Home

Hafan

Video Message Twelve, July 17th, 2020

Head Teacher Mr J Kendall jkendall@riscacom.net

An update from our head teacher.

July 17th 2020

A lot can happen in a week! I learnt on Wednesday that we have been allocated two days at the start of the year for planning and preparation, therefore in common with most schools we will be holding these on 1st and 2nd of September to ensure everything is safe and ready for our pupils. Thursday 3rd will be a staff training day, and on Friday 4th we will have just Y7 in school.

We’re planning for the second week to have Y7 and Y11 in on Monday, with Y10 joining them on Tuesday and the whole school back in on Wednesday 9th. The overview calendar has been updated accordingly- you can access it here.

As I say, a lot can happen in a week and an awful lot can happen over six weeks. No one can foresee how things will look on September 1st. It may be the country is running almost as it was before the C-19 crisis started, or we could be in another lockdown situation. Our job is to be able to react to either of these situations and anything in between. We have a number of plans in place, but rather than complicate things we have decided to hold back with precise details until towards the end of August. What I will say is that the safety and wellbeing of the school community comes first. We have staffing and a timetable in place ready, which includes all subjects, including options in Y10 and Y11. What we do not yet know is the logistics, so we have a “normal” scenario as well as one which drastically reduces movement of pupils around the school and keeps our year groups in discrete ‘bubbles’ for lessons and breaks.

As you know we are not hosting a normal results day this year, and GCSE exam grades will be emailed on the morning of Thursday, August 20th. Good luck to everybody, and don’t forget you can ring or email us if you need to talk.

I hope you all get some rest and relaxation over the summer. I know some in our community have had to cope with immense pressure during this time; I can assure you we will do all we can as a school to support our pupils.

I have been a teacher for 34 years and the headteacher of our school for eleven years, and I have never known a more difficult time, nor one in which I have felt better supported by my colleagues, our pupils, governors and the wider school community.

Whatever September and the new academic year brings, we will be ready for it.

John Kendall

Head Teacher / Prifathro



This is the website for Risca Community Comprehensive's Virtual School. Here you will be able to find information and guidance about how we are doing things during the Covid-19 crisis.

Supporting Our Students

There are specific pages to support your Wellbeing and your Learning. For Year Ten and Year Eleven there is a special section where you can find out the latest news about Exams and Qualifications as well as guidance on your choices for next year. There is also a page called Transition for our new pupils who will be joining us in Y7 in September, and we have recently added a new section called 'Coming Back' which has information about how we will organise the return to school.

Supporting Our Parents and Carers

Please do look at the previous sections, but we also have a page with specific information to support you.

Contact

This page provides you with contact information

Life in Lockdown

This section will include contributions from a number of people with a much less formal feel to it. If you have any stories, quizzes, pictures or things you'd like to share, please email webmaster@riscacom.net

YOU CAN VIEW PREVIOUS POSTS BELOW

Video Message Eleven, July 10th, 2020

Head Teacher Mr J Kendall jkendall@riscacom.net

An update from our head teacher.

Friday 10th July 2020

The Welsh Government confirmed yesterday that term will begin for schools in Wales on Tuesday 1st September, and have made it clear that a gradual or staggered start date for pupils may be appropriate in the first couple of weeks. Further guidance will be made available to us on Monday. I can confirm that Tuesday 1st September will be a staff training day at RCCS, as is usually the case with the first day of the school year, and it is highly likely we will start on Wednesday 2nd September with Y7 only. We will provide further information in my final message of the term next week.

We have now seen all the pupils who made the decision to return to school, and I want to thank everyone who made this run so smoothly, the parents, staff, and above all the pupils themselves who must have found it all very strange.They handled the situation really well. Next week we will be holding the second sessions for everyone, as indicated on the website in the “Coming Back” section. You come in at the same time, use the same drop off and entrance as you did for your first visit. We can’t wait to see you again!

