7 February 2021

Hello Everyone

I hope you are all keeping well. This latest lockdown is dragging on slowly! However, it must be noted at the outset that our staff sing the praises of our pupils on a daily basis. The vast majority make the most of the opportunities provided by their online learning and benefit greatly from the full timetable of online lessons. There’s a week to go until half term, when everyone, staff and pupils, will be more than happy to have some time away from the screen. Remember #HerYrHaul each day – please send your child out for fresh air and to stretch their legs straight at the end of lesson 6, as the sunset is at approximately 5:15pm this week. It’s quite surprising: we have gained some 25 minutes of daylight since we launched #HerYrHaul three weeks ago. The sunset was at 4:50 pm at that point. Every minute counts at this time of year!

I know that we have been following lockdown rules in some form for almost a year, but I would like to remind you that it is more important than ever to keep on following the rules. The number of COVID-19 cases has declined greatly since before Christmas, but there is still significant community transmission of the virus here in Cardiff. Some parents have contacted the school, concerned about the fact that they can see some pupils attending online lessons from each other’s houses, with two pupils attending Google Meet lessons together. Other parents have contacted us, frustrated that they continue to follow all the rules, while their children’s friends are out visiting each other’s houses. Entering someone else’s house, remains totally against the rules: https://gov.wales/coronavirus

Here are the numbers of new positive cases of COVID-19 in Cardiff over the last week, totalling 304 cases since last Monday:

  • Monday 1/2/2021 – 56
  • Tuesday 2/2/2021 – 64
  • Wednesday 3/2/2021 – 43
  • Thursday 4/2/2021 – 45
  • Friday 5/2/2021 – 29
  • Saturday 6/2/2021 – 67

The only way we can defeat COVID-19 is by ensuring that everyone in our family follows the rules, despite the fact that this is very boring by now. It is vital that we keep every member of the Bro Edern family as safe as possible, and the NHS still needs our support.

Exam Classes: Years 11, 12 and 13

We are fully aware that all our older pupils are keen to know exactly what is going to happen in order for them to receive their grades this summer. At present, no definitive detailed information has been published by Qualifications Wales nor WJEC, but we are aware that further guidance is due to be issued soon, and that a letter from Qualifications Wales is on its way to our learners in years 11-13.

In order to share the latest with you and our pupils we have created the following timeline:

Years 12 and 13

Wednesday 24 February 6pm

An information evening for parents and pupils to watch together online, with an opportunity for us to explain the significance of what will be in the pupil reports, assessment updates, lesson expectations and what happens next. There will be an opportunity to ask questions during the presentation. It is vitally important that all parents and pupils log on for this meeting.

Thursday 25 February

Interim report arrives in the ‘Announcements’ section of the ClassCharts app (this is an additional interim report to usual). The report will include your child’s target grades for the end of the year, the current grades, an effort grade and a note of whether your child is currently on track to reach their target grade in each subject.

Your individual SchoolCloud booking code for the parents’ evening will arrive by this date.

Friday 26 February 6pm

The appointment booking system will open on SchoolCloud, with appointments being distributed automatically by a computerised “first come, first served” principle.

Wednesday 3 March

Parents’ Evening on SchoolCloud with your child’s subject teachers.

Year 11

Wednesday 24 February 6pm

An information evening for parents and pupils to watch together online, with an opportunity for us to explain the significance of what will be in the pupil reports, assessment updates, lesson expectations and what happens next. There will be an opportunity to ask questions during the presentation. It is vitally important that all parents and pupils log on for this meeting.

Friday 26 February

Interim report arrives in the ‘Announcements’ section of the ClassCharts app (this is an additional interim report to usual). The report will include your child’s target grades for the end of the year, the current grades, an effort grade and a note of whether your child is currently on track to reach their target grade in each subject.

Thursday 4 March

Your individual SchoolCloud booking code for the parents’ evening will arrive by this date.

Friday 5 March 6pm

The appointment booking system will open on SchoolCloud, with appointments being distributed automatically by a computerised “first come, first served” principle.

Thursday 11 March

Parents’ Evening on SchoolCloud with your child’s subject teachers.

Year 7

Please remember that all the information about this week’s parents’ evening can be found in our last blog:

https://blogclwstwrbroedern.wordpress.com/2021/02/03/noson-rieni-bl-7-year-7-parents-evening/

Books and Resources

Some teachers have raised the fact that some pupils have run out of space in their writing books, therefore we now have boxes of books from different subjects in reception, where parents can come and collect books on behalf of their child. Year 9 Art books are also available for families to collect. There are GCSE work units for everyone studying PE in year 10 and 11 also waiting for you. Also there are important Welsh GCSE booklets for everyone in sets 1,2,3 in years 10 and 11. Please contact reception to say when you’re popping in: 02920 489445. Reception is currently open until 3:30pm during the week.

Children’s Mental Health Week

Thank you for supporting the recent registration sessions. Many parents have said that the early morning text messages are an extremely useful reminder in helping to get your child up in time. A large number of parents have also commented during recent phone calls with form tutors, saying how valuable the registration sessions are for their child. Sessions continue at 8:35am on Tuesday mornings for years 7, 10 and 11 and on Thursday mornings for years 8 and 9.

