Friday May 26th

How do we measure success? 

This week we have finalised the data for the children in year 2 and year 6 – the end of key stage data. The results feed into our overall categorisation and we are benchmarked or ranked against other schools in our cluster, in our ‘family’ of schools (schools judged to have the same or similar challenges as us) and those schools with similar numbers of children claiming free school meals. We are then placed into a quartile position -quarter 1 being the top 25% of schools and quarter 4 the bottom 25% in a number of categories. – English, maths, science for KS2 and PSD for foundation phase. 

Obviously quarter 1 is our aim but if we get as little as 2 pupils who don’t reach the expected level then this can push us into quarter 4 – the margins are pretty tight! We set targets at the beginning of the year and work towards these over the year, providing extra support to those children who are in danger of not meeting their targets. So if we meet our targets and get placed in quarter 1, does that make us a successful school? 

Yes, but there are also many other measures. Mrs Bawler summed this up in a recent post on social media. 

I really couldn’t have put this any better – I also feel proud to work in a school where all staff give over and above every single day; where parents volunteer to help with trips, listening to readers, PTFA events, sponsored events; where visitors to the school comment on the positive vibes and the busy, purposeful atmosphere and are excited by the prospect of working here; and where children – regardless of their academic ability and ‘level’ are valued, respected and encouraged to be the best person they can be. They make me smile every day with their amazingly fresh outlook on life, their love of learning and their never ending ability to amaze me with their achievements in all things they do. And that is how you should measure success, if it was then Llantilio Pertholey would definitely be the top of Quarter 1! 

Have a restful half term, an exciting and packed half term to come.

Mrs Joanne Bayton 

Friday May 19th

Well done to everyone for completing the 5 mile challenge this week! I don’t think we could have had a wetter start but the children walked/ran/jogged with enthusiasm and determination. As I was out of school for most of the week I only managed to complete one day but I’m determined to do better than that in future weeks! I’m not sure of the amount we have raised through sponsorship but will let you know as soon as possible. Hopefully we will be a few steps closer to our goal and thank you very much for supporting your children in this event. 

The children and staff have all given really positive feedback about this initiative and I’m sure we will reap long term benefits from the children completing their daily mile. 

I spent 2 days with Mr Rees and all the year 6 teachers and head teachers in the cluster this week moderating end of Key Stage levels. It’s a very thorough process that ensures all schools in Abergavenny are sure about the end of year results the pupils are awarded. King Henry are also involved to verify their levels too. 

Mrs Clarke and I met with Simon Linton who is the Business Manager for Gwent Music on Monday. We want to arrange all payments for Music tuition directly through them from September – a similar system to our parent pay for dinner money. We aim to let you have full information for this as soon as possible. We are also planning to introduce some class Music projects next term  – this may be whole class drumming, strings or even beat boxing! Watch this space for more information. 

Finally we were all sad to hear of Mr Rees’ decision to leave Llantilio at the end of this academic year. It’s always very difficult to lose one of our ‘family’ but I’m sure you’ll join with me in wishing Mr Rees well in the next chapter of his career. Hopefully he will be a frequent visitor. We have started the recruitment process which will take a few weeks but as soon as we make an appointment I wil let you know what the staffing structure for next year will be. 

Hope to see you at the parents forum this week – 2pm Friday 26th May in the AV room.

Mrs Joanne Bayton

Friday May 12th

All tests completed! Over the next few weeks we will be looking closely at the results of our tests to see what areas the results are weakest in. We can also see what we need to teach again and tweak our plans for teaching for the rest of this term and from September. The results of the tests will be with you later in the term, along with teachers assessments and annual school reports. 

 Emma Taylor met with Mrs Balkwill on Friday afternoon to look at our action plans for further developing our Healthy School status. As part of this we are introducing the Daily mile starting with our Challenge week next week. Hopefully the children will have collected lots of sponsors over the last few weeks too so we should be one step closer to our goal of putting some gates across the yard to allow children to play football safely! 
Mrs Balkwill and I attended some training on sharing safeguarding information on Monday afternoon and then on Thursday morning we attended training in developing middle leaders. Next week I’m out more than I’m in! Monday and Tuesday morning in school, Tuesday afternoon at MAPS, 2 days on moderation and a Church Heads meeting on Friday! 

I’ve pencilled in our next Parents Forum for  2pm on Friday 26th May, hope you can make it. 

Mrs Joanne Bayton

Friday May 5th

I’m writing my blog from London today as have spent the weekend here celebrating my daughter’s 17th and son’s 13th birthdays. Now the fun begins with 2 teenagers in the house! I’m sure school will be a peaceful haven in comparison! 

The view is from the cable car at Greenwich – very high but great views over London! 

Back in school this week Jayne Arthur our challenge advisor and Nicola Allen EAS principal challenge advisor were in on Tuesday morning looking at our levelled and moderated samples of work to corroborate our end of year levels. As you know we are doing national tests at the moment but children’s work is assessed continually through the year and children are given levels at the end of each year, though we only report on years 2 and 6. The end of year levels are used to set targets for the following year too.

