Newsletter 23.11.20

Dear Parents and Carers,

Christmas

Given the current restrictions that are in place, we are not going to be able to hold Christmas concerts in the usual way with parents attending. However, we feel the children certainly need to be able to celebrate and have a sense of normality at this time of year so each class is going to perform a concert and it will be recorded and sent home to you.

We are also shortly going to be recording an Advent service with each class participating and we have been invited by Father Laurence to participate in a virtual carol service, and your class teacher will send you further details of any performance involving your child in the next fortnight.

Attendance

We have been delighted with the level of attendance over the past few weeks and thank you for your support with this. Almost all of the classes were once again above the Welsh Government target of 95% so well done everyone!

Well done to Dosbarth Rhaglan
who achieved 100% last week!

Dosbarth Coch – 96.4%
Dosbarth Cas-Gwent – 98.2%
Dosbarth Rhaglan – 100%
Dosbarth Cil-y-Coed – 97.5%
Dosbarth Caerdydd – 99%
Dosbarth Caerffili – 89.4%
Dosbarth Caernarfon – 94.7%

Total attendance for that week – 96.5%

School Visits

As we are unable to go on school visits at the moment each class is taking advantage of modern technology to have experiences linked to their current topic. These are being funded by the school as they can have a positive impact on the pupils’ learning experiences.

In Dosbarth Rhaglan they had on online workshop from Chester Zoo and were able to meet a meerkat keeper who taught them all about these lovely animals and the children were able to see them in action!

Covid-19

Here are some quick updates that may be useful for you.

Getting a COVID-19 test in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area

There is now a range of COVID-19 testing provision in Gwent (for residents of Caerphilly, Newport, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen and Monmouthshire), including drive through and walk up testing units in various locations. Mobile testing units are frequently changing location, and details of current services can be found online: www.abuhb.nhs.wales/coronavirus/testing-centres.

All tests must be booked in advance by phoning 0300 30 31 222, 8am-8pm Monday-Friday, and 8am-6pm on weekends. We will offer people tests in a location convenient and appropriate to them.

Home testing kits can be ordered by phoning 119 or online: gov.wales/apply-coronavirus-covid-19-test

Blended Learning

As you know when the school closed in March the teachers were able to engage with the class on Hwb and uploaded work and stayed in close contact with the pupils, but we were also aware that many children were unable to access it.

We then introduced SeeSaw at the start of term which has seen a far higher level of engagement and I know that many of you are finding it a much easier platform to navigate.

We are aware that we have pupils who are sometimes off school because their sibling is having to self-isolate or if they are unable to attend school because of the current circumstances so to support you with your child’s learning the teachers have created a Blended Learning Menu which will outline what your child’s class is covering each fortnight.

The teachers will send you their Blended Learning Menu via SeeSaw which will also be uploaded to your child’s class page on our school website – https://www.stgabrielsrcprimary.org.uk/

It will be in a section called ‘Home Learning’ and the learning menu will contain 3 sections –

Grow – Bloom – Flourish

Grow

This section will outline some of the things that are being done in class that you are able to engage with all of the time such as Giglets, Spelling Shed, times tables, Welsh phrase of the week, etc.

Bloom

This section will give you an overview of what topics the class are covering in English, Maths, RE and Topic so that you can work on things at home and have an idea of what areas can be covered.

Flourish

This section will have activities that can be completed for homework and are additional to the learning that is done in class. These can be used as ideas for keeping your children busy if they are having to stay at home and not able to attend school.

Please note – if your child’s class have been instructed to self-isolate and stay home then your child’s class teacher will be in close contact every day through SeeSaw and will be available to receive and appraise any work that is sent to them and answer any queries you have.

We hope that by having this fortnightly overview you will find it easier to support your child’s learning if they are in school or if they are having to stay home and not be too demanding or difficult to navigate, and we would welcome any feedback you have, thank you.

End of School Day

As you are aware we have asked that when you collect your child at the end of the day to line up along the fence so that you maintain social distancing and aren’t blocking the crossing or pavement.

We thank those parents who are doing so but we do have people standing in front of the crossing and attempting to collect their children from the gates without first lining up.

As I’m sure you can appreciate we have only one exit which is why we have the staggered collection times, but this system can only function with the cooperation of all parents and so we please ask that you are patient with us and line up along the fence so that we can hand over each pupil safely. We also ask that you also move away from the school gates as quickly as possible when you collect your child so that other parents can access without any restriction.

