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

Friday September 22nd

Apologies again for the lack of blog last week, I do attempt to publish every weekend but it was impossible last week. 

Our reception class has settled in really well and already are a part of the Llantilio family. They have joined us in assembly and are now staying for lunch too. We had some very tired little ones going home this weekend! 

Everyone had hit the ground running this term with all the developments in literacy becoming embedded practice. Neatly all the pupils have tried so hard to keep their work neat and well presented and it was a pleasure to spend Friday afternoon looking through the books to see such a positive start. 

Nadine Cushion, Deputy headteacher of St Gwladys in Bargoed, visited School this week. She is working closely with us to help develop our maths teaching and learning. Also this week Rhiannon Taylor from King Henry taught her first lesson with year 6. She will be joining us every Tuesday, initially in year 6 then year 5 in the summer term as part of our transition plan with King Henry.  Year 5 visited King Henry this week too! 

I have been trying to get outside at the end of the day as we have a few issues again in the car park. I have been in touch with Kath Gardiner our police liaison officer and also the PCSO’s in Gwent police. They are planning to come to school at the end of the day over the next few weeks to see if they can offer any advice to improve things. We don’t have enough space and recognise that but we need support from parents by parking in the empty bays, not blocking the entrances or exits, not parking in the coned areas or the space by the railings reserved for taxi and bus collection and, above all, keeping to the 5 mph speed limit. All these will help keep all pupils and people using the car park safe.

At the headteacher’s meeting this week we discussed, amongst other things, ways to save money in school budgets. It’s something that is never far from headteachers’ minds and has been in the headlines this week too. At Llantilio we have made several changes as regards money coming in to School. Dinner money is handled through our parent pay system and since September payments for Music tuition is paid directly to Gwent Music. Lessons have to be booked through them too – if you need any help in setting either of these payments up please contact the ladies in the office. 

A busy week planned for next week with years 1,2,3 and 4 out on a trip, a dinosaur spectacular in School on Wednesday and our INSET day on Friday so no school for the pupils. Over the next few weeks we will be looking at the results of the questionnaires completed by parents last summer – watch this space! 

Mrs Joanne Bayton

Friday September 8th

Welcome back to a brand new year in Llantilio! I hope you all had a great summer. I had a lovely family holiday and spent some quality time with my children, got some much put off housework completed and fully recharged my batteries. Now ready and raring to go for the new term! 

It was a pleasure to welcome Mr Geraint Langdon to the staff who will be teaching Year 6 this year and leading maths through the school. I’m sure he will settle in quickly. We also had a change in staff in years 3 and Reception  classes where Miss Toombs and Mrs Balkwill did a swap! 

We have welcomed our new Reception children this week too. As usual we are breaking them in gently with half day sessions that allow the children to settle in and also allows us to complete Baseline assessments so we can best tailor our teaching to individual needs. 

Our school development plan this year will continue to concentrate on our recommendations from our Estyn inspection – writing, maths, Welsh oracy, databases and spreadsheets. We will also be looking very closely at reading this year – with this in mind we are looking for volunteers who could give up some time to listen to readers – please come and see me if you think you can help. 

I intend to keep my weekly blog going and other lines of communication  – the website, newsletters, Seesaw, Twitter,  letters home, Parents’ forum etc will all continue too. If you can think of any other ways we can keep you informed of school life please let me know. 

As always, please come and chat to me if there is anything you need to discuss. 

Mrs Joanne Bayton

Friday 21st July

And relax…

It’s been an emotional week to say the least! We had a lovely leavers’ service in St Teilos on Thursday where our Year 6 led the readings and prayers and then an excellent celebration assesmbly on Friday morning. So much to celebrate at the end of a really busy term. Writer and Mathematician of the month, spelling success, house points and attendance. It was exceptionally close this year with year 5 very narrowly beating year 4 who received silver medals. 

We also had 20 pupils who had 100% attendance this year too! Very well done to all of them!

It was a pleasure to welcome some of our Governors to assembly too – they wanted to thank the staff for all their hard work this year and also to say goodbye to Matthew Rees, Charlotte Price And Lesley Reynolds, all of whom are leaving Llantilio at the end of this year. 

Year 6 also gave a very moving rendition of ‘Goodbye my friend’ in the hall at the end of the day on Friday.  This traditionally happens in the outdoor classroom but unfortunately the weather was so bad that they had to go in the hall. I missed saying goodbye to the other children this year as everyone made a mad dash for their cars! 

I have to say a massive thank you for all the gifts and cards I received too. I am especially touched by some of the messages in the cards – it really does remind me of why my job is so rewarding. 

Now time to catch up with my life – dentist appointments, housework, family time and holidays await! Looking forward to a rest and time to reflect on all that the fabulous staff and pupils of Llantilio have achieved over the last year, and to prepare for the challenges ahead. Thanks to all who have followed my blog over the last year, I will leave you with the words of Socrates framed for me by the wonderful Haidee Clarke. 

Mrs Joanne Bayton

Friday 7th July 

So proud of our year 6 pupils Abigail, Oliver, Sonny, Josh, Poppy, Jodie, Kai, Matthew and Max who were confirmed this morning in St Teilos church. Also one of our Governors Emily Bailey. It is always such a pleasure to be involved in these services in Church and it was also good today to have a chance to catch up with Stephen James, the former Diocesan Director of Education. 

Year 6 also had a very successful trip to London this week – they packed so much into the 3 days they were there – and did manage a couple of hours sleep too! I hope Mr Rees, Mr Oram, Mrs Francis and Mrs Wham have had a restful weekend?! 

One more week to go, parent consultations tomorrow after school and a parents forum on Wednesday morning -9 15. Please call in for a cup of tea and a chat, all welcome. 

Mrs Joanne Bayton

Friday 7th July

Year 5 returned from their weekend in Morfa Bay on Monday afternoon, tired but full of stories of all they had achieved in this activity packed couple of days. A huge thank you has to go to Mrs Pugh, Mr Oram and Mrs Wham for giving up their weekend to take the trip. Worse than that I made them all attend the staff meeting on Monday evening too! 

In the staff meeting we were looking at the target setting arrangements for the end of year. Years 2 and 6 will have received their end of Key Stage outcomes and levels in their reports. All children from Year 2 to year 6 will get their National Test Results sent home this week too. We will use the test results and the teacher assessments to decide on those pupils who may need a little more support next year and ensure our allocation of Teaching Assistant time meets the needs of all pupils.

Our Training Day on Friday was very successful, giving the whole staff and the Governing Body an opportunity to evaluate the work we have done and the progress we have made as a school this year. We also planned ways forward for next year to continue to make improvements. 

Our year 6 did their Leavers’ service for the parents on Wednesday. I am so proud of them and so impressed by the maturity and confidence they are showing. I thought leavers’ services would get easier as I got used to them but actually it’s harder every year as I have known the children much longer. This years’ class are unique and special and full of wonderful characters and I shall miss them all very much. A huge thank you had to go to Mr Rees for all his hard work and dedication to ensuring all the children in his class achieved their full potential. I shall miss him too next year. 

I have to say a huge thank you to all the PTFA, members of staff and members of the Church who helped make our summer fete so successful this year. We trialled an early finish for the children this year which seemed to work really well. I’m not sure how much we raised – but many thanks for the support.

2 weeks left and still the diary is packed. Year 6 are off to London and have confirmation in Church next Sunday. There are other trips and events planned too – keep an eye on the website. We will also send a newsletter out in the next couple of days. 

Mrs Joanne Bayton