July 10th 2020 Gorffennaf 20fed

Dear Parents and Carers,

It’s been another rewarding week, as pupils have returned equally positive and excited about spending time with their teachers. The arrangements have continued to work well, so a huge thank you once again to all!

We have but a week of the school year left and I’m sure with that fact comes genuine anticipation at the opportunity to draw a firm line at the end of an academic year like no other and be able to look forward we all hope to brighter, more straightforward times in the near future.

Here at the school, we seem to have spent the whole period of COVID-19 planning, reacting and responding to a whole range of challenges, with more facing us no doubt! From setting up Key Worker childcare, to establishing home learning, to planning and communicating how we were going to safely reopen the school, to then planning the class structure for the new academic year – there’s been lots to consider, much to organise, much to digest.

Now, following the Education Minister’s announcement that schools are to reopen fully by September 14th, we must once again take stock, think ahead and plan the best way to do this safely and in an organised manner. We must also consider how to use the two weeks at the beginning of September to ensure a smooth transition for new pupils, new year groups, pupils moving to full time education and those moving from Foundation Phase to Key Stage 2. I will be in meetings with the Local Authority, along with other Headteachers, over the next few days as well as liaising closely with my Senior Leadership Team, staff and Governors to ensure we use the time well and build capacity in the school to secure a safe organised process.

You’ve had to put a lot of trust in us over recent weeks and months and I very much hope you feel that your trust has been repaid, while we successfully opened safely for restricted numbers of pupils for the end of term. Now we ask you to do the same again, as we prepare to reopen in full. Rest assured that once again, we’ll do our very best to make Rhos Street School as safe as possible amid a positive happy environment in order for us to continue our work educating and nurturing your children. I will of course communicate clearly how we will approach this task in order to address any anxieties you will understandably have. As ever, we will all work together to make this work and once plans are in place I will let you know.

As is normal at this time of year, I am in a position to share with you the class structure for 2020-21.
Nursery – Eleri / Kelly
Reception – Mrs. Bourne
Years 1 and 2 – Miss Bevan and Mrs. Liddy
Year 3 – Miss Davies
Year 4 – Miss Price
Year 5 – Mrs. Davies
Year 6 – Mr. Davis

From the beginning of the Autumn term, Mrs. Lewis will begin a period of maternity leave, so Miss Price, who has of course been working with Year 4 for two years in both a full time and part time capacity in tandem with Mrs. Lewis, will take on the class full time for this period. We wish Mrs. Lewis well! I am also particularly excited also to see the team teaching approach taken in Years 1 and 2 with Miss Bevan and Mrs. Liddy. It is a model I’m very much looking forward to seeing develop and grow, as we move towards the introduction of the new curriculum in 2022.

We’ve also had to plan beyond September, as this is the time of year when I normally send out letters asking for deposits for residential visits to Nant BH in Years 5 and 6 and Pentrellyncymer in Year 4. However, I don’t think any of us are in a position to be committing to residential visits for the foreseeable future, so have postponed these activities that were due to take place in the Autumn term. It is disappointing, as they are always a highlight of the year and as we monitor the ongoing situation, I hope to be able to reschedule activities in the new calendar year. The Year 3 visit to Glan Llyn in January is still pencilled in but at present, I do not foresee that going ahead either, I’m afraid.

Year 6 is a year group I particularly feel sympathy for, because their final few months at Rhos Street, usually packed with opportunities and activities has been very different. However, we have organized a little ceremony on Monday 2pm, outside while socially distanced to present them with the hoodies kindly organised by Jo Jones. T-shirts will also be presented to those pupils who did not order a hoodie. We look forward to seeing them all together for once last time before we break for the summer. Could only one parent accompany each child please.

This time of year is often packed with transition activities, but as you’ll be aware, we can’t welcome our new Nursery to show them round, can’t introduce Year 2 to Key Stage 2, Year 6 haven’t been able to visit Brynhyfryd and our classes haven’t been able to move up to their new teachers for a morning. However, we have done our best to plug the gap. New Nursery parents have been sent information packs and introductory videos, on Google Classroom Junior pupils have been given the opportunity to share which projects they’d like to study from September, Year 6 have been sent a Power Point by Ysgol Brynhyfryd and finally, all teachers have recorded a brief video by way of introduction to their new classes in September. Those videos are being posted to Google Classroom for the pupils to view to help break the ice of getting to know a new teacher in September. I will also email links to the videos to each respective classes parents early next week.

Teachers have also this week and last, endeavoured to contact all families whose children have not yet returned to school, lending support and to check if everybody is ok. Messages have been left with families who have not been able to take the call, so please get in touch if we can help in any way.

All end of year reports have been sent out by now via email. If the email address you have previously provided us with has changed, please let me know and I will send you the report.

It seems such a long time since late March, yet in other ways, time has flown. With a week to go, I want to once again thank you all for your support and resilience while we’ve all hung in there! It is as ever, very much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Bryn D. Jones