HCIW Latest News

Dydd Gwener 24 Mehefin 2022:

Annwyl parents/carers,
We have made the most of the sunshine this week and pupils have really enjoyed completing all the ‘healthy schools’ activities we planned. Huge congratulations to all our Year 5 pupils for passing their safe cycling course – da iawn plant. Well done to those pupils who represented the school in football and rugby too this week – we are very proud of the way you played together as a team and of your positive attitude on and off the field.

Sunflower Design Competition:
Back in May, during Children’s Mental Health Week, the pupils were asked to design a sunflower to raise awareness of Foster Care Fortnight. The competition was open to all primary schools in Torfaen. I am delighted to announce that two pupils from Henllys won second and third prize. Congratulations to Caitlin M. in Year 5 who won second prize (£15) and to Adam T. in Year 2 who won third prize (£10). Both designs were beautiful – llongyfarchiadau plant.

Training Days for 2022/23:
We have decided on the following training days for next academic year.

Training Day 1: Friday 2nd September 2022
Training Day 2: Monday 5th September 2022
Training Day 3: Friday 28th October 2022
Training Day 4: Friday 23rd December 2022
Training Day 5: Thursday 4th May 2023

Please note that all pupils will return to school on Tuesday 6th September 2022.

Year 6 Residential Trip to Gilwern:
Good luck to all our Year 6 pupils (and staff) who are going to Gilwern on a residential trip next week. We hope you have an amazing time making lots of special memories. We are going to really miss you – the school will definitely be a little quieter though! Have fun all of you.

Enjoy the weekend pawb.
Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 17 Mehefin 2022:

Annwyl parents/carers,
Thank you all for coming to our Sports Day on Wednesday – it was so lovely to go back to normal and to see so many of you again. All the pupils enjoyed it too and congratulations to St. Michael’s (Green) House on your victory.

Updated Policies:
Thank you to all the parents who responded to the questionnaire I sent out about our ‘draft’ Teaching and Learning Policy. I am pleased to announce that the policy has been agreed by our Governing Body.
We have also amended our Anti-Bullying Policy following ‘school specific’ feedback from Torfaen’s Anti-Bullying survey.
You can read a copy of both policies on our Henllys C.I.W. school website.

Food and Fun Summer School:
Don’t forget to register your child for a place at Torfaen Play Scheme’s Summer School before spare places get offered to children from other schools. The details and registration form were posted on here on Monday 13th June.

Goodbye and good luck:
We said goodbye to Mrs. Sarah Price (Maddocks) this week. Mrs. Price has been a part time midday supervisor at the school for the past 8 years. She has taken full time employment with a local company. Goodbye and good luck Mrs. Price – we will really miss you.

Friends of Henllys P.T.A:
Thank you very much to all the parents/grandparent who supported the P.T.A. this week – whether it was buying flags on Sports Day or buying gifts from our Father’s Day stall.
Total amount from Father’s Day sale = £340.10
Total amount from flag sales = £165.00

Huge thank you once again to the P.T.A. for giving up their own time to support the school and raise much needed funds to replace our outdoor play equipment. Thank you also for the much needed ice lollies you provided for us this afternoon too – phew it was a warm one!

Fund Raising Star:
Finally, we have to say how proud we are of one of our pupils in Year 1 who is a fund raising star. Charlotte K. has raised a whopping £62.50 all on her own for ‘The Sanctuary’ which is a refugee welcome centre in Newport. Charlotte wanted to help Ukrainian refugees as much as she could, so she decided to sell decorated packets of sunflowers. She handed the money to the manager of the charity last week. The money raised will go towards supporting their allotments, as well as supporting the mental health of refugees as they settle in our local area. What a remarkable young lady – da iawn Charlotte.

Enjoy a lovely evening in the summer sun pawb.
Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 10 Mehefin 2022:

Annwyl parents/carers,
We couldn’t have picked a better day to go on our first whole school trip for over two years! We have had an amazing time and the children have been wonderful. We saw such an array of animals – I am sure your children will tell you all about it tonight.

Father’s Day Sale:
The P.T.A. are kindly running a Father’s Day sale on Monday 13th June. There will be a wide variety of items on sale. Please note that there will be a maximum spend of £3 per pupil. Diolch yn fawr once again to the P.T.A. for all their support.

We are having a very special service in school on Tuesday 14th June when six of our pupils are going to be Baptised by Rev. Kerl. She has been giving special Baptism sessions to Year 2 pupils this term. These will be offered to all Year 2 pupils as they move through the school.

Sports Day:
Thank you for your patience regarding the arrangements for Wednesday 15th June. I will post all the details on Monday 13th June once we have a better idea as to the weather forecast. Please note that it will start at 1pm in the afternoon so the gates will open at 12:45pm.

Competition Winner:
Huge congratulations to Oliver D. in Year 6 who won a competition to name one of Torfaen’s new electric refuse vehicles. The judges loved –
TREVOR (Torfaen Refuse Electric Vehicle On Route)
Our Year 6 class have been invited up to a mobile education site at the end of June where Oliver will be presented with his special goody bag – da iawn Oliver we are super proud of you.

Netball Stars:
Da iawn once again to our school netball team for reaching the semi-final of the Urdd Netball Competition. There were over 25 teams there and they did SO well winning all of their games up to the semi-final (which they narrowly lost 5-7).

I think all pupils, staff and parent helpers (thank you) will sleep well tonight. Let’s hope for a lovely week next week to so that our Sports Day can go ahead as planned.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 27 Mai 2022:

Annwyl parents/carers,
The children have had a super week learning about the Queen and celebrating her Platinum Jubilee. They also looked amazing in their costumes this morning – and what an array of costumes we had too! Thank you so much for all your efforts sourcing the different outfits. The children certainly did enjoy dressing up. Thankfully the sun shone all afternoon and we were outside for our special tea party. We really did have a lovely afternoon.

Bristol Zoo:
As I’m sure you are aware, we are going on a whole school trip to Bristol Zoo on Friday 10th June. Please ensure that you have sent back the permissions slips and paid for the trip by Wednesday 8th June at the latest. Diolch yn fawr pawb.

Pupil Leadership Groups:
At Henllys we have the following pupil leadership groups.

School Council
Worship Workers
Wellbeing Warriors
Sports Ambassadors
British Sign Language Assistants
Digital Leaders
Heddlu Bach (Mini police)
Criw Cymraeg
Junior Road Safety Officers

Children from every class are given the opportunity to join the leadership groups and it has been wonderful to be able to finally get them altogether to carry out their roles and responsibilities. Each group has a very important part to play in school life and will certainly be a great benefit to the school going forward.

Support for Ukrainian Families:
We have already had a Ukrainian pupil join us in Year 1 and we have another Ukrainian pupil joining us in Year 6 after half term. I am sure you will join me in extending a very warm welcome to them (and their families) to Henllys. There is a local charity that has been set up to provide bicycles (in good condition) for children who have recently moved into the area and they are also looking for helmets. If you have any helmets buried in your garages or sheds that your children no longer use, please bring them into school and we will donate them to this charity. Thank you so much.

Message from Rev. Kerl:
We would love to welcome all children to Junior Church in The Worship Centre (Henllys CiW School)
Come to the hall by 9.15 each Sunday morning for different games, active stories, crafts and much more.
Learn about faith, make friends and have fun.
All ages are welcome.

Menu for w/b 6th June:
Please don’t forget that school is closed on Monday 6th June for an additional day for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The canteen has asked me to let you know these changes to the menu.
Tuesday 7th June – fish and mash
Thursday 9th June – hot dog.

I hope everyone enjoys a lovely half term break. See you all on Tuesday 7th June.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 20 Mai 2022:

Annwyl parents/carers,
I hope you enjoyed reading the Curriculum Overviews we sent out last week, detailing what your children will be learning about this term. We will be having a ‘Healthy Schools Week’ and ‘Numeracy Week’ too after half term which the children will really enjoy too.

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee:
We are really looking forward to our whole school Tea Party during the afternoon of Friday 27th May. Don’t forget the decades as outlined below, but please do not worry if you are struggling to find an appropriate outfit – anything red, white and blue will do.

