COVID-19: Whitsun Half Term

Here we go again: starting another blog, obsessed with time. Sorry, but the concept of time currently leaves me baffled, day after day. We have been on lockdown … for how long? Is it week 1 or 2 on the timetable? What day of the week is it? Which day is bin day this week? And with all the reckless political posturing of the past few days, it’s hard to believe that Theresa May announced her resignation as prime minister a year ago. That was the 24th of May 2019. A year?! It feels like yesterday, yet it feels like ages ago, and certainly it feels like a different age.

We are on our second school holiday since the lockdown began. How on earth did that happen? The weather is fine, soon it will be June. June?! Where did April and May go? At this point, we were supposed to be looking forward in our red, white and green to the Euros, which were due to start in a few weeks. The only hope on the horizon is that Joe Allen will be fit again by the rescheduled Euros next year. And for us teachers in Welsh-medium schools – no red, white and green Urdd prelims at 7:45am this week. This is the first time in many Welsh teachers’ careers where they have a “free” Whitsun half term. Yet again, lockdown can hardly be considered freedom for us who stay at home, follow the rules, watch the tragic daily statistics and crave some form of normality once again. But when it comes, there will be no normal, just the new normal. And at the moment, no one is sure what that will be.

#BeKind

In order to keep in touch with our pupils, and to encourage them to consider different ways of supporting their own mental health during lockdown, staff have put together a video, recorded specially for our pupils. Staff talk about the different things they have been doing from home, to give pupils ideas of what they can also do. It’s the end of Mental Health Awareness Week, and our theme is kindness, under the hashtag #ByddGaredig (#BeKind):

#ByddGaredig

ClassCharts

The response to ClassCharts has been mixed of late, but a significant majority of parents find the information on the app very useful as they try to fathom what their child needs to do, and what they have not done. We understand that the appearance of red can be disappointing and frustrating for some, but most parents appreciate the regular updates from staff. We also understand that the appearance of green makes many very happy, therefore we are trying our best to ensure that pupils are rewarded as much as possible with green points.

Staff do not give red points straight away, but instead wait a few days after a deadline so that everyone can have the opportunity to submit work without red points appearing. If you think that your child has been given red mistakenly, and this is causing great frustration at home, then please contact the head of year. We do not use ClassCharts to alienate and catch people out, instead it’s about offering parents guidance on the latest situation with their child’s work. If you are confident that your child has done everything possible to complete the week’s work, and has worked consistently, then there is no need to worry. On the other hand, if your child plays Fortnite until the early hours, and has not been near any book for days, then the information should help you to get your child back on track.

The ClassCharts codes were distributed at parents’ evenings during the year. If you would like your parent code for ClassCharts re-issued to you, please contact Mr Trystan Williams: TWilliams@

Eisteddfod T

With the Urdd Eisteddfod cancelled a while back, the Urdd has organised an Eisteddfod from home, for competitors, eisteddfod-goers and supporters throughout Wales. Clips filmed at home will be judged, with lots of light-hearted competitions and lots of fun, including a daily sports challenge. Good luck to our pupils who are competing from home!

Details on the Urdd website: https://www.urdd.cymru/cy/eisteddfod/eisteddfod-t/

Full details about daily programmes: http://s4c.urdd.cymru/cy/

Urdd videos, including the daily sport challenges: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo4eTewLpug0_dyuoWCikag/videos

Arrangements after Whitsun

Years 7 and 8

Year 7 and 8 arrangements will continue as they are.
Year 7 are now familiar with their daily website and the focus task in Google Classroom. The arrangements seem to work well. Just one advance warning: year 7 pupils will require a red cabbage for their Science focus task on the first Wednesday after half term, which will be 3 June.
Year 8 continue to follow their timetable and visit the relevant Google Classrooms, from lesson to lesson. It will be Week 1 after half term.

While things continue as usual for years 7 and 8, there are various timetable changes, and new arrangements for the following years:

Year 9

As we mentioned before, we would like to confirm that year 9 will start their GCSE courses after half term. This means that they will no longer receive lessons in subjects that are not part of their options.

Year 9 Bac Work
All day on Monday 1 June and Tuesday 2 June, year 9 pupils will be starting their Bac work to prepare and learn new skills for their Skills Challenge Certificate. The work will be called Her y Swistir (the Swiss Challenge) and pupils will be working individually on this from their homes, by following the detailed instructions given to them by Mr George. Everything will be on one central website, in order for pupils to follow the instructions. Pupils will learn how to do many important Bac skills, such as how to do a SWOT analysis and learn marketing skills, using the 5P method. It is essential that they do two full days of work on the challenge on the Monday and Tuesday. After the first two days, they will then have a Bac lesson on their new timetable.

Year 9 Health and Wellbeing
Wednesday 3 June will be a Health and Wellbeing day for year 9 pupils. A day of activities will be prepared for them to follow. This is an opportunity for pupils to consider their health and wellbeing very carefully as they start their GCSE courses.

Year 9 new timetable
Year 9 pupils only will start following a brand new timetable from Thursday 4 June. It is a weekly, not fortnightly timetable and consists of 6 lessons a day, as usual. Lessons will fall on different days, compared with their current timetable:

Amserlen newydd blwyddyn 9 o ddydd Iau 4 Mehefin ymlaen

New Google Classrooms for Year 9
Staff are in the process of creating new Google Classrooms for all year 9 pupils in all subjects. All pupils will be added manually by their teachers, so that when everyone logs into Google Classroom on the morning of Thursday 4 June, to follow the first day of their new timetable, the new classes will appear by magic, and all pupils will have been added to every subject they are studying at GCSE. Therefore, the new classes will automatically appear in the Google Classroom app on their iPad, or on any other device or computer where they log into Google Classroom using their Hwb details. If there is a problem, pupils should log out of Hwb before logging back in to the app, making sure they have refreshed the page.

