HCIW Latest News
Friday 14th May 2021:
We hope you found our KS2 parental consultations useful and informative this week. Please contact your child’s class teacher if you were unable to make your allotted appointment to reschedule a time for next week. It’s so important to have an update about how well your child is doing in school. The teachers really enjoyed talking about how well the children had settled back in school and discussing their progress. We are in the process of updating all our displays and proud boards and will post photographs of these once they are finished. We cannot wait to be able to invite parents back into school again to see all the lovely work the children are doing.
With transmission rates falling so low in our local area, things are definitely moving in the right direction. However, please can I remind you that you do need to still arrange for a test if you are symptomatic. The Aneurin Bevan Health Board have recently started Covid-19 testing for wider symptoms (refer to the attached poster). You still need to self-isolate when waiting for the results of a test and if a member of your household tests positive, the whole household must self-isolate for 10 days. Thank you once again for working with us to keep our community as safe as possible.
If you have a child due to start in Reception in September you will shortly receive a handbook with all the details you need. We are hoping to arrange a staggered outdoor induction afternoon in small groups, to give you the opportunity of bringing your little one into school. This will take place after the half-term break, when we are hoping Covid restrictions will be eased a little. We have a couple of spaces left in our Reception class for September so if you know of anyone still looking for a place, please ask them to contact us.
We are still working hard on developing our outdoor area. Over the next two weeks classes will be litter picking, digging up a buried raised bed, weeding the pond area, planting summer bedding plants and removing the netting from our wild meadow area (as the seeds are beginning to grow). We then want to build a few more raised beds so that each class can begin to plant vegetables and fruit.
Enjoy the weekend pawb – at least the sun is shining today.
Mrs. Philippa Minto
Friday 7th May 2021:
We all attended a very useful training day yesterday on Mindfulness and Wellbeing. We were taught some very useful mindfulness strategies to use with the children in class. These strategies are perfect to try out next week during Mental Health Awareness Week. Mindfulness means paying full attention to something – it means slowing down to really notice what you’re doing. It is used to support children’s wellbeing and to put them in the right ‘frame of mind’ to learn. We are sure they will really enjoy taking part in some mindfulness activities over the next few days. Mindfulness can really help adults too, so if you want any further information please do not hesitate to contact us.
Early Finish on a Friday:
This was discussed at length at our Governors Meeting on the 27th April. I want to reassure you that we want to go back to a full working week at the earliest opportunity. Unfortunately, the Operational Guidance has not been changed or updated which mean that we are still only supposed to be crossing contact groups (or bubbles) in exceptional circumstances. We have passed on our request to go back to a full working week to the Local Authority and we await further guidance. With transmission rates being so low at present, I am really hoping that we can go back to ‘normal’ after May half-term. I will keep you posted.
Children Wearing Face Masks:
Unfortunately, we are finding discarded face masks belonging to pupils around the school which are health hazards in themselves. I would like to point out that the Operational Guidance states that face masks do not need to be worn by primary aged pupils i.e.
‘Face coverings should continue to be worn by learners in secondary schools and settings when travelling on dedicated school transport. This aligns with the requirement for all passengers aged 11 years and over to wear face coverings on public transport. This does not apply to younger children in primary schools and in early years settings.’
Heroes Stamp Design Competition:
The Royal Mail are running a competition giving pupils the opportunity to design their own stamps based on ‘Covid Heroes’ of their choice. The winning designs will actually be printed as stamps and win a cash prize. The children will be designing their stamps in school next week – good luck pawb.
INSET days for 2021/22 Academic Year:
The first two days of the Autumn Term 2021 will be INSET days so school will re-open to all pupils on Monday 6th September 2021.
Thursday 2nd September – INSET day 1
Friday 3rd September – INSET day 2
Enjoy the weekend pawb and see you on Monday morning.
Mrs. Philippa Minto
Friday 23rd April 2021:
We have been blessed again with sunshine this week! Life is beginning to get easier with further restrictions being lifted so let’s hope it stays dry over the weekend too.
