Longstone Primary School

Welcome to our school website. We hope you enjoy browsing and you find our site both interesting and informative.

Our site will give you a flavour of what we are doing at Longstone, and share some of the many exciting opportunities and experiences that are available to our pupils. Scroll down to view our live Twitter feed and keep up to date with what’s going on at Longstone Primary School and Nursery.

Head Teacher – Angela Pearston

 

Schools Re-opening; Information from Andy Gray – Head of Schools and Lifelong Learning 

Dear Parent/Carer,

I would firstly like to express my gratitude to all our children and young people for their understanding and fortitude during this unprecedented emergency. It must never be underestimated the disruption young people have endured as well as the additional burdens placed on families during this time.

Following the First Minister’s announcement last week of her ‘Routemap’ to releasing lockdown in four phases, and her confirmation yesterday that the first phase would commence today, we are aware this will raise many questions about exactly how and when children and young people will return to their school.

The City of Edinburgh Council is considering very carefully the arrangements for the safe return to what will be a very different school experience because of the need to maintain social distance. We also need to consider the arrangements for returning to school for children and young people for whom social distancing is not possible, both for those attending mainstream schools and those attending specialist provisions. For all children and young people, learning will involve a blend of home learning as well as in-school attendance.

The First Minister announced that all schools in Scotland will open on Tuesday 11th August 2020 for pupils. As schools in Edinburgh will open a week earlier than we had anticipated, we will need to adjust the published City of Edinburgh Council school session dates for 2020/2021, after consulting parents and staff.

You will be aware that our staff have been working extremely hard to support learning during this challenging period both in the busy key worker hubs, as well as supporting home learning. During June, we will all be working hard to implement the safest arrangements in our schools. Headteachers will be in contact with parents to provide clear details of how the blended learning model will operate in your child’s school as soon as possible. The Council is aware you will have a range of questions which may include issues such as school transport, SQA exams, transition arrangements, school meals, cleaning regimes, personal protective equipment,  hand washing as well as precisely when your child will be expected to be in school and when they will be expected to be home learning.

School staff, council colleagues and partners are working together.  Where possible, we will consult with parents and young people too, to refine and improve arrangements to ensure the health and safety of children and staff, at the same time providing the highest quality of learning and teaching possible.

In the meantime, support for the children of key workers continues. Parents are eligible for support where both are unable to provide or arrange alternative childcare and who are working directly to support the national effort to reduce Coronavirus. Arrangements are being made to offer support over the summer school holiday period which will be similar to what a was offered over Easter. Further information about applying for key worker support in mainstream schools over the summer holidays will be available on the council’s website by Friday 5th June 2020.

Supports for children affected by disability will be provided within identified special schools, working with a range of partners. Parents requiring Key Worker support will be contacted directly regarding arrangements for this provision. If you are a Key Worker requiring support for your child over summer and your child does not currently attend a special school hub, please contact the Headteacher of your child’s school in the first instance to make them aware of this.

I can assure you enormous effort is being made to ensure the arrangements will have the health and safety of your child at the heart of all we do and although school will look different in August, we very much look forward to welcoming your children back in the new school session. I will write again with more details as they become available.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

              Andy Gray

Head of Schools and Lifelong Learning

 

 

A message below from Miss Reynolds – with useful links for  wellbeing.

Looking After Ourselves at Home

Good morning families!

I hope that it has cheered you all to wake up to another sunny day outside! Just what we need to help us rise and shine during some of these tricky times we are experiencing. 

As all of our school team have been saying, this week is extra special, because it is Mental Health Awareness Week. This seems to have come at just the right moment, with lots of folk really having to work through difficult and powerful emotions, whilst we travel through these new an unknown times currently. I have read lots of the wonderful messages that you have been sent by our team and have seen the video message from Lynne at P2B too. There are so many good ideas and positive thoughts there to draw on, I hope you have found them as beneficial as I have. 