A quick staffing update now, and we are saying goodbye to three teachers this year. Mrs Bird has been covering a maternity leave in English and History, and we are indebted to her for her hard work. She has been such a dedicated member of our team at this difficult time and we are sorry to lose her. Good luck at your new school! Miss Green joined RCCS as a drama teacher in 2002 and has inspired a love of the theatre in a generation of young people. Her productions for the Shakespeare Festival were constantly brilliant and will remain in the memories of those who took part for ever. She also made a huge contribution introducing the skills qualifications to the curriculum. We wish her all the best in her new ventures. Mr Lougher joined us in 1995. His commitment to the school has been outstanding, and he made a number of innovations within the Maths department not least in the field of IT and right up until this term he was trialling new methods during the lockdown. We wish him a long and happy retirement, and thank him for his service.

Next term we welcome the following new teachers to Team Risca:

Megan Edmunds (PE- maternity cover)

Paul Alley (Maths)

Claire Tucker (Expressive Arts- Drama)

Kelly Lloyd- Hughes (Maths)

Rhodri Jenkins (Maths)

Megan Howells (Geography)

We are looking forward to working with them!

I’ll be back next week with a final update for the term and with confirmation of arrangements for the start of September. See you then.

John Kendall

Head Teacher



Video Message Ten, July 3rd, 2020

Head Teacher Mr J Kendall jkendall@riscacom.net

An update from our head teacher.


3rd July 2020

Hello everyone

It was great to welcome many of our students in Y10 and Y9 back into school this week! It felt a lot like a September- lots of people had grown (and certainly their hair had in some cases) and there was a really positive atmosphere. In many ways it was very different though, as we have adopted a very cautious approach. Senior staff were very visible out and about in their hi viz and the whole school was fully linked up by two way radio to ensure we could monitor everything really closely. Talking to pupils as they left, I know nearly everyone had a positive experience. I need to say again that this is not a substitute for the learning taking place at home, but it certainly enhanced that, and the human contact was important for all of us.

Next week it’s the turn of Y8 and Y7- everyone has been contacted and you should know your time, drop-off point, and entrance.

For the final week we are planning on having two half year groups in at a time- in separate rooms of course, using the same room as you had your first sessions in. We really want to see everyone in again! Please come at the same time, using the same drop off etc as before. There is an explanation on the “Coming Back” section of the school website which explains what day you need to be in.

As far as September is concerned we are planning for a full return to school as normal. Important point here- we are planning for this but not necessarily expecting it. So we have our timetable ready, our staffing in place, form groups, rooms, rotas, and all the usual stuff that goes with a September return. It would be foolish not to do this. But how school will actually look in September remains to be seen. We are expecting the first day of term to be staff training day, as usual, and we are hoping to have the second day for Y7 only. But please note these are plans that remain to be confirmed. Uniform has caused some anxiety, especially for new parents. I just want to be sensible about this. So we are saying don’t buy uniform or PE kit yet, just in case we are in a situation where it is not required; I would hate for people to be out of pocket. But once we have a clearer idea of plans, we will let you know.

There is an important update for Y11 on the “Exams and Qualifications" section of the website- please make sure you have a look.

Finally, we are having our first full Governors’ meeting next week since lockdown. It will be on-line, of course. I am looking forward to updating the team.

Take care everyone and stay safe.

J Kendall

Head Teacher

ADDITIONAL LINK: Important message from CCBC Chief Education Officer about childcare provision,


Video Message Nine, June 26th 2020

Head Teacher Mr J Kendall jkendall@riscacom.net

An update from our head teacher.


Hi everyone,

So the phone calls have all been made, and we have spoken with nearly all our families to discuss your return to school. If you have any concerns, please email return@riscacom.net.

