Hello Everyone …
Well, we’ve finally reached February half term!
We’re all tired by now – pupils, parents and staff. Thanks for your support since the new year – the six weeks of this half term have been very long indeed. Thanks for your support of the school and of your children’s education. The feedback from year 7 parents at last week’s parents’ evening was extremely positive. The teachers enjoyed speaking to all parents, and greatly appreciated the support and praise for the way that Bro Edern has done its best to continue to support our pupils through these difficult times.
Half Term Holiday
Clearly, for both pupils and staff alike, there is not much we can do during this coming week, and that is frustrating for us all. However, we have made a deliberate decision not to set any homework, so that pupils can relax properly and stay away from a screen. We urge you to ensure that your child continues to follow all COVID-19 regulations, meaning that they can now exercise outside with one other non-family member, while remembering that meeting indoors is still not allowed.
As the strict lockdown regulations continue, we have arranged a number of activities for Bro Edern pupils over the coming weeks. Hopefully they will provide a distraction and focus your child’s attention away from the screen …
St David’s Pilgrimage
With St David’s Day on the horizon, we are launching our St David’s Pilgrimage today. The inspiration comes from the fact that so many staff are completely obsessed with Strava at the moment! Therefore, we are asking all Bro Edern pupils to complete a virtual journey from Bro Edern to St Davids. The journey is 111 miles, or 178 km. According to Google, it’s 37 hours of walking time! Pupils need to complete the challenge by the end of March by walking, running or cycling the distance in km or miles. Alternatively, they can calculate the time and walk for 37 hours.
Pupils can keep track of their distances on mobile phone apps such as Strava or Health, or fill in our special spreadsheet, day by day:
Simply put, this is our St David’s Pilgrimage:
- walk, run or cycle 111 miles, 178 km or for 37 hours
- start from 15 February, finish 31 March
- 🥇Gold Challenge: Individual pupil to complete the whole pilgrimage
- 🥈Silver Challenge: 2 pupils or 2 family members share the distance, walking 30 mins each, per hour counted, and adding the time/distance together
- 🥉Bronze Challenge: 3 pupils or 3 family members share the distance, walking 20 mins each, per hour counted, and adding time/distance together
This is our official spreadsheet for pupils and families to fill in. Click on the picture to make a personal copy in Google Drive:
I know that having a definite goal like this can be a real boost. Many of our staff track their daily exercise via apps on their mobile phones, and have recently signed up for several challenges. Miss Eurgain Evans, our Head of Welsh, ran 100km in January as part of a Strava challenge, despite the cold weather. Hopefully, our St David’s Pilgrimage will help to get us all out of the house, keep us fit, while helping our general health and wellbeing too. I am looking forward to cycling up and down the Taff Trail to complete the equivalent mileage to Pembrokeshire. And to quote Miss James: “The Germans always say that there is no such thing as bad weather, just a foolish choice of clothes”. Good luck everyone – pupils, staff and parents!
#HerHannerTymor – Half Term Reading Challenge
As well as exercise, we also want to encourage our pupils to read as much as possible over half term. Reading for pleasure should be an important part of your child’s life. Feel free to tweet photos of the books being read in your home with the hashtag #HerHannerTymor
Once again, pupils can choose the challenge level that best suits them:
Pupils can send us a record of their reading here:
The following Bro Edern reading websites should help you find appropriate reading material for your child, if you are short of ideas:
We are very aware that the Joe’s vouchers are still in school after #HerYrHaf! For various reasons, mainly the fact that we could not hold any assemblies due to social distancing rules, they have not been distributed. No need to worry, the vouchers are safe for Leisa Hughes who won the challenge by reading 7,782 pages over the summer holidays, and also for Elin Case and Pacha Pritchard who were runners-up. Congratulations to all three!
Please remember that Cant a Mil, our local Welsh bookshop, continues to sell books online through their website: https://cantamil.com
This is a summary of the main events after half term. Full details of many of these activities can be seen in the paragraphs below. The year 11, 12 and 13 timelines can also be seen in our last blog.