Year 6 – 1950s
Year 5 – 1960s
Year 4 – 1970s
Year 3 – 1980s
Year 2 – 1990s
Year 1 – 2000s
Reception – 2010s

PTA’s Grow a Pound:
We did a very special assembly this afternoon where Mr. Barton showcased all the fantastic ideas the children had come up with to grow their pound. I have to say I was SO impressed with the broad range of inventive ways the children came up with to raise money. The final total came to £2677.91 which is absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much for supporting your children with their businesses – we really do appreciate it.

The PTA are pleased to announce that they will be running the following activities after half term –
Father’s Day Sale – Monday 13th June.
Running a stall at the Henllys Village Fete – Saturday 9th July.
School disco – Monday 18th July.
Further details to follow.

Interactive TVs:
Following a WG grant, we have just installed 9 brand new Interactive TVs – one in every classroom, one in the ICT suite and a larger one in the hall. They have replaced our old interactive whiteboards and projectors. They are amazing and we are so pleased with them – photograph to follow.

Enjoy the weekend pawb and see you all on Monday.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 6 Mai 2022:

Annwyl parents/carers,
It seems like a very short week due to the bank holiday and our training day yesterday. We had a very productive day yesterday, discussing and agreeing the way forward for Maths and Numeracy in the morning. We then had whole school training on British Sign Language in the afternoon which we all found extremely useful. Our ‘Sing and Sign’ after school club and British Sign Language Assistants will ensure that this vital form of communication is taught throughout the school now.

Covid-19 Update:
We have finally gone back to our usual timetable which means we are having whole school Worships, ordinary break and lunch times and we are mixing classes for Fun Time Friday again. It has been so lovely to have our Celebrations Worship this afternoon – please don’t forget to send in medals, trophies, certificates etc. that your children have been awarded outside school so that we can celebrate their successes with them.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has not gone away and is likely to remain with us globally. Even though restrictions have been lifted, we still need to work together keep everyone safe. Continuing with protective behaviours is important and will help to minimise exposure to and spread of COVID-19, as well as other respiratory infections and other diseases. Please read the latest self-isolation guidance from the WG which was updated on May 4th 2022.

Self-isolation: guidance for people with COVID-19 and their contacts | GOV.WALES

After School Clubs:
Please don’t forget to return your child’s after school club slips to let us know which club they will be attending. Children will be picked up as before, except for the Arts and Crafts Club who will need to be picked up from the Reception Class outdoor area.

Just a reminder that Colorfoto will be in on Monday 9th May taking class photographs. Can all pupils please school uniform NOT P.E. kit just for this day? Diolch yn fawr pawb.

Platinum Jubilee Celebrations:
We will be holding a number of events and activities to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations the week beginning Monday 23rd May. The celebrations will culminate in a special whole school Tea Party during the afternoon of Friday 27th May. We thought it would be lovely if the children could dress up on this day with each class wearing a themed outfit representing each decade the Queen has been in reign. Here goes-

Year 6 – 1950s
Year 5 – 1960s
Year 4 – 1970s
Year 3 – 1980s
Year 2 – 1990s
Year 1 – 2000s
Reception – 2010s

We do not expect you to go out and buy expensive outfits or costumes so please just use what you have in the house (or perhaps in charity shops). We will be taking lots of photographs of this special event to share with you. Let’s hope for a lovely sunny day!

Grow a Pound:
We have been amazed by the inventive ideas the children have come up with to grow their pound. We have also been absolutely delighted with the amount of money we have raised so far. Mr. Barton counted it today and we have so far raised:


A huge well done to everyone who has contributed to this fantastic amount. Please don’t worry if you haven’t sent in your money yet – there is still time! The PTA have also kindly requested for the £1 coins to be returned if you have been unable to grow it – diolch yn fawr.

Have a super weekend pawb and see you all on Monday morning.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto


Dydd Gwener 29 Ebrill 2022:

Annwyl parents/carers,
It has been lovely to see our pupils return to Henllys after what sounds like a super Easter break for them all. We have launched our Summer Term topic ‘Survival of the Fittest!’ and the pupils have already come up with some fantastic ideas. We have had a very sporting week with a trip to the Principality Stadium to watch two Year 6 pupils play rugby, as well as entering a hockey and girls’ football tournament. We are very proud of all the pupils who took part – they represented the school really well.

Grow a Pound:
Huge diolch yn fawr to all the pupils who have already brought in the money they have made from the PTA’s Grown a Pound Challenge. Mr. Barton is really keen to collect evidence of the children’s ideas so please don’t forget to send in photographs via dojo or e-mail them to him at bartonr4@hwbcymru.net. We have extended the deadline to Friday 6th May so there is still time to grow your business. We are really keen to upgrade our trim trails/play equipment and are very grateful to the PTA for helping us raise much needed funds.

Universal Primary Free School Meals:
Welsh Government has recently announced the ‘Universal Primary Free School Meals’ programme, which will support educational attainment and child nutrition, alongside local food production and distribution, benefiting local economies.
From September 2022, the rollout of this programme will commence, starting with the Foundation Phase year groups initially before moving onto KS2 pupils. Although all the dates are not yet known, Torfaen catering are already reviewing their service to ensure they are prepared to provide the best possible service to your child/ren. To assist them in this preparation they would be very grateful if you could complete the following short survey.

https://forms.gle/1sX4KbecbtQ5TsDk8 – English
https://forms.gle/tTsziUM9puivSqmg8 – Welsh

Hockey Festival:
Following on from the hockey tournament on Wednesday, Gwent Hockey Club are having an open day on Sunday 1st May from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to introduce young players to hockey at Cwmbran Stadium. There will be some hockey related fun games/challenges and a few matches for children to try. The cost is £3 per child.

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend pawb and please don’t forget that school is closed to all pupils on Thursday 5th May as it is our fifth training day of the year. Our Summer Term extra curricular clubs start next week too so please don’t forget to send the forms back in.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto


Dydd Gwener 1 Ebrill 2022:

Annwyl parents/carers,
Well I have to say we have had a fair few pranks played on us today but the teachers have had their own fun too! It’s not often that April Fool’s Day falls during term time and the staff and pupils have certainly embraced the occasion!

Shadow Holy Week:
We have a busy week next week as it is our Shadow Holy Week so here are some of the events we have planned-
Dydd Llun – Palm Sunday Worship where the children parade around our school cross with palm crosses in hand.
Dydd Mawrth – Turning Tables Worship
Dydd Mercher – Withered Fig Worship led by our Worship Workers.
Dydd Iau – Washing of Feet Worship
Dydd Gwener – Good Friday Worship

We are also very much looking forward to our special Easter Production – Easter Children Tell the Story – which is being performed by our Year 3/4 pupils. Parents are in for a treat as it really is a beautiful production.

After School Clubs:
These will be running as normal next week but some of our after school clubs will be changing after the Easter holidays. Letters will be sent out next week detailing the new summer clubs we will have on offer.

Civica Pay:
With it being the end of term, can all parents please ensure you have fully paid for your child’s meals and the Early Bird sessions your child has attended for this term – diolch yn fawr.

Please note that school finishes at the normal time of 3:15 on Friday 8th April. Enjoy the weekend pawb and see you on Monday.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 25 Marwth 2022:

Annwyl parents/carers,
It has been lovely to see all the children on the field this week – making good use of our beautiful school grounds. I have also enjoyed hearing the pupils speak a modern foreign language too – it always amazes me how quickly children pick up new language patterns! They have been learning French, German or Spanish this week (depending on which class your child is in) and experienced a taste of foreign food and culture too.
Thank you to all those parents who attended parental consultations this week. We hope you found them useful and informative. We really wanted to show you their books but we couldn’t facilitate this safely this time.
I am very pleased to report that our Covid cases seem to have settled down and it has been lovely to see the return of the pupils who were absent last week. Please continue to follow the self-isolation rules on the WG website although I am aware that these are likely to change on Monday 28th March.


Parental Questionnaire:
I have collated and analysed all the feedback from the parental questionnaires you completed during the Autumn Term and will be presenting the results to our Governing Body during our next meeting. Thank you so much for such positive feedback.
I would now like to consult you on our new draft Teaching and Learning Policy which has been written taking into account the views of our pupils, staff and governors. We hope it reflects the changes to our curriculum and the Education reform that is currently taking place in Wales. Can I please ask you to read the attached draft policy and then complete the short questionnaire on Google Forms using the following link:

Draft Teaching and Learning Policy


Please note that you may have to log into your child’s hwb account in order to access the questionnaire. Thank you in advance for taking the time to support us on our journey towards curriculum reform.

