Ventilation

Please see letter below, which we have received from the Highland Council.

Executive Chief Officer – Education and Learning: Nicky Grant
Education and Learning Service, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness IV3 5NX


8 September 2020


Dear Parent/Carer
Pupils encouraged to wear additional layers in class
You will be aware that Covid-19 is still present within our community. As the risk of transmission of the virus is greater indoors when compared to outdoor settings, the Scottish Government currently advises:
“Settings should ensure adequate levels of ventilation. Where centralised or local mechanical ventilation is present, re-circulatory systems should be adjusted to full fresh air.”
Therefore, to reduce the risk indoors, our schools are currently operating with windows open to allow as much fresh air into classrooms as possible. This is to ensure our school spaces are as safe as possible for our pupils and staff.
As there is a need to prioritise infection control over thermal comfort, we are encouraging children to wear an additional fleece or a jacket in the classroom if they wish to do so. We have relaxed dress codes in our schools as we try to make the learning environment as comfortable as possible while reducing the risk of infection in the school setting.
We will continue to work hard across the school estate to improve heating output at all our schools, but we realise this may not provide the expected levels of comfort. It is hoped that the Scottish Government will provide further guidance prior to the arrival of winter as the science evolves around the current Covid-19 crisis.
The Council is continuing to work closely with Public Health in relation to all health matters and be directed by national guidance. You can view our webpage http://www.highland.gov.uk/backtoschool for updates, advice, and access to our frequently asked questions document which is reviewed regularly. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your school.
Yours faithfully
Nicky Grant
Executive Chief Officer

Final Back to School information, Hilton Primary School

Dear Parents / Carers,

Please find below some final information to assist you and your child with the return to Hilton over the next few days.

Arriving back at School

Please check your child’s google classroom today (P5-7) or by tomorrow (P1-4). Your teacher will have shared pictures of the arrival area that your child is expected to come into and for further information specific to your child’s class. We will have some visuals at the gate to help you on arrival too. Your child’s new teacher will be out to greet them each morning. Please remember pupils should not come into the school grounds before the teacher calls them in.

Children will be met at the gates and escorted to their new class by their new class teacher and returned to the gate at the end of the day. Children will sanitise their hands on entry to the school buildings and wash hands on entry to the classrooms.

Parents/ carers are reminded to please not enter the gate (with the exception of P1 parents to lead their child to the assembly point) and to stay at least 2 metres away from each other, and teaching staff at all times.

Your child’s class teacher will post information about PE days in the next week, once we have this arranged. No kit is required for this week.

Google Classroom

If you are having any issues getting on to your child’s Google Classroom then please email Kathryn.reid@highland.gov.uk and I will do my best to assist.

Please entitle subject of email WEDNESDAY if your child is in P5-7 or THURSDAY if your child is in P1-4 so that I can prioritise support to those who need it tonight.

We would encourage parents to check in on Google Classroom regularly as this will be the mode of communication Class Teachers will use to share information specific to their class with you.

School Lunches

Please ensure any money for school lunches is in a named envelope or bag. Try to have exact change for lunches where possible.

Please be aware that catering staff will not be opening the envelopes until 72 hours as per Covid policy, so please don’t expect change to be returned until the 72 hours are up. If possible try to pay for the week.

All children should bring their own snack for morning playtime as the canteen will not be running tuck shop at the moment.

Medication

P5-7 children’s medication can be delivered to the school any time on Wednesday 12th August.

P1-4 children’s medication can be delivered to the school any time on Thursday 13th August. (if you have pupils across the school it is okay to deliver all medication on Wednesday, but we must have your child’s medication if they are in school.)

Please come to the main reception, please take care and avoid gathering if there are many people waiting. All adults will be expected to socially distance while waiting and only one adult should enter the reception area at a time.

Adults will be expected to use the anti-bacterial gel and then complete the medication form. Please take your own pen with you.

Medication must be labelled with the official pharmacy labels, your child’s name and be completely contained within a bag so that staff can retrieve this safely.

Chromebooks on loan

If any family has had a Chromebook or tablet on loan while we were in lockdown, they are required to return this to school this week. Please bring to the main reception and ensure you return the device with its charger. Any damage or issues with the device should be reported on return.

For any P6/7 pupils from last year- if you had a device replaced and still have the broken device, you are also required to return the broken device to school reception this week.

New P6 pupils- we are expecting replacement Chromebooks to be delivered soon. We will let you know when we find out the allocation date for P6 pupils to be allocated their own devices.

Mobile Phones

Where older pupils have previously taken their mobile phones in to school, this was usually collected by the class teacher at the beginning of the day and returned. This will not currently be possible. If your child brings their phone to school it will stay in their bags (kept in the classroom).

Children will be escorted throughout the building throughout the day but please note that we can’t accept any liability for damaged or missing phones.

