Dear Parents and Carers,
The Welsh Government has this week updated its guidance on the use of face coverings in schools –
To reduce the risk of transmission amongst parents and relatives, we ask that you please wear masks when dropping off and collecting your children from the school gate.
As a result of this we ask that from Monday 30th November anyone who is dropping off or collecting children wear a face mask / covering and continue to be mindful of adhering to social distancing guidance.
If you have any questions or queries relating to this please speak to me in person or contact the school via phone, text or email.
We have been delighted with the level of attendance over the past few weeks and thank you for your support with this.
Well done to Dosbarth Coch who achieved 100% last week!
Dosbarth Coch – 100%
Dosbarth Cas-Gwent – 97.5%
Dosbarth Rhaglan – 98.9%
Dosbarth Cil-y-Coed – 95%
Dosbarth Caerdydd – 93.5%
Dosbarth Caerffili – 94.6%
Dosbarth Caernarfon – 93.5%
Total attendance for that week – 96.2%
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.
Our Advent service is now on our website for you to watch and your class teacher will send you further details of any performance involving your child in the next fortnight.
We are holding a virtual Christmas raffle this year and tickets are now available to purchase via Parent Pay with the draw taking place on Friday 11th December. There are a number of prizes including a Christmas hamper, £25 Tesco voucher and many more!
As the weather gets colder and more inclement please can we remind you to ensure your child has appropriate clothing as they are continuing to access the outdoors wherever possible.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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 email@example.com 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
Mr J Llewellyn
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