Striking the Balance:
I have attached a leaflet, written in conjunction with the EAS, to explain to parents our strategy to support learners at Henllys now they have returned to school. I hope you find it informative. Class teachers have also produced a curriculum overview which will be posted on your class story page either today or on Monday. It will give you a taste of what your child will be learning over the summer term. I’m sure they will enjoy the activities we have planned, especially as we always listen to our learners when planning a new topic.
Wild Meadow Planting:
All pupils will be planting seeds in our wild meadow area next week. We have decided to timetable it in conjunction with our P.E. timetable so Year 6 & Reception will be doing it on Monday, Year 4 & Year 2 on Tuesday, Year 5 & Year 1 on Wednesday and Year 3 on Thursday. Please ensure that your child wears appropriate outdoor clothes/footwear on their chosen day, depending on the weather.
The behaviour of all our pupils is very good and our ‘Good to be Green’ policy works very well. Fun Time ‘Thursday’ is a key part of the policy but I just want to explain to parents how it works. At the end of every Thursday afternoon, the pupils are allowed to choose a class activity to take part in which lasts for around thirty minutes. The activities chosen are usually linked to Health and Wellbeing, I.C.T. or outdoor learning. Any pupil who has had a ‘red card’ during the week will miss part or all of the chosen activity. Thankfully, we rarely have to give out red cards!
Please can I remind parents that pupils are not allowed to wear nail varnish, fake nails and jewellery to school. They are also not allowed to have brightly coloured hair or zig zag patterns.
Planned work on Ty Canol Way:
We have been informed by the Local Authority that they are carrying out work to the pavements around both bus stops outside school on Ty Canol Way. The pavement and bus stop on the opposite side of the school is likely to be closed for a week, starting Wednesday 28th April. The pavement and bus stop on the same side as the school will be closed for a week starting Wednesday 5th May. We are sorry in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.
Enjoy the weekend pawb and see you on Monday.
Mrs. Philippa Minto
Friday 16th April 2021:
What a super week we have had weather wise and it has been lovely to see so many pupils outside using our school grounds to their full extent. Our Infant Yard certainly looks better now that it has been resurfaced and we are already starting to plan markings for it. You may have noticed that the turf behind the roped area has been turned over using a rotavator. Over the next few weeks, all classes will be planting wild meadow seeds to create a wild meadow to increase biodiversity in our school grounds. It should be beautiful when the seeds start to grow.
Following a thorough Risk Assessment, we have decided to allow Key Stage 2 pupils to attend Breakfast Club in the school hall again. This means that all KS2 pupils attending Breakfast Club will need to line up outside the main entrance (socially distanced at all times). They will no longer be using the ICT suite entrance starting on Monday 19th April 2021. You will find a copy of this Risk Assessment in the Parents’ Area on our school website in the ‘Policies’ section. This also means that our ICT suite can now be used to teach pupils ICT skills once more.
We have been very conscious of the fact that pupils were missing out on their Fun Time Friday activities since we finish early on a Friday now. We have therefore temporarily amended our Behaviour Policy so that ‘Good to be Green’ pupils take part in Fun Time Thursday instead. Please refer to the document attached which is a summary of our Behaviour Policy. A full version of the policy can be found in the ‘Policies’ section of our school website.
Behaviour summary sheet Covid April 2021
Dates for the Diary:
Here are some dates for your diary for the Summer Term:
Monday 3rd May – Bank holiday
Thursday 6th May – INSET day number 4 (Staff training on Mindfulness)
Week beginning Monday 10th May – Key Stage 2 Parental Consultations
W/b Monday 31st May – Half Term
W/b Monday 7th June – Numeracy Week
W/b Monday 14th June – ‘Healthy Schools’ Week and Sports’ Days
Friday 2nd July – School reports sent home
Friday 16th July – Last day of term
Monday 19th July – INSET day number 5
Tuesday 20th July – INSET day number 6
* Please note that we have not finalised any arrangements for our Sports’ Days or our Year 6 leavers yet.
Enjoy the sunshine over the weekend pawb and happy shopping!
