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Friday 10th November 2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope this newsletter finds you well. Following the half-term break, we had an INSET day on Monday, which meant that the school was closed to pupils. However, our dedicated staff were in school and were joined by teachers from Y Bontfaen and Llansannor for a shared training day led by Thinking Matters. As a school, we are on a journey towards becoming an accredited thinking school, where we are developing strategies to improve our children’s thinking skills. This process, known as metacognition, helps to develop our pupils' ability to think critically and problem-solve independently.

To support this, we have introduced three teaching strategies across the school. Firstly, we now use thinking frames, which are graphic organisers that offer learners a way to improve knowledge recall and explicitly see, develop, and reflect on their own cognitive processes. We also use thinking hats and the enquiry cycle, which you may have noticed evidenced around the school in classes, children’s work, and in conversations with our learners.

On Thursday, our Year 4, 5 and 6 children had the opportunity to visit the Senedd building in Cardiff Bay. They learnt more about the work of our assembly members and the democratic processes. It was a fantastic opportunity for them to understand how they can become active citizens and bring their ideas to our School Senedd.

This week, our Head Boy, Girl, and Deputies have taken the lead in our Remembrance Collection. They have been selling Poppy Appeal goods at break times to raise funds for the Royal British Legion. On Friday, we marked Remembrance Day with a minute’s silence during our assembly.

On Thursday, we held two workshops for parents. The first workshop, entitled "How to Help Your Child at Home," was well attended. We shared our approaches to phonics, reading, spelling, and maths, and provided guidance on how parents can support their children at home. We also offered support with understanding our digital platforms.

We were delighted to welcome Jane Hutt, the Member of Senedd for the Vale of Glamorgan, to our school on Thursday. She visited to learn more about the work of our School Senedd and Committee groups. Our Head Boy and Girl introduced the school and spoke about our learning to become active informed citizens. Each committee's Ministers shared their work and aims for this year. Jane Hutt then spoke to the children about her role as a member of the Senedd, and the children had the opportunity to ask her questions about her political career and her thoughts on current political topics affecting the world.

Looking ahead, next week our Year 4 children will be going on their first residential trip to Cardiff Bay. Additionally, our school council will be leading fundraising and celebrations for Children in Need on Friday, 17th November.

Thank you for your continued support.

Mr James Griffiths