Newsletter 14: 20th November

St. Cuthbert’s RC Primary School

Newsletter 14 – Friday 20th November 2020

St Cuthbert’s CARES We are: Creative Active Respectful Equal Supported

Good afternoon all,

Thank you for continuing to engage with the school this term. There are more important updates in this week’s newsletter. We are very grateful to you taking the time to read this information. As always let us know if you have any questions about the coming term. We can be contacted on (0131 443 2621) or via our admin mailbox (

Access to Digital Devices/MS Teams

As you know we have been using MS Teams for homework this year. The take up of this, as it was during lockdown, has been very good. We are however, keen to support any family that does not have access to a device with the loan of an iPad. This would involve pupils and parents/carers reading the Council’s ‘Responsible Use’ of ICT policy as well as reading, signing and returning the school’s own Home/School Digital Device contract. Please let us know via the admin mailbox, if you are interested in taking up this offer and we will be in touch.

Support for Learning Teacher Consultations

Please note that these will take place sometime in later December. More information to follow shortly.

School Photos – Cancelled

As advised over the last few weeks, please be reminded that we are no longer able to have school photos taken on Tuesday. This is due to advice from City of Edinburgh Council. We like you regret this and apologise for any inconvenience.

Christmas Lunch/ Christmas Jersey Day at St Cuthbert’s – 10th December 2020

Christmas Lunch will be served on Thursday 10th December. Unfortunately, we cannot change the ParentPay menus but if you wish your child to have a Christmas Lunch please book this as follows:

If you choose a cold option (sandwich/roll), your child will be given a veggie haggis puff pastry parcel and if you choose the hot option, your child will be given a turkey burger. Both will be served with Christmas trimmings. Desert will be fruit plus a Christmas surprise! Please note there will be NO option for a sandwich/roll on this day.

Please be advised that booking deadline for Christmas Dinner is 2nd December.

Information about Christmas Parties and Pantomime will follow next week.

School Recovery and Renewal Plan 2020-21

Schools usually produce an annual School Improvement Plan (SIP) setting out their goals for the year. Due to the current situation this year’s plan has been renamed the School Recovery and Renewal Plan. A driver diagram summarising this plan for St Cuthbert’s is now available on our website under the SQIP tab.

Scottish Government Guidance re Facemasks in Relation to Parents and Carers

Please see quote below from recent advice:

‘’Face coverings should also be worn by parents and other visitors to any school site (whether entering the building or otherwise), including parents at drop-off and pick-up’’

Unless you have a medical reason for not doing so, this guidance should be adhered to at all times. Thanks to all who have supported this request!

Late Arrivals

We very much appreciate the challenges presented by our staggered timings but have noticed a slight upturn in late arrivals within specific class groupings. Late arrivals, whilst occasionally unavoidable can be disruptive if they occur on a regular basis. Thanks for your cooperation.

Book Week Scotland 16th to 20th November 2020

We hope the children enjoyed their week, it was great to see everyone dressed as their favourite characters today – very creative (which as we know is a St Cuthbert’s school value).

EAL Teaching Support: 2 Week Block from 9th to 20th November

Samina Mushtaq, our EAL Support Teacher has now completed her block of support within the school. Her help was much appreciated.

Catholic Education Week – School Information Shared via Parish Newsletter 22nd December.

This is usually marked for one week in the time between St Margaret’s Day (16th November) and St Andrew’s Day (30th November). Pupils and staff from St Cuthbert’s and our local Catholic High School; St Augustine’s usually attend Mass at the end of the chosen week and distribute information about our schools. This year we are unable to do this but we have shared information about our school’s commitment to Catholic Education with St Cuthbert’s Parish that they will include with their Parish newsletter for Sunday 22nd November.

Closing the Gap Teacher: 23rd November to 22nd December 2020

City of Edinburgh Council have allocated our school a ‘Closing the Gap’ teacher, who will be with us on the above dates to provide additional support to all of our classes. Flora McCulloch will work across the school to support learning and learners.

Active Schools Co-ordinator: Next in School w/c 23rd November

Fiona Damen, our active school coordinator will be in school next week working with our classes. This has been a great success so far with our pupils thoroughly enjoying the games and activities.

Celebrating Diwali

Over the course of this week, we have been learning about Diwali: it’s customs and meaning in particular. As per our messages on the school’s digital platforms last week, we hope all families who celebrated this festival had a joyful time, despite the changed circumstances brought about by the pandemic. Hopefully next year, we can mark this festival in an even bigger way in our school.

First Holy Communions Update – November 21st and 28th 2020

Our first celebration of the sacrament took place last week at 10am Mass. It went really well. Thanks to all those who attended and to Mrs Banks and Miss Munro for their support. The next celebration is tomorrow at the same time. The pupils have all worked extremely hard and have been well prepared by parents and the school. It should be a great occasion. Look out for photos on our school Twitter Page once all celebrations have taken place. There will

also be an opportunity for you to take your own photos both in the church and outside after Mass on the day of your child’s celebration.