Mrs. Philippa Minto
Friday 26th March 2021:
It has been quite an eventful Spring Term but we are so pleased to have all the children return to school before the Easter break. I have to say that all the pupils have settled back to school (and our routines) really well – da iawn plant. We have focused on wellbeing whilst also gauging where the pupils are with regards to their progress and learning. We are now in a really strong position to move forward with a full curriculum in the Summer Term.
Arrangements after Easter:
In line with other schools in the Local Authority, we have decided to continue with the early finish every Friday afternoon when we return to school on the 12th April. The Welsh Government operational guidance has not changed and it still states that staff responsible for younger learners should remain with set contact groups. Only under exceptional circumstances should they interchange between different groups. The early finish on a Friday afternoon enables our teachers to have their statutory Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) time safely. This arrangement will be reviewed in May or earlier if the guidance changes. If you are a critical worker and need to use the hub on a Friday afternoon, please let us know a week in advance – thank you.
Reception parental consultations will take place via Teams on Wednesday 14th April and KS2 parental consultations will take place via Teams the week beginning May 10th. It is really important to us that we have the opportunity to speak to you about your child’s wellbing and progress so please can you make every effort to attend the sessions. Diolch yn fawr.
Please note that the children can wear their summer school uniform after the Easter break. They will still be allowed to come into school in their P.E. kits on their P. E. days.
We have been able to secure funding to resurface the Infant Yard and this will be taking place during the Easter break. The surface may look a little strange when the children return to school but we will then be in a position to add some lines, markings and additional learning resources to support outdoor learning. Resurfacing our KS2 yard is next on the agenda.
Thank you to those parents who have caught up with their lunch payments this term. We know that the system is not ideal due to the fact that it is difficult to see your payments and keep a check on your balance. I just want to make you aware that we don’t have access to how much you have paid either. However, Mrs. Croft keeps a record of which pupils have had school dinners on each day of the week and can help with any queries or concerns. Please find attached a copy of the Summer Term menu for your information.
Unfortunately, we are still not allowed to hand out birthday cakes so please avoid sending cakes/sweets into school to hand out to class mates.
We may be in a position to resume music lessons after the Easter Break – pending a full Risk Assessment! If your child is interested in resuming/starting music lessons, please contact Mrs. Croft during the first week of the Summer Term.
Earth Hour Switch Off:
Millions of homes across the world will switch off their non-essential lights for one hour on Saturday 27 March at 8.30pm for Earth Hour. Earth Hour is one of the world’s largest movements for our planet. Millions of people around the world switch off their lights to show they care about the future of our planet – our shared home. Joining Earth Hour’s switch off reminds us that even small actions can make a big difference. Why not try it this year?
Happy Easter – Pasg Hapus pawb. Enjoy being able to travel to different parts of Wales and spending time with your family and friends. As a Church school, Easter is a very important time of year for us and we send our blessings to everyone.
Mrs. Philippa Minto
Friday 19th March 2021:
The children all looked fantastic today – Henllys has never had so many superheroes in school before! Diolch yn fawr for all your donations too. We will let you know how much money we have raised on Monday. Thanks must also go to the PTA for donating the Easter Eggs as prizes for the winning costumes.
Everything ran smoothly today for our early finish so thank you for picking up your children so promptly. These arrangements will stay in place for Friday 26th March too. We will update you about the arrangements for after the Easter holidays next week.
We have had reports of unwanted ‘pests’ close to the school site. Rats have been spotted on the incline lane! We have informed Environmental Health of the issue and someone is coming onto site on Monday morning to give us some advice.
We have had quite a few queries about balances and debt letters that have been sent out. Although we keep a record of which children have schools dinners on a daily basis, we do not keep a record of payments that have been made. Cashless catering just send us reports and ask us to chase up any debt. However, if you have any queries about Cashless Catering please contact Mrs. Croft.
Happy Red Nose day pawb and thank you once again for your support. Enjoy the rugby tomorrow evening and let’s hope for yet another Grand Slam!
