P4-7 Pupils Return to School Update

Executive Office
Elaine Cook
Depute Chief Executive
West Lothian Civic Centre
Howden South Road
West Lothian
EH54 6FF4 March 2021
Dear Parent/Carer
I am writing to update you on the latest decisions on the re-opening of schools.
The Scottish Government has announced that the next phase of reopening education will take place on Monday 15 March unless new evidence or new circumstances force it to reconsider. Detailed guidance from the Scottish Government is expected to be published next week, and we will provide a further update when we have this information.
Pupils in P4-7 will return to school on Monday 15 March, joining P1-3 pupils who are already back at school. Arrangements for vulnerable children and the children of keyworkers will end, and these children will re-join their normal classes. Breakfast clubs will start on Monday 15 March, and after school clubs based in school premises will be able to restart from that date. Please contact your after school club for further details. Schools will contact parents/carers by Friday 12 March with any further details of the return.
From 15 March, all secondary pupils will receive some remote learning and some in-school teaching. Each school will decide how to safely balance remote and in-school learning based on local circumstances and needs. Senior phase students (S4-S6) who are taking national qualifications will have priority for face-to-face lessons in school.   Arrangements for remote learning for pupils who are currently not in school will be affected by these new plans, and schools will contact parents/carers to inform them of the changes which are necessary. It is the Scottish Government’s expectation that all secondary school pupils will be back in school on a full time basis after the Easter holidays.   Schools will contact parents/carers by Friday 12 March with further details of when individual pupils should attend school. We will inform you of any changes to arrangements for minimising risk, for example face coverings and physical distancing, when Scottish Government Guidance is published.
ASN Schools and Units
Headteachers of ASN Schools have already discussed arrangements for individual children and young people for return from 11 January and these arrangements will continue, in discussion with parents and carers.
Pupils who travel by school transport will continue to be able to do so. If it is necessary to alter arrangements for any pupils, parents/carers will be informed by Friday 12 March. We will inform you of any changes to arrangements for minimising risk, for example face coverings and physical distancing, when Scottish Government Guidance is published.
School Meals
School meals will be available for primary pupils, and secondary pupils when they are in school at lunchtime, and those entitled will receive free school meals. Direct payments to parents/carers of secondary pupils entitled to free school meals will continue until a full time return to school is achieved.
Secondary Schools – Children of Keyworkers, and Vulnerable Children
We will inform you of any changes to arrangements for children of keyworkers and vulnerable children when Scottish Government Guidance is published.
Clinically Vulnerable Children and Young People
We will inform you of any changes to arrangements for clinically vulnerable children and young people when Scottish Government Guidance is published.
Once again, I would like to thank you for all you have done, and continue to do, to support your child’s learning. Our schools and centres are grateful for all the support you have given during the period of remote learning. We know how challenging this time has been.
Yours sincerely
Dr Elaine Cook
Depute Chief Executive

World Book Day

Good afternoon,

Everyone is excited about our upcoming World Book Day 2021 celebrations on, Thursday 4th March.  Children across primaries 1-3 were given book tokens, that they can use to purchase a book at £1 online or at participating retailers.  Alternatively, they can use it as part payment towards the cost of a more expensive book of their choice.

Full details are available online at,


Also, here are links to find your nearest participating store,


Finally, a link to the selection of £1 books available this year.

Attached is a digital copy of the book token that you can download at home.


Book token Primary UK

Happy Reading!

The Staff Team


Rag Bag – Monday 8th of March 2021

Please do not send bags into school. Place them in or beside the RAGBAG collection container in the Staff Car Park. Please only bring them on Monday 8th March  in the morning.

There will be no bags sent home this time.

What they will take or won’t take.

Through Rag Bag your are able to help recycle textiles and clothing that may have ended up going to landfill. It is estimated that approximately 1.75 million tonnes of clothing waste is produced in the UK every year.

Out of this vast tonnage around 1.2 million tonnes is sent unnecessarily to landfill.

If we can divert some of this tonnage away from landfill we will directly help the environment and help provide good quality clothing to some of the poorest developing nations in the world.

Whether you participate in the Rag Bag collections or have an external or internal recycling bank you are able to recycle the following items.

