Happy Holidays!!!

Wishing our entire ‘Balmedie Family’ a wonderful summer holiday!

Good luck to all leavers and we look forward to everyone else returning on Tuesday 17th August.

 

Please find below an end of term message from Paul McKeown.

Whole school assembly – https://youtu.be/RtZJjObIz2U

Endings can be quite emotional times, but it helps to remember that every ending is also a new beginning with all the potential that holds.

 

BALMEDIE HOUSE SPORTS TROPHY WINNERS 20-21

Eigie – 3865 points (WINNERS)

Millden – 3770 points

Pettens – 3764 points

Keir – 3589 points

 

OVERHALL HOUSE WINNERS 20-21

Millden – 7858 (WINNERS)

Pettens – 7528

Keir – 7230

Eigie – 7200

Well done to all our house captains and vice-captains for your support and leadership over the school year!

A final thank you to the FOBs and to Miss Whippy for providing this year’s house reward for our ‘Millden House’ children (a very enjoyable treat this morning!) 🙂

 

P7 Parent/Carer Alert…

Dear P7 Parents/Carers,

Please check for a group call/Xpressions message to all P7 families at the end of the day to receive your password and web link for our Leavers Blog Page!

This will launch at 9am tomorrow morning…

Enjoy 🙂

Summer Reading Fun Celebrating 20 years of Summer Reading (2001-2021)

To celebrate 20 years of Summer Reading we are delighted to bring to you an even fuller and fantastic programme this year for all ages and interests.

Over the last 20 years 105,000 customers have participated in our reading challenges and read thousands of words and books. This year our programme is full of reading fun.

We are also working with our colleagues and partners to bring you a wide range of activities linked to being healthy, keeping active and getting outdoors.

Whatever your age you are sure to find something for you. You can take part in the challenge as an individual or with your family/friend group.

The Challenge will start on Monday 21st June and will run until Saturday 21st August 2021.

How do I take part?

• Participant(s) taking part will download a collector’s card from the Live Life Aberdeenshire website – https://www.livelifeaberdeenshire.org.uk/live-life-at-home/

• You register to take part by filling in our online form and downloading a collector’s card via the website, and you can also speak to staff at your local library to register and pick up a card there.

• The collector’s card will have 8 circles to keep track of the books you have read and activities you have completed.

• Your completed card can be uploaded to an email outlined on the website, dropped off at your local library or sent to Libraries HQ, address below.

• It will then be entered into a draw to win one of many prizes which includes a Google Android Tablet, an Aberdeen FC Football Shirt, Book Bundles and Tokens, Macduff Aquarium Family Ticket, and many more exciting prizes.

Further information is also available from;

Jane Brebner,

Young People Services Librarian

Live Life Aberdeenshire

Aberdeenshire Libraries HQ

Meldrum Meg Way

The Meadows Industrial Estate

Oldmeldrum

AB51 0GN

jane.brebner@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

Digital Mental Health Services for Aberdeenshire residents

Please see below for a letter to all parents from Laurence Findlay, Director of Education & Children’s Services (also released from school today).

Parents.Carers.Covid19.Letter 210616

 

Kooth Online Emotional Wellbeing & Mental Health Service for 10 – 18 years

Kooth is working with Aberdeenshire Council to launch our Kooth online emotional wellbeing & mental health service for young people in the area from 21st June 2021.

Kooth is a free online counselling and emotional well-being support service providing young people aged 10-18 years in many areas across the UK with a safe and secure means of accessing support with their emotional health and wellbeing needs from a professional team of qualified counsellors, as well as providing access to many self-help tools and content.

Kooth is a well-established, award winning online counselling service and is accredited by The British Association of Psychotherapy and Counselling (BACP). Young people can access this service anonymously by signing onto the Kooth site. Kooth provides unique out of office hours’ provision and is open 7 days per week, 365 days a year with 1:1 support being available from noon until 10pm weekdays and from 6pm until 10pm on Saturday and Sundays. Kooth provides added value with moderated, scheduled forums and self-help articles (many written by service users) to provide peer led and self-help support 24/7.

To find out more about Kooth you can watch a video Kooth Video

Please do not hesitate to contact Kooth in Aberdeenshire with any queries via ksmith@kooth.com or aberdeenshire@kooth.com

 

 

 

 

Updated School Risk Assessment (COVID19)

Please find attached an updated version of our ongoing school risk assessment and record of review/adjustments.

