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 firstname.lastname@example.org
As you will be aware we have been working with Laura at Deeside Community Trust to find courses that would help you and help your children too. We have come up with a project based in our Forest Schools area. Many of you will have seen how much your children are enjoying our Forest Schools sessions this year and we would love to continue with that as we move forward. To do so, we would like to make some improvements to the Forest School area including reinstating a willow arch, improving the garden area and general gardening work. Deeside Community Trust are preparing a course to be run at our school which will include developing skills such as gardening and working in the outdoors and will also include elements of helping children learn through play in the outdoors (great if you are planning to look for a job working with children, but also if you would just like some advice on how to help your child's development). We are also hoping the course will have a First Aid element within it too. In order for them to find funding, I need to know numbers of people who might be interested. The course will run for 5 weeks starting the week beginning June 7th (days to be confirmed) and will be roughly a half day a week. In the first instance can you email me at email@example.com (or message the school mobile number - Julie Reece 07930499657)by Wednesday 5th May to say that you would be interested in taking part . Once we have some numbers, we can firm up the plans and let you know the timetable. Thanks as always for your support. This course may give you a chance to develop some great skills, but it will also greatly benefit our pupils!
At the end of this current term, the term of office for one Parent Governor is at an end.
I am writing to ask for an expression of interest from any parent/carer of a pupil of Ysgol Maesglas who seeks to join the Governing Body.
Please email me with an expression of interest, in the first instance, by Monday 22nd March.
Once we have ascertained who is interested, we will arrange for the applicants to present their credentials to you and for a vote to take place.
School Meal Price Increase
We have just been informed Newydd, the school meals provider, are increasing the cost of school meals for all primary aged children to £2.30 a day effective from April 1st.
Now might be a good time to remind you that you may be eligible for Free School Meals (even if you choose not to claim them) and you can contact Julie Reece (Family Support Worker firstname.lastname@example.org) for help with claiming school meals.
Even if you choose not to take them and provide your own packed lunch instead, the school and therefore all the children, benefit financially if you have registered for them, so please consider doing so.
The following times are in place from next Monday, AT LEAST until the end of the Easter Holidays when they will be reviewed.
If you have more than one child attending Drop off 8:40 -Pick up 2.50pm (11.20 for Nursery)
Mrs Roberts 3/4 and Mr Oldfield 5/6 Drop off 8.45 - Pick up 2.55
Mrs Pearce 1/2 and Miss Hiller N Drop Off 8.50 - Pick up 3.00pm (11.20 for Nursery)
Miss Williams 3/4 and Mr Woodcock 5/6Drop off 8.55 -Pick up 3.05
Miss Davies Reception and Miss Jones 1/2 Drop off 9.00 -Pick up 3.10
It is really important that you arrive at the time given as these classes have been grouped this way to minimise the number of contacts and the waiting time in the car park to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid between the adults coming onto our grounds.
Please follow the rules for your safety and that of the rest of the community.
We are having issues with tweeting or website updates. Please be patient whilst we try and fix the problem.
Having had a briefing from Kirsty Williams, we can say (unless something changes very dramatically before then) that the KS2 children will join us back in class from Monday 15th. We are so looking forward to having the whole school back under one roof.
The classes will remain in the same class bubbles as of last September. We will return to wearing school uniform in KS2 and come into school in PE kit (joggers or leggings tee shirt and sweatshirt)on PE days. The kitchen is open as usual but meals will still be eaten in class.
We will continue staggering drop off and pick up times. This is vitally important to minimise the number of adults who are on the school grounds at any one time, thereby reducing the chances of transmission of Covid within our community.
Please arrive at the time you have been given.
Please do not arrive early or late.
Please only have one adult enter the school grounds to drop off or collect.
Please use the one way system with pupils entering through the middle gate and leaving through the top gate by the crossing.
Please do not stand and chat once you have dropped off or collected. If you need to speak to teaching staff, please arrange another time to do this.
