Friday November 17th

We held our second training session on written mathematical calculations on Monday night. Alison Jones from the EAS followed up the training she gave last week on addition and subtraction with further training on multiplication and division strategies. Mr Langdon and I then spent a Tuesday afternoon looking at maths books and talking to learners about their maths. I am really pleased with the progress being made in all aspects of maths teaching and learning. Children are benefiting from rich experiences and the opportunities to apply problem solving and reasoning skills in context. We are hoping that our Creative Schools’ project will further enhance this. – more details on this to follow!

I spent Thursday with my colleagues from all over South East Wales at an Education conference held in the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff. We were taking a look at the progress made towards planning a new curriculum for Wales. It is an exciting time for all involved as we have the opportunity to shape and develop a curriculum that is fit for 21st century learning. It is encouraging to see how much research and thought is going it to this, particularly the consultation with teachers who are in the best place to decide what and how children need to learn. There are lots of Pioneer schools trialling projects and themed approaches and they are now getting all other schools involved. The Abergavenny cluster of schools will be getting involved in one of these projects very soon!

Well done to everyone who took part in the cake competition or came to school with silly hair on Friday! You helped to raise over £350 for Children in Need. You’re all brilliant, thank you!

Mrs Joanne Bayton


Friday November 10th

I absolutely love this!! The most important people in Llantilio are immortalised on a tea towel!! These are being sold to raise funds for various projects throughout the school. Love it! And a huge thank you to Sally Wood for all her hard work in organising this.  – if you haven’t had a chance to order one make sure you get in touch with us as soon as possible.

This week we saw Year 5’s brilliant class assembly where the class travelled back to the 1960’s courtesy of Dr Who’s Tardis! I was amazed at how much they had learned about this iconic period in history, both here in the UK and in America. They learned so much and I was hugely impressed with how much additional work and research had gone on at home too. The children were clearly inspired by the topic and it showed in their confident and entertaining performance – a big well done to all.

A bit of advertising now! I know a lot of our children (and staff) have taken part in many productions in the Borough Theatre and have been superb too! This is something we have in common as I have a love of the theatre too. I have been a member of the Abertillery Amateur Dramatic and Musical Society for over 20 years and this year we are putting on Cinderella in the Metropole Theatre in Abertillery at the end of November. Somehow I have been cast as one of the ugly sisters – don’t know how that happened!! It would be great to see you there!

Looking forward to another busy week next week!

Mrs Joanne Bayton

Friday 27th October

We made it! Seemed like the longest half term ever but it ended well with a brilliant class assembly from Year 2, well done to all involved.

On Thursday we went as a School to visit St Gwladys primary school in Bargoed. We spent the day there looking at how they have developed maths teaching over the last few years and were able to pick up a lot of tips that we can use in school to further develop maths in Llantilio. It was a very interesting visit which gave us lots of food for thought. 

Our Cluster training on Friday involved staff in the literacy and numeracy projects and also the implementation of the Digital Competency Framework and our More Able children. 

Back in school the PTFA arranged for a local carpenter to come and fit some shelves in what will become our library area. They look fabulous and I can’t wait for the full vision for the room to become reality. If you know anyone who would like to help run the library, listen to readers or be part of the refurbishment please let me know. 

Next half term will also be very busy. We are expecting Estyn to come and revisit the school, probably early next year, so we will be continuing to work hard in literacy and numeracy and other curriculum areas as well as our Christmas activities. 

For the next week though it’s time to rest and recharge those batteries! Have a great week. 

Mrs Joanne Bayton

Friday 20th October

Thank you so much for all the donations  brought in for the Harvest celebration. The service was lovely – thanks to Mr Oram’s superb organisation and the classes that took part. We had a lovely Harvest poem from year 4, year 1 told us about where various foods come from and year 6 children did some readings from the Bible and ended our service with some Harvest prayers.

It was good to welcome Father John who read a poem about Harvest mice, all the children had to pretend to be mice! 

All the food collected will be donated to Abergavenny food bank. 

Also this week I held the first Parents’ Forum of the year. We discussed ways the School communicates with parents – emails, texts, website, seesaw, letters etc. to see if there are any other ways we could get information out to parents. 

We also discussed the PTFA, pressures on the School budget and traffic issues around the school, and the results of the parents’ questionnaires which highlighted concerns around homework, communication and not understanding the complaints procedure. We will be addressing these in more detail over the coming weeks

Our Challenge Advisor Jayne Arthur joined us on Tuesday to look at progress being made in literacy and maths. Mrs Balkwill has taken on the role as literacy lead this year and Mr Langdon is leading maths so this day gave them the opportunity to look at standards across the school and identify any areas that need further development. 

It was also a chance to celebrate the progress that is being made, I’m sure you will all see a difference in your children’s books when you come for your parents’ consultation.  Books are definitely improving in all areas and in maths we are benefitting from working with our partner School St Gwladys in Bargoed. On Thursday, our first training day, we will all be visiting St Gwladys to see maths in action in their school. 

Only 3 days left for pupils this half term. We have had a lot of children off due to stomach bugs in recent weeks which has prompted reminders about hand washing and trying to avoid spreading infection. Hopefully this and the ‘flu immunisations this week will mean we have a healthy second half of the Autumn term! 