I want to thank our team here at RCCS for helping complete this mammoth task, and to parents for their understanding. More than three quarters of you will be coming into school at some point over the next fortnight. What do you need to do? Well, you need to know which car park is your drop-off zone if coming by car, and the entrance point where you will be met- that’s just pupils please, no adults- and of course your start time. There’s a map of the entrances on the website. You need to wear comfortable clothes and bring some food and drink and a pencil case. That, and an enthusiastic attitude, and a clear focus on safety, especially hand hygiene and physical distancing. We really can’t wait to see you!

If you’re not in, or on the days you’re not in, you need to keep up with the home learning.

We’ve not finalised our approach for week three yet, as we want to see how this first week goes, but by this time next week I hope to be able to give you more information. As you know, the term will now end officially on 17th July.

And what about September? Well, I summed up my feelings in this Tweet yesterday. It’s unsettling not to be sure of what will happen, but that is the reality. We’ll make sure our final message of the term on the 17th leaves you with as much information as we have at the time. The secret is communication and our website will remain active over the summer. We’ll email and text as usual when we have more details. It’s especially tough for our new Y7 and we are meeting you at one to one meetings on the 10th and 13th July.

I’ll be back next week with another update. Meanwhile, stay safe and take care.

J Kendall

Head Teacher

Letter to all parents and carers from CCBC Chief Education Officer HERE

SEE ALSO OUR COMING BACK SECTION



Video Message Eight, June 19th 2020

Head Teacher Mr J Kendall jkendall@riscacom.net

An update from our head teacher.

19th June 2020

Hi everyone.

Just a quick update from me this week. Firstly a message to Y6 parents and children. We’re arranging one to one meetings on Friday 10th and Monday 13th July and you’ll be contacted soon about these. Any issues, please email transition@riscacom.net.

Next, Y11. It was nice to join an online meeting with you on Wednesday. Crosskeys College are working very closely with us to sort things ready for next year, and I am grateful to them for all they’re doing to support you. We’ll provide information about how you’ll get your results just as soon as we have it. Any questions, please feel free to email Mrs Coles or Mr Coombes.

For everyone else, as you know, you’re all being given an option to come into school for a day and you’ll have a phone call about that soon if you’ve not already had one. We are really looking forward to seeing you again! There’s a dedicated email address for any issues connected with this, it’s return@riscacom.net If you have not been contacted by the end of Tuesday please get back to us.

We’re also working on a brief report for all our students, and that will be with you by the end of the school year.

Next week is the last week of the Hub. There are so many people to thank in connection with this, and I made a separate video with Mrs Armishaw, my co-leader, to pass on our gratitude. It’s been an amazing team effort and we’ll miss it!

Lastly, I must say yet again that the focus remains on home learning. We know it has not been perfect, but engagement levels have been pleasing, and many of you have really taken to this and I’ve seen some awesome examples of work that’s been completed. Keep going!

Just what lies ahead remains uncertain but I am committed to keeping you informed at all times. Your support as a community has been fantastic, thank you all! We’ll be back next Friday, if not before- see you then!

ADDITIONAL LINK: Letter from Caerphilly CBC to all parents and carers.

JUNE 17th 2020

We will shortly be contacting you by phone with individual information about your child/children's return to school. In the meantime please re-read the message or re-watch the video from the head issued last Friday which you can see below this update We can also now confirm the days organised for each year group for the first fortnight are as follows. Your child will be invited to attend just one of these days.

Tue 30th and Wed 1st: Y10

Thu 2nd and Fri 3rd: Y9

Mon 6th and Tue 7th: Y8

Wed 8th and Thu 9th: Y7

Fri 10th and Mon 13th: Y6 (one to one meetings)

Please note when we contact you we are happy to answer any questions but we will not be able to offer you an alternative time or day to the one you will be given. Thanks for your understanding. When we ring you will be told your start and end time, which car park you should use (if needed) and which entrance you should come in by; we have drawn up a plan to help you with that, which you can access here.

If you have not been contacted by 3pm on Tuesday, 23rd June, please email return@riscacom.net and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Thank you.

Here are some FAQs we've been hearing:-

That date/time is not convenient. Can it be changed?

