6 November 2020

Hello everyone

Well, the week of live learning has come to an end, for the time being! Thank you all for your support in ensuring that pupils arrived in their online lessons on time and participated fully. Obviously, there have been some glitches, as with any technology, but I am very grateful to you and members of the school staff for your tireless work, ensuring that the week went as smoothly as possible. I hope you will agree that it has been worth the effort. It was also lovely to see so many year 7 and 8 pupils at school during the week, and it was an opportunity for them to enjoy school without the older pupils.

As always, your feedback is very important for us, therefore we are looking for your views at the end of this week of live learning (ready for next time … !)

A busy week of live learning at Bro Edern:

Autumn and Summer Exams

Year 11 pupils sitting the November numeracy exams have now completed these exams. The staff invigilating the exams were full of praise for the pupils and their willing and unfailing co-operation during the period. Thank you for supporting your children as they sat their exams. Thanks too to the Maths Department staff who went that extra mile with the pupils. We look forward to receiving the results in January.

At the moment, the situation with next summer’s exams still remains unclear. When the announcement is made by Kirsty Williams next week, we will need to look carefully at the details before working out exactly how the decisions affect Bro Edern pupils. As such, it may take a few days before we contact you with the relevant information.

Parent Governors

Thank you to everyone who showed an interest in becoming a parent governor on the school’s Governing Body. By the closing date of 15:30 on Friday October 30 six of you had expressed an interest for the six vacancies. Because of this, we will not need to hold an election. I am pleased, therefore, to announce that the parent governors on the Governing Body of the school for the next four years will be:

  • Siân Edwards-Poole
  • Kerri Evans
  • Siân Fenton
  • Sarah Griffiths
  • Emma Lane
  • Lowri Mifsud

Chromebooks

A big thank you to the year 8 parents who have paid the insurance for the Chromebook. Only a few payments remain outstanding. An initial payment of just £10 out of the £50 is required for your child to take the Chromebook home. We had expected to receive the Chromebooks by now, but we are still awaiting confirmation from the county as to when they will arrive, so we can distribute them.

In order for us to be able to distribute them as soon as possible, we ask year 8 parents to follow the link below to sign the Acceptable Use Policy:

Pupils will not be able to receive their Chromebook unless the Acceptable Use Policy has been completed by a parent or guardian.

The county promises us that the year 7 Chromebooks will follow at the beginning of December. Year 7 parents are also welcome to complete the Acceptable Use Policy now, but we do not intend to put your payment schedule on ParentPay, until we have a definite date.

Parents’ Evenings

This is to remind you of our evenings planned for November:

Year 11 Parents Evening on Thursday 19 November

Sixth Form Open Evening for Year 11 pupils and parents. The date is Thursday 26 November 2020.

Both nights will be online and we will be sharing further details with you very soon.

Mrs Ivins’s Biology Lessons

Mrs Ivins will be starting a period of teaching from home for the next few weeks, leading up to her maternity leave. Sometimes the lessons will involve live learning and sometimes there will be work set on Google Classroom, depending on the nature of the tasks. A qualified science teacher will be in all lessons with the pupils, to ensure that everyone understands the work set by Mrs Ivins from home.

For the Sixth Form, Mrs Ivins will continue to teach Medical Science and Biology to year 12 and 13 students including online partnership sixth formers. Students are expected to come to school as usual for their lessons, and will join their online lessons in their usual classroom, under the supervision of a teacher. Mr Alun Evans will also be on hand to offer any further help / support after the lessons. Should a pupil be absent from any lesson, Miss Land / Mrs Rhys Roberts will contact home to inform you as soon as possible. Everyone should bring a personal device and headphones with them to access the lessons.

Free School Meals

Do you think that your child is entitled to free school meals? If so, it is very important for you to apply for free school meals. It will not be apparent to anyone in school that certain pupils are in receipt of free school meals. In the canteen there is one queue for all pupils, and all pupils and staff in school use the same biometric system at the till. Pupils in receipt of free school meals can also receive free music instrument lessons if they wish. Please contact the school for more information if you would like your child to receive instrumental lessons. The process of applying for free school meals has been streamlined; you can now apply online by following the link below:

Cardiff Met Students

We are looking forward to welcoming a group of students from Cardiff Met University to the school from Monday. They are training to be teachers, so will be on placement in Bro Edern until March. For the first three weeks they will not be on site, but will be observing our lessons virtually. At the beginning, they will team teach online, and from 30 November they will be on the school site and teach real lessons. We look forward to welcoming them to Bro Edern.

Cyfeillion PTA

Before you get to grips with your Christmas shopping, please remember the EasyFundraising app that allows you to raise money for the school’s Cyfeillion (PTA) without it costing you anything. Search for Cyfeillion Bro Edern PTA within the app. By doing your usual online shopping, parents have already raised over £17 for the school in just over a week! This will become a significant sum over the course of a year. 76 parents have already registered – it would be nice to see more, especially as it costs you nothing and it is really easy to set up and use. We can benefit, as you shop in hundreds of the most popular online websites and shops.

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: https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/cyfeillionbroedernpta/?utm_campaign=raise-more&utm_content=cpl

The Cyfeillion PTA members have also been busy with various schemes, including selling masks in order to protect from COVID-19, while fundraising. The masks will be available soon, and you will be able to pay through ParentPay.

Welshness

For some months, we have been drawing our pupils’ attention to famous Welsh people. The spotlight for November is on musician Mei Gwynedd.

Here’s the information that was presented to pupils about him:

To see the latest information about the different activities in school, promoting the use of the Welsh language, please follow our Siarter Iaith Twitter account: https://twitter.com/siarteriaithYBE

Also, don’t forget about our special Autumn @BroEdern playlist on Spotify:

Urdd

The Urdd would like you to know that, despite all the challenges, their provision for Bro Edern pupils continues. Lewys, our Urdd Officer, has created this short video for Bro Edern pupils:

All the information about the Urdd’s activities can be found here:

Cant a Mil

If you need any Welsh books or cards, Cant a Mil, our local Welsh bookshop at 100 Whitchurch Road will reopen on Tuesday 10 November after this latest lockdown. Their stock can be seen on their website: https://cantamil.com/

Children in Need

Next Friday is the annual Children in Need Day and we’ll be taking part by inviting pupils to wear their own clothes to school. The official theme for the day is “Come as Yourself Day”.

Because of COVID-19, we are not dealing with any cash. Therefore, there is a need to contribute BEFORE THE DAY through ParentPay. Only pupils who have made a contribution may come to school in their own clothes. If pupils don’t want to take part nor contribute, that’s absolutely fine; they can come to school in their usual uniform.

The link to contribute will appear in your ParentPay account at 12pm Monday lunchtime. Any contributions will need to arrive by Thursday evening.

Aerosol / Deodorant

Here’s a reminder from last week’s blog:
Have you had the opportunity yet to buy a roll-on for your child?

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! Many thanks once again for your cooperation in keeping everyone in the Bro Edern family safe and sound. 

And finally …

Your update from Bro Edern is complete, after yet another busy week! Thanks for all your support during the week. It has been a major achievement that we have taught some 600 pupils live online all week, and have barely had any problems. That is down to the close and willing collaboration between Bro Edern and our pupils and their families. Thanks once again.

Enjoy your weekend.

Best wishes

Iwan Pritchard
Headteacher

Gadael Ymateb

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