Dear Parents and Carers
I hope you are well. I am sitting looking at the rain as it bounces off the playground and thinking that this is definitely not the weather we needed when we have staggered start and end times and an emphasis on learning outdoors! Here’s hoping the sun will shine for the rest of the week.
As we start week two of our return to school and continue to get used to our new procedures, thank you again for your support and understanding. School is now working at full capacity with breakfast club and after school club operational and our P1s in school for the full day. I fully appreciate that some of the changes are difficult to manage but please do bear with us as the guidance that schools are receiving continues to change regularly and we are working hard to keep up to date with it all!
A few questions have been raised by parents and carers that I thought it might be helpful to answer below:
Why have the start and end times of the day been changed and gates allocated?
By staggering the start and end to the day we are able to reduce the number of adults and children at any one time and safely bring in, and exit, different year groups. It was felt that the oldest children starting earliest would be easier for parents and carers to manage as many would be able to leave home and travel to school on their own. Allocated gates for each stage allows for a spread of numbers.
Why are only P1 and P2 parents and carers allowed into the playground at the end of the school day?
The fence of the school is acting, in some ways, as a safety barrier for an element of infection control for pupils and staff. As a result of this, we are limiting the number of adults who have access to the playground. As always we have to weigh up the safety of the children with regards to other aspects and it was felt that it was safer for P1 and P2 children to be given over to an adult within the confines of the playground.
Should parents and carers be physically distancing in the playground and beyond?
Absolutely yes and we ask for your support with this. We are still living with a pandemic and physical distancing between adults is still very much expected.
Are children in P1 and P2 getting less teaching time because of the new hours?
No. There is a requirement for P1 and P2 children to receive 22.5hrs of teaching time (for P3 – P7 it is 25hrs). Our new school times still allow for this.
Can my child come early and wait in the playground?
Unfortunately not. We ask that children arrive at the school gate for their start time – please don’t arrive too early. This enables staff to open the gates and ensure that children go directly to their classrooms. Breakfast club is now up and running and several parents and carers have found this helpful particularly if siblings start at different times.
Are children able to access water in school?
Yes, however it is extremely helpful if filled water bottles, clearly labelled, are brought into school each day then taken home and washed. Whilst we are limiting the use of the water fountain any child without water is able to access some.
Is there increased cleaning taking place in school?
Yes. We have a cleaning team in school at the beginning and end of the school day as well as a daily roving cleaner who cleans door handles, surfaces etc. Each classroom has a cleaning station and desks are regularly wiped down. All children wash their hands on entering the building and there are several hand sanitising stations positioned around school.
Why are only cold lunches being offered?
City of Edinburgh council have made the decision to provide an enhanced packed lunch. This will be reviewed over time. Many schools, our own included, would require over 50 children gathering in the dining hall at one time. This goes against government guidance. To deliver hot lunches to 22 classes would not be practicable or safe. The dining hall is currently being used as a staff room – this allows breakfast club and after school club to use our original staff room as it has direct access to the playground.
Government guidance suggests that children should be outdoors as much as possible. How will this work at Trinity?
We are lucky to have excellent outdoor space – the mound, secret garden, cage, fenced area in the park, the back playground, the middle area. We will also make use of Victoria Park and are hoping to venture onto the walkway! All classes will be outdoors on a regular basis so it is important that children come to school with a coat – our weather can be very changeable as today has shown!
Is the playground zoned?
Having carried out a risk assessment we have decided to reduce the number of classes in the playground at any time but still allow the children to play freely across all the spaces. Many children have favourite play spaces that being able to access are good for their own wellbeing.
What do I do if my child shows COVID-19 symptoms at home?
Please do not send your child to school (even if you think it is simply a cold). If they have a cough, temperature or loss of smell or taste they must stay home, along with any siblings, and you must request a test. This can be done through
by calling 0800 028 2816.
Please phone school to let us know why your child is absent, whatever the reason might be.
What will happen if my child shows symptoms in school?
Any child (or adult) displaying COVID-19 symptoms in school will be moved into isolation and parents / carers phoned. For the safety and wellbeing of everyone it is important that the child is collected as soon as is possible. A test should be booked immediately. Experience has already shown us that the results of a test are back very quickly and, if negative, a child can return to school.
Can I contact my child’s teacher direct through email?
When working from home teaching staff welcomed direct email communication from parents and carers. However now that we are back to working in school it is much appreciated if all email communication is sent through firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you
How can parents and carers help?
Fundamentally school is the same as always. Relationships between many have already reconnected and the children seem happy and settled. Our focus for the next few weeks is very much on Health & Wellbeing along with literacy and numeracy. Over the course of time we will be sharing what, and how, your child will be learning this school year but for the time being we are focussing on ensuring that our children feel supported and welcomed back to school life.
Simple things make it easier for everyone so please :
- Help your child to be on time and at the correct gate
- Distance yourself from other adults when waiting in the park, the playground or on Newhaven Road.
- Make sure your child has a coat and is ready to be outside to learn
- Don’t worry at home – get in touch with us immediately to see if we can help
- Bear with us as things change!
As I have said so many times over the past months I do believe our school community is extra special. Let’s keep hold of our values, even when frustration steps in. Perseverance, creativity, respect and kindness go a long way!
I look forward to seeing you (if only at the school gates)
Thank you for your support