HCIW Latest News

Friday 23rd October 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,
Firstly, thank you to everyone who completed the parent questionnaires and provided feedback about the school. We really appreciated all your kind comments and positive messages. We also hope that you enjoyed seeing a sample of your children’s work from this half term. They have certainly been busy!

Overall, our attendance has been excellent with our daily attendance between 92% and 100% throughout this half-term. Da iawn pawb! Thank you also for letting us know why your child is unable to attend. It is really important that this communication continues after half-term.

We feel that the children deserve a well-earned rest over half-term so we have not set any formal homework. However, we would really appreciate it if you would continue to:

1) Hear your child read on a daily basis or help them learn their phonics/high frequency words.
2) Read to your child regularly too.
3) Help them learn their spellings by logging into Spelling Shed.
4) Read and write numbers to 10 (Reception), 20 and 100 (Y1 & Y2).
5) Help them learn their times tables (KS2 only).

Harvest Service:
The children sat and listened beautifully to Reverend Kerl’s special Harvest Service yesterday – da iawn plant. We are also delighted with all your donations – thank you very much for your generosity, especially during this very difficult period.

School Uniform:
We switch to our winter school uniform after half-term, which is a shirt and tie for all pupils. Your child can still continue to wear their polo shorts or house t-shirts to school on their P.E. day.

Enjoy a lovely (if very rather limited) break over the half-term period and we welcome all pupils back to school on Wednesday 4th November.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto
Friday 16th October 2020
Dear Parents/Carers,
It was lovely to see all the pupils dressed up for Shwmae Su’mae Day yesterday. Congratulations to the pupils who won awards and also thank you so much for all the money you sent in. We have had to leave it for 72 hours before we can count it but I will let you know the final amount next week.

Friends of Henllys PTA:
We are delighted to announce that the AGM for our PTA will be held virtually on Wednesday 4th November at 7:30 pm. We desperately need volunteers to support our PTA so PLEASE can we have as many parents as possible attend the AGM. All you need to do is send your e-mail address to Diana Turner at:


The PTA have raised SO much money over the years and funded books, ICT resources, outdoor resources and much more. We really need your help to fund other exciting projects in the future.

Pupil Questionnaires:
This week, we asked all the pupils in the school to complete a short questionnaire to gauge their thoughts and feeling about being back in school. Here are the whole school results:

97% of the pupils are happy in school.
93% feel that they are able to talk to a teacher if they are worried about anything.
92% feel that their friends follow our safety rules to help them stay safe in school.
98% understand what to do to keep themselves safe in school.
92% enjoy the addition of daily exercise in the school day.
79% feel that they learn outside the classroom more than last year.
90% enjoy using Dojo for home learning.
In total the children rated the school 4.4 out of 5.

As you can imagine, we are delighted with these results and relieved to hear that nearly all of our pupils feel happy and safe in school.

School Reports:
All school reports will be sent home on Monday 19th October. We hope that you find the reports useful and informative. Please read the letter that accompanies the report, as it explains what you can do if you have any further concerns about your child.

Cashless Catering Payment System:
We have been sent the first report regarding this from the Torfaen Catering team. Can you all please ensure that you are up to date with your payments for this half-term by Wednesday 21st October at the latest. We are trying to avoid having to send out any debt letters! Diolch yn fawr for your cooperation. Also please find attached the Winter Menu which comes into effect after half-term.


Harvest Service:
Please don’t forget to send in donations for our Virtual Harvest Service on Thursday 22nd October. We can also accept donations on Friday 23rd October too. We can accept tins and packaged food (as long as they are in date). All food will be collected and taken to a local food bank.
Have a fantastic weekend pawb.
Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto


Friday 9th October 2020
Dear Parents/Carers,
We have had a lovely week this week, with many classes using the school grounds to its full extent. Reception made leaf crowns and spent the afternoon in our Forest Schools area, Year 1 planted a herb garden and Year 6 planted lots of daffodil bulbs on our banks. If you follow us on twitter, you will have seen all the lovely photographs. We have also tied rope to our new posts and created an outdoor adventure puzzle (see the photograph attached).

Shwmae Su’mae Day:
We will be celebrating this on Thursday 15th October. The children can come to school dressed in red, white and green or wear Welsh themed shirts. We ask for a donation of £1 which will be used to purchase Welsh resources for the school. Diolch yn fawr for your support.

Special Harvest Service:
As many of you might be aware, we usually host a special Harvest Eucharist this time of year. Unfortunately, this is not possible this year but Reverend Kerl will be doing a virtual Harvest service for the children at 2:15 pm on Thursday 22nd October. Please can we ask you to donate tinned or packaged food items and send them into school on the 22nd or 23rd October (and not before these dates). They will be left for 72 hours and then collected over half term and given to a local food bank. Thank you very much.