Comic Relief:
We raised £124.12 for Comic Relief last Friday so huge thank you for supporting such an important cause. Thanks once again to our School Council for all their hard work organising the event.

South Wales Argus:
We are delighted to send home a copy of the South Wales Argus which features photographs from our St. David’s Day celebrations. All the classes are featured and the pupils look lovely. You may have to look a little harder for the photograph of our Year 6 pupils – but it is in there!

Happy Mothering Sunday to all the mums out there. Enjoy your special day on Sunday and we really hope you like your cards/gifts. We hope you get truly spoilt too – you deserve it!

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 18 Marwth 2022:

Annwyl parents/carers,
We seem to be going through a difficult period with Covid at present. Thankfully children, staff and parents are not getting really poorly but we hope that everyone starts to feel better soon and look forward to welcoming everyone back to school next week. Once again, please refer to the WG website regarding the rules about when it is safe to come out of self-isolation:


We do need to work together to stop it being transmitted to other staff/pupils and we are very grateful for all the daily LFD tests that are being carried out.

Vaccination Programme:
I have also been asked to share the attached letter from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales detailing the Covid vaccination programme for 5 to 11 year olds which is due to start over the next few weeks. NHS Wales will be contacting parents directly to offer the vaccination.
Letter to parents re 5-11 vaccination

Parental Consultations:
You should have received your allotted time/date for next week. Please let us know at your earliest convenience if you are unable to attend – diolch yn fawr. Please note that there will be no after school clubs next week due to staff being tied up with parental consultations.

Strategic Equality Plan:
It is a requirement to annually review our Strategic Equality Plan and this was undertaken by our Governing Body on March 8th 2022. The reviewed plan can be found in the Parents’ Area/School Policies section of this website.

Mothering Sunday Sale:
The Friends of Henllys PTA are kindly running a Mothering Sunday sale on Monday 21st March in school. Children will be able to visit the stall as a class, during the school day. The stall will be situated outside on the patio area and the children will be given the opportunity to purchase one item of their choice.  Diolch yn fawr to the PTA for organising such lovely gifts.

Physical Punishment:
I have been asked to share a letter from Karen Cornish the Deputy Director of the Children and Families Division. The letter is to inform organisations that from 21 March 2022, physically punishing children will be illegal in Wales. The letter also includes various resources about ending physical punishment in Wales, information on support for parents and information for practitioners.


We are looking forward to seeing you all next week (even though it is virtually). Enjoy the sunshine this weekend – Spring is definitely in the air!

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 11 Marwth 2022:

Annwyl parents/carers,
I am sorry to start on a negative note but unfortunately we have seen an increase in Covid cases in school this week. We currently have a couple of classes (Year 2 and Year 4) with two cases so ‘Warn and Inform’ letters have been sent out to these parents advising them to carry our daily LFD tests on their children for 7 days. Please can I remind you that the self-isolation rules have not changed in Wales yet and the advice is still to go for a PCR test if you or your child has any of the three main symptoms of Covid. Further information can be found by visiting the following website:


If your child is feeling generally unwell, we would be very grateful if you could carry out an LFD test prior to sending them to school – given the current situation we feel that it is better to be safe than sorry. Please note that this does not apply to pupils under 5 years of age.

I am sure that the rules regarding Covid are going to be changing over the next few weeks and I will inform you of these changes in due course.

Parental Consultations:
If cases settle down, we are really hoping to have face-to-face meetings to give you the opportunity to see your child’s books as well as meeting your child’s teacher again. Letters with appointment times are being sent out today. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns about attending your consultation.

Easter Production:
Once again, we are really hoping to be in a position to be able to invite parents in to see our Easter production on Tuesday 5th April (Y4 parents) and Wednesday 6th April (Y3 parents). Further information will be sent out nearer the time.

Comic Relief Day:
Comic Relief Day is taking place on Friday 18th March. School Council have organised this year’s theme which is to dress up as your hero. Please refer to the attached poster for all the details. Diolch yn fawr to our School Council for all their hard work.

Eisteddfod Work:
As promised, I have taken photographs of all the lovely work the children did for our Eisteddfod which we have put on display. I will upload them to the Whole School dojo page for you to see. We are very proud of the work they have produced and we hope you are too. Da iawn plant.

Well I will be glued to the television this evening hoping that Wales can overcome the mighty French rugby team – pob lwc Wales. Enjoy your weekend pawb and let’s hope and pray that things settle down soon and that everyone stays fit and healthy.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 4 Marwth 2022:

Annwyl parents/carers,
We have just completed one of my favourite weeks of the whole year. How lovely to have Eisteddfod and World Book Day in the same week and to be able to celebrate both days in school with all the pupils this year!

Our Eisteddfod was truly amazing – what talented, creative pupils we have at Henllys. We are in the process of putting all their work up on display and I will take photographs once it is completed to show you the high standard of work that has been produced in every year group.

The children’s costumes were all fantastic yesterday and we loved trying to guess the pupils’ favourite books! Thank you so much for making such a super effort and supporting this special day.

New Temporary Caretaker:
Unfortunately, Mrs. Elkins is still unable to return to work at present and Mr. Nathan Jones has moved onto a permanent post so I am delighted to welcome Mr. Tom Richards to the school. He lives locally and some of you may have seen him around the school this week. Welcome to Henllys Mr. Richards.

Grant Funding:
All schools in Wales have received some additional grant funding to support learners and to help raise standards and support pupil progress post Covid. We have decided to use the grant to employ an extra teacher to carry out PPA up until the Easter holidays. Mr. Craig Davidson has previously taught for a number of years in Ystrad Mynach and will be teaching in each of the classes instead of Mrs. Cook. This means that Mrs. Cook can deliver intervention and extra support to learners in various classes up until the Easter break. Welcome to Henllys too Mr. Davidson.

Easter Production:
We are planning to go ahead with our Easter production which our Year 3 and Year 4 pupils take part in. We have had switch the dates around slightly so Year 4 parents will be invited to attend on Tuesday 5th April and Year 3 parents on Wednesday 6th April so please keep these dates free.

Communication via Dojo:
Dojo is an excellent platform to use to communicate with parents regarding things that are happening in class and as a whole school. It is also a way of communicating directly with your child’s class teacher, Mrs. Croft, our Teaching Assistants and myself. However, it is important to use it during a normal working day i.e. 8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays only. Our staff do need to switch off from school during the evenings and on the weekends and we would be very grateful if this could be the case unless the matter is urgent e.g. you need to let us know that your child has tested positive for Covid. Diolch yn fawr for your support and cooperation.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Ukraine at this moment in time and thank you once again for all your generous donations. It is lovely to think that Henllys Church in Wales School has made a small difference to the people (especially the children) of Ukraine at such a difficult time. Enjoy the weekend pawb.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Llun 28 Chwefror 2022

Support for the People of Ukraine:
Some of you may have seen on the Henllys Life Facebook page an appeal to support the Ukrainian people who have had to leave their homes due to the Russian invasion. A parent has found a local charity that is currently in the process of collecting emergency essentials to distribute to those in need.

If you would like to support this charity, please send the following much needed items into school by 3:15 pm on Thursday 3rd March at the latest:

> batteries/flashlights/candles
> nappies for children (different ages) and baby wipes
> personal hygiene products e.g. toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand gel and sanitary products.
> thermal clothes/thermal shirts/gloves/hats
> painkillers for both children and adults
> bandages/plasters/antiseptic wipes/first aid kits
> blankets
> instant tea/coffee/sugar
> tinned fish and meat

The donations will be collected after school on Thursday and dropped down to a centre in Newport before being sent to Poland over the weekend.

Diolch yn fawr in advance for your help and support. It is very much appreciated.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 11 Chwefror 2022:

Annwyl parents/carers,
The children have been doing some lovely activities linked to Children’s Mental Health and Safer Internet Day this week. I am sure they will tell you all about it. Both are so important for children growing up at present.

Next week, we will be doing activities linked to our Eisteddfod which is taking place on Tuesday 1st March. The children will all be given the opportunity to enter a handwriting and art competition. Classes will also be learning a song and group recitation in preparation for a special performance on the day. There will be individual music competitions for all our instrumentalists too. Don’t forget that the children can come to school in Welsh costumes/outfits. We will be setting homework tasks linked to our Eisteddfod too – further details to follow next week.

