More Children in Need

Morgan did the girl guiding act your age challenge for children in need, she did 6 lengths of the distance from our house to Harry Gow’s (3 times up and down the hill!) With a small stop to have a Harry Gow chocolate muffin on the last lap. She’s raised over £70 for children in need….. well done Morgan!! ‘

These photos were missing from Friday – sorry!

It’s been brought to my attention that cars do not always stop at road crossings despite red lights and ‘green man’ signals. Please remind your young ones to use the crossings but also still to check that cars are actually stopping.

A reminder that photos will be taken for individuals on Wednesday. The weather is forecast for rain this week…hoods up and wellies on!

Have a good week.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Friday Round Up

A message from the Highland Council about parental engagement. I will explain more about how we will be keeping you informed in our way next week:

Parental engagement/evening update:

As an Authority we are working with our schools to ensure they feel supported in a time of great uncertainty. The Health and Wellbeing of our staff is paramount right now. Parental engagement is key. However, many factors need to be taken into account this year where face to face consultation is not possible.

Following consultation with union representatives, it has been agreed that Highland Council will proceed with a small number of schools to take part of a virtual parent engagement/evening trial. This is to make sure that a preferred system/platform works well and that there are no issues from either school or parent perspective. A mixture of primary and secondary schools in Mid, South and West areas have agreed to take part in this trial throughout November.

Once this trial has been completed further engagement with Head Teachers, parents and Unions will take place, with a decision made in how to move forward with virtual parental engagement. The timing of this pilot may mean that  this type of school engagement may not take place until  term 3.

Schools will have different approaches to parental engagement and these will vary between schools. This decision lies with the individual school and is supported by Local Authority.

Lunch Money

Can lunch money be paid at the beginning of the week and put in an envelope with the days on the front marked, please? The less kitchen staff handle money, the more time they have to prepare food and help children cutting up their food, etc. Thank you for this.

Children in Need

Yet again Smithton community rises to the occasion. £500 raised! Thank you all so much indeed. All week the classes have been looking at rights, responsibilities and the school revised values and vision. In amongst this P3 NS created puppet shows all by themselves with the theme of pirates and thinking of others. Have a watch by clicking on the links below:

Here are a few photos from this week. Pirates, substance awareness training in classes and star wards. Thank you once again for all your donations and everyone’s hard work this week.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Friday Activities

Let me start with an apology – I forgot to thank you all so much for the money you raised for the Poppy Haig Fund – £200! We really appreciate times are hard for lots of us so thank you for digging deep.

With it being Children in Need this week we agreed to a ‘dress up’ day tomorrow where we can come as pirates. It would be lovely if you can dig again and find a few coins for children in need. I know MFR Cash for Kids gets help from them so we know that the money raised comes home as well as across the country. As with the poppy money, if you can put it in an envelope it will be easier at the moment.

Next Friday we have a walk for parents, carers and the community to meet each other if you are new or just needing some adult conversation. It has been risk assessed and is safe for us to walk together. Don’t be shy – come along and get to know each other.

In Remembrance

School and Nursery showed respect this morning for those who lost their lives in the great wars, those who have been in combat since and to those who are injured. We remembered and discussed at age appropriate levels. Here are some photos and poems. Please talk with your children at home tonight about any family connections or your own thoughts.

There the bodies lay so lifeless and grey

Ready set fire and there they lay

Ending it all as we fall

Never to mention the great big fall

Chapels in the air flying over there

Happy as thin transparent air

By Dexter Mackintosh 

The Reason Poppies Are So Red.            Charlie MacIver  

Soldiers big and small. 

ending it all 

they go to bed and dont wake up

 but are always 



Loved ones dead

All hope lost

But we do have peace 

Thanking the soldier who fought in war

Thanking them! 

To live 

For tomorrow.

Friday Round Up and Monday Bits and Pieces

Star Awards and celebrating learning from last week – and incredibly all our nursery children have got into the routine of eating together in the school canteen each day! Canteen and early years staff are doing an amazing job of keeping the hall calm. I’ve included a few photos of the children playing outside in the new nursery room called ‘The Cabin’

Kayleigh wore her late grandfather’s medals to the Cavell Centre yesterday to mark Remembrance Sunday. There’s still time to donate for a poppy at school. We will be holding a short remembering time on 11th in each classroom.