Children’s belongings

Please don’t let your child take their own toys to school.

Make sure everything is labelled and can fit in their school bag so we can keep our classrooms tidy and safe.

Quarantine

It is very important that all parents returning with their children from abroad check to ensure that the country they have visited is not on the list of countries currently requiring to quarantine.

Andorra, The Bahamas and Belgium: if you arrived or returned from Andorra, The Bahamas or Belgium on or after 04:00 on Saturday 8 August you will need to self-isolate. Arrivals and those returning between 10 July and 03:59 on 8 August from these countries do not have to self-isolate.

Spain: if you arrived or returned from Spain between 23 and 25 July you do not need to self-isolate. If you arrived or returned from Spain from 00:01 on 26 July you will need to self-isolate.

Luxembourg: if you arrived or returned from Luxembourg between 10 and 30 July you do not need to self-isolate. If you arrived or returned from Luxembourg from 00:01 on 31 July you will need to self-isolate.

If this applies to you, do not send your child to school and inform the school in the usual way. Parents are responsible for checking out and adhering to the guidance. Please see most recent link below for more information.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-health-checks-at-borders/pages/exemptions/

Absences

If your child is going to be absent from school then please phone the school number as soon as possible in the morning. You can leave a message on the answering machine. If leaving a message then please state the reason why they are off school. We are required to report carefully on pupil absence so it is really important to let us know if your child has any Covid-19 symptoms or is required to self-isolate for any reason.

(01463) 230435

ELC

All ELC parents should have received an email this afternoon detailing drop off and pick up procedures. There is also further information on our closed Facebook page.

Welcome back!

We are all ready and excited to welcome you all back to Hilton school and ELC over the next couple of days. We know there is a lot to think about and we understand you will be feeling a mix of emotions regarding your children coming back to school this week. Please do not worry about your child. We will be here and ready to support them on their return to school.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to pop us an email at hilton.primary@highland.gov.uk and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

We look forward to working together with you and your child over the coming weeks.

Take Care,

Mrs Reid and the Hilton Team

 

Grants available

School Clothing Grants 👪

The Highland Council will provide support towards the costs of school clothing to many families. This will help children from primary 1 to secondary schools in Highland to be better equipped to attend school, focus on their education and fully participate in school life whilst easing the financial pressures for parents and carers.

Applications are now being invited by The Highland Council for the academic year starting in August 2020. Assistance with school clothing can be claimed if parents and carers are receiving any one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit (where the monthly earned income does not exceed £610).
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit, but not in receipt of Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £16,105 (as assessed by the HMRC)
  • Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit and an income below £6,420 (as assessed by the HMRC)
  • If a young person is 16 to 18 years old and receive any of these benefits in their own right, then they can claim for themselves.
  • An asylum seeker receiving support
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit

To streamline the application process, the Council has a single application form for school clothing grants and free school meals.  Applications can be made online at

www.highland.gov.uk/schoolmealsandclothinggrants.

 

Best Start Grant School Age Payment 👪

The Best Start School Age Payment is a lump sum of £250 which is intended to help with the cost of a child starting school in August 2020. It is in addition to the school clothing grant and does not need to be paid back.

From 1 June 2020 until 28 February 2021 applications are invited by Social Security Scotland for children born between 1 March 2015 and 29 February 2016 who are starting school in August 2020. Parents who have deferred their child’s school entry to August 2021 should still apply during this period. If they don’t it will be too late, and they will miss out on their payment.

Best Start Grant School Age Payment can be claimed if parents and carers are receiving any one of the following (If you’re under 18, you do not need to be on any payments or benefits to apply:

●         Universal Credit ●         Housing Benefit
●         Child Tax Credit ●         Income Support
●         Working Tax Credit ●         Pension Credit
●         Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
●         Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Parents or carers can apply via Social Security Scotland freephone helpline on 0800 182 2222, by post or online at www.mygov.scot/best-start-grant

Don’t miss out, find out.

Getting in touch with the Welfare Support Team is the first step to maximising your potential income. For help to apply for all benefits or entitlements contact the Welfare Support Team: telephone 0800 090 1004 or email welfare.support@highland.gov.uk

Alternatively, contact Citizens Advice for general information or for details of the customers local office they can visit:  www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/benefits

Full support is available to support parents and carers through the council’s Welfare Support Team and Highland CABx to ensure households are receiving all their benefits and entitlements – ever more important in these challenging times.  Advice is freely available to help families with applying for the Clothing Grant and the Best Start Grant.

 

Highland Council Update

 

28 May 2020

 

For immediate release

 

Back to school and learning – ‘carefully and gradually’

 

The Highland Council is assessing the implications of the First Minister’s announcements made on the 21st May about the first stage relaxation of lockdown, concerning teachers and other education staff returning to the workplace during June to prepare for the return to school and settings on 11th August.

