Letter from the Headteacher 11th September 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians.

Welcome everyone to the new school year. I hope you all had a good Summer break. All are settling into daily routines and getting used to changes. Establishing our usual calm environment is essential at the beginning of a new academic year alongside reviewing policies and procedures thus ensuring, together, that your child is provided with a safe and supportive environment.

STAFF CHANGES -Miss Sophie Jones got married over the Summer holidays and is now known as Mrs. Durkin. Congratulations! Mrs. Eleri Williams now teaches Year 1 in Dosbarth Seiriol , Mrs. Anna Owen now teaches Dosbarth Penrhyn in Reception, Mrs. Pat Davies now teaches Nursery Thursday afternoons and Fridays while Mrs. Sue-Ellen Jensen teaches Year 3&4 in Dosbarth Crafnant. Also, Mrs. Joanne Lewis is the Acting Deputy Head Teacher while I have the honour and the privilege to be Acting Head Teacher while Mr. Jones is on secondment.


ARRIVING IN THE MORNING – We have staff on duty on the school premises from 8.50am. Only pupils who are registered with and actually attend the school’s Breakfast Club will be supervised before this time. The gate at the junior end of the school will be open for pupils to attend Breakfast Club from 8.15am. Any other pupil must wait until 8.50am. No Junior parents (apart from those taking children to Breakfast Club) should be on the junior yard at any time. The gate to the infants’ yard will be opened at 8.15am. Again, pupils will be supervised by school staff from 8.50am only. Once the gates are locked, late arrivals, both juniors and infants, should arrive via the main reception entrance. There will be no access for pupils to the school from reception before 9.00am.

INFANTS – Infant pupils finish school at 3.00pm. Parents/Guardians of pupils in Infant classes can gain access onto the infant playground area via the gate at the infant end of the school. Please do not gather at the door and windows of the classes. Teachers and pupils require the time at the end of the lesson to reflect upon the learning of the day. It is very distracting for them if people are peering through the windows or talking loudly immediately outside the class. We appreciate your patience and cooperation in this matter. Parents/Guardians will be able to receive their children from the infant staff outside their classrooms.
Once Parents/Guardians have collected their children from the infant classes they should then leave the school premises via the gate at the infant end of the building. This is very important. The school grounds are an extension of the classrooms and are important teaching areas. Parents/Guardians with infant pupils must not remain on the premises between 3.00pm and 3.30pm in order to wait for children who are in junior classes to finish school. We ask very kindly that you adhere to this arrangement as it is a matter of child protection and health and safety. It is also extremely distracting for pupils and teachers who are still in lessons (in classes and on the yard/school field) until 3.30pm.
Please do not be offended if asked to leave.

JUNIORS – We ask you very kindly not to gather around the gate onto the pavement at the end of the day. Please keep the area around the gate clear to enable pupils to exit the school grounds safely. Avoid obstructing the pavements with bikes and scooters etc. Please do not feel offended if you are asked to move to clear the gate area.
The gate at the junior end of the school will remain locked until 3.30pm. Junior pupils are old enough to make their way to the gate on Clarence Drive and meet their Parents/Guardians there. Older siblings, parents and guardian should wait at the gate and not walk down the ramp to the school grounds as this causes congestion which makes it difficult and potentially dangerous for our pupils to leave the school via this route. It also makes it more difficult for staff on duty to monitor and supervise the pupils. You will be asked, politely to remain at the gate to collect your children.


PARKING – It is paramount for your children’s safety that no one under any circumstance should park on the zig-zags at the school entrance during the school day. Dropping off and pick ups should be done safely in the layby if there’s room, or the parking across the road.  Please do not be offended if asked to move if you are parked on the zig-zags.


SEEING CLASS, DEPUTY and HEAD TEACHERS – Please arrange an appointment with the office to see the above, not at class room doors. Staff are exceptionally busy and may not be available immediately. Please adhere to this procedure as time spent for discussions will therefore not be rushed.