Parental Consultations:
Due to the current restrictions, we will not be able to host parental consultations this half-term unfortunately. Instead, we will be sending out written reports updating you as to how your child has settled back in school and how they are getting on in all the core areas. We hope that you find them useful and informative.

Dogs on Site:
Please note that due to health and safety concerns, no dogs (except guide dogs) are allowed on our site.

Enjoy the weekend pawb and see you all again on Monday. Stay safe and take care.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Friday 2nd October 2020,

Dear Parents/Carers,
The week certainly didn’t end too well weather wise and I hope you didn’t get too wet picking your children up this afternoon. Let’s hope for better weather next week so that the children can get outdoors more.

Flu Immunisation:
The nurses from the NHS immunisation team were very impressed with the behaviour and maturity of all our children yesterday. Da iawn plant for being SO good and making such little fuss. We are proud of you all!

PTA Rags2Riches fundraiser:
Thank you so much for all your donations of clothes. We must have had over 40 bags altogether. In total we raised £69.60 which will go to the Friends of Henllys PTA. this money will be invaluable, as we continue to develop our outside areas.

Cashless Catering System:
We had a meeting today with Torfaen Catering to discuss the new cashless online payment system. We hope that you are finding it easy to use. They want us to let you know that you do not have to pay online everyday. You can add money to the account on a weekly basis if you prefer. If you have any queries about the system, please contact the school.

Seven Day Family Gratitude Challenges:
This has been sent to me by the HappySelf Journal Company so I thought I would share it with you all. With the local lockdown restrictions, families are going to be spending a lot of time together so I thought it might be a useful resource for you.


Spelling Shed:
We have noticed that some of you are not logging onto spelling shed to access your child’s spellings each week. Please help your child at home to learn their weekly spellings. We have our league table up and running again, so watch out for the winners each week.

Enjoy the weekend pawb – stay safe and well. See you on Monday morning.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Friday 25th September 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,
The week seems to have flown past and the children have been very busy. I have seen some super work from all year groups, so keep up the good work plant!

Flu Immunisation:
All pupils are due to have the nasal spray flu immunisation on Thursday 1st October (next week). Please can you return all forms to your child’s class teacher as soon as possible. The forms need to be returned even if you do NOT want your child to have the spray. Diolch yn fawr.

Due to the current restrictions and the fact that contact groups or classes must be kept separate, we have had to temporarily revise our behaviour summary sheet. The children will still be rewarded for having a ‘Good to be Green’ week by taking part in Fun Time Friday, but the activities will be class based for the time being. Please read the attached document for further details of the changes.

Behaviour summary sheet Covid 2020

I hope that you have all been able to upload your children’s homework to dojo portfolio this week. If you are having any IT issues, please contact your child’s class teacher. We are in the process of writing a Blended Learning Policy which will incorporate a mixture of face to face teaching and homelearning. The policy will outline what the school will do in the event of another lockdown or if any pupils or staff have to self-isolate for any reason. The policy will be shared with parents once it has been approved by our Governing Body.

Rags2Riches PTA Funding:
Prior to lockdown, the PTA had sent out details of a ‘Rags2Riches’ initiative where the school get money for collections of unwanted clothes. We received quite a few bags already but the deadline has been extended to Friday 2nd October. Please can you bring any donations to school on either the 1st or 2nd October and leave them by either the main gate or incline gate. The bags of clothes will need to be in plastic bags tied at the top (just in case it is raining). Diolch yn fawr for your continued support.

Lost Property:
We have already had quite a few lost items handed in which unfortunately have no names on. Please can you ensure that all school uniform is clearly labelled with your child’s name so that we can return it to its rightful owner.

Have a lovely weekend pawb and enjoy spending time with your family and friends.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

Friday 18th September 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,
We have taken full advantage of the lovely weather this week and the children have spent a lot of time outside. Key Stage 2 have been planting bulbs, sketching and taking nature photographs and our Foundation Phase have spent time in our new ‘Forest Schools’ area which was kindly funded by the PTA and built with the help of Chris Partridge and the Friends of Henllys LNR.

All homework books have been sent out today. Inside you will find log in details for Hwb, Purple Mash, Spelling Shed and Oxford Owl. We ask you to keep a record of your child’s reading at the back of their homework books. All homework needs to be sent in via dojo.