Balmedie School COVID19 RA updated May 21

As we all move towards Level 1 restriction there maybe some minor changes regarding some subject delivery in schools (e.g. P.E.), however, most risk/precautionary measures will continue to remain in place for the remainder of our school year.

Please also refer to a helpful flyer attachment below (from parent club) which continues to promote ‘important steps to keep our communities safe’.

21-22 – Parent Club – Important Steps PDF – May 17th Restrictions – 17 May 2021

EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

The deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021 and we need to ensure that all children and families who should be applying for the scheme, do so before it’s too late.

The scheme applies to people from the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein who arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020, and do not have British Citizenship.

There are two different levels of applications dependent on the time that the individual has lived in the UK;

  • Pre-settled Status – for those individuals who have resided in the UK for under 5 years.
  • Settled Status – for anyone who has lived in the UK for 5 years or more.

Failure to apply for the scheme, can result in individuals not being able to access services such as housing, health and benefits, or even the potential of deportation back to their country of origin.

Local authorities have specific duties to ensure that applications are made on behalf of children for whom they hold Parental Rights and Responsibilities, and that they provide practical support to ensure that applications are made for Looked After Children and Care Leavers.

In addition to the above, local authorities are required to raise awareness of the EUSS with other vulnerable groups eligible for the scheme, and to ensure that they are signposted to appropriate sources of advice and support to help them make their applications.

In view of this, we are urging parents and carers to actively consider if they, or the children in their care, meet the criteria for the EUSS with a view to ensuring they know about the scheme and how to apply for themselves and the children. Of particular note are the following factors;

  • Each family member needs to have an application lodged in their own right. If a parent has been granted settled or pre-settled status, this does not transfer to their children.
  • If the child of EU nationals was born in the UK, this does not guarantee that they have British Citizenship.

There are a number of government funded agencies who provide advice and support on the EUSS, and below you will find contact details for two of them.  Should you become aware of a family who have not yet lodged their application please signpost them to one of these services and urge them to get their application lodged without delay.

Citizen’s Rights Project

Tel: 07803 102173 (English and Polish) or 07518 926137 (English or Spanish).

Email: info@citizensrightsproject.org

Text message or WhatsApp: 07803 102173 or 07518 926137 (in English or other European Language)

Citizen’s  Advice Scotland

Tel: 0800 916 9847.

Ellon Family Learning – Strengthening Families Course Offer

STRENGTHENING FAMILIES COURSE

Tuesdays starting 25th May 7:30pm- 8:45pm (This is a 4 week course).

This course is designed to offer useful tools and techniques to better communicate as a family and cope with the challenges of living with a teenager.

To register please use below link;

https://tinyurl.com/y5z3fzdw

Learning quote from a parent who has already taken part;

‘Everyone is facing the same challenges, useful tips on wording to use, knowing that help is available from various sources…if required’

If you have any questions please contact Debbie on; d.mackay@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

Consultations for Mental Wellbeing Digital Support and Connect Training

Mental Wellbeing Digital Support – Parent Consultation (please share and promote to all parents)

The Aberdeenshire Getting it Right for every child Mental Health & Wellbeing group are inviting any parent to attend an online session to hear about some digital services which Aberdeenshire Council plan to trial for a year, to support young people from 10 to 26 year age range.

The sessions will be an opportunity to ask any questions about the services offered by two providers Kooth whose service provides for 10 – 18 years and Togetherall for 16-26 age group. Each session will be an opportunity to hear from these providers who offer online mental wellbeing support for young people and parents will have a chance to share their thoughts and views.

