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Update for Parents and Carers

Dear Parent / Carer

It goes without saying that I trust you are all safe and well though I am very much aware that these are challenging times for us all in many different ways and some within our school community are mourning the loss of close family members. Our thoughts are with those families at this time.

This week we should have been back in school after our Easter break, returning to lessons and completing final plans and preparations for the examinations ahead. Of course, all of that has changed but we have gained more clarity in a number of areas:

  1. There is no set date for a return to school at present with no imminent end to the lockdown period and requirements for ‘social distancing’.
  2. We continue to monitor the wellbeing of all students and my thanks to everyone who is making contact with different children and their families each day of every week.
  3. We have made a new start to our home learning programme and will be giving everyone the opportunity to feedback through another parent/carer survey next week. Hopefully, the timetable for Years 7,8, 9 and 10 has helped manage time better in the last few days.
  4. We are aware that some families may be finding it difficult to access learning resources at home and we are doing everything we can with the Local Authority to provide the right to improve this situation. I am sure more news will follow on this.
  5. Qualifications Wales have issued guidance on the awarding of ‘fair grades’ to those students who were supposed to be completing exams and qualifications this summer. Staff are meeting in different ways to discuss all of the information we have in order to arrive at a fair grade for everyone in all of their qualifications.
  6. We know that the examination results will be issued on the same days as they were originally planned. For A Level results on August 13th and GCSE results on August 20th.

Whilst we are away from school I can assure you that staff are working in every way they can to support learning and ensure all other aspects of our normal work are undertaken. School governors are also meeting through their regular committees to receive updates and confirm actions that we need to take at school. Indeed, on our return, we will have views to share on the merits of virtual meetings and video conferencing.

Our weekly newsletter will help to keep you informed and also show the fantastic work our students are completing at home. We are also beginning contacts with each primary school to ensure the transition of children from Year 6 into Year 7 is as good as it can be given the present circumstances and with no added anxiety than already exists.

Please do not hesitate to contact staff about any issue related to wellbeing, home learning or any other concern. If you are aware of any child who is joining us in Year 7 and would like to receive information please contact us.

Clearly there is no immediate end in sight to the present situation and we wish everyone who is working in an essential key worker role our thanks and best wishes. I am delighted and grateful to the staff who have co-ordinated the donations of protective goggles to the Heath Hospital in Cardiff and Prince Charles in Merthyr. This week we have also begun production of protective face visors through machines and resources we have in our technology faculty. Having asked for additional funding through social media we have been overwhelmed by the response in only one day and as such we have temporarily closed the funding site. A big thank-you to everyone who has contributed and this will enable us to purchase resources given the limited capacity we have available in school to make the visors. Hopefully it will not prove necessary, but if it does we will re-open the funding opportunity soon and make as many visors as we can for those who need them in our local community. If you need help now with this type of PPE please read details on our school website.

On behalf of the school governors, I would like to thank students, parents, carers and staff for their unfailing support for all that we are doing in meeting the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic. Without doubt we all need to support each other through these difficult times but it is also heart warming to witness the energy, innovation and compassion that such a situation releases in people, young and old. As a school we have a great deal to be proud of.

Please keep in contact regarding anything where we can help and support. Keep safe and well.


Huw Cripps

Headteacher and on behalf of all staff and school governors