Monday 22 February
Online live lessons resume for everyone, with the new timetable syncing with ClassCharts over half term
Wednesday 24 February
Important information evening for year 11, 12 and 13 pupils and parents
5pm Welsh / 6pm English – links below
Thursday 25 February
Year 12 and 13 interim reports arrive in the ‘Announcements’ section of ClassCharts
School Cloud booking code for years 12 and 13 will arrive by today
Friday 26 February
Year 11 interim reports arrive in the ‘Announcements’ section of ClassCharts
School Cloud opens for year 12 and 13 Parents’ Evening bookings 6pm
Monday 1 March – St David’s Day
Usual lessons 1-4, followed by an afternoon of non-screen activities
Closing date for Cyfeillion St David’s Day competitions at 7pm
Wednesday 3 March 3:30 until 6:30pm
Year 12 and 13 Parents’ Evening on School Cloud
Thursday 4 March
School Cloud booking code for year 11 will arrive by today
Year 9 Options’ Evening online 5pm in Welsh / 6pm in English – full details below
Friday 5 March
School Cloud opens for year 11 Parents’ Evening bookings 6pm
Thursday 11 March 2:30 until 6:30pm
Year 11 Parents’ Evening starts at 2:30pm – lesson 6 is cancelled for all, apart from year 10. Some teachers teach 3 classes or more, therefore we need to start at 2:30pm, in order for parents to be able to make appointments with all teachers.
Year 10 will have an important online presentation from Careers Wales during lesson 6.
Friday 12 March
Non-screen day for all Bro Edern pupils and staff.
This is approximately half way through the half term – everyone will need time away from the screen by then, for the sake of our wellbeing and our eyes! Staff will have been in a long parents’ evening the night before, after teaching online all day.
Friday 26 March
Cluster Inset Day to plan the Curriculum for Wales with our primary cluster – no lessons for pupils, and the beginning of a fortnight’s Easter holdays.
Please remember that there will be a new timetable immediately after half term, as Mrs Heledd Hughes returns from maternity leave. We are really looking forward to welcoming her back to Bro Edern. The new timetable will sync with ClassCharts over the holidays. For some classes, there are a large number of timetable changes.
Meeting for Year 11, 12 and 13 Pupils and Parents
On the first Wednesday after half term, there will be an important online meeting for year 11, 12 and 13 parents and pupils. It is essential that you try to arrange to attend this meeting. During the meeting, we will be explaining the latest update for year 11,12 and 13 pupils this summer, as the situation has changed many times.
We will explain the significance of what will be on your child’s report, and what this means for your child, as they continue with their lessons for the remainder of the year. The aim of the meeting will be to reassure pupils and parents, while ensuring that everyone fully understands what we need to do as a school when determining our pupils’ grades this summer.
If you are working, and cannot attend the meeting, then your child can attend this online meeting to take notes and pass them on.
Here is the link for the Welsh-medium online meeting at 5pm on Wednesday 24/2/2021:
And this is the link to the English-medium online meeting at 6pm on Wednesday 24/2/2021:
The Q&A option will be available once again as part of our meeting, so that parents can ask questions on-screen. We are very keen for parents to attend this meeting in order to be clear about the processes and systems we need to follow, as well as understand the significance of the grades on the reports. This will then allow parents to focus solely on their child’s progress in the subsequent discussions with the subject teachers at the parents’ evening.
Year 11, 12 and 13 Parents’ Evenings
The Year 11, 12 and 13 parents’ evenings will be held during the second and third weeks after half term, on our new School Cloud system. The web page link below will give you an idea of how the evening works. It is essential that the person booking and attending the evening reads this and watches the video to avoid any problems:
Year 9 Options
This is another thing that we need to organise virtually this year, so here is our planned timeline, as year 9 pupils select their GCSE option subjects:
- First Monday after half term: 22/2/21 – “Starting a Bright Future” presentation for pupils (Lessons 1 and 2) on Google Meet for the whole of year 9
- 22/2/21 – 26/2/21 – A week of taster lessons
- 25/2/21 – Google Form for “Free Choices” opens, where pupils can note their chosen subjects, free from the constraints of option columns. The school will then create the option columns, based on the choices of the vast majority of pupils. This is in order to try to avoid as many clashes as possible, before everyone makes their final choices. This free choice is important: if your child changes their mind after making their free choice, we cannot guarantee that the new subjects will be in different columns.
- 1/3/21 – Submit your “Free Choices” via Google Form by 3.30pm
- 1/3/21 3:30pm – Staff will start to work on creating the option columns
- 3/3/21 – Copy of the option columns distributed via the year’s Google Classroom, school e-mail and link texted to parents. We will base the columns on the “Free Choices” but this is mission impossible, we cannot guarantee that every child’s 3 option choices will be in different columns, but we will do our best, as usual!
