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.

Return to school

I hope that you have all had a good summer. The information that follows on the return to school is correct at the moment although it must be stressed that these plans are very much subject to change. There are directives that can come through from Welsh Government and the Local Authority often at very short notice that require us to amend our plans. The issues in the last few weeks concerning exam results and face masks illustrate how changeable this whole situation can be. The WG Education announcements are usually made on Wednesdays so it is a good idea to check the school blogs on the following day when we have hopefully had time to work out our response. As we move forward to the full reopening of the schools there might be elements of the day to day running that we need to change in order to maintain the safety of all stakeholders; these will be communicated as appropriate. Fundamentally, all our plans and procedures are subject to change and require a flexible approach from everyone in order to ensure that the safety of the children, which is the most important outcome, is secured.
There will still be no catering carried out on site in September so children will need to bring their own food and drink to school.  Breakfast and after-school clubs will also not run. This is being reviewed by the Local Authority and any changes to this will be communicated via letter and school blog.
We have been encouraged to make use of outdoor space wherever possible as well as to have the classrooms well ventilated so coats and jumpers will be needed as we now move to the colder months.
School will start on Thursday 3rd September for Year 3 and Year 6 ONLYYear 3 children will need to access the school via the main gate on Celtic Way and the Year 6 children via the front gate on Church Street. The will be signs around the school site as well as staff on duty to direct the children to their designated area on the school yard. The gates will be open from 8.30am and school will start at 8.40am. At the end of the day (3.10pm) the children will leave the site using the same access points they used to enter the site.
Although once all children have returned to school we will not be able to accommodate parents on site, in order to help with their first days with us at the Juniors, parents of the Year 3 children will be able to bring their children on to the yard to say goodbye on Thursday and Friday as there will be fewer children on site. Staff will be on hand to help. We also ask that those parents who do accompany their children on to site observe social distancing guidelines.
From Monday 7th September all year groups will return to school.
Specific class access points for the school site –
Yellow and Green classes via the main back gate on Celtic Way.
Orange and Purple classes via the gate behind the canteen block on Celtic Way that was used during the reopening period before summer.
Blue and Red classes via the front gate on Church Street.
The gates will be opened at 8.30am and school will start at 8.40am.
All children will leave the site at the end of the day via their allocated arrival gates. For those parents or carers collecting from more than one gate, as the dismissal process will take a little longer than normal this should mean that there will be time to get from one point to the other and the children will be supervised by staff until collected. We appreciate your patience as these procedures will be new to all of us and things could take a little longer than normal as we get used to them. As we run these systems we will be looking for ways in which they can be improved so please bear with us!
We look forward to welcoming the children back to school.

A message from Allwear Solutions

It is with regret that I inform you that Allwear Solutions Ltd will not be reopening going forward, which is very sad, but would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your loyalty and what was a good working relationship throughout the past 12 years.

The impact that Covid-19 has had on the business is beyond repair, we have been closed since 23rd March 2020.

I can confirm however that Safewear Ltd will be taking over our customer base officially from the 1st August 2020.

We have had an excellent working relationship/partnership with Safewear Ltd over the past 12 years and they have over 30 years experience in the school wear industry.  I find them very professional and customer focused, I will continue to help them through the transition period, as I have done throughout June and July, as they have been taking take of all of my orders as we were still closed and the staff are still on furlough.

At present parents can still email julie@allwearsolutions.co.uk or telephone 02920865530 to place an order, and order forms for your school are available to send to the parents via email. They then just need to fill in and return to me.

Safewear Ltd will then pick it up and contact the parent for payment as soon as the order is complete.

Unit 19 Greenway Workshops, Bedwas House Industrial Estate, Bedwas, Caerphilly CF83 8EL.

Parents can still refer to our online shop for prices and sizes but please do not order via the shop until it has been transferred over, as the payment will be going into the wrong account. Details of the transfer will be put on the homepage once it is complete.

Please email direct to Rob or Russ at safewear@btconnect.com to place an order, they will then send an order form for you to fill in and return until the online shop has been switched over.