We are sorry, but we cannot change any of the planned arrangements. This would have an impact on other groups, which have been finalised.

Am I able to change my mind in the future?

Yes, we have given all children a place in a group regardless of whether you currently intend for them to return. This place will remain available until the summer break. However, we will require notice 24hrs prior to attending their designated session if you had previously indicated that they would not be attending.

Will the school buses be running?

We are not sure of this at the present time, but will let you know as and when we have an update from the Local Authority. If possible our advice would be to make your own arrangements. It is crucial that the correct times are adhered to and that cars drop off at the designated car parking area.

What happens if my child is late?

Due to the staggered starts for each group. We will not be able to accommodate pupils who arrive at incorrect times.

Which other children will be in my child’s group?

Due to the restrictions of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) we are unable to provide details of any children other than your own.

Will I be able to enter the school building to escort my child to their room?

No. Children should be dropped off at the allocated car parking area. There will be staff on hand to ensure that all pupils are welcomed and are guided to the correct entrance and classroom.

Can my child bring their own device?

Not at the moment. For the remainder of the school year all pupils attending the sessions will be provided with a sanitised Chromebook. We will be reviewing this prior to the next academic year.

What will happen following the first two weeks?

We’re sorry, but we are not in a position to be able to answer that at the moment, as we do not have enough information. We will need to see how the situation develops and will reassess at the end of the first week. We will get information out to parents as soon as we are able.

What about lunches for eFSM children?

We understand that the local authority will be providing suitable ingredients for packed lunches and will be delivering these to the home.

Can my child wear a face covering?

While the current guidance does not require the wearing of face coverings, we are more than happy for children, or staff, to wear face coverings should they feel more comfortable in doing so.

What happens if children fail to adhere to the rules?

Due to the seriousness of the situation, we will not be able to accommodate pupils who do not adhere to the guidance and rules that we set out.

Video Message Seven, June 12th 2020

Head Teacher Mr J Kendall jkendall@riscacom.net

In this week's video, the head teacher talks through the plans for the initial return to school. Alternatively, you can read the message below the video.

Any concerns can be addressed when you are contacted or, if urgent, you can email your child's Wellbeing Leader via the contact page. Please note we cannot respond to questions through social media.

I’d like to share with you where we are with our planning for a gradual reopening of school from 29th June. Your input through the survey and your comments have been invaluable in helping formulate these plans.

We are going to take a very cautious approach initially, as you have quite correctly requested. We are planning to offer each pupil who wishes to attend one full day during the first fortnight. This will be at a designated time with a staggered start, using a specific entrance, and with a group of pupils from the same year group no bigger than a maximum of twelve. Handwashing will be required on entry to the building and during the day. Physical distancing will be enforced at all times to conform to the current 2m rule. The group will remain in one large room throughout the day, though they will be allowed outside for break(s) organised by and escorted by their teacher. Hand sanitiser will be provided and trips to the toilet will respect privacy but will be escorted in just the same way as we do during exams. Pupils should bring in their own food (which they will not be allowed to share); there will be no food available on site. They should also bring in pens and pencils. They will have access to a clean, sanitised chromebook for the day. Pupils will not be required to wear uniform. Staff will also be in informal clothes.

Each group will have four one hour sessions, and they will have two teachers during the course of the day. The content of the sessions will include a check on personal wellbeing and a discussion about the home learning experience. There will be an opportunity to raise questions with the teachers about the work they have been doing. Should these be outside their own field of expertise, teachers will arrange for another member of staff to provide the information later via email if possible. There will be an opportunity for interaction between students, although only the students within their group at this stage, and teachers will engage in activities which will be interesting and where possible will not be IT based, as this has been the format of most learning outside school.

You will be contacted with the specific arrangements for your child(ren) over the next week or so, when any transport arrangements will also be discussed. Please note we will try to ensure groups are allocated to allow pupils to be with the most appropriate peers, but we cannot ‘mix and match’ as only this quite rigid approach will allow us to operate ‘track and trace’ procedures should anyone (staff or pupils) become symptomatic.

