Every two years, schools are invited to take part in the Student Health and Wellbeing Survey. The information collected in the survey is used to compile a Student Health and Wellbeing Report for each school, which supports their work to improve their students’ health and wellbeing.
Ysgol Bae Baglan is taking part in the Student Health and Wellbeing Survey this term. The survey is being managed by Ipsos on behalf of Cardiff University and is completed online under the supervision of a member of school staff. It contains questions on health behaviours, including diet, physical activity, smoking, alcohol, drugs, school life and relationships. Students in Year 9 and above only will be asked a small number of questions relating to sexual behaviour. Each student chooses whether or not they want to complete the survey and they can omit any question they do not want to answer.
I hope that you will be happy for your child to take part. If you have any concerns, wish to see the survey questions or withdraw your child from the survey or from data linkage research, please notify school reception as soon as possible.
I would like to thank people for their undertsanding and co-operation regarding parking in the rear car park this week. It is much appreciated as ultimately we want to ensure a safe environment for pupils and staff at the start and end of the school day. On that note, can I remind parents/carers that there are parking restrictions on the Afandale estate opposite the front of the school. We received a number of complaints yesterday that an emergency services vehicle was unable to gain access to the estate due to cars being parked inappropriately. Whilst I appreciate that parking around the school is difficult, please be mindful of the parking restrictions. The Police and Local Authority have been made aware of residents’ concerns. I would also ask that parents/carers do not park up against the school gates as emergency services need access at all times.
A reminder again that next Friday is an INSET day which will be a joint cluster training day with our cluster primary schools and will focus on progression in the Curriculum for Wales.
Neath Port Talbot College Awards Eveving
I had the pleasure of attending the Neath Port Talbot College Awards last night. It was lovely to see an ex-pupil of the school receive the award in the Mathematics category. Max achieved an incredible 99% in the A2 examinations. A truly outstanding achievement. Max is now going on to study at Bath University.
Pupils have completed two weeks of the Autumn Term and hopefully Year 7 pupils in particular have become accustomed to the two-week timetable. Thankfully, the weather has been a lot cooler this week and pupils have been able to return to their full school uniform. I would like to thank pupils and parents for this as the majority of pupils have worn the appropriate uniform. However, could I remind you that PE kit should not be worn to school or tracksuit bottoms unless appropriate adjustments have been discussed and agreed with school.
It has been lovely to see clubs and sporting fixtures start up again in earnest this week. I had the pleasure of watching rugby and netball fixtures last night. The number of pupils getting involved in the school’s extra-curricular activities is really encouraging. Please look out for notices and announcements in order to get involved as there is a very wide choice. Keep an eye out also on our social media channels as I know the PE Department in particular post lots of updates and pictures throughout the week.
A lot of work was carried out on the school site during the summer holiday and perhaps the most striking was the new mural in Lower School Reception. We have Mr John from the Art Department to thank for that. Having spoken to the pupils about what they would like represented in the mural, he produced this beautiful piece which has been warmly received by all that have seen it so far. Diolch Mr John and the pupils who assisted you.
Parking on Site
The car park at the front of the school is open throughout the day but it is locked between the following times for safeguarding purposes as pupils, parents, staff etc are entering or leaving school.
8:15 a.m.- 8:45 a.m.
2:40 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.
If people are parked inside between these times could I remind you that car engines should be off and cars stationary until senior staff instruct cars to move when the gates are being re-opened. I would also recommend that parents and pupils use the pavements and where possible avoid walking in the car park area please.
The rear car park is designated for school staff and transport vehicles for pupils in our Learning Support Centre. The barrier has now been repaired so I would again kindly ask that parents/carers do not enter the site at the start and end of the day unless a pass has been agreed with the school. The drop-off area for pupils being transported by parents/carers remains by the double gates where pupils are met by support staff.
Finally, a reminder that the school will be closed to pupils on Friday 29th September.
It has been lovely to see all our pupils return to school this week. In thirty years, I cannot remember a first week back in school where the weather has been as warm as it has been this week. This in its own way has presented challenges so I would like to thank the staff and pupils for adapting to the situation this week. Pupils new to the school appear to have settled in really well, particularly our new Year 7 cohort who have had to get used to the building, finding their way around, a two-week timetable, meeting lots of new members of staff and pupils etc. All the pupils should be very proud of themselves and I am sure they will find it easier as the weeks progress.
I have been greatly encouraged by the level of attendance at the start of term. Attendance has been 93% overall in both the Primary and Secondary Phase. It is vitally important that high levels of pupil attendance are maintained in order for pupils to fulfil their academic potential as well as provide appropriate pastoral support where necessary. Research shows a strong correlation between high attendance and pupils’ wellbeing and academic achievement so please can you ensure maximum attendance for your child throughout the year.
The pupils looked splendid in their uniforms coming to school on Monday and I thank parents for adhering to the school’s Uniform Policy. Due to the exceptionally hot weather, we decided to move to the summer uniform/PE kit and again on the whole pupils have attended in the appropriate uniform. The weather is set to change next week and temperatures are due to be in line with normal temperatures for this time of year. I therefore would ask that all pupils attend from Monday 11th September in full school uniform.
