It’s been an eventful week here at school and a very busy 6 weeks! We have achieved so much on returning to school such as MacMillan, Harvest and Parent Evenings along with children learning lots and seeing their friends. I am sure this will continue to go from strength to strength after half term.
You will no doubt be aware that a pupil in Year 2 received a positive COVID-19 test result. Rest assured we work closely with the NHS Test, Trace and Protect (TTP) team and Environmental Health based in Caerphilly Council to ensure all appropriate measures are in place to protect pupils, staff and the wider community. On this occasion no-one needed to isolate as the child was not in school for over 48 hours prior to the test / symptoms. A “contact” is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 anytime from 48 hours (2 days) before the person was symptomatic. This highlights the importance of keeping your child off school should anyone in your household develop symptoms or if your child becomes symptomatic. It also highlights how important it is to not become complacent and remember that COVID-19 has not gone away.
- Please keep 2m distance between you and others.
- Please wait until it is your time to enter in the morning – we need to keep groups separate.
- Please keep children close by – do not let them run in front of you or play outside.
- Please be prepared as much as you can be if your child’s class needs to close at short notice.
I understand parents will be concerned and worried – it is totally understandable but please rest assured we have lots of routines in place to protect everyone. You must also play your part and follow the routines we have in place (particualry keeping your distance from others). Our school is thoroughly cleaned everyday – we have cleaning taking place constantly throughout the school day. Please also let us know if your child has taken a test as well as the test result. It is important I know if a test has been taken as I can then be fully prepared should the test be positive.
Thank you for your help and support this term - it is appreciated by everyone here at Abercarn Primary! I’d also like to say a big thank you to all members of staff for working so hard to settle children back into school and keep everyone as safe as possible. I really hope you all have a lovely half term! Please stay safe and don’t forget to follow the restrictions in place for Caerphilly and Wales.
Restrictions in Caerphilly:
- People will not be allowed to enter or leave the Caerphilly County Borough Council area without a reasonable excuse;
- Everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in indoor areas;
- People will only be able to meet outdoors – meetings with other people indoors and extended households will not be allowed for the time being. No overnight stays will be allowed.
Restrictions in Wales:
- Pubs, cafes, restaurants and casinos (and any other hospitality businesses) will have to close at 10pm. They will also have to provide table service only.
- Off-licences, including supermarkets, will also have to stop selling alcohol at 10pm.
- A £500 payment will be issued to support people on low incomes who need to self-isolate and regulations will be strengthened to ensure that employers support those who need to self-isolate in this way
- The First Minister also asked people to only travel when you need to do so, saying: "The fewer people we meet and the fewer journeys we make, the safer we all are."
- You must work from home wherever possible
- You can only meet six people indoors, and make sure that those six people are all part of your extended household
- You must wear face coverings on public transport, in shops, and in enclosed public spaces
REMINDER - POSITIVE CASES AND TEST RESULTS
Please use the email@example.com email address to alert me to any positive test results out of school hours. Please only use this email for positive results.
NHS SERVICES IN GWENT
As NHS services change across Gwent, it is vitally important that residents understand how they will access these services in the future. Therefore a leaflet has been developed which will be delivered in early November by Royal Mail to every household prior to the opening of The Grange University Hospital and as the wider changes in the system take effect. A digital version of the leaflet can be found on:
For Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week – Drop off and collection will take place from the hall door. Walk around as usual but drop off / wait outside the hall instead of the Reception garden. The Reception garden area is being redeveloped with a shelter and new flooring during half term but the contractors are starting work on Monday! Be alert and keep yourself and your child safe.
EXPRESSIVE ARTS GALLERY
As part of our Expressive Arts topic your child has produced a beautiful piece of framed artwork. The art work is on Seesaw and on our school website for you to view “virtually”. You can view the artwork in the website gallery section within the “About Us” tab. You can also view videos of every class artwork on our YouTube channel. https://virtual.abercarnprimary.com
You will be able to purchase the framed art work for £5.00. Any small profit made will go to the class to spend.
In order to pay for your child’s artwork you will need to go online using the following link:
Simply type the link into the bar at the top of your internet page; this will take you directly to the trybooking website. There is the option to pay by card or PayPal. There is no need to print the ticket which is produced at the end of the process, as we will run a report to know who has paid.
Please don’t send in cash as we need minimal handling of cash - payment must be made online.
If you want to purchase your child’s framed artwork. please make sure you have paid by Wednesday 21st October as the sale will close on at 2pm. Framed artwork will be sent home before children leave for half term.
We are trying to move all payments and contributions to be online. We trialled this back before lockdown and now for the Expressive Arts art work. The feedback was extremely positive before lockdown. It was beneficial for both you as parents and us as a school. We already use an online system for school dinners through Caerphilly that has worked very well. It is also especially important during these times whereby I need to reduce the amount of money being handled by staff. When we trialled the TryBooking system with school trips it proved beneficial as there were no consent bits of paper coming back and forth or getting lost, no money getting lost, mislaid or left in the bottom of bags etc - everything is completed online. As always I want to be open and transparent. We have researched many companies that offer online payment services and with all companies there is a transaction and processing fee for every online payment. TryBooking offers the smallest fees for the best range of services – 5% Transaction Fee with a 15p Processing Fee (they call it a ticket fee). During the trial and with the Art work this term we have absorbed the fees associated with any payments (we paid them) but as we move onto using the system a little more we will need to link the fees to the actual payments / contributions. So what does this mean for you? An example would be a school trip that costs £5.00 would now cost approx £5.25, a payment of £10 would now actually be approximately £10.50 and so on. We would pay part of the cost as well as parents and we would aim to keep the costs as low as possible and number of transactions to a minimum. Hopefully this will be temporary as the system used for catering may be developed to include more services in the future. For some things sending in cash is inevitable but there will be strict guidelines to follow.
REMINDER - FLU VACCINATIONS
Flu vaccinations will be taking place in school on Tuesday 17th November 2020. Vaccinations are available for Reception, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4 and Year5/6 children. Details will send home a little closer to the time. Please look out for a letter as it will need to be returned.
REMINDER - DINNERS – HOT FOOD
Hot food will be from Monday. It will start on WEEK 2 of the two week menu. If you previously returned your menu choice we still have it so no need for another… if you haven’t returned your menu and wish to have dinners – please do so! If you need a menu – please ring the office. Don’t forget we are a cashless school so all dinners will need to be paid online using the Upay system. If you have not registered for Upay – please contact the school office. It will also be Week 2 the first week back after half term.
The Parent Survey is still open – it closes on Wednesday! Please take a few minutes to complete the survey (if you haven’t already). Your views are important – whether good or bad. Your views will help form actions and decisions we make in the future – it is important you are involved in the school improvement process. As always, I will let you know the outcome of the survey and what we will do to address any issues and similarly celebrates any successes. The survey can be found here: https://parentsurvey.abercarnprimary.com . Let’s see if we can beat the record and get more than 125 responses!
INSET DAYS and HALF TERM
Thursday 22nd October and Friday 23rd October are INSET Days – School will be closed for staff training. This half term will therefore end on Wednesday 21st October 2020. School reopens after half term on Monday 2nd November 2020.
REMINDER - BREAKFAST CLUB
Breakfast Club will not be starting until it is safe to do so. Fruit will continue to be provided to every child free of charge until this date. We received 80 responses to the survey – Approx 65 responses (81%) agreed to suspension of Breakfast Club in its current format until it is safe to restart / reopen and 14 responses (17%) wanted Breakfast Club to restart and accept that if there was a case it could cause the school to close for a period of two weeks. Thank you to those that responded. Following a risk assessment and consultation with the Governing body, we have made the difficult decision that the free breakfast provided by the local authority in our school should be postponed until safe to do so. We have determined that it would be unreasonable to continue to provide free breakfasts at our school for the foreseeable future for the following reasons:
- Safe spaces cannot be provided for each contact group to remain separate;
- Unavailability of adequate number of staff to supervise and safeguard pupils and maintain contact groups;
- Mixing of class contact groups would cause the whole school to close if a case was identified within the breakfast club (staff or pupils);
- Classrooms cannot be used for breakfast club due to insufficient supervision by breakfast club staff, and ability to clean before lessons begin.
I will review this on a monthly basis with the Governors and I will let you know if the situation changes.
ABSENCE GUIDE – COVID-19
Please familiarise yourself with our absence guide for these challenging circumstances. The guide covers different circumstances and advises the action you need to take and details about returning to school. The guide can be found here: http://absenceguide.abercarnprimary.com
Report your child absence here: https://absence.abercarnprimary.com
Thank you so much for the Harvest donations in our BIG RED BIN for the local Food Bank. All your donations will be packed up and sent to the local food bank in Risca. Thank you so much! It is greatly appreciated.
Fruit snack will be provided by the school free until half term. We will send details closer to half term regarding how to contribute when we start selling fruit again!
PARENTS EVENING and ONLINE BOOKING
Thank you to those that attended the video calls this week. On the whole it has gone really well – over 240 video calls - amazing. Thank you for your support with making Parents Evening happen this term – albeit slightly differently.
YEAR 5 AND YEAR 6 PARENTS
Please check out Newbridge School Virtual Open evening website. Go to: