Welsh Government Guidance on Face Coverings

Dear Parents and Carers

Wearing of face coverings (primary)

The Welsh Government has updated its guidance on the use of face coverings in schools and we have been asked to share the following information with you.

To reduce the risk of transmission amongst parents and relatives, please wear masks when visiting school, and at drop-off and collection areas. Maintaining clear social distance at the school gates will also reduce risk and set a good example to pupils.

If you also have a secondary school aged child, be aware that face coverings should now be worn by year 7 and above pupils in all areas outside the classroom and be worn on dedicated school transport for year 7 and up.

Please follow these guidelines and encourage your child to follow theirs too.

Along with regular hand washing/sanitising and social distancing, this will reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 at school as far as possible.

They have been made stronger to keep you and your families as safe as possible. They are based on new advice from Welsh Government’s Technical Advisory Group, as we learn more about the way COVID-19 is transmitted.

Thank you for your help in doing all we can – together – to keep ourselves and others safe.

Yours sincerely

Richard Cook

Head Teacher

The Federation of Bedwas Junior and Rhydri Primary Schools

Positive Case of Covid-19

Dear Parents and Carers,

I have been notified today that that we have had a positive case of Covid-19 within the school.

A pupil has tested positive for coronavirus and we therefore need to follow strict public health protocols to ensure the health and wellbeing of the whole school community.

As a result, all children in Green Class will need to isolate at home for 14 days from date of last contact. This means that these children will not be able to return to school until 20/11/20.

For the Parents and Carers of Green Class – Current public health advice states that other members of your household do not need to self-isolate. You should, however, be particularly vigilant about your child’s health and if they display any coronavirus symptoms, you should ensure that they are tested as soon as possible. You may receive a call from Test Trace and Protect which will give further advice.

Regards

Mr R Cook

Head Teacher

The Federation of Bedwas Junior and Rhydri Primary Schools

Newsletter 12/11/20

Dear Parent / Carer,

Children In Need

A reminder that we have decided we would like to support Children in Need this year by holding a pyjama day on Friday 13th November. Children are welcome to come to school dressed in their pyjamas if they wish and a voluntary donation of £1.00 for taking part in the day would be greatly appreciated.

Musical Instrument Lessons

These lessons should now be taking place weekly for all instruments unless we are contacted and told otherwise by Caerphilly Music Service. It was a little confusing when some of the teachers were only able to come in once a fortnight so hopefully this will now avoid the issue of forgotten instruments!

Drop-Off and Pick-Up Arrangements

Thank you for your continuing co-operation in helping the start and end of each school day work smoothly.

Communications – COVID

Some test results are still coming back very much outside normal school hours. Although we will try to phone parents of the children affected by any class closures as soon as we are able, with tests results being received so late into the evening, this cannot always be done immediately. It could be possible for a result to be received and passed onto school just before the school day begins. Please ensure that you have registered on the new website – https://www.bedwasrhydri.school in order to receive an e-mail notification should a class need to be closed. We also have the Text2Parents service which will enable you to receive any closure notifications immediately. Please contact the school office to give permission for your details to be added to this service if you would also like notifications by text.

Attendance

If your child is unable to attend school could you please make sure that you contact the school office as soon as possible on the day of non-attendance to inform us of the absence. CCBC are checking school registers regularly to analyse attendance trends and we need to know the reason for absence in order to complete the records accurately. Children who are self-isolating because they are awaiting the result of a test or because they have been identified as a ‘close contact’ of a positive case are recorded separately from other reasons for absence.  Please make sure that the school office has your most up to date contact details as it is more important than ever that we are able to contact parents and carers as quickly as possible, especially if a class needs to be sent home to self-isolate.

Head Teacher

The Federation of Bedwas Junior and Rhydri Primary Schools

Diary Dates

13th NovemberChildren In Need Pyjama Day
18th December 2020Last day of term
4th January 2021Children return to school
12th February 2021INSET – School closed to pupils
12th April 2021INSET – School closed to pupils
28th May 2021INSET – School closed to pupils
7th June 2021INSET – School closed to pupils
19th July 2021INSET – School closed to pupils
20th July 2021INSET – School closed to pupils

Free School Meals

Catering provision in school returned from November 2nd with lunches being provided. The following information is covers eleigibility for free school meals and the process that you need to follow to obtain these. Please contact the school office if you require any support with this.

