A quick blog with the latest from Bro Edern. I hope that you are all well.
Positive Staff Case
We heard yesterday that there is a positive case of COVID-19 among one member of the office staff. She is rarely in contact with pupils. 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.
The situation this time:
This member of staff has not been in school since last Friday because of symptoms within the family. As the member of staff did not develop symptoms within 48 hours of her last visit to school, there is no need for anyone else in school to self isolate. The authorities are in agreement on this.
Positive Pupil Case
We heard mid morning today that there is also a positive case of COVID-19 among one pupil in year 10. We have identified pupils who have been in the same lessons, in registration and playing football on the yard with the positive pupil. In order to do this, we have studied the seating plan of each relevant lesson and measured the points necessary in the classrooms to find out who was within the 2m radius for self-isolation. We have spent hours today identifying the individuals who need to self isolate. It would be much easier for us to send the whole of year 10 home, but this would be our last resort. The students who have been identified as contacts have been informed that they have to self isolate and we look forward to welcoming them back to school on Tuesday 8 December. All pupils in year 10 who need to self isolate have been informed tonight by texts to parents. Everyone else in year 10 will return to school as usual, tomorrow.
Please be vigilant of the symptoms, so if anyone in your home shows any COVID-19 symptoms, please remember that everyone in your home needs to self isolate until you receive a negative result or further medical advice.
Pupils who are self isolating since last week
We have received conflicting messages about the return to school date for last week’s pupils. Today, it was confirmed that the 812 bus pupils need to self isolate until Friday night 27 November and can leave the house for the first time on Saturday 28 November. This means that their return to school date is now Monday 30 November.
The Sixth Formers need to self isolate until Tuesday night 1 December and can return to school on Wednesday 2 December.
We are very aware that this is contrary to our previous message, and we can only apologise for the mix up.
Live learning is provided for all self isolating pupils. Thank you to all the parents for your help in supporting your children working from home. Remember all our instructions to help parents are here:
If there are any technical problems with accessing a lesson, please contact the Genius Bar, as your child’s Head of Year may be teaching at the time:
January Exams Cancelled
An announcement by Qualifications Wales yesterday morning confirmed that the WJEC external examinations in January have now been cancelled. As you know from the parents’ meeting for years 10,11,12 and 13 last week, we were waiting to hear about this decision. We are now waiting to hear how this decision affects pupils who were due to resit. Further details will be published in the new year. To view the announcement, please click below:
You will see in the statement that everything relating to the Skills Challenge Certificate continues. This is the Welsh Bac qualification, so it is essential that pupils continue to work hard in their Bac lessons, as this is a 100% coursework qualification.
We are expecting any further announcements on the assessments that are due to replace the exams later in January.
Sixth Form Open Evening
We are really looking forward to welcoming year 11 pupils and their parents to our online Sixth Open Evening on Thursday 26 November (tomorrow). You will have the opportunity to hear about life in the Sixth Form and ask on-screen questions. Every department has provided videos, presenting the full range of subjects and qualifications available. We will be launching these for Bro Edern families on Thursday evening. Click here to see the links to the online meetings, and all the details:
Update from the Cyfeillion PTA
The Cyfeillion have been busy organising virtual fundraising activities. Thank you to everyone involved with the Cyfeillion for your hard work, raising valuable money for the school. The following are now available through Parent Pay:
Christmas Raffle – £1 per ticket on Parent Pay:
Thanks to everyone who has donated and collected the generous donations towards the raffle.
The Cyfeillion have also arranged to sell Bro Edern masks for £6 each – thanks to everyone who has already bought one – a quarter of the stock disappeared in 2 days! These are also available through ParentPay.
The Cyfeillion’s next online meeting will be on Wednesday 2 December at 6pm on Zoom. All welcome, especially new members.
Meeting ID: 783 3976 8422 Passcode: 9QfqUx
Please also remember how easy it is to deal with EasyFundraising. It costs you nothing, and is very easy to use, as an app on your phone, and on a computer. The Cyfeillion have now raised over £100 in less than a month, and the money has come from all the companies involved. It hasn’t cost Bro Edern families a penny. If you are planning to shop online before Christmas, please download the app before you start. Every little helps! All the major companies are part of the scheme.
Here is the EasyFundraising link for Bro Edern: https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/cyfeillionbroedernpta/?utm_campaign=raise-more&utm_content=cpl
Year 7 Chromebooks
We are really looking forward to receiving the year 7 Chromebooks, as those for year 8 work very well with Google Classroom, Google Meet and all the school’s blended learning provision. The county’s promise is that the year 7 Chromebooks will arrive at the beginning of December. The Chromebooks are free for Bro Edern’s year 7 families, but a contribution to the insurance will be required, as for the year 8 Chromebooks. The insurance payment for Year 7 Chromebooks will appear on ParentPay by the end of this week. A minimum payment of £10 is required for your child to receive the Chromebook, followed by subsequent payments over the coming months. Thanks in advance for this. Also, please remember to fill in the parental agreement for the Chromebooks:
Many thanks to the parents who look daily at the ClassCharts app and support both their child and the school by keeping an eye on the homework tasks and the behaviour chart. We have had a lot of positive feedback from our parents who have noted that the information is readily accessible. If you (or your child) have been logged out of your ClassCharts account, or have a new phone and need the details again, please contact Mr Gary Ellis: GEllis@ysgolbroedern.cardiff.sch.uk
Because of all the changes due to the cancellation of the exams, we need to delay holding parents’ evenings for the school’s exam pupils. We will need more detail about the new assessments, before any meetings will be useful for our parents. Therefore, in order to get started with the annual schedule of parents’ evenings, we have decided to hold the Year 8 Parents’ Evening on Thursday 10 December. The meetings will be held online and full details on how to register and access the meetings will follow. We have invested in a new virtual system for our parents’ evenings and are looking forward to using it for the first time.
Bro Edern Phone Lines
The recent problems with the school’s phone lines have been a real nuisance for all. Staff have been using their personal mobile phones to make some essential calls, but we now look forward to seeing the back of all the problems. We were finally reconnected yesterday. A virtual meeting is planned with BT to try and ensure that the problems with our phone lines are resolved once and for all. Thanks to you all for your patience. If you ever have difficulty contacting the school, you should e-mail the Head of Year, or e-mail the general address: firstname.lastname@example.org
We continue with our daily efforts to ensure that Bro Edern pupils are given every opportunity to develop a positive attitude towards Welshness. This also means that pupils need to take every opportunity to practise their Welsh with everyone who is able to speak the language, both inside and outside school. This is difficult for some pupils after such a long lockdown, earlier in the year. The education consortium for the south east, EAS, has put together valuable resources to support parents. Please have a look at them, because they contain some valuable general information:
Our playlists of Welsh songs are also always worth a listen:
The Christmas playlist is on its way!
In the meantime, the current one for the autumn is here:
The Urdd continues to organise digital activities, as well as fundraising at a very difficult time for the organisation. All the details are here: https://www.urdd.cymru/en/
School Christmas Dinner
We have had lengthy discussions about the logistics of the Christmas dinner with the canteen staff. Due to a number of reasons, including social distancing, the fact that we only have one canteen (unlike some other schools) and the fact that year group bubbles are not allowed to mix in the hall, we have decided not to hold a Christmas lunch this year at Bro Edern. Although this is a very disappointing outcome, the decision was nearly inevitable, and we and the canteen staff believe that we made the right decision, for 2020. However, Christmas treats and mince pies will be available during December for all to enjoy.
Thanks once again for your support of the school at such a complicated time for everyone.