First Reconciliations Update (Current P4 Pupils Only) – 5-12th December 2020

Parents/Carers of pupils who were in P3 last year and should have celebrated their First Reconciliation in March 2020, will have the opportunity to celebrate the sacrament in December: between the dates of Saturday 5th and Saturday 12th December. Parents/carers can select either a Saturday or weeknight slot by contacting Fr Duffy on 0131 443 1317 or to arrange a time for this sacrament to be celebrated. Well over 50% of parents/carers have now contacted Fr Duffy. Thanks for this, please do so in the coming weeks, if you haven’t had the chance to do so already.

*Please note that any pupil wishing to celebrate their First Holy Communion in 2021 must have also made their First Reconciliation.

St Cuthbert’s Primary School Nursery Update

5 new members of the team have started with us and 3 more expected; Mrs Anna McLeod, Mrs Monika Swanapoel, Mr Georgios Sarris, Mr Claudio Oliveira and Mrs Pauline Culbert. Members have gone through an induction training which included meeting P1 nadP2 children. Once attendance pattern have been confirmed, prospective parents will receive information about start dates.

Reporting Absence (Particularly with Reference to Possible Covid Symptoms)

Thank you for the sensible approach you are taking to gauging when children are not well enough to attend school. In the current circumstances of an ongoing pandemic, we need to remain cautious and follow appropriate guidelines. We very much appreciate that our parents and carers are doing this.

If you are calling us to report absence, please be specific in reporting reasons for absence. In cases where you are reporting any of the following symptoms relating to Covid-19:

· High Temperature

· New and continuous cough

· Loss of, or change in, the senses of taste and smell

please be advised that pupils with any of these symptoms must be tested and evidence of test result e-mailed to our admin account (

If a test is positive, pupils must have isolated for 10 days before returning to school 48 hours after symptoms have ceased. Siblings and families must isolate for 14 days.

If test result is negative, pupils should return to school once they have had 48 hours without any of the above symptoms.

Our Learning This Week in St Cuthbert’s Primary School

Please see this week’s learning below. I hope you enjoy reading it. Please also check out our school Twitter Account @stcuthbertsRCP when learning will be shared on the following days:

Monday P1/P2 Tuesday P7/LCC1/2 Wednesday P4/P6 Thursday P3/P5

P1 – We have learned the ‘special friends’ sound sh and also r this week. We have started on our next set of words to read and spell too. We are learning to order the days of the week and to write the numbers with the correct formation. We have started learning our nativity songs!

P2 – Numeracy – We are learning to use the count on strategy, building and describing visual arrays and find the difference between two numbers. Literacy – We are learning to pick out the main events in a story. HWB – We are learning to communicate with other players during games.

P3 – In P3 our topic is houses and homes. This week we have been learning about different types of houses and rooms within homes. We started to design houses for our made-up families with different kinds of materials. In literacy we have been practising our comprehension skills with a story called “Look up!”. In PE we have been focusing on how to work together in a group and on throwing and catching a tennis ball.

P4 – P4 this week have been learning to use their knowledge of Alliteration to create Tongue Twisters. They had brilliant fun practising already known ones and making up their own. In Maths they have been learning how to add and subtract money by lining up the decimal point. In Art we have been using mixed media to create beautiful Tucan birds. Finally, in R.E. we learnt bout Diwali with Mr Brack.

P5 – In Writing, we have been learning how to write a story using only 50 words. We have been learning about the Hindu festival of Diwali and making colourful Rangoli patterns. We have been celebrating Book Week Scotland through a range of activities including discussing our favourite books in class and making new book covers for them.

P6 – In Literacy, inspired by Scottish Book Week, we have been learning how to share our favourite books, write our own short stories and create our own miniature books. In Numeracy, we have been learning how to use different methods to divide, including the ‘bus stop’ method. In RME, we have been learning about Diwali, the Festival of Lights.

P7 – Evacuation during WW2. We wrote evacuee letters and created our own gas masks.

In spelling, we have been learning to add suffixes to root words. We helped each other learn how to spell the words using, Team Teach. We have been learning to add and subtract, multiply and divide fractions. We have had great success! To celebrate Scottish Book Week, we also took part in an Author’s Live Event!

LCC1 – Literacy has been linked to Book week, we have retold the story of Room on the Broom in our own words and Explored other books by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler. We make the front cover of our favourite class book: Monkey Puzzle. In Numeracy we have been using numincon to recognise number patterns and classifying real life 3D shapes. We have been using Emotions Talk to develop out turn taking and sharing skills.

LCC2 – In LCC2 this week in literacy we have been looking at prefixes and how they change the meaning of a word and writing a profile about the BFG. In Maths we were multiplying 2 digit numbers by 4 and investigating shapes and symmetry. In Science we were looking at gravity and we managed to make paper clips float in the air!

Help for Edinburgh Families Magazine

We normally send out paper copies of the magazine but as we are currently unable to do that, please find link to e-version below:

Head Teacher Availability

As above, please continue to feel very welcome at any time to contact me by phone or to e-mail our admin mailbox for my attention and I will respond as quickly as I can.

Mass Times at our local Parish – St. Cuthbert’s, Slateford

Fr Duffy passes on his best wishes to all of our families on their return to school. Attendance at Mass can now be secured by booking online. Please see details on the parish website.

Saturday 6pm – Vigil Mass

Sunday 10am – Parish Mass

Sunday 5pm – Additional Mass


Thanks again for your support in these challenging times. I hope that you and your families enjoy the weekend.

Kind regards.

Mr P Brack, Head Teacher

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