Some parents have specifically requested one to one support and we will do our best to accommodate this; this will be mentioned when we contact you, if relevant. Some parents have been using the Hub as a childcare facility and we will continue to honour that commitment. If you are in this category you must email hub@riscacom.net with your requirements for the month of July as soon as you can, writing “Childcare July” in the subject box and by 3pm on Monday 15th June at the very latest.

We will provide further information about the remainder of the term as soon as we can. Things can change quickly and we want and need to be flexible. We expect the minimum provision offer to be a repeat of the above arrangements,

Please note anybody showing symptoms of C-19 should not attend school, and anyone who develops these during the day will be isolated until they can be collected. Anyone who fails to conform to the physical distancing rules will be required to leave the site immediately. No-one should be on the site at a time which has not been agreed upon, and any infringement of this would be regarded as a very serious matter. Parents should only come on site to drop off and collect pupils as indicated, and should continue to contact us by email with any issues.

The first session will be on Tuesday 30th June as the school will be closed on Monday 29th for a deep clean following the decommissioning of the Childcare Hub.

The major part of learning, as I have said in previous posts, will still be delivered online. These catch up sessions will not replace that, but they will enhance it. There are six weeks of term still to go and plenty of learning still to do!

We are looking forward to seeing our pupils again, in a safe, secure learning environment. Thank you for your support at this difficult time, I have been very encouraged by your messages and feedback. Our experience of running the hub has been very useful in formulating our plans

Video Message Six, June 5th 2020

Head Teacher Mr J Kendall jkendall@riscacom.net

In this week's video, the headteacher talks through the findings of the parental survey on home learning, which was completed just before half term.

You can access a PDF of the survey results here.

UPDATE Friday 29th May

Are you a parent or carer of a child who's joining us in September? Please click here to go to the transition section for more information, including a letter from the head teacher and a video introducing the children to our school.

Video Message Five, May 15th 2020

Head Teacher Mr J Kendall jkendall@riscacom.net

15th May

Hello. Today’s message is mainly for our parents and carers though as soon as they hear that, I guess the pupils themselves might be interested in hearing it, too!

How are you? How’s it going? It’s not easy, is it? I know some of you are working from home and others are key workers and going out to work. I know some of you work in the NHS or in care. To you, on behalf of all of us at RCCS, I want to say thank you. When we clap on a Thursday night I’m thinking especially of you.

I imagine the big question you would ask me if we met would be about school reopening- when and how. The answer is that I know no more than you do. But I am certain of one thing: we will not return in any way, shape or form until it is safe to do so. I’m also pretty sure that we won’t be going back for a while yet and when we do it will be with very different arrangements. And that means that children will need to access their education from home for some time, and that includes after the school opens its doors to pupils again as it seems very unlikely we will be able to operate as we did before with the numbers we have. Attending school may need to be on a part time basis, At least initially.

So it is very clear to me that we need to get home learning as right as we can, and for that we need feedback from you. I’m asking you to complete a survey for us and to provide any comments you feel would be useful. The fact you are reading this message suggest you are already engaging with the school, so I would ask you please to help me by trying to get your friends who are also parents at the school to get involved as well. I’d like to know how well you feel we are supporting you, what we could do or try to do to make things better, and I’d also like to know how you feel your child is doing. The link to the survey is at the top of this page, at the end of this message, and it will also be texted to you.

Of course we have had feedback already from staff and students, and many of you have been in touch, sometimes with a query but also to show your support for the school and the work we are doing as a Childcare Hub at the moment, which is appreciated.

What we know already is that this is really very difficult! Some of you have said you are overwhelmed with the work that’s been set, some contact us wanting more. Some of you say you are struggling to give the necessary time to home learning because of work commitments, some of you- and this includes me- struggle with dodgy internet, and some lack any decent IT resources. Some of you say you are enjoying it! In terms of engagement, there is also a huge variance. Some children would appear to have done very little at all, whilst others have really got the bit between their teeth and I have seen some amazing work.

