Headship Blog: 27.05.2022
The summer term has been a welcome return to normality or as close to normality it has been since Marche 2020. Pupils are now mixing in their year groups indoors and there was much excitement across the school when the children were allowed to spend time in the school halls for year group assemblies and lunch times. Extra-curricular clubs have returned and lots of children have taken up the opportunity to join them. Earlier this week it was wonderful to open the school grounds to hold a friendly football match between Parkland and Hendrefoilan. The boys and girls who participated did the school proud and played brilliantly. It has been fantastic that so many parents have given consent to allow their child/children to visit local areas to enhance their learning. The school can now be flexible with their plans and make these visits according to the weather. So far pupils have visited the beach, the woods, as well as the immediate residential areas. There will be more and more opportunities in next half term also.
The Year 6 pupils had a fantastic residential trip to Manor Adventure in Abernant and spent 5 days there. They were able to experience many different activities and outdoor pursuits such as paddle boarding, abseiling and fencing! The food was apparently very good and much fun was had by everyone. We are delighted that we can begin to plan such activities for the children and to witness all the different skills and personalities that opportunities like this help us see.
The extension is complete. It looks wonderful and the year 2 children are really excited about moving in to their brand new classrooms for the next half term. There is a brand new quad that the pupils will be able to use as well as a contained outdoor space. 5J will also move to a classroom, previously occupied by one of the year 2 classes and we will be establishing a library and multi-functional room in the other classroom occupied by the other year 2 class.
We are looking forward to another busy half term during which we will have sports days, meet the teacher events, year group concerts and lots more – by the end of it we will all be ready for a well-earned break!
Congratulations to everyone for reaching the end of last half term! The pandemic has meant that it has continued to be a challenging time in school but we are pleased to report that things are getting closer to ‘normal.’ Hopefully in the coming weeks further restrictions will lift and the school will look more ‘business as usual’ than it has done over the past 2 years.
The last 2 half terms have been very busy as you have hopefully heard. Autumn Term 2 began with a bang – quite literally – as the whole school learnt about Guy Fawkes and the Gun Powder Plot. The entire week had a creative spin and the children seemed to thoroughly enjoy their learning and were, without exception, very engaged. Activities ranged from creating models of the Houses of Parliament, Gunpowder Plot trials, collaging, green screening, creating bottle rockets and much more besides. The week ended with an assembly during which the children’s work was shared across the school.
Another significant event which we celebrated as a school was Christmas. The children were treated like film stars during the filming of the different concerts and all children enjoyed being back in the hall and performing on the stage. It was absolutely fantastic being able to open our gates this year to parents and carers so that each class could perform a mini outdoor performance. Each class really enjoyed performing to their family members - the rain didn’t even dampen their spirits! It was wonderful for the children to have an audience. Thank you to all those who were able to join us for those few minutes at the end or beginning of the school day, as it meant a lot to the children seeing you there and celebrating with them.
Moving into the spring term there was much uncertainty but thankfully all pupils were able to return to school and continue as they had before. We continued to have playtimes in year groups so that children could mix and play outside with their friends from different classes. Pleasingly, we have also started to go on school trips again. Years 3 and 4 and Mrs Hughes’ class visited Swansea Mosque and more trips are planned for the next half term. We are continuing to meet virtually every week as a school, for our whole school assemblies. During such times we have been learning about different cultures and celebrations and special events and reflecting on our school values. We are really looking forward to celebrating St David’s Day, World Book Day and Red Nose Day in the coming weeks too.
We would like to let you know that the school has recently purchased a number of instruments to support our music curriculum. We now have many recorders, TooTs and DooDs to compliment our growing collection of instruments. The teachers are very excited to be providing pupils the opportunity to develop their skills using these instruments. The recorders will be used in year 2, TooTs in year 3 and DooDs in year 4. Year 5 and 6 will continue to use glockenspiels, keyboards and ukuleles, but we also looking to purchase pBones, pBuzzes and brass and large stringed instruments to compliment our stock of violins. The purchasing of this equipment has been made possible by the kind donations from one of our governors who is a local councillor. This donation will also be used to purchase an outdoor structure which will be used as an outdoor classroom for a range of learning activities. We have started offering free music tuition to pupils who have chosen to play the violin and will be extending this to pupils who wish to play other instruments, following learning on the TooTs, DooDs, pBones and pBuzzes.
