Given the restrictions we have faced, it has been a busy term! We have been able to have some visitors in school. We have had Father Dominic in for assemblies and have taken Foundation Phase children to the church. The older children have had workshops for sports such as dodgeball and boccia. A group of or 5/6 pupils presented at the Tedx Climate Change event at Theatre Clwyd and you and your children have supported both Children in Need and Greenfield Churches Food Club. In addition, our junior classes have all supported the Lend With Care organisation. We have no real idea about what next term will look like, but we are prepared for the worst and hoping for the best! A reminder that term starts for the children on Monday January 10th and as it stands, breakfast club is open and normal school opening times are in place. If there are any changes to this, we will inform you once we have information from FCC or the Welsh Government. Staff are being asked to turn off the notifications for Seesaw as of 3.15 today and will not be accessing their emails either until Thursday 6th January. If you need to contact the school on an urgent matter, please do so by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you need a more immediate response, a DM through Twitter will be quicker. All the staff at Maesglas would like to thank you for your support after what has been another difficult term and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year
We have been asked to share this information with you by Flintshire County Council. It is not the news we were hoping for, but I can fully see why they have made the decision they have. I will be in touch later today to give you information about registering for a Key Worker place for your child and to discuss what home learning will be made available for your child for the period 20-22nd Dec.
Flintshire’s rates of Covid-19 infection have been rising consistently over the last few weeks. On Friday 10th December, the incident rate reached 558.6 per 100K and whilst below the Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board average of 611.2, it is above the all Wales average of 501.9 per 100k. Coronavirus infection rates are impacting on many schools and rapidly increasing workforce absence due to Covid-19 and other factors is now having a knock-on effect, with many Headteachers reporting that they are having difficulty in maintaining adequate staffing levels. Some Flintshire schools have already had to close classes or year groups to safely manage. The availability of supply staff is virtually non-existent, not only in Flintshire but across Wales, and this is adding to the pressures. These factors and the emergence of the new variant of concern in the UK have prompted the Council to advise all schools to reintroduce blended learning from Monday, 20 December to Wednesday 22 December when the autumn term officially ends. Some schools have used training days or the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday entitlement to finish on 21st December whilst others were finishing on the 22nd December.
Claire Homard, Chief Officer for Education and Youth said “This decision – which has the backing of head teachers – will allow staff to use a blended approach to deliver education, whilst also providing head teachers with the discretion to invite groups of learners to attend school for face-to-face learning where required particularly in examination year groups in secondary schools. Children of key workers and vulnerable children will be permitted to attend school for the last few days of term (as determined by their school calendar) if no alternative arrangements can be made. Further information regarding arrangements will be issued directly by head teachers to parents. This decision has not been taken lightly. The Council expects the workforce situation to deteriorate as the week progresses so has made this decision now to give parents and carers as much time as possible to make arrangements.”
Council Leader, Councillor Ian Roberts said, “Flintshire County Council will do what we believe is necessary to safeguard our children, our staff and our communities. Coronavirus cases have increased considerably and, as a result, staff absence in schools has increased. This does not just include teachers but a wide range of support staff too. Our young people will continue their education and will switch to blended learning for the last few days of term. We share the concerns of government around the Omicron variant and are aware that many parents and staff are extremely worried. We must consider people’s wellbeing after a very difficult year. “Our education team continues to work closely with head teachers and all staff in schools and I would like to thank our school staff, governing bodies and parents for their continued work and care during a very difficult time.”
In the meantime it is vital that we all take the simple but necessary precautions so please remember to: · wear a mask when needed · get tested and self-isolate if required · get vaccinated · allow fresh air into indoor spaces · take regular LFD tests at home
Many thanks for your understanding this morning with our unexpected closure.
The engineer is here now to fix the fire alarm and is hoping that he will be able to complete the work in time to open on Monday.