Year 10

Many year 10 pupils continue to work hard and really deserve their half term holiday. This week is an opportunity for others to catch up. We know that it is not easy to follow GCSE courses from home, and we want to stress once again that any pupils who are having difficulties with a particular subject should contact their teachers, and any parents who are worried in general should contact the Head of Year. Mrs Loader has just had her baby – huge congratulations to her – and Miss Yapp has now taken over as the deputy Head of Year, working alongside Mr Voyle, who continues to oversee years 10 and 11, as before.

Year 11

Year 11 pupils have made a very positive start to their Sixth Form transition work. Teachers have praised the efforts and dedication of many pupils. Usually, pupils would have faced a heavy week of revision over half term, before facing the rest of their exams. After that, they would have been free to celebrate a long (and sunny?!) summer. For that reason, and in fairness to year 11, we will arrange for year 11’s transition lessons to end at approximately the same time as the end of their cancelled exams. We will announce the exact date of their last lessons, after half term. Until then, pupils should continue to work conscientiously.

Year 12

Year 12 pupils are also, on the whole, doing an excellent job of following their AS courses independently from home. We are aware that many pupils have worked tirelessly during the whole lockdown, while others have some catching up to do. At this time of year, year 12 pupils would usually have an extended break, before returning to start year 13 courses in a week or two. Because of this, no new work will be set for year 12 during the first week after half term. This means different things for different people: a) an extra week off for the pupils who have completed all their work or b) a week of hard work for the pupils who need to catch up with the rest of their class in different subjects. Year 12 lessons will resume, with a fresh focus on year 13 work, on Monday 8 June.

Another thing that happens at this time of year is the application process to become a prefect. We would like to continue with this process, therefore year 12 pupils are invited to apply by sending a video, lasting 2 minutes or less, to Miss Land by Monday 8 June. All the details, and details of many other things, including information about UCAS, can be seen in this video for year 12 pupils:

Year 12 Whitsun 2020

Twitter

We tweet daily from different school accounts and many parents respond regularly by liking or retweeting comments. Remember that you don’t need a Twitter account to read tweets. Here is the school’s main account:

https://twitter.com/BroEdern

Here’s our new Health and Wellbeing account, which always includes links relating to mental health and lots of health and wellbeing ideas:

https://twitter.com/BroEdernIechyd

Transition

This is our transition account, if you currently have a child in year 6:

https://twitter.com/PontioBroEdern

And this is our bilingual transition video, which was recently published for year 6 pupils and parents:

Bro Edern Transition 2020

We are very fortunate with our transition arrangements. Our cluster pupils have already had a week together in Llangrannog, they have been to see a performance of Olifyr at Christmas time, and have had one transition day together. Although it is sad that the other transition days may not be possible, we must remember that many schools do all their transition during the summer term, so they are yet to get started. Keep an eye on the transition account on Twitter for all the latest, as well as our videos of the year 7 registration tutors for next year. Also remember our transition website for year 6 pupils and parents: http://pontio.broedern.cymru/

Cant a Mil – Book Orders

Some parents have asked about the possibility of buying Welsh reading books and GCSE textbooks during lockdown. The good news is that Cant a Mil, our local Welsh language bookshop on Whitchurch Road, has resumed taking orders which they post, or you can collect from their house in Penylan. Their website address is: https://cantamil.com or you can e-mail: jo@cantamil.com or send a message via Twitter: https://twitter.com/siopcantamil

It’s also possible to buy some Welsh e-Books from the Books Council of Wales. They are mainly novels. If interested, please go to: http://www.gwales.com/ebooks/ Please note that these e-Books cannot be downloaded onto a Kindle. These are the Welsh Department’s reading lists of books / e-Books that would be suitable for KS3 and KS4: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1SmSUn43EF8pRt8e2wn7n7k_bHjWBQq_H

Contacting the Head of Year

Please remember that parents and pupils can contact the Leaders of Progress and Wellbeing, if you have a problem or query. Below you will find the contact details again. All staff will try their best to respond as quickly as possible. However, it may be difficult for staff to respond immediately, as they could be at the Hub in Glantaf, or at online meetings.

All staff e-mail addresses at Bro Edern end with @ysgolbroedern.cardiff.sch.uk

Year 7: Mr Gary Ellis – GEllis@

Year 8: Mr Kerry Lerwill – KLerwill@

Year 9: Miss Rita Bevan – RBevan@

Years 10 ac 11: Mr Huw Voyle – HVoyle@

Sixth Form: Miss Nia Land – NLand@

Diolch / Thank You

Once again, we as a school need to thank you parents officially for all your support at a time that feels never-ending for many of you. Staff receive a warm reception from those parents contacted by telephone, and the effective co-operation between the school and parents has been key to the success of this period of real uncertainty. We all live in hope that the current arrangements will be relaxed in due course – and that we will have a timetable of what is going to happen in Welsh schools. In the meantime, we continue to watch the news, follow Kirsty’s tweets and hope to see our pupils and colleagues soon, when it is safe for us all to do so. Remember that the lockdown in Wales continues, for the good and health of our small nation. The instructions in Wales, at least, are clear. Keep your children indoors. You will have the opportunity to send them out with their friends at some point! But not yet …

Wishing you all the best for a quiet (ish) half term week.

Cyhoeddwyd gan Ceri Anwen James

Athrawes Ieithoedd Modern sy'n Bennaeth Cynorthwyol yn Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Edern.

Gadael Ymateb

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