Class ‘Bubble’ Groups

As we outlined in our parental handbook, we have implemented a series of measures to ensure that each class in the school remains apart from each other, and the amount of adults coming into contact with each class is kept to an absolute minimum.

We have staggered start and end times to the school day, as well as different times for break and lunch with each class having their own areas so that they are kept apart from other classes.
We have also ensured that this extends to Breakfast Club, so the pupils are remaining in their classroom for this and are not using the hall, again to ensure that they come into contact with as few people as possible.

The children have responded very positively to this as we understand it is not easy for them, especially if they have siblings and want to see friends from other year groups, and we appreciate your continued support with this and the other measures we have put into place.

The safety and welfare of all pupils, staff and parents is of paramount importance and we will continue to implement these measures as long as they are needed. I wanted to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of the St. Gabriel’s staff who are going above and beyond at the moment to ensure the school runs as smoothly as possible.

Appointments

If you have an appointment that requires you to collect your child early from school, please can you ensure that you notify us at least 24 hours in advance to ensure we can put measures in place. We encourage you to telephone us if you have any queries during the school day or contact us by text or email rather than coming to the office in person, thank you.

INSET Days 2020-21

The school will be closed for INSET training on the following dates this year –

Monday 4th January 2021
Monday 22nd February 2021
Monday 7th June 2021
Monday 19th July 2021
Tuesday 20th July 2021

There will be one other training day that has yet to be confirmed.

Absence

Please can we remind you to contact us by phone, text or email if your child is not in school with a reason for their absence. If we are not provided with a reason we have to mark the absence as unauthorised.

Music Tuition

Please note that there is currently no music tuition available in school. Gwent Music are reviewing their risk assessments and procedures so that music tuition can resume as soon as possible, and we will update you as to their plans when we have more information.

Water Bottles

Please can you ensure your child has everything
they need for their school day including water bottle,
book bag and packed lunch, so that they are not having to be
handled by additional people if they are brought in late.

Jewellery

Please can we remind you of our jewellery policy as outlined in our parental handbook –

The wearing of jewellery is discouraged although a watch and stud earrings may be worn but they are the responsibility of the child. All jewellery must be removed by the child for PE and Games. If earrings cannot be removed because the ears are within 6 weeks of being pierced the child must not take part. The safety of pupils in physical lessons is paramount.

We kindly ask that no hooped earrings, necklaces or rings are worn to school, thank you.

FRIENDS OF ST. GABRIEL’S

Due to the ongoing situation with we have been unable to hold a number of fundraising events. We would appreciate any support you are able to offer at the moment and so would encourage you to take a moment to visit the address below and take part in our school lottery, thank you.

https://www.yourschoollottery.co.uk/lottery/school/st-gabriels-r-c-primary-school

Raise FREE donations for Friends of St Gabriel’s EVERY time you shop online using @easyuk. Over 4,000 shops and sites will donate including all the big names like eBay, Argos, ASOS, Expedia, M&S, Just Eat, Uswitch and many more!
https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/friendsofstgabriels/?utm_campaign=raise-more&utm_content=t3

COVID-19

It is inevitable at this time of year that pupils will develop sore throats, runny noses and cold symptoms. However, these are different to the symptoms of COVID-19 which are:

• a new or continuous cough
• a high temperature
• a loss of or change to sense of smell or taste

If your child develops any of these symptoms, even if they are mild, you need to:
• book a test for them by phoning 119 or through the online portal: https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test
• keep your child and any siblings home while you await the results of the test
• follow the advice provided when your child receives their test result
• phone school on 01633 273937 or email stgabriels.primary@newport.gov.uk and let us know that your child is unwell with COVID-19 symptoms and that you have requested a test and also to notify us of the result

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading, there are things that everyone in your family can do to help. These include:
• washing hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
• using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
• washing hands as soon as they get home
• covering their mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not their hands) when they cough or sneeze
• putting used tissues in the bin immediately and washing hands afterwards

Further information on symptoms and self-isolation can be found here: https://gov.wales/symptoms-and-self-isolation-contact-tracing

Further information on NHS Wales ‘Test, Trace’, Protect can be found here: https://gov.wales/test-trace-protect-coronavirus

For general information on COVID-19: https://gov.wales/protect-yourself-others-coronavirus

The COVID-19 online symptom checker can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do: https://gov.wales/check-if-you-need-coronavirus-medical-help

Thank you,

Mr J Llewellyn
Interim Headteacher

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