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Headteacher’s Update – 23rd September 2022

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!

Satchel 1

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.

Water

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.

Rugby Festival

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.

Social Media

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.

Richard Rees

Headteacher/Prifathro

Headteacher’s Update – 16th September 2022

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.

After-school Clubs

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!!

On-site Parking

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.

Richard Rees

Headteacher/Prifathro

Headteacher’s Update – 9th September 2022

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.

Satchel One

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.

Uniform

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.

Parentpay

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.

GCSE Results

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.

Contacting School

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

Richard Rees

Headteacher/Prifathro

Neath Port Talbot Local Education Authority Letter

Please find the latest communicaiton from NPT below.

Letter_NPT_Sept21

Main points:

  • Twice weekly LFD testing available for staff and secondary learners to help identify and isolate asymptomatic cases as soon as possible.
  • Face coverings should be worn by secondary aged learners when moving around indoor communal areas outside of the classroom. Face coverings continue to be needed on school transport.
  • Face coverings should be worn by staff and visitors in schools when moving around indoor communal areas outside of the classroom, such as corridors, where physical distance cannot be maintained