Your child may be eligible for free school meals if you are in receipt of any of the following benefits/support payments:

•             Income Support

•             Income Based Jobseekers Allowance

•             Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

•             Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

•             Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and their annual income does not exceed £16,190

•             Guarantee element of State Pension Credit

•             Working Tax Credit ‘run-on’ – the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

•             Universal Credit.

•             Young people who receive Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit, Income Support or Income Based Job Seekers Allowance in their own right may also be eligible to receive FSM.

Your child will also need to be attending school full time, which can include full days at nursery and sixth form students. In order for your child to receive free school meals, you will need to fill out an application form either online by visiting http://www.caerphilly.gov.uk and typing free school meals into the search field or complete an application form which is available at our school and return to Catering Services, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Penallta House, Tredomen Park, Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed, CF82 7PG.

If you pay for your child to have school meals you could save around £500 per year if your child qualifies for free school meals.

You may also qualify for the Welsh Government Pupil Development Grant (PDG) – Access Funding of up to £125, this is available to  pupils who are eligible for free school meals or are looked after by a Local Authority if they are:

•             entering reception class in primary school

•             entering year 7 in secondary school

•             aged 4 or 11 in special schools, special needs resource bases or pupil referral units.

The purpose of this PDG funding which is to provide grant assistance to families on low incomes for the purchase of:

•             School uniform including coats and shoes;

•             School sports kit including footwear;

•             Uniform for enrichment activities, including but not limited to, scouts; guides; cadets; martial arts; sports; performing arts or dance;

•             Equipment e.g. school bags and stationery;

•             Specialist equipment where new curriculum activities begin such as design and technology; and

•             Equipment for out of school hour’s trips such as outdoor learning e.g. waterproofs.

Think of the time you would save if your child is eligible and has free school meals instead of packed lunches, you could save up to 190 hours a year, which is the time needed to make packed lunches that meet the nutritional standards of school meals – that’s just over a week!

Our school will also receive £1150 additional funding for every child registered for Free School Meals.  This funding must be directly targeted at Free School Meal pupils.  This year we have used that additional funding for interventions in Literacy and Numeracy.

If you require any further advice, please contact Catering Services on 01443 864055 (or email catering@caerphilly.gov.uk). A member of the team will be able to advise you. 

Miss Lewis

We would like to wish Miss Lewis, the school clerk at Bedwas, all the very best for the future as she moves on to a role with the NHS and thank her for her hard work during her time with us. We will all miss you!

New Website

Just before the lockdown we were one week away from launching our new website. In order to avoid confusion at the time of the school closures and lockdown, we decided to hold back on the launch as it was important that the main method of communication we used was one with which everyone was familiar. Our existing websites will remain live for many months to come but will now contain a link taking you to our new site which will eventually supersede the old ones and will hopefully provide a more user-friendly presence for our Federation on the Internet.

You can find it on – https://www.bedwasrhydri.school

Bedwas Crossing Patrol

Sadly, after many years of keeping the children of Bedwas Juniors safe crossing Church Street, Mrs Wheeler, our School Crossing Patrol, will be finishing on Friday October 2nd. I know that you will join me in thanking her for the many years of service she has given in all weathers and in the face of often inconsiderate motorists! We wish her all the very best for the future and I am sure that she will not miss the cold and foggy winter mornings that are approaching. We have not heard anything from CCBC about her replacement as of yet.

Welcome Back

It has certainly been a strange return to school for everyone this September. We will continue to follow all guidance and advice we receive from key agencies and share any updates with you as soon as we are able. We are constantly working to make our schools as safe as they can be for the whole school community. The current local lockdown in Caerphilly indicates how widespread the virus is in our own community and we will need to work closely together to manage the impact of this.

Update

As you will be aware, there has been a significant rise in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Caerphilly with some cases specifically in the Bedwas area. Please be vigilant and do not send your child to school if you have any suspicion whatsoever that they are displaying any of the key symptoms as detailed by Public Health Wales. https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/
We will continue to follow guidance provided by key agencies and will inform you via this blog if any further action is necessary.