Teaching staff have put work online, either via google classroom or seesaw for today. If you are having difficulty viewing the work, please contact your class teacher via seesaw for advice.
Due to a failure of our Fire Alarm System, Ysgol Maesglas is closed today. I will update you when i have more information.
As you know, the children all had their photographs taken this Monday. It was, as always, a busy day! Tempest have updated their systems so that we no longer act as middlemen and take payments and orders. Instead they have taken the email addresses we have on record for parents and have emailed codes out directly to parents. This system, of course, relies heavily on parents email addresses being current. Can I ask, if you have not had the link from Tempest to view and order your photos, that you check any old email addresses you may have used and your spam folders. If you are still unable to find the Tempest link, please contact the office on 01352711497 or email on email@example.com so that the office can then update Tempest with the correct address (and update our records at the same time). Can I politely request you do not contact Julie at Family Support or the Class teachers to arrange this as the office will have the ability to sort the problem and other staff will not. Many thanks for your understanding with this.
We can't quite believe it is the end of the half term and when we get back it will be November!!! It has been a difficult term, trying to adjust to a different new normal and trying to settle children into a change of routines but we are glad to say things are looking up!.
So far this term, we have been able to return to the dining hall for lunch for most pupils (though KS2 are still having packed lunches in class and we stagger the lunch times so we have fewer children mixing in the hall than we normally would), we have also starting mixing the children within the parallel classes, we have had visitors in to deliver workshops and sports training, Father Dominic has been in to deliver some assemblies for the parallel classes and we are planning ahead for a reintroduction of inter-school sports fixtures, Young Voices choir event and residential trips for Year 5&6 in the Spring Term.
We have also been able to celebrate Harvest and thanks again for your kind donation. Pupil progress reports are being sent out this evening, you will have chance to discuss anything that is written on the report, should you wish to, when we have our virtual check ins via video or phone on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th November.
It has been a very long term and both the children and the staff are very tired and deserving of a break. Seesaw has been a wonderful way for us to keep in touch with parents, especially during lockdown, but can I politely remind you that when staff are on a school holiday, they are not able to respond to your messages as they are being asked, by myself and the governing body, to switch off notifications. So please do not get cross or offended if you do not hear a response to anything you send after the close of school today. Any issues and concerns will be picked up once we are back in school.
In the event of you needing to contact someone at school in an emergency, you can do so by direct messaging me on the school twitter account or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, but also please be aware I will not be checking emails everyday.
We hope you have a lovely half term and look forward to seeing everyone back in on Monday November 1st
October 21st - Harvest celebration - videos released at 10am via seesaw. Donations gratefully received for the church food collection.
October 22nd - Last day of the half term - Autumn Progress Reports will be sent out
November 1st - Start back (not a training day)
November 9th/10th - Parents' Evening/ Virtual check-ins by phone or Teams calls for those who wish to discuss the progress reports
November 12th - Nasal Flu Vaccines for children who have returned forms
November 15th - Tempest School Photographer (We will not be able to invite non-school attending siblings in, but individual and school age family photos will be taken)
November 19th - Children in Need - Sporty own clothes, donations will be collected at the gate
November 29th - School Police Liaison Officer in for years 1, 3 and 5
December 15th - Christmas Lunch TBC
December 16th - After School Christmas Fun Evening 3.15-5.15 (Fund Raising event £5 per child [Family ticket £10 for 2 or more children], Crafts, Film, Snack, Visit from FC, all done within year groups to limit mixing), This is to replace our usual Christmas disco and grotto fund raiser.
December 20th - Christmas Party Afternoon (party food option for lunch if your child is school dinners)
December 21st - Panto and Christmas Jumper day (£1 donation to help pay for the Panto.
December 22nd - Last Day of Term
January 10th - First day of Spring Term (Jan 6th and 7th are Training days - children are not in school)
You will notice we are trying to return to business as usual as much as we can. We have been advised however, that we are still not to plan events that involve large gatherings of adults. For that reason we will not be staging a Christmas Concert. We have plans however to film the pupils and share a virtual concert with you in the last week of term (dates to be confirmed).
