August September 2011 Newsletter Welcome back to a new school year We hope everyone had a great summer despite the weather by 7ggMooZ9


									                      August/September 2011 Newsletter
     Welcome back to a new school year. We hope everyone had a great summer, despite
                                       the weather!

         We are looking forward to another busy year in school working together for our

               STAFF NEWS                                       MOBILE PHONES

At the end of last term we sadly said              We would like to take this opportunity to
                  goodbye to Mrs Peacock           remind you of the procedures regarding
                  (PSA), Mr Horabin (Drama         mobile phone use in school. Children
                 teacher) and Miss Legge           should not take mobile phones to school.
               (PE teacher). This was due to               Parents can contact the school at
a          cut to our staffing budget for this             any time and messages can be
session. We wish them all the best for the                 passed to children in their
future and thank them for all their work and              classrooms. Any pupil who may be
support over the years.                            going to after school activities and whose
                                                   parents want them to carry a phone for
This term we have some more staffing news          contact should follow these procedures –
to report, Mrs Catriona Walker our Depute
Head will be leaving us at the October              Parents must write a letter detailing the
break. We are very sad to be losing Mrs              reasons for the child having a mobile
Walker who has been a committed and                  phone at school.
dedicated DHT for 2 years and will be an            Mobile phones should be given to the
immense loss to the school.                          teacher first thing in the morning for
                                                     storing in the teacher’s cupboard until the
However we wish her every success for the            end of the day or handed into the school
future as she leaves us to take up a new             office for safe keeping.
post working with her husband in his
business.                                                     CHILD PROTECTION
                                                   Schools are Child Protection Agencies and
Our AGM is coming up soon, details will be         we are required to report if we think a child
issued shortly. Each year our AGM is an            has come to harm as a consequence of
opportunity for parents to hear about the          possible abuse or at risk of abuse. Each
work the Parent Council has done over the          school has a designated person appointed
past year.                                         to be responsible for Child Protection
As Parent Council members finish their term
of office the AGM is also an opportunity for       Our Child Protection Co-ordinator is Mrs
parents to volunteer to join the Parent            Linda Dickie.
     WORKS DONE OVER SUMMER                                      HMIE REPORT

Over the summer holidays there was lots of
construction work going on in the school.
We have had a new fire alarm system
installed throughout school. We also had          You will now have had an opportunity to
toilets refurbished in P1, 2 and 3 areas and      read the report from our recent inspection.
the staff toilets.                                The inspection team was very positive about
                                                  many aspects of the school – the learning
           We would like to say a very big        and teaching, the children and the ongoing
          thank you to Callum and our             work of the school. The local authority was
             cleaners, Aileen Dickson and         very pleased with the report also.
             Carol Martin for all of their very
            hard work in managing to have         We, as always, will continue to work to
the school cleaned to its high standard           provide the best education possible for our
despite the works going on until the very last    children.
day of the holidays.
                                                    SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR
            HEALTH & SAFETY                                    2011/12

The health and safety of our pupils, parents,     This year we will be continuing to implement
carers and staff is of the utmost importance.     the Curriculum for Excellence throughout
Can we remind you of procedures in place          the school.
to ensure everyone’s safety –
     Council policy is that                      We will be working on
       there are no dogs                          developing assessment
       allowed in school                          practices and tracking pupils’
       grounds                                    progress across the levels
     Children and adults should walk up to       within Curriculum for Excellence.
       the main door using the path on
       Westfield Park and cross over at the       We will also be working on areas
       end of the path to the main door           recommended within the HMIE report.
     Children going to their entrance doors
       should then go round the school via               NAMING OF CLOTHES
       the P1 – 3 playground and not
       through the car park.                      As another year begins can we remind
     There is no parking                         parents that all children’s clothing should be
       available for                              named. Every year we have many items of
       parents in the
                                                  unclaimed lost property. This would be
       school car park.
                                                  avoided if all clothing had children’s names
                 FOOTBALL                         on them.
                                                  Could we also remind everyone that the
          We are intending to renew our           children should have their PE kit with them
            football strips and will be           every day as they have PE a few times over
                                                  each week. They can take kits home on a
          organising a sponsored walk for
                                                  Friday for washing.
         our football players to take part in.
However if any parent knows of a business
or company who would be willing to sponsor
our new strips please contact the school.
        ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL                    Monday 24 October
                                               Term starts for pupils and staff
Could we please remind parents to
call school by 9.30am when your                Monday 14 November
child is going to be absent.                   In-service day. School closed to pupils.

