Friday, September 9, 2011

Newsletter 1 Autumn Term 2011

May I take this opportunity to welcome new parents into our school community and hope that you will play an active part in your child’s education with us in the coming years. The children have settled down well into the new term with their new teacher’s and classes and I am confident that we can look forward to another productive year at Gelli Primary.
We will continue to use our text to parents facility this term. This initiative proved very successful last year and thankfully there have been no reoccurrences of the late night texts. If you have a new mobile number please will you send details to Mrs Thomas so that we can update our database.
In addition we are in the process of setting up a new website which will go live later this month. This will give generic details of policies and procedures and will be designed with parents in mind. I have also updated the school blog facility which now will be easier to update from within school. A new feature this term will be the development of our Moodle site. This area will be mainly to showcase pupils work and the opportunity for pupils to access resources for working from home. This will be a secure site and a password will be needed to maintain security. There will be an area where we will be able to post photographs and videos of pupils in a secure environment. Further information will be circulated in future newsletters.

Work being undertaken by Wales and West Utilities
Essential gas maintenance work is being carried out in and around our village. Next week the work will seriously effect our school as the planned work of replacing gas mains and service pipes is due to take place outside the school. This will mean that traffic lights will be in operation and I anticipate disruption at the start and end of the school day for the foreseeable future. During the next fortnight the traffic lights at Ystrad Road travelling south will be placed at the entrance to our drive. The setting down area outside school will be inside the works and therefore unusable. It is anticipated that the next stage of the operation will involve setting up a three way traffic control around from Ystrad Road to Ty Isaf Road. This work is scheduled to take place during the last fortnight of this month. There will be no disruption to the school itself as this work does not include any maintenance to our pipe work and school is therefore unlikely to be affected other than the transport issues.
Please can I ask parents to make every effort to make adjustments to the journey times so that the school timetable is not adversely affected. Some of you remember similar work being carried out a few years ago and your co-operation during that time was greatly appreciated by myself and the staff.
I am in discussions with the school crossing patrol team to ensure that this service will be in place during this period of disruption and the health and safety of our pupils will be ensured.
In their letter to residents Wales and West Utilities commented “We regret that this essential work cannot be carried out without causing some disruption and once again we apologise for any inconvenience this change may cause you. Your co-operation and patience is much appreciated while we work to make your gas supply safe and secure.”
If you have any comments regarding this issue, please feel free to discuss any concerns with me or you may wish to contact the W&WU Customer Enquiry Team on 02920 270653 or who will be pleased to help you.

Building work being carried out in the lane from Ty Isaf Road to the North entrance to school
I have been informed that there will be building work being carried out in the lane behind school. A wall is being rebuilt and I wish to alert you that fencing will be erected to prohibit access to the school during this time. As many of you use this short cut as a means of coming to school I would like draw your attention to this work. Again your co-operation and patience is much appreciated. I will keep everyone updated on the progress of this work

Lost property
The staff have separated four large bags of lost clothing, coats, bags, assorted school uniform articles and P.E. kit and are in the process of returning the marked items to their owners. There are, however, two large bags of items that have no identification. Please will parents call in to identify and reclaim any lost items. Any unclaimed articles will be donated to charity after Friday 30th September.

Haircuts and Bling
I have noticed that there is an increasing amount of jewellery being worn by pupils, even some of the infant children. Can I remind you that our policy is that the only items of jewellery that are considered appropriate are wrist watches and studs or sleepers for pierced ears. We do not approve of either jewellery or cosmetics unless for specific cultural reasons and that only once approval and agreement has been obtained from the head teacher and governing body. Staff are not permitted to remove or “look after” any item of jewellery for children. If an item of “bling” is seen worn, staff will request that the item be removed and taken home. If this item is seen on any other occasion it will be placed in an envelope in the secretary’s office and parents will be informed and required to collect it. The safest place for these items is at home.
May I also remind you that tramlines, highlights and other form of dyed hair are also not acceptable. I would request that children who have returned to school with these take appropriate action over the weekend to address this as I will be contacting parents to discuss this if this rule continues to be flaunted. Our policy states that we will ask parents to remove pupils from school until such time as the haircut becomes acceptable. I hope that his will not be the case.

Grandparents Concert
We will be holding our annual Grandparents concerts this year on Friday 7th October. As usual, the Foundation Phase and Key Stage One children will perform at 1.15 and the Juniors at 2.00.
In previous years we have received requests for parents to attend. This concert is a special occasion to celebrate Grandparents Day and I appreciate that not all Grandparents are able to attend and that some of you wish to see your children perform. It is proving to be difficult to apply this as many parents are unwilling to co-operate. Please will you assist us in not attending and make this a special day for Grandparents. We will record each concert and put samples on the school blog for you to see.

Harvest Celebration
This year we will be supporting a school in Rwanda as part of our Harvest celebrations. Mr Greg Reynolds, a former deputy head teacher at this school who is now in retirement, will visit the school to undertake work with pupils in publicising the plight of the children of this African village. We will be asking the children to donate coins to a collection on the morning. Further details will be circulated in future newsletter.

Annual Book Fair
We will be holding our Annual Book Fair during the week of Monday September 19th. Further details will be circulated in next week’s newsletter.

Reporting to Parents Evenings
We are inviting parents to a meeting early next month where each class teacher will outline the classroom expectations they have for the coming year to you with your pupils. The sessions will begin after school and take the form of a 10 minute presentation by the class teacher of class rules, homework arrangements, information on how you can support your child at home and all other aspects of the class routine. This will be followed by the class teacher running through the work forecast which you receive each term. There will be a short question and answer session at the end. Please will you be mindful that we will not discuss any individual children during this time. If you feel that there are any unresolved issues concerning your child please will you make an appointment to see me and we can discuss an appropriate plan of action to resolve this. Please will parents make every effort to attend this important meeting.

Dates for Half term
This year school will finish for half term after school on Friday 21st October 2011 and reopen on Monday 31st October.
School will close for the end of the Autumn term on Friday 16th December. Monday and Tuesday 19th / 20th December will be INSET days and school will be closed for pupils on these two day while staff attend In-service training.
School reopens for pupils for the Spring term 2012 on Wednesday 4th January 2012.

Monday, September 5, 2011

School starts for pupils on September 6th.

Just a reminder that school starts for all pupils on Tuesday September 6th. Breakfast Club will be open as susal at 8 a.m.

Please be aware that there are roadworks on Ystrad Road and there is likely to be delays at peak times. Please allow additional travelling time.