Autumn Lockdown #1

Dear Parents / Guardians

As promised in our last blog here’s an update on Bro Edern’s arrangements for the week after the autumn half term, which is the second week of the autumn lockdown which begins at 18:00 on Friday October 23 and ends at 00:01 on Monday November 9. 

This time we have put the blog together in the form of frequently asked questions similar to a previous blog that we sent out before the summer. 

Is the school open for my child after the October half term?

If your child is in years 7 and 8, your child is expected to come to school during the week of 2-6 November.

If your child is in year 9, 10, 11, 12 or 13 your child will receive live online lessons during the week. Your child should not attend school to receive lessons.

Is the school open as usual to year 7 and 8 pupils?

If your child is currently being dropped off early in the morning, then this can continue during the week 2-6 November. There will be no after school activities during the week and pupils are expected to leave the school site as soon as possible. If there is a problem with collecting your child immediately at the end of the day during the week, then please contact the school.

The length of the school day will be the same as usual, starting at 8:35am and ending at 3:25pm.

My child has GCSE exams during this period; what are the arrangements for these?

Your child will be able to come to school to sit the GCSE Maths Numeracy exam and re-sit GCSE English. Your child will be able to get to school in the usual way if there is an exam in the morning, but pupils will need to leave immediately at the end of the exam. If you think for any reason that you will have problems transporting your child home after the exams, then please contact the school.

By the time of the GCSE maths re-sit exams during the week beginning 9 November we expect the autumn lockdown period to be over and your child will be in school as usual.

Please remember that there are online maths revision sessions for an hour every morning of half term, for those pupils sitting the Higher Tier exams straight after half term.

What are the arrangements for my child’s lessons during the week?

If your child is in year 7 or 8, lessons will continue as usual in school. We will follow the usual timetable and your child will have face-to-face lessons with their teachers.

If your child is in years 9 – 13, your child’s lessons will take place online during this period. Teachers will provide your child with live lessons from school through Google Classroom and Google Meet. You will receive further information on the details of live learning soon.

What will my child’s timetable be during the week?

Everyone will follow their usual timetable. Years 7 & 8 will be going from lesson to lesson at school. Years 9 – 13 will also follow their usual timetable but the lessons will be online at home.

The online live lessons for year 9 – 13 pupils will be 45 minutes in length. This will give pupils 8 minutes to leave one lesson before finding the link to join the next. Normal lesson start times will be followed carefully, in order to make things easier for everyone.

Lesson start times will be: 

Lesson 1 – 08:54
Lesson 2 – 09:47 
Lesson 3 – 11:00 
Lesson 4 – 11:53 (but lunch for year 9 pupils)
Lunch 12:46 (but lunch for year 10 and 11 pupils)
Lesson 5 – 13:39 
Lesson 6 – 14:32 

What do I need to do to ensure my child can access live learning?

In order to ensure that your child receives their live lessons, you and your child will need to have completed the live learning contract. I would like to remind you that the contract follows Welsh Government and Council guidelines, and you can find out more about the agreement in our last blog, including what to do if some clauses are difficult for you as a family. Thanks to the hundreds of you who have filled in the contracts promptly.

If you haven’t as yet filled in the forms, here’s another copy of the links for you:

Parental Contract:

Pupil Contract:

We have spent the last two days troubleshooting any potential technical issues that pupils may have in their live learning, and hope that everything will go smoothly for everyone. Some pupils have been issued with temporary iPads, and everyone has been issued with their Hwb login details once again on a sticker.

What happens to extra-curricular activities during the week of 2-6 November?

Unfortunately, we will not be able to hold any kind of extra-curricular activities during this week. Extra-curricular activities will resume from Monday 9 November onwards.

What happens to peripatetic instrumental lessons during the week of 2-6 November?

For years 7 and 8, peripatetic instrumental lessons will continue throughout the week.

Unfortunately, pupils in years 9 – 13 will not be able to receive peripatetic instrumental lessons during the lockdown period. Instrumental lessons will resume on Monday 9 November.

Will the canteen be open during the week of 2-6 November?

The canteen will be open before school starts and for lunch during the week. The canteen will not be open during break time. Lunchtime will remain as it is at present, as the latest lockdown period is only planned for a week.

My child receives free school meals; what are the arrangements for the week 2-6 November?

If your child is in year 7 or 8, they will receive their free school meals in the canteen, as usual.

If your child is in years 9 – 13, you will receive money through your ParentPay account, just as you did during the lockdown before the summer.

Will the school buses run during the week of 2-6 November?

During the week, school buses continue as normal and will arrive by the time school starts and leave school at the end of the day.

Parent – Governors

Many thanks to those of you who have already shown an interest in becoming a parent governor for Bro Edern. If you would like to be a parent governor, please remember to complete the nomination form by following the link below and return it to school by Friday October 30. No nominations received after this date will be accepted.

If more nominations are received than there are vacancies, an election will be held which would be decided by a simple majority.  The timescale for any election would be as follows:-

Closing date for nominations:                               Friday October 30

Issue of ballot papers (if election is required):          Friday November 6

Return of ballot papers:                                       Friday November 20

Aerosol / Deodorant

Because our pupils are not always able to change after PE lessons, due to the current guidelines, pupils have been asked to bring a deodorant for the end of PE lessons. However, from now on, all parents need to ensure that pupils only bring a roll-on deodorant to school. There are so many health and wellbeing issues with spraying a deodorant can, and they can cause serious respiratory problems and health implications for some pupils and staff. This has been the case recently, therefore we need to clarify and formalise our rules. We will confiscate any aerosol can deodorants from now on. Roll-ons only – please buy one for the PE kit bag over half term! Many thanks once again for your co-operation in keeping everyone in the Bro Edern family safe and sound.

Cyfeillion Bro Edern PTA

A big thank you to everyone who attended the virtual Cyfeillion meeting on Wednesday night. May we take this opportunity to remind you about the EasyFundraising app that allows you to raise money for the Cyfeillion, without costing you anything. Search for Cyfeillion Bro Edern PTA within the app. By doing your usual online shopping, our parents have raised £8.06 for the Cyfeillion in a week! 42 parents have already registered – it would great to see more, as it costs you nothing.

You can also get a reminder for your browser on your home computer. We are trying to promote this far and wide before people start to get to grips with their Christmas shopping. Feel free to pass the details on to family and friends. The more the merrier!

Here’s the Bro Edern link:

And finally …

This period, as is often noted, is unprecedented and this past half term has seemed one of the longest in my teaching career! The half term would certainly have been much more difficult without your support as parents, and without our pupils’ willingness to follow the rules we have put in place to keep everyone as safe as possible. Thank you very much to you all.

Best wishes to you over the coming week.

Take care

Iwan Pritchard

Gadael Ymateb

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