April 3rd 2020 Ebrill 3ydd

Dear Parents and Carers,

In normal circumstances, I would be writing to you acknowledging the Easter break is upon us. While that fact remains true, we also all know that for the vast majority of pupils, school has now been closed for a fortnight. However, we also know that the site will continue to remain open over the Easter break, to provide emergency care for pupils with only Key Workers as carers in the household. These are strange paradoxical circumstances for strange times.

Now that the Local Authority has been able to gather a picture of the emergency provision needed across Denbighshire, the model of care is now shifting to a local hub as of Monday for the Easter break and beyond. The hub for the Ruthin area is to be housed here at Rhos Street along with Pen Barras. Parents and carers of the pupils who have been attending over the last fortnight have been requested to re-register for this provision and I have emailed all of those families with details.

If any further families meet the criteria of emergency care; that being that all carers in the household are Key Workers, have nobody to care for their child and need to access this emergency provision, then please urgently email me directly. I will provide you with a copy of the Local Authority’s letter that includes all the details you need in order to apply for a place. Please do not send your child to school, unless you have a confirmed place for this provision as the person in charge will not allow them to attend. The initial registrations made via the link I sent out when the school initially closed, are no longer valid. Once again, I appeal to you to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

We’ve reached the end of a second week of home learning and from the feedback I’ve received from teachers, it’s clear that some of you have engaged very enthusiastically with the range of materials, resources and activities that have been provided. Twitter has once again been a delight to keep an eye on from my point of view. We have now reached the Easter break, so where home learning is concerned, we will pause for a while, not set any new tasks, refrain from sharing new ideas and give everybody a much deserved break – pupils, staff and yes – parents! If pupils want to keep ticking along with their activities, that’s fine. After all, we’re all pretty restricted in terms of the range of things we can actually do! Please also feel free to continue to share on Twitter. In times of lockdown, this is such a positive way to keep connected. In two weeks, we will start afresh and rejoin this new and unpredictable journey that is home learning! This includes all the pupils, including the ones who haven’t yet engaged as much as they should! You know who you are kids and so do we! 

I would like to extend my gratitude to those staff members who have been in a position to come into school and care for the children. Their efforts do not go unappreciated and their contributions over the Easter break in supporting the childcare here at the Ruthin hub are crucial, as we try to support our Key Workers. Likewise, I’m grateful to the teaching staff for also supporting our learners from afar, setting and responding to pupils work. We will look at ways to develop the engagement further between teacher and pupil following the Easter break as we experiment with the potential of Google Classroom. I also want to thank Chair of Governors, Chris Johnson for his support and he has penned a message to the school community, which you will find overleaf.

I mentioned Google Classroom above and pupils in Years 4 and 6 have been set up to explore, interact and see what teachers have left for them. Google Classroom is accessible through Hwb and in their email inbox a link will take them to the resource. Follow the instructions in the email, but please ensure you are logged out of any other Google accounts on the device first, as the link will not work otherwise. I fully anticipate and expect there to be gremlins, but please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. Between myself and Mr Davis, we will try and iron out any problems with this issue or any other log-in problems you have with the other resources. As I’ve said many times, any, queries, problems or support you need – just email me and I’ll do my best to help you out or find somebody else that can.

I think it’s pretty clear by now that it will be a while before we are in a position to welcome everybody back to school and return to normal. This is especially sad for our Year 6 pupils who could well be denied many of the opportunities afforded to them in their final year here at Rhos Street. However, thanks to Jo Jones, Ffion’s mum, Leavers’ Hoodies are being organised and she would be grateful if any parents yet to contact her with their order, do so at their earliest convenience. I look forward to presenting them all with their hoodies whenever that may be.

We all have a challenging few weeks ahead of us. I can think of so many times in the past, when the school community has pulled together in an amazingly positive way. I have no doubt we can continue to support one another once again as we face these uncertain times.

Look after your loved ones. Stay at home, stay safe and stay strong.

Yours sincerely,

Bryn D. Jones

Dear Fellow Parents,

In these challenging times I am sure I will not be the only parent who finds it strange to see school so quiet, when it is usually such a vibrant and happy place. I have enjoyed seeing on Twitter all the different and imaginative ways everyone has been adapting to the change. To see so many smiling faces as our children respond to the new situation has been great. I also know that this isn’t an easy time for anyone, and accepting that sometimes the days are so difficult is often very hard. However, I am constantly reassured by everyone’s support and know that we are not alone. We will continue to support each other and the Rhos Street Community will come out the other side together.

With that in mind I would like to express my deep thanks to all the staff who continue to look after the children both in school and online. I would also like to thank Mr Jones for keeping our spirits up, and keeping us connected to the life of the school via Twitter.

As we head into the next few weeks where the Easter holidays were supposed to be (I am not sure what we call them now), I would like to wish everyone all the best. Stay home, and stay safe. We are in this together and will get through this together.

Best wishes

Chris Johnson
Chair of Governors