Tuesday, November 29, 2011

School is closed for pupils on Wednesday 30th November 2011

Members of the GMB and UNISON trade unions -  along with the Professional Associations of the National Association of Head teachers (NAHT); National Union of Teachers (NUT); National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) have notifed their employs that the school will be involved in industrial action on Wednesday 30th November 2011. School will be closed for pupils.
The decision to close the school or send pupils home is never taken lightly, but in this instance, where staff have elected to take lawful industrial action, I will have no choice but to take appropriate steps to ensure the health, safety and well being of all pupils

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bag2School Collection on Wednesday 23rd November 2011

We are pleased to announce that the school has organised a textile collection with Bag2School in order to raise funds for our playground equipment project.
Bag2School are the UK’s leading textile recycler and fundraiser working with schools and since its inception in 2001 they have now paid out over £10 million.
As well as raising vitally needed funds for our school, it also helps the environment by helping to divert unwanted textiles away from landfill. A recent DEFRA report has shown that textile collection schemes are helping to reduce the volume of textiles discarded as municipal solid waste. However it is a fact that as a nation we still send 1,081,000 tonnes of textiles to landfill every year.
By getting involved in our Bag2School collection, you have an opportunity to sort through your cupboards and wardrobes and donate unwanted textiles in the bag provided – this can include adults’ and children’s clothes, shoes (tied together please), hats, belts, bags, soft toys, curtains and bedding (not duvets or pillows). We will receive £500 per tonne or £0.50/kg which will be a great boost for our fundraising. In addition it will also raise awareness amongst the children of the benefits of recycling and reuse.
If you fill the donation bag and still have more then you can use any other bag to donate your items and don’t forget to ask grandparents, friends and neighbours to have a sort out as well!
Bag2School will be collecting from our school on WEDNESDAY 23rd NOVEMBER at 9.00 a.m. Please bring your bag (or bags!) to THE SCHOOL HALL and help us have a really good collection.
Many thanks indeed for helping us with this unique fundraising opportunity.

Urgent information for parents regarding industrial action on Wednesday 30th November 2011

Members of the following trade unions - the GMB and UNISON along with the Professional Associations of the National Association of Head teachers (NAHT); National Union of Teachers (NUT); National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) have notifed their employs that the school will be involved in industrial action on Wednesday 30th November 2011. As my professional association is one of the above I am required to undertake a risk assessment relating to the potential impact of the action. Under current industrial legislation employees who continue to work cannot be required to undertake work beyond their normal duties. The risk assessment is made against the impact that the action will have on the health and safety of pupils, staff and visitors, whether the school is able to deliver a full or amended curriculum and ultimately whether the school should remain open or whether it should close.
I have informed the Director of Education and Chair of Governors that the school will be closed for pupils on that day. The reasons are that it is not possible to provide adequate staffing cover for all or some of the pupils; No first aid cover be available; There will be indequate supervision of children at lunchtime and break times neither will there be sufficient support staff available in class to assist with children with special needs etc and the particular demands of nursery and Key Stage 1.Emergency hazards will not be dealt with appropriately, such as broken glass, spillages and hygiene issues such as cleaning of toilets and dealing with vomit and other bodily fluids.
The representatives of the professional associations have asked me to write to parents informing you of why this action is being undertaken.
Following joint meetings and discussions with the government, the professional associations believe that the proposed changes to pension schemes are unfair and unnecessary. They believe that the proposed changes will seriously damage motivation and morale, exacerbating the already serious problems of recruitment and retention of school leaders.
First and foremost, school leaders see the attacks on pensions as an attack on pupils. This is because they fear that any cuts to terms and conditions such as pensions could have a profound effect on the recruitment and retention of talented staff. Heads fear that high calibre graduates may be discouraged from entering the profession and force gifted younger staff to re-think staying on.
Teachers have already accepted their part in helping to bring the nation’s debt under control by accepting a two-year pay freeze and tighter budgets. It is also why they have made sure that the teachers’ pension scheme – which was significantly amended in 2007 - is sustainable and affordable, a fact with which the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee concur. We are extremely concerned that school closures will disrupt the lives of working parents and regret that it may come to that. However, we hope parents and the wider community understand that school leaders believe passionately in the value of a good education and do not see why it should be put at risk to pay for the mistakes of others.

Please will you make alternative arrangements for your children on this day as the school will not be open to receive any pupils. School will recommence for all pupils on Thursday with Breakfast Club opening at 8.00 a.m.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A BIG THANK YOU for our Children in Need donation

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who donated money for our CHILDREN IN NEED APPEAL this year. We collected £196.16 and Miss Mathias managed to telephone our pledge in to the BBC Office and hopefully our sum will be displayed on the banner on the screen sometime during the Children in Need television programme on Friday.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Announcing our Art Exhibition

The pupils and staff are delighted to announce an exhibition of the children’s art to be held in our school gallery on Thursday 1st December 2011.
The children have produced some stunning art and we know you will be proud when you see their beautiful pictures professionally framed and mounted on display stands.
The Visual Arts play a big part in the life of the school and is an area that every child can enjoy and play a full part in. The Art Curriculum encourages display, so having their art framed and displayed will be a big occasion for them. Someone special to show it to will add a lovely finishing touch for them so make a space in your diary for this special event!
These original framed works of art can be purchased by the artist’s family.
If you would like to purchase your child’s picture but cannot come to the exhibition, just send the money in an envelope and we will look after delivery.
The exhibition will not be an annual event, so do come along, bring your camera, bring family and friends and with your help we can make it an occasion to remember for everyone.
I would like to wish a warm welcome to parents, grandparents and other family members to join us to view your children’s work. Nursery and Reception children will be in the hall at 3.00 p.m. Year 1 & 2 children will also be in the hall at 3.10. You are requested to collect your children from the hall once you have visited the exhibition. Junior children will join them at 3.15. Refreshments will be available. Please make a big effort to come and see your child’s work and make this exhibition a success.
Our previous exhibition in 2008 was very popular and feedback from parents was very positive. Let's hope that this will be able to be replicated this year. Reminders will be sent by pupil post and text2parents messages.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Children in Need celebrations