I have always said what I want for your children is what I want for my own. One is at university and they are still taking exams (on line) so he is still studying hard. The other is in Y11 and I have encouraged him to start thinking about the courses he’ll be doing in the 6th Form, do a bit of research on line to keep up the learning habit. But there is no set work for Y11 at his school, nor is there at ours.

What would I be telling them if they were in Y7, 8, 9 or 10? I’d be explaining that the current situation is going to be going on for some time, and if they’re not making an effort to engage with work they are going to miss out later. I think it’s making the effort and trying to do a little every day that’s important,rather than becoming anxious about making a huge amount of progress. This will be tricky for many- though not all. I’d also be telling them to look after themselves properly, to exercise and eat sensibly. And I’d be ensuring they followed the Government guidelines, too, of course, on staying home.

You cannot be expected to teach your children, but of course you should encourage them, and perhaps now is the time to be a little more assertive- we’re in a long game. Fit work in at times that suit the family. Motivate the children with rewards. Remember too some of the other things they are learning- things we are all learning, in fact: patience; self-discipline; tolerance; appreciation.Value those.

When we set up the new website we felt communication was the key, so you have links to the email addresses of all relevant staff, and you should feel free to contact us if there are issues. I am lucky to lead a school with tremendous staff who are doing a great job both in our ‘virtual’ school and in the Hub.

Please click here to complete the survey.

Thanks for reading this, take care and stay safe.

John Kendall

Head Teacher

jkendall@riscacom.net

Video Message Four, May 7th 2020

Assistant Headteacher Mrs K Madden kmadden@riscacom.net

7th May 2020

Bore da everybody! Following Mr Kendall's vlog and then Mr Oliver's last week, it's my turn this week to give you an update on our virtual teaching and learning.

I want to start by thanking your teachers for the high-quality learning experiences they are providing for you during this pandemic. I've been so impressed with the wide range of tasks set, from GCSE style questions to how creative you can be with a toilet roll holder! I particularly loved the Minion ones. Work is being set regularly, mainly on Google classroom and we've made the most of the fantastic resources available on Hwb and BBC Bitesize both can be accessed through our virtual School website. This site will also enable us to keep you up to date with the most recent developments in teaching and learning.

Next I want to thank your parents and carers for stepping up to the challenge and encouraging you to continue with your learning as much as possible. We know it is not easy. Please be reassured that we appreciate all of your efforts and remember we are still here to help you too.

Last but not least I want to thank you - our pupils - for showing resilience by adapting and trying your best to continue to learn during the coronavirus crisis. We hope you are finding the work accessible, motivating and worthwhile. I know your teachers have been very pleased with some of the submissions they have received. For example the Year 7 ICT work on ‘Technology Ethics and Security’, Flipgrid clips that have been coming in for Welsh and I also got to view some hilarious tongue twisters from Drama. If you haven't engaged with the work yet I would urge you to do so. Don't worry about trying to complete it all, some is better than none and remember all of the life skills you can learn from home too. Try to set yourself a routine and commit to completing some school work every day. This way you will be developing good self-management skills and keeping up with your studies. Remember to be ‘Ready, Respectful and Safe’ these simple rules still apply at home.

Tonight at 8 p.m. I will go out and clap for our carers, the nation has been doing this weekly to show their gratitude. However, tonight I will also be clapping for our school community who are supporting each other, albeit from a distance, as we continue to stay home, stay safe and stay learning. Keep up the good work everyone!

Diolch yn fawr.

Mrs K Madden

Assistant Headteacher

kmadden@riscacom.net

Video Message Three, May 1st 2020

Senior Assistant Headteacher Mr J Oliver joliver@riscacom.net

1st May 2020

Hello and welcome. Mr Kendall has asked me to do this week’s blog. My name is Mr Oliver, and for those of you who don’t know me, I am the senior assistant headteacher at Risca Community Comprehensive School and I am also the school’s lead on pupil wellbeing.