World Book Day:
We will be celebrating World Book Day this year which takes place on Thursday 3rd March. We invite children to come to school dressed as a character from their favourite book on this date. We don’t want you to buy expensive costumes so please just see what the children have got in their dressing up boxes or buried in the back of their wardrobes. They will be taking part in lots of literacy based activities throughout the day. We would also like them to wrap up their favourite book and bring it into school with clues as to what the book is on the back. This is a Henllys tradition and the other children in the class love trying to guess the book!

After School Clubs:
We are delighted to announce that we will be re-starting our after school clubs straight after half term i.e. the week beginning 28th February. A dojo will be sent out next week with all the details.

Parental Consultations:
These will be taking place the week beginning 21st March. We are hoping to have face-to-face meetings once again but will make a decision regarding this after half term.

Play Equipment:
Our wooden outdoor play equipment needs to be replaced and there are only certain sections that are safe to use at present. Please can you ensure that your children do not play on the equipment before or after school, as we are unable to supervise them at these times.

P.T.A. Valentine Roses:
It’s not too late to order a rose to be delivered to your child for Monday 14th February. Please send a £1 in a clearly labelled envelope to Mr. Barton first thing on Monday morning and we will deliver the rose. We are very grateful for the support of the P.T.A. and are looking to use any funds raised to update our outdoor play equipment.

After a rather disappointing start to the Six Nations – let’s hope for a win against Scotland tomorrow! Enjoy the weekend pawb.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 4 Chwefror 2022:
Annwyl parents/carers,
Thank you for sharing photographs of some of the children bird spotting last weekend – we hope you and your children enjoyed the activity. This week we have launched the start of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations. As some of you may be aware, Queen Elizabeth will have reigned for 70 years on Sunday 6th February 2022. There are not going to be any formal celebrations on this day, but there are many things planned over the bank holiday weekend which is the 2nd – 5th June. For further details please visit:
At Henllys, we will be celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee the week beginning Monday 23rd May culminating in a special tea party on Friday 27th May 2022. Further details will follow nearer the time.

Children’s Mental Health Week and Safer Internet Day:
Monday 7th February is the start of Children’s Mental Health Week and the theme this year is ‘Growing Together’. The children will be taking part in special assemblies and activities to highlights the importance of mental health.
Safer Internet Day is on Tuesday 8th February and the theme for this day is ‘All fun and games’ and the children will be exploring respect and relationships online.

P.T.A. Valentine Roses:
The P.T.A. have kindly launched a fund raiser for Valentine’s Day. You can order a rose to be delivered to your child for just £1 on this special day. Mr. Barton is collected the money and keeping a record in every class. We are very grateful for the support of the P.T.A. and are looking to use any funds raised to update our outdoor play equipment.

Outdoor Learning:
Thank you to everyone who collected the Morrisons ‘It’s Good to Grow’ vouchers. We have ordered a lot of vegetable seeds with the tokens, including pumpkins, beetroot, tomatoes and cucumbers to name a few. The children will be undertaking a lot of planting and outdoor learning next half term and in the Summer Term. All classes will be taking part in Forest Schools activities too. Your child’s class teacher will update you with further information and photographs in due course.
We would like all pupils to have the opportunity to take part in den building as well. If you have any spare rope or tarpaulin that you no longer use, we would be very grateful for any donations – diolch yn fawr.

We will be celebrating St. David’s Day on Tuesday 1st March and invite all pupils to wear Welsh Costumes or outfits to school on this day. We will be running a range of competitions and will provide further details next week.

Manners Matter:
We have been reminding the pupils about the importance of good behaviour and good manners this week and most pupils have responded really well. Saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ make a big difference to everyone and I am sure you reiterate the fact that ‘Manners Matter’ at home too. Da iawn Michael in Year 5 who had a Headteacher’s Award today for excellent manners.

Civica Pay:
Please can all parents ensure that you pay for your child’s lunch in advance and keep your account in credit. If you are using the Early Bird sessions at all, payment of £2 per session per day must also be paid through Civica Pay. We have been informed that some parents owe for quite a number of sessions since our Early Bird re-started in November. Once again these should be paid in advance if possible. If you have any queries regarding payments, please contact Mrs. Croft in the office.

Enjoy the first Six Nations weekend of 2022 and let’s hope that Wales get off to a winning start in Dublin!

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 28 Ionawr 2022:

Annwyl parents/carers,
January seems to have flown by and Spring will soon be upon us. If you have any spare time this weekend, why not take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Watch. All you need to do it sit with your children and identify and count the birds that land in your garden or in a local park for a one hour period over the weekend.

For further details please click on the following link:


Here is a link to help you identify the birds that you see and how to keep an accurate tally.


Mr. Urdd World Record:
On Tuesday 25th January (St. Dwynwen’s Day) all the pupils in school took part in a very special event. They helped Urdd Gobaith Cymru celebrate its 100th birthday by breaking a world record! The Urdd is Wales’ largest youth organisation and history was made with an official Guinness World Records™. The Urdd asked for schools/organisations to upload as many videos as possible of individuals, groups and families singing a version of the iconic song, Hei Mistar Urdd, on Twitter and/or Facebook between 10:45 and 11:45. The previous record of 250 video uploads was smashed as 1,176 videos were uploaded. We are very proud to have been a part of an official Guinness World Records™ – da iawn plant.

You can see the videos on our twitter accounts which are as follows:

Reception: @MrsHensonHCIW
Year 1: @MissNeedleHCIW
Year 2: @MrsSulwayCIW
Year 3: @MissBaldwinHCIW
Year 4: @MrYendleHCIW
Year 5: @MissHciw
Year 6: @MrsLlewellynHCW
Whole School: @HenllysCIW
Mrs. Minto: @MrsMintoHCIW

The class teachers regular post things on twitter so please ensure you follow us – diolch yn fawr.

Here is a reminder of the dates for the remaining INSET days for this academic year:

Friday 18th February
Thursday 5th May
Friday 22nd July

Please note that we are taking Monday 6th June as an extra bank holiday to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Because the two bank holidays fall during half term week, schools are allowed to choose an extra day so we have chosen this date.

Covid-19 Update:
On Wednesday 26th January, the Welsh Minister for Education, Jeremy Miles announced that as of today, Wales has moved to Alert Level 0. He made it absolutely clear that, for wellbeing and learning, it is vital that children and young people are in school. He also announced that, if the evidence supports it, WG will confirm at the next three-week review point on 10th February that schools should return to making local decisions on mitigations in line with the Local Infection Control Decision Framework by the beginning of the new half term on 28th February. Face coverings will remain in schools for the time being, just as they are required in most public places, at alert level 0.

In essence, this means that we need to continue with the current measures we have in place until after half term. We are really hoping that things can get back to ‘normal’ after half term with the resumption of all our after school clubs and classes being able to mix again on the yard. I will update you further after the next review on 10th February. Also please note that rules regarding self-isolation change today. For further information please click on the following link:


Enjoy a lovely weekend pawb – happy bird watching and please send us photographs so that we can share them with everyone on Monday morning.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 21 Ionawr 2022:

Annwyl parents/carers,
It has been very cold and icy this week so can I please reiterate the dojo message I sent on Monday 17th January and ask you all to be very careful walking on site when there is any ground frost. The astroturf can be particularly slippery – we have put new signs up to remind you to take care.

School Uniform/Jewellery:
This is a polite reminder that ALL pupils need to wear a shirt and tie, as part of our winter school uniform policy. We also only allow children to wear stud earrings (no hooped/dangly earrings please). Hair accessories should be kept to a minimum too. Thank you for your support and cooperation.

Please note that learners currently eligible for free school meals can apply for the grant of £125 per learner, and £200 for those learners entering year 7, recognising the increased costs associated with starting secondary school. This year the Welsh Government have announced that ALL school years are now eligible to apply for the grant. All looked after children also qualify for the grant, whether they receive free school meals or not. Please note that families are only entitled to claim once per child, per school year. Funding for the 2021 to 2022 scheme will close on 31 March 2022. To apply for this grant please contact the local authority.

Covid Restrictions:
We are looking forward to Covid restrictions being lifted across Wales and await an update on how schools can change the way we operate. I will update you as to any changes we are able to make, including re-starting our after school clubs, as soon as possible.

