Weekly Update : 12 March


Dear Parents/Carers,

You made it!  The end of lockdown learning for all appears to be in sight and we so much look forward to having all of our pupils back in the building on Monday.  There are several items to make you aware of in this week’s update and I expect that as we all settle back into full routine, there may well be further updates over the coming days.

Return of Home Learning Resources

A reminder to  P4-7 pupils that all learning resources that were sent home, including Chromebooks, textbooks, jotters, workbooks etc. are required to be returned on Monday as they will be needed in class.

Risk Assessment

Our risk assessments remain, as they were, prior to the Christmas holidays.  Hand hygiene, minimisation of items coming into school and social distancing between pupils and adults remain the key mitigations of protection.  There will be no sharing of equipment other than in early years classes and pupils are encouraged to minimise physical contact amongst themselves wherever possible.  No pupil or member of staff should attend school if they are feeling unwell and where coughs, temperatures or loss of taste/smell, occur, self isolation and testing guidance is to be followed.

Parents are asked not to congregate at the school gates and masks are to be worn when dropping off and collecting pupils. 

At this time, indoor PE is not permitted and as such, pupils are reminded to come dressed to take part in outdoor lessons, regardless of the weather. On PE days, pupils are to come dressed for PE with school jumpers also worn.

We continue to require to have classroom windows open to increase the ventilation in the school building and pupils are permitted to wear additional layers if they wish to do so.  Please note that additional layers are as well as, not in place of, school jumpers.

There are a few changes to the entrances and exits currently in use at the school.  P1-3 classes now enter via the main playground door, P5 and P6 will enter at the first stairwell and P4 and P7 will enter from the second stairwell.  Staff will be on hand on Monday to ensure that everyone gets to the correct line.

Playground equipment, including the climbing set, are currently out of bounds.  Our nature walk and MUGA operate on a timetabled basis to ensure that only one class bubble is in these more confined spaces at any one time.

School meals are served in the canteen from Monday through Thursday and in classrooms on Fridays.  Tables and serving stations are laid out to provide sufficient spacing between class bubbles.  The current school menu will continue until the Easter break and this can be found at https://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/22864/primary_2-choice_grab_n_go_menu

Recovery of Teaching and Learning

As has been the case for our P1-3 classes who returned last month, the initial focus upon returning will be reconnecting with pupils and ascertaining where each one is at in their learning.  It is expected that this will take time and in light of this,  homework for P4-7 pupils will not be assigned before the Easter break.

The Highland Council have employed additional staff to help with the recovery of learning. Mrs Karen MacRae will be working at PPS each Tuesday in this capacity.  During her day at the school, she will have times slots to support each class and teachers will be in touch with parents of pupils who will be involved in this.

Health and wellbeing of all continues to be our main priority at this time and in each class, daily emotional check ins, whether formal or informal, take place for all pupils.

Parents Night

Virtual parent appointments for P1-3 pupils take place on 23rd and 24th March.  Parents have been sent instructions around how to book these and how to join.  We are using the new Highland Council approved Parent Booking system which also offers a facility for two parents to join the meeting from separate locations.  If you require this facility, please be in touch with the school office who can help with this.  We hope to hold similar virtual parents appointments for P4-7 pupils on 4th and 5th May and further details about this will follow.

Red Nose Day

Next Friday, 19th March, we will support Comic Relief Day.  Pupils are invited to wear red and or/crazy hair, donations of any size are accepted.  Pupils are also asked to come to school prepared with their best joke which can hopefully be shared in classes! We look forward to a bit of fun in the fundraising.

It goes without saying, but must be said again – this has been a difficult time for everyone and we fully appreciate the trying circumstances that you have all faced while trying to deliver remote learning to your own children.  We are very grateful for the input that you have had, for your communication, your encouragement of pupils, your perseverance with technology and for your ongoing support of the school during this time.  Please know how very much it has been appreciated!

We can’t wait to see you all on Monday!