Dear Parents and Carers
As we come to the end of a long and tiring half term we would like to say thanks again for all your help keeping our children and our community safe.
We have been able to introduce some visitors and events into the school since we all got back together including visits from the school liaison officer, visitors to discuss topics and we were able to have an Outdoor and Adventurous Activity day for our Year 5 and 6 pupils, which did not quite make up for not having a residential visit, but went some way towards it. We have also welcomed Street Dance and Cheer Leading coaches into school virtually. We have been able to celebrate Red Nose day, have a virtual visit with our Erasmus Twin school in Romania and celebrate Easter with a special virtual assembly with Father Dominic form Holy Trinity. Our Agents for Change have been meeting with children in schools in America and China and are working on joint environmental projects along with all of Year 5 and 6. And we have been able to secure some funding to expand our Forest Schools provision so that all pupils Y1-6 will have had Forest School sessions at some point this year. I think you will agree that in spite of all the restrictions, we have been creative in finding ways to make the school experience the best it can be for the children.
Looking forward to next half term, we are trying to keep things as ‘normal’ as possible. We currently still have to work within the guidance on bubbles, maintaining separate start, break, lunch and finish times. We would expect updated guidance in the next few weeks and will inform you if we are able to make any changes.
Normally during the summer term, we would have a Sports Day – whilst we will not be inviting parents along, we will have a week when the children will do Sports Day activities within their groups and we will have a presentation class by class. Also during the summer term, we would normally have a week when we talk about Relationships, and for our 5/6 pupils, puberty. We will also do this next term in the week commencing 21st June (a leaflet detailing our plan and resources we will use will be sent out via Seesaw prior to this taking place). We also have a money week planned for the week commencing 14th June.
With regard to Year 6, we have been told that most of the transition with high schools will be done virtually, rather than have taster days as we might usually do. However we will be welcoming visiting teachers from some of the high schools in to meet with their new pupils in a socially distanced way.
We are unlikely to be able to have a Leaver’s Service with full attendance with parents and grandparents etc, but we will do something to mark their moving on from us, whether it is a virtual service or a video.
Equally we usually have a celebration of some sort to mark their leaving and the end of the school year for all, and again we are awaiting updated guidance to see how we can arrange this.
Other notable dates for your diary are
Start date – Monday June 7th
Reports out- Friday July 2nd
Parent/teacher phone calls-video calls to be arranged week commencing Monday July 5th
Last day of term –Friday July 16th
First day of new school year – Thursday September 2nd (1st is a training day)
Again, it has been a long term for the children (and staff!) as they are settling back into the routine of daily school, getting up early and getting on with things, but the children (and again, the staff) have been amazing and have adapted so well to all the changes we have made. Some of these changes have been so successful we would like to keep them as we move into the next school year. Please be on the lookout for a link to a questionnaire in the first week back as we seek your opinions on matters such as coming into school dressed ready for PE, Outdoor Education and virtual rather than face to face parent/teacher meetings etc.
And before I go, Mrs Hiller is restocking her sensory walk – if you have any pebbles, slate or bark left over from a garden project you are doing this bank holiday, she would be very grateful for the donation. She would also really appreciate it if anyone goes to the seaside and collects some sea shells for her as they make a great crunch for her walk!
I hope you all have a lovely and restful half term and we can’t wait to see the children back with us for the final half.
Reminder. Closing date for Year 5 and 6 pupils to register for our SHEP programme this summer is this Friday. So far we have the following enrichment sessions booked:- Parkour Session, Forest Schools sessions, a mobile Planetarium, Samba Drumming and Circus Skills (more to follow). As well as daily sports sessions. Please let Julie know on the school mobile (07930499657) or email me at email@example.com
Mr Cass, Headteacher