We hope that you have noticed the great progress made with the building work over the last few months. The building is now watertight and electrics have been installed over half term. The building team are hoping to have the works completed by the end of March. The new spaces created are fantastic and will make wonderful new classrooms for our year 2 children.
Please keep your eyes out for a new uniform shop and book bank that we will be setting up this half term. The uniform shop will allow parents and carers to buy used uniform which has been donated back to us. A nominal fee will be asked for these items and an honesty box will be placed alongside it. The Book Bank will be an opportunity for children to choose a book to keep – it would be great if it could work on a ‘give one, get one’ system. For example, a child will leave a book of their own before taking a book that they would like to read. We hope that this will ignite their passion for reading and see it as an exciting opportunity to explore new stories.
We would like to end by thanking you once again for your continued support of the school and continued assistance in these challenging times.
With very best wishes,
Half term update
This half term has been a busy one and I can’t believe we’re already at the end of it. The children seem to have enjoyed returning to school and meeting their new teachers and classmates. They have settled in well and have pleased us all with their learning – they should be very proud of themselves. We are all enjoying our weekly assembly which we hold on Friday mornings through Teams. The pupils have enjoyed seeing their friends from across the school this way as well as taking part in the discussions and quizzes we have. Many of the school’s assemblies have focused on the school’s vision:
Parkland Primary is committed to everyone thriving in a safe, happy, nurturing and stimulating environment. We believe that everyone should learn to care for and respect themselves and others and become healthy and confident. We provide rich experiences and encourage ambitious, capable, creative learners who adapt to and embrace challenge; equipping pupils for lifelong learning. Diversity is valued and celebrated and learners are supported to become ethically informed. Our curriculum reflects and responds to our learners and the community
The children have so far thought about how to be healthy, confident individuals as well as the importance of being respectful. We, of course, celebrated Harvest also. So much food was very kindly donated and the HOP Food Bank were very grateful to receive it. So, a big thank you to you all for your kind donations.
We also celebrated Shwmae Day with pupils dressing in red, white and green and undertaking Welsh themed learning and activities in the classrooms.
You might have noticed that we have continued to develop some of the outside areas. Hand sanitizing stations have been placed down the Dell and the small woodland area outside Mrs Hughes’ classroom has been developed into an outside classroom. We will continue to develop the grounds as much as we can in the coming months.
The build for the new extension has begun today - 22nd October – we can’t wait for the benefits this will bring to the school! It is a very exciting and we look forward to it being completed. In the meantime the builders have kindly agreed for the children to visit the site (from time to time) to see the progress and the type of work being completed. They will be able to ask the builders questions and learn about the building process. Risk assessments will obviously be put in place for this to ensure the safety of everyone. New routes around the school will be established because of the building works taking place. Please see an explanation of this posted on Dojo this week.
I will end by saying that we hope you and the children have a fun and relaxing half term and look forward to seeing you all again on Tuesday November 2nd.
Welcome back everyone!
We were delighted to open our gates once again and welcome the pupils and staff back to school this September. We have many exciting things in store for the coming weeks and terms and we are eager to get started.
We have a busy half term ahead of us and the staff continue to develop their skills and practice. During the September INSET days staff completed emotion coaching training and learned about how best they can support pupils’ emotional needs as they grow and develop. We are also beginning a 3 year project with Thinking Matters this term. This project looks at developing a robust whole school approach to metacognition. When used well metacognition and self-regulated learning can have a significant impact on pupil progress. The staff are excited and keen to begin this learning journey.
As many of you may have noticed we have materials on site needed to begin building our extension at the end of the Foundation Phase block. Unfortunately, we were unable to start this work in the summer holidays as hoped and work will now begin in October half term. Please remember that the Friday and Monday either side of half term are INSET days. It will be hugely beneficial to have all Foundation Phase pupils in one area of the school and it will also free up space with in the Key Stage 2 department for a substantial and well-appointed library as well as quiet learning spaces for intervention sessions.