Highland Council’s Education Committee Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said: “The return to workplace and Highland schools for our Education staff will have to be undertaken carefully and gradually.

“I understand the desire for parents and pupils to know what plans and preparations will be put in place to enable the start of term on 11th August; and that is exactly what our Education staff will be working on in the coming weeks.

“While I understand parental and pupil anxieties, especially for those starting at school – at this stage and ahead of formal engagement with local head teachers, parent forums and communities it is too early for the Council to provide any finalised plans or proposals on what the return to school will look like for Highland families. It is important that the local circumstances of each school will need to be considered along with consultations with key stakeholders. As soon as that information is available schools and the Council will promote this widely.”

Paul Senior, Executive Chief Officer Education & Learning added:

“There is a huge amount of preparation underway to return schools and our education settings in line with government guidelines. Before teaching and education staff can return to school, there are a number of measures we will be deploying to ensure that the views of Highland’s head teachers, parents, carers and communities inform our plans.

“These will include rigorous risk assessments that will need to be carried out, to ensure that safe distance working practices and other risk prevention measures can be adhered, to that will enable staff to return to the workplace safely in environments that are as safe as possible to minimise the potential for risk.

“Then, as soon as jointly agreed, risk assessed back-to-school plans are in place, the Council along with our schools and settings will provide information to parents, carers and pupils on what the new normal will be like.”

Pupils and parents should keep an eye on the news page of the Council’s website at: www.highland.gov.uk/news/archive; and the Council’s Twitter  https://twitter.com/HighlandCouncil or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/highlandcouncil/ for updates on back-to-school information.

-ends-

Update from Highland Council

21 May 2020

 

For immediate release

 

Highland Council prepares for phased return to new normal

 

Highland Council’s Recovery Board Chair, Cllr Alasdair Christie has welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government’s road map phasing the way out of lockdown, which was published earlier today.

The First Minister revealed that Phase 1 of the Government’s new four phase plan, could come into effect on 28 May, however the advice remains stay home, protect the NHS and save lives for now.

Cllr Alasdair Christie, Chair of the Highland Council’s Recovery Board, said: “Highland Council is assessing and planning for all the implications of the First Minister’s announcements made today about the first stage relaxation of lockdown, including her statement on teachers and other staff returning during June to prepare for the return to school in August.

“The Recovery Board has already begun developing our own Highland Council route map which is focusing on how we prepare for a safe return to work, return to school and restarting key services, such as reopening recycling centres at the start of June.

“Today’s announcement will I am sure be welcomed by communities here in Highland, who have been adhering to the lockdown measures and ensuring they help protect the NHS and save lives.

“However, we are also acutely aware of the impact the lockdown has had on our economy and on every aspect of people’s lives and mental health.

“We are working hard to map out the best way forward for Highland, so that we can start to get people back to work and school, but to ensure this is done safely and in line with science and the Scottish Government’s guidance.”

He added: “Since the outbreak we have learned a lot of lessons and we’ve seen a tremendous demonstration of agility, innovation and hard work from staff across the organisation. I am delighted to say that as a result of everyone’s hard work and commitment we are now in a position to pave the way forward and start getting back to what will be a new normal for all of us.”

Schools will return on 11 August, one week earlier than planned for most pupils, while Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) settings will open over the summer.

An agreement reached between councils, professional associations and parent representatives means:

  • schools will implement physical distancing measures, such as providing seating that is two metres apart and staggering arrival, departure and break times
  • increased hand-washing or use of hand sanitisers, enhanced cleaning, robust protocols and ongoing risk assessments
  • class sizes will be significantly reduced as a result of the new way of working, with most pupils spending around half their time in class and half learning at home. Time in school will increase further as soon as it is safe to do so
  • teachers and other education staff will return in June – subject to appropriate safety assessments being completed – to prepare and plan for the new way of working and welcoming pupils back
  • existing ‘hubs’ will continue to run to provide vulnerable children and those of key workers with childcare over the summer
  • the school estate will be expanded where necessary and possible to increase the time children can spend with their teachers
  • innovative use will be made of existing teachers and staff

The Scottish Government road map can be found here

********Exciting News Alert**********

 

Hilton children will be one of the first schools in Inverness to trial the “Wake up and Shake” online classes for Primary pupils, live from Inverness Leisure Centre, by Amy Gallagher, who has presented classes for us at Hilton before.

What do you need to do to join in?
Tomorrow, log in to your google classroom (or the ELC closed facebook page if your child is in nursery).
Click on the link that will appear in the feed to join just before the start time.

This is an exciting opportunity for our Hilton children, so please get up nice and early and be ready to boogie.

Starts 9.30 am tomorrow,Wednesday 13th May. Please be online ready to click on the link as it appears so that you don’t miss out.

Mrs Reid