Weekly Update : 5 March


Dear Parents/Carers,

As I’m sure it will have been for you, the announcement on Tuesday confirming the full return of primary school pupils from 15th March was very welcome, indeed!  As with the return of P1-3, we do not expect any major changes to be required from procedures that were in place prior to Christmas, however, we await further guidance from the Highland Council and will share this as it becomes available.  A reminder to all pupils that when they return on the 15th, all home learning resources, including Chromebooks will need to be brought back to school.  There will be no changes to canteen or transport arrangement and until the Easter holidays, we will continue to offer the menu which is currently in place and can be found at https://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/22864/primary_2-choice_grab_n_go_menu  Friday lunches will continue to be a grab and go option served in classrooms.

We are still in a situation where indoor PE is not allowed and remind pupils to come prepared to be outside in all weather.  Pupils in P1-3 should all have a change of clothes available at school in case this is required.

As we prepare for the full return of pupils, there will be several updates over the next couple of weeks.  Please take time to read these over and to be in touch with any questions or concerns that you may have.


As intimated previously, P1-3 class teachers have been  going through the process of determining where all pupils are at in their learning.  We hope to be in a position to start issuing homework again from next week at the earliest and class teachers will be in touch directly around the arrangements for this.


In line with current guidance and with our risk assessments, classroom windows are require to be open to increase ventilation, regardless of the weather.  While this week has not presented a problem, pupils are reminded to wear additional layers in they are finding classrooms cold.  The additional layers should be in addition to school uniform and not in place of it.

School Uniform

With the exception of PE days, all pupils should be in proper school uniform each day.  On PE days, while PE clothing should be worn as a base layer, pupils are still expected to wear their school jumpers. 

School uniform can be ordered directly from our supplier, Andrew Hyde at https://ahyde.co.uk/collections/portree-primary  Please note that there is a new option to order a school hoodie and if anyone wishes to see these, a sample can be seen by arrangement with the school office.  We are aware that the tartan skirts and kilts have been out of stock, however, if you were looking to purchase these, please contact the school office and we can point you in the direction of some other suppliers of these.

School uniform items can also be purchased at MacGregors in Portree.

Red Nose Day

The school will recognise Red Nose Day by holding a day for Comic Relief on Friday 19th March.  Pupils will be encouraged to dress in red, to sport a crazy hair style and come to school prepared to tell a joke.  Further details will follow.

Parents Night

Parents night appointments for P1-3 pupils will take place, virtually, on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th March.  The Highland Council have adopted a new system for this using a programme called Parent Bookings which requires parents to sign up online for a preferred timeslot.  Further information about how to do this will be sent out next week and the booking window will be open from 12th March -19th March for parents to sign up.  This system is said to be very reliable and intuitive, however, it is our first experience using it and we look forward to seeing how it works.  An opportunity for P4-7 parents nights will take place after the Easter holidays.

We wish you all a lovely weekend and to our P4-7 pupils and their families……only one more week of online learning……we can do this!



Weekly Update : 26 February


Dear Parents/Carers,

It is amazing to think that here we are at the end of February already!  There are just a few items for this week’s update.

It has been such a pleasure to have our P1-3 pupils back in the building, full of enthusiasm, this week. It was much too quiet without you!  We look forward to the First Minister’s announcement on Tuesday which will confirm details of the return to in school provision for P4-7. In the meantime we continue to be impressed with the quality of your online efforts.  You continue to amaze us with your determination and engagement and we look forward to being able to see this in person as soon as it is safe to do so.  We hope that you are managing to balance your screen and off screen activities and there are new activities for art and PE attached to help with this.

World Book Day

Thursday 4th of March is World Book Day, an annual event that we celebrate each year in school.  This year we are hoping that pupils in school and learning online will join us in marking the celebration of books!  We are a running a photo competition for all classes for the most unusual place for enjoying reading.  Please send your teacher photos of you enjoying a book in unusual places. We look forward to seeing these and will announce the winners at the end of next week.  We will also be holding a big bedtime read on Thursday at 3pm when all pupils are asked to join us for a half hour of reading.  Pupils attending school are invited to wear the pyjamas to school on Thursday if they wish.  Pupils are permitted to take in a soft toy/rug etc. that they might like to have with the for the reading session.  In line with current restrictions these items will be kept in school bags until story time and will only be used individually for this specific event.  Pupils learning at home are also invited to join us from the comfort of their own homes (and in their jammies) for a dedicated half hour to simply enjoy reading.

