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Headteacher’s Update – 26th May 2023

Half-Term Highlights

It has been another busy half-term!!

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.

Uniform

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.

Parking

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.

Mr Rees

Headteacher/Prifathro

School Uniform Secondary Phase.

Dear Parents,

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.

Thank you for your support

HPV Vaccinations for Year 8 and 9 pupils.

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.

Headteacher’s Update – 17th February 2023

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.

Richard Rees

Haedtaecher/Prifathro

Headteacher’s Update – 10th February 2023

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.

Richard Rees

Headteacher/Prifathro