- 4/3/21 – Welsh-Medium Options Evening at 5pm online / English-Medium Options Evening at 6pm online
- 11/3/21 – Submit final options for the three option columns via Google Form by 3.30pm
Cyfeillion Bro Edern PTA
The Cyfeillion have once again been busy organising various fundraising activities for the school. Thanks to this enthusiastic group who are always working hard behind the scenes.
Their latest initiative is a series of competitions based around St David’s Day. Competitions open today and close at 7pm on March 1st. For the Cyfeillion competitions, a £1 payment per competition via ParentPay is required. Competing pupils will need to upload photos from each competition to this Google Classroom: ssuesz7
- St David’s Day Bake Off: Bake and decorate (cup)cakes on the theme of Wales
- Nail art on the theme of Wales
- Face painting on the theme of Wales
- Design a new Welsh rugby / football shirt
A variety of vouchers are available for the winners, thanks to the Cyfeillion. Anyone can take part in the above activities, but only those who have paid will be eligible to win the vouchers.
On St David’s Day, pupils will be able to take part in these competitions during their non-screen afternoon. If they prefer, they will be able to take part in a variety of other activities, including continuing their pilgrimage to St David’s. We will announce the full details for pupils, along with the full list of options, in time for the big day.
This Cyfeillion campaign continues, thanks to everyone who continues to use the app and website regularly. Over £300 has now been raised – at no cost to our parents. If you’re feeling brave, and venturing to book a holiday (?!?) then please check the app. Many of the major travel agents are part of EasyFundraising, and because of the sums of money involved, the Cyfeillion can earn a lot of money as parents book holidays by starting from the app. Companies such as Booking.com, Trainline, Expedia, Vrbo, Hotels.com, TUI and Travelodge all contribute a hefty percentage to EasyFundraising. https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/cyfeillionbroedernpta/
Remember to follow the Cyfeillion’s latest tweets: @CyfeillionBroEd
Despite the restrictions, the Urdd continues to provide valuable experiences for young people across Wales.
Details of this year’s Eisteddfod T have just been announced, and I know many of our pupils will be interested:
Here is the Urdd’s blurb, as they prepare to run Eisteddfod T for the second year. The blurb emphasises the fact that the competitions include something for everyone, from the traditional to TikTok:
“Cymerwch eich sedd ar y soffa, tawelwch eich ffôn, a rhowch bob chwarae teg i’r cystadleuydd nesa’ – mae Eisteddfod T yn ei ôl! Yn giamstar ar ganu neu ddweud jôc, yn feistr lip-sync neu’n hoff o ddynwared enwogion? O’r traddodiadol i TikTok, mae’r Urdd am gynnal gŵyl ddigidol yn ystod hanner tymor y Sulgwyn am yr ail flwyddyn yn olynol, ac mae Eisteddfod T am fod yn “fwy arbrofol, blaengar a chyffrous nac erioed o’r blaen!”
Denwyd 6,000 o blant a phobl ifanc i gystadlu yn Eisteddfod T y llynedd. Ond eleni, mae’r Urdd yn anelu at gynnal Eisteddfod T fwy arloesol fyth drwy gynnwys mwy o gystadlaethau ac elfennau newydd er mwyn cynnig profiadau unigryw i holl blant a phobl ifanc Cymru, eu hathrawon a’u teuluoedd. O wrando ar gigs o’r gegin, dysgu sut i goginio bwyd stryd a gwylio perfformiadau gwreiddiol gan rai o berfformwyr ifanc mwyaf blaenllaw’r sîn – bydd rhywbeth i bawb yn Eisteddfod T.
As this blog draws to a close, thanks once again for your support for all the school’s activities since the new year.
Thanks for getting your child out of bed, dressed and full of breakfast, by 8:54!
Thanks for keeping the cat and dog out of our lessons.
Thanks for checking ClassCharts regularly.
Thanks for encouraging and supporting your child.
Thanks for contacting us if there’s something on your mind.
Thanks for supporting the Bro Edern staff in everything that we do.
The triangle of co-operation between pupils, staff and parents has always been important for any school, but over this past year, the close triangular co-operation has been more important than ever. Needless to say, the Bro Edern Family triangle is totally unbeatable.
Many thanks to you all.