This is a difficult time for all of us and I want to assure the school community that we are doing all we can to support our pupils while we are unable to attend school in person.

We have put together the website for our new virtual school to help our pupils, and the wider community, by providing information on wellbeing, accessing and completing school work at home, the current situation with exams and qualifications, and transition arrangements; both from primary school to us and from us into college. As well as a range of other information, such as contact details for key members of the team.

We have an extensive team of staff currently working to support the wellbeing of our pupils and we have been contacting many of these by phone and by email to check on how they are doing and to see if there is anything that we can do to help. I know that the team has really enjoyed making contact and I have received many positive messages telling me how well our pupils are doing. I am really proud of the team effort that is being made in this area and am equally proud of how our pupils are responding to these unprecedented times.

Last week we sent out a wellbeing survey for our pupils to complete and have had responses from around a third of the school population. The survey has two aims; firstly, we want to collect as much information as we can, so that we can build a picture of our pupils’ experiences and respond where necessary. The second aim of the survey is to provide information that pupils may need and it does this by signposting pupils to relevant information based on their own individual answers. We are pleased with the number of pupils who have responded, but we would very much like to hear from everyone, so please take the time to complete it if you can. It only takes around two minutes and there is a link to the survey here.

While we remain in lockdown, I would strongly suggest that our pupils try to have a routine at home. There are lots of things that we can do to support our wellbeing and we should plan these to provide some structure to our days

Setting aside time each day for regular exercise really helps to maintain your mental, as well as physical, wellbeing. Current guidelines allow us to go outside for exercise once a day, as long as this is alone or with members of your household. Going for a walk, a bike ride or a run has many benefits and I’d really encourage you to do one of these each day.

Eating well and staying hydrated also helps to maintain your physical and mental health. It is very easy to fall into bad habits while stuck in the home, so thinking about and planning mealtimes can be a good way to avoid this. I know that Mrs Summers has added a recipe to the ‘Life in Lockdown’ page of the virtual school website, so why not give it a go.

It is also really important to keep your brain active while not in school. The teachers have set up Google Classrooms with plenty of work for you to get on with. We are recommending spending around three hours per day on school work and this is really important, not only for your mental health, but also to ensure that you don’t fall behind and continue to make progress with your learning. Mrs Madden, our lead on teaching and learning has provided lots of information, which again you can find on the website.

Be sure to take a look at the wellbeing page of the virtual school website. As I mentioned before it contains lots of useful information including the contact details of the wellbeing team, including our ALNCo, attendance officer and year heads, as well as a range of services that provide support. For the parents there is information on how to access free school meals. Both for those who usually receive them in school and for those whose situations may have changed, and may now qualify.

If you are a pupil, please make sure that you complete the survey and if you are a parent or carer, please pass this message on to your child.

Before I end I want to stress that the key message is that we are here to help. Please get in touch if you feel that you need to.

Stay safe everyone and I look forward to welcoming our pupils back to school as soon as it is safe to do so.

Mr J Oliver

Senior Assistant Headteacher

joliver@riscacom.net

We have some lovely news to share today! Congratulations to Mrs Carrington and her husband on the birth of their baby son and to Mr Huggett and his wife on the birth of their baby daughter. Sending all our love to you all!

Video Message Two, April 24th 2020

Head Teacher Mr J Kendall jkendall@riscacom.net

24th April 2020

Shwmae!

We are now one week in to our virtual school! On Monday we launched this new website and we have had some great feedback. We made it using the sites app in the google suite and it was quite fun to do- maybe you could have a go, too, at making a site. I'd be interested to see what you could come up with on a theme of your choice and I'd especially like to see a site with information about staying safe during this current crisis.