Can I remind pupils and parents in Year 7 & 9 that school photographs are being taken on Monday 11th September. A timetable for taking photographs has been produced which means that there should be minimal disruption for pupils.
Home School Agreement
We have used registration and assembly time this week to remind pupils of the school’s expectations with a clear message of being Ready, Safe and Respectful. This is linked to our Home School Agreement which can be found here. I would kindly ask that parents/carers take some time to look at this and if possible, discuss with pupils. The link between school and home is important and one that we value. Please use Satchel One, which is our online platform and provides a direct link between school and parents/carers.
Practice Fire Drill
In line with safeguarding procedures, we held a practice fire drill on Friday 8th September. Pupils had been made aware of their muster points at the start of the week. Pupils conducted themselves very sensibly during the evacuation process so well done.
Please avoid booking family holidays during the school term as 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, these cannot be re-arranged for another date. Please note that on 13th and 15th of November, Year 11 pupils will be sitting their GCSE Mathematics exams, and in May/June 2024 both Year 10 and Year 11 will be sitting GCSE exams. As soon as WJEC have finalised the Summer 24 Examination Timetable it will be posted in the Pupil section on our school website.
I hope everybody has a relaxing weekend and makes the most of the lovely weather!!
We have had another busy term which started with the annual school production of “Little Shop of Horrors”. Everybody involved in the production was superb and it was great to see the community come together to pack out the Michael Sheen Theatre over three nights with standing ovations the order of the day. The Summer Term is dominated by GCSE Exam season and both Year 10 and Year 11 conducted themselves very well during the exams. We await the results in August and hope that Year 11 have a relaxing summer and get the results that allow them to access whatever route they have planned from September. On that note, GCSE Results Day is on Thursday 24th August. Arrangements for collection have been issued by Mr Williams and can be found on the school website. It was also nice to see so many Year 11 pupils join us for the Leavers Assembly recently and Celebration Evening in The Manor Park.
Pupils across all phases have enjoyed a variety of school trips in recent weeks as well as wellbeing events. Unfortunately, rain stopped the primary phase sports day taking place although Year 7 & 8 had a little more luck with theirs!! Another highlight this term has been the awarding of our second Green Flag. The time and effort that goes into securing the award shouldn’t be underestimated and involves pupils of all ages. Our sports teams have also preformed really well this term with a number of students earning county and international recognition. Our Year 9 netball team were crowned County Netball Champions. Well done all.
I would like to highlight a few things in readiness for September:
Return to School
Autumn Term begins on Friday 1st September. This will be an INSET Day as usual.
All pupils will return to school on Monday 4th September (except for Nursery pupils)
7:50 -8:30 a.m.
Breakfast Club (No entry after 8:10 a.m.)
Key Stage 2
7:50 -8:30 a.m.
Breakfast Club (No entry after 8:10 a.m.)
Secondary Phase (Year 7-11)
8:00 -8:30 a.m.
Attendance & Punctuality
It is really important that pupils attend school as much as possible. If for any reason, they are unable to attend school please contact school to report absence. As highlighted above, the school day in secondary phase starts at 8:30 with registration. This is an important part of the day and I would urge pupils to be on time.
I have communicated several times throughout the year the importance of school uniform. Pupils will be expected to wear uniform in line with the school’s Uniform Policy in September. PE kit should not be worn unless instructed by the Headteacher.
Due to a significant rise in the price of food costs, we have had to increase the price of food in our canteen. As a result, from 1st September, the cost of our set meal in secondary phase will be £2.90.
It is that time of the year when we say farewell to some members of staff. After long and distinguished careers, the following staff members are retiring:
Mr Hayward (Maths Department)
Dr Willis (Science Department)
Miss Prescott (ALNCO)
I am sure you will join me in wishing them all the best in their retirement. In addition, Mr Larkman (Art Department) is leaving to take up the post of Head of Art in Coedcae School in Carmarthenshire. Again, we wish him all the best in his new venture.
I would like to thank parents and carers again for their continued support of the school and to wish you all a relaxing summer holiday. We look forward to welcoming all our pupils back in September.
Year 11 have commenced their GCSE Examinations. Attendance and attitude to date has been excellent and I am sure they will continue to work hard over the coming weeks. Likewise, Year 10 pupils have sat some of their GCSE Examination units, which will stand them in good stead for next year.
The term started with our school production of “Little Shop of Horrors” which was a resounding success once again and showcased the immense amount of talent at YBB.
The Year 11 boys football team were crowned the Welsh Schools FA Champions 22/23 beating Abersychan in a nailbiting penalty shootout. I was delighted to attend the recent Aberavon Schools Under 15s rugby presentation. A number of pupils have also been selected for representative teams at county and international level.
The whole school came together to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III
Green Flag -we were informed this week that the school has been awarded its second Green Flag. This is a testament to the hard work carried out by the Eco Committees led by Mrs Bhambra and Miss Stead. The pupils were a credit to the school and they certainly lead by example.