SCHOOLCOMMS SYSTEM REMINDER – Our school makes use of the Schoolcomms communication package which facilitates communication between school and parents by text message or e-mail – please note that only numbers registered as the FIRST PRIORITY contact for a pupil can be enabled on the system. The Headteacher’s letter is e-mailed via Schoolcomms and is published on the school website ysgolcraigydon2.cymru. If you have an Apple or Android mobile phone, you can download a free app for Schoolcomms (instructions available on the website). Parents can also reply to text messages received from school. Remember, please ensure you always telephone the school with urgent messages.

PLASC Forms – These have been distributed to the children last week. Please ensure that any amendments to details in particular emergency contact details are up to date. Also please ensure that we have an e-mail address for the first contact person in section 9 of the form. Please return these forms to school urgently, thank you.

PUNCTUALITY AND ATTENDANCE – Punctuality is extremely important for your children. The school day for teaching and learning starts at 9.00 a.m. If for any reason, you are running late, please bring your children to Reception as the side gates will be locked. If for any reason, your child is absent, it is of the utmost importance that you inform the school as soon as possible. We have strict procedures regarding attendance as a directive from the Local Authority. Please ensure your contact details are updated.

MONEY BEING PAID TO SCHOOL – Please can we ask that any money paid to school e.g. dinner money, fruit money (for Infants), trip money is given to school in separate envelopes clearly marked with your child’s name, class and what the money is for. Junior pupils are expected to be responsible for their own fruit money (£1 a week or .20p per day), there is no need for them to give their money to their teacher. Junior Fruit Club this will start again on Monday the 18th of September.

SCHOOL DINNERS – Infants £2.15 per day, Juniors £2.20 per day. Please can parents pay in advance for the week’s school dinners on a Monday. Unfortunately if a child has more than two weeks’ dinner money outstanding, we can not provide them with a school dinner until the balance is cleared as this money is lost to the school which should go towards paying for educational resources for all pupils. Free School Meal forms are available from Reception.

SCHOOL UNIFORM – The pupils are looking ever so smart in their school uniforms and are a credit to you as parents and to the school. Thank you for making such a great effort. Clothing our children has become such an expensive business and we want to help you ensure that the uniform you have purchased comes home at the end of each school day in god order. Therefore we ask you very kindly, please, please put your child’s name on the label inside their clothes.

PE KIT (JUNIORS) – A kindly reminder that children need a change of clothes for PE i.e. white T-shirt and black shorts/trainers and a tracksuit/rainproof jacket dependent on the weather – children will be having PE whatever the weather. If you want your child to be excluded from PE, a letter giving the reason why MUST be provided to the teacher.

PTA – The first meeting of this school year will be held on Monday 28th September at 3.40pm in the School Hall. Mrs. Helen Thomas, Chair of the P.T.A. is very enthusiastic about welcoming as many parents as possible. Please come along and bring your ideas. The PTA is essential for organising many great events and fundraising for the school, all to benefit the children.

Music lessons have restarted this week for existing pupils. Lesson days have not changed. Remember your instruments children! Year 3 are offered on a first come first served basis the option of registering for peripatetic music lessons. Available places are:
X1 for saxophone
X2 for flute
X2 for guitar
X2 for harp
X4 for violin

Occasionally, head lice appear in school. When this happens, we shall contact parents of pupils in that class by text and ask them to check and treat their children’s hair as necessary. The best advice we have received regarding head lice is “Prevention is Better than Cure”.

Dates for your diaries will be sent out this coming week including information about after school clubs and activities.


I am extremely enthusiastic about the coming year at Ysgol Craig y Don. The exceptional staff and wonderful children make the school a very special place indeed. I look forward to the many activities that will take place and seeing the children grow and learn. We are fortunate in the positive relationship we have with you and hopefully the school and home partnership will maintain to ensure your children are happy and successful.

Yours sincerely

Elaine Gelling, Head Teacher.