Dear Marlborough Families,
This December at Marlborough we have decided to focus on how we could lift the spirits of our children and local community. With many families unable to travel to see loved ones this festive season and so many events cancelled; we have decided to create a Magical Winter Wonderland for our children and families.
During this month of reflection, I would like to extend a personal thank you to all of Marlborough families and friends who have supported the school over the past 12 tumultuous months. Your kindness, support and love helps make the school such an amazing and vibrant place.
I hope you all enjoy the festive break and take precious family time with your loved ones. To that end, I would just like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda! I look forward to welcoming you back in 2021.
Christmas Celebration Concerts – YouTube
Last week class teachers sent out a Form asking for parental permission for the children to appear in the video as it will be uploaded on to YouTube. A few parents have fed back that they would prefer the Christmas celebration video to be unlisted on the school’s Youtube channel. I am happy to accomodate this. This will mean that the video will not appear publicly on our YouTube channel, instead you will be sent a link to view the video. Please be mindful however that once we have emailed out the link, we cannot control it being shared more widely.
The final Inset Day for this academic year has now been allocated. It will take place on Monday 22nd February 2021.
The Inset Days for this academic year are:
- Monday 2nd November 2020
- Friday 27th November 2020
- Monday 22nd February 2021
- Friday 28th May 2021
- Monday 19th July 2021
- Tuesday 20th July 2021
As you will be aware, we had to close two classes in mid-November as the pupils and staff had to self-isolate. I am so very proud of the children in staff in Year 4M and Year 5C. The quality of engagement with the home learning was fantastic. We were so delighted to welcome both classes back to school last Wednesday.
The Welsh Government has updated its guidance on the use of face coverings in schools.
To reduce the risk of transmission amongst parents and relatives, please wear masks when visiting school, and at drop-off and collection areas. Maintaining clear social distance at the school gates will also reduce risk and set a good example to pupils.
If you have a secondary school aged child, be aware that face coverings should now be worn by year 7 and above pupils in all areas outside the classroom and be worn on dedicated school transport for year 7 and up.
Please follow these guidelines and encourage your child to follow theirs too.
Along with regular hand washing/sanitising and social distancing, this will reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 at school as far as possible.
They have been made stronger to keep you and your families as safe as possible. They are based on new advice from Welsh Government’s Technical Advisory Group, as we learn more about the way COVID-19 is transmitted.
Thank you for your help in doing all we can – together – to keep ourselves and others safe.
Christmas 2020 – The Gift of Kindness
This December our Wellbeing theme is kindness.
2020 has been a difficult year in so many ways. We have suffered with uncertainty, anxiety, isolation and challenges with our financial situation, health or relationships. One thing that can hold us together and help us get through is kindness. Although we can’t change our situation, we can choose to respond to others (and ourselves) with kindness. And when we’re kind, everything goes better. We help others, we help ourselves and we encourage others to be kinder too
Action for Happiness
So, this December we are inviting our pupils, staff, parents and local community to get involved in giving the gift of kindness.
Thomas Court – Mrs Stephanakis has been in touch with the Manager of Thomas Court (the Assisted Living Flats opposite the school) to brighten up December for the residents. Each class has been allocated two residents to write letters or cards and collectively purchase gifts. Many of the residents have been isolating for long periods on their own away from their own families and grandchildren. We want them to feel connected to our school community.
The children have also been busy making virtual hugs for each homeowner across the road and a personalised pebble of hope and positivity.
Covid Ward at UHW – Mrs Stephanakis has been in touch with Ward A7 at the University Hospital Wales who sent out a plea for festive pictures to decorate the ward and bring much needed cheer to brighten the ward for the patients and staff. The pupils have been completing their pictures during their art lessons and we look forward to delivering them to the ward.
