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Letter from Headteacher

Dear Parent / Carer


We are very much looking forward to welcoming St John’s pupils over the course of next week.

There are some arrangements, which are the same as the guidelines issued in June, and some changes, which are marked in italics.

Managed return to school for week beginning 11 August 2020.

All staff return on 11 August- inset day, no children attend.

Only Primary 1 and all ASN Classes attend on Wednesday 12 August, mainstream P1 pupils enter by gym hall doors. ASN pupils enter through main entrance door.

Only Primary 1-4 mainstream attend on Thursday 13 August.

Only Primary 5-7 mainstream only attend on Friday 14 August.

This managed start is to allow children to come to school in smaller groups meet staff and friends and become familiar with new procedures.

From Monday 17 August, all children will attend school full time.

There will be no Breakfast or after school clubs until further notice to allow for cleaning procedures to take place when children are not in the building.

At this time, our curriculum will be focusing upon three key areas in line with Scottish Government guidance:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Health and Wellbeing.

We will be following strict guidelines on the use of reading and library books to ensure that there is no cross contamination.

Car Park and Entry to the Playground

  • No parents are allowed to drive into the school car park unless they are in receipt of a blue disability badge or approved red car park badge.
  • The school gates will be closed from 8.45 – 9.15 am and from 2.45 – 3.15 pm.
  • To date there is no confirmation of what school transport will look like, if there is any.  As further details are shared about school transport, I will update you.

  • Our Traffic Management Plan includes the Bent Recreation Ground car park for parents to park/ drop off children.

Pedestrian Entrance and Exit

  • A one-way system will be in operation.  Entry is via the side gate at the Bent stairs and exit is via the main gate on to Dixon Street.  This one-way system will allow for adults and children to social distance and adhere to the 2m guidelines.
  • Parents can drop children off on foot at the front of the school but must leave children at the side gate to the playground beside the gym hall.
  • There will be a soft start for pupils to be dropped off in school from 8.55am- 9.15am to allow for social distancing and a safe entry to the building. Children can be dropped off at the side gate anytime within this 20-minute period. We ask that children are in school for 9.15am at the latest. School doors will be open at 8.55am and children will filter into the building. There will be no lining up in the playground. The side gate will be closed at 9.15am.
  • No parents will be admitted to the playground past the side gate.
  • To stagger the amount of children leaving the building at the same time children with siblings will meet together in the gym hall at 2.55pm and will leave by the gym hall doors.
  • Children without siblings will leave by the usual exit point for their class at 3pm.
  • Parents will not be admitted to school building without a prior arranged appointment by calling /emailing the school office.
  • The school has hand sanitisers fitted at all entry and exit points, which all school users must use on entering and leaving the building.
  • There is a rigorous handwashing procedure to be followed in all classes.
  • There is a one way system within the school building to allow for the safe movement of all users.


  • We want children to be comfortable and wear clothes, which can be easily washed every night.  We suggest:

    – school polo shirt / white shirt;
    – grey skirt, joggers, shorts or trousers;
    – red/green sweatshirt, cardigan, jumper;
    – a heavy warm waterproof jacket. 

    We suggest school ties should be worn for special occasions only and need not be worn on a daily basis.

Resources for school

Each child will be provided with a large plastic zipped wallet, labelled with their name, which will hold jotters, pencils, rubber, sharpener, ruler, coloured pencils.  Primary 1-3 will also have a whiteboard, whiteboard pen and crayons.  We ask that children do not bring stationery materials from home as all will be provided within the school and again this will reduce cross contamination. Children can bring a school bag. No toys or items from home are allowed.

Lunches and snacks

Packed lunches can be provided from the school cafeteria. There will be a selection of hot and cold foods served in the cafeteria. Primary 1 – 3 are still entitled to a free meal.  Anyone wishing to bring their own packed lunch should bring it in a disposable polythene bag/ lunch box.  We are unable to lend cutlery to children.  Snacks should be brought in disposable packaging. For P4-P7 children the cost of a school lunch is £1.75 and can be paid in the usual way through Parentpay.

Water bottles

Children may bring full water bottles to school and take them home at the end of each day to be cleaned. Water bottles must have children’s names clearly marked.

PE Kit 

Children will not require PE kit or a change of shoes but please ensure that children’s footwear is appropriate for outdoor PE and active learning, i.e. trainers.

PE will be outdoors until further notice.

Personal Possessions

We ask that children do not bring toys or valuable possessions to school.  Some staff are making individual, age appropriate play boxes for children to use in school, where appropriate.

