On behalf of the staff and Governing Body of Ysgol Bae Baglan, I would like to wish all our families a Merry Christmas.
School will re-open to all pupils on Monday 9th January 2023.
World Cup 2022
As you know, the Wales football team has qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1958. Understandably, there is a lot of excitement about this and we will follow their journey closely when their campaign gets underway on Monday 21st November. One of their group games takes place next Friday at 10 a.m. and I know many pupils have asked if the school will be showing the game. We have decided to show the game during Lessons 2 & 3 and allow pupils if they choose to wear a red top. We will utilise some larger spaces like the Hall as well as individual classrooms as we do not have the capacity to cater for all the pupils in one area as you can imagine. We have however been advised that due to the number of schools who will be doing likewise, the demand on the bandwidth nationally may cause issues with screening the game. We hope this won’t be the case as we would like to get behind the team but in the event that it does happen we would have to return to normal timetabled lessons. Exact arrangements will be finalised early next week and communicated to pupils and parents.
We have had a somewhat challenging week with the ongoing issues involving the gas supply to the kitchens. This has obviously had an impact on the selection of food available and I would like to thank the kitchen staff for their efforts in putting together and providing a menu to the best of their ability under the circumstances. Likewise, I would like to thank pupils and parents/carers for their patience as we work through this issue. Ultimately, it has been frustrating but we have endeavoured to keep the school open and avoid unnecessary disruption to families and pupils’ learning.
We have been assured that the issue will be resolved by the middle of next week. In the meantime, I have met with the Catering Team to discuss the temporary menu for next week which can be found below. There is a mixture of hot and cold food available. Once again, apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Throughout the week we have been marking Remembrance Day during lessons, registration time and assemblies culminating in a minute’s silence across the school today to show our respects.
Finally, I would like to wish Year 11 pupils the best of luck next week in their GCSE Maths Examinations.
We have had another busy couple of weeks in school and as pupils and staff break for a well-earned half-term, I wanted to thank parents and carers for their continued support this half-term. As always, please refer to the school’s website and social media channels for information, news and events as they are updated on a regular basis. Some recent highlights include:
- We were chosen as a school to launch an Active Travel Curriculum Resource for Wales. Lee Waters (MS) visited the school with Sustrans to mark the event and pupils ‘spooked-up’ their scooters, cycles, or boots for a parade which was tremendous. We also gave a presentation on the work which has been done in recent years to promote active travel.
- GCSE Drama students put on a performance for Year 6 pupils in the school theatre based around keeping safe on Halloween and Guy Fawkes night on Wednesday 26th October. The NPT Fire Safety Team also ran a quiz with prizes. I would like to thank Year 10 GCSE students who worked extremely hard on this project which carries an important message about enjoying this time of the year and staying safe.
- A group of Year 11 pupils went to The New Theatre in Cardiff to see a production of “An Inspector Calls” which is one of the set texts on the English Literature syllabus. They had a lovely time and represented the school well.
- It has been a pleasure also to see the range of sporting activities on offer with matches for girls and boys taking place most days of the week.
- Enrichment club on a Wednesday night continues to be very popular and I would again encourage pupils to look at what is on offer after school as the opportunities are extensive.
Year 11 GCSE Examinations
Individual pupil timetables for November have already been distributed to pupils and all information regarding these examinations along with study guidance can be accessed here. Please avoid booking family holidays during the school term; absences naturally impact adversely on pupils’ learning. Unfortunately, we have had occasions when holidays have been booked during the school term that have also clashed with GCSE exams; they cannot be re-arranged for another date. On 14th and 16th of November, Year 11 pupils will be sitting their GCSE Mathematics exams, and May/June 2023 both Year 10 and Year 11 will be sitting GCSE exams.
As you aware we no longer have purple YBB hoodies as part of out optional outdoor PE uniform. We have now launched through Sportec a ¾ Zipped sports top that can be purchased to wear as part of our optional outdoor PE uniform. Can I also take this opportunity to thank you for your support in ensuring pupils are wearing the correct uniform.
It just remains for me to remind everybody that all pupils return to school on Monday 7th November. For pupils in the secondary phase it will be week A timetable.
Have a great time over half-term and remember to stay safe.
This week has obviously been a shorter week due to the Bank Holiday for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.
Cerdd Music Event
This week we had the opportunity to once again welcome the fantastic staff orchestra and band of the Cerdd NPT Music Service. In the morning, pupils from years 7 and 8 were entertained whilst the afternoon session welcomed year 6 pupils from our feeder schools. We were lucky enough to hear music from Disney, The Avengers, The Incredibles and Titanic to name a few. Several lucky pupils also had the chance to try out some of the instruments on show. What a great way to start the term!
In secondary phase we regularly use the Satchel 1 app to communicate with parents about what is going well with pupils and areas of concern. You may have noticed a small change this year with our points system which now indicates zero points for both negative and positive points. We feel it is important to continue to communicate positives and negatives to home and children, but that the points system was not necessarily the best way to build self-esteem and positive change. We hope all pupils will benefit from this change.
