End of term letter

 

Tuesday 14th December 2021

End of term letter

Dear Parents/Carers,

It is pleasing to write to you at the end of a successful and productive term where we have seen many parts of school life return. It is worth reflecting that this is the first term, since autumn 2019, where the school has not been affected by school closure or year group self-isolation due to the ongoing pandemic. Moreover, an enriched curriculum and returning extra-curricular activities have proven especially popular; pupils’ enjoyment is evident through the high levels of participation and the smiles on their faces! To learn more of what has been happening in school this term please read this term’s school newsletter, it shall be emailed out to all parents/carers before the end of term.

A special mention to last year’s Year 11 cohort who achieved an outstanding set of GCSE and vocational qualifications. 40% of pupils achieved 5 A*-A grades and on average each pupil gained nine B grades. We held a virtual awards evening in November to celebrate their achievements that can still be accessed from the school website.

Throughout all cohorts, pupils have demonstrated outstanding levels of maturity and social responsibility. This was borne out recently by two visiting Estyn inspectors who spoke very highly of our pupils’ social skills and their attitude to their learning. Two weeks ago, Welsh Government guidance changed overnight meaning that pupils again should wear masks in classrooms. Pupils just ‘got on with it’ with little fuss and continued to concentrate on their work, demonstrating great resilience. Year 7 have settled in extremely well while Year 11 are completing their mock examinations this week. Experiencing the process of preparing for a series of examinations will certainly benefit them in the longer term. One of our most experienced examination invigilators, who has invigilated at the school for 16 years, stated that Year 11 were the most focussed and well-mannered cohort he has worked with. Well done Year 11 we are proud of you!

Parents/carers support is important in everything we do, it is hugely appreciated, essentially it is your child who benefits. Your role in reinforcing these important messages, and consistently providing your child with masks is hugely appreciated and has significantly contributed towards the safe and smooth running of the school. More detail on school life can be found within the Governors’ Annual Report to Parents that can be found on the school website here:

https://pontcomp.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Governors-Annual-Report-to-Parents-2021-min.pdf

Important dates

Friday 17th December is the last day of term for staff and pupils. This will be a non-school uniform day; no donations are required. though please ensure your child dresses appropriately for school, particularly if they have practical lessons that morning. On the last day pupils will follow their normal timetable for their first three lessons. To help the last day run smoothly please check your child brings in the necessary equipment and dresses appropriately. Lessons 4 and 5 will be spent in form rooms. During lesson 4 pupils will participate in and/or watch Bont’s Got Talent. After lunch pupils return to their form rooms for an end-of-term assembly, the announcement of the winners of the talent show, raffle, and an opportunity to wish their classmates and form tutors a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday 5th January is the pupils’ return date in the new year. Staff will return to school for an INSET day on Tuesday 4th January.

Christmas Celebrations

The school is now in full festive mode, the Christmas tree is looking splendid in the school’s foyer. Pupils and staff alike participated well in last Friday’s Christmas Jumper Day, with some impressive garments on display! Christmas lunch will be served on Thursday 16th December.

On Wednesday 15th December, our virtual School Christmas Concert will be available via the school’s website. There will be several pre-recorded music and drama items available, including the school choir, wind band, solo items and a pantomime “Aladdin Comes to Bont!” from the Performing Arts team. Many thanks to all staff and pupils who contributed to this festive creation.

Covid-19 Testing

Even though local Covid-19 levels are far lower now than they were on our return to school in September we are very mindful of the threat of the Omicron variant and the predicted wave of infections in January. Testing is a significant part of our mitigation against Covid-19 transmission. Since the start of September, we have seen unprecedented levels of lateral flow and PCR testing, enabling us to find more cases. The offer of testing remains voluntary, however public health officials recommend continuing with the LFD asymptomatic testing offer throughout December and into the new year. At which time, officials will again review the available data and communicate any changes as soon as possible. Whilst the school is closed, LFD tests are still available, free of charge to anyone over the age of 11 to test twice a week (every 3 or 4 days) without any COVID-19 symptoms. You are encouraged to take a test:

▪ If you are travelling to other parts of Wales or the UK.

▪ If you are going to be in a higher risk situation including spending time in crowded or enclosed spaces.

▪ Before you visit people who are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

In the new year, we will encourage staff and pupils to test twice with LFD (3 or 4 days apart) in the week before returning to school and to then continue testing regularly twice weekly for two weeks after the start of term in January. All pupils, with parental consent, were issued LFD last week.  If any other parents/carers would like to receive a kit before the end of term please contact the school and we will arrange for a kit to be given to your child.

I hope you share my gratitude to the outstanding professionalism, commitment, care, and integrity school staff have demonstrated during this term. Finally, I would like to wish you all a relaxing and enjoyable festive break. Please contact the school if you have any queries.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. G. Rees

Headteacher