Last week’s focus was on the Children’s Mental Health Week, and we have been busy providing lots of information through the school’s Health and Wellbeing Twitter account. Mr Williams has been busy tweeting, and staff have been sharing an insight into what helps them relax in their free time. Many of the staff continue to do the featured activities during lockdown: drawing, playing an instrument, running, cycling etc while others wait patiently to be able to resume their interests when the lockdown period and COVID-19 regulations come to an end. No-one is climbing Penyfan nor going on holiday at the moment, unfortunately! Please check out the pictures and information with your child:

https://twitter.com/BroEdernIechyd

As part of the Children’s Mental Health Week, Mr Eurfryn Lewis, our new Art teacher, has created a video for Bro Edern pupils to see how drawing is a good way to express yourself while relaxing. Thanks to Mr Lewis for an insight into his work:

Universities and the Sixth Form

Good news has arrived from the university world, with us hearing recently that Iwan James, who works in our Cwtsh, has been accepted at Cambridge to study Law. One of Bro Edern’s brightest former pupils, Iwan captained the rugby team on the trip to Australia in 2018. He has returned during his gap year to work in the ALN Department, where he works with specific groups of pupils and runs some of our interventions. He had a virtual interview with Cambridge University before Christmas and has just been told that he has a place at Hughes Hall College. A great achievement!

Another recent recipient of good news is Greta Evans from Plasmawr, who has been studying A level German with us at Bro Edern for the past year and a half. Greta comes to us as part of the BroPlasTaf partnership as there are no German lessons at Plasmawr. She settled well into the A Level German class at Bro Edern from the very beginning and makes a great contribution to our lessons. Following virtual interviews before Christmas, Greta has been accepted to Jesus College, Oxford to study German and Linguistics. Great news!

Many year 13 pupils have now heard from universities through UCAS, with many receiving 5 good offers, and some pupils receiving unconditional offers. We would like to remind parents that university places do not need to be accepted nor selected until June and we strongly advise our pupils to wait patiently before making any final choices. With all the decisions on awarding grades so uncertain at present, we believe that pupils should wait until the situation is clearer, so that they can make informed decisions.

A number of pupils are being invited to interviews by different universities this year, contrary to usual practice, therefore the school is arranging mock interviews for these pupils. Some pupils from year 12 have also applied for summer schools at Oxford and Cambridge. Please remember that Miss Land and Mrs Rhys-Roberts are always available for a chat on Google Meet during the “gwasanaeth” slots on the Sixth Form timetable. On Monday we will be welcoming Anna Williams from Bangor University, who is meeting the whole of year 12 to discuss the next possible steps after the Sixth Form. The meeting will be held during lesson 1 on Monday morning, starting at 8:54am – the code is in the Sixth Form Google Classroom and has also been sent by e-mail.

Huge congratulations also to the group who are taking the CACHE Childcare course in year 13. They have just heard that they have passed their extended diploma with flying colours. The whole group has worked hard at their various placements during the non-lockdown periods. Completing the course in this day and age has been challenging and frustrating, but the group has persevered brilliantly with their teacher Miss Alice James.

The CACHE Course Pupils

As you can see, at Bro Edern we have courses for a wide range of pupils’ interests, and we take pride in the opportunities available for our pupils. It’s now time for year 11 to decide on their next step. If in doubt, please contact Mr Voyle as Head of Year 11 for any advice or a chat. Remember that details of the Sixth Form in Bro Edern are still available on our website:

https://sites.google.com/hwbcymru.net/6edbroedern/noson-agored

A new timetable once again

On Monday, there will be some minor changes to the timetable as Miss Rita Bevan starts her maternity leave. We wish her all the very best. I’m looking forward to teaching History to year 12 and 13 in her absence! As you can imagine, I don’t get the opportunity to teach much History these days, so it’s always nice to revisit the history books when the opportunity arises. There will also be further changes to the timetable after half term, when Mrs Heledd Hughes returns from her maternity leave. Pupils and staff are now very used to looking at ClassCharts for their latest timetable, and any changes will appear on the app and website, just like last time. If any parents or pupils require a ClassCharts login, please contact Mr Ellis: GEllis@ysgolbroedern.cardiff.sch.uk 

Please remember that some pupils follow important interventions for literacy and numeracy, and at those times they need to remember to attend the intervention rather than their usual lesson. Despite any timetable changes, the interventions are not moving. They will stay at the same time, but not necessarily during the same lesson. Pupils access their intervention lessons through the intervention Google Classrooms. 

Chromebook Insurance

We are hearing very positive messages from year 7 and 8 parents about the new Chromebooks. Thank goodness they arrived last minute, before Christmas! I would like to thank you very much if you have already paid the full Chromebook insurance.

If you are paying in instalments, I would like to remind you to pay the next instalment on ParentPay, when it is convenient for you. We realise that parents don’t look at ParentPay regularly these days, because there are no school dinners! We are aware that it is a difficult time for some families at the moment, so if you are struggling to pay the next instalment, then please do not hesitate to contact the head of year.