                                               Friday 23 December
                HOMEWORK                       Term ends for the Christmas holidays

We attach a copy of our homework policy for    Monday 9 January 2012
your information as we start a new school      Term starts for pupils and staff
                                               Monday 13 February
            SCHOOL WEBSITE                     Mid Term Holiday. School closed

Our newsletters are always posted on our       Tuesday 14 February
website, you can access it at                  In-service day. School closed to pupils.
                                               Wednesday 15 February
Please note the school email address has       In-service day. School closed to pupils.
changed to
                                               Friday 30 March
        DATES FOR YOUR DIARY                   Term ends for Easter holidays
                                               (Good Friday 6 April)
Monday 29 August – Friday 2 September
P1 ‘Try a Lunch with your child’ week          Tuesday 17 April
                                               Summer term starts for pupils and staff
Wednesday 31 August
P4 & 5 football training starts, 6.15 – 7.30   Monday 7 May
                                               May Day holiday. School closed.
Friday 2 September
P7 to Gordon Barracks for Grampian Safe        Tuesday 8 May
Team event                                     In-service day. School closed to pupils.

Wednesday 14 September                         Friday 29 June
P1 Curriculum Meeting                          Session ends for summer holidays

Thursday 15 September                          Monday 20 August
P4 to Beach Ballroom for Techfest              In-service day. School closed to pupils.

Wednesday 21 September                         Tuesday 21 August 2012
P2/3 to Macduff Aquarium and Duff House        Children return for Session 2012/13.

Wednesday 5 October
Open Evening for parents


Friday 23 and Monday 26 September              Caroline A Bain
Public holidays. School closed                 Head Teacher

Friday 7 October
School ends for the holidays


At Scotstown homework is seen as an integral part of each child’s education and can
add to their progress and development. Research shows that children with a positive
attitude to homework tend to succeed.


Through setting homework we aim to –

      Consolidate and reinforce learning done in school and to allow children to
       practice skills taught.
      Encourage and provide opportunities for parents to become involved in
       children’s learning.
      Encourage independence and good learning habits.
      Develop research skills such as using libraries and ICT.
      Provide extended tasks to encourage children to develop the skills of planning
       and organizing their time.

We are also aware that many of our pupils are involved in activities in the evening
which are valuable to their education and overall development and well being.
Homework should not limit opportunities for taking part in these out of school activities.


In Primaries 1 – 3 homework will be detailed in the individual homework diary and a
homework jotter will be used for written tasks.

In Primaries 4 – 7 children will note down their homework tasks in their homework
diaries and a homework jotter will be used for written tasks.

Space is provided to allow parents to comment on homework if they so wish, for
example if their child has encountered difficulties or if they are happy with the effort and
standard achieved by their child.

The content of the task set will vary from stage to stage and at different times
throughout a session, but it should always be –

      Clearly understood by the pupils and closely related to ongoing class work.
      At an appropriate level of ability for the child.
      Able to be completed without specialized resources.
      Reflect a variety of activities, although generally concentration on basic skills.
Early Stages – typical tasks will include –

      Sounds work – following the Jolly Phonics Scheme.
      Home Reader and accompanying activities.
      Spelling activities/games.
      Maths activities.
      Tasks related to class topic work.

Middle/Upper Stages – typical tasks will include –

      Home reader and accompanying activities.
      Language activities, e.g. comprehension, grammar, spelling, preparation of
      Maths activities, e.g. consolidation or revision of work done in class.
      Research tasks appropriate to each stage.
      Other tasks might include – art tasks, French from time to time.


Homework is given out and collected at the discretion of the teacher, normally over a
week. This information is clearly stated in the child’s homework diary. Homework set
should take no longer to complete the 20 – 30 minutes per night at any stage. This
may vary at different stages and times.

Younger children might respond better when working in two or three short bursts rather
than longer periods of concentration.

Pupils in Primaries 4 – 7 will need to plan their time over a longer period if completing
research tasks.

In addition unfinished class work may be expected to be completed for the following
day if a teacher feels that a pupil has failed to apply him/herself to the task in class.
This will be communicated to parents via the homework diary.


      Ask your child if he/she has homework to do.
      Discuss the work with your child and work alongside him/her, especially in the
       early stages.
      Praise your child.
      Ensure that your child’s homework is completed on time.
      Ensure that your child has as quiet a space available to complete homework
       with as few distractions as possible.
      Encourage your child to read as widely as possible.
      Check that the quality and presentation is of an acceptable standard and
       sign/initial the homework diary.
      Inform the teacher via the homework diary or by contacting school if your child is
       finding a task is taking longer than expected or having difficulties.

We consider homework to be important and therefore expect it to be taken seriously by
the children. The reasons for giving homework and our expectations of standards and
presentation will have been fully discussed with the children by the class teacher.

We understand that home circumstances may make it impossible for work to be done
occasionally. If this should arise parents should contact school or write a brief note to
the teacher.

If a child should fail to do work set without having a reasonable excuse or produce work
of an unacceptable standard, the following steps will be taken –

      The teacher will emphasise why the work is being set and offer another chance
       to complete it at home.
      Child will stay in at break or lunchtime to complete task.
      If incidents are frequent parents will be contacted and asked to support the
       school by seeing that work is done regularly.

Updated January 2010

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