Calling all KS3 pupils from Ysgol Dyffryn Taf
National Survey for Children and Young People - Friday, 22nd January 2021
Update from the Headteacher on External Assessment Arrangements - Wednesday, 20th January 2021
Letter for learners in Years 11-13 from Qualifications Wales
Please see below a letter from Qualifications Wales regarding the decision to cancel the planned internally set and assessed units, which would have taken place in the Spring term. We appreciate the anxiety that the uncertainty around assessment arrangements may cause some pupils. When we have more information, we will share it with you. Pupils should continue to complete all tasks set by their teachers while we await further updates.
Update on Childcare Arrangements - Thursday, 7th January 2021
Carmarthenshire County Council has reviewed its policy on childcare arrangements in the current lockdown. A broader group of parents and carers is now eligible to be considered for childcare, although for secondary schools that group remains restricted to pupils in Year 7. (Pupils with particular vulnerability will be considered separately). Please read the below letter from Mr. Gareth Morgans, Director of Education and Children's Services. Should you wish your child to be considered for childcare at Dyffryn Taf during the period whilst school sites are not open to pupils, please contact Mrs Catrin Cole via firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the school on 01994 242100.
Update on return of pupils on site - January 2021
The Welsh Government has announced that pupils in Wales will not return to on site teaching until Monday, January 18th at the earliest.
A blended learning programme supported by staff will begin on Thursday, January 7th.
Please click on "Headteacher Updates" above for further details.
Information from Carmarthenshire County Council - January 2021
Please see below two letters from Carmarthenshire County Council regarding school closures and direct payments for families eligible for free school meals. If you have any queries arising from this information, please contact the school on 01994 242100 or via the email@example.com email address.
Change to INSET schedule
Many of you will be aware that Monday January 4th 2021 has been scheduled as a county-wide INSET day. We had originally planned not to hold an INSET on that date in order to maximise time with Year 11 students who would have been sitting an English Literature external examination unit that week. With that unit now cancelled and with an uncertain picture of how the Covid-19 situation will develop over the Christmas period we have decided that we will now hold an INSET day in line with rest of Carmarthenshire.
Monday January 4th 2021 will now be designated as an INSET day. The school will be closed to pupils who will now be expected to return on Tuesday January 5th 2021. We will review the use of the remaining scheduled INSET days during the Spring Term. At this stage it is most likely that we will not hold an INSET day on the last day of the Summer term in July. We will confirm those arrangements nearer to the time.
Apologies for any inconvenience that this may cause. However, given current circumstances, this is the most common-sense course of action to take.
Urgent update on emergency heating repairs from the Headteacher - Monday, 7th December 2020
YEAR 7 & 8 PUPILS ONLY IN SCHOOL FROM TUESDAY, 8th DECEMBER
YEAR 9-13 PUPILS ARE REQUIRED TO LEARN FROM HOME FROM TUESDAY, 8th DECEMBER
As you will know, we are having to carry out emergency repairs to the school heating system. The initial investigation today has identified the source of the problem as being in the area of the Main Entrance to school. That poses additional problems for us. That area contains asbestos which will need to be managed safely. It also means that the canteen will not be accessible other than through a single fire door. We have a small number of classrooms, such as those in the Maths Block, which are heated separately to the main boiler. However, we do not have enough to maintain a full service in a way which is safe for pupils and staff.
I have therefore reluctantly taken the decision to partially close the school this week. From tomorrow, Tuesday December 8th, the school site will only be open to Years 7 and 8. Those pupils will follow their normal timetable but will be taught in different rooms to usual. All pupils in Years 7 and 8, with the exception of those eligible for Free School Meals, will need to bring a packed lunch all week. Pupils eligible for Free School Meals will be provided with a meal in school. The rationale for selecting those two year groups is that they are the pupils least likely to be able to be left independently during the working day. We do not wish to add to the inconvenience by asking parents and carers to organise child-care at short notice.
All pupils in Years 9-13 are required to learn from home for the remainder of this week. A blended learning programme will be put in place, as during the recent circuit-breaker. However, due to the limited number of classrooms available for safe use, we cannot guarantee that teaching staff will be available for live responses via email etc.
The situation will be reviewed at the end of the week and a decision will be taken regarding arrangements for next week. May I apologise for any inconvenience arising from a situation beyond anybody's control. I very much hope to be able to welcome all pupils back on site on Monday December 14th. Please continue to check the website for further updates.
Urgent Heating Repairs - w/c 7th December 2020
We need to carry out urgent repairs to a damaged heating pipe at the school this week. We would normally schedule work like this for school holidays. Unfortunately, that will not be possible over the Christmas holiday. We have been advised that we risk damaging the main boiler if we wait until February Half Term. The impact is that many classrooms will be heated using temporary heaters from Tuesday onwards.
We will not know until the work begins what the impact will be, both in terms of the length of time the repair will take and the temperature we will be able to bring classrooms to. We will be reviewing the situation continually and hope to be able to keep the site open for all pupils. We will issue a further update on Monday December 7th.
School Transport Arrangements - 30th November 2020
As part of the ongoing review of health and safety at the school we are making some changes to the bus dropping off and picking up points on the school site. These changes will not affect the points where pupils get on the bus at the start of their morning journey, or where they are dropped off at the end of their return journey in the evening.
We have worked with the bus companies, Carmarthenshire County Council and Councillor Sue Allen to improve the bus bay area in the car park and address the congestion on North Road. Overgrown foliage has been cut back and the bus bays marker lines have been repainted. From Tuesday December 1st 2020, the following routes will set pupils down and pick up after school from the bottom bus bay near the Sports Hall:
Taf Valley Coaches
737 - Maenclochog
738 - Narberth
740 - Mynachlogddu
741 - Robeston Wathen
742 - Llanteg
749 - Ludchurch
DT06 Blaenwaun will drop off and pick up at the Sports Hall bus bays.
D10 will drop off and pick up at the bus bays at the front of school (this replaces a large coach in the congested area with a smaller one).
All pupils on affected routes will be told of the new arrangements on the bus tomorrow.
To help us manage the safety of your sons and daughters we would appreciate the following support:
Please do not park in the bus bays at the front of the school or in the bottom car park.
If you are dropping of or collecting pupils from the school, please do not use either of the bus bay areas as dropping off points.
If you are using the bottom car park, which is a public facility, please be aware of the coaches needing to enter and exit safely, including reversing.
We are still working with Carmarthenshire County Council to try to have new bus bays built which will remove the need for buses to enter North Road to drop off and collect pupils. Until that point, your support in using the existing bays safely would be much appreciated.