Tomorrow we will celebrate Children in Need day as usual in School. The pupils will be invited to dress up in pyjamas or any other clothes as school uniform need not be worn on this occasion. We will be taking a coin collection as usual and the money will be donated to the BBC Children in Need appeal. Teachers will discuss with pupils what is appropriate to wear and if you want some help in making the most of the day all the information is on the BBC Children in Need website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/pudsey/

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Healthy Schools Phase Four Award

Today we were assessed for the Fourth Phase of our Healthy Schools Award and, of course, we were successful. My thanks go to the staff and pupils for developing the initiatives that were part of our action plan and to Mrs. Fraser for leading the project. Look on the Healthy Schools Blog to see what evidence we provided and see the photos and videos of the related activities. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Christmas Celebrations and Activities

The arrangements for the last week of term activities for our Christmas celebrations are as follows.
Monday 12th December
1.30 p.m. Class 1 and 2 Concert (Nursery and Reception)
2.15 p.m. Class 3 and 4 Concert(Year 1 and 2)

Tuesday 13th December
9.30 a.m. Class 1 and 2 Concert (Nursery and Reception)
10.15 a.m. Class 3 and 4 Concert (Year 1 and 2)
1.30 p.m. Junior Concert
6.00 p.m. Junior Concert

Wednesday 14th December
School uniform not needed
1.30 p.m.FOUNDATION PHASE PARTY Class 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Nursery, Reception Year 1 and Year 2)

Thursday 15th December
School uniform not needed

Friday 16th December
School uniform not needed
School will close after afternoon registration for the Christmas holidays.
Parents please collect pupils at 1.10 p.m.

Newsletter 6 Monday 14th November

Planned industrial action for Wednesday 30th November 2011
Several of the teaching and other unions have balloted their members and at present I have been informed that there is a plan to take industrial action in support of the opposition to proposed changes to their pension plans. Precise details of the action to be undertaken is not available but it is likely that parents will need to make alternative childcare arrangements for that day as the school will be closed. As soon as I have precise information I will clarify the situation with you. Please will you make contingency plans for this day should the strike action take place.

Year 6 Remembrance Assembly
May I take this opportunity to thank Mr Jones and Year Six for providing us such wish such a moving assembly on Friday morning. It was a special occasion and I am very pleased that we were able to come together on Armistice Day to commemorate those who have given their lives in the various conflicts around the world. It is very important that the pupils of Gelli Primary are aware of this national commemoration. I am sure that parents who were able to attend were moved by the message the pupils conveyed. Diolch yn fawr.

Parents Focus Group
Mrs. Flanary-Davies met with our newly formed Parents Focus Group on Friday. I hope that this will be an opportunity for parents to contribute to developments in the development of provision. I hope to meet with the group on a regular basis so that the parent voice can contribute in a positive way. The group plan to issue bulletins to communicate any developments to parents.

School Crossing Patrol
Mrs. Lake our School Crossing Patrol outside Darran’s has recently retired. Mrs. Flanary-Davies and members of the school Council presented Linda with a bouquet of flowers in recognition of her long service in keeping our pupils safe. We wish her well in her retirement. We are working with the School Transport Team to recruit a replacement for her. I recently sent a text asking parents inquiring whether on not anyone would wish to be trained as a School Crossing Patrol Officer at Ty Isaf Road. If you know of anyone who would like to take this opportunity please contact the school.

The School and Eco Council have organised an initiative to collect unwanted textiles in good condition which are then sold to export markets worldwide where they are sorted and then sold to the general public. Bag2School is a free fundraising scheme established in 2001. They work in partnership with Schools to help us raise funds from our donations. They operate throughout the UK; collecting and selling your unwanted textiles to importers and wholesalers in many countries of Eastern and Western Europe, Africa and Asia. The funds that this scheme generates will then go towards the Eco School Action plan. We have distributed bags next week and you can return them to school and deposit them in the school hall from Monday 21st November onwards. If you require additional bags please bring them in ordinary black bin bags and they will be transported in those. The bags will be collected on Wednesday morning 23rd November so please can all bags be returned before then. We raised over £250 last summer and I hope that we can top that on this occasion.

Children in Need – Friday
On Friday we will celebrate Children in Need day as usual in School. The pupils will be invited to dress up in pyjamas or any other clothes as school uniform need not be worn on this occasion. We will be taking a coin collection as usual and the money will be donated to the BBC Children in Need appeal. Teachers will discuss with pupils what is appropriate to wear and if you want some help in making the most of the day all the information is on the BBC Children in Need website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/pudsey/

Art Exhibition
The children are busy completing their paintings for an Art Exhibition which will take place on Thursday 1st December at 3.00 p.m. The organiser will be in school next Friday to collect the exhibits for framing. Please will parents put this date in your diaries to view and purchase your child’s work. We will send out precise details of this event in a separate newsletter, however, those parents who remember the previous exhibition will remember how successful an event it was. We hope that this event will be even more successful.