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School Closure Letter to Parents and Carers

Dear Parent/Carer

As we enter a period of school closures, the following arrangements are in place to ensure that your child's learning can continue throughout this time.

The key source of learning will be using online platforms (virtual learning environment) however alternative arrangements will be made by individual schools for pupils for whom online learning is not suitable.

For children in P1-P3, teachers will provide a set of appropriate learning experiences that can be completed at home. Learning activities will be in the form of SWAY presentations and the links will be sent by Groupcall, Twitter and will be on the school website.

Children in P4-P7 are part of their class Microsoft 0365 Team, which can be accessed through their Glow account. Your child requires their Glow username and password to access their Team, and they are familiar with how to use this platform. Information for parents on how their child uses Teams is available at:

It is expected that your child accesses their Team daily to engage with the learning experiences being provided by their teacher. The platform provides a function for your child to share their learning with their teacher and receive feedback where appropriate and support where required.

The use of Teams for communication is for learning purposes only between staff and pupils and ensures the safety of all users.

Parents / Carers who have any questions or require further information should use the following contact details.

margaret.johns@westlothian.org.uk

kirsten.patience@westlothian.org.uk

katy.leamy@westlothian.org.uk

Our school team will continue to provide all available support to your child and family where we can during this challenging period.

Please see overleaf other items of information about cancelled events and further updates.

 

P7 Residential to Dounans w/b Monday 23rd March

As I explained in my Groupcall to parents yesterday and my discussion with Primary 7 pupils, the Primary 7 residential can no longer take place. Pupils were keen to ask me if we could go to camp next term and I had to explain that I could not guarantee our attendance at camp after Easter and, therefore, it would not be viable to attempt a rebooking in May or June. Our insurance means that parents can get a refund although, in current times, this may take a few months. I have explained to Primary 7 that we will constantly assess how we can manage their transition treats over the next few weeks and possibly months, ensuring that they get the Balbardie send-off to secondary school that they all truly deserve. I will keep you posted about any events as they come and how we can manage them if we are not in school.

 

P5 Residential to Broomlee Tuesday 21st April

Because of the uncertainty around events after Easter, I have taken the decision to postpone the Primary 5 residential until September. We have been able to rearrange a new date with Broomlee as we could give them plenty of notice and we were early enough to get re-arranged dates. The children will now be attending residential between 7th and the 9th September at the beginning of their Primary 6 year. If parents have any concerns around these new dates, please let me know.

 

Primary 5 Trip to New Lanark

Primary 5's outing on 23rd March has, obviously, been cancelled. We will try to arrange a refund for parents as soon as possible and will let you know by Groupcall how we can get this to you.

 

Parent Consultations - Tuesday 31st March and Wednesday 1st April

Parent consultations will not take place in school on the above dates. We are very committed to letting you know how your children are progressing in school and, following disussions with staff, I have decided that we will send the End-of-Year School Report early, probably mid - May. If our children have still not returned to school at this point, we will arrange email contact or telephone contact with parents who wish to discuss their children's progress after the early report is issued.

 

Playground

Our new playground construction begins next Monday 23rd March. It has taken a lot of work in school and a lot of fund-raising by you, the parents, to get to this point where a construction team is on site. As you will imagine, I am extremely sad that the children will not be around to see it progress every day and parents won't be able to see the fruits of all of the money raised over a number of years for the children in the school. The build will take place over 9 days and as the senior leadership team will be in school, we will tweet each day's progress in the build to the whole school community. I had planned that the Balbardie community would have a grand opening with a band and special guests just after Easter but I am determined that we will do this as soon as we can.

 

Communication

We will use Groupcall, keep Twitter updated and the school website will include all recent communication and letters.

This is a difficult time for all families and staff in school. We met as a staff team yesterday afternoon and we are genuinely very sad to think that we won't see your children for a number of weeks within the learning year. Despite our sadness, we see it as a new challenge.

I hope that Balbardie children, parents, carers and grandparents all stay well and healthy. With thanks for your continued support and understanding and please know that we will keep in touch and are available if needed,

 

Margaret Johns

HEADTEACHER

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