Enjoy the weekend pawb and see you all on Monday.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

*Important message regarding parking:

Unfortunately, I once again feel the need to remind ALL parents to be considerate when parking around the school grounds. We have received more complaints from local residents and parents of pupils at Henllys. The issues are as follows:

1) Parents parking across the dropped kerbs on Henllys Way near the subway – this is totally inconsiderate as prams, bicycles, mobility scooters rely on these to safely cross the road.
It is particularly upsetting to hear that a parent refused to move his car away from the dropped kerb yesterday, to enable another parent to cross the road safely with a pram!

2) Parents parking too close to the end of Primrose Court so residents cannot see to pull out onto Ty Canol Way. This lack of visibility could easily cause a very nasty accident.

The Council and local police have been informed and residents/parents are taking photographs of offenders to pass onto them.

PLEASE be more considerate in future and think twice about where you are parking.

Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 14 Ionawr 2022:

Annwyl parents/carers,
It has been lovely to see pupils in two classes dress up this week for special ‘immersion’ days to launch our new topic ‘The World is a Stage’. Our Reception class was turned into a circus on Wednesday and our Year 2 class were superheroes on Thursday! Diolch yn fawr to all parents for providing costumes for the day – the children looked amazing. We have completed Curriculum Overviews in each year group which will give you an idea about what your children will be learning over the Spring Term. We have some exciting things planned but have also left plenty of opportunities for ‘Pupil Voice’. This is where the children decide what they want to learn about linked to the topic and it really stimulates their enthusiasm for learning. The overviews will be posted on your class dojo page either today or on Monday. You will also find a copy on our school website.

Reception intake September 2022:
We still have a few spaces in our Reception class for September 2022. Please can I ask you all to tell your friends/extended family that the deadline for applications is Friday 28th January 2022. We would be very grateful if you could spread the word and encourage prospective parents to contact the school directly. Thank you so much.

Covid 19 update:
I am pleased to report that transmission rates in the Local Authority are decreasing. The Welsh Government have also announced today plans to lift some Covid restrictions by the end of January. I will update you as to how these changes will affect the way we operate in due course. In the meantime, please continue to follow the guidelines detailed in the letter I posted on dojo on Friday 7th January 2022. Can I remind you of the importance of reporting positive LFT/PCR results to us as soon as possible so we can quickly identify any close contacts who potentially may be infectious. The Local Authority are also asking all residents to record your Lateral Flow Test Results, especially when positive online https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result or by calling 119.

Additional Learning Needs Code:
As you are all aware, the education system in Wales is in the process being reformed. One key change that is coming into effect this year is the Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Code. Please find attached a letter explaining the key changes that are coming into effect this term. It is especially important to read the letter if your child has been identified as an ‘SEN or ALN’ pupil but all parents need to be aware of the changes. The letter is quite generic but we will be contacting specific parents in due course to explain the changes in more detail. Our ALNCo (Mrs. Ruth Bevan) is also hoping to host a parental workshop this term to explain the changes in more detail so please watch this space!

Parent letter regarding ALN reform

ESTYN link:
The Local Authority are being inspected by ESTYN and they would like us to share a link with you to complete a short survey regarding the education service that Torfaen currently provide. It is important that you have your say so please click on the link below:
Please note that the survey closes on the 31st January.

Pokemon Cards:
Please can you ensure that your child does NOT bring Pokemon cards (or any other cards) into school. They cause a lot of arguments and issues which are difficult to resolve. Thank you for your support and cooperation.

That’s it from me for this week. Enjoy the weekend pawb and wrap up warm.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 7 Ionawr 2022:
Letter to Parents about arrangements Jan 2022
Annwyl parents/carers,
We hope your children have enjoyed the first two days of the Spring Term. It has been lovely to have them back after the Christmas break and to hear how lucky they have all been to receive such lovely gifts from Father Christmas.
Please find attached a letter detailing how we are currently operating and how we can continue to work together to keep our school community as safe as possible.
Enjoy a lovely weekend break and see you on Monday.
Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

*Important Update regarding January 2022

Dydd Iau 16 Rhagfyr

Dear parent/carer,

Delayed start to the new term – Due to the potential impact of the Covid-19 Omicron variant over the next few weeks, the Welsh Government have instructed every school in Wales to take the first 2 days of the new term (Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th of January 2022) as additional inset days to prepare for potential disruption to learning and teaching. Our planned inset day has therefore been postponed until Friday 18th February 2022.

These days will give the school time extra time to assess staffing capacity, reconsider risk assessments and mitigations and put any necessary measures in place to support the return of learners.

Our school’s priority is to always minimise disruption to our pupils’ education and maintain face to face learning in the classroom in a safe way for everyone. However, to protect our pupils and staff we are also being asked to prepare for a period of remote learning should cases locally result in significant staff or pupil absence.

This is a very fast-moving situation so we will also ensure that if there are any further updates over the holiday period, we will share these in advance of the scheduled return to school on Thursday 6th January 2022.

I hope this advance notice gives you plenty of time to make any necessary arrangements at home.

Over the holiday period I would encourage everyone to prioritise getting their booster jab when offered and it is vital that no one with COVID-19 symptoms attends school at the start of the new term.

I want to thank you for your continued support during these extremely challenging times.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 10 Rhagfyr 2021

Annwyl parents/carers,
What a lovely week it has been at Henllys! The Foundation Phase Nativity Concert – The Big Little Nativity has been recorded and is in the process of being edited ready to be shared next week. I had the pleasure of watching both performances and you are in for a real treat! The children are simply amazing – da iawn plant.

Colorfoto Photographs:
I have contacted Colorfoto today and they have assured me that all orders will be in school by the end of next week (just in time for Christmas).

PTA Elf Day:
Just a reminder that it is Elf Day on Monday 13th December. Children can come to school dressed as an elf or they can wear red and green, stripy clothes or any festive costumes. A donation of £1 per child is required and will go directly to the PTA. They are also running a ‘Name the Elf’ competition per class for 50p per guess. The winner gets to keep the elf (photograph to follow).

Other dates next week:

Wednesday 15th December – Christmas Dinner Day Children can come to school wearing Christmas jumpers.

Thursday 16th December – Christmas Party Day
Party clothes to be worn all day.

Friday 17th December – Christmas Service
Pupils need to wear full school uniform.
* We are finishing at the slightly earlier time of 2:30 pm on this day.

Winter Fuel Payments:
The Welsh Government have recently announced a one off payment of £100 to help families towards the fuel cost they have to pay.

The scheme is open to households where one member is in receipt of certain welfare benefits. They must have been claiming these benefits at any time between 1 December 2021 and 31 January 2022.
The benefits are
• Income Support
• Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
• Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
• Universal Credit
• Working Tax Credits
• Either you or your partner must also be responsible for paying the energy bills for the property.
• Only one payment per household can be paid.

To receive the payment an application form must be completed online by following the link below:

Torfaen – https://iweb.itouchvision.com/portal/f?p=customer:category_link:::::CUID,LANG:D0FFE45602CC1C02631CE05433A140C1A8C014E1,EN&P_LANG=en

If you do not have access to the internet then it can be completed over the phone by calling our Customer Care team on 01459 766570 or 01495 766430 but we are urging people to apply on line due to the amount of applications we are anticipating receiving.

Applications open on 13th December 2021. All applications must be received before the 18 February 2022. Payments for successful applications will be made from January through to end of March 2022.

Enjoy lots of festive fun over the weekend and see you all on Monday.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Wednesday 8th December 2021

*Important Covid-19 Reminder:

With the run up to Christmas, it is vital that we work together to keep our school community as safe as possible. Here is a reminder of what you can do as parents to support us to stay safe until the end of the Autumn Term and beyond.

1) If you/your children have any new symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate and book a PCR test as soon as possible. This applies even if you have mild symptoms or if you have previously tested positive.

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:

– a high temperature
– a continuous cough
– loss or change of taste or smell

You/your children should continue to isolate until you get the results of the tests. If you have had a positive lateral flow test, you should isolate and book a PCR test as soon as possible.

2) Household contacts are identified as anyone who lives or sleeps in the same household or
anyone spending significant time in the same household.

If you/your child live or spend a significant amount of time in the same household as someone who has symptoms you should self-isolate and take a test as quickly as possible. If that person has tested positive, you should self-isolate and take a PCR test as quickly as possible.

If your/your child’s test is negative you can stop isolating but you should remain vigilant for new symptoms. You should try to avoid contact with vulnerable family and friends in the short-term (for example elderly relatives or those who are higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection).

