Our Support Staff remain the same from August and will be supporting all the classes as required. They are Mrs McGroarty, Mrs Colton, Mrs Watson, Mrs Wilson, Mrs David and Mrs Arnold. Mrs McGregor will continue to be our Senior Clerical Assistant.

I am also delighted to tell you that Mrs McLeod has been appointed as Depute Head Teacher (Acting) from August and Mrs Patterson will be returning for 6 weeks in August before retiring.

We will also be publishing on the school website early next week videos of the teachers and the classroom set-up to give you an idea of what it will look like, so please watch out for this.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the school.

P7 Transition Events 18th and 24th June

Transition Visit from Johnstone High – Thursday 18th June 2020

We are delighted to announce there will be an opportunity for P7 pupils to come into our school on Thursday 18th June from 9.00 – 11.00. During this time, staff from Johnstone High will visit and share some important information with the pupils. The safety of our pupils and staff is our top priority and as such, this visit will be organised in line with government guidance on social distancing. This means the children will be split into 3 groups, across 3 classrooms to allow for pupils and staff to be spaced at 2 metre distances. Staff from the High School will visit each classroom.

In order to restrict the number of pupils entering/leaving the school at one time, pupils will be given a staggered entry and exit time. The schedule for the day is as follows:

9:15 am – Group A arrive

9:20 am – Group B arrive

9:25 am – Group C arrive

9.30 – 11.00 am – Johnstone High Staff Visits for all P7 pupils

11:00 am – Group A leave

11:05 am – Group B leave

11:10 am – Group C leave

Parents/Carers of P7 pupils will be contacted in the coming days to inform you of the group your child has been allocated to. This group only indicates the time your child will arrive and leave. When dropping off and picking up children, please follow the signs and markers outside the school building to allow for social distancing. In order to maintain social distancing please drop off and pick up as quickly as possible to allow for minimal numbers of people outside the school building. It would be great if pupils could wear their leaver’s hoodie to both events.

P7 Leaver’s Celebration Event – Wednesday, 24th June

Although this is not what we had planned, on this date we will have the chance to give our P7 pupils a farewell event and mark the end of their time at Cochrane Castle Primary. The event will take place in our school gym hall to allow for pupils and staff to be spaced at 2 metre distances but also come together as a whole year group. Due to restricted numbers and space, it will not be possible for parents to attend this event, however, we will live stream it so you don’t miss out.

As above, pupils will be given a staggered entry and exit time. The schedule for the day is as follows:

10:45 am – Group A arrive

10:50 am – Group B arrive

10:55 am – Group C arrive

11.00 – 12.00 am – Cochrane Castle P7 Leavers Event for all P7 pupils

12:00 am – Group A leave

12:05 am – Group B leave

12:10 am – Group C leave

We hope that our P7 pupils enjoy this opportunity to mark the end of their time at Cochrane Castle.