This is our updated vision and values diagram. You will see the vision in the middle. Next layer out is our shared values, which haven’t changed. Next layer out is a summary of all class commitment: Ready, Respectful, Safe. Our young people were asked what they thought this meant so the next layer out is their summary. The three outer layers are national expectations: Getting it Right for Every Child, Curriculum for Excellence and United Nations expectations for children across the world.

As we head for Children In Need day on Friday (remember, if you want to dress up as a pirate you will be welcome but it’s not compulsory for those who would prefer to keep to school uniform) all classes this week will be focusing on our renewed vision and values and will be looking at what this means for their rights – and their responsibilities in class, in school, in the community and for life.

I can confirm that photographs will go ahead as planned! Also we have book an online pantomime. We are waiting for final Highland Council planning around parents’ nights, etc. I’m conscious that we would normally have had a ‘stay and play’ nursery session, ‘visit the class’ in school and also one to one parents nights by now. We’re keen to engage with you but we need to make sure we can do it safely for staff, parents and young people.

Have a good week ahead,

Aileen Mackay, HT

COVID-19 Update

Just in:

All adults in the playground to wear masks

PE can now be done indoors

Still no singing and no Christmas gatherings (we have plans to do this safely don’t worry)

No school lets but there may be school run clubs but not till after Christmas as I will need to risk assess every club and liaise with staff – this will take time

It has also now been noted that a photographer is unnecessary in a school – I had been told last week we could have photographers in – hence why we have dates. I’ll clarify this and get back to you

Aileen Mackay, HT

Update – or Lack Of!

Sorry – we still have not had an update from the council. As soon as it comes in I will let you know. Meantime, it would make sense to plan for all adults wearing face masks in the playground.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Star Awards, Photos and Children in Need

Morning. I had hoped to update you on latest COVID-19 details from Scottish Government and what this means to Smithton but the council has told us to wait until they have issued guidance to us so I will send on as soon as possible after it is given to me and I have digested the information with the staff. Apologies for not sending this on Friday as usual – I was holding off to see if there were updates over the weekend.

Couple of dates for your diary: school photos – we’re restricted to individual photos only and not family ones, apologies, but they will take place: school 18th November; ELC 27th November. 13th November we will be dressing up as pirates, if your child wants to and any donations for Children in Need should come in an envelope or wrapped in paper, sealed with tape. We’ve chosen the pirate theme as the new nursery room’s name is ‘The Cabin’ with a pirate theme and we thought it would be nice to celebrate the expansion of the nursery provision. More details to come but just to give you a heads up for costume for a fortnight’s time.

Well done to our Star Award winners in the slideshow below. You amaze me weekly on how you are all striving to do your best. You’ll also see some photos of the Rotary Club and our Making a Difference Enterprise group (MADE) as they were planting bulbs of the theme the group came up with – ‘Rising Stars’ which will bloom in the spring. For those of you who have been part of the school for a while you may recall that we planted daffodil bulbs and had a world record but with the new build many of the bulbs had to go. We’re hoping to get the grounds reshaped this school session so that the outside reflects the beautiful school building. What really counts, of course, is the school community and not the building or grounds and we strive to help you enable your children to grow and see the potential in our rising stars.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Missing trainers

Please could you have a look to see if you have accidently taken home a pair of Adidas Gazelle black and white trainers with Velcro size 9. Missing from nursery. Thank you

A Huge Thank You!

Elsie’s medal was found in the playground today! her classmates were terrific and it was discovered.

A reminder to dojo your child’s teacher if he/she should get a certificate tomorrow for doing the activities on the grid over the holidays. The class teachers have the certificates ready to put the names on.

Thank you, also to our local police who came round to ‘spot check’ the car parking this morning. They have agreed to do this on a regular basis. Please try to park safely for everyone’s sakes. being a few minutes late is better than an accident occurring.

Aileen Mackay, HT