The local authority confirmed this afternoon that schools should expect a 100 per cent return in August with no social distancing. Schools are still waiting for further guidance about this full return which will be based on scientific and medical advice nearer the time of the return. The government is expected to confirm the re-opening of schools fully on July 30th. To be prepared for a possible full return or blended learning with in-school/at-home learning, we have 3 planned models.
Within this model, all pupils will return to school five days a week from August 12th. There will still be strict observation of handwashing and hygiene throughout the school day. The safety and well-being of all our pupils will remain our top priority with health and safety measures set out within appropriate risk assessments.
We are waiting for confirmation about our breakfast club & after school club provision.
We are also waiting for confirmation of allocation of hours for children within our ELC.
Our first contingency plan, model B is based on the return to school with 2m social distancing. These plans have been shared with parents and enable pupils to return to school two days a week from August 12th. As previously shared, we would hope to increase in-school attendance with the 3&2 pattern using alternate Fridays so pupils are able to be in school for 50% of the time over two weeks. We have organised the whole school roll, including nursery pods and pupils from P1-7 in groups according to parents’ preferred days and friendships, and will share the allocated days with you next week, so that you have these for your own contingency planning should it seem likely over the course of the summer that the full return will not be possible.
This contingency plan is based upon a return to school with 1m social distancing. We have calculated that we would be able to return 100 per cent of pupils to school five days a week with 1m social distancing and would follow appropriate risk assessments to ensure the safety and well-being of our pupils.
As mentioned at the Parent Council meeting last week, our school roll for P1-7 is currently on the cusp between 13 and 14 classes. For this reason, we will not be able to share the name of your child’s class teacher with you before the summer break as we will be able to confirm how our classes will be configured before then. I realise that this will be disappointing, but would like to reassure that this means that when we are back in August we will be able to allocate new classes for the session 2020/21 with confidence.
I will be in touch with the school community from early August when it is confirmed how schools will re-open. Please be assured that we will be able to use Model B immediately with the groupings we have should this be the case, and will be able to confirm this with you before the start of the session. If we return fully, we will make plans to share the new classes with children at the start of the session.
We are at the end of a long and busy week, and as ever would like to thank you for your continued support for the school. We are very nearly at the end of session, and I am keen to remind you of some key events coming up next week:
Monday June 29th12.00pm P7 Leavers’ Assembly
Wednesday July 1st 2.00pm End of session Assembly
Thursday July 2nd MOL’s Got Talent – share your talent and we will enjoy watching this on our last day of the session!
Thursday July 2nd 12.00pm Schools break up for summer
Tuesday August 11th – In-set day (school closed to pupils)
Wednesday August 12th – School opens to pupils (model to be confirmed after government review July 30th)
Please note that schools will close on June 25th 2021 for the summer holidays next year, on account of our return to school one week ahead of the planned return in August 2020.
Have a good weekend and looking forward to seeing everyone at different assemblies/ events next week!
As planned, later today we will share further information about the school’s planning for the return in August including the blended model contingency plan. Based on the information yesterday, the government will make a decision on July 30th about the return to school, meaning that we will know in August whether we are beginning next session with a full return to school or the blended in-school/at-home model we have been planning and shared with you at Parent Council last week. I will update as soon as we know what the re-opening model for August 12th for the children will be. The safety and well-being of our children and families remain our number one consideration and guiding principle with our planning.
As previously shared, you should expect to hear by email during the course of the day today, the days of the week for the initial return to school based on the blended model, their group name and the responsible ‘go-to’ adult for that group. We are pleased to be able to say that we have been able to take into account all families’ preferred days for this initial model. Please remember that this group is not the full class group, and that details of your child’s class for next session will be shared in August when we have confirmation about the model for returning to school, and in the case of Milton of Leys, the number of classes we will have for next session.
As always please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about any of the information shared. I hope you and your families enjoy the rest of the sunshine today. With best wishes, Mrs Snedden
You will be aware of the news today included in the earlier post about the announcement of a full return to school in August. As you know we have been working on our proposed blended model as part of the national recovery plan for pupils returning to school in August. We have the proposed model shared at the Parent Council meeting on June 18th based on 2m social distancing and we have been preparing a model for 1m social distancing.
As you know, we will do all we can to welcome our children back to school in August. For now, we have been asked to have the proposal and contingency plans in place until more information is provided. This means we will continue with current plans until advised of new guidelines for the return. On Friday, we will email you as planned the details of your child’s group for returning in August and the teacher who will be the key point of contact. When we know of any changes that we can make to the group structures/ attendance at school, we will do so. We are also providing information to the authority about staffing required for our proposed model to move to the 3 & 2 version (children in school 50% of the time over 2 weeks). We hope to have more news of this soon.
Meantime, thank you for your ongoing support – we will keep you up-to-date with any developments as soon as we are able to. With very best wishes, Mrs Snedden
Councillor John Finlayson, Chair of the Highland Council’s Education Committee responded to the announcement today by John Swinney, Deputy First Minister on the return of education.
“Today’s announcement by the Deputy First Minister that the planning assumption will now be for a full return to school for all pupils in August if it is safe to do so, is very welcome news for everyone and it reflects the aspirations that have been communicated to me over recent days by so many parents.
“The education of our young people is extremely important in terms of their educational, mental and social development, as well as their future opportunities and outcomes.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our school staff and our parents and pupils for their hard work and collaboration throughout the period of lockdown and especially over recent weeks when they have been developing plans to return pupils to school taking account of the rules that are currently in place. It has been a very difficult time in many ways for all.
“The safety of our children, our young people and all our staff has been paramount in all our preparations for return to school which include detailed planning and risk assessments. Safety will of course remain a top priority.
“We look forward to detailed guidance and information on new resources to enable us to take these preparations forward at pace, for a full return of pupils in August. We will work with the Scottish Government, trade unions, teaching staff, parents, and children and young people themselves to consider the implications and measures necessary.
“Whilst there will be a number of precautions and considerations, safety will remain the number one priority.
“It should not be forgotten that a full return to education in August will only be possible with continued adherence to national guidance and scientific advice and everyone has played an important role in helping to suppress the virus in our community. We cannot become complacent.”
We will send more information home later as soon as we can.
Please remember to submit your preference for the days of the week you would prefer your child/children to attend school with the proposed model for re-opening in August – Monday/Tuesday OR Wednesday/Thursday. The deadline for submitting the form is 10am today. Thank you!