We are excited to launch our new water hydration stations in school on Monday 26th September. We have already installed two of three wall mounted refilling stations, which are connected to mains water supply dispensing fresh, filtered drinking water. These are located in main reception, technology corridor and expressive arts corridor (waiting to be fitted). We have also had installed a Hydra-Chill 2-in-1 chilled water and bottle unit. This is located in the small canteen and is also connected to mains water supply dispensing fresh, chilled and filtered drinking water. From this machine you can also purchase a YBB branded drinks bottle using a token from the canteen. Tokens can be purchased from all canteen area till points for £2 which must be in the pupil’s ParentPay lunch balance. These refillable bottles can be used time and time again, saving money and also contributing to reducing plastic waste within school.
Mr Gorvett and Mr Bramwell accompanied a group of pupils this week to the annual Disability Six Nations which was held in Ystrad Mynych. The pupils had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed all the activities on offer.
As well as the main school website, many departments/classes have designated Twitter accounts which are useful to follow for example to find out about upcoming events/fixtures as well as pictures.
Can I remind all parents and carers that due to the Bank Holiday, school will be closed to all pupils on Monday 19th September but will re-open to all pupils on Tuesday 20th September.
This week the school has continued to pay tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II through celebrations of her life in Primary Phase assemblies and activities in registration periods. On Sunday, September 12th I was accompanied by two senior pupils to the Proclamation of his Majesty King Charles III on the steps of the Port Talbot Civic Centre.
It has been lovely to see a number of after-school activities start back across primary and secondary phase this week. These have included a variety of sports clubs as well as expressive arts disciplines and the school library. We publicise the days and times of the activities during registration and I would encourage pupils to take a look and if there is something they would like to try, to speak to a member of staff and give it a go!!
I would like to reiterate the arrangements during the school day. The front car park is now open during the school day but is closed for safeguarding purposes during the following times:
- 8:15 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.
- 2:40 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.
This is to ensure that pupils can safely enter and leave the school site during the busiest times of the day. I would ask that the following procedures are adhered to if you do use the car park during these times:
- Ensure that you have parked in an appropriate space;
- Please turn off your engine and ensure that the car remains static;
- It can get especially busy in the afternoon so please wait until instructed by a senior member of staff before moving your car;
- Drive safely at all times whilst on site and adhere to the 5mph speed limit.
Could I also please ask parents and carers to stick to the pavements when entering and leaving the site with their children. I appreciate your co-operation in this matter as it is ultimately designed to keep everybody as safe as possible. The rear car park is designated for authorised vehicles only.
Looking ahead to next week
- Wednesday 21st September – the Cerdd NPT Music Service will be putting on a music roadshow in school where Years 6, 7 & 8 will have an opportunity to find out about and try a variety of musical instruments. This event has been excellent in previous years and we are delighted to be able to offer this opportunity once again.
I hope everyone has had a great summer holiday.
As a school, we were saddened to learn of the death of Her Majesty The Queen yesterday after a lifetime of devoted service. We will pay our respects as a community as the nation enters a ten-day period of mourning. We have used morning assembly with primary phase pupils and Registration with secondary pupils to reflect on her life and respond to any questions the children may have. I will be representing the school at a Proclamation event on Sunday afternoon. I am sure that we will get further information regarding the funeral and any implications for schools over the coming days and I will communicate this to parents and carers through our usual channels.
Return to School
It has been lovely to see our pupils return to school this week and whilst some may not readily admit it, I am sure they have enjoyed getting back into school routines and seeing their friends and teachers! Our new Year 7 pupils have settled really well. Although they have visited school as part of the transition programme it is nonetheless a big move to secondary school and they have acquitted themselves well and are getting used to moving around the school to lessons, timings of the day etc. Likewise, we have also welcomed our youngest learners in Nursery.
Usernames and passwords for parents of Year 7 will be distributed early next week with further information about the app so that all parents have access to timetables, homework schedules and behaviour notices. Could all parents please ensure that they download the latest version.
In my July letter, I outlined again why school uniform is important. I really appreciate the support of parents and carers as far as uniform is concerned. The vast majority of pupils have attended this week in the correct uniform and look very smart. Can I also thank those people who have donated to our uniform bank which continues to benefit many families. Any further donations are welcome in Reception.
We are a cashless school. Our secondary phase pupils have access to the canteen at breaktime for drinks, toast and other snacks but will need credit on their Parentpay account to purchase items. Free School Meals only covers lunchtime provision.
Last year’s Year 11 cohort of pupils achieved excellent GCSE results. After the disruption of the last two years, the pupils and staff worked extremely hard and were rewarded with the best set of examination results in the school’s history. This included pupils achieving five or more A*/A grades, five or more A*-C including English & Maths as well as those achieving five or more A*-G grades. It was wonderful to see so many happy faces on Results Day in August. We wish all the pupils the best for the future.
Developments in the summer:
We have been busy over the summer completing a number of projects including a brand new basketball court which will benefit pupils during the school day as well as the community outside of school hours. A new area for GCSE Construction has also been completed as well as a Ninja Warrior assault course in the Lower School yard.
Looking Ahead to next week
- Consent forms have been distributed to pupils and need to be returned as soon as possible please.
- Photographs Monday 12th September (all of the primary phase as well as Year 7 & 9)
- Potential disruption to First Cymru bus services on Thursday 15th September. We have sent out a message regarding this earlier in the week.
If you do need to contact school, please see the contact section of the school website which has been updated with the names and email addresses of Wellbeing Directors, Heads of School etc. You can also contact Reception on 01639 508540