Staff will be training in maths on Thursday and attending Training for all the Abergavenny cluster schools on Friday. School will reopen on Monday 6th November. Don’t forget parents’ consultations this week, we have a non uniform day on Wednesday to raise money for the children’s centre in Nevil Hall and Year 2 are doing their class assembly on Wednesday morning at 9 15. 

Mrs Joanne Bayton

Friday 13th October

I think it’s fair to say I have been a critic of social media in the past as it can all too often be abused and lead to minor misunderstandings being blown out of all proportion. 

However this week I am again quoting from a social media post to sum up one of the best days we have had in Llantilio – and yes I did ask for permission to reproduce the post! 

We held our Open Day on Thursday – an annual event where we invite prospective parents to visit to look around our fabulous school and also existing parents to check out what we’re doing. Traditionally we don’t do our usual timetabled subjects and this year our Open Day coincided with Outdoor Learning Day. The staff arranged several different activities including Yoga, Forest Schools, Drumming, Leaf Art, Den Building, Mud Cocktails and Outdoor Maths and all the children, in mixed age groups, experienced these throughout the day. 

It was wonderful to join the children at certain points during the day, to watch the older ones supporting the younger children and to have our prospective parents witness some first class learning taking place. Even better to hear our parents sharing their children’s’ experiences with them and feeling compelled to comment on social media! Thanks Mrs Jones- and all the others!! And a huge thanks to all the staff for their hard work in making the day such a success! 
Mrs Joanne Bayton 

Friday 6th October

I’ve been in and out of school this week attending various meetings. Some weeks are like that! 

On Monday we held our AGM for the governors. Miss Toombs has stepped down as the teacher representative after many years of service – a huge thank you to her for all she had done in representing the teaching staff. Unfortunately our Chair of Governors Mrs Helen Arnold Richardson has also stepped down leaving a vacancy for a parent Governor. This is an exciting opportunity for someone to get more involved in the leadership of the school and in helping us to continue our onward and upward journey. Nomination forms should have come out to you – if anyone requires more information please come and ask! 

We had our first Monmouthshire Association of Primary Heads (MAPS) meeting on Tuesday afternoon where amongst other things we discussed the future of initial teacher training and the review of provision for ALN pupils in Monmouthshire. 

On Wednesday Mrs Clarke and I attended a budget meeting with Andrew Evans from MCC. It was a 6 month review checking to see if we’re on track to keep to our budget we set for April. We have to keep a careful track of our spending and are on track at the moment to spend what we originally predicted. 

On Friday I spent the day with the Headteachers from the other Church  schools in the Diocese. On the agenda for this meeting was the date for the Leavers service ( can’t believe we are thinking about this already!) and the arrangements for Eucharist in School. It was good to see some of my colleagues from the Cardiff schools as it’s been quite a while since we last got together. 

Next week is based more in school. Our new principal challenge advisor Mrs Helen Powers is visiting on Tuesday and I look forward to welcoming her and showing her around our fabulous school. Our Open Day is on Thursday so also looking forward to welcoming some prospective new pupils – and parents of existing ones. The school is having an Outdoor Learning day so fingers crossed for good weather! Parents Forum will be 9am next Monday (16th). 

Mrs Joanne Bayton

Friday 29th September

I seem to have spent the majority of the week staring at figures on a computer screen and trying to complete our target setting process. Doesn’t seem like a year ago I was doing exactly the same thing! The process has been very thorough as in previous years, looking at pupils’ prior attainment and their potential to reach the target and also how we can best organise additional support for any pupils we think will need a little extra intervention in order that they can achieve. 

At this point I have to say a massive thank you to the incredible support staff we have in Llantilio supporting pupils both in class and giving them that extra time outside the classroom. This could be listening to readers, teaching literacy and numeracy in small groups, spelling, handwriting, ELSA support, speeech and language support etc etc etc!! All this on top of preparing resources and supporting the teachers! (And running half marathons!!) What an amazing job they do. 

We were pleased to welcome some prehistoric creatures to School on Wednesday morning. Years 1 and 2 had visited the dinosaur exhibition at Cardiff museum on Tuesday then followed it up with a visit from Dino4Hire. This all enhances their enjoyment of learning and gives them real experiences to stimulate their writing. Many thanks for your contributions towards these additional learning experiences, and also for years 3 and 4’s trip to Cilfynnydd. 

We have had a lot of staff training this week too. Our TA’s have had some Welsh training, Mrs Balkwill, Mrs Bawler and Mr Oram attended training for our Creative School’s project – more about that soon. Miss Toombs, Mr Langdon, Mrs Hall and Miss Morgan attended literacy training at Risca Primary too. A very busy week! 

The next Training days are confirmed as October 26th and 27th so School will finish for half term on Wednesday 25th October. 

The PTFA held their AGM on Monday. A big thank you to all members for their hard work over the last year. A few of the officers are stepping down this year due to other commitments so we are looking for anyone who would be interested in helping out in any way. Please call in and let us know! 

Mrs Joanne Bayton