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Achieve, Believe, Challenge 

Abercarn Primary School is a good school, judged as a Green school under Welsh Government’s categorisation. The school is the heart of the Abercarn Community and the happiness of each child is central to the ethos of our school.

The school caters for children aged 3 - 11 years in an environment that is warm and welcoming, with each classroom and communal area thoughtfully resourced and furnished to a high standard to create a sense of wellbeing for all.

    School Announcements

    Newsletter 36 (Friday 9th July 2021)

    by Abercarn Admin -

    Happy Friday everybody and a happy end of term to you all! We have nearly made it to the end of the year! What another interesting year it has been! I would just like to say a very big “thank you” to everyone for your support and understanding this year! It hasn’t been an easy year but you’ve been fantastic! Thank you! I’d also like to say a big “thank you” to all staff as they have worked exceptionally hard in difficult circumstances too, thank you.

    Good luck and best wishes to everyone who will be leaving us this year, all of us here at school wish you all the very best for the future! It’s been a pleasure having you at Abercarn Primary!

    On behalf of everyone here at school I hope you everyone has a lovely summer break! Please have a nice relax and spend some time together as a family! Enjoy the summer whatever you are doing and fingers crossed for some good weather! Stay safe and take care!

    Please read the provisional September 2021 plan below, apologies for the length!  

    September 2021 – PLEASE READ

    I know everyone wants to know what school will be like from September 2021 onwards, I do too!  We still have no further guidance from Welsh Government. Headteachers are anticipating an announcement next week but nothing yet.
     
    The information below is what I know we will need to do as a result of what we’ve been told so far although some things will need to be confirmed next week. Please read the information carefully and if you need clarification, please contact us on Monday or Tuesday. I will resend this with all confirmed details next week.
     
    When I have exact details and clarification from Welsh Government, I will send out guidance both as a paper copy and on our social media sites / website etc. This may be Wednesday or Thursday next week (or could be later). Please look out for it!
     
    I believe it is important we move forward and put in place measures to support school life returning to how it used to be whilst ensuring we are keeping safe and living with the virus. It is important to build on the things that were successful and take them forward to make our school even better. We must do what is right for OUR school in OUR community (it may be different to the school down the road but that doesn’t mean different schools are doing things wrong). Things may need to change as we move through this year either in response to increased cases or to improve even further.  Whatever happens we must follow our risk assessment and keep everyone safe. We have come a long way during the last 16 months and generally done really well so let’s continue this success! I know the routines below will not please everyone, I am trying to ensure we have the best of everything whilst keeping our pupils, staff and community as safe as possible. Please bear with us for the first few weeks. Whatever is announced the measures below will be in line with guidance and our risk assessment.

    1: We will start school on Thursday 2nd September 2021. Nursery start on a staggered intake and have been informed of their day to attend. This is usual practice. Some schools in Wales will be taking 2nd September 2021 for the Queens Jubilee, we will take this day later in the year and provide plenty of notice to parents.  Children will go straight to their new classroom.
     
    2: The Welsh Government will change the law back to what it was pre-Covid for school times. Our school must therefore start for everyone at 9am. Doors will open at 8.50am. Everyone will be expected to be in the school building by 9.00am (at the latest). If you arrive after 9.00am you will need to enter through the main entrance and receive a late mark. We will keep the one-way system in place as much as possible to ease congestion as it will return to being very busy. We will need to see how this works, we may want to change times in the future but we will need to follow WG legislation to do this. Please bear with us! The following measures are to ease congestion: 

    • Nursery walk to the main entrance and drop off at the Nursery gate. If you are early then wait on the yard until called.
    • Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 parents / children, walk down the school drive, across the Astro turf and down to the classroom door for drop off.
    • Year 3 and Year 6 parents / children, walk down the drive and enter through the Junior door (Year 3 classrooms are in Mrs Jones and Mr Yamamoto old classrooms, Year 6 are in Miss Jones old classroom).
    • Year 4/5T and Year 4/5J walk down the drive and drop off at the classroom fire doors (Mrs Jones is now in Mr Perry old classroom).
    • Year 4/5H walk down the school drive, across the Astro turf and down to the classroom door, Miss Hodges is now in the refurbished demountable classroom.

     
    Dropping off older children at the gate has worked really well, please continue with this as much as possible.
     
