End of January Blues? Not Us!

Between Blue Monday (not the song) and the end of January society tends to feel a bit jaded. Christmas is over and wet, windy dark days remain. However we get through these days and exercise our resilience and determination. Each day we get another four minutes of daylight and the days are definitely stretching out…ever so slowly. Despite this doom and gloom there is sunshine alongside the showers in Smithton! Nursery children problem solving with marble runs, balancing their bodies on apparatus outside and enjoying making marks like writing. Our transition activities are beginning to get organised and it is with anticipation that many of you will be filling in the online application for P1 from Monday 31st. Fill in the form here or let us know and we can print off forms for you. We will hold P1 parent meetings online in March and then further sessions after Easter. I hope you and your child are excited about coming into P1!

At the other end, P7 are beginning to reminisce so we know that moving on is not far from their minds. As they grow and stretch in independence we can expect bumps and scrapes in relationships along the way but at school we’re here to help navigate relationships – the extra ‘R’ in the 3Rs of fundamental education. We’re hoping to hold our ‘teenage brain’ session for P7 parents in March, too. There are some really mature young people coming through who are independent learners and motivated to continue to improve. They remain role models for the rest of the school.

In between we have young people this term engaged, enthusiastic and excited to see the difference in their learning from August till now. Some of the writing that P1s are achieving is incredible. Children in P2 who struggled to concentrate are now seen to be writing independently and keen to learn with numbers. P3s are learning about 3D shapes and building them to understand cornices and angles. P4 writing is taking off big style, P5 are consolidating their knowledge of number by using their environment and P6 are delving deeper into fictional writing and being stimulated by a problem of the day to build up resilience and growth mindset ( you CAN do this with effort and practice).

Our Learning Council focuses on what we can do to embed learning across the school from their perspective. You know that the whole school was looking at the UNC rights of the Child. At a recent meeting they came up with a competition to find the best design for a UNCRC badge which will be created and awarded to young people who are displaying the rights to enable others. Great idea fully supported by staff and shows a depth of learning from their classes. Ellie was the winner and Aria came a close second so wait to see if your child receives a badge designed by Ellie.

Don’t believe any of this? Look at the slideshow below and take pride also in the treehouses who work together as classes writing climate change books, reading them to younger children and getting them to critique their work! No time to stop and complain about the weather or dreich January!

Parent Council has its next meeting online Tuesday 15th February at 6pm. I’ll be giving an overall school attainment presentation to show you real data with real stories of children’s learning journeys and all the interventions we use as a school to help at all levels. Do come along and support Claire Horsburgh as the new chair and Fiona Devlin who is co leading this year before going back to being a ‘backbencher’ parent council member. While online again we hope to be able to meet in person for the next one – even if it’s outside with our jackets on! If there are those who have found it better to join online we’re hoping that this will remain a fixture for Parent Council meetings at hte same time as face to face meetings.

Anyway. Back to the slideshow and your incredible children. Feet up, forget the washing and relax together to look and discuss what you can see in the photos.

Have a good weekend,

Aileen Mackay, HT

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