Monkey Puzzle by Blaenbaglan pupils

 

Given that we’ve been off school for some time now, we thought that the younger children may be missing hearing their teachers read some of their favourite stories.  The older children in the school have therefore decided to create their own video of Julia Donaldson’s Monkey Puzzle.  Some younger siblings also wanted to join in!  We hope you enjoy watching this video.  If it is successful, we will film another story and open it up to all KS2 pupils to join in.

We hope you enjoy!

Donations to Animal Charity

Thank you to everyone who donated to our animal charity fundraising events in school which took place in February-March.  We raised a total of £602!

As you will be aware, our intention was to send the money to charities helping animals in Australia as a result of the bushfires.  However, we have since been made aware of the huge problems for local animals as a result of the current Coronavirus Pandemic and the resulting Lockdown.

In February, as part of their Creature Features topic, Key Stage 2 welcomed “Into The Wild Animal Encounters” into school.  The children got to meet several of the animals including Sansa the fox and Marla the porcupine.  We all had a wonderful day!  Unfortunately, Dean and the team have really been struggling financially with food, vets bills and other expenses for these animals as their encounters have had to be suspended.  Lots of the animals are rescues and the team work tirelessly to look after these wonderful animals (in addition to their full-time jobs of working on the frontline for the NHS in Morriston Hospital!).  A JustGiving page has been set up as well as an Amazon Wishlist to try and support the team and these animals as much as possible in the current times.

We felt that the money we have raised would be best suited going to this small business to help animals such as Sansa and Marla and we have sent a cheque to them for £602.  The money is gratefully received and will be used to directly help these wonderful animals.

Thank you once again to everyone who has donated!  Below is a selection of photographs of some of the animals you have helped:

Home Learning Update

As you are aware, Blaenbaglan Primary School is currently closed.  Teachers have prepared work for pupils to complete at home where possible.  All of the tasks set out on the Learning at Home news post are still applicable however each class will now also be set specific tasks, as detailed below.  We are well aware of the difficulties of home learning and that parents are also busy working from home.  We therefore encourage pupils to complete the tasks where possible.  All teachers will continue to Tweet with further fun ideas and challenges so please check your child’s class Twitter feed regularly.

 

Nursery and Reception

Please visit the Nursery and Reception home learning page for further details.

 

Year 1

Please visit the Year 1 home learning page for further details.

 

Year 2

Please visit the Year 2 home learning page for further details.

 

Key Stage 2 (all classes from Year 3 to Year 6)

All children will be set work weekly on J2Homework.

Children should log into HWB, access J2E and J2Homework is a tile on the J2E home page.

Tasks will be updated every Monday.

Each class teacher will also continue to email their class with updates so children are encouraged to check their emails regularly.

 

LSC 1

Mrs Evans-Norman will continue to use Class Dojo as normal.

 

LSC 2

Mrs French will continue to use Seesaw and Class Dojo as normal.

Emergency Childcare Provision

Good afternoon,

It has been decided by the Local Authority that after the Easter break, the school will continue to access the Ysgol Bae Baglan “hub” to provide emergency childcare for the children of critical workers and invited children.

The opening hours will be 8.30am – 5.00pm.

If there are any families that have one or two critical workers, and require emergency childcare for the week beginning 20.04.2020 please could you contact the school via email on blaenbaglan@npt.school by 12pm tomorrow (Wednesday 15.04.2020) at the latest, if this is the case.

*please can you state your requirements for the next two weeks if possible.

Guidance states that if *one* parent is a critical worker and the other is not, the other should provide safe alternative arrangements at home when possible.

As previously stated, closing schools is to restrict and minimise social contact and reduce the spread of Covid 19.  Therefore, the best place for children is at home and attendance at school is only for those who absolutely need to be there.

We would like to thank you for all your hard work keeping the country moving and keeping everyone safe.

 

David Burrows

Learning At Home

The school will be closed from 3.20pm on Friday 20th March until further notice.  Naturally, our first concern is that all children and their families stay safe and well.  We would however like to limit the impact the school closure will have on your child’s education and there are many things your child can do at home to continue with their learning until they are back in school.

We wish to avoid overloading parents with too much at this stressful time.  We therefore ask that children focus on the basics i.e. reading, spelling and times tables.  We will not be sending home-learning packs at this time as we wish children to focus these, as detailed below.  Nursery children, as they do not have B-Link Books etc. please see the Nursery page of the website.

Occasionally, individual teachers may send their class extra pieces of work.  KS2 children are encouraged to check their emails regularly as well as J2Homework on J2E.  Year 2 will also be set work through Google Classroom.

Free speech and language advice, resources and activities are now available for parents on the Speech Link website

Reading

Keeping up with reading is vitally important for children who are away from school for a period of time.  If children aren’t in school, they are expected to read daily for at least 15 minutes.  All children from Reception to Year 6 will have their own individual reading book from our school’s Bug Club reading scheme.  Children also have a username and password to log into Bug Club online which enables them to access more books online from a computer, tablet or mobile device.  Older children are encouraged to answer questions based on what they have read to check their understanding.  In addition to their Bug Club book, pupils are encouraged to read books they have at home for pleasure (e.g. Roald Dahl, Julia Donaldson, David Walliams).