Mobile Phones

We strongly discourage children from bringing mobile phones to school, as it will be very difficult to keep the mobile phone safe.  If a child brings a mobile phone they must turn it off, keep it secure in a zipped pocket and must not take it out at any point during the school day.

Classroom / Playground Layout

Class and playground are set out to encourage social distancing. Children will be sitting in rows and facing forward, in line with SLC guidance. ASN classes will follow social distancing as appropriate to numbers of staff, children and room size. Each class will have a designated area in the playground to allow children to play with the same group of friends every day.

Classes and Class Groupings

Classes have been organised by literacy groups.  Every attempt has been made to ensure that children have a familiar peer and are part of a working group.  It is not possible to change children’s classes / class group as this has been calculated to fit with the school’s capacity audit.

ASN Transport

Parents/Carers should follow the instructions below and where possible ensure their child(ren) are aware of the following requirements:

• Children / young people should not board dedicated school transport if they, or a member of their household have symptoms of Covid-19

• If a child or young person develops symptoms while at school they will be not be transported home by their school transport provider. Instead the school will contact the parent/carer who should make appropriate and safe arrangements to collect the child or young person from the school and book a Covid -19 test

• Before entering the vehicle ensure their child/young person washes their hands for 20 seconds using soap and hot water

• Consider whether the child/young person should wear a face covering, although advisable this will be at the discretion of the parent / carer taking into account the child’s needs

• When the vehicle arrives, parent/carer should remain at a 2-metre distance to allow the driver/passenger assistant to open the passenger door

• Once the passenger door is opened the child/young person should enter the vehicle and sit in the seat advised by the driver/passenger assistant

• If child/young person travels with equipment or is a wheelchair user, you should ensure this is cleaned prior to journeys

• Schoolbags will be placed in the boot of the vehicle and toys and gadgets are not permitted at this time

• During the journey child/young person should not move from designated seat

• During the journey child/young person should not consume food or drink

• During the journey, where possible, child/young person should refrain from touching surfaces, seats, windows and handles

 • On arrival child/young person should remain seated until driver/passenger assistant opens the passenger door and is met by a member of school staff

• Children / young people should follow the guidance and instruction provided by the driver/ passenger assistant. The will help protect them and help ensure the safety of others

I understand that this is a lot to take in. We are all learning together and trying to make this a safe, secure and happy learning environment for our children. 

It is likely that some of the above procedures will change or be adapted as new guidance is


We always wish to work with you to achieve the best for your child and thank you all for your continued support and perseverance with these new rules.  We hope that all of the above will ensure the safety of all children.

We look forward to welcoming our children in school next week.

Yours faithfully


Head Teacher

Letter from Executive Director of Education

Dear Parent/Carer

Information Update – 24 June 2020

Normally the last day of the summer term is a time when parents, carers and families are able to reflect and to celebrate the progress and achievements their children have made during the school year.

There is no doubt this year has been one of significant change for all of us. However, it has not been one without hope and inspiration and I have witnessed the way in which families and young people have supported each other, as well as some of the outstanding work that that has taken place between schools and families.

Yesterday’s announcement by the Deputy First Minister outlining the ambition for a full return to schools for pupils in August, if it is safe to do so, is something that we would all welcome. He said: ‘If we stay on track, if we all continue to do what is right, and if we can further suppress this terrible virus, the Government believes that we should prepare for children to be able to return to school full time in August.’ 

It is very important that we support our children and young people following on from what I am sure will have been one of the most significant periods in their lifetime.  I delighted to have seen how excited our P1 and P7 pupils have been when we have had some of them in our schools during the past week or so.  Of course, there are considerable logistical issues that we will need to address, such as what does getting back to normal look like, issues around transport and, of course, how we welcome our children and young people back.  I would wish to reassure you that this will be the focus for our team during the summer period.  

I am now waiting on further national advice and guidance that will help guide us in our preparations. I will be back in contact over the summer when we have some specific information about the restart in August. I am acutely aware that you only have a note of our blended learning plans, which if deemed safe to do so, will need to be changed for a full return of all pupils in August.

We will continue to work closely with our council colleagues, professional associations and trade union partners and keep you updated. Schools close today for their summer break, and staff have been working extremely hard in setting up classrooms, preparing resources and arrangements, much of which we will build on for August.

Once again, thank you for your ongoing support.

Take care and stay safe.

Tony McDaid

Executive Director of Education Resources

South Lanarkshire Council

Council Offices, Almada Street, Hamilton ML3 0AA

Phone: 01698 454379


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