I was looking over lots of the learning materials that we have on supporting our wellbeing, and particularly on the theme of ‘kindness’. Of course there is so much out there. Sometimes the internet and social media can seem to barrage you with ideas, almost to the point that it overwhelms. I am conscious that, as always, I don’t want to do that. Instead, I would like to just provide you on some of my reflections and ideas for when and if you need them. There is never an obligation to access these resources. Maybe just look at them as your reserve toolkit, that you can come to as and when you need it!

What I am sharing with you here comes from some documents that the City of Edinburgh Psychological Services team put together for families, to support wellbeing. I have tried to condense this information, so that it is easy for you to access, and contains the most important points. I have also included some online resources that I have specifically chosen because I think they are easy to access and do when you need them and don’t have the energy to sift through things!

I hope that families find this information useful when it is needed, and am very happy for you to let me know if there is something else you would like me to address.

Have a great day, be kind to yourselves and those around you, remember that you have a big team around you and we are all in this together. 🙂 

Best Wishes

Miss R x

gill

Kindness and Compassion: 

At times when many people are feeling anxious and uncertain, it is important to try to increase our levels of kindness and compassion, towards ourselves and other people. While everyone is at home for a long period, relationships can become strained and taking the pressure off yourself and others can be supportive. If things are not going to plan, take a break and do something relaxing. Allow children to do the same and be kind to yourself if everything falls apart for a bit. It will happen to us all.   

Why is it important to be kind to ourselves? 

  • If we are kind to ourselves it is easier to be kind to others 
  • We are more able to cope with stress and anxiety 
  • We are modelling to our children how to be self-compassionate 
  • We are more likely to experience emotional warmth for our children   

Why is it important to be kind to others? 

  • This is linked to feeling happier and improving well-being 
  • It helps social connection among adults and children 
  • It promotes positive parenting by improving parent/carer-child relationships 
  • It buffers against the negative impact of stress  

Positive Mindset

We always say, ‘if only I had more time’. We do now. This is the time to try and do things a bit differently. We can slow down a bit, have family meals, take up mindfulness, read more. It is important for adults to try and find the positives in what is a very difficult situation and try to ‘grow’ these. If we can get something positive out of the situation, we feel like we have achieved, and we feel better. This will translate to our children as they will pick up on our emotional states. Our mindset will also influence the way that we support our children, while modelling how to approach difficult situations and subsequently develop their own resilience.   

How do we try to adopt a positive mindset? 

  • Start the day with a positive statement or plan 
  • Focus on the good things, however small 
  • Change negative self-talk into positive self-talk 
  • Listen to positive friends, family or co-workers when seeking advice 
  • Accept the changes to your life and recognise what you can and are doing to manage   

Some Useful online resources to Support Wellbeing: 

When things are feeling very difficult it can make a big difference to speak to someone about the problem. This could be trusted friends or family. There is a great phone line for parents/carers, if you need it:  Edinburgh Together Parentline (for support and advice):08000 282233  

Yoga and Mindfulness Videos:  https://www.aloyoga.com/pages/alo-gives   

Childline: Calmzone (Lots of activities, videos and ideas to help calm us down, let go of anxiety and stress, and to get support when we need it.   https://www.childline.org.uk/toolbox/calm-zone/   

Cosmic Kids: Yoga and mindfulness.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JD2b1g7nro   

Six Different Types of Grounding Exercises for Anxiety and Intense Emotions  http://www.tothegrowlery.com/blog/2017/4/18/six-different-types-of-grounding-exercises-for-anxiety-intense-emotions   

Young Minds: What is a panic attack and how to help someone if they are having a panic attack?  https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/how-you-can-help-someone-having-a-panic-attack/   

Advice from the British Psychological Society: How To Talk to Children About the Coronavirus.  https://www.bps.org.uk/sites/www.bps.org.uk/files/Policy/Policy%20-%20Files/Talking%20to%20children%20about%20coronavirus.pdf   

Ways to work with your child to regulate their feelings, if they are stressed, overwhelmed and need emotional support. These techniques can have a positive impact for adults as much as children:  https://pcit.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/47.1_Session2-CoRegulation-Techniques.pdf   

Make a Worry Box:  https://practicalkatie.com/2011/10/11/the-worry-box/