Hello – I am glad to be back in touch with you all again. I hope you have been enjoying the summer holidays. The weather has been kind to us and hopefully you will have been able to enjoy time outdoors as well as with families and friends over the past few weeks. As you’ll know from the posts at the end of last week, schools are due to re-open full time for pupils for the start of next session. Monday August 10th is holiday, Tuesday August 11th is an in-service day, and Wednesday August 12th is the first day of school for pupils. You may be aware also that the government has advised that there is flexibility for schools to have a phased re-opening if needed with all children in school full-time by August 18th. Over the course of the coming week, we will be reviewing our plans and risk assessments for the full school opening. This information will be shared with you as soon as it is ready, and by early next week in advance of August 12th, the first day of re-opening for pupils. We are really looking forward to having the children back in school with us, and know that the preparation and time spent now will enable us to re-open with confidence for the children, families and staff of the school. Meantime, I am sharing the following information from the Head of Education, Nicky Grant, which provides current guidance on schools re-opening. I look forward to being back in touch again with you soon, and very much to welcoming everyone back to school again next week. With very best wishes, Mrs Snedden
At today’s (30 July) full meeting of The Highland Council, Members agreed that the Council ceases its provision for key worker childcare on 10 August 2020 at the latest, depending on the circumstances of each location.
This decision follows the announcement made by the Scottish Government that the requirement for local authorities to provide free keyworker childcare ends on 31 July.
The Leader of the Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson, said: “I would like to thank our hub volunteers who have dedicated their time to help us to provide this essential service of emergency childcare to keyworkers across the region”.
“I would also like to thank our partners, High Life Highland and Eden Court, who supported our provision of this service. Together, we have been able to create a safe location for Highland children during this period of recovery from the covid-19 pandemic”.
Keyworker childcare hubs were set up in Highland in response to the rapidly escalating coronavirus outbreak in March 2020, when the Scottish Government made the decision to close all schools and Local Authority Early Learning and Childcare settings.
During this period of closure, the Highland Council opened up to 15 Keyworker Childcare Hubs with additional support from partners, in order to provide emergency childcare for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, to ensure that key workers had continuing access to appropriate childcare. During the summer holiday period the Highland Council area key worker hub network, saw provision provided across in excess of 50 different settings, facilitating provision for around 400 children of Highland area keyworker parents and carers.
We are now entering phase three of the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown, meaning alternative childcare provision is restarting in Highland communities, and education settings are aiming for a full return of pupils on 12 August.
Today’s announcement from the First Minister is very much what we have been anticipating and preparing for in our return to Highland education settings. It is a great reassurance that we can now continue with our work to achieve a full return of pupils and staff, including those who were previously shielding, in August.
Chair of Education Cllr John Finlayson welcomed the news. He said: “As always, the safety and wellbeing of our pupils, their families and our staff remain our priority. Officers are working to ensure Highland schools meet the Government and our parents expectations on safety measures such as ventilation, good hygiene practices and improved cleaning regimes.
We will continue to be guided by Scottish Government advice, and have contingency plans in place if we should need them. Officers will be reviewing our communications following this announcement, and information will be issued over the coming days to parents, carers and school staff. I am sure all stakeholders, will be pleased and relieved to hear that as normal as possible a return to school, is now confirmed.”
There has been a high uptake over lockdown with online learning sites, such as Oxford Owls, Epic Books and Sumdog. In answer to a query, most of these should continue to be accessible over the holidays as our subscriptions are normally up for renewal at the start of session. This is only where there is interest and not part of our current planned provision while we are on holiday.
Our Strava challenge total by the last day of term stood at almost 26,000km. With almost 180 members now, the MOL strava club will remain open over the summer, but we won’t have any set challenges while we enjoy the summer break. When schools return in August, we will revisit this and set a fresh challenge for us all as a community!
Finally, as we are on holiday without regular access to school staff, please see the details below again of the Just Ask Highland Council line for families as well as the Highland Council’s Back to Schools webpage. Staff will not return to the school building until the week beginning Monday August 10th. I plan to be able to update everyone about schools’ return based on government guidance from the week beginning Monday August 3rd. Meantime, once more, happy summer holidays! Mrs Snedden
We hope you will enjoy having a look through some of our videos showcasing everything about our school this year. We have been so proud to be part of this community with you, the parents, families, staff and children of Milton of Leys. Have a lovely summer – good luck P7! – and see you in August. School’s out for summer!
Following an update from the local authority, Milton of Leys is happy to be able to confirm the following details.
For academic year 2020-2021 we will be providing 600 hours of funded early learning and childcare which will be split over the 38 weeks of school term time only.
School lunches will be available to purchase for all nursery parents under both the full return plan A and also contingency plans B and C, which would see the children return in a blended home/school model. Please note plans B and C would only come into effect if the current coronavirus pandemic cases begin to increase and the virus is not suppressed. Current expectation is to plan for all children to return 100% of their time in August.
You will have received an email yesterday detailing which 2 days your child would attend the setting should plans B or C have to come into effect. Please contact our Childcare Manager, Emma Law if you did not receive this email.
As our confirmed funded model of early learning and childcare has now changed from the previously proposed 1140 hours, you will now be emailed (also a link below) a new preference of hours to enable you to request which days and times you would like your child to attend. These should be returned by 2.00pm on Wednesday July 1st to Emma.Law@highland.gov.uk to enable us to organise the setting for our return in August. Once all forms have been received, you will be emailed a confirmation of your child’s allocated room, key worker and attendance pattern.
Should you wish your child to attend more than one setting and the children return full time then it may be possible to accommodate your child under a split placement. This will only be considered if the coronavirus pandemic is under control and the virus continues to be suppressed. Please discuss this with our Childcare Manager, Emma Law.
Breakfast and after school club
We are currently waiting for confirmation that these will resume as normal from August 12th. We will provide booking details as soon as we have this confirmation.