    3: School will finish for everyone at 3.30pm (Nursery 11.30am). To ease congestion, please do the following:

    • Nursery (11.30am) walk to front yard and wait there. Do not queue along the windows as children are working in classrooms.
    • Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 parents / children walk down the school drive, across the Astro turf and down to the classroom door, wait in the queue outside the classroom door, please queue rather than be all over the yard. 
    • Year 4/5T, Year 4/5J and Year 4/5H walk down the drive and wait towards the back of the school. Miss Hodges children will come out of Mrs. Jones classroom door.
    • Year 3 and Year 6 will exit through the Junior Door. Please wait in the allocated area. Do not wait by the windows or on the pathway. 

     
    If anyone other than yourself is collecting your child, you must contact the school and let us know.

    4: School bus times will remain unchanged.
     
    5:  Breakfast Club will start week beginning 13th September 2021 at 8.10am, we will aim to keep children in “year groups” to support any TTP for at least the Autumn Term. Breakfast will be yoghurt and fruit for the moment. Children must be in Breakfast Club by 8.35am at the very latest. Children are not accepted after 8.35am. Drop off breakfast club at the hall door. Enter through the pedestrian gate (do not use the road), walk past the main entrance and around to the red hall door through the Foundation Phase yard. Leave the way you came in. Do not walk on the road as the road will be busy with staff traffic until 8.35am. Breakfast club forms will need to be completed in September, do not do this before September.

    6: Face coverings and social distancing – To be confirmed
     
    7: Hand sanitising stations – To be confirmed
     
    8: To keep everyone safe during the colder winter months we will try to keep children in contact groups as much as possible anyway but they will be larger e.g. All Year 3 as one contact group, all Year 4/5 classes as one contact group. We are hoping for the best of both worlds – children with friends but in contact groups too. The winter period may be tricky so we need to keep everybody as safe as possible and support TTP if we happen to have cases here at school.
     
    9: For any events that may take place we will try to hold them on a “class” basis so we do not have a huge amount of adults on site especially during the winter months. Some things may continue to be virtual but we will try and have a good mix. This means parents / families can be involved in events but we are living with the virus too. Parent evenings in early October will be virtual. Parents on site and mass gatherings will be in line with any risk assessment in place at the time. These details will be confirmed
     
    10: We will still have staggered break times because this has worked well (fewer accidents, more play opportunities and happier children), it also keeps everyone safe and will help with TTP and any solution that may be required (if any). We will gradually move to our “old” break times during the year. Children will not be missing out, in fact they are gaining more time and gaining more space to play etc. We may want to remain with this new plan going forward.
     
    11: If we have a confirmed case(s) we will need to follow Public Health Wales and Environmental Health guidance. This may involve isolation of groups although as we are keeping larger contact groups it may not impact on the whole school and hopefully keep disruption to a minimum. It may not involve any isolation at all. We will follow advice at the time and keep you updated. These details will be confirmed
     
    12: Risk Assessment – Our Risk Assessment will be updated in conjunction with our Health and Safety Officer and Local Authority to reflect the measures we have in place and help keep everyone safe. 
     
    13: Office, absence and online forms, Please continue to limit physical contact with the school office and remember only one person in the foyer at a time. All forms for absence, change of address, consents and holiday requests etc are online in the virtual office section of our school website.
     
    14: Cashless School – Regardless of Covid-19 we were going to be moving to be a completely cashless school anyway. Our School will remain cashless and everything will be paid for online, dinners, trips, donations, fruit, snack etc Further information will follow. Dinners will continue as we are doing now with Upay. Please ensure accounts are topped up.

     
    COVID-19 has not gone away and will always be with us. We may need to reintroduce some measures if things worsen throughout the year or alternatively, we may be able to relax restrictions even more. The above measures are a massive relaxation of rules and much more like usual routines.
    Thank you in advance for your continued support! It is really appreciated.
      

    End of Term / Start of Term

    Term finishes on Wednesday 14th July 2021. It will finish at the usual staggered times. Term restarts on Thursday 2nd September 2021.

    Nursery going to Reception

    Nursery children will visit Reception class on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week and meet Mrs James and explore the classroom environment. We will make sure they have a lovely time and prepared for September!

