Learning at home w/b 15th June

Once again, many thanks to all who have shared photos of their learning at home this week.  It’s great that so many children are continuing to engage with such a wide variety of activities when undoubtedly folk are beginning to tire.   This is to be expected towards the end of a long term, especially one that has been so different.   If that’s the case in your house, don’t worry – it’s to be expected at this time of year.  Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable weekend.

David West DHT

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Survey for Classes in August 2020

Thank you to those who endured the tech difficulties last night when we were meeting to discuss how we will be returning to school in August. I will repeat the session (without the tech difficulties I hope!) on Monday 6.30pm – 7.30pm for those who were unavailable last night. Code for the meeting will be here on the blog on Monday.

There are two options as the school will have to be split into three distinct groups. Please take this short survey to help us make a final decision. Tight turn around for this survey so that we can make the final plans and share them with you as soon as possible.

Full information will be available after this decision has been made. Please continue to follow the blog for details.

It is still important to remain physically distanced and we all need to continue to follow health guidelines. Please lead your families by example and remind your children. We’re all struggling – but we’re all in this together!

Aileen Mackay, HT

Thursday Routine

As promised, please click here to gain access to the code for the google meet this evening 6.30-7.30 for anyone who wishes to see what we are proposing for the way ahead in August for school. There will be a more indepth nursery meeting on Tuesday same time – 6.30-7.30pm as decisions have yet to be made at Highland Council. All are welcome. You don’t have to put on your video if you’re shy but please come and listen as we will be going into more depth about how it will look.

Parent survey for the week. Remember this is really good for helping us shape the following week and a huge thank you to everyone who completes this regularly. Next week will be the last week that we ask you to complete it and all your comments will helps shape the blended learning for the way ahead in August.

Nursery activity using sensory play ideas.

What a glorious day! Trust all are well and enjoying the sunshine. I’ve been in school all week organising things and staff have been in to clear away their personal belongings. Next week sees staff in hopefully to the rooms they will be allocated to for next session and we hope to share classes with parents and young people before the end of next week. It’s never a straight forward school activity but even more of a challenge this year, as you can imagine.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Free School Meals in the Summer

Please note: if your circumstances have changed you may be eligible for free school meals and clothing grants. It is vital that you use the online application form or the helplines below. All families who have needed support in completing the form have had this. Calls are free.

Following the First Minister’s announcement on Tuesday, 16 June 2020, eligible school pupils are to receive free school meals during the summer break to help tackle food poverty.

In Highland, P1-3 pupils entitled to school clothing grants and P4-S6 pupils who are eligible for free school meals have been receiving £15 per pupil, per week, which is paid fortnightly using a voucher system.

Councillor John Finlayson, Chair of the Education Committee said: “I very much welcome the announcement by the First Minister which will enable the Council to continue provision of free school meals between the end of June and when the schools return in August. I am delighted that the Scottish Government has been able to provide such vital funding.

He added, “Given the financial pressures facing the Council, this important income stream will help us to provide the much needed support for the most vulnerable families in our communities, particularly at a time when so many are juggling a drop in their incomes and are already worrying about the costs of keeping their kids amused during the holidays.”

All lower income families who haven’t already claimed free school meals and school clothing grants are being encouraged to do so as quickly as possible using the Council’s Apply Once online application form which can be accessed at https://www.highland.gov.uk/a_to_z/service/561/apply_once_-_find_out_what_benefits_youre_entitled_to

The Council’s Welfare Support Officers are on hand to complete the application form on behalf of families.  They also carry out benefit checks to ensure that all eligible benefits are being claimed according to a household’s individual circumstances.  To access their help, email welfare.support@highland.gov.uk or call 0800 090 1004. All calls from landlines and mobiles are free.

Monday News

Nursery activity idea here.

HT learning summary..what is blended learning?

So we are slowly and carefully allowing staff back into the school to pick up personal belongings and to leave the classes ready for the next teacher coming in. We are hoping to have the classes ready for next week so we can share with you and if not next week, then, as sometimes happens, it will be the last week of term, all subject to change, of course.

I had hoped to have another parent forum video meet this evening but there is virtually no news that wasn’t shared last week. We are still waiting for some vital information before we can work on exactly how it will look for both you and your children coming back in August. I will hold a meeting this Thursday at 6.30pm regardless so that if any want to ask questions they can do. I’ll share the video link on Thursday.

It’s hard to keep going, I know but we will get through this. Don’t hesitate to be in touch if you are finding it tough and just need a bit of reassurance, some ideas or suggestions.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Weekly survey and Star Awards

My IT issues continue and now made worse because I am having to work part time in school, part time at Culloden Academy and part time at home: the Highland Council internet access doesn’t like me doing this! Apologies. If you need to get in touch aileen.mackay@highlandschools.net is the best address to use as it’s linked with my other one so no matter what I will receive an email. If you have not had an answer from me after two days, please resend it to me in case I’ve missed it. I try to respond daily.

This week’s parent survey 

Nursery learning idea…messy play is always good fun!

Mr West will be uploading the art gallery and slides later as I can’t guarantee connections. Have a good weekend when it comes. I know this is tough and we are all beginning to get fed up but keep persevering. I aim to hold an open forum video meet again next week – possibly Monday 6.30-7.30 if I get any more answers by then. If there is no further information I will communicate this and hold a video meet later in the week.

We remain indebted to staff for their dedication to this community and to you as families. They will be in and out of school at scheduled times over the next fortnight preparing for the way ahead in August so there may be less communication during the day. I’ll explain better what we will be doing in preparation next week.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Technical issues ctd

Sincere apologies on behalf of Mrs Mackay, but due to ongoing technical difficulties she has not yet been able to upload the nursery activity or parent survey as normal today.  All being well (and hopefully fixed) they will be posted tomorrow.

Hoping that everyone is keeping well.   Take care,

David West DHT

Parent Forum Conversation

Apologies, all, but my technology has not been working since Friday lunch time and no one can seem to fix the issues – yet! However, I am now back able to use the chrome browser so have access to emails again – please continue to use aileen.mackay@highlandschools.net but my availability is somewhat reduced as I am duty manager in the Culloden Hub 10-2 three days a week, I am in school 8.30 – 2 carrying out risk assessments and I need to travel to and from Inverness also.

I have no budget any more so normal things like sending letters to parents of children coming into P1 have required a work around. Thanks to the Parent Council who are lending us the money to pay for the stamps! I assume at some point we will have a budget again.

This week I am in school limited times as cleaners have to come in when there is no one here and they come from 2.30pm. There is still no FMA on site. My first task is to make sure the school is safe for staff to come and sort out their rooms next week and then how the children will come back safely. I remain dedicated to ensure learning in a safe and relaxed manner in the school. Parent Council had a good meeting last Tuesday night and I said that we would meet tonight with anyone who wanted to join in. Please note that I await answers to key questions myself but I am very happy to take your questions, suggestions or ideas tonight between 6.30pm and 7.30pm. Can I ask you to use this code to enter the meeting: https://meet.google.com/ipu-zxqo-fwh?hs=122&authuser=0 and mute your mic as soon as you come on. Use the chat box on the right hand side to ask any questions.

I’m going to stop writing in case the technology stops working before I press send!

Aileen Mackay, HT