Welcome to the new term! We hope you all managed to have a nice break over Easter. Balloch Primary School is social distancing at home.

Attached resources and email Monday 13th April 2020:

The priority this week is for families to get into some kind of routine.  We know that this is not a ‘one size fits all’ situation and that some families may have 1 or 2 adults and a number of children all attempting to make use of 1 or 2 online facilities.  The timetable you set up has to work for you and your child / children.  Your child / children should take a leading role in drawing this up so that they have a sense of ownership.  Examples are attached. A couple of examples can be downloaded here.

In school, your child would not be sitting all day but would be involved in a variety of activities and our expectation is the same for home.  We don’t expect an older child, for example, to be involved in learning activities for more than approximately 2 hours per day.  This does not include exercise.  We also don’t want to overload families who may already be feeling under pressure or have personal circumstances to deal with.

We’ve attached a weekly grid for the P 1 – 7 children with activities you can choose from as suits your family’s routine.  This grid has been drawn up by class teachers and collated by Mrs Patience.  Included in this grid are regular / daily activities we’d be encouraging as outlined below:

·        Daily reading.  This could be any kind of text and includes picture books for younger children.  Comprehension skills can be developed through the use of pictures, books and visual clips.  From next week, we will also include suggested questions to develop comprehension. 

·        A daily diary.  For younger children, this could be in pictures.  Older children could deviate between continuous writing and pictures with speech and thought bubbles. 

·        Teachers will set tasks on Sumdog so that pupils become faster at computation.  This will allow the main focus to be on higher order learning skills on our return to school.    There are other websites which have been shared in previous correspondence parents can access for further practice.  If you don’t have the initial correspondence with ideas, please email the school on balloch.primary@highland.gov.uk or see Balloch Primary Website – School at Home.

·        An hour of exercise a day.   At school your child is involved in playground activities as well as P.E. slots.   During this term we usually try to get the children outside and as active as we can.  Thankfully, the lockdown is happening in summer term and the children can get outside.

There is no expectation that completed tasks are sent virtually / brought into school at the end of the isolation period.  We do hope to have regular competitions / tasks that can be completed and taken into school for sharing with pupils and staff when we return.

Older pupils in Primary 6 and Primary 7 have their own chrome books and can be responsible for researching and presenting projects they are interested in.  Examples of tasks can be found on the Highland Council digital hub  http://highland.gov.uk/digitalschoolshub/.

Nursery

We will also be sending out weekly ideas to support our nursery children and parents.  Ideas for this week are attached.

Register

By the time we finished school in March, we were able to have GSuite logins for our Primary 5/4 – 7 pupils.  Mrs Petrie has been very busy over the last fortnight and tomorrow parents of pupils from P 1 – 4/3 will receive communication on how their child logs in to their own account.  Please read this carefully.  As from Wednesday, everyone will be expected to login daily to classroom.google.com.  There will be no further tasks, this is purely a daily check in. Please could pupils in Primary 5/4 – 7 also do this on Wednesday. 

Ongoing communication

Copies of grids will be shared on the Parent Council Facebook page and the Parent Council website.  Previous examples of activities sent out can also be found on the website.  We do not expect you to be teachers.  We know our children well and are confident that timetables can be adapted on our return to ensure that your child is not disadvantaged by this present situation. 

Please reassure our Primary 7 pupils that whenever we do return, we will ensure that they are given an opportunity to say goodbye to us properly.  I know this has been concerning many of them.  They are very important to us and we want to mark this important transition in their lives.  

Parents who wish to contact the school should email balloch.primary@highland.gov.uk

Stay safe, we will be in regular contact with you as the situation changes.

Karen Ross
Head Teacher

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