3) Unless identified as a close contact of a suspected or confirmed Omicron case, children under the age of 5 do not need to take a PCR or a lateral flow test, even if they have COVID-19 symptoms, unless advised by a doctor or if a parent believes a test is absolutely necessary and in the best interests of a child.

If they do have symptoms or if they have been a close contact of a positive case in their household or elsewhere, they do not need to complete any mandatory period of self-isolation. However, they should stay home until they are well enough to return to school or childcare settings.

If a child under 5 has symptoms, other household members do not need to isolate unless the child takes a test and has a positive result. If a child does take a test and the result is positive, then the child must also self-isolate for 10 days.

4) Please inform us IMMEDIATELY if your child tests positive for Covid, as we need to send Warn and Inform letters out to close contacts as soon as possible.

Update regarding the Omicron Variant:
If you are a close contact of someone who is confirmed or suspected to have the Omicron variant, you must self-isolate from the day you were last in contact with the person who tested positive and for the next 10 days, regardless of your vaccination status or age. Contact tracers will let you know if your contact is a confirmed or suspected case of the Omicron variant.

You should also take a PCR test on day 2 and day 8. It is important that you take the tests even if you feel well as you may have COVID-19 even if you do not have symptoms.

Even if these tests are negative, you must complete the isolation period. This is because if you have been infected, it can take time for symptoms to develop or to become infectious to others.

If the variant is suspected, you must isolate until it has been confirmed that the person who has tested positive does not have an Omicron variant. Once that happens Test, Trace, Protect service will contact you and advise on what to do next. This may mean you can leave self-isolation but it will depend on your age, vaccination status and nature of the contact.

For further advice and guidance, please visit the following web site:


If you have any concerns or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Thank you once again for your support and cooperation in keeping Henllys C.I.W. School as safe as possible.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 3 Rhagfyr 2021

Annwyl parents/carers,
Christmas has certainly come to Henllys this week and our class Christmas trees and decorations look beautiful. We have also put up a real Christmas tree in one of our quadrants which we are in the process of decorating – photographs to follow in due course.
We have been teaching the children about the Advent Wreath during Worship and have lit the first purple candle which signifies ‘Hope’ and the Prophets telling us about the arrival of a special King – baby Jesus.

Nativity Concert:
Our Foundation Phase Nativity Concert is going really well and the children are looking forward to their dress rehearsal on Wednesday 8th December. The KS2 classes will be given the opportunity to watch the concert next week whilst it is being recorded. Y4 & Y6 will watch it on Thursday 9th December and Y3 & Y5 on Friday 10th December.

Christmas Cards:
Pupils are welcome to start bringing in Christmas cards next week but can we please limit them to their class mates only. Diolch yn fawr.

Update from the PTA:
The PTA have been busy raising funds for the school. The Rags2Riches campaign raised £31.84 – thank you for all your donations.
Please can you all support the Christmas Raffle as the prizes are amazing. All ticket money needs to be in school by Tuesday 14th December at the latest, as the draw will be made on Wednesday 15th December.

Don’t forget Elf Day is on Monday 13th December. Pupils can come to school dressed as elves and bring a £1 donation for the PTA. The PTA will also be running a ‘Guess the Name of the Elf’ competition in each class. Pupils are invited to have a go at winning the elf (50p per entry).

Lloyds Bank have agreed to ‘match fund’ all the money raised through the PTA’s Christmas fund raising activities so your support would be very gratefully received.

One of the main projects the school needs funding for is to replace our wooden outdoor play equipment. Unfortunately, much of it has started to rot and is not safe to use at present. We are in the process of getting quotes from local companies to replace it with reconditioned plastic and metal so watch this space!
We are very grateful to the Friends of Henllys PTA for all their efforts tirelessly raising funds for the school and we cannot think of a better way of improving our outdoor provision for the benefit of all our pupils.

Military Family Grant:
We are keen to apply for grants to support our fund raising efforts. One of the grants we may be able to apply for is linked to pupils whose parents are in any of the armed forces or who have ever served in any of the armed forces. If this applies to you, please can you send me a private message via dojo so that I can explore this possibility further. Thank you very much.

Extra-Curricular Clubs:
Next week is the last week for extra-curricular clubs and we will not be running any clubs during the last week of term. All clubs will resume in the Spring Term – further details to follow before the end of term.

Omicron Variant of Covid:
News of a new Covid variant cannot have escaped your attention this week! With the support of the Local Authority and TTP, we are monitoring the situation very closely. All staff have been advised to wear face coverings in communal areas, following updated advice from the Welsh Government. We have also been provided with ‘Carbon Dioxide Monitors’ for each classroom. These measure the amount of carbon dioxide in each class and an alarm sounds when classes need to be better ventilated. Rest assured we are doing everything we can to keep Henllys as safe as possible!

Enjoy all the festive activities you have planned over the weekend pawb and see you on Monday.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 26 Tachwedd 2021
Annwyl parents/carers,
We raised £183.18 in total for Children in Need last Friday which is a super amount. Diolch yn fawr for your contributions. It’s so important to support such a wonderful cause and I always get very emotional watching the plight of others during the programme. Thank you to our School Council for organising the fundraising event so well.

Updates on our School Website:
Every year we are required to update parents about our School Development Plan and how we are going to spend our Pupil Deprivation Grant, Professional Learning Grant and Recruit, Recover and Raise Standards Grant. Please click on ‘Parents’ Area’ and then ‘Policies’ to find all the relevant information. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the school.

September 2022 Intake:
The school is now accepting applications for our Reception class in September 2022. Please see the flyer attached for further information and feel free to share it with friends and family with children at the appropriate age. Although we are unable to facilitate visits to the school when the children are on site, we are happy to show prospective parents around after 4:30 pm in the evenings.

Prospective parents Nov 2021
Winter School Uniform:
This is a polite reminder that all pupils are expected to wear our winter school uniform now. This includes a shirt & tie, skirt or trousers and black shoes.

End of Term Arrangements:
On Friday 17th December, we will be finishing at a slightly earlier time of 2:30 p.m. when our ‘school based’ Christmas Service will finish. Arrangements for picking up your children will remain the same. It will be the end of a very busy term for pupils and staff and a lovely way to finish our Christmas week.

We have decided to have our final INSET day on Friday 22nd July. This means that the end of year leavers’ service will take place on Thursday 21st July instead. We are hoping and praying that we will be able to go to St. Gabriel’s for the afternoon in traditional Henllys style.

Whether you are Christmas shopping, putting your decorations up or just relaxing – enjoy a lovely weekend pawb (wrap up warm)!

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 19 Tachwedd 2021:

Annwyl parents/carers,
What a lovely, bright, colourful and sparkly day we have had at Henllys Church in Wales School. We have raised a lot of money for Children in Need and we will update you as to how much in due course.

Nativity Concert:
We have booked a professional company to come in and record our Foundation Phase Nativity Concert. Once it has been recorded, we will post the link on dojo so that all parents can access it on youtube. The link will remain private to ensure that it isn’t shared in the public domain. We hope to get all the recording and editing completed by Tuesday 14th December so you can all watch it at your leisure. It will also be a lovely memory for you to watch again and again with family and friends. Judging by the singing this afternoon, it will be a fantastic production!

Anti-Bullying Week:
The pupils have really engaged in some lovely learning opportunities this week and Health and Wellbeing has been a real focus. Kindness, respect, resilience and mindfulness have certainly shone through. I would like to share a video that was made which highlights the school’s approach to wellbeing. I hope you enjoy it.

That’s about it for this week. Have a lovely weekend and see you on Monday.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 12 Tachwedd 2021:

Annwyl parents/carers,
We have had a busy week with flu immunisations, Remembrance Day activities and school trips. The children were very good receiving their nasal sprays yesterday. We expected some tears but they were all very brave – da iawn plant. Well done to our Year 5 and Year 6 classes too for excellent behaviour and positive attitudes to learning during the school trip to Shire Hall today. Feedback from staff who ran the World War II workshops was amazing – you did Henllys proud!

