FAO All Parents
You may have heard about an inappropriate character named 'Huggy Wuggy' being viewed by children online.
The character can easily be viewed on Youtube channels because of its name it is able to infiltrate firewalls and filters.
Parents please be vigilant when your children are enjoying screen time.
Click the link to view a video for tips on setting up parental controls and Youtube for kids to help filter inappropriate content.
Note to all parents
I will formalise all this in a letter next week but just to give you some advance notice of what we intend to do next term at Botanic Primary School. This all may change at any point – but I did promise to keep you updated as soon as we decided we could move back to school life as ‘normal.’
Basically, in term 3 (from when we return on Monday 25th April) we are going to revert to school as it was prior to March 2020! P1-7 children will all start at 8.55am and P1-3 finishing at 2pm with P4-7 finishing at 3pm on Monday to Thursday and 2pm Friday. Currently it will not be possible to start the Morning Club for children to be dropped off – but we are working on that and hope that it will resume as soon as possible.
Classes will still be working in their normal class bubble – but there will be mixing in the Dining Hall when we revert to 2 sittings and for Assembly etc.
Children will have a longer lunch break and time in the playground together at both break and lunch time. Essentially as things were before March 2020.
We hope to have Sports Days where parents can attend – but we will advise you of that much nearer the time.
School finishes for the Easter holidays on Friday 8th April 2022 at the following times –
School resumes on Monday 25th April and on that day there will be a 2pm finish for all P1-7 pupils with the later 3pm finish for P4-7 commencing the next day.
School is closed on;
School then closes for the summer holiday on Thursday 30th June 2022 at around noon.
Message to all parents
You will have heard of the untimely death of Mrs McClenaghan (Mrs Music) who worked at our school over the years and took the choir with Miss Bacon.
Her Memorial Service will be on Thursday morning and a number of the staff want to attend. To that end we are asking as many parents as possible to collect their children from school on Thursday at 10.30am - and they will then remain at home for the rest of that day.
If you are in a position to help us out by collecting your child at 10.30am on Thursday, please let your class teacher know when you leave them to school or collect them from school - tomorrow (Tuesday) if possible.
I know this will not be possible for everyone and you will be aware that this is something we are only asking you to consider in what are ‘exceptional’ circumstances.
Congratulations to our Chair of Board of Governors, Mrs McHugh, as she received her MBE today at Windsor Castle.
⭐️⭐️ Belfast Warm and Well Project ⭐️⭐️
The Belfast Warm and Well Project is coordinated by National Energy Action (NEA) and is supported by Community Planning Partners from across Belfast.
The project is available to vulnerable people who are finding it difficult to keep their home warm. Vulnerable refers to a number of different groups including:
• People aged 65 years or older;
• People living with a disability or a long term physical or mental health condition;
• Pregnant women;
• Households with a young child/children (from new-born to school age); and
• People on a low income.
Signs that a person may be finding it difficult to keep their home warm could be, for example:
• The home is cold – you may have to keep your coat on when inside;
• There is condensation on the windows; or
• There are signs of damp on the walls or ceilings.
Belfast Warm and Well, will be coordinated by National Energy Action (NEA) who will work with local community and voluntary groups, to provide helpful independent and confidential advice and practical support.
If you or someone you know is vulnerable and finding it difficult to keep your home warm, contact NEA on 028 9023 9909 or firstname.lastname@example.org to see if they can help.
👻🎃 Wishing everyone a fun filled and safe half term holiday! 🎃👻
We start back on Monday 1st November......
Nursery - See Seesaw for updates
P1 8.55am - 1.30pm (P1 door)
P2 9am - 2.05pm (Assembly hall door)
P3 8.55am - 2.10pm (Assembly hall door)
P4 8.50am - 2.15pm (Assembly hall door)
P5 9am - 2.10pm (Door normally used by P1 - in gate to left)
P6 8.55am - 2.15pm (Photocopier door - in gate, turn right)
P7 8.50am - 2.15pm (Door normally used by P1 - in gate to letf)
🎃 Halloween Fancy Dress Day! 🎃
👻 Wednesday 20th October 👻
🎆 Please bring £1 donation for our PTA 🎆
⭐️⭐️ Important information from Mr Bell ⭐️⭐️
⭐️⭐️ PTA AGM - 19th October at 3pm ⭐️⭐️
We would be delighted if you could join us via Zoom for our PTA AMG.
Please email your name, child's name and class to email@example.com to obtain the link to this meeting.
P7 Leavers' Assembly is Tuesday 22nd June at 10am in the school playground. We will be delighted to welcome 2 guests per child, but unfortunately we cannot allow any more than this.
AND There will be a short assembly for last year's leavers on Tuesday 22nd June at 3.30pm. We can't wait to welcome back last year's P7s to give them the send off they missed last June. Again, we will be delighted to welcome 2 guests per child.
New to Belfast? Belfast Friendship Club can offer friendship, support and advice. Click on the link below for further information.
Click here for some top tips for improving communication with your child from Parenting NI.