We can accept the following items:

  •  Wearable Clothing
  •  Paired Shoes
  •  Handbags
  •  Belts

We cannot accept the following items:

  • Workwear
  • Wet/Soiled Clothes
  • Curtains
  • Towels
  • Duvets or Duvet Covers
  • Pillows or Pillow Cases
  • Blankets
  • Table Cloths
  • Linens
  • Cushions
  • Carpets
  • Suitcases
  • Books
  • Bric a Brac
  • Clothes Hangers
  • Electricals

More information at https://www.rag-bag.co.uk/

World Book Day


Good Afternoon.

We hope you have all had a good week and are looking forward to the weekend.

Next week marks a very exciting time in our school calendar, with World Book Day on, 4th March.

Sharing stories and books are so valuable as part of a child’s development.  Not only in supporting skills in Literacy but, to spark imagination and stimulate curiosity while building social skills and communication skills.

Reading stories with children has benefits for grown-ups too. The special time you spend reading together promotes bonding and helps to build your relationship with your child.

We will be marking World Book Day next week, both in school and remotely. On 4th March – Our theme of the day for all children (and staff) will be “Pyjamas all the way for St.Joseph’s World Book Day!”. Nursery- P3 are asked to come to school wearing pyjamas and P4-7 children should wear pyjamas when accessing their learning from home!

  • We will be running a Potato Book Character Competition for ALL children to take part in, including the nursery. More information to follow next week from class teachers.  Nursery-P3 will be provided with potatoes and craft materials in school while the families of our P4-7 children, may like organise buying  some potatoes in preparation.

There will be ongoing events in school and online throughout the week to get involved in.  Why don’t you share some of your ideas with us and upload them to TEAMS?

We look forward to seeing your Potato characters!

As always, children will receive a World Book Day Token that they can use at participating bookshops.  This year, it will be distributed electronically.
Take care and stay safe.
St. Joseph’s Staff Team
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Good morning,

It was great to welcome our P1-P3 pupils back to school today.  The children are all settled and are enjoying being back in class with their friends and teacher.  Thank you also, to the parents, for maintaining the required 2m distance and not congregating at the school gates.  Please continue to do so, to prevent the spread of the virus and to keep us all safe.

A reminder, that when you are collecting your child at the end of the day, you follow the same format as you did before the holidays and wait until you are called forward to collect your child.  Only one person is permitted to collect their child.  We ask that you also respect the safety of the staff, by maintaining a 2m physical distance at all times.  We regret that staff are unable to chat with parents when handing over children.  If for any reason, you do require to speak to your child’s teacher, please call the school office on, 01501 740452 and arrangements will be made for your child’s teacher to call you back.

Again, thank you for your continued support and understanding at this time.


P1-3 Return to School

Dear Parent/carer,

We are delighted to be able to have our ELC and P1-3 children return on Monday 22nd February.  Our focus will be on health and well-being, especially building relationships and confidence.

Separate guidance is being issued to the parents of ELC children to support their safe return.

We have safety as our main priority and have procedures in place to keep everyone safe.  Staff have access to Lateral Flow Test kits and will be wearing face coverings and adhering to the 2m distance advice. Pupils will work in their groupings and be allocated seats in the classroom, dining room and on school transport.   Regular handwashing and hand sanitizer stations are in place in each class. Pupils travelling on school transport are requested to wear face coverings unless exempt.

In the morning, Primary 1, 1/2, and 2 children will enter the playground and play in their zone until the bell rings at 8.45 am.   They will be collected by their teacher and enter a class at a time.    At the end of the day, classes will be dismissed a class at a time in the order P2, P1 then P2/1.   Parents should wait in the wait zones near the car park, then come forward in order, to collect their child and exit through the main Infant gate.   This is the same process we used between August and December.    Please remember to wear a face covering inside the school grounds and stay 2m apart from others.

The breakfast club is open only for the children of key workers and those who have been attending since Christmas. PE will be outside, so please make sure the children are dressed for the weather conditions.  Please do not sent the children to school if they are unwell or if a family member has booked a test or is awaiting test results.

We are busy preparing for the children’s return and look forward to seeing them on Monday.


Yours sincerely

Frances Burns