Whilst it is a new term many of the same restrictions that we have had in place for the last year still remain. Pupils continue to remain in class ‘bubbles’ at the moment and lunch and playtimes are staggered across the school. However, the children are now able to play with others from their year group on the yards at playtimes… hooray! We are hoping that further restrictions can be reviewed and removed in the coming weeks and that we are able to return to ‘normal’ as soon as we can. However, as ever, we will only make cautious changes when we know that it is safe to do so and follow guidance from the local authority. I would like to end by saying a big thank you to you all for, once again, complying with our requests when dropping off and collecting your children. Your support is appreciated very much.
Parkland school has wonderful grounds and we have had a program of development to make the most of our amazing setting. The areas shared below have been developed as an educational resource as well as an area for play and relaxation. Mental health and wellbeing is a priority at Parkland and spaces such as these are invaluable to all.
The children have, of course, had their sports’ days, in their contact groups. We were very lucky with the weather and all events were able to take place as planned. Although very different from our ‘usual’ sport’s days all involved had a great time. Here are a few action shots of the various events!
Latest News 14th May 2021
I hope you are all well. Here is an update with new school information.
School Visits and Trips
Guidance around trips and visits has relaxed a little, with us being allowed to take the children on visits, which consist of only short transport journeys. However, the specific length of travel time is not specified. As such, we will continue to make greater use of our beautiful grounds which are very accessible and used by all classes. If we decide to take the children on a visit, we will seek areas we can walk to, until the guidance becomes clearer.
Development of Outdoor Areas
We have been busy developing areas within our grounds to offer the children interesting and new experiences. We have developed puddle ponds with seating in various areas and also cut back overgrowth around an apple tree, creating a path and seating for children to sit beneath the tree. We will continue to enhance areas around the school to make the outdoors as interesting as we can.
This year the Welsh Government has told us that we do not have to administer the national numeracy and literacy tests if we have concerns over a child's well being. As a result we will not be administering the tests in Parkland. As the tests are adaptive tests, we had a number of children who were upset the last time we administered them, after the tests were set online. This was because children could not get to the end of the tests as work became increasingly harder following correct answers and children were then attempting questions which were not suitable, due to the adaptive nature. As no child could complete the tests, it left a number of children feeling that they had not performed well, even though they had. Additionally, the IT skills needed by the children for the test seemed, at times, to be more crucial than the literacy and numeracy skills being tested. We have been administering our internal assessments in school this year, these provide us a view of progression over time, which we do not feel the national tests have provided following the tests becoming online. Please be assured we never use test data to decide upon a child's provision. Teachers' daily assessments are far more rounded and current in terms of informing provision and we also use our pathways system for this, which are based on on-going collaborative assessments between each child and their teacher.
We will be undertaking transition activities this year, in readiness for next year. The children will be able to meet the adults working with them next year and also their classes. We are also discussing transition with our secondary colleagues and can assure you there will be transition activities taking place geared to introducing the children in Year 6 to their new routines and environments. Although activities look like they will be virtual in the main, we are aiming to arrange for the children to meet some teachers and support staff from the secondary schools in person, in a safe way. We will send more information to Year 6 parents/carers and children, as plans are developed.
Classes for Next Year
Closer to the end of term your child/ren’s classteacher will contact you to discuss friendships for classes next year. We are very hopeful that at some time next year we will once again be able to mix across the year groups. We have to reset the classes yearly as we cannot have the same children in the mixed age classes each year. However, we always aim to have good, social groups in all classes, but especially the mixed aged classes. This year I will be sending a list of teachers and the classes they will be teaching so it is clear who is teaching each class.
This week we are submitting plans to the local authority’s planning department to have a two class extension built onto the infant building to bring the two Year 2 classes currently in the juniors back to the infant side of the school. I must stress this is still in the planning phase, but we are hopeful it can be built in the summer holiday, depending on planning approval and time scales for ordering building resources for the build. We are also planning on have three Year 5 classes and three Year 6 classes, enabling us to have smaller classes in Years 5 and 6 as we do in nursery and reception. We feel this will provide the children in Parkland with a good start in the school and a positive consolidation at the end of the school, bolstering the opportunities for the children and providing the children with opportunities to achieve their best.
