Welcome back!

Big thanks to staff who are juggling family life with keeping all the young people at Smithton challenged, active and learning. We noticed that there was very little traffic between parents and staff from 2.30pm  – 3pm before the holidays so we are going to trial having all staff disengaging with their classes at that time so they can plan, share and communicate with each other so that they can check they are not overloading siblings – and their parents. All staff should be no more than 22.5 hours with their classes in the school week, hence why the younger children finish half an hour earlier and P4-7 have another teacher for part of a day each week. Hopefully this does not impact negatively for you.

With everyone ‘finishing’ at 2.30pm this means the same teacher is available all day every day, apart from part time staff and those who have Principal Teacher curriculum work to do. Please do complete the parent survey again on Thursday to help us continue to plan as best as we can for your children. I’ll resend the link each Thursday.

If you have any tips to share with parents please let me know aileen.mackay@highlandschools.net and I will share them on the blog. I am particularly interested in any who have struggled but have found something useful to help. There was a brilliant comment on the Parent Council Facebook page from a parent realising that not all homes have perfect parents with perfect children and perfect situations to learn. Just like none of us upload a photo of ourselves unless it looks good, I’m sure none of the photos that have been shared are perfect situations at all times! Remember we’re all getting frazzled at various times – please do not fret. If you need someone to talk to or could do with a release of pressure, please contact me and I can put you in touch with someone from our Family Team. This does not make you a bad parent! No judgement whatsoever.

Two of the Family Team, Jo Downie and Lauren Ferguson were on training before the holidays for parents of young children. If you have nursery aged children or toddlers with siblings in the school, please read this leaflet and contact them directly. I will also put it on the ‘Parent Help and Additional Support Needs’ page of the website above so you can find it anytime.

For those who prefer paper and pencil rather than screens, I am currently trying to sort out drop off points at local shops where you can pick up paper, etc from the school. There are also a few homework packs from P1 that weren’t picked up before the end of term. We’ve been told that we’re not allowed to go into school but I’m waiting to see if I can get give a scheduled time where you can come and collect these during this week.

Trust all are well. Thinking of you all.

Aileen Mackay, HT

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