Newsletter 29th April 22

Dear Parents and Carers,

Covid Update:   Today, we enter a new phase of managing COVID-19, as public health advice has changed to a ‘stay at home’ message replacing the self—isolation requirements for people who have symptoms or who have tested positive for COVID-19.

More information is available at:  Changes from 1 May – Coronavirus (COVID-19): staying at home – (

You will be receiving a further update from central services today, but the upshot is that as life is returning to normal we must use a good deal of common sense so that we can prevent illness of any kind spreading  but also ensure children are  accessing education as much as possible.  In brief

  • Although masks are advisory we do still ask that visitors to school wear a face covering when moving around and in crowded spaces
  • There is no longer the requirement for regular testing and tests are no longer freely available, so if you have some spare use them if you suspect covid 19.
  • Children and young people with mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, who are otherwise well, can continue to attend their education setting.
  • Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can. They can go back to school, college or childcare, and resume normal activities when they no longer have a high temperature and they are well enough to attend.
  • Adults who have symptoms of COVID-19 and who have a fever or are too unwell to carry out normal activities will be asked to ‘stay at home’ whilst they are unwell or have a fever.  They will no longer be advised to take a PCR test.

Swimming : There were some issues last week with some of the timings  getting all the children to and from the pool, allowing them time to get changed and having a full allocation of time in the pool for their lesson.  We have made a few changes to the plan to hopefully improve matters, but time will still be tight so children will need to get changed as quickly as they so as not to hold up the next class.

Da Voar Redd:  Everyone keeps telling me how awful the weather can be on Shetland, but so far I have experience mainly lovely conditions even if cold. But Friday afternoon was a joy to walk with the children down to the beach, in such warm and still conditions,  to clean up as much of the plastic rubbish as we could.   The children all did work hard and between us all collected 19 sacks of waste- waste which may have ended up being eaten by birds and animals.  Every little act of protecting the environment makes a difference. Well done  to all the children and staff.

P7s and John Muir Day:  I count myself very lucky to have been allowed to accompany such a great group of young people on their latest adventurous journey with the John Muir Trust.  Our thanks go to John and Pete who led the day, making it challenging and fun. It was a privilege to see the confidence of the whole group swell over the day as they faced physical challenges- walking and rock and cave scrambling.  I was very proud of them all.  The children should be able to share photos of their day through their class Teams area.

  The Caledonia Super Cup 2022 Two of our P7 girls- Roma and Lena attended a football competition over the Easter break, playing against several teams either drawing  or winning. They played so well that their performance was noted by the officials which may result in an invitation to play against the top Scottish girls clubs.  Well  done Roma and Lena.

Young Fiddler Competition 2022:  Three of our young musicians took part in this competition- Freya, Jessie and Fearne.   It takes a lot of courage to stand up and perform as well as dedicated practice so  we are all really impressed with them and the performances they gave.

Childminder Recruitment Campaign – Shetland

Shetland Islands Council is looking to help potential new childminders into the profession.

A new partnership pilot project has recently been launched to support the recruitment and training of professional childminders in specific communities within ten defined areas of Scotland.    Shetland is one of these identified areas.   As a Local Authority we are really keen to take part in this nationwide recruitment to strengthen our childcare model within Shetland and to support working families.  A recent childcare consultation across Shetland has highlighted a lack of childminders within Shetland and we are keen to support this form of childcare provision, particularly within our remote and rural communities.

The Scottish Rural Childminding Partnership pilot is led by the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) with £170,000 partnership funding from the South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Skills Development Scotland (SDS).  It aims to support economic and community development through the creation of more professional childminding jobs and to fill much needed childcare spaces for families in remote and rural communities. This is vital in enabling parents and carers to work and contribute to the local economy.

Those who apply and are accepted on to the pilot will be supported every step of the way by a dedicated member of the SCMA team, from induction training and support through the registration process to establishing their new business.  On completion of registration with the Care Inspectorate and HMRC, the new childminder will receive a £750 start-up grant to help cover any costs associated with setting up their new business from home.  They will also receive a unique package of childminding-specific training courses.  More information on the target areas where new childminding businesses are needed, including eligibility and criteria is available at

No previous childcare experience is required to become a childminder but applicants do need to be passionate about working with children.  It is a rewarding career which provided the opportunity to contribute to children’s development, learning and wellbeing and provides a valuable childcare service within the local community.  Childminders are self-employed business owners who come from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds.  They often switch to a career in professional childminding to enable them to combine caring for their young children whilst running their own business from home and earning an income.

Graeme McAlister, Chief Executive, Scottish Childminding Association, said “Childminding is a vital community asset providing local flexible childcare and family support with is so important to remote and rural communities.   The pilot is an important step towards addressing the urgent demand for high-quality childcare from parents and carers, recruiting childminders in areas where they are most needed.  As we emerge from COVID-19 there may be people considering a change of career which supports working from home – this is a fantastic opportunity for this living in these target areas to access a wealth of support in setting up their own sustainable childminding business and to undertake a rewarding new career.”

If you would like to find out any more information then please make contact at a local level with Ann-Marie Flaws, Education Support Officer for Early Learning and Childcare – or at a national level with Lianne Paton, Marketing and Communications Manager SCMA –

Upcoming dates:

5th May  Parent Council Meeting

6th May  Blue, Green and Yellow Team Peg awards, reward afternoon for Term 2 and Term 3.

Monday 23rd May:  Learner led event  5pm to 6.30pm  TBC.  Parents- (up to 2 per family) will be invited to come at a particular time during the session, wearing a face mask, so that we do not have too  many on site at any one time, so that children can share their work with you.  If you need to have a conversation with the class teacher please book an appointment at another time. More information nearer the time.

25th May:  musical demonstration by peripatetic teachers.

27th May: School Closed

30th May:  Children Classic Concerts will be performing Peter and the Wolf live for our children.

30th May:   African Drumming sessions will start for  each class for 5 weeks

21st June  Sports Afternoon

30th June:   2pm:   Leavers Assembly   P7  parents only

As other dates are confirmed I will update you here.

Best wishes,

Gina Finch

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