Staff and Community – I don’t need to tell you how dedicated the staff at Marlborough are to our children and community; you see it in their everyday actions. However, working in school over the last nine months, as you can imagine, has been tough. It has equally been a tough few months for our Marlborough community. I would therefore like to invite you to send the gift of kindness. If you would like to send a message of hope, support or thanks to the Marlborough Team and / or your fellow Marlborough parents, please use the link below. It could be be a message to a particular person, a group of people or the parents / staff as a whole. It could be a message of thanks, hope or of solidarity. It could be a message, a poem, a personal mantra or a line from scripture (whatever you like). We will take all of your comments and create two displays:
- one in our staffrooms to brighten the teams’ day when things are difficult, and
- a wall of hope and solidarity for parents and the community – your messages attached to the school gates to keep us all smiling. (My thanks to @Southgloshead for the brilliant idea).
Operation Christmas Sparkle –We would also like to thank those who helped us transform the school for our new topic ‘Winter Festivals’. A huge thank you to all our staff who have been working behind these scenes on ‘Operation Christmas Sparkle’ since mid September, everyone has been determined to make this year special….no matter what! To the PTA for their funding, to the the generous families who were able to donate Christmas decorations, and to Amanda Dyas-Szulik, Leonie Jones and Verity Sedgwick http://www.blushfloralart.com/ for their wonderful ideas and helping us to source the incredible props. A huge thank you to Mr Sweet the owner of Graham Sweet Studios on Western Avenue who was an ex-pupil at Marlborough over 70 years ago! He kindly made and donated giant snowflakes, the ‘Merry Marlborough’ sign and our jolly snowman to his old school. Everyone’s’ kindness has been overwhelming and has ensured that we can make our winter festival special for our children and the whole community. A huge thank you to Mrs Crew for coordinating Operation Christmas Sparkle and making the magic happen.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at @marlboroughpri as the staff transform it into a festive wonderland! Seasonal displays, lights, garlands, trees and fake snow drifts in the playground have brought some magic & festive cheer to pupils today. #WorkingForCardiff pic.twitter.com/AyeZM7rZNY
— Cardiff Council (@cardiffcouncil) November 30, 2020
Nursery Community Garden
A big shout out to the PTA for a generous donation of £100 to the Nursery garden area, the Pottinger family along with The Secret Shed garden centre in Rhiwbina and Bute Park for their generous donations of compost, bedding plants and bulbs. The children have been very busy creating a herb growing area, planting seeds as well as planting many bulbs and plants. We finally have a safe and exciting learning space where the children can learn about the importance of gardening and growing all year round. We are really looking forward to seeing a riot of colour in the side garden in the early spring.
Parent Evening’s Online
This term all families were able to log on and join the class teachers with our remote Parent Evening’s this year. We trialled a new system using https://www.parentseveningsystem.co.uk/ throughout the second and third weeks of November. It was wonderful to be able to provide face to face contact meetings and to give pupil feedback in the comfort of your own homes, without families having to venture back to school or arrange childcare over the dark autumn evenings. Thank you to all who were able to attend
A new staff wellbeing team has been established and the team are working hard to ensure that the whole staff feel supported and appreciated during these difficult times. These are some of the initiatives,
- Transforming the temporary staffrooms in each zone
- Thank you cards and sweets for each member of staff at the end of October half term
- Staff raffle
- A monthly wellbeing theme and prize e.g ‘New-skills November’ staff share a new skill they have learnt on their wellbeing board and names are pulled out of a hat the prize is a £10 JL gift voucher
- Parent consultation packs for each member of the team
- Dress Down Friday (£1 donation made into the wellbeing jar to fund treats)
- Hot chocolate and doughnut on INSET day
- Thomas Court Residents Christmas Gifts and Carols
Marlborough Lest We Forget
On November 11th we released our very special Marlborough Lest We Forget video. This is a very special film which charts the Marlborough Lest We Forget project. At the heart of the film is the poignant memories of past pupils who experienced life in the community during World War 2. We hope that this film is their legacy to future generations of Marlborough children. Thank you to everyone who made this film possible, but especially to George Cociorva, for whom creating this film has been a labour of love