Thursday 17 December 2020
The final blog for the year?!
Once again I would like to thank you very much for all your support during the past year. It has been an unprecedented year in the true sense of the word, and so many new phrases have entered our daily vocabulary that reflect this turbulent period. We hope you have time to relax and enjoy over Christmas, and we wish you all the best for 2021.
We have heard over the last few days that there are positive cases of COVID-19 among two year 11 pupils. The families informed the school immediately after receiving their test result and like all previous cases, we thank the families for their co-operation with the school and the authorities. We have followed the Track and Trace guidelines carefully and have co-operated with the county and the experts at Public Health Wales to protect the whole Bro Edern family.
The situation this week:
The positive pupils have not been in school since Friday 11 December and they did not show any symptoms when they were last at school, so the good news is that no one else needs to self isolate.
We have *just* heard that another pupil from year 11 has received a positive test result tonight, despite the fact that she was tested last Saturday. This is due to the huge backlog of 11,000 tests that has been reported on the news. The test was held last Saturday, after she developed symptoms. This means that we will need to measure all the pupil’s classrooms first thing in the morning, tracking last Thursday and Friday’s lessons. The pupils who were within a 2m radius will need to self isolate for the remainder of the required 10 days. With all the delays, half of the time has already passed, therefore the pupils who will be recognised tomorrow as contacts of the positive pupil will only need to self isolate until the end of the 21st, and may leave the house again on the 22nd. Just in time …
Tomorrow we need to measure, contact all the authorities and write the relevant letters to parents, and until that has been completed, ALL YEAR 11 PUPILS will need to self isolate until you hear from us. This should not be an issue tomorrow morning, because all pupils should be at home anyway, learning online with their teachers. The pupil involved does not travel on a bus.
So, no – this is not the final blog for the year!
The arrangements for January 2021
We have received information from the County this afternoon about school arrangements in early January. The newly announced plans include two preparation days for staff and schools, then online learning for the remainder of the first week. Here is how we envisage this first week working at Bro Edern:
Arrangements for the week 4 – 8 January 2021
Monday 4 January 2021
This has now been earmarked as a preparation day by the County and Welsh Government. We have already informed you that 4 January will be an In-Service Training (INSET) Day for Bro Edern staff, and that your children will not be expected to be in lessons on this day. We will continue with our INSET arrangements for this day so that your children do not miss more school than necessary between now and the end of the academic year.
Tuesday 5 January 2021
This has been earmarked by the County and Welsh Government as the second preparation day. We will therefore use this day to finish our preparations for the next phase of live learning and ensure that your children are ready to resume their live lessons from Wednesday onwards.
Your child will need to spend the Tuesday completing any pieces of work that have not been completed by the end of the day on Friday 18 December. Your children, just like school staff, deserve a break over Christmas, therefore we don’t expect them to complete any homework over the holidays. Pupils in exam years have been asked to spend this day creating revision notes for themselves for different topics and subjects. This is the presentation which all pupils were shown in their online lessons before Christmas:
Wednesday 6 January 2021 – Friday 8 January 2021
In terms of following their daily timetable, the new term now begins for pupils on Wednesday, but in accordance with government instructions, pupils are not allowed to come to school. We will be providing live lessons for your children, once again, from this day onwards. We will follow our usual timetable, just as we did this week – it will be Wednesday week 2 on your child’s timetable. Lessons will start at 8:54, as usual. Here is the link to remind you of all the live learning instructions, which are exactly the same as this last week of term’s arrangements:
Educational provision for pupils in the care of the ALN department
If your child is in the care of the Additional Learning Needs Department at school (Hafan or Cwtsh) then your child will be able to come to school at specific times during the period 6 – 8 January. ALN staff will contact you on Tuesday 5 January to finalise any arrangements.
Educational provision for key worker children
If both parents are key workers, you are entitled to apply to the school for a place for your child between Wednesday 6 January and Friday 8 January. For the provision in January, the County defines key workers as people who work in the following areas, which is different from before:
- Emergency Services (blue light)
- National Health Service
- Social Care
If both parents work in the above categories, or if you are a single parent with sole caring responsibilities, then you can apply for your child to have a place in the school’s provision during these three days. The school will be open between 8am and 3:30 pm on all three days. Apply for a place by following this link:
If your child attends Bro Edern on these days, s/he will need to follow the usual timetabled lessons and go from lesson to lesson, to their various teachers, who will be teaching everyone else online from their classroom.
