What a fabulous day in School! There are many challenges and frustrations in being a Headteacher, but today has seen the best side, the side that reminds me why I do such a privileged, rewarding and motivating job!
It started with our hall looking amazing, bedecked by some colourful bunting for the royal Wedding. Nearly all the children were involved in making the flags and our dedicated PTFA members strung them together and decorated the hall with them. The flags told a story in themselves – some great artwork, use of the Welsh language, pride in being Welsh and excitement in being part of an historic royal event.
Parents’ Forum was held outside in the outdoor classroom. It was the perfect setting to discuss, amongst other things, our grounds and how we can continue to improve the outdoor provision for learning – one of our focus areas for the new academic year.
We held our celebration assembly in the hall with the children all dressed up in red white and blue for the occasion. We were delighted to welcome Hilary Orme who judged our recent book review competition and presented the prizes to the winners.
We also had our Writers of the month announced and it was so good to hear the stories of progress and achievement for these pupils. Sometimes things just click into place and all of a sudden pupils who may have been struggling and finding certain things difficult start to absolutely fly – this is the most rewarding part of being a teacher. Seeing the look of pride on the faces of the pupils’ collecting their certificates – and also how proud their teachers are – is quite something!
There are pictures available on Twitter @LlantilioSchool
Back in the hall at lunchtime – this time it’s the staff making me proud! What a team! Serving sandwiches and salad, giving out drinks, entertaining, encouraging and supporting the children then cleaning up afterwards too – all this whilst supervising children on the yards, dealing with bumps and bruises, grabbing a quick coffee and preparing for the afternoon sessions – on top of all that giving up their Friday night for the annual sleepover!!
Llantilio Pertholey you are truly awesome, I salute you all!
Da iawn to our representatives at the unveiling of the 2016 National Eisteddfod commemorative stone at Castle Meadows. They did the school and themselves proud
Thanks also to Mrs Hall and Mrs Whiteman for accompanying them!
Hot on the heels of our success at the Abergavenny Eisteddfod our fabulous school choir performed in St Teilo’s church last night as part of a musical evening that also featured soloist Jacqueline Hill and the Sing with Us choir, one of 16 Tenovus Cancer Care choirs in Wales for people affected by cancer. It was a lovely evening and the children performed brilliantly as always! Well done to them and to Mr Oram.
I was also really pleased to complete my own personal challenge this weekend and swim 2.5km (100 lengths) in the Swimathon, raiding money for Cancer Research and Marie Curie. Many thanks to all who sponsored me!
We have been busy this week familiarising the children with the National Test questions do that the children can be as prepared as possible for the tests next week. They will take place on Wednesday and Thursday this week then Tuesday the week after.
Mrs Joanne Bayton
A great first week back, helped by some beautiful weather! I hope you all had a lovely break over Easter. I certainly did and am back fully refreshed and ready for the Summer term.
We’ve started with some really exciting events taking place this week. Reception class held a pirate party, Alison Jones out EAS Maths support spent some time catching up with Mr Langdon and his adventures in China and years 5 and 6 hosted some ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ workshops where we were joined by Sara Jones, the county councillor for the Llanover Ward and Councillor Reverend Malcolm Lane. I was so proud of the mature responses from our Year 5 and 6 children and very pleased to see how impressed the councillors were with them too!
Many thanks to Kate for excellent presentations too.
On Friday evening the PTFA hosted a storytelling evening where we got to share our favourite stories and our love of reading. We went on a Bear Hunt, shared some pizza and hot chocolate and cuddled up in our PJ’s to enjoy stories read by Father Julian, myself and local author Hilary Orme who also very kindly donated one of her own books to our new library. Many thanks to Phillipa’s Mum for sending me this lovely photo of us enjoying the evening!
I couldn’t attend the Abergavenny Eisteddfod this year as I was celebrating my son’s 14th Birthday with him but I was delighted that our amazing school choir came first this year! I’m really looking forward to a special performance in assembly this week and also catching up with all our pupils who entered the various competitions. Well done to Mr Oram and all who took part!
The result of our Estyn monitoring visit is published on their website tomorrow, please look out for it!
Mrs Joanne Bayton
This week saw the culmination of weeks of hard work by the year 4 pupils who have been engrossed in our Lead Creative Schools project. This involved them making maths Islands, working together as part of a team and being very creative in their approach to maths and problem solving. Unfortunately I was not able to attend the carnival that showed off all their hard work on Thursday but talking to Year 4 on Friday and seeing the photos I could tell how much the pupils have got out of this project. Well done to all involved!
I spent Thursday afternoon with the cluster Year 6 teachers looking at Welsh books and ensuring our levelling if the books is accurate. Welsh has had a really high profile in school recently and it was very encouraging that our Welsh EAS support advisor recognised the strong progress we have made. Criw Cymraeg members have been really busy catching all the pupils and staff using their Welsh confidently around the school and were very proud to announce another flame on our Welsh board! We are on track to achieve the bronze award in the Summer Term.
The PTFA organised a fabulous Easter Egg hunt on Friday – many thanks for all the donations and to everyone who took part in the events. The PTFA is working really well this year and we are very lucky to have such enthusiastic and hard working members, prepared to go the extra mile to support all the children and provide the extras. Many thanks to all involved!
A short but busy week this week. Year 3 are ending the term with their class assembly and we are looking forward to catching up with Mr Langdon’s adventures in China too!
Mrs Joanne Bayton
We welcomed Abbie and some members of our PTFA into assembly on Monday morning. Abbie is from the Ronald McDonald House charity and she came to thank the children for the money they had raised in their recent silly sock day and to explain a bit more about the charity too.
Ruth Stringer has been in several times this week too, supporting our year 4 class in the Lead Creative Schools Maths project. The children have been very busy creating their Maths Islands – we will be launching this in an event on March 22nd. Parents of year 4 children will be able to come and take part and the whole school will be involved in the games and activities created.
Mrs Balkwill organised a fabulous enrichment day for our KS2 pupils.
Children were able to choose an activity from Forest Schools, Arts and Crafts, Drumming, Drama, Sports and Board Games. Many thanks to all the staff involved in the planning and preparation of this event. The children were buzzing about the activities during our sharing assembly!
Another dose of snow unfortunately so another day of decision making and close communication with the Local Authority to arrange site clearance and gritting. It’s difficult for me to inspect the site as I live quite a distance away but make decisions based on advice from local staff. There is no more snow forecast but temperatures are set to drop again tonight so ice will be a factor tomorrow.
At the moment we plan to open and run breakfast club as normal. I will be there as early as possible to ensure we are safe to do so. Please be very careful on your way in to school and don’t take any unnecessary risks. If you have a spare hour and a shovel and would like to help clear the yards etc your support would be very much appreciated!
Mr Langdon is on a training course this week in China! A fabulous opportunity for him to experience a different teaching culture first hand. I’m really hoping he brings back some exciting new strategies to try to continue our developments in maths teaching.
Don’t forget our Social Media awareness session led by PC Cath in the hall at 3 30 tomorrow.
Mrs Joanne Bayton
Apologies for the lack of blog update last week – between the snow and Estyn and rearranging missed meetings and preparing for the week ahead there was no time! This week has simply flown too. I have to say a huge thank you to all at MCC grounds maintenance service who cleared the paths and car parks of the school allowing us to open as normal on Monday morning. Also our caretaker Colin and members of staff who continued to keep the children safe on the yards throughout the week.
Estyn carried out their monitoring visit on Monday and Tuesday. As always the children were an absolute credit to us, polite and courteous and able to explain their learning experiences with confidence. As soon as I have official confirmation of the outcome of the monitoring visit I will share it with you.
I attended a meeting of the cluster Headteachers on Thursday. One of our topics of discussion was the increased use of social media and the often negative impact the use of this can have. We rely on social media for communication and it is a powerful tool to instantly connect with parents and allow them to have a greater insight into school work and activities. However we are increasingly dealing with issues in school where children have connected with each other via social media platforms and some negative and unkind comments have been shared. This spills over into the classroom and results in class teachers spending teaching time resolving issues between children. I have also been made aware of several parents’ groups where parents have raised issues about other children or things that have happened in school that have led to misunderstandings.
We have invited PC Cath Gardiner to take a meeting for parents on Internet safety on Monday 19th March in the School hall. Please come along if you have any questions or concerns – and, as always, any concerns about School please come and see me or your child’s class teacher in the first instance to see if we can resolve any problems together.
Mrs Balkwill organised a fabulous World Book Day celebration with all children involved in several book related activities throughout the day and a great assembly where we all got to see each other’s costumes. Again another great effort from all the children and of course the parents!! We couldn’t do it without you!
Mrs Joanne Bayton
I hope you have all had a great half term break? I have had a busy week getting ready for our Estyn revisit on 5th March but also spending some quality time with family and friends. I am writing my blog on the return journey from a weekend in London where I managed to add at least 20 miles to my Fitbit! I love the ‘big city’ but I’m glad I don’t have to live their full time!!
The week before half term seems a long time ago now but it was a very productive week. Many thanks to all who turned up for the parents’ forum on Tuesday. It was great to see so many there and we had some useful discussions on categorisation, funding and budgets, progress on Estyn recommendations and our School development plan moving forward. I find these sessions so valuable to gauge parents’ opinions and it’s always good for us to get feedback on things like our homework policy and Eisteddfod competitions as well as wider school issues.
I also had a chance to catch up with Year 2 and Year 6 teachers to look at the progress their pupils are making towards achieving their end of year targets. We check these regularly so we can organise extra support and intervention if any children are are struggling or just need a little confidence boost. I will be checking in with the other year groups over the next few weeks.
Year 1 ended our half term with a fantastic Superhero assembly. Their confidence and expression never ceases to amaze me and they wowed us all with their fabulous performance. Well done to all involved.
Quite a short half term to come, just 4 weeks and 4 days. We are holding our Eisteddfod on Wednesday if this week with the parents’ performance on Thursday evening at 6. Estyn will be revisiting the school on 5th and 6th March to gauge progress since the full inspection in September 2016.
Looking at the weather forecast for the coming week we may be in for a bit of disruption so please keep your eye on Twitter and our website and School Comms texting service for up to date information.
Mrs Joanne Bayton