I hope that you are all keeping well. It continues to be a strange time for us all, and with the arrival of Cardiff’s local lockdown, it’s an uncertain time for everyone. I would like to thank you as parents once again for your unwavering support of the school. Most pupils remember to bring a mask to school and almost everyone remembers to follow the one way system around the school. These measures are a key part of our effort as a school to reduce COVID-19 transmission within the county. Thanks to you as parents for constantly reminding your children of the importance of these rules and encouraging them to follow them at all times.
Positive COVID-19 Case
Some of you have probably heard by now that one pupil in year 12 has tested positive for COVID-19. The result was released to the family at 5:30 on Friday night and the school was informed by 6:30pm. As with the previous case in year 7, we thank the family for their willingness to help the school and the authorities. We have followed the Track and Trace guidelines carefully and have worked with the county and the experts at Public Health Wales to protect the whole Bro Edern family. This time, due to the flexibility of the Sixth Form timetable, the fact that the pupil had not been in school since last Monday (21st), the fact that he was in for part of the day only, had not met many people, and was not showing symptoms, we have been able to identify specific individuals from year 12 and ask them to self isolate.
Last night, at the direction of the authorities, members of staff went to school with a stopwatch and measuring tape to go through the CCTV footage of the Sixth Form Lounge. Having measured a radius of 1m and 2m and the distance between different points to represent where the positive pupil was standing, and considering this in relation with the location of the nearest sitting or standing pupils, we have identified those individuals who were within reach for the required time, which means that they have to self isolate. The authorities are entirely in agreement that we do not need to ask all of year 12, nor the rest of the Sixth Form to self isolate on this occasion, nor any member of staff, because of the daily actions being taken at Bro Edern to protect staff and pupils alike. This is also in line with actions taken by other schools in similar circumstances, following guidelines by Public Health Wales.
The pupils who need to self isolate have received a text and a letter this morning, and we have contacted all relevant families. Thank you to all parents for their understanding and positive response to the school.
Sixth Form Live Learning Contract
Last week we trialled a few live lessons with some Sixth Formers who have been self isolating for various reasons. These have been a great success and the trial phase has proved timely, as we now have a group of year 12 pupils at home self isolating. It is not possible for us to conduct live lessons with any pupils who have not completed the contract. Some pupils and their parents have not yet completed the contract, and this causes difficulties moving forward. If you haven’t managed to complete the contract yet, please take this final opportunity to do so:
As you know, pupils will be returning to school in uniform from Monday 5 October. We are aware that many parents and pupils alike are looking forward to this. Many parents have enquired about various things, especially parents of year 7 pupils who did not have the opportunity to attend transition meetings before the summer. We are really looking forward to seeing the pupils back in their smart school uniform, and therefore ask parents to consider these issues carefully:
Everyone needs a school JUMPER, every day. By 5 October, it will be cold and the county is unlikely to turn the central heating on until much later in the month. Pupils are not allowed to wear a coat in the building – not in the classroom nor in the corridor at any time. When arriving at the building, our rule for our 2020 pupils is: mask on, coat off. This means that it is essential that they wear a school jumper to keep warm.
SHOES that correspond to the school policy are required. They need to be black, plain, without visible logos, and must be leather, or look like leather. Suede or canvas shoes are not allowed, and trainers or boots are also not allowed.
No JEWELLERY is allowed with the school uniform except for a watch and one pair of plain gold or silver stud earrings. Any jewellery will be taken from the pupils, including earrings that do not conform to the rules, and kept at reception where the items will need to be collected at the end of the day. Diamonds are not allowed in the studs. Please see the photograph for the only type that is acceptable.
The requirement for pupils to come to school in clean clothes every day has disappeared from the guidelines. It appears that this is no longer relevant to children and young people, but is still relevant for staff!
Rules Associated with Uniform
Pupils are not allowed to wear headphones nor Air Pods around the school. These items are expensive and waste a lot of time when they go missing.
As always, mobile phone use during the school day is not permitted at all. For safety reasons, pupils are allowed to keep a phone turned off at the bottom of the bag for their journey to and from school. Any important or urgent queries from parents during the day should come through reception and we will contact your child in their lesson. Staff will take any phone which is seen with a pupil, and we also take any phone that rings.