Mrs. Philippa Minto
Friday 12th March 2021:
The week seems to have flown by and we are fully prepared for the return of all our Key Stage 2 pupils on Monday 15th March. Our Risk Assessment has been revised accordingly and can be found in the Parents’ Area on our school website. If you have any queries about anything, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I have to say a huge ‘da iawn’ to all our KS2 pupils who have worked so hard over the past few weeks (both at home and in our hub). I am sure they cannot wait to meet all their friends again on Monday morning!
With the staggered return to school of our pupils, we have decided to stagger our parental consultations too.
Year 1 & Year 2 will be taking place the week beginning Monday 22nd March.
Reception will be taking place on Wednesday 14th & Wednesday 21st April.
Year 3, 4, 5 & 6 will be taking place the week beginning the 10th May.
The consultations will be carried out using Teams and we will send out further details in due course.
The Grange Rainbows:
I am delighted to announce that 50 pupils from Henllys have had their rainbows published in ‘The Grange Rainbows’ book (refer to the attached image) celebrating the opening of the new Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran. We have ordered a free copy for every child whose picture is in the book and will send them home as soon as they arrive. Da iawn plant.
Red Nose Day:
Please don’t forget to dress up as your favourite Super Hero on Friday 19th March and send in a £1 donation.
Restrictions are slowly being lifted in Wales and I hope that you have the opportunity to meet up with your loved ones over the weekend. I hope you enjoy the rugby too!
Mrs. Philippa Minto
Headteacher of Henllys Church in Wales School
Friday 26th February 2021:
Spring is definitely in the air and it is lovely to see the daffodils we planted in the Autumn Term beginning to appear just in time for St. David’s Day. It is also lovely to see the return of all our Foundation Phase pupils – we hope they enjoyed being back in school. I have uploaded an updated Risk Assessment for parents to read on our school website in the Parents’ Area – School Policies section. If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. We cannot wait for the return of our Key Stage 2 pupils now and we hope there will be an update about this from the Welsh Government soon!
Our canteen reopens on Monday 1st March so all pupils on site will now have a choice of having a hot meal (no funky fillings option though sorry) or a home packed lunch (please see the attached menu). If you want your child to have a hot meal, please ensure you are up to date with your payments. If you have any further questions about the cashless catering system, please contact us or the catering team – thank you.
Eisteddfod Day – Monday 1st March:
Unfortunately, we cannot celebrate St. David’s Day in the usual way but we did not want this special day to pass by without any celebrations at all. Therefore, we would like all pupils, whether they are in school on Monday or not, to dress up in Welsh costumes. These can be traditional costumes or simply a Welsh football or rugby jersey (or even something red)! Foundation Phase pupils will be taking part in traditions such as recitations/Welsh activities and pupils in Key Stage 2 will be set a special challenge by their class teachers entitled #FromMyDoor-St. David’s Day. Diolch yn fawr to all those pupils who made Welsh crafts over the half-term break. They are absolutely amazing and I will ensure that pictures of them are posted on dojo for everyone to admire on Monday. Huge thank you also to all the children who have entered the poetry competition. We will announce the winners of the Bard and Mini-Bard competitions on Monday afternoon.
World Book Day – Thursday 4th March:
Due to the difficulty in getting costumes at present and the fact that not all pupils are able to return to school for World Book Day 2021, we have decided not to allow the children to dress up this year. We will be celebrating this day in other special ways. All pupils will be set literacy based activities for the day. KS2 pupils will be exploring local authors or diving into set texts for their home learning and FP pupils will be completing literacy based activities in school.
No Smoking on School Grounds:
New Welsh Government Smoke-free legislation comes into force on 1st March 2021. This means that school grounds in Wales will be required to be smoke-free.
From Monday 1st March it will be an offence to smoke on any school grounds and smoking in a smoke-free space could result in a £100 fine. We have put up prominent No Smoking Signs near our gates to inform parents of the changes that come into effect.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if Wales beat England on Saturday and win the Triple Crown again? It would be very fitting considering it’s St. David’s Day on Monday. Enjoy a lovely weekend pawb and come on Wales!
Mrs. Philippa Minto
Friday 12th February 2021:
Please find attached a letter detailing all the arrangements for after the half-term break. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries or concerns.