We have had a number of parents mention to us that their child/children’s hands are getting sore and dry due to the handwashing routines we have in place. We have today ordered hand soap which is bactericidal but it is unperfumed, contains an emollient and states it’s gentle to the skin. We are also allowing the children to put the anti-bacterial hand gel on the palms of their hand if they have sore, dry skins on the top of their hands.
There are three InSET days left:
Monday June 7th
Thursday July 15th
Friday July 16th
Finally, I would like to wish a happy Eid to all of our friends in the Parkland family who celebrate Eid. I hope you have had a wonderful time.
Latest News March 2021
School reopening to FPh pupils:
It was an absolute pleasure opening our doors again to our Foundation Phase pupils at that the start of this half term. All the children looked extremely happy to be back and were delighted to see their friends. The children were fantastic and remembered all the rules to help them stay safe in school. They have been busy since they have returned and making the most of the finer weather we have been having.
St David’s Day:
Despite not being able to celebrate St David’s Day in the usual fashion we still tried to celebrate in style. The Foundation Phase pupils all dressed up and took part in St David’s Day activities throughout the day including a socially distanced twmpath on the infant yard. It was great to see the pupils all joining in with others to celebrate plus the sun came out too! If you have not seen this then make sure you check it out on the school’s Twitter feed @ParklandPrimary.
Although the Key Stage 2 children were not in school they also celebrated during their live daily sessions and dressed up. Online competitions ran across the school which included photography, music, art and many more. The quality of the entries this year were outstanding and can also be seen on the school’s Twitter feed – make sure to take a look.
World Book Day:
March 4th was World Book Day and the children and staff dressed up, or wore non uniform to celebrate. A range of book related activities took place across the school, for foundation phase in school, and at home for key stage two, who were still undertaking distanced learning. Activities across the school included making book marks, The Masked Reader, extreme read and a kahoot quiz.
School reopening to Key Stage 2 pupils:
On Monday 15th March we reopened the doors to all our pupils from Year 3 to Year 6. Once again, it was fantastic to see all the children return with big smiles on their faces as they were really excited to see their friends once more. Once again they have been busy making up for lost time and taking part in many creative and curriculum immersion activities, such as the year 5 and 6 Celtic life day the children participated in, using our outdoors. We are, as always, extremely proud of how all the children have conducted themselves these past few weeks and how well they have coped with the transition back to school life.
Red Nose Day:
On Friday 19th March the school celebrated Red Nose Day with school council members organising a range of fun activities for all pupils to be involved in and prizes to be won! In Foundation Phase there was a competition to design a super hero red nose and pupils were able to dress up as a superhero or wore something red. In Key Stage 2 pupils took part in a Red Nose Day themed quiz. All classes met virtually online and competed with one another. Well done to 5L, 3/4M and 3P for coming in the top 3. All the children really loved this and asked if they could do more so… watch this space. Finally, each class shared their favourite joke for some much needed fun – these can be found on the school’s Dojo and Twitter accounts.
The school helped raise money for Red Nose Day as well as collecting food from families to give to the local foodbank – thank you for all your many generous donations.
Miss Ali is leaving:
Miss Ali is getting married! Whilst we are very excited for Miss Ali we are also a little sad as it, unfortunately, means that Miss Ali will be leaving Parkland Primary School. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Miss Ali for all that she has done and contributed to over the past 2 years whilst she has been with us. She has been a fantastic member of staff and is extremely dedicated and committed. We will be very sorry to see Miss Ali go but we wish her the very best and we are excited for her and look forward to seeing what her future holds and hearing about it.
We had our socially distanced Easter Parade on Wednesday March 24th. Al the foundation phase children made or decorated something to wear on their heads and then paraded around the junior yard, in their contact groups. The junior children were a wonderful audience, watching and waving from either their classroom windows or just outside their classrooms or from areas on the football yard. The infant children marched around the yard to the song Easter Parade. They looked very proud indeed. We planned to live stream it to Twitter, but unfortunately the wifi signal let us down. We have recorded it and will upload the recording on Twitter for all to see.
