A Year On…

As we are reminded this is the anniversary of the first call to stay at home because of COVID-19. It has been some year with many of you having direct contact with someone who had/has the virus, have lost your jobs, have felt the sharp edge of mental ill health and who have suffered in various other ways. As the Smithton School whole team we continue to reach out to you and will help in as many ways as we can. There are many things we can’t do but if we can help we always try.

Highland Council has asked everyone to have a minute’s silence at 12 noon today but this time is problematic for us with nursery finishing lunches and infants starting, etc. We had already planned sessions in every class today so we will continue with that and, where possible, will observe the silence at some point. Staff will be donating to Marie Curie today but there is no expectation that young people will be. If young people want to wear yellow today then they are welcome otherwise school uniform as much as possible. (Thank you to those who donated school clothes that had been outgrown and to those who donated cash when picking up new clothes – nealry £60 on Thursday!)

You will have read over the last couple of years about Seasons for Growth – a programme that we run here about change, loss and bereavement for groups of children – never more needed than now. We also have an parent/carer programme that we run which can be for individuals or small groups of parents depending on what you feel comfortable with. We are the only school in Highland that provides the adult Seasons programme and all adults who have received the training at Smithton have been hugely encouraged by the confidence it brings to talk with their children and to clarify their thoughts. And the other main benefit: the children do better with their learning. Lauren, from the PEF Family Team, has created a short video presentation to tell you more. Please click here to see it and remember to click on ‘present’ at the top right hand side to see the presentation from the start with the voice over. There will be a Q&A virtual session Wednesday 31st March at 7pm for anyone who would like to find out more. A link will come out on the blog early next week. If you would prefer to have a session during the day when your children are at school please contact Lauren directly lauren.ferguson@highland.gov.uk

Have a good Tuesday knowing that together, as always at Smithton, we stand united and put the children first. No virus is going to defeat our youth or deny their learning. As ever, a massive thank you to all keyworkers connected to our school for the ongoing work you do, for the staff here who protect your children daily and who teach with passion and commitment.

Aileen Mackay, HT

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