Mrs. Philippa Minto
Friday 5th February:
You will have heard that the Welsh Government have confirmed that all Foundation Phase pupils will be returning to school the week beginning Monday 22nd February. We are very much looking forward to welcoming them back but we are very sorry that all our Key Stage 2 pupils can’t return just yet. The arrangements for the return of pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 is supposed to be phased but no decisions have been made about this in the Local Authority yet. I will confirm the arrangements early next week. Our Key Stage 2 hub will continue to run as normal after half term and we will continue to set home learning for KS2 pupils. Both hubs will be closed during half-term.
We have moved these to the last week of the Spring Term i.e. the week beginning Monday 22nd March. However, if you have any concerns about your child’s progress or home learning, please message his/her class teacher and they will contact you next week.
Safer Internet Day:
Tuesday 9th February is Safer Internet Day so our teaching staff will be setting home learning around this next week. With children using the internet so much at present it is well worth reminding them about how to use it safety and appropriately.
As usual we will be setting creative tasks linked to our Eisteddfod for pupils to complete over half term. We will share all the details with you next week. We will not be setting any home learning during the half term holidays though – your children (and you) have been working so hard you all deserve a rest!
I am keeping my fingers crossed for the rugby on Sunday – come on Wales! Have a lovely weekend pawb.
Mrs. Philippa Minto
Friday 29th January:
The Welsh Government has just announced that there could be a phased return of children to Primary Schools after February 22nd if the transmission rate continues to fall in Wales. This phased return would be flexible starting with the younger children. These arrangements have not been finalised and I will update you in due course when the WG and Local Authority agree a way forward.
The engagement in home learning and attendance during live lessons has been fantastic this week – thank you all so much for your continued support and help. Keep up the amazing work pawb.
It appears that we have been forecast snow over the weekend. If school is unable to open on Monday morning, I will let all parents of children attending the hub know at the earliest opportunity.
Happy Friday everyone and enjoy the weekend. Be careful in the ice and snow but have lots of fun.
Mrs. Philippa Minto
Friday 22nd January 2021:
We hope that you and your children have enjoyed the live lessons, videos and work that has been uploaded to dojo this week. Once again we have been very impressed with all the work that has been handed in. As you can imagine, teachers are spending a lot of time commenting on all the work that has been submitted and we hope you find the feedback useful. I have attached a leaflet providing further guidance on how to support your children to stay safe and stay learning. It’s definitely worth reading.
Oxford Owl and Spelling Shed:
As we are unable to give out reading books at the moment, can we please encourage you to log into Oxford Owl and hear your children read on a regular basis. Children really benefit from being heard read (or read to) on a daily basis. Also please don’t forget to encourage your children to learn their weekly spellings by logging into Spelling Shed. All the log in details are in your child’s homework book.
Reception Intake 2021:
We have a limited number of places for our Reception Class intake in September 2021. Please apply directly to the school before the end of January to ensure a place at Henllys. Pass the word around to any friends or family members who may be interested. Diolch yn fawr.
We have decided to postpone parents’ evening until the week beginning Monday 22nd March. Hopefully, school will be back to ‘normal’ by then. We will be offering ‘drop in’ sessions the week beginning Monday 8th February to give you the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have about homelearning or your child’s progress.
Enjoy the weekend pawb – it looks like we may be getting a little snow so wrap up warm.
Mrs. Philippa Minto
Friday 15th January 2021:
Our staff have been very impressed with all the work that has been submitted this week. The children (and you!) are working very hard at home so please keep up the excellent work. You are doing a great job and we understand how difficult things can get trying to balance homelearning with working from home etc. You can only do so much so please do not worry if you haven’t completed all the work that has been set – just do what you can!
At Henllys, we are trying to provide a blended approach to learning. This means that we are using a range of different approaches such as:
1) Face-to-face time with learners in the hub.
2) Online learning in the form of live lessons or wellbeing ‘check ins’ and recorded lessons/videos.
3) Using resources such as textbooks and other physical resources to work through at home.
Teachers are also available on dojo to provide feedback to pupils on the work that has been uploaded to dojo portfolio and to answer any queries or questions you may have regarding the work that has been set.