Inset: In-Service Training Days

This year, there are 6 Inset Days for each school. The first for us took place on the first day back in January. Therefore, the school will need to run a further 5 days of professional development activities for staff between now and the end of the summer term, on days when the school will be closed to pupils.

We currently have dates for 4 Inset Days, with the 5th date to be confirmed when we receive more details of the assessments for years 11,12,13, the WJEC grades required and closing dates for these. We believe that there will be a lot of paperwork to complete for these centre designated grades, so we are keeping one date back, to ensure that we have sufficient training time to complete this work effectively. We will let you know, once we know! So far we can (sort of) give you the dates for 4 days:

  • Friday 26 March – Cluster Inset (cluster primary schools off too)
  • *Thursday 6 May* 
  • **Monday 19 July**
  • **Tuesday 20 July**

* Thursday 6 May will have to be an Inset Day, if the Welsh Senedd / Parliament election still happens on this day. The school has to be an electoral centre, and for COVID-19 reasons we will not be able to be a polling station and have pupils on site at the same time, as is usually the case. If the election day changes (there is talk of changing the election to November instead of May, due to COVID-19) then we will change the date of the Inset Day too, because we don’t really want an Inset Day on this date!

** All our teachers have already completed 4 Inset twilight sessions in the Autumn Term to cover the two INSET days in July. Therefore, the school will be closed to pupils and teachers on the last two days of term. Everyone will finish together on Friday 16 July.

Welsh Senedd / Parliament Elections – for 16 year olds

Whatever the date of the election this year, one thing is certain: from now on, the voting age for the Welsh Senedd elections is now 16. This means that you should arrange as soon as possible to register your child/ren to vote if they are 16 or about to be 16. In both Scotland and Wales, you can now be added to the electoral register once you reach 14, ready for any forthcoming elections. 

https://www.gov.uk/cofrestru-i-bleidleisio

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Cario Clecs: Year 9 magazine

A group of year 9 pupils has been busy publishing a digital magazine on behalf of the school’s pupils during this lockdown period. They have collaborated online to create a large and colourful magazine with a number of interesting articles and items, without the help of any teachers. It is great to see pupils using their creative writing talents in this way during the lockdown. You can see their magazine here:

http://bit.ly/CarioClecs-2

Artistic talent

Other pupils who have been showcasing their creativity over the lockdown are pupils in the Art Department. We have been tweeting work by some of our most talented pupils over the last few days.

Here is work by Molly Spivey from year 12:

Work by Branwen Jones from year 12:

Work by Nyfain Edwards from year 10:

Work by Alys Grant from year 10:

Any pupils with high levels of creativity are encouraged to contact Miss Jo Griffiths in the Drama Department. She is running a competition to design a banner for the top of the departmental Twitter account @DramaBroEdern Miss Griffiths has the details of the exact size etc.

Dydd Miwsig Cymru (Welsh Music Day)

There was great excitement for Dydd Miwsig Cymru on Friday, with singer Mared Williams’s workshop the focus of our celebrations. Many pupils and staff also performed various Welsh songs in preparation for the big day. Pupils were given different challenges leading up to Friday, leading to many creative moments. You can see all the activities and performances on the school YouTube account, including the Staffioci and the pupils’ performances:

https://www.youtube.com/c/ysgolgyfunbroedern/videos

Encouraging pupils with their Welsh

Please remember our Helo 2021 playlist on Spotify, in order for your children to hear Welsh regularly at home:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2s0pOfJvJM0ulqgAoBKqk5

A Spotify account is free of charge, you just need to register. It stores lots of great Welsh music and gives everyone free access to high quality performances of classical music. I know that the music teachers are starting to make increasing use of Spotify so that pupils can hear different types of musical styles and genres as part of their lessons. Thank you for arranging a family account for this purpose.

Please also remember the Welsh S4C Clic programmes, which are listed on our Sgiliau (Skills) website. These, once again, are for our pupils to hear as much Welsh as possible at home, in different contexts:

https://sites.google.com/hwbcymru.net/gwaithcartrefsgiliaubroedern/hafan

Finally, this is the Welsh Department’s new reading website, with reading suggestions for this latest lockdown:

https://sites.google.com/view/darllenbroedern/

Diolch

That’s it for today! Thank you once again for your continued support. We already know that there are plans afoot for foundation phase pupils to return to primary schools after half term. There is no mention yet of a date for secondary schools returning. In the meantime, we can only be grateful that we have procedures in place that enable Bro Edern pupils to have 6 lessons a day, just as if they were at school. In the midst of all the other worries and uncertainties at such a difficult time, we know that our pupils have not missed any lessons and have been given the best chance of success. Many thanks to the staff for making this possible all day, every day, and to you as parents for supporting us every step of the way.

Best wishes

Iwan Pritchard
Headteacher

Cyhoeddwyd gan Ceri Anwen James

Athrawes Ieithoedd Modern sy'n Bennaeth Cynorthwyol yn Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Edern.

Gadael Ymateb

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