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.

 

Parent Online Learning and School Survey March 21

Dear Parent/Carer,

Many thanks for contributing your views to our online survey in March. Please find below a summary of results and feedback (as shared and discussed at yesterday evening’s PTA/FOBs meeting).

Parent Online Learning and School Survey March 2021

We hope that from the school newsletter (released yesterday) that a number of queries from this survey have already been addressed in relation to parental feedback, parent consultations, report card issue dates and our school recovery planning.

Some further comments have also been taken into consideration to inform future school planning (including proposals to look at future fundraising/development work which can be more school or local community based, online safety training, spending ideas and ways to continue promotion of learning through ICT).

Next Friends of Balmedie/PTA Meeting – Thursday 29th April

Friends of Balmedie School are planning on holding an online meeting on Thursday 29th April at 8pm.

 

To join this meeting all you need to do is follow the blue link below at the scheduled date/time above.

 

Microsoft Teams meeting

Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

 

All staff, parents & carers of school and nursery children are welcome to attend.

 

The usual agenda is as follows:

  1. Welcome – apologies to be noted
  2. Approval of last minutes
  3. School updates by Mr Ford (school parent survey feedback)
  4. Treasurers Report
  5. Fundraising Activities
  6. AOB

 

You can download a copy of the last meeting minutes here;

FOBs Minutes 18.2.21

 

As normal we will circulate the minutes of the meeting afterwards for you to read if you cannot attend the meeting.

We look forward to seeing you there – unfortunately we cannot offer you a nice cuppa & biscuit for this meeting but at least you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home.

As a reminder our email address is: friends-of-balmedie-school@hotmail.com

Support Link Invite from Jenny Radford (Ellon Schools Intervention & Prevention Teacher)

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope your holidays have gone according to your plans and that you have been able to have some relaxing and fun family time without the stresses of home-schooling!

The purpose of my post is to invite all Ellon Cluster Schools staff, parents/carers and families to connect with me and have an increased understanding of my role within our school community.

I have set up a new facebook profile linking the support which can be requested through my role as intervention and prevention teacher for the Ellon Schools Cluster.

Please feel free to send me a friend request to learn more about my service and perhaps share my profile with others in the Balmedie school community.

Thank you,

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100065827568259

 

Jenny Radford

Ellon Schools Intervention & Prevention Teacher

School Menus Portal – Additional Allergen/Nutrition Information

A new online resource has been launched by Aberdeenshire Council’s School Meals Service, which will help with making healthy meal choices displaying allergen and nutritional content of primary school meals.

The portal is linked to a nutritional analysis programme which ensures meals meet statutory nutritional standards, meaning they are nutritious as well as delicious. It is particularly helpful for pupils with special dietary needs including allergies and Type-1 Diabetes.

To use the portal please visit;

http://ourshiremenus.mysaffronportal.com/

Community & Partnership Posts – Update for Parents

New Concessionary Travel Scheme – Disabled Under 5’s with Companion Entitlement

Please find, via the link below, information on a new concessionary travel scheme for under 5’s who have disability entitlement to add a companion to the bus card.

Concessionary Travel Communications Advice – Companions for Disabled Under 5’s

This comes into effect from 1st April 2021. Just to be clear this is ONLY for under 5’s with the disability entitlement for a companion as all other under 5’s will have entitlement to free bus travel anyway.

The disability entitlement to add the +1 to the bus card enables parents/carers of those children to travel free also on the same bus journeys as the child.  Details of the criteria to add the companion to a bus card are provided on the 2nd page.

 

Young people and parent consultation on holiday programmes (Engage Aberdeenshire)

Please see links below to two surveys, from the Community Learning and Development team, for young people and parents to complete to help inform the school holiday programmes. 

The views of young people and parents are critical in ensuring that programmes are created to meet the social and wellbeing needs of children, young people and families during the school holidays.  In recognition of programmes being developed on a cluster basis, it is important that views from young people and parents from all 17 education clusters are sought. 

Young People Survey Holiday Activities – Engage Aberdeenshire

Parent Survey Holiday Activities – Engage Aberdeenshire

Please note the closing date of the survey is Sunday 25th April.

 

Dynamic Earth Holiday Resource Links

We’d like to tell you more about some fun and ‘egg-citing’ Easter holiday activities for all the family to take part in!

Dynamic Earth Photo Scavenger Hunt!

Every day over the spring holidays we are challenging you to take a photo of something different near to where you live. If you are lucky enough to live in Edinburgh then we have some specific challenges but don’t worry if you don’t, you can still take part in your local area.  Each day is inspired by a different letter – see if you can unscramble them all to spell out the name of somewhere in Edinburgh! Check our website & social media for more details and find out how to enter & win some fantastic prizes!

Daily Science Fun!

We will also have two fantastic themed activities for you to try at home every day – get crafty, do some bird-spotting, learn about climate change and get loads of ideas for things to do in the outdoors!  And on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10am join our Learning Team on YouTube for some online video sessions!  Don’t worry if you miss them, they will be recorded and available for you to watch back anytime!

 

Spring Paths for All

I’m Anna, from Paths for All, we are a charity promoting walking for health and wellbeing in Scotland. I’m getting in touch with schools and nurseries with our Spring Path Days resource, to ask if you could share with families in your local area.

Please click here for our competition leaflet – SpringPathsDays_SchoolCompetitionLeaflet

Spring Path Days gives 30 fun ideas to get kids out and active over the whole of April. Our campaign includes Den Building Kit prizes for kids and a £500 prize for a school to spend on outdoor equipment too.

There’s more info, and the competition entry on our website: https://www.pathsforall.org.uk/springpathdays

 

Active Schools Easter Holiday Camp

Please see the information below regarding our Active Schools Holiday Camp;

Balmedie School Parent Survey – School Recovery

Dear Parents and Carers,

We’ve all had to adapt to new ways of working, so we wanted to take the opportunity to thank you all for the great job you have done supporting your child’s wellbeing and learning during both lockdown periods and beyond!

To help us make sure we can continue to review the level of support for all children now they have fully settled in and returned to school (and consider future school improvement planning), it would really help us to know your thoughts on both your own family experiences and our approach to supporting home learning.

This will help our school and school partners to:

– Find out what we’re doing well and where we could improve (with view to further development of the use of learning technologies in school and beyond).

– Make sure we are continuing to respond to meeting your needs and the needs of your children.

Our online survey should take you roughly 10 mins to complete and any feedback that you can offer would be very important to us.

This survey has been designed to allow for a general family response but if you would prefer to provide a more detailed response for every child then you are free to submit more than one survey response.

Please note that all responses will be in confidence and responses will be shared from a whole school point of view e.g. shared as collective results, no individually identified responses – any useful further individual comments offered will also be anonymous when shared as parental feedback by the school.

This survey will close on Friday 9th April and a selection of feedback will be shared at our next PTA/FOBS online meeting to be held on 29.4.21.

As always thank you for your outstanding parental support, it is very much appreciated!

Yours Sincerely,

Dougie Ford

Head Teacher

 

PLEASE ACCESS OUR SURVEY USING THE LINK BELOW

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=BpPZ_i1NCUSVndDttzBKC-A-ntbI0BpIiuP1Lx7r_2tUOTBDWk5RQVEyOUZRSTRUWk5NNjNXMTJFUi4u