First Week Back

We have a new member of staff! Trixie has gone through her Pet Therapy training and will be starting next week with us. She will be helping children with their reading, during Circle Times and allowing young people who need to talk about their worries..she’s a very good listener. Find out more about the research behind this here Don’t worry if your child doesn’t like dogs – she won’t be with children who are scared. She has gone through rigorous training and her owner will be with her whenever she is in school.

It’s been a lovely week of weather which has allowed many classes to be learning outside and also break and lunch times have been good fun. We’re beginning to see new growth in our plants and trees with blossom…but your children have grown, too! I’m convinced the Easter holidays is when they grow the most. At least three children have taken great delight this week in realising they are now the same height as me…and they weren’t P7s…

It’s been a great week of learning. One of the best moments I saw was the Butterfly Room and Rainbow Room coming outside for the first time on Wednesday and seeing the barriers had been taken down. The look of wonder on their faces and how they interacted with each other as well as with the equipment was fantastic – look out for some pictures on the slideshow at the end. Miss Stewart had to leave today, earlier than planned, as her baby is demanding her to be mummy first and EYP second! The children made bunting for the baby and drew/wrote messages – a real treasure that Miss Stewart loved. Mrs Iona Carbarns starts on Monday and will be the keyworker for the children. She had a lovely handover with Miss Stewart this afternoon and enjoyed her visit with the children. Who wouldn’t?

Parent Council minutes from last term are here. Look out for the new date for this term. We’re hoping to be able to meet in person, in the foyer, which will be brilliant! We will also have a video link available which will be operated by me as I’m only there as a support so that will allow everyone else to take part. This will allow people who want to meet in person to attend and those who have childcare difficulties to attend online. As ever, we’re grateful to the Parent Council for their support and challenge and good ideas…looking forward to getting things up and running again and learning from the pandemic so that we reflect always on what we are doing and why.

Please see some photos of P2/3 planting new trees around the school. There is a challenge to plant trees for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee so Mrs Murray P4 and Mrs Tough and P2/3 have started us off. Mrs Tough is also planning things for us to have a school Street Party 2nd June..watch this space.

Also pleased that literacy and numeracy results are improving with children themselves saying they are more confident to learn. The school is calm and relaxed – both conducive to learning. The third area of core learning is health and wellbeing. We usually track engagement of learning alongside numeracy and literacy using something called the Leuven Scale and this helps us understand what level your child is at for health and well being. Obviously other factors come into play but this core area of the curriculum is often forgotten in statistics. Smithton results are very good here despite anxieties around the pandemic and worries for the future. We come to school to learn to read, write, count and socialise, a major part of health and well being – let’s not forget that last aspect.

Enjoy the snapshot of learning in the slideshow and notice the afterschool club poster from Lynne our active schools’ coordinator as well. A good start to the last term of the school year…

Have a good weekend. Life’s too short for housework – let’s get out into the fresh air!

Aileen Mackay, HT

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