Head Teacher’s Blog 7/02/19

Dear Parents and Carers,

  • We wish all our Chinese Community a ‘Happy Chinese New Year’. We celebrated in our Gathering and there are lots of events happening around the city.
  • City Vision 2050: I thought I would share feedback from the children’s suggestions from the consultation on the City Vision 2015. “They are fantastic and the children have put a lot of work and effort into completing the pads. The Lord Provost and 2050 City Vision team will be most delighted.” Great response everyone, I think our future is in safe in our children’s hands!
  • Fundraising: One of our parents, is running the London Marathon and raising money for the Niemann-Pick UK Charity which directly supports children with a very rare illness. P4 parents would like to support this by having a ‘Fun Day’ on Friday 8 February with a donation of £1 to wear jeans to school. They have also organised a bake sale in the Dining Room at 10.30am for the children and staff. Please support this very good cause.
  • The Council have checked the roof and wall area at the steps to the rear playground. If the steps are closed, please use the steps at the other side of the school and we shall do all we can to minimise disruption. If there is any follow up work, I shall update you as information comes to me.
  • The Junior Road Safety Team of pupils met with Mr Duncan, our parent on this group and discussed the issues with parking in the area. Interestingly, the children did not share the same worries as adults do about cars in the area. They said all the drivers were very courteous to them and gave them time to cross, which we appreciate, thank you. They thought it was good to get used to busy roads. However, they did agree there is room for safety improvements to keep the traffic flowing and reducing emissions for clean air.
  • The Eco Team are planning to plant vegetables in our pots. If you would like to help, or have tools you would like to donate, please contact Miss Kidd and the Eco Team.

You asked about:

  • Buddy Benches: they are a great way of children meeting new friends. We call them ‘Friendship Stops’ at Bruntsfield, using the same terms as in our Building Resilience programme. Children may choose to sit on the seats at the ‘Friendship Stops’ and one of the Playground Activity Leaders (PALs) or pupil support assistants will match them up to a group to play with. The PALS will remind the children how to use them and show the younger ones how they can use them.
  • French is taught from P1-P7 and in addition, Mandarin is taught in P5 and German in P6 and P7. We have a Cluster Plan which all the staff follow. The focus is on spoken language in primary schools to encourage the children to build confidence and skills. Please contact the class teacher if your child is not sharing their learning with you.
  • Updates from class teachers throughout the term: Each stage has a page on the website and information on trips are emailed to parents and carers. Taking notes home safely is a good way to help the children become Responsible Citizens (one of the 4 Capacities of Success in Curriculum for Excellence). Sometimes children need a little more help with this and the teachers have them practice taking notes within school. Please help us by reinforcing the need to keep notes safe in school bags and to share messages at home. I shall discuss ways teachers can keep you informed at the next staff meeting to see what else we can do to help.
  • Children returning to school before 48 hours and spreading sickness: If your child has the sickness bug, please keep them off for 48 hours to allow them to fully recover and prevent infection spreading round the class. If they are sent to school and they are unwell, we do contact parents, but this is distressing for the child when they should be tucked up in bed.
  • Headlice: I am told there have been infections in school this week. If anyone has headlice in school, please let us know and we shall let all families know. If we all check everyone’s hair over the February Break, hopefully we can stop it spreading. Please remember to check other family members and child minders’ hair too. Our local pharmacist has a selection of lotions and combs to help.
  • Playfighting: is not permitted, despite it being the game of choice for a few. Playground Activity Leaders (PALs) and our pupil support assistants always stop this and guide the children to another game. Teachers are updated by the pupil support assistants after break if there are any follow up discussions to be had.
  • Notice Board: I appreciate not everyone is in school to see notices displayed. To help, the office staff will email any information to you and post information on the website as well as updating the board at the main door and at the school gates.
  • Accidents are recorded in our First Aid Log Book and on the Council recording system if a child has gone to hospital. We do monitor for trends and talk to the children about any issues as they arise. Encouraging the children to always look where they are going and to run with care and consideration for others is the best way to avoid bumps. Children continually develop skills in the playground, in PE and in their free time, to help them negotiate the spaces around them safely.
  • Traffic: The police are aware of concerns about traffic at drop off and pick up times and they are working with parking wardens to keep the traffic flowing and eliminating double parking during peak times. The Junior Road Safety Team have some ideas and will share them with the children after the February Break. Concerns have been passed to the Council and the School Traffic Officer is working with us to find solutions. The one thing which helps the most, is to walk to school and /or park in a safe place.
  • Bullying: Our focus is being kind to others this month and the children are sharing what makes a good friend. Please remember, if anyone is being bullied in school, please talk to the class teacher, the DHT or myself, we are all here to help.
  • Lost property: It is really helpful if children check lost property at lunch time when they are in the Dining Hall. That way, we reunite belongings to their owner as quickly as possible. If you would like to check, it is best on a Friday afternoon, as there are not so many children in the Dining Hall at after school club. Each week, all items marked with a child’s initial and class are returned to their rooms, adding the class has really helped speed this process up.
  • School opens on Monday 18 February.

Have a lovely Chinese New Year and a great February Holiday.

Kind regards,

Carol Kyle

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