21st April 2020
P’nawn da, pawb!
Just a short one from me today… I’ve been busy becoming a Youtuber with all the other teachers – 299 views in one day isn’t bad for a bunch of old-timers!!
You may have noticed I spent the past day or so creating a ‘Blaendulais Primary School world’ on Minecraft! I needed a little help from my children, as I didn’t know my ‘coarse dirt’ from my ‘dirt’ at the start, but in no time at all, we were flying (literally!). I wholly recommend downloading Minecraft Education Edition and then download ‘Blaendulais Primary School’ world – it is a brilliant resource and many treats await you!
A massive ‘thank you’ to all the staff for helping out at this time – the online videos and work is great!
If you require any support at this time, please contact your teacher via Class Dojo (please be patient, staff do not check this everyday) or you can email the school – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take care of yourselves,
6th April 2020
Good afternoon, Everyone!
The weather has certainly been very kind to us over the past week or so – let’s hope it continues!
As you are aware, Blaendulais’ ‘repurposing’ finished last Friday, and a ‘hub’ is now available to children of Key Workers at Cwmnedd Primary School. This will remain the case for the Easter period – I will know more about after Easter toward the tail-end of next week (w/b 13th April).
Hopefully all the girls & boys have enjoyed completing the work set for them over the past few weeks. If your children are anything like mine, then there has been an awful lot of moaning and groaning when the ‘school bell’ goes for lessons to start!!
The important thing to remember at this time, is that our children will feel just as anxious and worried as we do – their worlds have been turned upside down, too. If they are struggling with a piece of work, put the book down and give them a cwtch and chat about things – try to answer any questions they may have about their concerns.
As we have all worked so hard over the past week or so, it is now time for a little breather. Staff will take a break from setting work over Easter, but please keep up with your reading (and the odd bit of times table practise!). If you are keen to do a little bit more, then I hear the BBC are preparing to ramp up their online learning over the next few weeks – click here for BBC Bitesize. Please check the school website from April 20th for further work/guidance from your teachers.
In the meantime, please look out for one another – check on that elderly neighbour, make that phone call, get to grips with FaceTime/Zoom and this’ll all pass soon enough.
Mr G Phillips
30th March 2020
P’nawn da, bawb,
I write with regard to the EASTER PROVISION AT CWMNEDD PRIMARY, GLYNNEATH.
There will be childcare available for children of ‘Key Workers’ over the Easter period (excluding Bank Holidays – Friday, 10th April & Monday, 13th April). Parents are respectfully reminded to adhere to the current Government advice that, if at all possible, children must be cared for in their home environment.
The Local Authority is now moving to a ‘Hub’ model – ours being based at Cwmnedd Primary School. We are awaiting confirmation of plans following Easter i.e. a continuation of ‘Hubs’ or for the provision to continue within Blaendulais Primary School. Please be aware that your child’s normal teacher may not be present on any given day.
In order to organise suitable staffing at Cwmnedd Primary School, please complete this form before Friday, 3rd April 2020.
We are awaiting guidance on the ‘Grab Bags’ over the Easter period. As soon as this is known, I shall pass on the information.
Mr G Phillips
26th March 2020
Firstly, thank you all for your cooperation and understanding over the past week or so. It has been surreal to see the streets so empty, but exceptionally heart-warming to know that the community are heeding the Government advice to remain in doors/gardens and maintain social distancing. The sooner we do this, the sooner we get back to normal!!
Regarding use of the provision based at Blaendulais Primary, I received an update from NPT this morning: “The main message we are sending to everyone is that we need to keep numbers of children in school and childcare settings to the minimum possible. If a child can be cared for safely at home, they should be.” However, if you are a ‘Key Worker’ please contact us for support.
It has been wonderful to see many families make use of the ‘Grab & Go’ facility. Again, until we hear of any change, this will remain the same – collection from the canteen 11am – 11.30am daily (Monday – Friday).
Now all the boring stuff has been said, I am noticing more and more rainbows in windows as I drive up and down the valley. These rainbows are being used to brighten our environment and provide a ‘rainbow trail’ for children to spot on their walks – they remind us that there is always hope even in the most challenging of times. It would be great if all of our pupils could create a rainbow and place it in their windows, thus creating a ‘rainbow trail’ in Seven Sisters for us all to enjoy!
Similarly, if we were still to be in school, the boys and girls would be creating Easter Bonnets for their parade (or entering the one from last year and hoping no-one notices ;-)) If you would like to create an Easter Bonnet this year, send a picture to our Twitter @BlaendulaisPS and we can enjoy a ‘virtual’ parade!
Stay safe and keep washing those hands, boys and girls!!
22nd March 2020
P’nawn da bawb,
The Welsh Government have altered their advice with regard to use of the school facility from tomorrow, Monday 23rd March.
In a nutshell, please only use the facility from tomorrow if you need to and there is no other safe alternative. If children can remain at home, they should. Attending the facility increases the potential for the spread of the virus across the community.
It is imperative we maintain as much ‘social-distancing’ as possible to protect the health of all pupils, staff and the community.
Do not allow your child(ren) to congregate in larger numbers. If you are to use the ‘Grab & Go’ service, please collect and leave in a timely manner – time slots will be sent out to you in the morning.
Despite the unusual situation, normal expectations of behaviour will apply. If any pupils put themselves, or others, in danger they will asked to remain at home.
Welsh Government advice now states:
- If it is at all possible for children to be at home, they should be;
- If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is critical to the Covid-19 response, then provision in an educational or childcare setting should be available for them;
- Parents should not rely anyone who has been advised to be following social distancing guidance, such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions, for childcare;
- Parents should do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in ways, which could contribute to spreading coronavirus. Children should observe the same social distancing guidance as adults;
- Residential special schools and special settings should continue to care for children wherever possible.
It also states, “The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. It is imperative that, as far as possible, we minimise social contact. This means if children can stay safely in their home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.” Read more here – Welsh Government Education Statement
21st March 2020
On Monday, 23rd March 2020, the school reopens its doors, but this Monday will be a little different.
Blaendulais Primary School will ‘repurpose’ as a childcare facility supporting frontline & key-workers. Initially this will include all NHS staff, ‘blue-light’ workers, social care workers, prison and probation staff, plus selected other key industry workers. It will also provide care for identified vulnerable learners.
It is of great importance that the community follows the Governments advice to maintain ‘social-distancing’ at these times, and if at all possible, to keep children at home. The childcare facility should only be used by those who really need it – this will ensure we can maintain ‘social-distancing’ within the provision – Letter from Aled Evans, NPT Director of Education. If one parent is able to remain at home with your child(ren), this would be advisable.
For the families who are unable to access the facility – please adhere to Government advice and remind your children to refrain from congregating in large numbers. Only by following this advice will we get back to normal in the soonest possible timeframe.
Yesterday, I added PDF versions of the home-school packs for Nursery & Reception children who were unable to collect them on Friday. On Monday, I shall continue to scan work and add it to the appropriate webpage.
In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine – I’ll be walking the dog (up a mountain away from anyone!) and practising my netball shooting skills with my two in the garden!
As always, look after yourself and each other,
18th March 2020
Over the next few days, weeks (who knows… months!), I will update the school community on all things related to the school closure.
It is going to be a strange time for us all, but I know we will pull through just fine.
Currently, professionals are working day and night to ensure that those in need of support are provided for – this may include childcare facilities for ‘blue light’ professionals or care workers, or meals being made available for pupils who are eligible for ‘free school meals’. Please note, there is no guarantee this will be based out of Blaendulais Primary School.
Please complete the survey (sent via text on 18.03.2020) https://tinyurl.com/t4hr4wd to inform the county’s planning process.