Happy New Year 5th January 2021
Happy New Year
Happy New Year to everyone associated with Ysgol Derwen. I hope you have all had a happy and healthy festive break with your loved ones.
I am sure you will all be aware of the Welsh Government announcement yesterday indicating Wales will continue to be in a national lockdown and schools will remain closed for face-to-face learning until January 18th at the earliest.
Work has been set by each class teacher on Google Classroom from Tuesday morning. If you are having difficulty accessing the work, please contact your child's class teacher for advice. Teachers will be available between 9am and 3pm schooldays to check and comment on work submitted on Google Classroom. Please be aware however that responses from teachers may not be instant as they are also helping run the childcare hub for key workers at Ysgol Derwen.
It has also come to my attention that it would be beneficial for parents if the work was released earlier to give you more time to plan your home learning. This is something the teachers are looking into and they will communicate any changes with you.
We still have issues with very slow and unreliable Wi-Fi at the school so the use of Zoom etc is a major issue at the moment. I am however looking into incorporating some sort of video communication between staff and pupils if the school closure continues beyond January 18th.
As you are now very aware, Covid is again having a huge impact on all our lives. The situation in schools is no different and today I have been in school with Mrs King preparing Ysgol Derwen as a childcare setting (again) to welcome children of key workers from tomorrow.
I will keep you informed of any changes over the coming days/weeks and we hope that we will be able to welcome all children back to Ysgol Derwen when it is safe to do so.
Take care and stay safe
Whilst it is possible that the Welsh Government will make further announcements in the coming days, the current position is that remote learning will continue until January 18th. Please see below a written statement from the Welsh government following the announcement yesterday:
Return to school and college arrangements
04 January 2021
Kirsty Williams MS, Minister for Education
The situation in Wales and across the UK remains very serious. Today, the four UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed that the UK is now at the highest level of risk, Joint Biosecurity Council level 5.
In the light of that decision the Welsh Government, in consultation with the WLGA and Colegau Cymru, has agreed that all schools, colleges and independent schools should move to online learning until January 18th.
As a government we will use the next two weeks to continue to work with local authorities, schools and colleges to plan for the rest of term.
This is the best way to ensure that parents, staff and learners can be confident in the return to face to face learning, based on the latest evidence and information.
Schools and colleges will remain open for children of critical workers and vulnerable learners, as well as for learners who need to complete essential exams or assessments. On this basis Special Schools and PRU’s should remain open if possible.
We had initially given schools flexibility in the first two weeks of term to decide when to reopen based on local circumstances.
But it is now clear that a national approach of online learning for the first fortnight of term is the best way forward.
We know that schools and colleges have been safe and secure environments throughout the pandemic.
However, we also know that education settings being open can contribute to wider social mixing outside the school and college environment.
We are confident that schools and colleges have online learning provision in place for this immediate period.
Universities in Wales have already agreed a staggered start to term. Students should not return to universities for face to face learning until they are notified that they can do so.
Wales remains in the highest level of restrictions. Everyone must stay at home.