Welcome back! Over six months have passed since the Government shut our schools to all but the children of key workers. That is a long time. It is just great to have the pupils back, albeit on a phased return basis until the 14th of September.
It is important for us to have this period of phased return in order to identify any areas of the day to day organisation of the school that require addressing to ensure the safest possible environment for all pupils and staff. We really appreciate your patience and understanding during this initial period.
Yesterday was the first day of the new term. For some pupils it was just another day at the office, but for many it was the first time that they had been in school for a significant length of time. I am pleased to say that all went well, and again I thank you for your patience at the gates in the morning.
I would like to thank the staff of Ysgol Craig y Don for their hard work in making the necessary preparations for the pupils’ return and for their incredibly positive attitude during what is a very challenging time for all of us. I am very proud of them all.
The measures that we have put in place in order to make the school as Covid-19 secure as possible are temporary and, hopefully, short term. During this period, we must all do our best to ensure we behave according to the latest advice from Public Health Wales. That advice continues to be that good hand hygiene and keeping to social distancing guidance are the best means to stop the spread of the virus.
The best evidence to date still suggests that Covid-19 is a mild disease amongst children. However, it still remains a significant risk to adults and can cause severe illness and long-term health issues for those in high-risk groups. We therefore ask you, very kindly, that you respect the two metre rule at all times when talking to staff. An individual member of staff could potentially be exposed to dozens of different contacts during the day. The best way to communicate with staff at the moment is by email. Again, it is vital that you respect the two metre rule.
There will be activities that we are not able to conduct for the time being. For example, for obvious reasons, face to face meetings between staff and parents will not take place. Again, email is currently the best means of communication. After school clubs will not take place, there will be no URDD and no school trips. However, these measures are temporary and hopefully short term. Let us hope that an effective vaccine is available sooner rather than later. With luck, this Autumn.
I am aware that some of you will be concerned about your children returning to school. I know that there are those amongst you will be in high risk groups or have family members, perhaps grandparents, who are in high risk groups. There are those who have been shielding and are extremely nervous about returning to normality. These concerns are understandable. I cannot allay your fears beyond reiterating that we have put measures in place to make the school as Covid safe as is reasonably possible and that Covid-19 presents little risk to children, compared to the long term harm that missing out on their education may cause. The school’s risk assessment has been passed by the Local Authority and will be shared with you very soon.
Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. Leo Buscaglia
School Information –Please continue to check our school website and Twitter page for any updates and photos/videos. The letters from the Headteacher can be found on the News section and in particular, there is also Class information available. We have attached again the Return to School in September information (please ensure that all children have coats and only bring in essential items).
Covid Forms – please can all parents/carers ensure that these forms are filled in and returned to school. Many thanks to those that have returned them already.
Asthma inhalers – if your child has an asthma inhaler, please check that these are in date.
For the moment, we will not be sending reading books home. Hundreds of the reading books that we use in school (and normally send home in the book bags) are available as FREE eBooks (with audio support included). To access the resources, click on the link below and create an account as a parent/guardian. You can browse by age, series or reading level.
Reading Books to be returned
If you still have any school reading books at home, please can you arrange for your child to bring them to school when they are next in.
The music lessons will not be resuming for now. If you have a school instrument, please arrange for your child to bring them to school with them when they are next in, thank you. Instruments issued by music tutors in school are the property of the Conwy Council Music Service.
As advised, the school kitchen will only be providing packed lunches up until Monday 14th September, we will let you know if hot meals will be available after that date. The cost is £2.70 per meal and will be charged to parents/carers on Parent Pay – please ensure that your Parent Pay account has enough credit for your child to receive a school meal. Please be aware that the lunch only contains a small juice carton therefore parents/carers should ensure that their children also bring enough drinks to school for the whole school day.
If your child is new to our school, they will bring your Parent Pay log-in details home with them as soon as possible. PLEASE RETURN YOUR SCHOOL STARTER FORM PACKS TO SCHOOL URGENTLY – we can’t set up Parent Pay without these forms.
Iwan Lloyd Jones