Personal Items in School

Parents are reminded that only essential items are to be taken into school. Toys and personal belongings should not be taken at this time.  If there particular circumstances that make this necessary, please contact class teachers to discuss this further.


Mr David MacLean has taken up his post as ASN Teacher this week and Mrs Lynn Strachan will complete her handover this coming Monday.  We welcome David back to PPS and wish to thank Lynn for her significant input at PPS over the past year. Mrs Strachan intended to be with us for a few weeks and was still here over a year later, filling in on a supply basis.  During the unprecedented times over the past year, she has been invaluable to pupils and we look forward to working with her in future in whatever capacity that may be.

Parents Night

We anticipate that we will be able to host virtual Parents Night appointments  for P1-3 pupils on 23rd and 25th March and will share more details as they become available.  We will offer the same opportunity for P4-7 parents after the Easter holidays, depending on dates of pupils returning to school.

As always please be in touch with any questions or concerns that may arise. 

Continue to be kind and do your best and remember our school values in everything you do; kindness, friendship, respect, enjoyment and determination!






Weekly Update : 19th February


Dear Parents/Carers,

We hope that you all enjoyed the long weekend and chance to get away from screens for schoolwork over the last week, despite the less than lovely weather!  As you will be aware through the media and letters issued by the Council this week,  P1-3 pupils will return to school on Monday.  It has also been confirmed that online learning will continue for P4-7 pupils until at least the 15th of March.  The next update is expected the first week of March.  There is quite a bit of information to digest both in regard to the return to in school provision and to the continuation of online learning.

Return to school for P1-3

As with our return in August, the Health and Wellbeing of pupils will be our first priority.  Over the next couple of weeks, staff will re-establish school routines and determine where pupils are in their learning.  It is anticipated that there will be no homework issued before the 8th of March, while this takes place.

  • School hours and timetables will remain as they were before Christmas.
  • School Meals will continue to be provided and menus were sent out last week. 
  • All resources that pupils had at home for Home Learning will be required back in school on Monday.
  • Parents are reminded that if they wish for pupils to have home lunches on a Friday, they must inform the school of this.
  • School Transport will continue as usual and we have been in touch with the transport team and with providers to inform them of which entitled bus pupils are returning to in school provision.  All pupils are required to wear face coverings when using school transport.
  • PE days are unchanged and pupils are reminded to come to school dressed for PE on those days.  Indoor PE is not permitted at this time which will require pupils to have appropriate clothing to take part in PE outdoors.
  • We will be required to be outdoors as much as possible so pupils are reminded of the importance to have warm, waterproof clothing at all times,
  • All P1-3 pupils should have a change of clothing at school.  This is not required to be school uniform.
  • We continue to require to increase classroom ventilation by having windows open, regardless of the weather.  Pupils are reminded that they are encouraged to wear additional layers with their school uniforms.
  • P1-3 pupils will be using the central playground door, rather than classroom entrances to enter and exit the school.  Staff will go over this with pupils on Monday.
  • From next week we are required to try to separate pupils in P1-3 from P4-7 pupils attending “hub” provision.  For this reason, each group will be restricted in the area of the playground that they will be using.  Staff will go over this with pupils on Monday.
  • In order to limit the number of adults in school, we will be running on reduced clerical hours and there may not always be someone available to answer the phone or the doors.  Please ensure that any messages for the school are sent with plenty of time to assist with this.  Email remains the most effective form of communication with class teachers.
  • Parents and visitors are still not permitted in the school at this time.
  • Risk assessments created for the return to school in August and updated throughout the term remain in place with no further mitigations for pupils.  A copy of this is attached above. Parents are advised that they are not to gather at the school gate in line with Scottish Government Advice.  Due to school transport and the large number of sibling families, we are unable to stagger start and finish times and therefore ask for your cooperation with the following advice from Highland Council;

Parents should also be reminded of the need to comply with the restrictions when dropping off or collecting their children from school or ELC settings, and to ensure they maintain strict two metre distancing from other adults, and wear a face covering at these times (unless exempt from doing so).