 

Session dates and times

12th May at 4pm    OR    13th May at 6pm – Kooth for 10 -18 years

13th May at 4.30pm – Togetherall for 16-26 years

 

Anyone interested in taking part can contact Carolyn Lamb at carolyn.lamb@aberdeenshire.gov.uk  for a link to the relevant meeting

 

Information of upcoming CONNECT sessions

CONNECTs latest training offers are below. I would encourage any new Parent Council/FOBs members/ new office bearers to have a look at these

Tuesday 11 May at 8pm

Money Matters for Parent Groups and Treasurers

Places free, booking essential at

http://bit.ly/ConnectMoneyMatters11May

Look after the funds you raise. Find out how to look after your parent group funds, report to meetings/AGM and comply with Connect membership-linked insurance.  The session is not just for new and more experienced Treasurers, other PC members share responsibility for PC/PTA funds and are welcome to attend.
Tuesday 18 May at 8pm

Welcoming New Parents

Places free, booking essential at

http://bit.ly/ConnectNewParents18May

 

Think about how a Parent Council can welcome new families to the school community. Top tips for making sure families have the information they need when their child starts a new school, so they feel supported and know where to get help if they need it.
Tuesday 1 June at 8pm

Communications and Social Media

Places free, booking essential at

http://bit.ly/ConnectComms1June

The session will cover:

  • Tips for making your ​parent group’s social media and communication channels as good as they can be
  • Working with your school to make sure all parents have access to information and support
  • Gathering parents’ views and getting parents’ voices heard.
Tuesday 8 June at 8pm

Parent Councils, What’s our Role Now

Places free, booking essential at

http://bit.ly/ConnectPCRoleNow8Jun

For Connect Members – How can PCs work positively and stay relevant in the current situation?  We will offer practical advice on how a Parent Council may help support parents/carers and the school community.  If you have PC members and office bearers standing down, we will also cover handing over to the next Committee.

Latest School Community Updates

Please refer to the link below for the latest Fortmartine Community Planning e-bulletin;

https://mailchi.mp/b295546aaf11/formartine-community-planning-bulletin-29th-april-2021?e=8f59c1fc2f

 

Aberdeenshire Wellbeing Festival – this year’s theme: nature and the environment.

Promoting everyday community opportunities which contribute to our wellbeing.

Some great free activities open to all across Aberdeenshire – something for everyone!

https://www.nhsgrampian.org/aberdeenshirewellbeingfestival

 

Power Tools by CLD

Reflective Learning for Personal Growth

Online workshop topics – supporting the understanding of how learning, personal growth and mental health and wellbeing are connected.

Learners can register here: https://tinyurl.com/PowerToolsOnline

 

Bea and Brodie’s Mindful Journey

As part of our Wellbeing Festival Events, in partnership with Aberdeenshire HSCP, we are delighted to host an evening with Susan Cohen, author of Bea and Brodie’s Mindful Journey.  Susan will be talking about how educators/parents/carers can use her beautifully illustrated book to support children cope with challenging situations by learning  mindfulness strategies and techniques they can utilise during any stressful or challenging situation.

This is event is on Wednesday 12th May 7 – 8 pm.  Booking is essential for this virtual event.  To book go to https://tinyurl.com/dj36exne

 

Update from  School Catering Services

Following the implementation of the Nutritional Requirements for Food and Drink in Schools (Scotland) Regulations 2020 on 8 April 2021, please find attached a brief note to share with parents.

New School Foods Regulations – Primary Schools

We are now into the third week of our Spring & Summer 2021 menu cycle and further changes that enhance our menus are forthcoming.

The new primary menus commenced when pupils returned on the 19th of April and comply to the new Nutritional Requirements for Food and Drink in Schools (Scotland) Regulations 2020 introduced by the Scottish Government starting in April 2021.

The new regulations have increased access to fruit and vegetables, ensuring that our children and young people can access more fruit and vegetables and reduce the amount of sugar that can be accessed in schools.

The changes to the regulations are based on the most scientific evidence on diet and health and are designed to support the health of children and young people in the school setting. The food and drink that is provided across the school day is designed to support progress towards the Scottish Dietary goals. This will help to ensure that children and young people have access to nutritionally balanced school lunches

To comply with the guidance, we have made significant changes to reduce the sugar content in the menu and increase access to fruit. There have been a number of puddings removed due to their higher sugar content and resulting from strict guidelines which we now adhere to. At this time, it does include the removal of Custard and Ice Cream however, the new menu does consist of some sweet treats such as muffins, gingerbread, brownies and cookies with fruit options.

We would hope to continue to work with recipes and our suppliers to expand on the alternatives that could be offered in the future. 

We have had some very positive feedback from parents on the new menu, and we will continue to engage with pupils for feedback on the menu over the first few months of implementation.