Covid-19 update:
Following several cases in various classes since the start of this half term, we have had to make some changes to the way the school is operating. The most significant change is that we have had to stop collective Worship in the hall. The children still take part in a daily act of Worship, but at present this is classroom based. We are constantly reviewing the guidance and making changes as deemed necessary to keep our school as safe as possible. Please continue to follow the WG guidance and keep your children at home and arrange for a PCR test if they have any Covid symptoms. If someone in your household tests positive, your child should have a PCR prior to returning to school. Once again thank you to those parents who have followed the advice from TTP and taken their children for a PCR test on receipt of a ‘Warn and Inform’ letter and on day 6. It really is helping to identify asymptomatic pupils.

Christmas Nativity Concerts:
Following on from the above, it is with a very heavy heart that I need to inform all our Foundation Phase parents that we are unable to invite you in for our concerts again this year. The Local Authority have made this decision based on current Covid cases and predictions of a rise in cases around the Christmas period. I am sure you understand the need to keep our community as safe as possible and we are so sorry that we cannot accommodate parents safely this year. However, we will be recording the Nativity Concert so you will all be able to see the performance virtually. If anyone is able to assist with a professional recording, using a proper camera and sound system, please contact the school as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, we are also unable to go to St. Gabriel’s Church for our end of year Christmas Service either so will have a special service in school instead. Parents won’t be able attend once again but we are hoping to have all the children back in the hall together (as long as it is safe to do so).

Dates for Christmas:
We have no intention of cancelling Christmas altogether so here are some dates for your diaries:

Monday 13th December – Elf Day
Pupils can come to school dressed as elves and bring a £1 donation for our Friends of Henllys PTA. The PTA will also be running a ‘Guess the Name of the Elf’ competition in each class. Pupils are invited to have a go at winning the elf (50p per entry).

Wednesday 15th December – Christmas Dinner Day

Children can come to school wearing Christmas jumpers.

Thursday 16th December – Christmas Party Day
Party clothes to be worn all day.

Friday 17th December – Christmas Service
Pupils need to wear full school uniform.

Parental Consultations and Questionnaires:
We hope you found your parental consultation informative and useful. We also hope that you enjoyed seeing your child’s books and how much progress they have made. It’s not too late to return the parental questionnaires that were given out. Your feedback is very gratefully received.

After School Clubs:
All after school clubs will resume next week as normal, with pick up arrangements the same as before.

Enjoy the weekend pawb and let’s hope for a win at the Principality Stadium tomorrow.
Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 22 Hydref 2021:

Annwyl parents/carers,
Happy half term pawb! The last few weeks seem to have flown by and the pupils have all made a really good start to the new academic year. They have been working really hard and we are very much looking forward to sharing all their work with you at our forthcoming parental consultations.

Parental Consultations:
These begin on Monday 1st November and finish on Thursday 11th November. Please remember to use the external doors to access the classrooms and remember to stick to your allotted time. We do NOT want parents to have to wait outside for their appointment so we are going to have to be REALLY strict with times. Please dojo your child’s class teacher if you are unable to attend your appointment for any reason and they will endeavour to provide you with an alternative time and date. We hope you are as pleased with your child’s progress as we are.

Extra-Curricular Clubs:
Please note that ALL extra curricular clubs will stop for the w/b 1st November and 8th November due to parental consultations. All clubs will resume the w/b Monday 15th November.

Early Bird Sessions:
Thank you to all those parents who have returned the Early Bird registration forms. You will need to log into your Civica payments account to pay the £2 per session per child. Our Early Bird sessions are going to start at 8 a.m. on Monday 1st November. Please can all parents park outside the main school gates and escort the children to the main entrance. It is important to note that entry to the Early Bird session will close at 8:20 a.m. and the main entrance will be shut. Entry to our free Breakfast Club will start at 8:30 a.m. as normal.

Winter School Uniform:
After half term, our winter school uniform policy begins so please ensure that your children wear shirts/blouses, ties, grey skirts/pinafores or trousers, grey socks/tights and black shoes (except on their P.E. days). Diolch yn fawr.

Torfaen Catering Menu:
Please find attached the new lunch menu which begins after half term.

Update from the Governing Body:
The Governing Body held its AGM on Tuesday 19th October 2021. I am very pleased to announce that Mrs. Ceri-Ann Jones has been appointed as a Foundation Governor and would like to extend a warm welcome to her. Reverend Kerl was re-appointed as the Chair and Reverend Nick Perry as vice chair.  A copy of the Annual Report to Parents can be found in the Parents’ Area of this website.

If you would like a paper copy of the report, please message Mrs. Croft in the office and we will send one home with your child.

Governors also agreed an updated Safeguarding Policy which has also been posted on our school website.

Dates after half term:
Apologies but Children in Need Day is on Friday 19th November NOT Friday 12th November as previously posted. Our School Council will send out further details after half term.

I hear that some of you are off abroad or venturing away somewhere in the UK. Whatever your plans, keep safe and have a wonderful half term break. See you on Monday 1st November.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 15 Hydref:

Annwyl parents/carers,
We have had an amazing time celebrating Shwmae Shwmae Day. The pupils spoke a lot of Welsh, sang Welsh songs, learnt about Welsh culture and some classes even had time to make Welsh cakes. Prizes were given out to the pupils who spoke the most Welsh during the day and there were special prizes for the most innovative ‘Shwmae’ words:

Da iawn Sophia in Year 3 who grew cress in the shape of the letters. Also da iawn Noah in Year 1 who used items found on a beach to spell out the word (with a little help from Ellie in Year 5).

Diolch yn fawr for your donations – we will let you know how much we have raised on Monday.

As the weather is getting colder, please can you ensure your child brings a clearly labelled coat to school everyday. We do like the children to go out in all weathers but we also try to insist that they wear coats if required. We have a few ‘Forest Schools’ coats that we offer to pupils who haven’t brought a coat but it is better for them to bring their own coat to school.

Parental Consultations:
Letters will be going out to all parents on Monday 18th October with the time and date of your parental consultation. We have ensured that siblings have consultations close together. Please let us know as soon as possible, if the time and date is inconvenient so that we can reschedule your appointment.

Friday November 5th:
Just a reminder that this is a staff INSET day so school will be closed to all pupils.

Following my dojo on Tuesday, please continue to be mindful of residents and other people in the local community when parking around the school grounds. Can parents also please stop dropping their children off at the main gates, as this is causing too much congestion. Please park up and escort your children safely across the main road. Diolch yn fawr for your cooperation.

Universal Credit:
A representative from the Local Authority will be at the main gates on Friday 22nd October to offer support to any families who have recently been affected by cuts to Universal Credit. She will be offering advice and support to anyone who needs it.

Part Time Cleaning Job:
We are currently in need of someone to help with the cleaning of our school on a daily basis. We need someone to work from 3:30 pm until 5:30 pm every night. If you are interested please contact Mrs. Croft in the office.

Congratulations to the school football team on beating Nant Celyn 4-2 this afternoon. What a great start to our sporting fixtures! Enjoy the weekend pawb.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener Hydref 8 2021:

Annwyl parents/carers,
I just want to say a huge thank you to all the parents who have taken their children for PCR tests over the past few weeks and for sharing the results with us. It has really helped to keep our school as safe as possible. Please continue to take your children for Covid tests if they have ANY of the main symptoms. They need to remain at home until the results come back and can only return to school if the result is negative. Also thank you very much to parents who have taken their children for Covid tests following receipt of a ‘Warn and Inform’ letter. We have had a couple of positive cases from children who are asymptomatic which wouldn’t have been picked up without undertaking a PCR test. Rest assured we are doing everything possible to keep our school community safe.

Donations for our Harvest Eucharist:
We invite all pupils to bring in donations for our Harvest Eucharist on Monday 11th (or Tuesday 12th October at the latest). Please can all items be non-perishable. All donations will be taken to the local food bank and given to local families in need.

Shwmae Shwmae Day:
We will be celebrating Shwmae Shwmae Day on Friday 15th October. Each class will focus on Welsh activities with prizes for the most Welsh spoken. In true Henllys tradition, we invite all pupils to spell Shwmae using different objects or materials with prizes for the most unusual and exciting entries e.g. shoes, lego leaves etc. Children can come to school wearing Welsh tops/t-shirts or Welsh colours. We are asking for a £1 donation which will be used to buy Welsh resources.

Spelling Shed:
It’s lovely to see so many of the children using Spelling Shed to help them learn their weekly spellings. In order for you to keep an eye on your child’s spelling test scores, we are going to give all pupils who get 10 out of 10 in their spelling tests 5 dojos for super spelling. We also want to reward pupils who have made a really good effort to learn them too and these children will come home with stickers on their jumpers. Keep up the excellent work plant!