No other restrictions are being eased in order to provide the headroom to support an initial return of some learners and therefore ensuring the right behaviours. For example, parents should avoid contacts with other parents, children and young people at the school gates, on the way to school and after school in order to try and reduce community spread/outbreaks. Schools can assist with this by, for example, having staggered start/finish times

Continuation of Remote Learning

  • Remote learning will continue to take place for pupils in P4-7.  While this will continue as it has been, there may be some changes required to Google Meets which teachers will be in touch about.  
  • In place of our whole school topics, we will be moving to individual class topics which will be explained and introduced by class teachers rather than emailed in grids as they have been.
  • The PE activities issued earlier this month will continue until the end of February when a new grid will be issued.
  • Art activities will continue to be issued by email on a weekly basis, the activity for next week is attached above.


David Maclean officially joined our staff this week as ASN Teacher and will begin working with pupils online and in person from Monday.  Mrs Strachan will work with Mr MacLean for a handover period over this week and next.


Provision continues to be in place for Keyworker and Vulnerable pupils in P4-7.  It is expected that these pupils will attend as per previous days and times and are asked to inform the school as soon as possible with any changes.  Extra mitigations will be in place to keep these pupils separate from the P1-3 pupils and arrangements around this will be shared with parents of these pupils.

As the next couple of weeks pan out, there will, no doubt be much more information to follow.  I appreciate that changes to next week will bring both enthusiasm and concern.  I wish to reassure you that health and safety of pupils remains our priority during this time.  We very much look forward to having more pupils back in school next week and hope that it won’t be too long before we have you all back, as the situation allows.

Please be in touch with any questions or concerns you may have.





Weekly Update : 5th February


Dear Parents/Carers,

As expected last week, we can finally start to think about some of our pupils returning to school.  As you will be aware, the First Minister announced on Tuesday that, if numbers continue to move in the right direction, P1-3 pupils will be returning to school from 22nd February.  We realise that this raises many questions and we will share further details with you as they become available.  At the moment, we only now what was shared on Tuesday.  There are many meetings taking place over the coming days which we hope will provide some clarity.

February long weekend

A reminder that 15th and 16th February are holidays and the 17th February is an inset day.  The school will be closed on each of these days and there will be no in school provision for Keyworker pupils on these dates. We plan to make that entire week a screen free week with a Health and Wellbeing focus.  Grids will be issued for families to pick and choose activities from over the Thursday and Friday, however, there will no Google Meets and no submission of assignments.  Pupils will still be required to register on the Thursday and Friday and staff will be available online on both of these days for any questions or queries you may have.

Survey Results

Many thanks to parents and pupils who completed our online learning surveys last week.  A summary of those results is attached above.  Staff met earlier this week to review results and create an action plan which is highlighted on the survey results.  The above results have been anonymised to just show percentages.  Questions that required individual responses have also been considered but not shared as it was impossible to anonymise these. Several parents have been contacted individually to address any issues flagged in the surveys.  We really do appreciate this feedback and have considered it carefully as we plan for the next few weeks ahead.

Juggling remote learning, home working and busy lives in general is a challenge which we appreciate!  Please remember that we are here to help and if you or pupils require anything, please get in touch.  While there is a legal obligation to register pupils each day and pupils are encouraged to attend Google Meets, assignments deadlines can be flexible, as long as teaching staff are aware of this.

The increase in Google Meets can be hard to fit in, however, feedback suggests that the frequency, length and content of these is mostly suitable.  Teaching staff will be indicating which of these meets are essential and which are optional so that you can plan around that.

Both parent and pupil surveys had several requests for further art and PE activities and these are attached above.

During the next block of home learning for P4-7, we hope to introduce class topics rather than whole school focus week as there appears to be an appetite for this, particularly from pupils.

Parent Council Meeting

The Parent Council will meet on Wednesday at 6.30pm, via Microsoft Teams.  All parents are welcome to attend and the code for joining is below. When joining please enter your name as this makes it easier to take and address questions that arise.  We hope to see as many as possible in attendance.

Click here to join the meeting

Additional Tasks

A huge well done to all who have participated in Burns, RSPB and National Storytelling Week activities.  It is such a pleasure to see your photos and submissions each week, showing such an incredible effort!  Tuesday 9th February is Safer Internet Day and this is our additional focus for next week.  Please see attached grid of optional activities to help reinforce the Safer Internet messages which are more important than ever at this time.

We would hope that through the course of this next week we will be able to provide some clarity to the next phase of returning to school and some more detail around the logistics and practicalities of this but please do get in touch if you have specific queries or questions that you wish for us to raise at a Council level.  Until then, keep up the good work!

Thank you for your ongoing support, it is very much appreciated.









RSPB Birdwatch


Last week our pupils engaged in activities related to the RSPB birdwatch. It was fantastic to see so many of you our exploring the wildlife during a gorgeous week on our lovely Island. Several competition categories were open for entry and once again trying to decide on winners was a challenge. The eventual winners were named in the following categories;

Photography Competition : Lucia

P1-3 Writing and Drawing : Tyler, Olivia and Arthur

P4-7 Writing : Brooke

P1-3 Bird Feeder : Callen, Logan and Cahal

P1-3 Bird Facts : Frankie

P4-7 Bird Feeder : Brooke

Weekly Update : 29 January


We have almost made it through January!  A huge well done to everyone for keeping going through such a difficult month of lockdown.  As you will be aware, a review is meant to take place on Tuesday, 2nd February in regards to the reopening of schools and we hope to have more information on this by the time of next week’s update.

Parent/Pupil Feedback

Given that we are now 3 weeks into remote learning with at least another 2 ahead of us, surveys have been issued today for parents and P4-7 pupils to gather your views on the current arrangements in place.  We would really appreciate your feedback on this and will collate responses next Tuesday.  These will inform our next steps as and when we have an announcement of how long the situation will continue.

Submission of work

A reminder regarding submission of work.  Currently there is an expectation that pupils in P4-7 are submitting two pieces of work each week for detailed feedback.  These pieces of work are clearly identified by class teachers and must be chased up when not submitted.  All other work completed should be kept in jotters for review when we return to school. Please encourage pupils to share all of their tasks with you as a matter of encouragement and also to flag up any concerns.  Any concerns should be shared with class teachers as they arise. Pupils in P1-3 are asked to send in a photo each week to show what they have been up to in their remote learning.

Contacting Staff

Many of our classes are job share situations and parents are reminded to contact the teacher assigned to the class on the day of their enquiry;

Primary 1             Mrs Templeman (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday), Miss Deplano (Tuesday)

Primary 2             Ms MacLennan (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) Mrs Martin (Thursday and Friday)

Primary 6             Mrs Dibble (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) Mrs Murray (Wednesday)

If you could direct your emails to the teacher responsible for the class that particular day, that will ensure the most effective response.

Weekly Focus Topics

Over the past couple of weeks, we have introduced a weekly focus which has been in the form of a variety of activities that pupils of all ages can take part in.  These are completely optional but the engagement with these has been fantastic both for Burns week and the RSPB week.  Next week is National Storytelling Week and a grid of optional activities to get involved with this is attached above.

Read and Write

As shared last week, the Highland Council have procured a license for Read and Write, an add on program that assists with literacy for pupils.  Parents and staff who have used this with pupils have commented on how effective it is.  The phrase “game changer” has been used.  This is available for all pupils regardless of which devices you are using.  A well-attended online training session was held last night and a recording of this can be viewed on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kZcqyhlLpg&feature=youtu.be


There are a few changes in staffing to make you aware of; Mrs Anne Galloway, PSA at PPS for a number of years has recently moved to Inverness and taken up a PSA post there.  Anne was a huge asset to pupils and staff during her time here and we wish her all the best in her new post.  Miss Loughlin, currently on maternity leave, has accepted a post at Sleat Primary School (much closer to home for her!) and will take this up when her maternity leave comes to an end.  Most recently, Miss Loughlin was teaching Primary 5 and I know that pupils who were fortunate enough to be taught by her will miss her greatly, as will staff.  We wish her well as she returns to work in her new school.  These posts will be advertised in time and we look forward to providing you with an update on these.  

The ASN post for North Skye, which includes 3 days per week at Portree Primary was recently recruited for and David MacLean was the successful applicant.  We await further information about his start date, however, Mrs Strachan will continue to cover on a supply basis in the ASN capacity until Mr MacLean takes up his post.  Mrs Strachan has been invaluable to PPS over the last few months and will also be greatly missed.