I would remind you again to follow the school’s website, Twitter account etc for that all the news, events, pictures as it is updated regularly.
I would like to thank parents for their support regarding uniform. We shared concerns about some of the uniform being worn this week and whilst I appreciate that it has been warmer, the wearing of crocs, sliders and hotpants is not part of the school uniform policy. As in previous years, we will review the weather after half-term and decide whether or not to revert to the summer uniform which is the school’s PE uniform or normal school uniform. If this is the case, I will communicate this to parents and carers. We will continue to monitor the standrad of uniform after half-term particularly the wearing of branded tracksuits and leggings which are again not part of the uniform policy.
I also appreciate that parking around the school site is not easy at the start and end of the school day but I need to remind you that the school gates are closed for safeguarding purposes between 8:15-8:45 a.m. and 2:40-3:10 p.m. If you are parked on the site between these times, please ensure that your engine is off and only proceed to the gates when instructed by the senior member of staff on duty. Additionally, please do not park on the grass verges outside or close to the locked gates. The Emergency Services have raised concerns about this as they need to access the site in the event of an emergency. Finally, can I remind you to respct the residents of Afandale and avoid parking on the estate.
I hope that everybody has a relaxing half-term break and that the sunny weather of late continues!! All pupils return to school on Monday 5th June.
School uniform is central to our way of building a sense of community among students, staff, and parents as well as the local community.
School uniform plays a key role in promoting pride, self-confidence, and a feeling of belonging within school. These factors contribute to students’ wellbeing. Wearing a uniform sets our expectations of the mindset we need. It gives clear signals to pupils that this is a working environment with high standards and helps them separate their social and school life. When children wear a uniform, as well as gaining a sense of pride, we see improved discipline and concentration. Uniform removes the points of difference between students, unifying the student body and providing a greater focus on academic work.
We recognise that with the cost of living rising, that worries about the cost of uniform can be very real, so we have kept our Secondary Phase uniform simple, with unbranded black footwear, unbranded black trousers and skirts, unbranded white shirts. The school tie and jumper being the only branded uniform items for daily school. Our uniform bank is also full of items for those families who need more support, and we are grateful to those that have donated good quality items.
Over the last few weeks it is clear that for some pupils, standards have fallen. Pupils are arriving in school wearing PE Kit or in items which are not part of our uniform. Some pupils have had to be challenged about wearing outerwear such as hoodies and coats in class as they do not have school jumpers. Others have said they don’t have any uniform available.
For school uniform to have a positive effect in building our community and improving standards, then it needs the support of all our parents. Pupils need clear and consistent messaging from both school and home, and we hope that we can rely on you for that. We want to help those families that are struggling, but the best way to help all of our children right now is to set out the high expectations we all have for them.
Please ensure that on return to school after Easter that pupils have at least the minimum requirement. Black footwear, black skirt or trousers, white shirt a school tie and a school jumper if the weather is cold. Outerwear, including hoodies are not to be worn in class.
The School Nurses will be attending school on the 13th, 14th and 17th of March to carry out the first dose of HPV Vaccine for Year 8 pupils. Any consent forms not yet returned should be sent into school asap.
Year 9 pupils will be receiving their 2nd dose of the HPV Vaccine on 13th, 14th or 17th March. If you consented to the first dose of the vaccine this automatically carries your consent for the second dose.
Please ensure that your child wears a short sleeved shirt and has breakfast.
I would like to wish all our pupils, families and staff a relaxing half-term break. All pupils will return to school on Monday 27th February. It has been another busy half-term culminating in a non-uniform day yesterday in aid of the earthquake appeal for the people of Turkey and Syria. I am pleased to announce that as a school we managed to raise £1,460. Thank you to everybody for the kind donations.
You may have heard that the NEU have rejected the pay offer from the Welsh Government and as a result, strike action is planned for Thursday 2nd March. Due to the number of staff in the NEU, unfortunately school will be closed to all pupils on that day. I wanted to give you as much prior notice as possible. If the situation changes, I will obviously update you as soon as possible.
We made you aware yesterday of the news that the National Executive of the NEU had agreed to postpone a planned day of action in Wales, which was scheduled for the 14th February 2023. This is obvioulsy very welcome news and all pupils are therefore expected to attend school next Tuesday. It is worth noting that no formal agreement has been made at this stage. As a result, the strike action origianlly planned for 14th February has been postponed until 2nd March. We will monitor developments in the coming weeks and inform parents through the school website, text service and social media channels.
I would like to remind parents and carers that Friday 17th February is a designated staff training day (INSET dates can be found on the the school website). Therefore, the final day for pupils this half-term will be Thursday 16th February. Term will resume on Monday 27th February for all pupils, whcih will be Week B for pupils in the secondary phase.
I am sure we have been saddened by events in Turkey and Syria after this week’s earthquake. In response, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has launched an appeal to provide essential aid and support the wounded. Having spoken to members of staff and pupils this week, we felt it would be appropriate to support this cause as a school. Therefore, we have decided to designate Thursday 16th February a non-uniform day and ask kindly for a small donation which will be given to the campaign.