If you are waiting for your child at the end of the day, please pay attention to the markings and observe the social distancing rules.
Times for dropping off and picking up are as follows.
Drop off 8:40 - All pupils who have siblings in school Pick up 2.50pm
Drop off 8.45 - Mrs Roberts 3/4 and Mr Oldfield 5/6 Pick up 2.55
Drop off 8.55 - Miss Williams 3/4 and Mr Woodcock 5/6 Pick up 3.05
As you can see, if you have more than one child in school, they will be dropped off and picked up together. The children will come out together at the same time so you will not have to wait on the yard for your second or third child. We will maintain this staggered start and end of the day at least up until Easter. We will reassess during the holidays if we are able to change any of the timings.
For those of you who have seen your child have a growth spurt over the past 3 months since we were last in school, we have collected uniform for redistribution. Please call and collect any uniform you need from school on Friday 12th March. The uniform will be arranged by size on tables in the top carpark between 10:30 and 1:30.
Please observe social distancing, follow the one way system and use the hand sanitiser. Thank you for helping others in the community and the environment by recycling and reusing school uniform.
It has been so lovely to have our FP children back in school this week, it is great to hear laughter and learning going on! And we are hopeful that we can have the whole school back open in the very near future, but please be aware that we have not been given a firm date yet.
Just a few messages you may have missed this week.
Roadworks outside the bottom gate at school may cause some problems for traffic. KS2 pupils will still be able to access through the gates on foot.
£100 fines come into force from Monday 1st if you are smoking on school grounds or in playgrounds
Although we are back in school the same covid restrictions apply regarding not meeting up, having playdates or sleepovers. Can I refer you back to the message from Claire Homard from before half term- When children chat about things that are happening outside of school to their teachers, which is quite normal, we hear stories of some families not abiding by the rules and are socially mixing. These stories are supported by information gathered by the Test, Trace and Protect Team who follow up with calls to people who have tested positive who are asked to identify their close contacts. Breaches of the guidance helps the virus spread. Where a school has strong evidence that families who are accessing face to face provision are not following the guidance, the offer of that place may be withdrawn. The Council is asking for everyone to play their part and follow the guidelines to keep our children and our school workforces safe.
And finally a big thank you to all those foundation Parents who have tried to synchronise their arrival times at school this week. As you are aware, we are asking that you arrive at a specified time to avoid the chances of transmission when the area is busy. With an eye to the junior classes coming back, it is so important to arrive at your given time, not early or late, so that we do not have large numbers of people waiting. Even by arriving 3 minutes early you are having to stand and wait and therefore increasing the likelihood of the transmission of the virus. Please help us to keep the pupils, our staff and the whole community safe by arriving on time.
I hope you have a lovely, and safe, weekend.
Dear Parent / Guardian,
As part of the return to face to face learning for pupils we are introducing a number of additional measures to provide an added level of assurance for parents and staff. This includes the introduction of twice weekly testing for staff members. All those working in schools will have access to Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs). This enables them to undertake a test for coronavirus at home twice a week. The LFDs provide a result within 30 minutes and don’t require a laboratory to process. The testing will take place on either Sunday and Wednesday evenings or Monday and Thursday mornings – schools have made their own decisions on when to test. If a member of staff tests positive and has been in contact with the children within the last 2 days, the whole of the contact group will need to self-isolate. This means that you, as parents / carers, will be contacted advising you that your child must self-isolate immediately. In the meantime, the staff member will be tested again using a laboratory test (a PCR test). If this second test is also positive, the self-isolation will need to continue as advised by Public Health Wales. If the PCR test is negative, the school will contact you to arrange for the children to return to school the next day. We will ensure that in those instances of a positive test that we can get a message to you as soon as possible. These arrangements are to provide additional assurances of the safety of your child.
Claire Homard Chief Officer, Education & Youth
Mr Cass, Headteacher