    Year 6 Leavers

    The Prom is 6pm to 8pm on Monday 12th July at The Crown! Thank you to all staff, parents and the PTA for their help with organising the event!

    It is nearly time for the all-anticipated leavers video. Here is a sneak peak of what is to come:

     

    The leavers day videos will be live streamed at 1pm on Wednesday 14th July 2021, https://leaversday.abercarnprimary.com

    School Dinners and Fruit

    Hot food next week is WEEK 2. There will be NO Pizza on Tuesday, there will be sausages instead. Parents need to ensure Upay accounts are topped up. Hot food is available for all children. Fruit will be available free to all children. Children can bring in a healthy snack too. Lunch menus can be found at https://lunchmenus.abercarnprimary.com  

    Reporting an absence

    Please do not report absence / illness using SeeSaw as it may not be picked up in time and we need to ensure everyone is safe. Please either:
    1: Use the report an absence feature on MySchoolApp
    2: Complete the form at https://absence.abercarnprimary.com/
    3: Report an absence on our telephone line by pressing 1 and leaving a message.


    Newsletter 35 (Friday 2nd July 2021)

    by Abercarn Admin -

    Happy Friday everybody! We are fast approaching the end of term and I was hoping to get plans for September / Autumn Term to you before now but discussions are still ongoing with Welsh Government and Caerphilly are working hard to gain answers.  Nothing has been confirmed and no formal guidance has been issued explaining what we must do from September.  At the moment I am in limbo with how things will run and I am planning for several scenarios but I have nothing definite.  I am hoping to get some clarity today or within the next couple of days.  I promise I will get something out to you as soon as I have something definite.  I am really sorry but it is out of my control.

    End of Term / Start of Term

    Term finishes on Wednesday 14th July 2021. It will finish at the usual staggered times. Term restarts on Thursday 2nd September 2021.

    Congratulations Mrs Pardoe

    Many of you know Mrs Pardoe (Teaching Assistant) from either her being with children in Year 4, Reception and Nursery or out in the mornings greeting everyone with a friendly smile. Mrs Pardoe only works with us in the mornings and for the past several years has undertaken training in the afternoons. Mrs Pardoe was ordained last Saturday and is now Reverend Pardoe. She will be leaving us at the end of term so she can dedicate all her time to her new role. Congratulations and best wishes Reverend Pardoe!

    PTA

    The Abercarn PTA summer raffle is open and will be drawn next Friday 9 July at 10.00. All prizes have been kindly donated by companies in your community:

    1. Afternoon tea for two at the Angel Hotel, Abergavenny
    2. Mountain View Ranch – Family pass
    3. Jelly Tots Play Centre - Two free entries in July
    4. Wax melts (box of) from Lovelies 
    5. Cup cakes (box of 6) from Lara's Lovelies (voucher)
    6. Cup cakes (box of 6) from Molly's Cupcakes (voucher)
    7. Cup cakes (box of 6) from Bakes by Ellie (voucher)
    8. Cup cakes (box of 6) from Bakes by Ellie (voucher)
    9. Brownies (box of 8) from Bake Sense Wales
    10. Domino's - one large pizza (voucher)
    11. Mc Donald's - four medium extra value meals (voucher)
    12. Oil burner and wax melts from Lovelies
    13. Hand Gel Nail voucher from Perfectly Pampered (mobile beauty) (voucher value £15)
    14. Personalised shorts and tee set from ISLA Bee (voucher)
    15. Sweet treats surprise from Lilibees
    16. Coffee & cake for two at The Bank Coffee Shop (voucher)

    This year the raffle is online, so follow the link below to enter. You can help support your school by sharing the link with your family and friends.  Winners can collect prizes from school from Monday 12 July.

    Link: https://raffle.abercarnprimary.com

    WG Operational Guidance

    I still have no guidance from the Welsh Government regarding September, I promise that if I had the guidance then I would provide the information to you. I will hopefully be able to send confirmed details next week. I am once again trying to plan for several different scenarios with the ultimate aim of keeping everyone safe as we move forward.