I had the pleasure of showing one of my Church in Wales Headteacher colleagues around on Friday afternoon. Mark Durbin headteacher of Henllys church in Wales school in Cwmbran visited to chat about some school to school working and support. It was great to see how busy our years 5 and 6 pupils have been in the grounds this week – a big thank you to Mrs Price who helped dig over the allotments too! 

Darren Hickey delivered an assembly to years 4,5 and 6 about youth club provision after school, Sali Marsden and her colleagues delivered the second session of Kerbcraft for year1, year 2 sessions should be starting shortly, Chris Mills carried out a health and safety check and Andrew from iteach our support for our i pads also attended to update our support plan. 

More tests next week and Mrs Balkwill and I are out on training this week, on Monday for ‘Plant’ part of Monmouthshire’s safeguarding development and on Thursday for developing our middle leaders. Hopefully the glorious weather this afternoon is set to last! 

Mrs Joanne Bayton

Friday 7th April

And relax….

I have to start with a huge thank you to Mr Rees and the members of the PTFA for our Easter fundraising events on Friday. Mr Rees spent his PPA time supervising children on the bouncy castle and his class had worked really hard to produce some fabulous prizes for the hamper raffle – yet another prize I failed to win!! It was fantastic to see so many parents supporting us and enjoying the sunshine at the end of another very busy term. I’m sorry I had to rush off at the end of the afternoon but I had a very busy weekend planned! 

My friends who were visiting from Dover wanted to walk over the Transporter Bridge in Newport – not the most relaxing start to the holiday! 
Congratulations to year 5 who put on an amazing assembly showing us all they have learned about mini beasts this term. I really enjoy the class assemblies and the children love to perform for their parents. 

We have a busy start to the Summer term with changes to our dinner money system, the National tests to prepare for and continuing are school development plans with a focus on maths for this term. 

Have a great Easter holiday, fingers crossed this gorgeous weather stays with us. Many thanks for your continued support. See you all on 24th April! 

Mrs Joanne Bayton 

Friday March 31st

Two days of the best leadership training I’ve ever had this week. Many thanks to Martin and Elizabeth at Tendevelopment for providing me with strategies and confidence to enhance my leadership skills! It was great to be able to complete the training alongside my Deputy too. Knowing my school is left in good hands with Mr Oram and Miss Toombs in charge makes me realise what a good team Llantilio has!

We welcomed Sian Tinnuche to school on Tuesday. She is from the EAS and us supporting us in our Estyn recommendation to improve the Welsh oracy skills of our pupils. She is working in all classes and with all teachers supporting us in planning and delivering activities to increase confidence and expertise in speaking Welsh outside the classroom. One of our longer term plans is to eventually offer some Welsh language practice sessions for parents too – please let me know if this would be if interest to you. 

We also welcomed pupils and staff from Ysgol Y Fenni on Tuesday. They came to play Netball against Mrs Hall’s after school netball club. It was Avery successful afternoon and although we didn’t win the games it was an excellent experience for all involved and a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon! 
Thanks to everyone who supported our non uniform day on Friday. We asked for donations for the Easter Fayre that the PTFA and year 6 are jointly holding on Friday of this week. I hope to see you all there! 

Mrs Joanne Bayton 

Friday March 24th

On Tuesday this week we welcomed Llanvihangel Crucorney school who joined us for an assembly to raise awareness of recycling and reducing our waste. The show was put on by the Gregory Brothers and was very entertaining and informative. It was lovely to see the 2 schools joining together and our pupils being so welcoming. 

Our Bishop’s Visitor Mrs Anne Sweeting joined myself and Mr Oram on Wednesday morning to look through our RE books. She visits school quite regularly as part of our links with the church. As an ex headteacher herself she has a good idea of the challenges facing schools. Prior to our book scrutiny I had a meeting with the Education Improvement Board where I was able to report all the good progress we have made in literacy and writing this term. Also improvements in ICT and Welsh with the support of EAS officers. 

Our next focus for the Summer term is to look at continuity, progression and differentiation in Maths. We will also be continuing our developments in the other subjects too. 

Years 1 and 2 had a very successful trip to the Countryside Experience on Friday. Extra curricular experiences like this really enhance the children’s learning in school. 

Many thanks to everyone who supported our fundraising for the 21+ Downs Syndrome support group by wearing silly socks this week. It was great to have an excuse to wear my luminous orange leg warmers! The PTFA organised some gifts for Mothering Sunday – the flowers were beautiful again this year (thanks from my mum too!) and also the committee of the after school club organised a successful coffee morning in St Teilos Church. Thanks to all involved in that and Mrs Moreton your carrot cake was delicious! 

On Saturday morning it was so good to see so many of our pupils representing our school at the Eisteddfod. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to see all the competitions but did see Max and Rhian and Amelia and Darcie perform brilliantly in the Musical duet and also our fantastic choir brought a tear to my eye when performing ‘World in Union’ and securing 2nd place. Well done to everyone who took part and a huge thank you to Mr Oram who gives up so much of his own time to support this annual event. 

Mrs Balkwill and I are out for 2 days next week for leadership training but I’m in school Monday, Tuesday and Friday. As always don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any issues or concerns or if you just want a chat! 

Mrs Joanne Bayton