Are you aware of the EU Settlement Scheme?
Did you know…?
STEP Tel: 028 8775 0211 or via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advice NI Tel: 0800 915 4604 or via Email: email@example.com
EU Settlement Scheme - click here for more information
Vegpower and the Foodbank.
This week the pupils are raising money for the PTA by taking part in laps of Botanic Park. Thank you for all the money you are raising for our PTA – who help us with aspects of school life, and channel ALL this money back into school for the benefit of our children. As you are aware, this is in preparation for ‘Vegpower – eat them to defeat them 2021,’ which you will hear a lot more about next week through the media.
Over the coming weeks, pupils will be looking at a particular vegetable in different class groups. The first one is the carrot during the week beginning Monday 17th May. I know P7 will be doing some things connected with carrots next week – but here’s something that everyone can be involved in. Our Charity this year continues to be the Foodbank – and when we think foodbank, we often just think tins etc. As a school we have been in contact with them and they were already been thinking of trying to offer some fresh vegetables and fruit. This needs to be in packaging, as they still have quite strong covid-19 protocols in place – but they have agreed to take any carrots that are contributed next week. SO………………..can you send carrots into school in packaging please – quite how we manage this in school remains to be discussed but just some advance warning that this is what we intend to do.
When we see if this is something we can manage, and equally something that is useful to and manageable for the Foodbank, we may ask for other vegetables over subsequent weeks. Watch this space.
We have recently begun working towards School of Sanctuary status. A school of sanctuary is a welcoming space for everyone, including those whose lives may be in danger in their own country, who have troubles at home or are just looking for a space where they can feel safe. It helps pupils, students, staff and the wider community to understand how to keep safe and where to seek help. It provides opportunities for pupils to gain insights into other cultures and to develop skills such as tolerance, respect for others and empathy.
Staff and pupils are currently putting forward their ideas about what they think we currently do well and what we could introduce or develop further. We would also welcome the input of parents and the wider school community. If you have any ideas, please let us know by replying to this post or emailing info firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find out more about the Schools of Sanctuary initiative via https://www.eani.org.uk/school-management/intercultural-education-service-ies/schools-of-sanctuary
School is closed for the bank holiday on Monday 3rd May. We will return on Tuesday 4th. See you then!
As you will be aware from the media today, all Primary pupils will be back to school from Monday 22nd March. This is good news which teachers welcome. The way it has been announced and the timing are not as good! Arrangements will be the same as before Christmas for all classes except for P5 who will be at school a little bit longer. A formal letter will be issued on Thursday afternoon confirming all the arrangements. School will finish for all at 12 noon on Friday 26th March. Have a safe and enjoyable break tomorrow.
Tuesday 16 March at 4pm is the deadline for submitting an online application for a post primary school place for your child. If you have not yet applied please do so now.
Your child may be limited in the choice of schools available if you do not apply by this deadline.
If you are having difficulty making your application please contact the Admissions Helpdesk on 028 95985595 which is open until 8pm on Monday 15 March or email email@example.com
As I have mentioned before, I am getting a lot of my news from the BBC.
Having received a letter from the Department of Education yesterday, eventually confirming that school would re-open for 2 weeks for Nursery, P1, P2 and P3 on 8th March – the following article is on the BBC News website today…..
As you can see, there are a couple of interesting points made, chiefly:
The executive is also likely to discuss the planned return of schools, after the DUP said it wanted to "revisit" agreement on a phased approach.
Education Minister Peter Weir has said there was a "strong case" for all pupils to return on 8 March, adding that he believed health officials at Stormont were "over-cautious" in recommending a phased return.
So, for me as well as you, the whole picture is still unclear. My best GUESS is that we will have school only re-opened for 2 weeks for Nursery, P1, P2 and P3 on 8th March for 2 weeks – with a return to remote learning for everyone for the final week of March prior to the 2 week Easter break.
I am very conscious that it is pretty pathetic to be giving you my best guess of what will happen on 8th March with just over 1 week to go – but I do this in order to be as helpful as I can in these frustrating times.
Please stay safe and I will try to get you definite information on Tuesday 2nd March when we hear what the Executive announce on Monday.
You will be aware that we issued a short message on Thursday evening last, following the announcement on schools reopening for P1-3 via the media. I had promised to update you in the early part of this current week – but only an hour ago, the same media outlet has released the following:
Arlene Foster wants the NI Executive to discuss the re-opening date for schools in Northern Ireland again. The first minister was speaking after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his roadmap ...
Therefore, until we have some clarity from the Department of Education (DE), it is pointless to speculate regarding what might or might not happen. I am sure you find this equally frustrating as ourselves, but we will be back in touch as soon as I have something official from DE.
In the meantime, keep up the good work on Seesaw. Lots of excellent responses coming in.
I’ll chat to all the pupils on Friday at virtual Assembly.
Just a reminder that school is closed on Thursday 18th, Friday 19th and Monday 22nd February. There will be no online learning. Have a happy and safe Half Term and we will return to online learning on Tuesday 23rd.