NEW ARRANGEMENTS FOR SUPPORTING CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND DISABILITIES

Dear Parent / Carer - Download the letter ALN_reforms_2021

 

As we have shared with you previously, the system for supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disability in Wales is changing.

 

Yesterday Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education, gave an update on the phased implementation of the new ALN system. Despite continued activity and significant progress, it has become clear that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in plans being revisited. He shared that all partners require further space and time to manage and plan for aspects of this important reform to ensure successful delivery of new arrangements and the best for children in Wales.

 

Written Statement: Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal Act 2018

Implementation (14 July 2021) | GOV.WALES The implementation of the ALN system for the first year will now be sequenced.

 

From 1 September 2021, the ALN system will commence for children who:

are or are newly identified as having additional learning needs, (that is, those without already identified special educational needs (SEN), or are not awaiting or undergoing an SEN assessment)

 

From 1st January 2022, the ALN system will commence for children who:

attend maintained schools (including Pupil Referral Units PRU’s) in Nursery Years 1 and 2 (N1 and N2) and Year 1, Year 3, Year 5, Year 7 and Year 10 who have special educational provision via early years action / early years action plus or school action / school action plus.

 

Welsh Government will publish guidance for parents and families in the Autumn Term.

 

If you would like any additional information or advice, please contact our Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator or contact SNAP Cymru who offer free independent advice and support to parents by visiting: www.snapcymru.org or call their helpline on: 0808 801 0608

I hope you find the information in this letter reassuring. School and other agencies will continue to work together, to reflect on guidance and carry on with the preparatory work to secure the best outcomes for our learners.

 

Additional Information

The interactive e-learning course giving an introduction to the new ALN system is now available on the Welsh Government's Hwb platform. Here is a Hwb news article introducing the course, which is currently on the Hwb homepage:

https://hwb.gov.wales/news/articles/20686965-8669-40ac-bdc5-599f4a4dfe8b And here is the link to the course itself: https://hwb.gov.wales/repository/publishers/9fb2afc9-6408-4aa3-9474-3c745006535b/resource/c8033263-aaa0-42fc-9511-ab7d33bd8084/en

Welsh Government web-site: https://gov.wales/additional-learning-needs-special-educationalneeds

 

 

Yours faithfully,

Neil Foley - B.Sc. MA.
Pennaeth Headteacher

Andrew Christian
ALNCo

GCSE, AS and A-level qualifications for summer 2021

Dear parents / carers

 

I write to you before the end of term to update you on the system that replaced examinations and the results days that take place earlier than usual in the summer.

Due to the lost curriculum time the Education Minister announced in November that there would be no summer examination series for students taking GCSEs, AS levels or A levels in 2021. In January 2021, it was confirmed that these qualifications would be awarded using Centre Determined Grades. This meant schools would determine the actual grades awarded for each qualification based on the evidence provided by learners.

WJEC and Qualifications Wales provided schools with regular updates and GCSE, AS level and A-level specifications were amended by the WJEC to take into account lost curriculum time. Each subject area was also informed of the skills and knowledge which they had to cover before the end of the qualification in order to ensure the learner could progress to their next stage of learning / employment.

Learners in Yrs. 11, 12 and 13 were the first to return to school on the 15th March to enable them to work with their teachers to generate the evidence needed for their CDGs.

During this period learners completed adapted exam papers supplied by the exam boards. The assessments completed gave learners the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding of the key requirements and assessment objectives of each subject.

When deciding on an overall best-fit grade teachers were not to award CDGs based on their professional predictions or the potential of a learner. Teachers applied their professional judgement and made a decision as to whether the learner had demonstrated the standard required to be awarded a specific grade. Departments had to support awarded grade(s) with a clear and unambiguous rationale which had to be underpinned by evidence documented on an assessment recording sheet.

To ensure consistency and fairness the WJEC provided schools with online continuous professional development on unconscious bias and objectivity. As a school our approach was very transparent and we communicated with learners and parents regularly and published our assessment plans.

Departments were required to implements internal quality assurance processes to ensure consistency and we also worked with our alliance school to quality assure our processes and our data.

Learners received their provisional CDG grades in early June. This gave learners an opportunity to appeal their grade if they believed an error had been made. Grades could only be appealed in learners believed an error had been made in determining their overall grade.

We only received four formal Stage One Centre Review requests which is testament to all the hard work put in by our staff to ensure the grades awarded were robust and accurate.

It has been an immensely challenging time for learners who were expecting to sit their A-levels, AS and GCSEs. We are immensely proud of the resilience and tenacity shown by them and it was fantastic to see so many happy faces when they received their provisional grades.

We look forward to seeing our learners again in August for the official results day; for results day arrangements please refer to the letter which we have posted home. All students who have applied to join our 6th form will receive confirmation on GCSE results day. If you would like to discuss joining our 6th form please contact Miss Reed, Head of 6th form.

 

Thank you for your continued support and I wish you all a restful summer break.