As mentioned in the last blog, hair colour should return to a natural hue by 5 October and any nail colour, or fake nails must be removed. There is a week remaining for you to arrange to remove any fake nails at a salon. Pupils have been given plenty of notice. We will also, clearly, return to the no make-up rule.
Many year 7 parents have asked for further information about the PE kit, so here are details of what is planned for lessons over the coming months in years 7,8 and 9. We are providing more details for parents than ever before, in the hope that it will be of use to help you plan. Year 10 and 11 lessons continue as usual – the pupils are now well used to their routine.
Wearing Kit to School
In order to minimise close contact between pupils in the changing rooms, we are asking pupils to come to school in their official school PE kit, on the days that they have a PE lesson. They can follow the current pattern, but in their Bro Edern kit.
Currently, year 7 girls play netball in PE lessons, and year 8 and 9 girls play netball in set 1, and do fitness and team building work in set 2. After half term, they will do gymnastics. In their Health and Wellbeing lessons, everyone will focus on fitness.
The kit necessary from 5 October onwards is:
- green PE polo shirt
- black skort or black shorts
- socks to wear with the trainers
- change of socks for the end of the lesson
In addition, here is what will be required by the girls after Christmas when they will be playing football in lessons:
- long black socks (or Bro Edern long socks)
- shin pads
- training shoes with studs (rugby / football boots)
Here are additional options, that girls may wear in PE lessons at any time:
- black school leggings
- green extra-curricular school hoodie (very handy when it’s cold)
At present, the boys are focusing on rugby and football skills in lessons in years 7 and in set 1 in years 8 and 9. In set 2 in years 8 and 9, pupils focus on fitness and team building. After half term, they play badminton or handball indoors. The required kit is:
- school rugby shirt
- black school shorts
- shin pads
- rugby / football boots with studs
- school black PE T-shirt
- long black socks (or Bro Edern socks)
- change of socks required for the end of the lesson
Here’s what’s optional for boys to wear in PE lessons at any time:
- black school leggings
- school green extra-curricular hoodie (very handy when it’s cold)
Names on Uniform
We cannot stress enough how ESSENTIAL it is to put your child’s name on their school uniform, coat, shoes, trainers, PE uniform and everything else they own. Every summer we have sacks and sacks of lost property, all unnamed. On the first day of term last year, 5 year 7 pupils lost their jumper (only year 7 pupils were in) and all were unnamed.
The school’s policy with lost property is that it is left where it was lost. Pupils need to retrace their steps the next day in order to recover their belongings. From our long experience with this, pupils rarely revisit their classrooms from the previous day, despite telling their parents that they have done so. If you ask your child to pay for their lost property out of their pocket money, the problem is usually resolved quickly!
Thanks for your support for our new system of recording everything on the ClassCharts website and app. We are totally dependent on the help and cooperation of parents if the system is to succeed and we are aware that most of you look at the app daily to see your child’s pattern of progress and behaviour during the day.
Due to the current restrictions at lunchtime, with pupils eating in their classrooms, as well as the need to keep pupils in separate bubbles, we cannot keep pupils on detention for lack of work, lack of homework or any unacceptable behaviour. Neither can we run our Welsh Club – Clwb Cymreictod. We rely on you as parents to keep a daily eye on the app to make sure that you are up to date with the latest developments, and thank you for having a quiet word in your child’s ear when problems arise.
Please also remember that all homework is recorded on ClassCharts. You need to follow the list of what your child needs to do, and by when.
If there is a problem with your ClassCharts account, or you or your child do not have a code to log in, then Mr Ellis is responsible for your details:
Teachers have been busy setting up a Google Classroom account for each class. You can see all the codes for each class on our learning wall: wal.broedern.cymru If there is a problem with an individual subject code, your child must speak to their subject teacher in the first instance.
Since Friday the canteen has started serving the hot Meal of the Day menu once again. Please remember that any money has to be put onto your ParentPay account at least 24 hours in advance, because the machine in Caffi Ikea is not working due to COVID restrictions. No child may have an account in debt. The canteen is a county-run business. It is simple: no money on the account = no food.
Free School Meals
For the past week, the daily Free School Meal allowance has been automatically credited onto pupil accounts once again. Over the past week, we have realised that very few pupils who are entitled to free school meals have attended the canteen. If your child is eligible for free school meals, then please make sure your child comes to get the food that they are entitled to eat on a daily basis.
That’s it for tonight! Please take care. Thanks once again for your continued support of the school.