Back to school: Edinburgh primary headteacher offers advice to parents as pupils set to return

Teachers are encouraging parents and carers to let pupils know to expect changes when returning to school.

A primary school headteacher has offered advice to parents and carers as children are set to return to school this week for the first time since Scotland went into lockdown more than four months ago.

Headteacher at Oxgangs Primary School in Edinburgh Kevin Brack said it’s important to remind pupils that there will be some noticeable changes to their day-to-day routine and new rules will apply to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children, parents and staff.

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Edinburgh primary school headteacher offers advice to parents and carers as children are set to go back to school this week

In a statement Mr Brack said: “Your school will talk to your child about rules for that individual school but it’s important to remind your child before they come back to school that there will be changes.

"There’s going to be lots of new routines and different rules in the school from how things were previously. All staff in schools are there to support your child and to make your child feel happy and safe within school, so encourage them to listen carefully to the new arrangements, but encourage them to ask questions too.”

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The Edinburgh headteacher also reminded parents and pupils to focus on the positives about returning to school.

"It’s important to focus on the things that are going to be the same such as play time and lunch time,” he added.

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"Focusing on the positives is really important. Starting school is a really exciting and positive moment in a child’s life, so help your child feel positive about starting school."

He signposted parents to Parent Club, an online service offering up-to-date advice from the Scottish Government to help parents and carers.

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National Clinical Director, Jason Leitch; Early Years Psychologist, James McTaggart; Scottish Teacher of the Year 2018, Chris Smith and Dr Janet Goodall are among a range of professionals who have provided reassurance to parents on the health and safety measures being put in place and advice on how they can support their children prepare to return to school following the Covid-19 pandemic.

National Clinical Director, Jason Leitch, said: “The scientific advice shows the progress we’ve made together which means the virus is now at very low levels and it is safe for schools and nurseries to reopen from 11 August. Our guidance clearly sets out the approach that must be taken, including a number of specific risk-mitigation measures that will need to be introduced in all schools in order that they provide a safe environment for staff and pupils.

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“We know it’s been a challenging few months for parents and sending children back to schools and nursery will bring a mix of emotions for both parents and children. It’s important to acknowledge how everyone is feeling. This back to schools advice and guidance will hopefully help to reassure parents and ensure they feel as prepared as possible and able to support their children.”

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