Dates for the Term:
Usually at this time of year, we send home all the dates for the diary which include Eucharist Services, class assemblies, school trips etc. Unfortunately, we cannot schedule any of these at present but here are some of the important events and exciting activities we plan to carry out in school this term:

October 2020 – Black History Month
Thursday 1st October – Flu immunisation for all pupils
Tuesday 6th October to 1st December – Confirmation classes (Year 6)
Thursday 15th October – Shwmae Shwmae Day
Week beginning Monday 19th October – Parental feedback week (details tbc)
Monday 2nd November – INSET day
Tuesday 3rd November – INSET day
Wednesday 11th November – Remembrance Service (class based)
Week beginning Monday 16th November – Anti-bullying/E-safety Week
Friday 13th November – Children in Need Day
Week beginning Monday 7th December – Numeracy Week

Please note that our other INSET days are as follows: Monday 4th January, Thursday 6th May, Monday 19th July & Tuesday 20th July.

Friends of Henllys PTA:
We have an amazing PTA who work tirelessly to raise much needed funds for the school. Over the years they have funded:

New ICT equipment
Our Forest Schools area
Outdoor equipment
Buddy Benches
Play equipment
Sports equipment
Sports kit
Reading books
Library books and much more…

Unfortunately, many of the PTA members are unable to continue in their roles as their children no longer attend the school. This means that the PTA need willing volunteers to take over these key roles and also help run special events. They will be hosting a ‘virtual’ AGM shortly and we would be very grateful to ANY parents/grandparents who can attend the AGM and put themselves forward to help out in any way possible. I know that some of you have already contacted Diana Turner via Facebook but if there is anyone else interested in helping out, please contact the school or Diana Turner by e-mailing her at: diturner@hotmail.co.uk

Outdoor Play Equipment:
We are very lucky that we have some lovely outdoor play equipment which the pupils can use during break times and lunch times. Please can you ensure that the children stay off the equipment at the beginning and at the end of the day (especially the little ones) as we do not want anyone to get hurt. Thank you for your cooperation.

Enjoy the weekend pawb and I hope the sunshine continues. Stay safe and take care.
Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto

 Friday 11th September 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,
It has been so lovely to have all the children back in school for their first full week in quite a while. A special mention must go to our Reception class who have completed a full week in school for the very first time – I am sure they will sleep tonight – da iawn plant!

Attendance and Covid-19:
If your child is not in school, you must let us know the reason for their absence. We have to keep an accurate record of attendance at all times. I have tweeted some very good advice from the Welsh Government regarding how and when to get your child tested. I have also tweeted really useful advice as to whether your child is showing the symptoms of Covid-19 or cold-like symptoms. Here are the links to both tweets:



Alternatively, please read the tweets on my twitter page which is as follows:


Breakfast Club:
You will all have seen the arrangements for Breakfast Club which recommences on Monday 14th September. A full risk assessment for the provision can be found in the Parents’ Area (Newsletters) section of our website. Please remember that anyone new to the club must fill in a registration form prior to attending. If you registered your child last year, you do not need to re-register him/her. Plensure that you are all socially distanced. Diolch yn fawr.

Homework/Reading Books:
Homework books will be sent home with all pupils next week. Because of the restrictions of Covid-19, we want all home learning to be uploaded to dojo in the same way as it was during lockdown. Homework will be set on dojo by the class teachers every Friday and it will need to be uploaded and evidenced in pupils’ portfolios by the following Wednesday. Class teachers will acknowledge receipt of the homework. In your child’s homework book there will be their log in details for Purple Mash, Hwb, Spelling Shed and Dojo Portfolio. Every week, the children will be encouraged to complete the following:
1) Spelling activities using Spelling Shed.
2) Online reading (further details to follow).
3) Reading tasks (which will be stuck in the back of the homework books).
4) Homework tasks linked to the curriculum.

Extra-Curricular Activities:
Unfortunately, we are unable to start any extra-curricular activities at present, as we have to keep all ‘contact groups’ separate.

Gardening Equipment:
We are trying to develop our garden area outside. Every week, a class will be responsible for weeding and tidying up an area or planting bulbs and flowers around the grounds. In order for all the children to take part, we need donations of gardening gloves and tools please e.g. trowels/forks. These will be stored in a central location and left for 72 hours before being used by another class. Any donations would be very gratefully received – diolch yn fawr.

Health Snacks at Breaktime:
We are in the process of trying to achieve our Healthy Schools Award (Phase 6). Here is a reminder of what is allowed as a healthy snack or drink:

Fresh fruit or fresh vegetables
Plain dried fruit e.g. raisins
Sugar free squash (lunchtime only)

Please note that the following items seem healthy but have a high sugar content so are not allowed:

Fruit winders
Yoghurt coated raisins etc.
Cereal bars
Fruit juice

The weather looks good for the weekend and beyond so enjoy the sunshine pawb. See you all next week.

Kind regards,
Mrs. Philippa Minto