Update for the return to school in September 2020

Over the next 5 weeks or so guidance in many areas from both the Welsh Government and CCBC will be issued. As a result of this it is not possible to present a reopening plan at the moment as there are still too many unknowns for a meaningful plan to be able to be put in place. It is also clear that the situation and the required responses are changing, at times daily, and we are not able to accurately state what the situation will be six weeks from now. We are currently expecting updates through August in areas such as shielding, transport, PE, ‘Test, Track and Trace’ as well as the longer term plans for Catering alongside further supporting guidance from Caerphilly and the Welsh Government.

The Welsh Government requirement is that all children will be back in full time education from September 14th 2020.

We are aiming to publish our reopening plan after we receive the last piece of key guidance and therefore expect the plan to be published towards the end of August.

The first two days of term (Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd September) are designated ‘Planning and Preparation’ days and we have been directed by Caerphilly to use those days to finalise our response to the reopening in the light of the most recent guidance and any changes to the wider COVID-19 situation. We will also need to carry out new full site and staff risk assessments and action any subsequent adjustments on those days as this will mean that they are as relevant as possible to the situation at that time.

At the moment our plan is that –

  • Year 3 and Year 6 will start school on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th of September. This gives us the opportunity to support the Year 3s with transition as all the normal activities were not possible due to the pandemic and also to focus on the Year 6 children who will be starting a very important year in their education after unprecedented disruption.
  • Year 3 children will enter the school site via the main gate on Celtic Way at the back of the school and will be guided to a designated area on the yard.
  • Year 6 children will enter the school site via the front gate on Church Street and go to the yard via the side gate next to the reception area where they will be guided to their designated areas.
  • Years 4 and 5 will start school on Monday September 7th meaning that all year groups will be attending school from that point.

There will be staff on hand to help.

The timings for school start and end times will be confirmed in the reopening plan but will hopefully be as close as possible to the timings of a normal school day.

The arrival and pick up plans will be detailed in the reopening plan as aspects such as the staggering of start and finish times and points of access and exit from the site will need to be confirmed.

A letter from Caerphilly detailing further aspects of the return to school will be shared once we receive it.

It must be emphasised that all of these plans are provisional and could change completely before the return to school.

Thank you for working with us and helping to make our return to school for the last three weeks so successful. It has been lovely seeing the children again; we have really appreciated the chance to catch up and are looking forward to our return in September.  It is still extremely frustrating to be unable to plan in more detail but that is the nature of the situation and we will keep you as up to date as we are able.

Our Wild Lives

Each week on the Our Wild Lives website we will publish a Discovery Card with a simple, thoughtful and free idea for getting out and about and engaging with nature.  There is no charge for taking part as we have been lucky enough to secure funding from the National Lottery. We just want everyone who uses the ideas to send in a photo or comment, so that together we can create a unique digital scrapbook which captures our re-found appreciation of the natural world as we all learn to live with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The project is for everyone – young and old, urban and rural – and we are really keen to spread the word and get as many people as possible involved.

The project will launch for the summer holidays from 17th July, but you can see a draft of the website here, to give you a feel https://www.ourwildlives.club/

Andy Wilkinson
Uwch Barcmon Addysg Amgylcheddol | Senior Environmental Education Ranger

Families Magazine

Dear Parent/Carer,

We’re pleased to be able to send you the latest Families magazine which is a summer holiday issue.
It is full of resources and ideas to help you keep your children entertained, busy and productive during the long break including fun learning ideas, sourcing books, learning to draw, safe socialising and screen free activities.

You can read the magazine here.
We hope you enjoy it.

Rebecca Lewis
Managing Editor
Families Cardiff & Vale

Reports and Classes

End of year reports will be sent out with the children when they attend school this week. For those children not attending they will be delivered before the end of the week. The Welsh Government has removed the standard requirements for reporting as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have given a brief overview of the children’s school experience before the school closures as well as recognising engagement with home-learning during lockdown.  We had planned that our reports would  follow a new format this year in preparation for the new ‘Curriculum for Wales’; we have continued with that plan, therefore the reports will look considerably different to previous years. These reports reference the ‘areas of learning experience’ as detailed in the new curriculum and we have moved the focus to the child-centred commentary you will find in the first section of the report.

Children in Years 3 and 4 will be told their classes for next year when they attend school this week. Year 5 children were told their classes when they attended last Wednesday.