18 February 2021
Dear Parents and Carers
I trust that all our Kaimhill families have enjoyed the longer weekend and kept safe and warm during the cold snap of weather last week. There are certainly signs of spring around and these wee signs of the new season are accompanied by the heartening news that school buildings are beginning to open for pupils. However, we must be mindful that the safety of pupils, staff and the wider community remains of paramount importance and consideration and you are all reminded of the need to follow the rules and guidance which ultimately comes from the Scottish Government.
I can now confirm that all ELC – P3 pupils will return from Monday 22nd February 2021 and I can share the details of this return with you. I apologise for the length of this communication but please do read it as it contains important information and guidance about the re-opening of our Nursery and P1-P3 classrooms next week, and the requirements we have of you.
Arrangements for ELC-P3 Returning – 22nd February 2021
The school and nursery day will operate as normal for all children in ELC – P3. There will be no change to the gate entry and exit arrangements and each class will continue to access their classroom from the doors used prior to the Christmas break. However, there is strict guidance for parents/carers to adhere to which will be outlined.
From 22nd February all children in P1-P3 who are attending school should receive the full, universal free school meal provision.
Standard pick up arrangements will still apply.
Please note that a separate communication will be sent to the parents and carers of nursery pupils to confirm arrangements from 22nd February 2021.
The School Office will contact parents/carers of P4-P7 children currently accessing the Hub provision to confirm their arrangements from 22nd February. The Hub provision will be sited in the classrooms at the senior end of the school to ensure appropriate physical distancing is in place. Likewise, the timetabling arrangements for breaks, lunches and toilets have been reviewed and updated to ensure we are following the Scottish Government’s guidance on social distancing.
The Scottish Government has strengthened the wording on key worker provision, ‘These categories are intended to support prioritisation of the allocation of places which are limited. For example, Category 1 and 2 workers would take precedence over Category 3 workers if schools do not have sufficient capacity to safely accommodate all requests. Not everyone who is eligible to apply will therefore be guaranteed a place’.
Please note that Kaimhill School continues to have a significant waiting list and the return of P1-P3 pupils has not created additional capacity, as staff have been reprioritised to support the physical return of pupils to the building.
Children in P4-P7 will continue to access learning online meantime and should follow the timetables provided in their Google Classroom by their class teachers. The First Minister has indicated that a decision may be made on 2nd March 2021 for P4-P7 pupils but we should not expect a return prior to 15th March at the earliest, for this group. Please remember that we will continue to monitor the engagement of P4-P7 learners in their Google Classroom. Daily attendance will still be recorded via the check-in question, which must be answered prior to 9.30am. The attendance policy will be implemented for those who fail to engage regularly with online learning and teaching.
Kaimhill School does have a P3/4 composite class and due to our current staffing levels we are in the position to follow the Scottish Government advice. Miss Jamieson will be in school with her P3 pupils from Monday – Thursday, and Miss Bannerman will teach these P3 pupils on a Friday. Miss Jamieson will also be planning, posting and scheduling work for her P4 learners to be undertaken at home. Miss Morrison will be responsible for meeting with P4 learners on a daily basis, much in the same way Miss Jamieson currently does. Both teachers will be working closely together and I know that Miss Jamieson plans to check in with the P4s regularly. I am very thankful for the flexibility staff have shown when working with me to ensure robust arrangements are in place for all our children.
Medical circumstances and Covid-19 symptoms
Please be reminded that if medical circumstances have changed for your child and he/she is required to be shielding then the School Office should be informed as a priority. Likewise, if your child or a member of your family presents with symptoms of Covid-19, you must self-isolate and notify us promptly.
All staff attending in school, education, facilities, catering and support, are now able to access twice weekly Covid-19 self-testing at home which further heightens our risk mitigation and supports the minimisation of the risk of transmission across our school community.
Please follow the latest NHS advice and guidance which can be accessed vis this link.
The school’s risk assessment has been updated and shared with staff. Version 7 is now available for your information on the Kaimhill School Website.
The supplementary guidance issued by the Scottish Government reiterates the need for schools to continue to follow strict COVID-19 control measures and in keeping with the guidance, we have reviewed access and exit arrangements to ensure that we limit opportunities for children and parents to congregate. Staff will routinely be reminding/guiding your child to maintain regular handwashing, consider 2m distancing from staff and one another where possible and not share resources with others to ensure that everyone does all they can to keep themselves and members of their family safe.
The First Minister spoke at length about how the partial return to school buildings cannot be seen as a return to normal practices and asked that parents remember to support the strict COVID-19 controls in place by not congregating at the school gates and remembering FACTS. As we plan for the partial return, I ask you to help us by ensuring that you keep a strict 2m distance between yourself and other households during drop off and pick up and continue to follow the general advice to wear face coverings when around others outwith your household. Schools will only be able to open further if there is clear evidence that the partial return has not impacted negatively on levels of community transmission, so we are keen to minimise any risk by following this guidance closely.
You are also reminded that the school car park, including the turning circle, is strictly out of bounds unless you are a blue badge holder and use one of the disabled bays. If found using the car park you will be asked to move on.
And Finally …
As has become the norm over these past months, I draw this letter to a close by recognising that we continue to face uncertainties and challenges. However, with our youngest pupils now returning to school, the increasing numbers of the population having received the vaccine and with more encouraging data reports being shared by Public Health, I believe we have cause to hope that we are turning a corner. Many of you have shared with me the heartaches and difficulties experienced in your families and this is a time in our lives we will never forget. So, I urge you all to keep following the rules and safely support the return of our children to nursery and school.
Please contact me, a member of the Senior Leadership Team or School Office if you have further questions or concerns – we’re here to help. Please also accept my sincere thanks for your ongoing support to the school and for our children.
Take care and keep safe.