April Fools….

…..are not found in Smithton Primary! Every term I reflect on how it has been, what’s the impact of teaching for our learners and how are our parents doing. Never have I been more proud to be associated with this school and nursery.

A MASSIVE thank you to parents and carers for your patience when we have been slower to respond or have had different staff working alongside you. Parent Contact via googlemeet is better than nothing but it’s not the same. Families of nursery, P1 and P2 have no real idea of how we work or what learning looks like as you haven’t been allowed into the school or playrooms. We’re hoping that will all change soon.

Staff have been resilient and creative in how they have tried to keep continuity of learning as well as managing pupil absences and filling those gaps as well as managing their own health and family health (yes they are humans with families outside the Smithton Family!). Everyone willing to help out and looking up to see what is needed rather than keeping their heads down and dealing with their own issues.

As for the young people? They can teach us a thing or two about resilience! Some who were really anxious are now leading other young people and helping them. While there are still those who are needing support there are times when young people will come up with solutions. They are also keen to keep up with their learning and to go the extra mile by putting what they have learned into practise at home.

Life may never be the same for us but there’s plenty to see that gives us hope.

We’re pleased to announce the winners of the 2021/2022 Highland Substance Aware School Award are……drumroll ….:

The winners of the Gold SAS Award and £1,000 are Smithton Primary School!
The winners of the Silver SAS Award and £500 are Golspie High School!
The winners of the Bronze SAS Award and £250 are Wick High School!

Hugely proud of us winning, for the fourth year in a row, the Substance Awareness Award in Highland. If you want to know more about this please ask to see our report that was submitted to gain this award. The money goes back into the resources to use across the school in the planning of the lessons. We want everyone to be fully aware of the risks and also how to avoid taking illegal substances as well as knowing what’s good for our bodies and minds. Age and stage appropriately, of course but the more we are aware and can be positive about our emotions and feelings then more ready we will be when situations crop up. Fancy taking a ‘drugs aware’ 30 minute info course? Stimulant Overdose Awareness (typeform.com) Thoroughly recommended. I’ve been through it myself because I may find myself in a situation with large crowds and someone may need help.

You were asked to scoot, walk or bike to school for the last fortnight. As so many of you did, we have gained a few prizes from Sustrans. For the whole school we are to be given a demonstration from safe stunt cycle artists 8th June! The winning class for most walking, cycling or scooting was P5 RJ (Mr Jamieson actually ran home yesterday as well!) Linking persuasive writing with who should get the scooter resulted…Aaliyah was the most persuasive!

P5 LM entered a Scotland Poppy Appeal writing competition and although they didn’t get into the top 6 in Scotland they received commendation for their thoughtful, reflective letters imagining what it was like in the trenches. Well done Lily, Freya and Austin (not pictured as he’s sadly off sick at the moment)

Keep an eye on the school blog towards the end of the holidays as there will be a few changes if COVID decides to leave us for a bit. I hope you manage some family time and that all feel rested and ready to learn back at school 19th April (Easter Monday is a public holiday).

Enjoy the photos tonight again. Eggsalent Easter entries as well as star awards and intriguing ways to learn about blood…red cheerios are red blood cells, the marshmallows are the white blood cells, the orange juice is the plasma and the sprinkles represent the platelets! I’ve also taken a couple of photos of wall displays showing that we are 21st Century at Smithton where our wall displays are now having QR Codes so you can use your app to see videos and hear children’s thoughts as well as look at their drawings. Hopefully you will be able to come into school next term to see these as well as your children in action.

Take care, everyone and here’s hoping to healthy, happy times.

Aileen Mackay, HT

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