Parents/Carers Questionnaire Responses:
Thank you to those of you who completed our questionnaire relating to the development of Parkland Primary School’s vision. There have been insightful observations and very useful suggestions which we will now follow up, look into and then provide feedback upon how we have used the information. I can honestly say there was information and ideas included in the responses which we were not aware of and had not considered and this information will be used to further help us strengthen what we do in Parkland to benefit the children.
All in Parkland wish you a very well earned break over Easter, if you are working, we hope all runs smoothly for you. We will see you back in school on Monday April 12th.
26th June 2020 Felicity P
We are very much looking forward to opening our doors once again on Monday 29th June and seeing the pupils once more. Many preparations have been made to ensure the site, staff, pupils and parents are ready. We will continue to support those pupils who are not returning just yet with distance learning activities also.
We thought it might be useful to parents to have all the information that has been sent out these past few weeks in one place. Please find below correspondence sent out regarding reopening:
Digital media shared from Parkland Primary:
Reopening Parkland Video:
Reopening Parkland Parent Information Pack:
Playtimes at Parkland Video:
20th December 2019 Anne L
Another year is over and it’s ended in style in Parkland. Parkland Parents’ Association undertook the mammoth job of holding the Christmas fayre. It was a very successful event with a significant amount of funds raised. The whole event was extremely well organised and many children and their families and friends came to enjoy themselves and support the school. A big ‘Thank you’ to everyone who supported us, volunteered and worked on the association to organise the evenings’ fun and activities. The pupils and staff have had so much fun this term rehearsing and performing a range of Christmas spectacles! Every child from Rising 3s to Year 6 has been involved. We have enjoyed carol services, pantos and nativities. Our school choirs and orchestra spread the festive cheer to our local community when they visited Hazel Court, Laugharne Court, Parkland’s Church and Singleton Hospital, singing and performing for all the residents. The pupils have been on wonderful school trips, such as to the panto and the Gower Heritage Centre to visit Santa. The year 6s also enjoyed their trip to Manor Adventure where they had a fun-filled PACKED week full of daring and adventurous activities, while on residential there. Earlier on in the term Year 6 were trained by Bikability and learned how to use their bikes safely on the road. Reception have continued to visit their friends in the Old Vicarage Nursing Home also. The school has been developing pupils’ creativity throughout the school this term which the pupils have relished. You just need to look at the Year 6 pupils’ faces on Twitter – you can see how proud they are of their marble runs! What a term and what a year! No wonder the children and staff are exhausted. I’ll leave now by wishing you all a very, merry Christmas, a happy holiday and brilliant new year. See you in 2020!
5th December 2019 Anne L
Parkland staff received training on October 25th from the world renowned Professor Andy Penaluna, who is Professor Emeritus and Research Director of the Centre for Creative Entrepreneurship at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David . He has a wealth of experience and knowledge and came to share this with us. Andy Penaluna’s Swansea TED talk about Education and Creative thinking has inspired debate and new ways of approaching the development of creative thinkers and entrepreneurs in education. At Parkland, as a Pioneer school and an Innovation school, we are creating a curriculum and approach that will give learners opportunities to develop their creativity, independence and their ability to transfer their thinking and skills to new situations, challenges and opportunities.
2nd December 2019 AnneL
Parkland staff have been developing their Welsh skills during this term. The second stage of a school wide training program has begun to ensure that all adults working at Parkland have confidence in using and understanding Welsh and are promoting it with out pupils as a living language. We are raising the profile of Welsh at Parkland, and are encouraging our pupils to use it around the school, and to extend their responses in everyday conversation. We have had a very positive response, and the impact is beginning to be seen around the school.
Year 6 pupils had an amazing time at their residential at Manor Adventure near Abernant Lake, they had the opportunity to, canoe, paddle board, experience the zip wire, climb, orienteer, and try archery to name a few activities! All staff who accompanied them were impressed by their excellent behavior and growing independence. They are a credit to the school and their parents and carers.
