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Head’s Blog 12th April 2019

This has been another wonderful term where we have seen so many success stories in all aspects of our provision.  Our pupils continue to demonstrate just how incredibly talented they are and this makes Brynteg School such an exciting place in which to be!  I have selected some important pieces of information for you below but please remember to visit our Facebook and Twitter accounts which are updated regularly as well as sending emails and other messages home through the SIMs system.

Summer uniform

On return after the Easter holiday, pupils in years 8,9,11 and 13 can wear polo shirts to school should they wish.  Pupils in years 7, 10 and 12 should continue to wear their shirt and tie but are not required to wear their pullover and blazer.  Last year, whilst agreeing the purchase of polo shirts was an unnecessary additional expense, members of our School Council wanted a phased approach to the removal of them.  This will be the last year that polo shirts in any year group will be allowed.

Jewellery/Mobile Phones

Please note that the only item of jewellery that is permitted in school is a wristwatch.  Whilst the impact that digital technology can have in the learning process is recognised, there is a clear mobile phone policy in school whereby pupils are able to bring them but they must not be seen/used during the school day unless permission is given from a member of staff.  This also applies to headphones and pupils should not walk around school with these on display.

Attendance

It is essential that pupils attend school regularly and that, if possible, planned absences are taken outside school time.  This year we have introduced a new system for requesting absences during term time whereby parents and carers are requested to complete an ‘Absence in Term Time’ form and return to myself at least 4 weeks before the planned absence.  Of course, I fully understand that sometimes it may not be possible to give this period of notice but I would stress that the form needs to be completed for all requests.

Eisteddfod and Sports Day

As you are aware, recently we held our y7-9 Eisteddfod at the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl which was a huge success and it is something which will hopefully become a regular part of our calendar.  Following this, it has been decided to hold our Sports Day at Lecwith Stadium Cardiff, again primarily involving pupils in years 7-9 but this time some pupils in year 10 will be involved as well.  Both activities provide our pupils with an experience which I believe they will remember for a long time and their importance is unquestionable.  However, there is a cost to these and in these times of severe financial constraints, funds have to be raised in order to provide these activities.  This week, Thursday 11thApril  is a non-uniform day and the funds raised from this will contribute to the cost of sports day.  The PE department are also planning other activities but if you have any ideas as to how funds could be raised in order to provide these activities, please contact me at the school.

IT

Governors met recently and discussed how a significant level of investment is required in order to provide our pupils with the most up-to-date access to digital technology in the classroom.  There is a plan to do this in the coming months but, once again, there is a need to raise funds in order to ensure that access to technology is uniform across the school.  One of the areas which we know needs investment is that of our wireless network as, at the moment, it is too unreliable and indeed in some part of the school, coverage is non-existent.  Whilst governors have plans to improve access to mobile devices, this will not have the desired impact if the wireless coverage is not sufficient to meet the needs of our pupils and staff.  If you are aware of anyone who would be able to sponsor our wireless network, or who is able to provide us with a solution to this problem, please ask them to get in touch with me at the school.

Coffee Shop and lunchtime plans September 2019+

Recently (in partnership with the BCBC catering team and Argies Coffee) a new coffee shop was opened in the upper school canteen.  This is available for our sixth form to use throughout the morning and the rest of the school at break/lunchtime.  Please encourage your son/daughter to use this facility – the quality of the drinks and food which are available really are comparable to any of the coffee shops you would visit outside!  However, if it isn’t used, there is a chance that this facility could be withdrawn.   This is all part of our programme of developing our facilities as we move to a situation where the only pupils who will be allowed out for lunch will be our sixth form.  From September 2019, pupils in year 11, 12 and 13 will be allowed out of school at lunchtime and in September 2020 only years 12 and 13 will have this permission.

Deputy Headteacher

Mrs Lauren Mackie was recently appointed as our new Deputy Headteacher and she will start with us in September.  Mrs Mackie is currently Assistant Headteacher at Mountain Ash comprehensive school and before that was a Head of English and English teacher at a number of other schools in South Wales.

Key Dates

Pupils break up on Thursday 11thApril and return to school on Monday 29thApril. School is closed for May Day on Monday 6thMay and our next Professional Learning (Training) Day is Monday 3rd June.

As we approach the examination and national test season, I would like to stress how proud I am of all of our pupils as they work so hard in preparation for these.  There is a terrific amount of pressure on young people at the moment and, whilst examinations and tests are important, I do hope they remember that, as long as they can say they tried their best, then they should feel happy in what they have done. It is also important for pupils and parents/carers to remember that there is a brilliant team of staff at Brynteg who are only too willing to help and support over this period.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time and don’t think that we are ever too busy to deal with an issue!

The photo of the week shows some of our pupils obviously developing their own approach to the folk dancing activity as part of their enrichment session!

I wish you and your family a safe and relaxing Easter break.

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