Dear Marlborough families,
My goodness, October is here already. The children have all settled back into school routines really well and we are enjoying getting to know all of our new children in Nursery and Reception. The team and I are very grateful for all of the support that you have given over the past month. Thank you for helping us to keep the school community safe by keeping children off school when unwell and booking Covid tests when the children or family members are displaying potential symptoms. We are also grateful for you keeping us up to date with test results and ensuring that self-isolation and quarantine periods are strictly adhered to. We have all had to make so many adjustments but I am sure you agree that is a small price to pay to have all of the children safely back in school.
Covid-19 – Our collective responsibility as a community – updates
- Medical appointments – If pupils or staff have a medical appointment during the school day. They may return to school afterwards but we request that they wash and change clothing between the appointment and returning to school.
- Wet weather at pick up and drop off – The Local Authority, in their Restart Guidance for schools have recommended schools stagger start and finish times to limit congestion at the start and end of the school day. Given the large amount of pupils and parents needing to access the playground for drop off and pick up, this is especially important at Marlborough. As a school, our priority at this time is to keep all children and staff safe and therefore limit congestion both in the playground and the school corridors. If children are allowed into the main building at the same time, there will be a risk of contamination across all school bubbles. Having the majority of our families dropping off or collecting children at the same time will also add additional risk to the community. We understand that this will impact on families, especially those who may need to wait for up to 20 minutes in the rain and cold weather, but we hope they understand that our reasons for doing so are sincere. We are trying to keep all children, staff and families safe; to limit any potential COVID infections and ensure that school bubbles continue working in school.
- Help us keep the Marlborough open – please remember to wear a mask on the playground, adhere to the 2M social distance rules and leave the playground as quickly as possible. Thank you to Maggie in Year 3 for the fantastic picture.
The following dates have been designated as an Inset Days
- Monday 2nd November
- Friday 27th November
- Friday 28th May
- Monday 19th July
- Tuesday 20th July
There is one further Inset day yet to be allocated. We will confirm the date as soon as we are able to.
N.B. Monday 1st September and Tuesday 2nd September were Planning and Preparation days for the full restart of the academic year.
- We wish Mrs. Hannah Cashin (Y6MC) well as she embarks on her maternity leave later this month. Mr. Ross Williams will be joining the Marlborough team as her temporary replacement.
- We are currently in the process of recruiting a full time and part time teaching assistant to support learning interventions. This is funded by a special Welsh Government grant following the enforced school closure and is intended to support targeted pupils catch up on lost learning.
What is going on inside the building?
From outside on the playground, it looks very much like business as usual. However, school life is very different from what we all used to on the inside. The children and staff are confined to working in their classrooms within their zones, with playtimes and lunchtimes separate from the rest of the school. Staff and children are unable to cross zones during the school day. In order to ensure that we are all able to stay connected as a wider school community, we hold two ‘live’ whole school assemblies each week and one video assembly. Equally, all staff meetings and training are taking place via video platforms. Playtimes and lunchtimes are staggered for the children in each zone. Each zone has its own dedicated team of Midday Supervisors and class sit with their classmates in the hall to eat to minimise contact with other groups of pupils. The school community is showing great creativity and resilience in adapting to the new way of working.
Curriculum for Wales – Black History Month
October is Black History Month in the UK and it’s been celebrated nationwide every year for nearly 40 years. This month was originally founded to recognise the contributions that people of African and Caribbean backgrounds have made to this country over many generations. We will be starting our new project on October 1st, National Poetry Day, where each class in school will be learning and presenting a poem, song or nursery rhyme by a black artist or poet and sharing their performances together on Teams.
BHM is the perfect opportunity to raise the profile of the importance of black history. It also gives us the opportunity to celebrate diversity, which is so close to our hearts, while exploring topical matters which have happened in our world this year.
This project will enable us to delve deeply into one of the Four Core Purposes;
We hope to produce
|Ethical, Informed Citizens who:|
|› Find, evaluate and use evidence in forming views.|
|› Engage with contemporary issues based upon their knowledge and values.|
|› Understand and exercise their human and democratic responsibilities and rights.|
|› Understand and consider the impact of their actions when making choices and acting.|
|› Are knowledgeable about their culture, community, society and the world, now and in the past.|
|› Respect the needs and rights of others, as a member of a diverse society.|
We will be planning using the Health and Wellbeing Area of Learning Experience as well as the Humanities AoLE. Please follow this link for further details. https://hwb.gov.wales/curriculum-for-wales
Each year group will be exploring different themes ranging from political events, sports personalities, music and theatre, to local celebrities such as Colin Jackson, Shirley Bassey and Betty Campbell. We will all join together in a virtual carnival on Friday 23rd October with music, dance, song and BIG costumes.
The Anthony Walker Foundation
Anthony Walker and his siblings were a much loved family at the Sylvester Primary School in Liverpool where I taught between 1992 – 1999. I have many very, very fond memories of the family. Tragically, Anthony was murdered in a racist attack on 31st July 2005 in a park opposite the school.
Anthony’s family and friends did not want his murder to be just another statistic and want his name to live on with a positive and lasting legacy. The Anthony Walker Foundation works to tackle racism, hate crime and discrimination by providing educational opportunities, victim support services and by promoting equity and inclusion for all.
As we are celebrating Black History month this October, it feels a very fitting tribute to Anthony that The Anthony Walker Foundation is the nominated charity for this half term. We are unable at present to collect in financial donations but if you are able to make a contribution to The Just Giving page it would be hugely appreciated.
A video guide on how families can connect to Seesaw is here:
School Improvement Priorities
This autumn term we have three key school improvement priorities:
- Recovery – this includes the recovery of learning and the curriculum
- Positive Relationships – building resilience in the school community
- Blended Learning – further developing online learning platforms
100 Club – The new Marlborough 100 Club is a great, hassle-free way to support the PTA by raising much-needed funds for school and being in with a chance to win a cash prize. Please see recent letter from the PTA with details.
Thank you – we love the recently purchased new books which support our PSHE lessons.
Parent Consultation Meetings
Meet the teacher parent meetings will be held during the first two weeks of November this year. This will give the children chance to settle back into the routine of learning in school and for teachers to develop an understanding of where the children are on their learning journey. Our usual school booking system will be used where parents can book a ten-minute appointment online with their class teacher. The dates and times of when your child’s class teacher will be available, will be shared with you in the next few weeks. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions, meetings cannot be held in school this year, however all appointments will be face to face with the class teacher online. Further information will be shared with you in the next few weeks.
Y6 – Secondary School Applications
Applications for applying for a secondary place in September 2021 open on Monday, 28 September and close on Monday 23, November 2020.
Primary school applications open on Monday 16 November 2020 and close on Monday 11, January 2020.
To apply for a school place please go to: cardiff.gov.uk/schooladmissions