Llangors Church in Wales School
17th July 2020
THIS IS QUITE A LONG NEWSLETTER BUT IT CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT NEXT YEAR AND THE RETURN TO SCHOOL. PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY. THANK YOU.
I write this letter on what should have been the last day of school for the academic year 2019 / 2020. Who knew when we started in September what the end of the year would bring. I would like to thank staff, parents and pupils for all their efforts and hard work over lockdown. It has not been the easiest of times but I hope by all ‘pulling together’ we have got through it. Let us hope we see a little more normality in September.
However September will bring changes to staffing in the school and I want to update you on the staff and classes for next year.
As you are all aware I am retiring on 31st August 2020. It has not been an easy decision and I am sad to be leaving the school but I leave it in good hands.
From September 2020 Mr Mark Williams (our Deputy Head) will become Acting Headteacher for the next academic year.
Mr Williams is an excellent teacher and will make an excellent Headteacher - I am glad to be leaving the school in such ‘good hands’.
To support him in this, the Governing Body have invited me back as a part time ‘Assistant Headteacher’ and I will be spending 1 day a week in school over the next few terms, not teaching but helping and supporting Mr Williams in leadership and management. I am thrilled to be able to keep in contact with the school and it now seems less of a ‘wrench’ to be retiring.
Unfortunately due to budget restraints and the need for Mr Williams to have his entitled ‘management days’ we are dropping from 6 to 5.7 teachers. This means that the Foundation Phase will now have 2 not 3 classes and next year’s Y1 pupils will be split between Reception and Year 2. I know we have not seen this for many years but there is nothing to worry about in having mixed classes. The children will be taught according to year groups and there will be opportunity for the Year 1 children to come together to be taught as a class on some occasions.
The junior classes will remain as now with a Y3/Y4 class, a Y4/Y5 class and a Y6 class.
To cover the 2 days management time for Mr Williams I am delighted to say that we have ‘persuaded’ Mrs Liz Griffiths to return to the school. Mrs Griffiths taught in the school for many years and has returned several times to teach and support pupils in Y5 and Y6. We are delighted that she will now be supporting Mr Williams and his class.
Mrs Dando and Mrs Hudman who ‘job share’ in Class 3 are also retiring. They will both be really missed but we wish them a long and enjoyable retirement and thank them for their hard work and commitment to the school over many years.
The vacancy left by them has been filled and I am delighted to inform you that last Wednesday evening Mrs Henry Davies was appointed as a full time teacher in the school.
Four candidates were interviewed and Mrs Henry Davies was selected. She has proved herself time and time again as a great teacher and we are delighted that she is to remain in the school.
On Tuesday evening interviews were held and we appointed 2 Learning Support Assistants to work in Foundation Phase. They will begin work in the school in September subject to their DBS approval - therefore I will not name them now but will leave Mr Williams to introduce them in September.
Miss Jenkins is to return to the school after maternity leave in November 2020 - until such time we will appoint a temporary teacher to cover her absence.
The class structure for next year will be as follows:
Class 1: Reception / Year 1 Miss Jenkins (a temporary teacher will cover
until her return in November 2020)
Mrs Harbour LSA
Class 2: Year 1 / Year 2 Mrs Quine
1 newly appointed LSA + a second newly
appointed LSA to work between Class 1 and
Class 3: Year 3 / Year 4 Mr Godfrey
Mrs Barber LSA
Class 4: Year 4 / Year 5 Mrs Henry-Davies
Mrs Mcintosh LSA
Class 5: Year 6 Mr Williams
Mrs Griffiths supporting 2 days per week
At the beginning of next week we will let you know which class your child will be in for each of the ‘mixed’ classes. When a year group is split we do so by age not ability - this is the policy of the school.
If any parent would like to discuss any of the above please do not hesitate to contact me at the school. All staff are in school next week looking after the children who are eligible to access the childcare Hub.
Can I please remind parents that the childcare hub is for parents who are unable to keep their children at home due to being key workers. Next week is going to be very busy for the staff in moving and re-organising classrooms, looking at ways of keeping children in their own class ‘bubble’ for meals and playtimes, working out a staggered approach to the beginning and end of each day, completing school reports and end of term assessments and many other things besides.
The booking for next week has now closed but if you are able to keep your child/children at home then you must do so. We only want children in school of parents who have to go out to work and have no other childcare. We are very happy to look after these children - that is what the Hub is for. I thank you for your co-operation in this.
Also, each week we look at the information from Powys about the number of children booked in and set up work stations for them on a daily basis. Sometimes they do not all turn up. If you find that you don’t need the Hub but have already booked into it please let us know the day before that you will not need to use this facility. This will help us to arrange the appropriate number of staff to cover. Thank you.
Back to school:
There is a lot of talk about returning to school in September and how this will happen. As it stands now we have decided in the Gwernyfed Cluster that schools will start back on Thursday 3rd September 2020 - arrangements from the cluster are as follows: You will be aware that the Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams, announced last week, that schools would re-open to all pupils in Wales by 14th September 2020.
Further guidance was issued earlier this week and after consideration and much discussion with all of the head teachers in the Gwernyfed Cluster, we have decided to open our schools to the children from Thursday 3rd September.
Guidance from Welsh Government is being updated almost daily. We are going to take the first two days of the new school year to ensure that our schools and our staff are ready. We want to open our doors to the children on Thursday 3rd September, confident that all of the necessary risks have been addressed and that we are all ready for the new academic year.
Within the most recent guidance, there is also the expectation that start and finish times will be staggered, individual school’s uniform policy will be reinstated and school meals will provided. Further information on this will follow next week.
We have also attached is a copy of the calendar for the Gwernyfed Cluster of schools for the next academic year – (at end of letter). You may spot two changes to the calendar.
The first change is that there is an additional week of half term holiday in October. This is to re-pay the additional week taken at the end of the summer term. This means that the half term in October now runs from Monday 19th – Friday 30th October. The second change is that we have moved a training day from Monday 4th January to Friday 15th January 2021. School will be OPEN on Monday 4th January, but CLOSED on Friday 15th January.
This is the time of year when we say ‘good-bye’ to our Y6 pupils. It is so sad that they are unable to do the ‘fun’ things associated with their last week or so. There will be no leavers service, no short concert expertly put together by Mr Williams, no BBQ, no presentation of Record of Achievements and no good-bye to friends and staff in the school and no opportunity to wish them well and thank them for their hard work. Therefore I will say it now. We are very proud of our Y6 pupils - they have worked so hard throughout the year and achieved so much, from work on various committees in the school, a brilliant Christmas concert performance, success at the Black Mountains Lions Quiz, success with the Brecknock History society projects to the work and progress they have made in class. Back in March 2020, every child in the class was destined to achieve Level 5 in end of year assessments with a % achieving Level 6. 100% Level 5 - what and achievement that would have been. I hope as parents, you are as proud of them as we are and I wish them well in their respective High Schools and for the future.
Lastly can I say a big thank you for my 30 years in Llangors School. To pupils, parents and staff, past and present, who have helped me make the school what it is today - one of the top performing schools in Wales with a recognition throughout Powys as being such. It was always my ambition to have pure year group classes in the school and this was realised for a few years. Sadly, cuts to nursery education and school budgets meant we moved from 7 teachers to 6.
Numbers coming into the nursery are very healthy and with a large group moving to Reception in September 2021 I am hopeful that we can move back up to 6 teachers. I can assure you that I will work with Mr Williams and the Governors to achieve this as soon as possible.
Thank you to all who have sent me good wishes on my retirement - what you have said is very moving and makes my whole career worthwhile - it has been a privilege to teach and watch children grow into confident young adults knowing that you helped them at the start of their journey.
As I said earlier, you will still be seeing my face around here next year so I will not say ‘good-bye’ just yet.
Take care and have a lovely Summer
Gwernyfed Cluster of Schools
School Term Times 2020 – 2021
Autumn Term 2020
Thursday 3rd September 2020 to Friday 16th October 2020
Half Term: Monday 19th Oct 2020 to Friday 30th October 2020
Monday 2nd November 2020 to Friday 18th December 2020
Spring Term 2021
Monday 4th January 2021 to Friday 12th February 2021
Half Term: Monday 15th Feb 2021 to Friday 19th February 2021
Monday 22nd February 2021 to Friday 26th March 2021
Summer Term 2021
Tuesday 13th April 2021 to Friday 28th May 2021
Half Term: Monday 31st May 2021 to Friday 4th June 2021
Monday 7th June 2021 to Friday 16th July 2021
Non-Pupil Days 20/21
Tuesday 1st September 2020
Wednesday 2nd September 2020
Monday 21st December 2020
Tuesday 22nd December 2020
Friday 15th January 2021
Monday 12th April 2021
Plus, an additional non-pupil day to be taken during the academic year – Date TBC