Thank you to everyone who took part in the ’Big Pedal’ over the last two weeks. It was lovely to see so many children and supporters either cycling or scooting to school. We recorded a total of 444 journeys with Red class achieving 110 of these, therefore winning our class competition – Well done! They have won the golden boot and a healthy treat of their choice. We are still waiting to find out our overall position on the ‘Sustrans Big Pedal’ website and we will inform the children as soon as possible.
Due to the recent success in our ‘Wheelie Wednesdays’ we have decided to take part in the ‘Big Pedal’ initiative. This continues to encourage the children to actively travel to school but only focuses on cycling or scooting. Over the next two weeks we will be counting how many ‘cycles’ and ‘scoots’ each class records and will be comparing them to other schools taking part in the area. Well done to all children who have already started to take part in this event over the past few days.
Thank you to everyone who took part in our ‘Wheelie Wednesday’ initiative before Easter. We started with 38% of children travelling actively and finished with 57% achieving our ‘Small Step’ award on the Sustrans Big Shift website. The class with the most journeys was Orange with a grand total of 100 walks, cycles or scoots over the five Wednesdays – Well done! Therefore they have won the golden boot and an afternoon of fun sporting activities.
Due to the recent success in our ‘Wheelie Wednesdays’ we have decided to take part in the ‘Big Pedal’ initiative. This continues to encourage the children to actively travel to school but only focuses on cycling or scooting. Over the next two weeks we will be counting how many ‘cycles’ and ‘scoots’ each class records and will be comparing them to other schools taking part in the area. Again, we hope all children will participate where possible and support their classes.
On Tuesday 28th March pupils in years 3, 4 and 5 will have the opportunity to take part in a Scooter Safety Workshop run by Sustrans. During the workshop pupils will learn about the safest places to scoot, how to handle the scooter safely, how to share the pavement with pedestrians in a responsible manner and how to cross the road safely.
If you would like your child to take part in this workshop please ensure that they bring their scooter to school and that it is in good working order.
There is further information on how to perform an ‘L-Check’ safety inspection on the Sustrans website:
This year as part of our Eco-schools initiative, we have decided to continue with our walk/cycle to school weeks to encourage the children to continue to see the benefits of walking and cycling to school instead of riding in the car. We will be running a competition throughout the week between the classes to see which class walks/cycles to school the most and the winning class will win the golden boot on the Friday. We hope all children will participate where possible and support their classes. Every journey will count! We look forward to finding our winning class.
Congratulations to school council and all the children in school for achieving the second Eco-Schools ‘Green Flag’ award. This award is given to schools who can demonstrate a strong commitment to caring for the environment. Children met with the Eco-schools assessor on Friday morning who asked them a range of questions about what they do around school to help the environment. This included activities such as ‘Walk to School’ week, ‘Water is Cool in School’ competitions and work carried out in class.
Thank you again to school council for representing the school so well and Miss Hillier for helping the children to achieve this special award.
The school council met with Miss Hillier last week to review the previous year’s eco-school action plan and set new targets for the next year.
This year’s objectives are:
- Involve a variety of stakeholders in eco-schools;
- Continue to promote the Eco page on the Hwb;
- Take part in the Active Journeys Programme;
- Ensure school grounds are kept litter free and extend into the local community;
- Develop ways to cut down on waste as a school;
- Monitor and reduce heating/electricity bills;
- Find additional ways to save water;
- Promote healthy lunches throughout the school;
- Develop the back of the school to promote biodiversity;
- Raise awareness of global citizenship.
The full eco-schools action plan alongside last year’s review can be located on the school blog site www.bedwasjunior.com in the page labeled ‘eco schools’.
Many thanks to everyone who donated clothes to the Bag2School collection last week. The money raised from the event will go towards school funds.
Thank you to everyone who returned the questionnaire about the children’s journey back and for to school each day. The results have been extremely useful and will help us create a plan of action that will be implemented from the autumn term. In total, 94 questionnaires were returned – a great response!
These are the responses to the questions:
How do you usually get to school?
How do you usually get home from school?
How would you like to travel to and from school?
How far do you live from the school?
|1/2 mile or less||58||1/2 – 1 mile||24||1-2 miles||8||2-3 miles||2||Over 3 miles||2|
Do you think your route to school is safe?
|Safe||37||Quite Safe||42||Unsure||6||Quite Unsafe||6||Unsafe||3|
How many other children travel to and from school with you?
|0||22||1||44||2||16||3||8||More than 3||4|
If you travel by car, is this journey made only to take or pick you up from school?
When travelling to or from school, have you ever had a ‘near-miss’ incident?
In addition to the above, everyone was invited to add further comments. A selection can be found below…
If yes, please give details stating how you were travelling (car, foot etc.)
- Cars drive too fast at the front of the school.
- People ignore the lollipop lady at the front of the school.
- Parking on double yellow lines by the veg. shop.
- Drivers come out of side streets without looking.
- Cars reversing into children when parked in the wrong places at the back of the school.
- Nowhere safe to cross because people park on the zigzags at the back of the school.
- Walking down country lanes can be dangerous with speeding vehicles.
If you don’t walk or cycle to school regularly, what are the reasons?
- Parents work commitments/ Time restraints.
- Childminders do the school runs.
- Younger siblings make it difficult to walk.
- More than one school drop off.
- Wet/cold weather so only allows walking in the summer months.
- Live too far away to walk.
- Too dangerous with road safety and cars at the back of the school.
- Not old enough to walk on their own so easier to be dropped off.
- No cycle route.
- Parents live apart so not always able to walk.
Please add any other comments
- The front of the school is very dangerous especially when the lollipop lady isn’t there – there needs to be more supervision for the children.
- Cars speed through the village.
- Cars’ parking on the zigzags at the back of the school is very dangerous and not safe for the children to walk. Can we use cones/police?
- There needs to be a lollipop lady at the back of the school.
- The gate at the back of the school needs to be wider or there needs to be an area on the yard that the parents can wait.
- Caerphilly/Bedwas lacks cycle routes and crossings.
- Enjoy walking in the fresh air before a long day in school.
- Good to walk and reduce carbon footprint.
- It is very important to encourage children to walk more.
The above comments have proved very helpful and will be used to create a plan which will involve the pupils, the teachers and the wider school community.
To clarify a few points:
- parents/carers are very welcome to wait inside the school playground up to the mid way point where there is the brick wall. This should hopefully ease conjestion by the gate outside the school.
- Mrs Wheeler, the school lollypop lady, is employed directly by Caerphilly Local Authority, not the school. We have been given strict instruction by Caerphilly Authority that we are not allowed to supervise the children crossing the road. However, in times of Mrs Wheeler’s absence, we always put a note on the school blog, www.bedwasjunior.com and contact the local police to see if anyone is available to support.
In the short period up to the end of the school year, can I remind parents/carers not to park on the zig zag lines. I fully appreciate the lack of parking space and understand the temptation to do so. However, the safety of the children has to take priority on this occasion.
Further information about the school’s current eco-plan can be found on the school blog under the eco-schools section.
Thank you for your ongoing support. It is much appreciated by all.
In the last few weeks, school council and other pupils have had the opportunity to create their own bird boxes for the swifts and other birds that live in the school grounds. On Friday, children were able to watch their bird boxes be installed at various places around the school. We are looking forward to seeing the birds find their new homes!
This week there is a whole school focus on healthy living. Some of the activities currently being planned include:
- Our annual ‘Charity Day’ which aims to raise money for the ‘Welsh Hearts’ organisation through a range of physical activity exercises. These physical activities include an aerobics workout, a skip-a-thon and a dodgeball tournament! Children will also undertake literacy activities to promote physical exercise.
- Special assembly for children delivered by the ‘Welsh Hearts’ organisation.
- Lessons for all year groups about ‘germs’.
- Lessons for all year groups about ‘e-safety’.
- School nurse talk to Year 3 and 4 about headlice.
- School nurse talk to Year 5 and 6 about personal hygiene.
- Dental nurse talk to Year 3 and 4 on oral hygiene.
- Mindfulness workshops for Year 5 and 6 pupils led by a qualified trainer.
A letter is being sent home today encouraging children to collect sponsorship in support of the Welsh Hearts organisation. A special prize will be awarded to the pupil who collects the highest amount of sponsorship money. Please help support this very worthwhile cause.
This week, as part of Healthy Lifestyles’ week, the school is holding a ‘walk to school week’ following the successful one in the autumn term. Therefore, we would really appreciate it if children are encouraged to walk or cycle to school for part or their entire journey. The competition is running throughout the week between the classes to see which class walks/cycles to school the most and the winning class will win double golden time on Friday. We hope all children will participate where possible and support their classes. Every journey will count! The winning class will win the ‘Golden Boot’ at the end of the week.
The Eco-Committee have met and decided on the following objectives for the year:
- Monitor walk or cycle to school week.
- Ensure school grounds are kept litter free.
- Develop ways to cut down on waste as a school.
- Monitor and reduce heating and electricity bills.
- Find different ways to save water.
- Promote healthy lunches throughout the school.
- Promote biodiversity in our school.
- Raise awareness of global citizenship.
- Promote the eco page on the Hwb.
- Involve a governor in eco-schools.
Walk to School Week – Week Commencing 30th November
One of our objectives this year is to continue to monitor walk or cycle to school week. We have decided to hold our first of these weeks on the 30th November – 4th December to encourage the children to see the benefits of walking and cycling to school instead of travelling by car. We will be running a competition throughout that week between the six classes to see which class walks/cycles to school the most and the winning class will win the ‘Golden Boot’ on the Friday.
We hope all children will participate where possible and support their classes. Every journey will count! We look forward to finding our healthiest class and being able to compare the results to previous years.
Thank you for reading
Many thanks to everyone who donated any unwanted clothes and other textiles as part of our Bag2School collection. All donations will be reused by people in developing countries who do not have access to many of the items which we take for granted. A money donation will also been given to school based on the weight of the entire collection of bags.
This event will take place again in the Spring term when parents will be able to donate any unwanted uniform etc.
Tuesday 29th September will be an opportunity for children to donate any unwanted clothes as part of our Bag2School collection. All donations will be reused by people in developing countries who do not have access to many of the items which we take for granted. A money donation will also be given to school based on the weight of the entire collection of bags.
This event will take place again later on in the year.