Photos from Yesterday

Sorry – no idea why the photos didn’t send yesterday!

Also word of a couple of activities for after school:

Para Multi-Sport Club

Culloden Leisure Centre

Starting Saturday 20th August

For anyone aged 5+ with a disability

1pm-2pm (Physical disability, visual impairments & hearing impairments)

2pm-3pm (Learning disability)

Each week the sports will vary between –

Football, Boccia, Athletics, Cricket, Goalball and Basketball.  With others on offer as the sessions go on.

We ask that parents or carers stay if support is required for the participant to take part in activities.

To book, please visit:

Activity codes- 005728CULL for 1pm-2pm session.

005727CULL for 2pm-3pm session.

After school clubs run by volunteer staff at Smithton will hopefully return after a COVID absence! Booking survey will come out soon…

Aileen Mackay, HT

No easing back slowly….

…full on learning from the first moment in ELC and right through the school. Great to see so many settled learners both in class and in the playground, despite the weather. And guess what? We do it all again tomorrow….

Aileen Mackay, HT

And we’re back!

Where did those six weeks go?! Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow and with no covid restrictions! We look forward to seeing the new nursery children coming for the first time, for our Primary One year group and every other child in the school. We look forward to seeing parents, carers, childminders, grandparents and others in the playground tomorrow, too.

New nursery children have been given the name of a nursery staff worker for the short term until our staffing is finalised and existing nursery pupils should attend the same room as last year. (Check out the ELC Google Classroom if you haven’t done so already.)

We will have posters showing where teachers and their classes need to stand to line up so hopefully that will help tomorrow in the playground before school. There will be staff on hand to help as well so just ask if help is needed. A wee reminder not to bring your pets into the school grounds, though…

You’ll also notice that the barrier at the Smithton Park road has been put in and there are road markings to help young people see where to cross the road. (Thanks Parent Council for making this happen!) Again, I urge you to park and stride from the Smithton Free Church or to use the carparks around the school especially if the carpark opposite the school appears to be full.

We’re looking forward to getting parents and carers into the school as soon as possible to see the young people in action as it’s such a long time since we have been allowed to have anyone into the school. More details of this and other things that are happening across nursery and the school going forward. Looking forward to a year of learning, fun and confident young people!

See you all, bright and breezy tomorrow morning. (Yes, you do have to get out of bed earlier tomorrow…..)

Aileen Mackay, HT

P4-7 Learning Showcase

Apologies – I put the wrong link on twice for this…definitely right this time! Hope you are all enjoying a relaxing time.

P4-7 all considered something they had been learning about over the year and put together a short video in the classes and year group. Click here to see it – takes about 40 minutes so have a cuppa in hand!

Aileen Mackay, HT

Final Assembly Details

Our COVID numbers have remained the same as last week, although different people therefore we can go ahead to invite you to our end of year assembly. If you are well, show no symptoms and would like to come you will be made most welcome. We’re delighted that Smithton Free Church is not only giving us the staff and building at no cost for the assembly but are also providing refreshments for any parent, carer or family member that comes to the event. We will hope to finish by 11am.

If you have to work, stay at home to look after a loved one or are not feeling well, including children who are off sick, you can watch the assembly live using the church link here. Scroll down the website page till you see this image and click on it:

If you want a special mention as you are watching online, please email me from now until 8.30am and I will give you a mention. (This could be handy for P7s and prize winners who have relatives who don’t live here!) The assembly can not be recorded as our copyright licence for music only covers live events.

A final note about school lunches for those with dietary needs – and I suggest you do htis immediately so the informaiton is in hte system rather than trying to rememebr in August if you saw it on an email, dojo or the blog!

Pupils moving from Nursery to P1 or P7 to S1 after the summer will need to complete a special diet request for their children if they still need amended school meals and they haven’t already submitted a new request.  We do not need a new form if the pupil remains in the same ELC, primary or secondary setting and their requirements have not changed.

The link is below or you can enter the words ‘special diets’ into the search field of the Highland Council website and submit the request online.

We’ve just finished our last full day of session 2021-22. A good night’s rest for all staff and young people so we have an excellent last day tomorrow. A reminder to all that we close at lunch time – and it’s the infant lunch time so 12 noon.

Aileen Mackay, HT

P4-7 Summer Show Online At 2pm Today!

Firstly – huge thanks to all who contributed to the Parent Council summer fundraiser – the £100 ticket, the disco and the hamper – £743.19. You really are the most generous and incredible community. More details about the Leanne Fund and The Wellbeing Challenge monies that were raised this year on Thursday at the assembly. (I’ll be taking a decision about parent invitations to the assembly tomorrow, Wednesday – I’ve been saying I’ll make the decision on Thursday as I keep forgetting we don’t finish on Friday – we finish on Thursday!)

Secondly, P4-7 classes have been working on presenting some of their learning to you and the show starts at 2pm today. It takes around 40 minutes so either watch it at 2pm and have a cuppa or watch it later as a family. This fourth term is always busy but I take my hat off to the staff for all their hard work in their own time to make this show happen. Link will be sent out just before 2pm today!

