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Letter to Parents - May Holiday & Google Classroom

Tuesday 5th May 2020

We launched our online learning through Google Classrooms on Monday 4th of May. Staff have worked extremely hard to learn these new IT skills remotely, and we hope that this will be a new way to encourage the children to participate in learning at home. We hope this opens a new channel of communication between teachers and pupils.

Teachers have learned how to upload videos, presentations, worksheets etc. to engage the children in their learning. We are still working out the most effective and efficient approaches. Thank you for your patience during this initial set-up process. We welcome your feedback in the survey we will be sending you next week.

We understand, however, that not every family has compatible IT devices or access to the internet, so we are providing paper copies of class work for those families who require it. If you haven’t let us know already, please reply to the text about paper copies sent on Thursday 7th May. The school will be opened between 9am-3pm next week (Tues 12/5- Fri 15/5) so you can come to the school if you require any further resources like paper copies/jotters/pencils etc. If Cordia close the kitchen and the school is not open next week, we will inform you of this change via text/Xpressions message.

Friday 8th May is a holiday and Monday 11th May is an in-service day for staff. On both of these days, we direct you back to the school website’s learning resources page to the wide variety of activities you can do with your child in order to maintain a routine and structure of home learning.

Glasgow Libraries Digital Books

Mrs Napier has been in contact with Glasgow City Council Libraries and has provided instructions for borrowing free digital books and audio books through your Glasgow Libraries membership.

Digital books are a great way to access reading materials during lockdown and can be downloaded for FREE from Glasgow’s online library to your phone, tablet or PC using apps (Libby, Overdrive, BorrowBox). You can sign up for a library card online by clicking here.

Oxford Owl

Oxford Owl are offering free access hundreds of eBooks in their library that are organised by both age and reading level to help you find the right books for your child. Click here to register and log in to read Oxford Owl books. Their eBooks are best viewed on a computer, laptop, or tablet rather than on a phone.

Through the Oxford Book company your child can read and progress through Book Banding Books. During the week, Mrs Rutherford will text you a guide to your child’s latest reading age and you will be able to correlate this with the book banding colours in the Oxford Owls. 

In order to become competent readers, children need to be thinking readers. They need to be able to understand and use the core reading strategies: visualising, prediction, clarifying, questioning and summarising. They also need to understand how to answer the three different kinds of questions: literal, inferential and evaluative questions. To help improve their reading skills, children have also been taught to think about strategies they can use before, during and after reading. For more reading help and resources, please visit the literacy and spelling section on the school website for links and downloads. For information on how to practice paired reading with your child at home, click here. In addition, you might want to encourage your child to read by putting the subtitles on when you are watching a film and see what they can read.

Spelling at Home

Every week your class teacher will be providing spelling for your child; children’s spelling, reading and writing competencies are inextricably linked. Your child will learn phonemes (the smallest unit of a word) that have ‘ph’ or ‘th’ etc in the beginning, middle or end of a word.

They will learn spelling rules and common words. Common words can be tricky, as it isn’t always possible to sound all of these out. The first 100 common words account for over half of what we read on a daily basis. Click here for a list of literacy and spelling activities that includes a list of the first 100 common words. Have a look at what you read and how many times these words appear; these are the words that hold the text together. If children know these, and are not trying to sound them out, then the brain is freed up to think about what is being read.

To help your child with spelling and literacy at home, please visit the Spelling Workshop we have put up on our school website. This has valuable spelling PowerPoints and leaflets for parents, as well as the North Lanarkshire common words lists.

30 Days of Creativity

We are delighted to share with you a lovely partnership project between Apple, GlasgowCREATE and Claire’s Digital Leaders of Learning based around the ‘Everyone Can Create Programme’.

Each day (starting 04/05) at one o’clock, one of the DLOLs will be introducing the CREATE Creative Challenge for the day, live on our GlasgowCREATE Youtube Channel. These really innovative and creative ideas which can be done on children’s ipads or if they don’t have them, with resources available in the hubs or at home and they are suitable for children and young people of all ages and their families.

Please note, that the videos for all of the days will remain on Youtube if you want to do these at a different time in the day.

In addition to this, children can access innovative experiences on the website which was developed especially for them:


We have been encouraged to find that when we have called you and your children that despite the enforced lockdown, you have relished the time you ordinarily would not have spent together. Many of you have mentioned that you have had the opportunity to try new activities together like cooking, gardening or baking.  You are doing an amazing job and while you can’t see us, we are working hard behind the scenes to help your child’s learning progress. Most of all, we never want you to feel under pressure; be proud of what you are achieving as a family.


We wish you a very happy holiday weekend!


Kind Regards,

Mrs McKinlay and Bankhead Primary Staff