 

 

Yours faithfully,

Mr G. Turner

Deputy Headteacher

End of year letter

Dear all parents and carers

We come to the end of what has been a very challenging 18 months for education, for our community and for the world. As a whole school community, we have done amazingly well to contain the virus, continue to educate our young people and stay safe. Whilst other schools have sent multiple year groups home multiple times, we have only lost a small amount of learning time. Indeed, it was only until two weeks ago that TTP instructed us for the first time to send an entire year group home to isolate due to a positive case in Year 10. We are exceptionally proud of what we have all achieved over the past 18 months and I would like to thank all staff, governors, parents and carers for their support over these difficult times. Our goal was to minimise the impact of the pandemic on our learners education and with your support we have done this exceptionally well.

We now turn our focus towards September and the new academic year. A year we hold lots of hope for, a year of normality, a year of normal systems in school, a year of school trips and school clubs restarting. We will try to return to normal as soon as possible in the new term including uniform standards, behavioural expectations, attendance and also what we expect in lessons through teaching and learning. We want to make a fast start next year so that any missing gaps in education due to COVID-19 over the last few months will be bridged immediately. We will have a single focus which is getting back to great education and preparing our examination classes for their GCSEs and A-levels.

We have received the operational guidance from Welsh government and PHW for our return in September 2021. Many of the arrangements will remain the same when we return after the summer with some significant changes. The main changes are;

  • Pupils will not be required to wear facemasks in classrooms
  • Facemasks must still be worn in communal areas for the first two weeks until the school has had the chance to review the risk of infection locally and taken advice from PHW
  • The requirement to bubble classes into contact groups is removed from September
  • Those pupils who have signed up for testing are asked to complete an LFD COVID-19 test before they return to school. Pupils are not however, expected to test throughout the summer break.

Most other COVID-19 rules and measures will stay in place until we hear otherwise. As soon as we can, we will change our risk assessment so that we can remove other COVID-19 measures. If we receive further guidance over the summer, I will write to you over the holiday to inform you of any additional changes for September.

All teachers and staff return back on the 1st September in order to carefully prepare for the term ahead. I look forward to seeing all of our pupils on Friday 3rd September so we can make a great start to what promises to be a great year.

I wish you a very pleasant summer break and I hope you have a restful and safe holiday ready for a new start in September.

Best wishes

Neil Foley - B.Sc. MA.

Pennaeth Headteacher

End-of-term letter – Closing early

Dear Parents / Carers - 16th July_closing early v2 (1)
This year has been tough, gruelling at times and we have been grateful for every minute we have managed to keep our amazing pupils and students in face to face teaching. We are so proud of the whole community in allowing us to keep the number of days missed by all year groups down to a minimum. The school and the community have played their part in making sure that the infection rate has been kept to as low as possible. This effort throughout the year is something we should all celebrate and I would like to thank everyone for their vigilance.
As in previous years, and in recognition for the hard work our pupils have put in over the year, I am pleased to announce the school will be closing early at 12.20pm on Friday 16th July. This day will also be a non-uniform day. A donation of £1 is expected which will be donated to WCD young carers; click www.carers.cymru/wcdyc to find out more about the service they provide. The £1 donation is to be made via ParentPay.
Pupils are expected to attend school and lessons as normal. The school has made all the necessary arrangements for school buses/taxis to be at school early to transport pupils home.
School re-opens for new term: The school re-opens for students on Friday 3rd September. The 1st and 2nd of September are staff training days.
I look forward to seeing our years 13, 12 and 11 during the summer holidays as they collect their examination results; more information will be available on our website.
I’d like to wish everyone a lovely and safe break, and I look forward to welcoming our students back in September in full uniform, refreshed and ready to achieve.
Yours faithfully,
Neil Foley - B.Sc. MA Pennaeth/Headteacher

School term dates 2021 – 2022

Dear all parents and carers

Download the letter - School Year Arrangements next year

Add the calendar to your device - calendar (7)

 

School term dates 2021/2022

I do hope this letter finds you well. We are currently planning for next year and we as a community have considerable hope that the disruption that we have seen over the past 18 months is now a thing of the past.

Please find on the back of this letter the calendar of term dates and INSET days for the next academic year for the Prestatyn cluster. Term dates are fixed by Denbighshire CC and the INSET days have been agreed by the six cluster schools.

 

Autumn term 1

INSET days (1&2) - Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd September 2021

Pupils return to school - Friday 3rd September 2021 to 22 October 2021

Half term – 25th October to 29th October 2021

 

Autumn term 2

Monday 1st November to Wednesday 22nd December 2021

Christmas Holiday – 23rd December to 5th January 2022

 

Spring term 1

INSET days (3&4) - Thursday 6th January and Friday 7th January 2022

Pupils return to school - Monday 10th January 2022 to 18th February 2022

Half term – 21st February to 25th February 2022

 

Spring Term 2

INSET day (5) – Monday 28th February 2022

Pupils return to school – Tuesday 1st March 2022 to 8th April 2022

Easter Holiday – 11th April to 22nd April 2022

 

Summer term 1

INSET day (6) – Monday 25th April 2022

Pupils return to school – Tuesday 26th April to 27th May 2022

Half term – 30th May to 3rd June 2022

 

Summer term 2

Monday 6th June to Wednesday 20th July 2022

End of the academic year. Please note that the calendar of events for the year will be published in September 2021. Please contact the school if you have any questions about the dates provided.

 

Yours faithfully

Neil Foley - B.Sc. MA.

Pennaeth Headteacher