As we approach the end of the spring term I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on a number of areas that we have made progress with during this term. I would also like to thank you for the welcome that I have received here at Aberdare Community School from a range of stakeholders.
I cannot allow this term to pass without celebrating some of the outstanding achievements of our learners. This includes the amazing production of ‘The Addams Family’ and the superb performances demonstrated by a range of our sporting teams this term. We are of course delighted that our senior rugby team have reached the final of the Welsh schools senior rugby competition. We hope that many of you will be able to join us at the Principality Stadium on 1st May to support our young men. There are a plethora of other exciting opportunities and experiences that our learners have been involved in this term and we are currently exploring the production of a termly newsletter so that we can capture, share and celebrate in our pupils’ achievements. I would welcome your views on this.
Following on from my letter to you in January, where I noted a number of priority areas for us as a school, I am pleased to feedback that we have had confirmation this week that work to remodel our reception area will take place during the Easter holidays. This will mean that any staff or pupils visiting the school during the holidays will be re-directed to the south entrance of the school. We are keen to ensure that it does not prohibit any revision or catch up activities that staff have kindly arranged during the holidays.
Due to the remodelling of the reception area there will be a number of changes to the arrangements for the visitor and pupil entrance to the school building. Once the remodelling is complete all pupils will enter the school site via the south gate, by the bus bays (apart from pupils who access our Astra and Sirius unit). All pupils will also leave the school site at the end of the day via the south gates. Any pupils who arrive outside of normal school hours will need to report to the south gate. They will be able to use an intercom system with reception who will be able to allow them access to the site and ensure that they are accurately registered at our pupil reception area. All parents & visitors will enter via our remodelled reception area at the north entrance. A copy of this letter will be available on the school website, along with a site map clearly identifying the various entrances.
As a consequence of the internal remodelling, pupil movement around the ground floor of the building will also be reviewed. The area known by the pupils as the ‘pastoral corridor’ will become the main route to the AF floor with access to the toilet facilities on this floor. As a result of discussions with the school Senedd we will continue to explore further developments to the locations of food serving stations on the ground floor. Following our pupil voice consultation may I also take this opportunity to remind pupils and parents that it is possible to top up school meal accounts online. I have requested that these details are re-circulated to parents and pupils.
I am also pleased to feedback that following my communication to you in January, when I outlined the introduction of further safety measures inside the school building, which were intended to reduce the ability of a very small minority of pupils to disrupt others’ learning by wandering around the building. I am pleased to report that we have seen a significant reduction in numbers and we continue to work with a range of agencies including children’s services and the police when necessary if there is a concern about the location of pupils who are not in lessons.
As I stated in January the standards of students’ adherence to our school uniform is acceptable in most cases. Students wearing incorrect uniform will be challenged either at the school entrance or during registration. They will be offered alternative items to wear such as trousers/shoes if we have them available or we will phone you to ask you to bring in correct uniform for your child to wear. Students who refuse to wear or adjust their uniform to the agreed policy may be sent to the isolation room or be sent home. If there are unavoidable reasons why your child cannot wear the correct uniform please provide them with a note explaining the reasons for this. We do not allow facial piercings and only one small stud in each ear is permitted; along with a watch. Excess make up, any other jewellery or nail varnish and gels etc are not acceptable. There is a copy of the uniform policy on the school website as a reminder to all.
In addition to the mechanisms that we already have in place for communicating with the school, I can confirm that the first of the half-termly Headteacher’s drop-in for parents and carers, at which you can discuss any concerns or issues that you would like me to be aware of, will be held on Thursday 16th May. These will be held each half term and the dates and necessary arrangements are shared on the school website.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this letter. As I stated in January I am determined to do the very best for Aberdare Community School.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any concerns.
Mrs C Morgans