For some parents we may be providing too much work and for others it may not be enough. We are also acutely aware of the fact that everyone’s work patterns are different and live lessons/wellbeing ‘check ins’ may not be at a convenient time for everyone. We are trying to ensure that pupils are not sat in front of a computer for too long either. In essence, we are striking a balance for all our learners and parents. Your feedback is really important to us and I know that our teaching staff have really valued all the positive comments and messages that they have received. Please continue to communicate with us to let us know how we are doing and what improvements we can make and we will try our very best to accommodate them.
Digitally Excluded Learners:
Every family should have access to a digital device and wifi at home e.g. iPad, laptop, chrome book, tablet etc. If your child has not got access to a digital device and wifi at home, please let us know as soon as possible, Also please contact us if you are having any technical problems and we will help in any way possible.
Pupils attending our hub have also been working hard and completing their homelearning tasks too – da iawn plant. Packed lunches will be needed for at least Monday and Tuesday next week and I will update you all on Monday as to what is happening with catering on Wednesday. Please don’t forget that Breakfast Club starts at 8:30 am.
Enjoy the weekend pawb and please stay safe.
Mrs. Philippa Minto
Friday 8th January 2021:
You will no doubt have heard that schools in Wales are now not opening to all pupils on Monday 18th January. The Welsh Government have stated that schools will stay closed to most pupils until February half term unless there is a “significant” fall in Covid cases. This is due to be reviewed on the 29th January.
Whilst we are very disappointed that we will not be able to welcome all pupils back to school as planned, we fully understand the role that school communities have to take to ensure that the risks of catching Covid within local areas are significantly reduced.
All pupils will have received homelearning via dojo this week and we really hope that you are finding the work enjoyable, meaningful and manageable. If you are experiencing ANY difficulties at all or have any technical issues, please contact us at the earliest opportunity so that we can help and support you. Your children will also have been offered a wellbeing virtual ‘check in’ with their class teachers. Please remember that we cannot invite your child to take part in these sessions unless you have copied and pasted the agreement to his/her teacher via dojo. The agreement was posted on dojo on the 4th January. Our staff really value these sessions and love catching up with all their pupils – I am sure that the pupils really enjoy them too!
From Monday 12th January, you will receive daily homelearning activities for four days of the week. Our teachers are all on a rota to work with pupils in our hubs for one day per week and I am sure you appreciate it would be very difficult to provide homelearning, comment on it and return it to pupils when they are supervising pupils in school. Your child’s class teacher will let you know which day they are working in the hub and not providing homelearning in due course. We are always looking to improve our homelearning and will be trying out different approaches next week, so watch this space!
If your child is coming into school next week, you will have received a letter explaining the arrangements. If you have any further queries, please contact me directly.
I hope that we are all able to stay safe during yet another challenging and difficult period. The roll out of the vaccine certainly gives us hope that things can start getting back to normal in the not too distant future. Your children may not be in school but we will do everything we can to keep in contact with them and let them know that we really care about them and are missing them all.
Mrs. Philippa Minto
Monday 4th January 2021:
Welcome back everyone – I hope you are looking forward to the Spring Term.
Your child’s class teacher will be uploading homelearning to dojo every day this week. We hope that your children enjoy the tasks/activities that are set. Please contact us as soon as possible, if you need technical support or if you are unable to access the resources.
You will also be sent a link inviting your child to attend a wellbeing ‘check in’ this week. Please note that we can only invite your child to this meeting if you have copied and pasted the following agreement to his/her class teacher:
I………………………..…. give permission for …………..…………… to participate in Video Conferencing wellbeing ‘check ins’ with fellow class members and members of staff. I can confirm that I have read the guidance above with my child and that during the duration of the Video Conferencing session/lesson a parent/guardian will be present at all times.
Signed: …………………………………….(Please type your name) Date…………………….
Relationship to child: ………………………………..…….
Thank you very much for your continued support in ensuring that your child is able to complete his/her homelearning and upload it to dojo. Our staff are very keen to comment on all the work that is submitted, as well as ‘checking in’ with all their pupils via a video conference.
Mrs. Philippa Minto