On this website we have tried to provide the information you need in order for you to understand the approach we are taking and the expectations we have for your distance learning. Of course we may need to adapt things as we go along, but the message for the moment is.. so far so good. Lots of people have got stuck in to the work, and I've been really pleased that some teachers have already been sharing some of your work with me, and I look forward to seeing some more.

For the first part of the week I was at the school working in the Childcare Hub. It has been really good to meet new people from lots of different schools, and get to know some of the children too. The work people are doing there is amazing, and most importantly what we do is to allow essential workers to leave their children safely with us so they can get to work.

To end the week I've been working at home and had lots of meetings with colleagues on line which is a new experience but one I have enjoyed. We are all learning different ways of working, whether we are teachers or students.

Of course the thing most of us miss is the personal contact, particularly at a time when we need to be looking out for each other's wellbeing and getting feedback on how things are going. At the start of the week I put a short survey out to staff and I can report we are all ok! We want to know how you are, too! Mr Oliver has put together a survey and I urge you to complete it please. It's especially set up so as to provide advice and guidance if there are any problems. You can access the survey here: https://forms.gle/L5XF4fnYYhfMa3Jb6 . Please note you will need to be logged in your riscacom.net account to complete this. Thank you.

Meanwhile, as always, take care and stay safe everyone.

Mr J Kendall

Head Teacher

jkendall@riscacom.net


Video Message One, April 17th 2020

Head Teacher Mr J Kendall jkendall@riscacom.net

20th April 2020

Bore da pawb!

I hope you and your family are well.

The summer term is now underway, but as I told you in my message on Friday, the school is still not open and I am not sure when it will be. We've set up this special website to help everyone through this unprecedented time, with a clear focus on your wellbeing and support for your learning

We started getting work ready for you four weeks ago both on line and in work packs, and and I know some of you have already made a start on this, which is great. Mrs Madden has provided guidance and expectations about this now the new term is underway, which you can find here and your class teachers will be looking at the work you submit. It is important you do what we ask of you because your learning matters.

Our Wellbeing Leaders- your Heads of Year- are working with your form teachers and others to make sure we look after this aspect as well. Mr Oliver is leading for us on this and you can find more information from him here .You’ll be able to share any worries you have, and get any help you need.

I know Y11 are anxious about GCSE exams and qualifications, and Y10 also have concerns. Mr Coombes is managing this for us. You’ll get regular updates here as we all find out more. Mrs Coles is working closely with Crosskeys College, other Sixth Forms, and Careers Wales to make sure you can start the next term where you need to be and doing the course(s) right for you. Mrs Coles is also working closely with Primary schools so our new pupils will be able to start with us well-prepared in September. More about that here.

I hope this website proves helpful to everyone. Take care and stay safe!

Mr J Kendall

Head Teacher

jkendall@riscacom.net

Yn Ysgol Gyfun Gymunedol Rhisga mae ein staff yn ymrwymedig i addysg a lles bob disgybl sy’n ymuno â ni. Ymdrechwn herio ac ysbrydoli ein dysgwyr drwy ddarparu ystod eang o gyfleoedd tu fewn a thu fas i’r ystafell ddosbarth. Ein nod ydy gwireddu potensial, i fagu hunan gred a hyder, ac i ledu gorwelion. Anelwn at wneud gwahaniaeth positif, i sicrhau bod ein disgyblion i gyd yn ein gadael yn ddysgwyr hir oes, gyda’r sgiliau a chymwysterau angenrheidiol ar gyfer dyfodol boddhaus, pleserus a llwyddiannus.

At Risca Community Comprehensive School our staff are committed to the education and wellbeing of each individual child who joins us. We want to challenge and inspire all our learners by providing a wide range of opportunities both within and outside the classroom, at our school and in our wider community. Our aim is to maximise potential, to nurture self-belief and confidence, and to broaden horizons. We want to make a positive difference, to make sure that all our students leave us as independent, life-long learners, equipped with the skills and qualifications they need for a fulfilling, enjoyable and successful future.

John Kendall

Prifathro / Head Teacher