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 The initial registrations made via the link I sent out when the school initially closed, are no longer valid.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
Headteacher

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

March 27th 2020 Mawrth 27ain

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has reached the end of the first full week, following the closure of our school and since the notice was given by the Welsh Education Minister, we have not only seen the closure of public buildings but we have been directed in no uncertain terms to stay at home by the UK Government.

You will have sensed no doubt, through communications from the school last weekend, that our provision here in school for Key Workers was solely for those who needed emergency childcare and I sincerely thank you for the responsible way the school community has listened and adhered to that important message. We have gladly provided that care this week and will continue to do so as long as it’s needed or until the local care model changes.

The school community has therefore been operating in a different way this week, as our pupils have been experiencing home learning. It is something new for us all – for pupils, parents and teachers. It’s not going to always work, but then sometimes it’s going to be great, memorable and very rewarding. The important thing is that we don’t worry or stress about it. We are currently dealing with anxieties about things which are far more important than literacy, maths, science and topic work. The important thing is that your children – our pupils, are happy, reassured and safe. It is equally important that you parents feel the same.

You have all been given a wealth of resources and the key is to make them work for you. The weather this week has been amazing, so I hope you’ve all taken advantage of it, especially after the drenching we’ve been subjected to this winter. The most important thing to support in these strange uncertain times, is the wellbeing of the children. Yes, they need to keep learning, yes we need to keep them ticking over, but we need to keep it fresh, lively and interesting. You will have seen, I hope, that I’ve been tweeting ideas, resources and activities each day. I have done this to give you the chance to try something different, because Purple Mash, Manga High, TT Rockstars and Hwb all day will test anybody’s patience and while there is a place for regular, short visits to these platforms, there’s a lot more to life in these times of lockdown! I’ve had running battles with my youngest son this week trying to get him to do some work and trust me – trying to teach one of your own is a very different experience to teaching someone else’s child!

It’s been a genuine pleasure to have so many members of the school community engage with the @rhosstreet Twitter. To see your photos, your activities, your creations and just to get to see your faces has I’m sure, lifted the spirits of all who’ve scrolled through the many tweets. I hope the numbers of families that engage continue to increase, because we miss you all. On Saturday night at 8.30pm, it’s Earth Hour, where we’re encouraged to switch off ALL electricity for 1 hour. As in previous years, any tweets of your experences would be welcomed! Then, from Monday, please feel free to continue to send photos of the children’s learning activities, be they indoor, outdoor, online, on paper, creative, physical or scientific. Send over your rainbow pictures, show the pupils reading in silly places, share their projects and send us their smiles!

If you have any queries, need some advice, support or further ideas, please email me and I’ll try to point you in the right direction.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay at home and stay strong!

Yours sincerely,

Bryn D. Jones
Headteacher

March 20th 2020 Mawrth 20fed

Dear Parents and Carers,

If feels strange writing a newsletter in a school that’s missing its pupils. There are no photos to share, nor notice to give of forthcoming activities. We are now in a period of limbo, as we wait for information on how this building will be used in the coming weeks. We can only speculate how that will manifest itself or when. All I know is that we will be open soon for the Key Workers who need us. Whether that is to support the local area or solely for our own pupils is yet to be decided. A week that started with our pupils televised on the national news became no less surreal as it wore on. It ended with good news though, because in the Rotary’s District writing competition which covers North Wales, Cheshire, Merseyside and Southport, Theo was awarded 2nd place for his essay “A connection that grew.” Congratulations!

What has been appreciated, particularly over the last few days is the groundswell of support we’ve had from the school community through emails and messages. Thank you very much. I’m sorry I haven’t had the opportunity to respond to them all in the whirlwind of the last few days. It’s been very challenging for everybody, but I’m grateful to the staff and the pupils for their calmness and their efforts as we’ve tried to make sense of what’s going on. There’s been a lot of work taking place trying to get everything in place for pupils and indeed for staff to be able to work in an effective way going forward.

What is clear though, that although we may be working in a very different way over the next few weeks, we are still here, hoping to engage, support, encourage and provide for our pupils in any way we can. Through the home resources shared so far, through twitter and through email we will stay connected. We will share ideas for further activities, highlight further resources and keep things as fresh as we can. It won’t be the same, but with your support, we can keep these brilliant children learning.

Twitter has always been a positive way to highlight our activities and while I am eager to restrict the response to any queries privately via email, I would welcome any photos or news you want to share of your children working at home and will gladly share them. Feel free to interact that way, so that we can keep tabs on one another in this period of uncertainty. Please be aware though, if you have a twitter account that is locked, your interactions will not be viewable.

Good luck with the home activities. I hope the pupils enjoy them. Say hello to them all from me and the staff. Look after yourselves and stay safe.

I’ll be in touch – you know I’m never quiet on Twitter! When I have news to share with you about ongoing developments, I will do so immediately.