Parent Council

The Parent Council will meet, virtually, on Wednesday 10th February at 7pm.  All parents are welcome to attend and instructions for joining will be issued closer to the time.

We look forward to updates next week around the return to schools/extension of remote learning and will hopefully have further information in time for next week’s update.

As always, keep up the good work, remember that the health and wellbeing of everyone is the priority at the moment.  Please get in touch with any questions or concerns or if there are any ways that we can support you further.




Burns Competition


Happy Burns Day to you all!! Our pupils were involved in Burn Day competitions last week and the winners of each category are announced below. Trying to choose winners from all of the amazing entries was, indeed, a challenge. A huge well done to you all on such a fantastic effort!!

P 1 – 3 Art :                                         Zayne and Ellie

P 1 – 3 Burns/Scots writing :          Roidh’s Haggis Story

P 1 – 3 Food :                                     Joni and Rudy

P 1 – 3 Recitation and Songs :        Caterina

P 4 – 7 Art :                                         Lucas

P 4 – 7 Food :                                     Elana and Ailsa

P 4 – 7 Music/Recitation/Songs :    Freya

P 4 – 7 Burn Facts Writing :            Rosa

Weekly Update : 22 January


I hope that this finds you all well and surviving this period of remote learning!  You will be aware from the FM announcement on Tuesday that schools will not open before mid February and this will be reviewed on the 2nd February.  We do understand how challenging this is and ask that you please get in touch if we can offer further support.

There are a few things to make you aware of as part of this week’s update;


I cannot emphasise enough the importance of daily registration.  As oppose to the last lockdown where we kept attendance records within school, during this lockdown phase, attendance continues to require to be input into the data systems and is recorded on a daily basis.  Absence from online learning must follow the same protocols as absences from in person learning and will all contribute to a percentage rate at the end of the year.  Where attendance falls below 80%, we are duty bound to involve other agencies. Registration is taken each day upon completion of the Google Form issued on the Classrooms.  If you are struggling with the form, please email class teachers to let them know that pupils are present for home learning.  Equally, if a pupil is unwell or unable to attend online learning, please inform the school by 9.15 each morning, as you would during normal openings.

Google Meets

With the period of online learning now being extended, we are increasing our expectations in regards to Google Meets.  Every pupil will have at least one opportunity each day to engage in a Google Meet.  Attendance will be taken at these (except where a teacher indicates an optional session).  While the last lockdown period was focussed on consolidation, this time around, teaching of new content will continue using online platforms; recorded videos, web links and Google Meets among others.  Again, if there are issues around connecting to these, please let class teachers know.

Learning Packs

Also in response to the extended closure period, learning packs are being distributed today.  Class teachers will be in touch with reference to how these are to be used and we would ask your cooperation in waiting for these instructions rather than working ahead.  For pupils requiring additional tasks, there are grids available on the school website.  Textbooks should not be worked at ahead of time.

It is essential that all items sent home are returned to school when we return to classes and we ask you to make a note of what you have received. These will all be checked back in when school returns to normal.

Pupils attending for in school provision should take their packs and their Chromebooks with them each day that they attend.

It is hoped that by issuing these textbooks and resources, we can cut down on some of the screen time required to take part in remote learning and will provide some consistency and familiarity for pupils.


The Highland Council have invested in an app called read/write which will support pupils in their online learning.  Staff have been learning about this feature and the potential to support pupils is fantastic.  This will be particularly relevant to pupils using Chromebooks.  An information session for parents is being held next week and a poster advertising this is attached above.  I would encourage you to attend if you are able.  The facilities that this app provides will be of huge benefit to pupils.

Weekly Focus

Well done to all of you who participated in the Burns week activities.  I look forward to seeing your entries.

As an addition to this week’s Google Classroom tasks, please find attached a grid of activities that focus around the RSPB Birdwatch for those who wish to participate.  This is a great opportunity to tie in with this national initiative and spend some time focussing on our wider world.

As always, we very much appreciate your ongoing support and efforts.  Please get in touch with any questions or concerns that may arise.