20th September 2019 Felicity P
Following a health and safety audit we need to reinforce the rules surrounding the use of the car park outside the school’s office. Vehicles should enter the car park with their hazard lights on and should travel no more than 5 miles an hour. Vehicles should reverse into the parking bays also. The car park is a no drive zone (except for taxis) between 8:30 and 9:15 and between 3:00 and 3:45. Please be reminded that no vehicles should be parked on the zig zags or yellow lines outside the school.
20th September 2019 Felicity P
You might have noticed that the school has had a lot of improvements made to it over the summer holidays. Probably the most significant change was the nursery extension. This new learning space not only gives the nursery pupils more space but allows staff to enhance provision further. Please keep an eye out for all the new furniture and enhancements made to the environment over the next few weeks. The PTA were busy with the Quad SOS project and fitted a brand new window unit in readiness for a canopy to be installed in the reception quad which will make it a usable space come rain or shine. They also had a painting party and painted the whole quad! The PTA also kindly donated funds to reception to purchase wet weather gear for all the pupils to use. The junior side of the school was improved with artificial grass laid outside a number of classrooms and banking. More recently the fence alongside the foundation phase has been set back to accommodate a new sensory garden which we will be creating for pupils to enjoy and use.
20th September 2019 Anne L
What a busy and eventful final term we had! We had to bid our lovely Year 6s a fond farewell and we wished them all the very best in their new schools. They celebrated their final year in Parkland in style – visiting London and getting to do many different ‘touristy’ things like visit the Natural History Museum, Tower of London, London Eye and Tower Bridge. They also took a boat trip down the Thames and delighted in seeing Matilda the Musical. Other events of particular note were:
The summer was ended in style with every member of our school, from nursery to reception, performing in the Brangwyn Hall. Each year group performed their own number alongside the school’s orchestra and choir. It was an unforgettable night and thank you to all the parents, guardians and other family members who supported the school. A huge congratulations to the pupils who performed amazingly and did the school very proud indeed.
1st April 2019 Felicity P
What a brilliantly successful day we had at the Urdd’s regional competition on Saturday. I was super proud of both entries who performed to an exceptionally high standard – Anastasia came third for her poetry recitation and the choir came first! They will join Sully during May half term and compete in the National Eisteddfod – good luck all! A big thank you must go to the parents for taking their children to Port Talbot on Saturday and especially to Mrs Davies and Mrs Norbury too.
21st March 2019 Felicity P
Yesterday a number of our pupils competed in the cylch Eisteddfod. The school was brilliantly represented by all those involved and there were many success. Malena came 3rd in the solo singing competition, the choir came 1st and for the boys recitation; Taran came 3rd, Sam cam 2nd and Sully came 1st! Well done to all those involved it was wonderful to see yet more talents on show. Thanks to all the staff for their hard work behind the scenes too.
18th March 2019 Felicity P
Both year 4 and 5 have been on residential visits this half term to Llangranog and Margam Park respectively. I hear from the pupils and staff that they all thoroughly enjoyed and learnt lots of new skills. The children were very well behaved whilst away and were great ambassadors for our school. I was also reliably informed that the weather was good for most of their time away.
18th March 2019 Felicity P
Thank you to all the parents and carers who attended Year 2’s Big Art Sale. It was lovely to see how many turned up to make a donation for year 2’s chosen charities – WWF and the Size of Wales. We also used the opportunity to share a Welsh poem and all the work that we had completed in the lead up to this event. Look out for further information about how much we raised altogether.
18th March 2019 Felicity P
Following on from St David’s Day the children continued to learn about Wales’ heritage during Welsh Week. During this time the pupils learnt traditional stories, investigated national emblems, appraised music written by Welsh composers and there was even a smell of cawl and Welsh cakes in the air! We all really enjoyed.
18th March 2019 Felicity P
Even more Welsh has been going on last week with Shwmae Day! During the morning event Criw Cymraeg shared useful Welsh apps with the guests as well as running a range of competitions. Learn Welsh Swansea Bay shared information on Welsh courses and our school’s orchestra and choir thrilled us all with their performances. Our guests also enjoyed rain forest alliance refreshments and a biscuit or too all served in ‘compostable’ cups. Thank you to all those who were able to attend and support the school.