Looking Back…Looking Forward

Where have the last eight weeks gone?! That’s easy: look back at your child’s google classroom to see photos, look at the Dojo ‘story’ and listen to your child: how your child has matured, grown in understanding and settled into learning at nursery and school. All have grown physically and so many have grown emotionally and socially. Your children are a joy to be around. Many of you must feel like you are in with the bricks now you have been here so often! Stay and Play, teacher/parent contacts, P1,2 play pedagogy workshops, open afternoon and walk in the woods. It’s been so great to have been able to welcome you all back into the nursery and school and some of you even for the first time. It’s been busy, hectic and staff have been planning, organising, meeting learning needs, encouraging, comforting and many more human skills that grow and develop quality relationships. It really is a great team here who work hard and work together. The glue between the staff and the children is you – the parents, carers, grandparents and great grandparents and all other relatives in between! We need to continue to work together, to trust, to laugh and to show solidarity with your children together. Thank you for the privilege of working with your children and for being open and honest with us.

So…what’s in store next term?

Extra curricular is back – hurray! Please sign up here if your child is interested. We had a good meeting last night with parents and David Shaw, the Active Schools Coordinator, to get parents to sign up to coaching cross country between now and March and then leading into athletics and also basketball. Various other activities are run by staff and not necessarily sport – so do check out the survey and please do one for each child that you have that is interested. All clubs are free and run by volunteers – that’s staff and parents giving up their free time for Smithton children. Fancy coming along to see what it’s like? Go on…you know you want to… Basketball, Cross Country and Funky Fridays all start first week back. Everything else is second week back.

25th October is the Autumn Parent Council school disco. Not everyone likes to dress up for Hallowe’en and not everyone likes Hallowe’en so this is an opportunity to come as you are, get dressed up if you want and dance together. We’re so delighted that the Parent Council organises these events through the year for the children but they are also reliant on you coming along and helping so thank you in advance.

18th November is Children in Need day. It will be a simple non uniform day – interpret that how you want!

We will also have Nursery rooms and P1-3 giving us a Christmas show – in the hall! (All being well.) Dates and times to be confirmed…just talking about Christmas was giving us the shakes in September when we were discussing it so will confirm after the holidays.

Mr Lyon and I will also be doing our week long monitoring of classes and reporting back to the teacher, the children and to you on our findings. This is always a great week in each playroom and class as the learning is clearly visible and everyone loves to share what is happening. The You Tube channel will hopefully then start to be populated.

During the holidays please consider these risks and protective factors particularly as you may allow your child out longer, later nights, etc.

Risk and protective factors for substance use:


  • Spending time as a family at the weekends
  • Open and honest discussion about substance use (alcohol, tobacco and other drugs)
  • Positive diversionary activities such as sports or after school clubs
  • Increased supervised leisure time
  • Motivation to learn
  • Clear rules & Boundaries

Risk factors

  • Outside late in the evenings
  • Unsupervised hangout time

Enough from me – over to the children and young people. Everything from reenacting what they have learned about William Wallace to a shoe box appeal request from Paige. In between we have making the most amazing exotic fruit trifle (recipe sourced, rewritten and produced by P2 KM, the amazing P7 team from the cross country event yesterday (more about that next term in assembly), paired reading with P3 HB and P5 KS, walk in the woods, P1 smiles and Isla with Councillor Reid (again more about that next term). Do check out your child’s google classroom for photos and videos from Poetry Day yesterday as well as weekly learning.

Enjoy each other’s company over the next two weeks and know how much you are valued as families.

Aileen Mackay, HT

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