    I am anticipating: (this is not confirmed)

    • We will start on Thursday 2nd September 2021, Nursery is starting on a staggered basis.
    • Start and finish times will return to everyone starting at 9am and everyone finishing at 3.30pm (Nursery 11.30am). It will be busy! We may need to use different entrances / exits and keep a one way system to help with congestion. We may need to continue with staggered times although this will be confirmed.
    • Breakfast Club will start week beginning 13th September 2021 at 8.10am, we will aim to keep children in “year groups” and will aim to start Breakfast Club whatever guidance is issued in order to support families as much as possible. This will be confirmed.  Breakfast will only be yoghurt and fruit for the moment.
    • To keep everyone safe during the colder winter months we will keep children in bubbles but the bubbles will be much larger instead of smaller class e.g. All Year 3 as one bubble, all Year 4/5 classes as one bubble, best of both worlds, children with friends but in bubbles too. The winter period may be tricky so we need to keep everybody as safe as possible.
    • For any events that take place we will try to hold them on a class basis so we do not have a huge amount of adults on site especially during the winter months. This means parents / families can be involved but we are living with the virus too. This will be confirmed and will be in line with any risk assessments.
    • We will still have staggered break times and lunchtimes within the larger bubbles as this has worked well (fewer accidents, more play opportunities and happier children) – it also keeps everyone safe. We will gradually move to our “old” break and lunch times during the year.
    • Further information on face coverings will be provided.

    I stress this is not definite, I will confirm as soon as I can. It is a guess and I may be completely wrong.

    I am hoping you will agree this may be a sensible approach going forward, not rushing, not putting anyone at risk but becoming more like usual practice. Whatever happens I need to do what our risk assessment states.  I know it won’t please everybody but my approach throughout this pandemic has been to keep everybody as safe as possible. My approach now is to keep everybody safe whilst living with the virus and use what has worked well going forward. We may find moving back to our old routines does not work or suit us now so will need to consult with everybody if we make any changes going forward.

    Nursery and Reception September 2021 Meetings

    There is meeting for parents of children who will be in Reception Class from September on Friday 9th July 2021 at 10am on MS Teams, meeting link and invite is on Seesaw. There is also a meeting for our new Nursery parents at 2pm on Friday 9th July 2021, meeting link and invite on Seesaw and provided via email.

    Meet the Teacher

    We will be having our “Meet the Teacher” afternoon on Friday 9th July 2021. Children will have the opportunity to meet their new teacher and visit their new classroom. Many Key Stage 2 staff are moving classrooms next year so children will visit the classroom they will be in.

    Year 6 Leavers

    It is nearly time for the all anticipated leavers video. Here is a sneak peak of what is to come:

     

    The leavers day video will be live streamed at 1pm on Wednesday 14th July 2021. https://leaversday.abercarnprimary.com

    Year 6 Chromebooks

    Please can Year 6 return their Chromebook. / Headphones to school on Monday, Many Thanks

    School Dinners and Fruit

    Hot food next week is WEEK 1. Parents need to ensure Upay accounts are topped up. Hot food is available for all children. Fruit will be available free to all children. Children can bring in a healthy snack too. Lunch menus can be found at https://lunchmenus.abercarnprimary.com  

    Reminders: Positive Cases and Test Results

    Please continue to use the covid@abercarnprimary.org email address to alert me to any positive test results out of school hours. Please only use this email for positive results out of school hours only. Use the school email address for any other information you wish to share. If you use the out of hours email address, please expect a call from me using a withheld number.

    There are still children, parents and family members going for tests and therefore there is always the possibility of the need to isolate a class etc. School staff also undertake tests twice weekly and could potentially receive a positive result causing a class needing to isolate, Covid has not gone away!

    If we have a case in school, classes may need to isolate for 10 days. Please be alert and ensure the number we have on file for text messages is up to date as we will use a text to alert you to case and any isolation required, it maybe late at night or early in the morning, please be alert. 

    Illness

    Please do not send your child to school if he or she is:

    • Unwell in any way, please make sure your child is 100%, we need to be as safe as possible.
    • Has COVID symptoms and / or
    • A family member is waiting for test results. Wait until you have received the result and your child is better before sending your child to school!

    Reporting an absence

    Please do not report absence / illness using SeeSaw as it may not be picked up in time and we need to ensure everyone is safe. Please either:
    1: Use the report an absence feature on MySchoolApp
    2: Complete the form at https://absence.abercarnprimary.com/
    3: Report an absence on our telephone line by pressing 1 and leaving a message.

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