Yours sincerely,

Bryn D. Jones
Headteacher

March 13th 2020 Mawrth 13eg

Dear Parents & Carers,

PTA Mother’s Day Fair – In the wake of the country moving into the ‘delay’ phase of managing the Coronavirus outbreak, we will not go ahead with the PTA Mother’s Day Fair after school. There were too many logistical factors that made holding the event unfeasible. We apologise for the inconvenience.

Bake Off – Thank you to all the pupils who entered our Bake Off today. Over 30 entries were received and have been judged by Lynn and Anna today. Winners were announced at the end of the day.

Sport Relief – Thank you to everybody for taking part in Sport Relief today. Thank you also to the School Council for organising the activities.

Hand Washing – All visitors to school: On entering the building, please wash your hands at our designated hand-washing station. Many thanks for your co-operation.

Family Service – Unless Government directives regarding public gatherings change, Year 3 will deliver their Family Service next Friday. Parents and relatives are welcome at 9am.

Urdd Dance – Well done and congratulations to the Urdd dancers for their 3rd place in the County Eisteddfod. Mrs Lewis was very proud of them all.

Coronavirus – Again, following the outcome of yesterday’s escalation of the British Government’s response to the Coronavirus, may I ask that any pupil who is suffering from a persistent cough and/or high temperature be kept off school for a period of seven days.

County Urdd Event – This provisionally takes place next Saturday, 21st March and the Recitation Group is required to be at Ysgol Brynhyfryd at 9am that morning.

Yours sincerely,

Bryn D. Jones
Headteacher

March 6th 2020 Mawrth 6ed

Dear Parents & Carers / Annwyl Rieni a Gwarchodwyr,
The days are getting longer, the daffodils are appearing and we’re seeing a bit more of that yellow thing that can appear in the sky, so I think we can say that Spring has reluctantly arrived! It’s a busy time in school with national events like the Urdd, St. David’s Day, World Book Day and Sport Relief all falling within a few days of one another. They are always great fun, even though they need co-ordination and support from staff, pupils and parents alike. The diary is no less busy in the lead up to Easter and I have provided you with provisional dates overleaf.

Mae’r dyddiau’n mynd yn hirach, mae’r cennin Pedr yn ymddangos, felly dwi’n meddwl y gallwn ni ddweud bod y Gwanwyn wedi cyrraedd! Mae’n amser prysur yn yr ysgol gyda digwyddiadau cenedlaethol fel yr Urdd, Dydd Gwyl Dewi, Diwrnod y Llyfr a Sport Relief i gyd yn disgyn o fewn ychydig ddyddiau i’w gilydd. Maent bob amser yn llawer o hwyl, er bod angen cydlynu a chefnogaeth gan staff, disgyblion a rhieni fel ei gilydd.

Yours sincerely / Yn gywir,

Bryn D. Jones, Headteacher / Pennaeth

World Book Day – We had some brilliant costumes this year once again! It’s a great way to promote a love of books and reading. Well done all!

Urdd Eisteddfod – I was extremely proud of the pupils who represented the school in the Eisteddfod last week. Their recitations were fantastic and of a high standard. They should be very proud. The group and dialogue teams also performed excellently after all their hard work!

Coronavirus – The outbreak of the Coronavirus is an opportunity to reinforce existing practice here in school. The protocols of handwashing thoroughly,binning tissues and use of personal, clean water bottles have been reasserted. We are employing a calm but focused approach here in school

Achievers – Students of the Week were all of Reception, Seb, Henry, Lily-Mae, Leyla, Mia, Riley, Trystan, Barkley, Illy, Olivia, James, Leo, and Faye. Welsh awards went to Joe, Lily and Tilly.

PTA Mothers Day Fair Bake Off
– See the poster overleaf about our special Bake-Off which will be judged next week. Any help with stall in the Fair would be appreciated.

Digital Leaders Competition – Congratulations to Belle, Mia-Rose, Jade, Henry, Kian, ConnieT, and Poppy for winning thir respective classes Safer Internet Day competition. Our Digital Leaders judged the entries this week

Sport Relief – Next Friday, it’s Sport Relief, so pupils can come in sports kit, will take part in special circuit training sessions and a contribution of £2 is requested towards the charities involved.

Balance Bikes – Any donations of unneeded balance bikes would be very gratefully received by Giggles. Many thanks.

Free Press – The Mothers Day pictures drawn by the pupils will be in the Free Press on Wednesday, 18th March.

February 28th 2020 Chwefror 28ain

Dear Parents & Carers / Annwyl Rieni a Gwarchodwyr,

With only a week after half term to prepare our pupils for tomorrow’s Eisteddfod, I can tell you it’s been pretty full on getting them ready to compete! However, they have all worked extremely hard and I look forward to seeing them take part tomorrow. They deserve great credit for their efforts! Good luck to everybody tomorrow!

Gyda dim ond wythnos ar ôl hanner tymor i baratoi ein disgyblion ar gyfer yr Eisteddfod yfory, gallaf ddweud wrthych ei bod wedi bod yn eithaf prysur, wrth gael pawb yn barod i gystadlu. Fodd bynnag, maent i gyd wedi gweithio’n galed iawn ac edrychaf ymlaen at eu gweld yn cymryd rhan yfory. Maen nhw’n haeddu clod mawr am eu hymdrechion! Pob lwc i bawb yfory!