There will be no school transport in place during the first week of term for ALN pupils nor the children of key workers.
The kitchen will not be open during the first week of term. If your child is in receipt of free school meals, the voucher system will continue through the Christmas holidays until 8 January 2021.
Arrangements for the week 11 – 15 January 2021
Monday 11 January 2021
We intend to resume face-to-face teaching and learning from this day onwards and everyone who can attend school will be expected to do so from this day onwards. If your child has to self-isolate for COVID-19 reasons then s/he will be able to continue with live learning.
School transport will be provided from this week.
The kitchen will be reopening on Monday 11 January. Any pupil in receipt of free school meals will receive meals in the canteen from this day onwards.
We will continue the sanitising process around the school, including hand washing in the morning, and regular sanitising from lesson to lesson. The enhanced cleaning process that has been in place since last July will continue in the new year.
Masks / Face Coverings
Thank you for ensuring that your child comes to school wearing a face covering or mask. The same rules will apply in January in relation to wearing masks everywhere, except for lessons when pupils sit in rows.
There has been an update to the guidelines for masks or face coverings. The general advice from Public Health Wales now is that a medical mask (look for the letters IIR on the cover) gives better protection to everyone who wears them, rather than just wearing a face cover. If you decide that your child wants to wear a medical mask, then the current advice is that s/he needs to change the mask at lunchtime to ensure that maximum protection continues into the afternoon.
We are aware that masks get broken or lost, but unfortunately we do not have an endless supply of masks, therefore we kindly ask you to emphasise to your child how important it is for them to look after their masks or face coverings. These are also the ideal stocking filler, along with plenty of pens, pencils and stationery!
Curriculum for Wales
We have allocated most of the day during our INSET Day on 4 January to work on the Curriculum for Wales. We have been planning ahead throughout the term, including working with headteachers of our cluster primary schools to work on a continuum for all Bro Edern Cluster pupils. This week (since we haven’t had to do two hours of lunch duty, supervising hand washing and sanitising!) we have used the time and space to spread large rolls of paper out in the hall in order to be able to see our complete continuum, and putting together a masterplan that hopefully meets the needs of our pupils, while creating a curriculum which will inspire them. As a school we have worked with the government on planning the new curriculum, and we look forward to realising our vision by developing a truly exciting and innovative curriculum for our pupils.
Many thanks to everyone who donated food to the Cardiff Food Bank as part of the Calendr Caredigrwydd (Kindness Calendar). 140.5kg of food was transported from Bro Edern to their headquarters in the Bay today. This will help to make a big difference to the city’s vulnerable population over the Christmas period.
Many thanks to everyone who has supported the Cyfeillion’s activities during the term. It’s a difficult time for fundraising, but the Cyfeillion, despite everything, have managed to raise £1,682 since September. Please remember that a few face coverings with the school logo are still available through ParentPay.
Yesterday’s blog featured the names of all the winners of the Christmas raffle. You have until 12pm tomorrow (Friday) to come and claim your prize. After that, you’ll need to wait until January. Remember that the EasyFundraising will continue throughout the year. Here is the school link for your online shopping:
We hope that you have enjoyed listening to the Christmas concert items. I would like to congratulate all of our pupils on excellent and heart-warming performances during this time.
The première of the latest item, featuring Maddie and Betsan from year 11 was at 8pm tonight:
And here you can see the whole concert so far, as a YouTube playlist, with a new item appearing each day:
Lewys, our Urdd officer, would like to thank everyone for their support over the past year, in what has been a very challenging time for the Urdd. Lewys has provided a link for you to follow to find out about the Urdd activities in Cardiff and the Vale in the New Year:
Finally, I would like to thank all Bro Edern families, on behalf of the Bro Edern staff, for all your support this year, and hope you will have some peace and quiet over Christmas.
Items for our virtual Christmas Concert will continue to be released daily, and there will be one “epic” première from the staff at 12:45pm tomorrow, as our live learning comes to an end for 2020! See the link above … something for us all to look forward to … hesitantly!