School @ Home – Week beginning 4/5/20

Welcome to a new week of Balloch Primary @ home. We hope you are all keeping well. Attached is this weeks activity grid and letter from the school. We hope you have lots of fun with this weeks activities. Friday would have been a public holiday from school to celebrate the anniversary of VE day, so this weeks grid includes some themed activities in the run up to VE day.

School @ Home week beginning 27th April

Hope you are all well. Attached is this weeks learning grid and communication from the school.

 Check in 

Please ensure your child checks in daily with Balloch Primary School. If your child doesn’t check in two days running, you’ll receive an email from the school and on the third day a telephone call. This call may come from an unknown number but a message will be left. If your child is unwell and would usually be absent that day, please let the school know by emailing balloch.primary@highland.gov.uk If you email the school inbox and don’t receive a reply by the afternoon of the next day, please resend the email. The school inbox is being manned and the aim is to respond to parents as quickly as possible. 

Communication with class teachers 

If you wish to contact the class teacher(s), please do this through the balloch.primary@highland.gov.uk address. 

Assembly 

The plan is to hold a weekly assembly on a Friday. Similar to school, this will only be available on a Friday although we have extended the time from early morning to late evening. Nursery parents should have received an email today with a link so that their children can join in. 

School @ Home week beginning 20/4/2020

Attached is this weeks letter and learning grids.

Individual logins for all our Pr1 – Pr7 pupils have been set up. This means that teachers can see who is posting comments / asking questions and pitch their responses appropriately. 

Please ensure your child checks in daily with the school. If your child has a place in a hub, please let Balloch Primary School know which days so that they won’t be looking for a check in. Balloch Primary School are keeping a daily register and will need to contact parents whose children are not checking in. If your child is unwell and would usually be absent that day, please let us know by emailing balloch.primary@highland.gov.uk

All correspondence from parents to teaching staff should come through the Balloch inbox and not through any other platform. 

Please don’t put yourself under pressure to ensure your child completes all the tasks. It’s important to remember that the reason we are doing this is to keep everyone safe, that the wellbeing of all our families, staff included, comes first. For those parents who wish more work, further activities can be found in the digital hub which was set up by Highland Council for this purpose. 

https://sites.google.com/millburnacademy.org.uk/highlanddigitalschoolshub/home 

Welcome to the new term! Week beginning 13th April 2020

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

Resources for pupils

These are a few resources that were emailed out to parents before the Easter holidays:

In addition to this, there is a digital learning hub with very many resources which pupils and parents can access.  This can be found at http://highland.gov.uk/digitalschoolshub/.  

Resources for nursery age pupils

Wondering what you should do with your young child at home?  Worried if they are missing out on learning?  Stuck for ideas?

Children can learn most of what they need through play and talking using things you can find in the home.

Highland are producing a series of “daily tips” to help with this.

They can be found on www.bumps2bairns.com, along with lots of other useful info about young children’s learning.

You can follow the blog if you wish to get an email every morning with an idea for the day.  And contribute your own ideas of you wish!

Go to www.bumps2bairns.com, have a look at the ideas and subscribe by clicking “follow”

Wednesday 25th March 2020

Please find below various pieces of information we have received today that we thought may be useful to share:

1.       The Highland Council have asked us to keep a register, as we normally would, of children who would not be able to attend school should it be open.  As we are unable to take the normal calls at the school, could you please e-mail the school on Balloch.primary@highland.gov.uk.   This is only required for reasons other than not attending school due to the shutdown.

2.      Unfortunately, some people have taken advantage of the present situation.  Scammers have been telephoning parents and asking for bank details to allegedly confirm their identity to arrange delivery of free school meals.  Please DO NOT give out your bank details to anyone.  It’s deplorable that people are taking advantage at this time.

3.    The Highland Council has launched a free helpline to give assistance and to collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support during Covid19. The number will be live from 2pm today (Wednesday 25 March)  The single line number – 0300 303 1362 – will connect callers to relevant Council specialist teams and will operate Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. All calls are free.  Callers will be able to get advice on benefits and personal support, education and social care and there will also be advice for businesses who may need help with financial support. Helpline staff will also be signposting callers to other organisations that can provide help and assistance as well as gathering offers from individuals or community groups wishing to volunteer. The service is operated by council staff and Eden Court volunteers who will be home based. Staffing levels will be kept under review to respond to the demand. 

Chief Executive Donna Manson said: “I want to thank everyone involved for all their hard work for getting this helpline up and running in such a short time. As well as Highland Council employees volunteering we are also very grateful for the assistance of Eden Court staff. The Helpline is now in place to help those most in need of assistance, so we are requesting that anyone who can continue to use our on-line forms and resources do so as much as possible.” 

  1. To make a payment visit https://www.highland.gov.uk/pay
  2. To report a problem visit https://www.highland.gov.uk/report
  3. To request a service visit https://www.highland.gov.uk/request

 The new helpline is just one of several proactive actions the council is taking.  Work to set up a number of Humanitarian Assistance Centres across the Highlands is underway and details are expected to be published in the next 24 hours. 

The Council is continuing to co-ordinate all offers of community group support, while the Highland’s 3rd Sector is co-ordinating individual offers of support.  There will be close joint working to maximise the valuable offers of support from community groups and individuals.

Classes for session 2019-2020

I hope you are all having a great summer holiday. The classes for next session are as follows:

Rainbow morning Miss Macdonald and Mrs Millar
Butterfly morning Ms Murray and Mrs McDonald
Rainbow afternoon Miss Fraser
Primary 1Mrs Patience (0.6) and Mrs Rankin (0.4)
Primary 2/1Mrs Butler
Primary 3/2Mrs Trotman
Primary 4/3Mrs Wilson (0.5) and Mrs Kennedy (0.5)
Primary 5/4Mrs Johnson
Primary 5Mrs Arkell (0.4) and Ms Hakim (0.6)
Primary 6Mrs Thompson
Primary 7/6Mrs Cowie (0.7) and Mrs Robertson (0.3)
Primary 7Mrs Gibbon

See you all on Tuesday 20th August!

Photo by Laura Pratt on Unsplash