If your child is unable to come to school for 10 days due to unfortunately testing positive for Covid or if they have to wait for a PCR test result because they are symptomatic please encourage them to read, revise their spellings or complete their homework (as long as they are well enough). Once these have been completed, they can undertake any tasks linked to the class topic. We are unable to send home any additional homelearning tasks as the teachers are tied up teaching all day. Thank you for your understanding.

Enjoy the weekend pawb.
Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Llun Hydref 4 2021:
Annwyl parents/carers,
Firstly, I hope everyone enjoyed the weekend. It was a little damp but the weather is supposed to be getting better this week.

Covid-19 Update:
We have quite a few pupils awaiting PCR tests so can I please ask parents to inform us of the results as soon as possible. Please note that we do not accept a positive lateral flow test as confirmation of Covid. If your child does have a positive LFT they must NOT attend school. You must arrange for them to have a PCR test and then inform us of the results. If the PCR test is negative, your child can return to school. If the PCR test is positive, your child must self-isolate for 10 days. We are sending out ‘Warn and Inform’ letters to all children who have been in close contact of a confirmed Covid case (PCR only) which clearly explains the next steps.

School Council/Eco-Committee Representatives:
Congratulations to the following pupils who were voted onto our School Council.

Reception – Maddison
Blwyddyn 1: Aiden
Blwyddyn 2: Mia
Blwyddyn 3: Darci
Blwyddyn 4: Grace
Blwyddyn 5: Lily
Blwyddyn 6: Erin

Llongyfarchiadau also to the following pupils who were voted onto our Eco-Committee.

Reception – Aoife
Blwyddyn 1: Elijah
Blwyddyn 2: Carys
Blwyddyn 3: Charlie
Blwyddyn 4: Charlotte & Theo
Blwyddyn 5: Florence
Blwyddyn 6: Ayla

They have already come up with some excellent ideas to improve our school. Diolch yn fawr to some of our Y6 pupils (Josh, Noah, Madison, Aaima and Lois) for all their help running our polling station.

MacMillan Coffee Morning:
Huge thank you to everyone who supported our MacMillan Coffee Morning. We are very pleased to announce that we raised a massive £217.50 for MacMillan Cancer Support charity. It is a charity that is very close to our hearts so thank you to Mr Barton and everyone for all your support.

Universal Credit:
We understand that the forthcoming cuts to Universal Credit may lead to some families being over £80 per month worse off. If these cuts to Universal Credit are going to affect you PLEASE contact the school as Torfaen are offering a lot of support to families to ease this impact.

Relief Site Manager:
We have recently appointed Mr. Nathan Jones as a relief site manager to help us out in Mrs. Kelly Elkins absence. Mr. Jones will be with us until at least Christmas. Welcome to Henllys Mr. Jones!

Harvest Service:
We are having our Harvest Eucharist on Tuesday 12th October. Children are invited to bring non perishable food items from Monday 11th October onwards to donate to a local food bank. Thank you for your support.

Shwmae Shwmae Day:
We will be celebrating Shwmae Shwmae Day on Friday 15th October. Children are invited to come to school dressed in Welsh shirts/t-shirts or Welsh colours (red, white and green). We ask for a £1 donation to our school fund to purchase Welsh resources.

Diolch yn fawr pawb.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener Medi 17 2021:
Annwyl parents/carers,
The children have used the school grounds to its full extent this week and I’m sure they have enjoyed their daily exercise. Keep up the good work plant!

Covid-19 Update:
We have not had any pupils with Covid in school so far this academic year but other schools in the area are seeing a rise in cases. Please be vigilant to the signs and symptoms of Covid and if in any doubt – arrange for your child to have a PCR test. Please keep us informed if you are awaiting the results of a PCR test and notify us of the result immediately. Thank you for your continued support in keeping our school community as safe as possible.

Dates for the Diary:
Please find an updated list of diary dates in the Parents’ Area – Term Dates. We will add further dates in due course, as more educational visits are in the process of being arranged.

School Uniform:
On non-P.E. days, we expect the children to wear full school uniform including black school shoes (not trainers). On P.E. days, can we please request that pupils wear trainers, black shorts (leggings or tracksuit bottoms if it’s cold), a t-shirt (house colours) and Henllys school sweatshirt or cardigan. We have a number of pupils wearing hoodies to school which is not part of our school uniform. Diolch yn fawr for your cooperation.

Homework Books:
All homework books were sent home today with instructions and log in details. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you experience any issues logging onto hwb, spelling shed etc.

Christmas Card Designs:
It’s that time of year again when we send home Christmas Card designs for your children to complete at home. Please follow the instructions carefully and return all designs by Monday 27th September. The company have assured us that all designs and subsequent orders will be back in time for Christmas.

Early Bird Session:
We are hoping to restart our Early Bird sessions again after half-term. The Early Bird sessions are a childcare service run by Torfaen Play in our hall starting at 8:00 a.m. every morning. The cost of attending these sessions is £2 per pupil per session. Children attending these sessions then stay in the hall for our free Breakfast Club. Further details will be sent out in due course.

Enjoy the weekend pawb – there is definitely an Autumnal feel in the air this evening!

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Dydd Gwener 10 Medi 2021:

Annwy parents/carers,
The first week back seems to have flown by and the children have settled in really well. It is lovely to hear them singing again in Worship and playing together on the yard. We hope they have enjoyed their return to school too.

Cashless Catering:
Here is a message from Torfaen Catering regarding the Cashless Catering system.

There are a number of on-going problems with the new Cashless Catering System and the Civica Pay Education Payment Portal for parents which are affecting some schools and parents/carers. We appreciate these issues are causing an inconvenience but we want to reassure you that the team are doing all they can with Civica to resolve the situation as quickly as possible:-

The issues in summary which may be affecting you are:

• Free School Meal (FSM) eligibility has dropped off the cashless system at some schools; this is due to an internal date setting within the system. The Cashless Catering project team are working with schools and Civica to re-set the date and all accounts will be corrected. Please do not worry, your FSM eligibility has not been affected and you do not need to contact the Council or School as our team know who is eligible and will correct the situation. We are aiming to do this next week, but it may take longer for some schools.

• Technical problems are making it difficult for the central catering team to investigate balance enquires. Civica have identified the problem and we hope to have full system functionality soon. In the meantime, if you have emailed to enquire about a balance on your child’s account, please be assured that all enquiries with be dealt with and all parents/carers will receive a full response as soon as we are able.

• Some schools are experiencing problems sending out registration requests for new starters. The project team are working with these schools and Civica to understand why this is happening. If you are a parent/carer who has not yet received a registration request, please be assured that you will receive one either by email or letter. In some instances, schools are still waiting for parent/carers to return contact information for pupils, this will delay registrations as the schools do not have all relevant information. If you have received a form requesting contact preferences at your child’s new school, please can you complete and return to the school as soon as possible.

• Auto Top-Up payments stopped working on 31st August. This we believe is an issue with the Mastercard Gateway used by Civica to process payments. Parent/carers who have subscribed for auto-top ups need to be aware that the service has not automatically topped up since 31st August and you may wish to log into the Civica Pay portal to check your child’s balance. Some parents may also be experiencing failed payment receipts or difficulty in setting up an auto top-up. Please be assured that the team and Civica are dealing with this issue as a top priority and are working to resolve the situation.

The project team will keep everyone updated as soon as they can, and would like to thank everyone for their patience.

Dates for the Diary:
We are in the process of compiling dates for the forthcoming year. We hope to complete it by Wednesday 15th September and will upload it to dojo and our school website in due course. We have decided to allow parents to come into school for parental consultations this year but will spread them over a two week period to minimise the number of parents on site during any set evening. Concerts dates are going to be set for separate year groups too in order to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Extra-Curricular Clubs:
A letter was sent home today detailing the start of our extra-curricular clubs. Please return the forms as soon as possible so that we can set up registers for each of the clubs before they start on Monday 20th September. Diolch yn fawr.

Homework books will be sent home on Friday 17th September detailing all your children’s log in details for Hwb, Purple Mash, Spelling Shed etc. All homework will be sent out on a Friday and it will need to be completed by the following Wednesday.

Enjoy the weekend pawb and I’m sure your children will sleep well tonight, especially our Reception children – da iawn for completing your first full week in school!

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto