Summer term 2018

I haven’t been writing my blog on a weekly basis lately. Lots of reasons including the rest of life taking over and the summer term being exceptionally busy!

As we approach the end of the year there is no let up. My staff have been amazing as always, keeping the learning going and ensuring all children continue to achieve well; keeping all the improvements going and then adding to our extra curricular provision through creative weeks, sporting events, leaving services, trips and residential weekends! With just one week to go I am sure they are all ready for their well deserved Summer holidays.

We had the pleasure of welcoming our new reception children and their parents into school. A few nervous faces around the room and a few familiar ones too as we welcome younger siblings of some of our children. They all have an opportunity this week to spend a bit more time in their new classroom too as we hold our moving up sessions. These sessions are really valuable as lots of children are a little anxious about their new teachers. This gives them the opportunity to get to know them a little better and for teachers to get to know the children a bit too! We are hoping this year that we can develop the pupils’ contribution to planning their topics they will be studying next term and these move up sessions will be the start of this process.

One of the things I really hope to achieve next year is further establishing our volunteer workforce. I have had a number of people express an interest in volunteering and have spent time providing safeguarding training and ensuring we have the correct paper work in place so that our volunteers can begin to support staff from September. We are planning to link volunteers with a class so that they can liaise directly with the teachers and develop a timetable of support together. If you know anyone who would be interested please let me know – we always welcome any support!

I can’t write about next term without thinking about the staff who won’t be with us in September. Mrs O Connell, Mrs Wham, Mrs Jones and Mrs Francis are incredible members of staff who have given so much to the children of Llantilio over many years. Their contribution, not only to the education of the pupils in Llantilio, but to the health and well-being of the children in their care has been simply outstanding. Always there to ‘do me a favour’ , cover for last minute emergencies, preparing for events and clearing up afterwards! When I say that I don’t know what we will do without them next year I really mean that!! I wish them well in their next adventures – new jobs, grandchildren, alternative careers and just simply the opportunity to rest relax and recuperate!! I thank them all for their professionalism, dedication and endless enthusiasm.

I also have to thank Mrs Evans who has been amazing in year 6 this term and Miss Wride who has supported a new pupil in School this year.

I wish our Year 6 class well as they continue on to Secondary Education. If you follow Twitter or Seesaw or our website you will have seen the photos from the recent trip to Condover Hall. A fantastic weekend to make memories that they will carry with them for ever. Again a huge thank you to staff who have given up their weekends to take the children here and to Morfa Bay a few weeks ago – Mr Oram, Mrs Pugh, Mrs Jones, Mrs Sutherland, Miss Wride – diolch yn fawr iawn!!

I also have to thank the members of our PTFA for all the fundraising they have done this year. All funds have gone to help your children and support their learning and also ensure the ‘little extras’ are always available in school. They have transformed our library this year and have provided the school with amazing support, resources and fun activities to take part in, you’re all amazing – thank you!

I am pleased to say that we are also ending this academic year with a new chair of Governors, councillor Martyn Groucutt, who was elected at or Governing Body meeting in July. I am very much looking forward to working with him next year and ensuring we all work together to continue to improve, develop and grow Llantilio Pertholey Primary School together!

I am proud of all we have achieved this year, making strong progress in maths, Welsh and literacy, achieving the bronze award for Cymraeg Campus – developing the oracy skills of pupils and staff, developing our outdoor provision in the Foundation Phase, revamping the library, improving reading provision, developing problem solving skills, improving skills across the curriculum, taking part in the Daily Mile, strengthening links with St Teilo’s church and working collaboratively with other schools in the cluster to name but a small part of all we have achieved!

I will be sending out questionnaires this week for pupils and parents – please complete them if you can and return to school. Your opinions and suggestions give us a real insight into what we do well and also what we could be doing better! As always, any questions, queries or issues please come and see me. Let me know what you think of the blog too!!

Mrs Joanne Bayton


Friday May 25th

In and out a lot this week, as always there’s a lot going on!

Miss Toombs and I spent some time on Monday looking at provision for our most vulnerable learners. We ensure all our learners have an opportunity to access the curriculum but recognise that not all will learn at the same rate. When we see they need extra support and catch up we aim to provide this as soon as possible through extra support and differentiation in the classroom and, where appropriate, small group or individual support.

I spent Thursday morning with other Headteachers looking at our grant allocation and how we can best spend this money to support learners too.

We had our celebration assembly on Tuesday this week. As usual we have put our Headteacher awards and attendance awards and also did our Mathematicians of the month.

Years 3 and 4 ended the half term in style with a trip to Fleet air museum in Somerset. They were a little late back unfortunately but all safe and sound which is the main thing!

Have a great half term.

Mrs Joanne Bayton

Friday May 18th

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!

Friday April 27th

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

Friday April 20th

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

Friday 23rd March

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

Friday 16th March

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