Spelling

All children from Reception to Year 6 have a B-Link book containing a list of high frequency words.  Please help your child learn to spell these important words.  There are many different ways you can make spelling fun:

  • Use items such as Play-Doh to spell out words
  • Use felt pens, bubble writing etc. to make practising writing the words more interesting
  • There are many apps such as Spellosaur you can install on mobile devices which allow parents to input spelling words and games are  then generated to make learning to spell these words more engaging

In addition to high frequency words in their B-Link Books, KS2 children should also learn how to spell the words contained in the following lists:

Spelling List – Years 3 and 4

Spelling List – Years 5 and 6

 

Maths

Times Tables

All children will benefit greatly from using this time to practise their times tables.  In addition to reciting their tables, children have access to online games such as J2Blast and TT Rockstars to play exciting games.  As a minimum, children in the following year groups should be able to recite and rapidly recall facts from the following times tables:

Year 2 – 2x, 5x and 10x tables

Year 3 – 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x and 10x tables

Year 4 – 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x and 10x tables

Year 5 – 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x, 8x and 10x tables

Year 6 – All up to 12×12

All pupils have access to J2Blast through their HWB accounts.  Here they can play SATS Blast (KS1 or KS2) to practise a wide variety of maths skills.  There are also websites such as www.topmarks.co.uk which have a variety of maths games.

Telling the Time

Telling the time is also an essential maths skill that children can practise easily at home.  As a minimum, children should be able to do the following:

Nursery – sing/chant the days of the week

Reception – sing/chant the days of the week, months of the year and seasons

Year 1 – Read “o’clock” times on both analogue and digital clocks

Year 2 – Read “half past” “quarter past” and “quarter to” on an analogue clock

Year 3 – Read to the nearest five minutes on an analogue clock and calculate how long until the next hour; Read hours and minutes on a digital clock using am/pm conventions

Year 4 – Tell the time to the nearest minute on an analogue clock; Read hours and minutes on a 24 hour digital clock

Year 5 – Calculate start and finish times and durations using hours and minutes (e.g. a film starts at 3.20pm and lasts for two hours 55 minutes, what time does it finish?)

Year 6 – Use and interpret timetables and schedules to plan events and activities (e.g. look at this bus timetable, what is the latest bus I can catch to arrive at the cinema by 7.15pm?)

 

HWB

All children from Reception to Year 6 have their own HWB username and password.  All younger children access J2E which has a variety of different programs such as JIT and J2Office which allow your child to write, draw and create graphs online.  Older pupils are familiar with programs such as Microsoft Office and Google Classroom where they can create PowerPoints, spreadsheets and Word documents.

J2E also has a “J2Blast” program which provides games for children to practise spelling and maths skills.  An award is given every Tuesday for the child with the highest score on these programs.  Staff are able to log-in and view pupils’ scores in these games.

HWB also provides free Microsoft Office 365 and Minecraft (Education Edition) to pupils.  For further details, please visit https://hwb.gov.wales/microsoft#how-to-get-minecraft:-education-edition-at-home

 

National Tests

National tests are usually taken in May by all children in Years 2 – 6.  Children sit three tests altogether – a reading test, a procedural test (maths) and a reasoning test (maths – problem solving).  A selection of past papers are available on our website: https://blaenbaglan-primary-school.j2bloggy.com/national-test/

 

Online Resources

Many paid-for resources which teachers subscribe to have been made free for a limited time.  We have included a list of resources parents may find useful:

Twinkl

Twinkl is a resource site containing thousands of resources for pupils on a wide variety of topics.  In order to access these resources free of charge, please visit www.twinkl.co.uk/offer and enter the code UKTWINKLHELPS

Navigating this site can be a minefield due to the vast array of resources available however there is a “Parents Hub” with links to the most useful resources: https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resources/parents 

First News

As a school, we subscribe to the children’s newspaper First News.  It provides well-written, up-to-date articles about current world events and it is very well liked by pupils in the school.  Parents are currently able to sign up for free at https://subscribe.firstnews.co.uk/free-downloadable-issue/

TTS

TTS has put together downloadable “Learning at Home” packs for Early Years (ages 3-5), KS1 (ages 5-7) and KS2 (ages 7-11).  They include a wide variety of activities covering all areas of the curriculum, some written and some practical.  Visit https://www.tts-group.co.uk/home+learning+activities.html for more details.

Phonics Play

Phonics Play contains lots of games children can play to practise their phonics.  There are games from phases 1 to 6.  A rough guide to the phases is:

Nursery – Phase 1

Reception – Phases 1, 2 and 3

Year 1 – Phases 4 and 5

Year 2 – Phases 5 and 6

Visit https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ and enter the username: March20  and password: home

 

Easter Holidays

The Easter holidays are due to run from Monday 6th April to Friday 17th April.  An Easter Holidays Booklet has been created full of fun tasks to do over this period.  It is aimed at KS2 children however younger children are of course free to do what they wish from it too!  Please upload photos to j2e and/or tweet your teacher to show us all the lovely things you’re getting up to.  We would however still ask that children continue with their daily reading and times tables during this time, just as they would through normal holidays.

Update from the School Based Counselling Service

Due to the current Coronavirus outbreak, the need to adhere to Government guidelines in relation to self- isolation and managing staff sickness, and the forthcoming school closures, the School Based Counselling Service is operating at limited capacity and we are unable to receive any new requests for counselling at this time or provide an online counselling service. However, we will continue offer telephone counselling to those individuals who are currently receiving counselling from our service where appropriate.

 

If you are a parent and have concerns around your child’s mental and emotional wellbeing or a young person concerned about your mental and emotional wellbeing then please contact us via the methods below and we will endeavour to signpost you to appropriate services. Alternatively, Childline can be contacted on 0800 1111.

 

sbcs@npt.gov.uk Please be mindful that as the service is operating at a limited capacity, whilst we will strive to answer emails in a timely manner, there may be a delay in responses.

 

Telephone: 01639 763362

Welsh Government announces school closures.

Blaenbaglan will be open on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th March until 3.20 pm.  We will then be closed until further notice.  Please use our Learning at Home information page on this website, which we will endeavour to update as regularly as possible.

For the full press release from Welsh Government, follow the link:

https://gov.wales/statement-minster-education-kirsty-williams-school-closures-wales