Yours sincerely / Yn gywir,

Bryn D. Jones, Headteacher / Pennaeth

Year 3 Family Service – This will take place on March 20th.

Pancake Races – Well done to the 44 pupils in Years 1 through to 6, who represented Rhos Street in the Pancake Races at Ruthin Square. Another superb occasion! Well done to our winners Isabella, Ella May and Morgan.

St. David’s Day Lunch – On Monday, there will be St. David’s Day themed lunch served in the school canteen. See Twitter for details.

World Book Day – This annual event will take place on Thursday the 5th March. As is traditional, pupils can come to school dressed as a literary character, but as ever, there is no pressure to go out and buy costumes. Make it work for you! There will also be a World Book Day lunch served in the canteen.

Achievers – Students of the Week were Arlo, Jay, Joe, Beau, Nate, Gabby, Chloe and Constance. Elliott received a Welsh award and Maya a swimming certificate.

PTA Meeting – This will be held in school on Tuesday at 3.30pm. All welcome.

PTA Mothers Day Fair – See the attached poster regarding the Mothers Day Fair at 3.30pm on March 13th here in the school hall.

Carnival – The selection for this year’s Carnival Queen and Prince takes place at Ruthin Castle on Sunday, March 8th at 2pm.

Criw Cymraeg Competition – Congratulations to our winners of the Criw Cymraeg logo competition. They were presented with prizes this morning.

Infection Control – With all the attention on controlling the spread of coronavirus in the media at the moment, I’d also like to reiterate that any child who has suffered from diarrhoea and vomiting should be kept off school for 48 hours. This helps to avoid the spread of infection to other pupils. Many thanks.

Wellingtons – If you have any wellingtons at home that have been outgrown and are no longer needed, then if you were able to donate them to us, we’d be very grateful.

February 14th 2020 Chwefror 14eg

Dear Parents & Carers / Annwyl Rieni a Gwarchodwyr,
Half-term arrives, in between the departure of Storm Ciara and the arrival of Storm Dennis! Before we break up though, we have the PTA Valentine’s Disco and it seems that love is in the air, particularly among some of our Year 6 pupils! Maybe a bucket of cold water will be in order later! I hope all our pupils and staff have an enjoyable week and we look forward to welcoming everybody back on Monday, February 24th.

Mae hanner-tymor wedi cyrraedd, rhwng ymadawiad Storm Ciara a dyfodiad Storm Dennis! Cyn i ni dorri i fyny serch hynny, mae gennym ni Disgo Calan CrhA ac mae’n ymddangos bod cariad yn yr awyr, yn enwedig ymhlith rhai o’n disgyblion Blwyddyn 6! Efallai y bydd bwced o ddŵr oer mewn trefn yn nes ymlaen! Rwy’n gobeithio y bydd ein holl ddisgyblion a staff yn cael wythnos ddifyr ac edrychwn ymlaen at groesawu pawb yn ôl ddydd Llun, Chwefror 24ain.

Yours sincerely / Yn gywir,

Bryn D. Jones, Headteacher / Pennaeth

Year 5 Family Service – Well done to Year 5 for their Family Service about the Rainforests this morning. They certainly sent a strong message for us all to think about. My thanks go to the pupils and Mrs Davies for their hard work and to parents for their support this morning.

Clothes Recycling – Our recycling has raised over £85 so far this year. If you have a clear out over half-term, then please use our collection point here by the reception.

Vale of Clwyd Football – Our footballers really gave a great account of themselves in a hard fought tournament this morning. They won three games against Pen Barras, Twm o’r Nant B and Esgob Morgan B, drew with Frongoch and lost to Esgob Morgan A and Twm o’r Nant A. Well done to them all!

Achievers – Students of the week were Piper, Jacob, Clare, Sofia, Meredith, Elliott, all of Yr 5, Tyler & Charlie. Welsh awards went to Finley, Chloe, Ffion & James. Da iawn!

Urdd Eisteddfod – Could all competitors do their level best to practice and learn their pieces so we can get them all drilled before the Eisteddfod on February 29th. They can access audio files to help them via their HwB accounts.

Visit to Richard Williams – Thank you to Richard Williams, Builders Merchant for the welcome extended to our Year 2 pupils this week. They had a brilliant time!

Message from Councillor Hilditch-Roberts
Dear Parent / Guardian, I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for the delay in delivering the additional yard for Rhos Street School, and I share your frustration regarding the recent lack of activity.
Next week, over the half term break, contractors will be on the Rhos Street School field undertaking percolation tests. These tests are necessary to ensure that the proposed drainage system for the new yard is sufficient.
Once the tests are complete we will be nearer to delivering a new yard for Rhos Street School as then we will be ready to tender the work.
Procurement by the Council is governed by detailed UK legislation, and the law requires that all council procurement and contracting is conducted transparently, fairly and in a non-discriminatory manner.
Thank you, Huw