Aileen Mackay, HT

Last Friday of This School Year

What a glorious week of weather and learning rounded off with disco relaxation. Classes are still working hard on their learning and we hope that you will be able to keep them going with their reading, numbers and healthy lifestyles through the summer.

We’ve had Science, technical, engineering and maths visits to upper classes this week to broaden their experiences as well as deepen their understanding of the the world of work.

P4 were trying out their enterprise ideas on P5…watch this space for new entrepreneurs!

We’ve also had our P7s at secondary schools this week so it’s been hectic for them processing all the new information. So lovely to see many of them at the disco last night and enjoying their separate ‘pizza party’!

We welcomed Mrs Gowans, the local librarian, to assembly yesterday where she awarded the nursery children coming into P1 their book bags. The children sat amazingly well and joined in the song, too. What a privilege it is to be a member of staff here being part of your children’s growing up!

On the theme of broadening our experiences, we were delighted to welcome Ruaridh from P3’s dad to the class talking about and demonstrating how a 3D printer works. Who knows how that will stimulate these minds for career and life choices!

We’ve also had two of our three nursery sports days which have gone down well. Looking forward to the Garden Parties next week as we celebrate the learning and development of all there. As these events will be outside we are delighted to be welcoming family to take part. (It’s also Safe, Strong and Free ‘Come Dressed as your Hero’ day on Monday in the nursery!)

With the rise in COVID, chicken pox and tonsillitis numbers we took the decision to have the disco ‘al fresco’ last night to help protect children, adult helpers and staff so trusting that our risk assessments have kept everyone safe…the evening was fantastic with the P7s having great fun with their Pizza Party before joining the rest of the school. So good to see nursery all the way through there dancing, swinging on the bars, chilling with each other and being part of a really lovely atmosphere. The Parent Council and volunteers really do the kids proud with their organisation and thoughtfulness.

As for assembly on Thursday at Smithton Free Church….it will go ahead regardless for the young people and I’m just watching numbers and trends to decide on numbers of parents who can attend. Please keep a check on the blog here as I will let you know of the decision when the risk assessment has been updated.

Tuesday afternoon will have the premier of the P4-7 show where each class has put together a short piece and our resident Stephanie Spielberg (aka Miss Noble) has put them together to make a video. We normally have Nursery – P3 taking part in a Christmas show and P4-7 taking part in a summer show. Because of COVID we have had to resort to online Nativities as video performances and this will be the year for P4-7 to showcase their skills! We will send the link for the show on the blog here. Hopefully, back to full audiences and performances in the school from Christmas.

So much learning, so much fun and yet we’re all still a little unsettled. Some staff don’t know whether they will have a job or not after Thursday, virtually no staff know which room, playroom or class they will be working with and young people, apart from P7, are a bit nervous about who the adults are that will be helping them learn next year. I have no control over this as we are all employees of Highland Council and not Smithton Primary as such. This means we are part of the whole organisation so we can be called to serve any community or if we don’t have a permanent contract, we may not have a job at the end of the school year. The Council works hard to ensure that the right people are matched to the right school so we just have to trust the process….easier said than done, I know. As soon as I know the final details staff will hear first and then you will receive dojos. I know there are some parents who think that we do know the details but are just not sharing. I give you my word – this is not the case. Surely we will hear very soon.

Relax for five minutes and watch our final slideshow of the year with evidence of items noted in this blog as well as the Star Award winners. The final blog of the year on Thursday next week will have a shortened version of the annual slideshow..

Have a good weekend,

Aileen Mackay, HT

Disco Tomorrow Update

COVID is on the increase again in our community so I have guided the Parent Council into changing plans…but don’t panic – we’re still hoping to go ahead! A few changes:

Smithton in the Playground! Who needs Glastonbury?

To come in: come through the main gates (no parking in the school grounds please) and use the entrance to take you round the perimeter of the school where you will be met by Parent Council reps at the attendance desk.

Disco will be outside so dress appropriately! (P7s 8.45 – 9.15 session will be indoors for the sake of the neighbours.)

When your children are due to leave: please come to pick them up from the other side entrance (an adult will be there to guide you) and follow round to the festival/disco area.

P7s will have their pizza party as normal so will be guided through the school to their room.

If your child is feeling unwell, as much as we hate to say it, please keep him/her at home and do not attend the disco/festival. Any child who wanted to come but is absent tomorrow and/or feels ill later will receive a wee something from The Parent Council at the beginning of the week – just let the school office know your child’s name and class and we’ll sort it. We really don’t want more children and staff off next week or into the holidays…

A wee note to the Community Council is going out so that the local residents know it might be a bit noisy between 5.30 and 8.30…I’m sure they won’t mind for a one off when the children haven’t had this type of fun together for a while.

Thank you for your understanding with these changes…and for flexible Parent Council members!

Aileen Mackay, HT